By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 3 ACC Power Rankings
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1. Florida State (2-1) – Coach Jimbo Fisher won’t accept moral victories, but there’s no shame in losing to one of the top teams in the nation. Florida State hung tough against Oklahoma, despite losing No. 1 quarterback EJ Manuel to a shoulder injury in the second half. The Seminoles can still finish as one of the top five teams in the nation and make a trip to a BCS bowl, but a road game at Clemson won’t be easy this Saturday.
2. Virginia Tech (3-0) – The Hokies moved to 3-0 with a 26-7 win over Arkansas State. Quarterback Logan Thomas had a so-so performance in Week 2 against East Carolina, but rebounded with 292 passing yards and two scores in the win over the Red Wolves. Virginia Tech has one more non-conference game on the schedule, traveling to Huntington to take on Marshall this Saturday.
3. Georgia Tech (3-0) – The competition hasn’t been great, but the Yellow Jackets have been one of the ACC’s most impressive teams through three weeks. The offense has posted at least 63 points in two contests and leads the nation with an average of 675.3 yards per game. Although Georgia Tech is off to a hot start, Saturday’s game against North Carolina should provide a better idea of how it stacks up in the ACC Coastal race.
4. Clemson (3-0) – Saturday’s win over Auburn was huge for coach Dabo Swinney. After sluggish performances in wins over Troy and Wofford, Clemson looked like a different team against Auburn. Quarterback Tajh Boyd looks more comfortable in the offense, completing 30 of 42 passes for 386 yards and four scores in Saturday’s win. Freshman Sammy Watkins has been the real deal and has emerged as Boyd’s go-to receiver. Can the Tigers carry the momentum from the victory over Auburn into Saturday’s game against Florida State?
5. Miami (1-1) – The Hurricanes win over Ohio State was one of the most impressive final results of Week 3. Miami running back Lamar Miller showed why he is one of the top emerging playmakers in college football, gashing the Buckeye defense for 184 yards on 26 attempts. The Hurricanes host Kansas State this Saturday, followed by Bethune-Cookman in Week 5.
6. Maryland (1-1) – Despite a furious rally in the final two quarters, the Terrapins fell short of winning their first game against West Virginia since 2004. Quarterback Danny O’Brien is one of the best in the ACC, but did not have his best performance on Saturday. The sophomore completed 34 of 52 throws, but tossed three interceptions. The Terrapins will be on upset alert against Temple this Saturday.
7. North Carolina (3-0) – The Tar Heels kicked off ACC play with a 28-17 win over Virginia. North Carolina has struggled against Virginia in recent years, losing four out of the last five in this series before Saturday’s win. Quarterback Bryn Renner continued his solid play, completing 15 of 21 throws for 143 yards and two scores. Is North Carolina a contender for the ACC Coastal title? We should get a better idea of how the Tar Heels stack up after Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.
8. Wake Forest (2-1) – The Demon Deacons are riding a two-game winning streak and easily handled Gardner-Webb 48-5 on Saturday. Quarterback Tanner Price continues to show he is one of the most-improved passers in college football, throwing for 281 yards and two scores against the Bulldogs. Wake Forest travels to Boston College on Saturday and considering the struggles of the Eagles this year, the Demon Deacons could be 2-0 in ACC play after this week.
9. NC State (2-1) – The Wolfpack took care of business on Saturday, defeating South Alabama 35-13. NCAA rules allow only one win against FCS schools to count towards bowl eligibility, which means NC State will need seven victories this year, thanks to playing Liberty and South Alabama. Quarterback Mike Glennon is off to a solid start, completing 64.1 percent of his throws and tossing only interception through 92 attempts. The Wolfpack travel to Cincinnati for a Thursday night matchup against the Bearcats.
10. Virginia (2-1) – Mike London has Virginia going in the right direction, but it’s not quite ready to contend for a spot in the top tier of the ACC Coastal. The Cavaliers opened ACC play with a 28-17 loss to North Carolina on Saturday. If Virginia wants to go bowling, the next two games against Southern Miss and Idaho are must-wins.
11. Duke (1-2) – Bowl hopes took a hit with a loss to Richmond in Week 1, but the Blue Devils picked up a key conference win in Week 3. Duke knocked off Boston College 20-19, thanks to quarterback Sean Renfree's 359 passing yards. The Blue Devils last win at Boston College was in 1927. Duke should be favored to earn its second win of the year with Tulane coming to Durham this Saturday.
12. Boston College (0-3) – Where should we start? The Eagles are off to their first 0-3 start since 1991 and have the look of a team in disarray. Offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers took a leave of absence before last Saturday’s game against Duke, which leaves Dave Brock as the playcaller. Running back Montel Harris is still sidelined by a knee injury and after showing promise in the opener against Northwestern, the offense has managed only 22 points in its last two games. The Eagles should get into the win column against Massachusetts this week, but it could be a long year in Chestnut Hill.