Ranking The ACC

I confess that this is not an original idea, but I’m doing it anyway. I’ve had all sorts of thoughts about teams and games in my head that I just haven’t been able to put down on paper … er computer screen … so, they can all go here instead.
1. Florida State – They have not looked pretty, but they’ve played by far the toughest schedule and are undefeated. I have to admit that despite years of hatred, I was pulling hard for the Seminoles against Boston College on Saturday. After the way they kicked sand in the faces of the whole ACC for most of the nineties, I’d be damned if some Johnnie-come-lately carpetbagger was going to come in and beat them in their first try. No, BC needed to experience the same crushing defeat of so many promising ACC teams that came before them.
The Seminoles are a fairly shaky #1 though. I’m still not impressed with Weatherford, and what happened to their running game in Boston?

2. Virginia Tech – They haven’t given up a point in two consecutive games, but then again, it was Duke and Ohio. In fairness, I guess Ohio did beat Pittsburgh (aside: how funny has it been to watch Dave Wannstedt screw up? I mean, he sucked as the Bears coach and then he sucked as the Dolphins coach. What was Pitt thinking? Did they figure that Pete Carroll wasn’t a good NFL coach and look how he turned out? Or maybe they thought that that mustache just had to be in Pittsburgh? Either way, I’m giggling at the fact that they were actually talked about as a darkhorse national champion squad, because their schedule looked easy enough to allow them to go undefeated. Well, I guess a perfect record is still possible …).
Anyway … the Hokies are solid, well-coached and have a pretty favorable schedule, but I’m not yet convinced that they have the explosive talent to beat both Miami and FSU.
3. Miami – Yes, they were very nearly 0-2, but I still like their talent and I think Wright can be a solid QB.
4. Clemson – Charlie Whitehurst is playing like he should have last year. A win over Miami would have been huge. I don’t really see a huge difference between teams 4-8 in my rankings, but Clemson has the best wins of that group so far.
5. NC State – They have a lot of talent, but does it add up to a great team? It’s very hard to tell so far. They nearly beat the Hokies, my #2 team, but killed themselves with mistakes. The scrimmage this past Saturday told me nothing. The Carolina game coming up may not tell us too much either, depending on which Heels team shows up.
6. Georgia Tech – They need Reggie Ball healthy. When he is playing, the Yellow Jackets have the best QB/RB/WR combination in the league. Their defense has also been much better this year. We’ll learn a lot about this team Saturday when they pay a visit to Blacksburg.
7. Virginia – Against Syracuse, they looked dominant at times, but turnovers killed them and almost cost them the game. I just can’t tell if this is a really good team or not. Like the Hokies, they look well-coached, but is there enough talent at the key positions?
8. Boston College – Count me as a disbeliever, although I was very impressed with Mathias Kiwanuka – he made several huge plays against Florida State. We’ll know more after their trip to Death Valley this weekend.
9. North Carolina – I had a couple of Tar Heel fans come by yesterday and tell me that there was no way they’d beat State this weekend and that Carolina would be lucky to win a game all year. I think that’s a bit dramatic. Yes, they are 0-2, but they’ve lost narrowly to two pretty good teams. Their defense played quite well against Wisconsin. Like with all of Bunting’s teams, you just can never really tell with this team. They have players, but can they execute?
10. Maryland – What has happened to this program? This is the second year in a row where their offense appears completely inept. Isn’t that Friedgen’s special gift? I suspect they are still good enough to beat any of the teams ahead of them, and they will get some, but they’re probably gonna have a losing record.
11. Wake Forest – This is another school whose fans are pissed, but probably not fairly. Yes, they started 0-2, but take a look at those games. Vanderbilt is now 3-0 and 2-0 in the SEC. The other loss was at Nebraska. I’m sorry, but Wake Forest just does not win in Nebraska, I don’t care who’s coaching the Cornhuskers. I’m just not so sure that this is a really a bad team.
12. Duke – Now this is a bad team. And that’s just the way it should be, isn’t it? They’ll get their revenge when they win the NCAA championship in basketball.

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