The Pitt News ACC power rankings, week three results



Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney, left, holds the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy while he and his team celebrate their 35-31 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 in Tampa, Fla. (Loren Elliot/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

By TPN Sports Desk

After several teams faced game cancellations in the last two weeks, this week welcomed play for all teams. Even though Florida State and Miami have only played one game each this season, they remain at the top of rankings based on preseason and early season performances.

Pitt’s second loss of the season moved the team down two spots, while other teams such as Duke and Wake Forest advanced.

Here are The Pitt News’ ACC power rankings heading into week four:

  1. Clemson (3-0) – 98 points (Even)

Clemson looked like a national championship contender in its 47-21 victory against Louisville this weekend. The Tigers boast arguably the best defense in college football, while also having an explosive offense. I could see the Tigers repeating as national champions. –Kevin Bertha, Staff writer

Next Up: Boston College

  1. Florida State (0-1) – 86 points (Even)

Florida State hasn’t played in two weeks because of Hurricane Irma. The Seminoles still have enough talent on the defensive side to mitigate the loss of Deondre Francois. It will be interesting to see how true freshman quarterback James Blackman does in his first start against NC State this weekend. –Bertha

Next Up: North Carolina State

  1. Miami (1-0) – 81 points (Even)

The Hurricanes enter the fourth week of play with only one game recorded. Miami is not facing a Power Five team, though, so the game should be a good way to get back into the season. –Mackenzie Rodrigues, Sports Editor

Next Up: Toledo

  1. Virginia Tech (3-0) – 80 points (Up 1)

The undefeated Hokies look to be one of the strongest teams in the ACC. Their win against No. 22 West Virginia is their most notable win to date, but it’s still questionable whether they can compete with the very best teams in the country. Their matchup with No. 2 Clemson Sept. 30 will prove how talented a team the Hokies really are. –David Leftwich, Senior staff writer

Next Up: Old Dominion

  1. Louisville (2-1) –  72 points (Down 1)

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the country, but he once again failed to deliver on the big stage in last week’s 47-21 defeat against No. 2 Clemson. The Cardinals also squeaked past inferior opponents in their first two wins, and appear to be more of a pretender than contender in the ACC Atlantic Division. –Steve Rotstein, Senior staff writer

Next Up: Kent State

  1. Georgia Tech (1-1) – 62 points (Even)

The Yellow Jackets posted a one-point loss to Tennessee in their opening, but added a win with their 37-10 defeat of Jacksonville State. In the 2016 meeting between Pitt and Georgia Tech, the Panthers pulled out a 37-34 win. With Pitt’s weak offense, Georgia Tech may have a chance to win this season’s game. –Rodrigues

Next Up: Pitt

  1. North Carolina State (2-1) – 54 points (Even)

The Wolfpack dominated Furman 49-16 Sept. 16, but their next opponent is Florida State. Even though the Seminoles are coming off a break, they still pose a threat to NC State. –Rodrigues

Next Up: Florida State

  1. Duke (3-0) – 47 points (Up 1)

Duke easily won its first three games of the season, even against Power Five teams Northwestern and Baylor. The real test for the Blue Devils will be this Saturday against their hated rivals, the UNC Tar Heels. –Dominic Campbell, Staff writer

Next Up: North Carolina

  1. Wake Forest (3-0) – 40 points (Up 1)

The Demon Deacons have been a surprise for the Atlantic Division. They are off to an undefeated start and have not given up more than 10 points in a game. They will likely end up 4-0 before a difficult stretch against Florida St. and Clemson. –Campbell

Next Up: Appalachian State

  1. Pitt (1-2) – 31 points (Down 2)

The Panthers suffered their worst home loss since moving to Heinz Field in 2001 on Saturday, Sept. 16, falling to the No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowboys 59-21 — and the game was nowhere near as close as the score would indicate. It seems many observers completely underestimated the effect losing more than a half dozen starters to the NFL would have on the program. Pitt gets Jordan Whitehead back from suspension this week, but it might not be enough to avoid a third straight loss this weekend at Georgia Tech. –Rotstein

Next Up: Georgia Tech

  1. North Carolina (1-2) – 29 points (Even)

After defeating Old Dominion, the Tar Heels return to ACC play when they host in-state rival Duke. North Carolina’s season started with two losses, so the matchup against the undefeated Blue Devils could provide a chance for a major win. –Rodrigues

Next Up: Duke

  1. Syracuse (2-1) – 26 points (Even)

Syracuse dominated Old Dominion in Saturday’s game, with junior quarterback Eric Dungey posting 279 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and running for one. In facing LSU, Syracuse also faces former Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Both teams enter the game with 2-1 records. –Rodrigues

Next Up: LSU

  1. Virginia (2-1) – 17 points (Even)

With Virginia’s defeat over UConn, the Cavaliers regained a winning record as they enter the fourth week of play. Quarterback Kurt Benkert looked serviceable as he threw for 455 yards and three touchdowns. –Abbot Zuk, For The Pitt News

Next Up: Boise State

  1. Boston College (1-2) – 12 points (Down 1)

The Eagles might have one win this season, but their lackluster performance on offense has kept the team from scoring more than 23 points in a game. This week Boston College faces the Clemson Tigers, who are still on an undefeated run. –Rodrigues

Next Up: Clemson