A week after new leaders emerged in both the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions in Clemson and Miami, respectively, the Tigers and Hurricanes each clinched their spots in December’s ACC Championship Game.
The Hurricanes won in dominant fashion after another result clinched their spot on their behalf earlier in the day while Clemson survived a late scare. What else went down across the ACC in Week 11? Let’s take a look:
1. Miami (9-0, 6-0 in ACC, no change from last week’s rankings)
The Hurricanes renewed their historic rivalry with Notre Dame by demolishing the Irish 41-8 in the top-ten matchup, further establishing themselves as College Football Playoff contenders while clinching the Coastal Division for the first time ever with Virginia’s loss on Saturday.
Up next: After a tough two-week slate of Virginia Tech and ND, Miami gets a significantly easier final two weeks of the regular season. That begins Saturday when the ’Canes play host to Virginia.
2. Clemson (9-1, 7-1, no change)
It was closer than the score indicates, but the Tigers made it three straight wins over Florida State and three straight Atlantic Division titles with their 31-14 win Saturday. The question now is whether or not they will be favored in December 2nd’s ACC Championship Game.
Up next: Before the clash with Miami, Clemson will play its final two non-conference games. The first of those is against the Citadel this weekend.
3. NC State (7-3, 5-1, no change)
Few style points were earned, but the Wolfpack clinched its first winning ACC record since 2010 with a 17-14 win at Boston College on Saturday.
Up next: NC State has a chance to build on its impressive season this weekend when the team remains on the road, this time taking on Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
4. Wake Forest (6-4, 3-3, up one spot)
Wake outscored Syracuse 40-5 in the second half to run away with a 64-43 win in the Carrier Dome. Quarterback John Wolford (2,354 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 3 interceptions) is quietly having one of the best years across college football.
Up next: The Demon Deacons, now bowl eligible for the second straight year, return home this weekend to face off with NC State.
5. Virginia Tech (7-3, 3-3, down one spot)
VT’s loss at Miami seemed to linger in the team’s heads as the Hokies squandered a late comeback opportunity, falling at Georgia Tech, 28-22.
Up next: Virginia Tech should have a good chance to snap its two-game losing streak this weekend at home against Pitt.
6. Louisville (6-4, 3-4, up to spots)
Louisville ensured bowl eligibility behind 147 rushing yards from Lamar Jackson and a surprisingly competent defensive showing in a 38-21 win over Virginia.
Up next: The Cardinals wrap up their ACC slate with another home matchup, this time welcoming in Syracuse.
7. Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3, up two spots)
GT’s triple option attack used a big pass play of all things to hold off the visiting Virginia Tech team in Saturday’s 28-22 win, significantly boosting its postseason prospects in the process.
Up next: The Yellow Jackets can get to the six-win mark this weekend when they travel to Durham to take on a struggling Duke team.
8. Virginia (6-4, 3-3, down two spots)
The Cavaliers allowed Louisville to rack up nearly 300 yards on the ground and 6.9 yards per carry in their 38-21 loss on the road over the weekend, bringing the team back down to Earth after the win over Georgia Tech.
Up next: Good thing for the Hoos they are already bowl eligible as this weekend’s trip to Miami Gardens to take on the undefeated Hurricanes will see them as heavy underdogs.
9. Boston College (5-5, 3-4, down two spots)
The Eagles came up just short in a 17-14 loss to NC State, but have found their running back of the future in freshman A.J. Dillon, who has racked up 706 rushing yards and six touchdowns over the last four games after he went for 196 and a score against the Wolfpack.
Up next: BC’s best remaining chance at getting bowl eligible comes this weekend on a short road trip to take on UConn.
10. Florida State (3-6, 3-5, no change)
The Seminoles rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit, trailing 17-14 halfway through the fourth quarter, but didn’t have the horses to keep up with Clemson in a 31-14 loss Saturday.
Up next: In order to assure bowl eligibility, the Seminoles now must win each of their final three scheduled games. That begins Saturday with the easiest of the three games by far, a matchup with a bad FCS team in Delaware State (2-8 on the season).
11. Syracuse (4-6, 2-4, no change)
A 14-point halftime lead disintegrated in the second half as the Orange were completely unable to get a stop, finding themselves on the wrong side of a 64-43 shootout with starting quarterback Eric Dungey out.
Up next: Cuse now must win its final two games to get to its first bowl under second-year coach Dino Babers. That task, far from easy, begins Saturday at Louisville.
12. Duke (4-5, 1-5, no change)
The Blue Devils can’t buy a win right now and find themselves on a six-game losing streak after coming up just short in a 21-16 loss at Army.
Up next: Duke looks to right the ship this weekend at home against a talented but inconsistent Georgia Tech team.
13. Pittsburgh (4-6, 2-4, no change)
Pitt nearly found itself in the bottom spot of this week’s rankings after giving North Carolina its first ACC win of the season in Thursday’s matchup of the conference bottom dwellers.
Up next: It hardly gets easier from here as the Panthers now must travel to Blacksburg to take on a Virginia Tech team desperately trying to end its skid.
14. North Carolina (2-8, 1-6, no change)
Sophomore wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams threw a touchdown and caught five more passes, including the game-winning touchdown, to lead the Tar Heels to their first conference win of the season, a narrow 34-31 victory at Pitt which snapped a six-game losing streak.
Up next: UNC takes on instate FCS foe Western Carolina in Chapel Hill this weekend.