ACC Week 12 Power Rankings: Pitt, Miami strengthen their cases

Clemson and North Carolina are officially set to face off in Charlotte for the ACC championship, and for the first time this season, our ACC writers had a virtual consensus on the Power Rankings, 1 through 14. In other words, all it took was 12 weeks of games to get it all figured out.

1. Clemson Tigers (11-0, 8-0 ACC)

Two interceptions put a small smudge on another stellar performance by Deshaun Watson as he makes his case for a Heisman Trophy. Clemson, meanwhile, never had to sweat in an easy win over Wake Forest.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-1, 7-0)

Was it pretty? No. But North Carolina overcame all the emotion surrounding Frank Beamer's final game at Lane Stadium -- and more importantly, overcame two late fumbles by Marquise Williams -- to come away with its 10th straight win and secure the Coastal Division title.

3. Florida State Seminoles (9-2, 6-2)

While other Heisman contenders fall by the wayside, Dalvin Cook keeps putting up big numbers, with another 111 yards of offense and two touchdowns in an easy win over Chattanooga. No player in college football has more games of 100 rush yards and two touchdowns than Cook (6).

4. Pitt Panthers (8-3, 6-1)

Pitt continues to roll against unranked opponents, with Nate Peterman tossing four touchdowns in a win over Louisville. The Panthers get Miami next week, with a chance to secure a top bowl and win nine games for the first time since 2009.

5. Miami Hurricanes (7-4, 4-3)

When Miami is winning, it looks awfully good, as it did against Georgia Tech. Its three league losses are to the top three teams in the ACC, and the Canes will get their shot at No. 4 Pitt in the finale.

6. Louisville Cardinals (6-5, 5-3)

The progress Louisville's offensive line appeared to make the past few weeks was quickly erased against a fierce Pitt defensive front. The Panthers racked up seven sacks, while Louisville mustered just 55 yards on 17 non-sack rushes.

7. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-6, 3-4)

Beamer's final game was at least an exciting one, as Virginia Tech erased a 14-point deficit in a little more than four minutes, but the Hokies couldn't survive in overtime. They'll need a win over Virginia to secure bowl eligibility, but four of their six losses this season have come by a touchdown or less.

8. NC State Wolfpack (7-4, 3-4)

The Wolfpack will end the season with a winning record once again, but questions remain about just how good this team is. All their Power 5 wins over the past two seasons have come against teams with losing records.

9. Virginia Cavaliers (4-7, 3-4)

For the second straight season, it's fair to think Virginia might've been in the running for a bowl bid if the nonconference slate hadn't been so tough. But for the second straight season, any goodwill the Cavaliers might've earned with a few strong performances will ultimately be determined by what happens against Virginia Tech.

10. Duke Blue Devils (6-5, 3-4)

Since the controversial loss to Miami, the wheels have come off at Duke. A once-promising defense has fallen apart, with the Blue Devils coughing up 139 points in their past three games.

11. Syracuse Orange (3-8, 1-6)

The offense continues to find ways to score behind QB Zack Mahoney, but the defense is a flat-out mess. The Orange have allowed 34 or more points in seven of their past eight contests.

12. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-8, 1-6)

There's been progress at Wake Forest this season, but odds are the record won't look any better than it did last year in Dave Clawson's first season in Winston-Salem.

13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-8, 1-7)

Remember when this team was winning an Orange Bowl last year? The list of players going down with injury since then is sky high, and essentially everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

14. Boston College Eagles (3-8, 0-7)

Give the Eagles credit for a strong effort and another terrific defensive performance against Notre Dame, but the bottom line is BC just doesn't have the offense to keep pace with anyone.