It was a quiet week for the Clemson vs FSU debate over on my Facebook page. Clemson will settle who's number 1--for now--one way or the other this Saturday against Notre Dame.
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FLORIDA STATE (1-0 ACC | 3-0 OVERALL)
Is it possible the early leader for ACC Defensive Player of the Year is a guy we never talk about? I'm not fretting about the Noles this week, but get back to me next Monday.
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NC STATE (0-0 ACC | 4-0 OVERALL)
The Pack is the only 4-0 team in the ACC. But I'm not super confident about putting them at 3. Why? They've mastered the easy schedule: 1 FCS school, and the 3 others are now ranked #121, #123 and #127 (out of 128) in the latest FEI ratings. I just discovered the phrase "weak sauce" is in an online dictionary.
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MIAMI (0-0 ACC | 3-0 OVERALL)
The Canes move up on a bye week thanks to Georgia Tech's flop in Durham. Has Miami used the week off to fix its 3rd-down woes? Can they show they have a killer instinct before they have to worry about FSU? We'll see Thursday night at Cincinnati.
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DUKE (1-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
The Blue Devils' defense and special teams dominated the Yellow Jackets enough to overcome more Thomas Sirk's struggles. Maybe Northwestern is really good???
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NORTH CAROLINA (0-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
Mitch Trubisky came in Saturday in relief and it looked like he was playing a video game. Does this mean there's a QB controversy in Chapel Hill? Fedora never shows his hand. And he certainly won't before a big game against Georgia Tech.
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GEORGIA TECH (0-1 ACC | 2-2 OVERALL)
Notre Dame disguised what it was doing defensively, and the Jackets struggled. Apparently, David Cutcliffe was taking notes. Can the riddle of Paul Johnson's option really be solved? Or, is it just Tech struggling? PJ has been running this offense for decades and there's never been one easy answer to stopping him, so I'm thinking it's just a Tech slump.
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SYRACUSE (1-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
Yep, the Orange move up a spot despite a loss. It was a very solid showing against the Leonard Fournettes. And the offense acquitted itself nicely with a walk-on QB against a strong SEC defense. Plus, the best run of the day belonged to a kicker.
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VIRGINIA TECH (0-0 ACC | 2-2 OVERALL)
The loss to ECU was a complete disappointment. There's no way around it. If you think you're going to return to being part of the national conversation, that can't happen. You only get 12 games. Gather ye rosebuds, Hokies.
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LOUISVILLE (0-1 ACC | 1-3 OVERALL)
Lamar Jackson was the best player on the field, but the other team was FCS... so that makes sense. Other than ND-Clemson, this Louisville-NC State matchup is the most intriguing in the ACC.
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PITT (0-0 ACC | 2-1 OVERALL)
Saturday at Lane Stadium will be a brawl. Both teams are coming off of losses and should show a lot of urgency. If I had to pick, I'd say I trust Motley more than I trust either Peterman or Voytik right now.
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BOSTON COLLEGE (0-1 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
They move up 1 spot after a solid win. If the BC offense were even average, I'd probably have the Eagles in the top 5. The defense is that good. And I'm thinking BC keeps Duke under 17 points this week. But can the Eagles offense score 2 TDs against the Blue Devils? I don't see it.
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WAKE FOREST (0-1 ACC | 2-2 OVERALL)
It had to be frustrating falling just short against Indiana, but it's also obvious that The Dave Clawson Rebuilding Process (yes, it's a brand that deserves capital letters at this point) is working. I think the Demon Deacons can steal an ACC win or 2, but it won't be this week.
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VIRGINIA (0-0 ACC | 1-3 OVERALL)
At some point soon, there won't be time for a struggling team to turn around its season. But that time hasn't come--yet--for the Cavaliers. September was a disappointing month for sure: missed opportunities vs UCLA, the Notre Dame heartbreak, a listless win over William & Mary, and complete collapse vs Boise St. Turn the page, Wahoos.