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ACC football power rankings: Week 9

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Who do you think is the ACC’s best team through the first eight weeks of the season?

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Clemson vs Virginia Tech Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

As the end of October nears, the ACC picture gets clearer with each passing week.

As of now, both the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions have a sole leader, NC State and Miami, respectively. However, both division champs from a season ago, Clemson and Virginia Tech, have just one conference loss each and have yet to face the division leaders.

As such, there’s still a lot to be sorted out with five weeks left in the regular season.

How did last weekend’s action shake up this week’s rankings? Let’s take a look:

1. Miami (6-0, 4-0 in ACC, no change from last week’s rankings)

Another week, another close win for the Hurricanes, who survived a late charge from Syracuse to dispose of the Orange, 27-19, staying perfect on the season.

Up next: In what should be somewhat of a rest, Miami heads to Chapel Hill to take on a North Carolina team that has won just once all season.

After its stunning loss at Syracuse in Week 7, the Tigers had a well-timed bye to recuperate. They may not lead the division, but they are still in full control of their own destiny.

Up next: Clemson returns to action with a home matchup against Georgia Tech this Saturday in primetime.

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

The Atlantic-Division leading Wolfpack had their bye in Week 8 to prepare for a difficult closing stretch of the regular season.

Up next: That begins this weekend with a trip to South Bend to take on Notre Dame, who is out to a 6-1 start despite its tough schedule.

4. Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-1, no change)

Not sure anyone expected a UNC win, but VT left little doubt Saturday, throttling the Tar Heels 59-7 in an all-around beatdown which saw the Hokies score five offensive touchdowns, a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown.

Up next: Virginia Tech stays home again this week, welcoming in a Duke team in desperate need of a win.

5. Georgia Tech (4-2, 3-1, no change)

It wasn’t always a sure thing, but a runaway second half led the Yellow Jackets to a convincing 38-24 win over Wake Forest in Atlanta on Saturday after a near-miss the week before in Miami.

Up next: GT takes on its most difficult opponent to date in Week 9, taking a trip to Clemson to take on the Tigers who are coming off a bye.

6. Louisville (5-3, 2-3, up one spot)

Louisville still has Florida State’s number, going for 293 yards on the ground (178 of which came from Lamar Jackson) and using a last-second field goal to come away with a 31-28 win in Tallahassee.

Up next: The Cardinals look to become bowl eligible this weekend as they stay on the road, this time taking on Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.

7. Florida State (2-4, 2-3, down one spot)

The list of impressive teams Florida State has played continues to grow after the Seminoles’ loss to Louisville on Saturday, but, as the losses pile up, excuses become harder to come by.

Up next: A short week of practice is capped off with a Friday night showdown at Boston College which now feels like a necessary win for the Seminoles to keep their 35-year postseason streak alive.

8. Virginia (5-2, 2-1, no change)

The Cavaliers laid an egg in their first attempt to become bowl eligible, getting run out of their own stadium by Boston College, 41-10.

Up next: The problem? That game against BC was one of the more winnable games left on UVA’s schedule. The next one, a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend, is another prime opportunity.

9. Wake Forest (4-3, 1-3, no change)

A 21-13 halftime lead meant little after Georgia Tech outscored the Demon Deacons 25-3 in the second half of Saturday’s matchup.

Up next: Wake Forest gets little time to rest, playing host to Louisville on Saturday and needing a win to remain above .500.

10. Syracuse (4-4, 2-2, no change)

Syracuse came up just short of its second top-ten upset in as many weeks, suffering a 27-19 loss at Miami Saturday despite a gutsy performance from quarterback Eric Dungey.

Up next: Needing two more wins to become bowl eligible, the Orange has its bye this weekend to prepare for its final four games.

11. Boston College (4-4, 2-3, up one spot)

BC gained a spot in the rankings for the second straight week after carrying its positive momentum forward into a 41-10 walloping of Virginia, the Eagles’ second ACC road win in as many weeks.

Up next: Boston College heads back home this week for a Friday night matchup with Florida State which looks eminently more winnable than it did at the beginning of the season.

12. Duke (4-4, 1-4, down one spot)

Finding themselves on the wrong side of an upset, the Blue Devils’ 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh casts their postseason into greater doubt.

Up next: Duke’s schedule ramps up again this weekend with a trip to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on the horizon.

13. Pittsburgh (3-5, 1-3, no change)

Running back Darrin Hall, who finished with 254 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, was instrumental in getting the Panthers their first conference win of the season.

Up next: Pitt’s upcoming home stint against Virginia just became a lot more important as bowl eligibility is a distinctly larger possibility after the Duke win.

14. North Carolina (1-7, 0-5, no change)

The Tar Heels seemed locked into the bottom spot for the duration of the season after becoming the first ACC team to lose the chance at bowl eligibility after an embarrassing 59-7 defeat at Virginia Tech, the worst loss in the Larry Fedora era.

Up next: UNC does get to return home this weekend, but will struggle to bring in a win as the Tar Heels play host to No. 8 Miami.