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ACC football power rankings: Week 8

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Miami continues to be back while Clemson takes a tumble.

ACC Championship  - Clemson v Georgia Tech Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Over the first six weeks of the 2017 season, we saw the number of undefeated teams in the ACC gradually get whittled down from 14 to 2.

Week Seven saw that number get cut down to 1 after Clemson, the ACC’s frontrunner and most likely representative in the College Football Playoff, suffer its first loss of the year.

What does that mean for the conference? Can Clemson climb back into the CFP conversation? Is Miami the ACC’s only chance? Let’s take a look at this week’s power rankings:

1. Miami (5-0, 3-0 in ACC, up one spot from last week)

Are the ‘Canes back? They sure look like it after improving to 5-0 on a last-second score to beat Georgia Tech 25-24, leaving them as the final undefeated team left in the ACC.

Up next: UM, now up to No. 8 in this week’s AP poll, welcomes in a Syracuse team fresh off one of the biggest wins in program history.

2. Clemson (6-1, 4-1, down one spot)

The defending national champs suffered their first loss of the season, losing as 24-point favorites at Syracuse after QB Kelly Bryant left the game with an injury for the second straight week, this time a concussion.

Up next: Clemson now gets its bye to recover from the shocking loss and prepare for its final five games of the regular season.

3. NC State (6-1, 4-0, no change)

Few style points were earned in NC State’s 35-17 win at Pitt, which was tied at 14 at the half. That being said, with Clemson’s loss elsewhere, the Wolfpack is now in the driver’s seat in the Atlantic Division.

Up next: NC State has to wait until November for its biggest remaining game, a home stint with Clemson, but has its bye this weekend ahead of its final stretch of games.

4. Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1, no change)

The Hokies stay put in the rankings despite not playing a game this past weekend.

Up next: The second half of VT’s season kicks off Saturday with what should be a cakewalk of a game at home against North Carolina.

5. Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1, no change)

GT blew an 11-point lead over the final 20 minutes in its 25-24 loss at Miami on Saturday, putting a dent in the team’s Coastal chances.

Up next: The Yellow Jackets return home this week and are currently favored by nearly a touchdown over Wake Forest.

6. Florida State (2-3, 2-2, up one spot)

FSU snuck out of Durham with a 17-10 win over Duke behind 228 rushing yards, most of which came from the dangerous backfield duo Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers.

Up next: The Seminoles will have revenge on the mind this weekend when they play host to a Louisville team that beat them 63-20 a season ago.

7. Louisville (4-3, 1-3, down one spot)

UL suffered a severe setback in its 45-42 home loss to Boston College. Lamar Jackson is clearly elite, but it’s getting to the point where he is unable to make up for deficiencies across the rest of the roster.

Up next: The Cardinals will look to right the ship in Tallahassee this weekend, matching up with a 2-3 FSU team desperate for a win.

8. Virginia (5-1, 2-0, up one spot)

UVA’s winning streak continued Saturday as the Hoos’ 20-14 win at North Carolina Saturday was their fourth straight.

Up next: The Cavaliers will look to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2011 in their home matchup this weekend against Boston College.

9. Wake Forest (4-2, 1-2, down one spot)

The Demon Deacons was a victim of absence this week, falling a spot in the rankings despite the fact that they were on bye.

Up next: Wake Forest looks to bounce back into the win column and snap its two-game losing streak this weekend in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.

10. Syracuse (4-3, 2-1, up one spot)

Syracuse pulled one of the biggest wins in program history in its 27-24 win over No. 2 Clemson on Friday. Quarterback Eric Dungey put himself on the national radar with his 3 TD performance against the Tigers’ elite defense.

Up next: The Orange look to keep their positive momentum going this weekend as they look to knock off their second consecutive undefeated opponent, Miami.

11. Duke (4-3, 1-3, down one spot)

Duke had its chances, but came up just short in its 17-10 home loss vs. Florida State and remains winless against the Seminoles all-time (0-20).

Up next: The Blue Devils stay home this week, this time playing in a substantially more winnable game against the reeling Pittsburgh Panthers.

12. Boston College (3-4, 1-3, up one spot)

BC running back AJ Dillon had a career day (272 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns) to lead the Eagles to a 45-42 win at Louisville, marking the first time since 2014 that Boston College scored 28 or more in an ACC game.

Up next: The Eagles remain on the road this week to take on Virginia.

13. Pittsburgh (2-5, 0-3, down one spot)

Pitt underwhelmed once again as NC State outscored the Panthers 21-3 in the second half to run away with a 35-17 win at Heinz Field on Saturday. Bowl eligibility seems highly unlikely at this point.

Up next: Pittsburgh treks to the Triangle this week to take on Duke at Wallace-Wade Stadium.

14. North Carolina (1-6, 0-4, no change)

UNC remains winless in conference play after a 20-14 home loss to Virginia over the weekend despite running back Michael Carter finishing with 157 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Up next: The Tar Heels could become the first ACC team to be eliminated from bowl eligibility this weekend when they take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.