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Week 8 ACC football power poll

Week 8 ACC football power poll

How strange have ACC football results been this fall? Our power poll now has three teams receiving first-place votes.

The majority of voters like Wake Forest at No. 1 in the poll, but Pittsburgh and Clemson also received votes atop the ranking. The Panthers and Tigers will face off this weekend, while Wake Forest returns from a bye week to play a tricky opponent.

Voters: Bennett Conlin and John Shifflett (Charlottesville Daily Progress), Mike Barber and David Teel (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Aaron McFarling and Michael Niziolek (Roanoke Times) and Ethan Joyce (Winston-Salem Journal).

1. Wake Forest (6-0, 4-0 ACC, No. 1 last week, five first-place votes): The top team in the power poll wasn’t in action last weekend. The Demon Deacons emerge from their bye week with a challenging test. They have to travel to Army to face the Black Knights’ triple-option attack. Up next: at Army, Saturday, noon

2. Pittsburgh (5-1, 2-0 ACC, No. 3 last week, one first-place vote): Kenny Pickett threw for over 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Panthers won 28-7 at Virginia Tech. Pitt did well to limit Virginia Tech’s lackluster offensive attack. This week’s game gives the Panthers an opportunity to build their national profile. Up next: Clemson, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

3. N.C. State (5-1, 2-0 ACC, No. 2 last week): The Wolfpack picked up their first road win of the season Saturday, demolishing Boston College 33-7. Devin Leary played well at quarterback, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Pitt barely jumped over the Wolfpack in our rankings. Up next: at Miami, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

4. Clemson (4-2, 3-1 ACC, No. 4 last week, one first-place vote): The Tigers’ defense continues playing incredibly well, but the offense is one of the least explosive in the country. It’s shocking to see a team with so much talent struggle to move the football, but Clemson has yet to score 20 points in regulation against an FBS team. The Tigers beat Syracuse 17-14 last Friday, leaning on their defense. Up next: at Pitt, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

5. Virginia (5-2, 3-2 ACC, No. 7 last week): Bronco Mendenhall’s crew lost both of its first two ACC games by 20 points. The Cavaliers have won three in a row since the slow start, including a 48-0 blowout of Duke last weekend. Brennan Armstrong threw for over 350 yards and earned his fourth ACC Quarterback of the Week honor of the fall. UVa will be rooting for Clemson on Saturday as it hopes to chase down Pitt in the Coastal Division. Up next: Georgia Tech, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

6. Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1 ACC, No. 5 last week): Plenty has changed since Virginia Tech’s Week 1 win over North Carolina, which seemed like a breakthrough at the time. The Hokies are now 3-3 overall after falling 28-7 at home against Pitt, and North Carolina has proven to be rather pedestrian. Virginia Tech’s offense is anemic, and there’s not much optimism in Blacksburg after a shaky few weeks and the lack of a noteworthy win. Head coach Justin Fuente is squarely on the hot seat. Up next: Syracuse, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

7. Boston College (4-2, 0-2 ACC, No. 6 last week): The team’s 4-0 start has soured. A close loss to Clemson was followed by a blowout home loss against N.C. State. They Eagles are underdogs again this weekend when they face Louisville. Up next: at Louisville, Saturday, 4 p.m.

8. Louisville (3-3, 1-2 ACC, No. 8 last week): The Cardinals didn’t play last weekend. They’ll hope to bounce back this week after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead at home against UVa on Oct. 9. Up next: Boston College, Saturday, 4 p.m.

9. North Carolina (4-3, 3-3 ACC, No. 12 last week): Skill players Ty Chandler and Josh Downs were electric for the Tar Heels in a 45-42 shootout win over Miami. North Carolina’s offense is exciting to watch, although the team lacks the consistency needed to challenge for the ACC title. UNC has time to turn its season around with a few impressive wins. Four of its final five games are against ranked teams. Up next: Bye

10. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC, No. 9 last week): Georgia Tech used a bye week to prepare for UVa. The Yellow Jackets will need to slow down Brennan Armstrong and the high-powered UVa offense. They struggled against Pitt a few weeks ago, allowing the Panthers to score 52 points. Up next: at Virginia, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

11. Syracuse (3-4, 0-3 ACC, No. 13 last week): The Orange have lost three games in a row by three points. That’s brutal. They came close to knocking off Clemson, but the Tigers survived for a 17-14 win. Saturday’s game could come down to the wire yet again. Up next: at Virginia Tech, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

12. Florida State (2-4, 2-2 ACC, No. 11 last week): The Seminoles have new life after beating North Carolina. They enjoyed a bye week last weekend, and they return to the field against UMass, one of the worst college football teams in the country. Up next: UMass, Saturday, noon

13. Miami (2-4, 0-2 ACC, No. 10 last week): A disappointing season keeps getting worse. The Hurricanes are 2-4 with just one win over an FBS foe. Miami is 0-4 against Power Five teams, with two ACC loses by a combined five points after falling to UNC, 45-42. Running back Cam’Ron Harris is now out for the season with a knee injury, and quarterback D’Eriq King is also done for the year. Ouch. Up next: N.C. State, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

14. Duke (3-4, 0-3 ACC, No. 14 last week): The Blue Devils looked pathetic against Virginia on Saturday, falling 48-0. Duke turned the football over four times and dropped routine passes and potential interceptions. The entire showing was poor. The Blue Devils were unanimously picked last in our poll. Up next: Bye

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