The Pitt News ACC power rankings, week 10 results


In a back-and-forth game, North Carolina defeated Pitt for the third year in a row at Heinz Field Thursday night, 34-31. (Photo by John Hamilton | Managing Editor)

By TPN Sports Desk

For several college football teams, this part of the season is crucial for becoming bowl eligible. While some of the top-ranked teams have already secured their spots, teams such as Pitt, Boston College and Wake Forest are just within reach of eligibility.

Clemson and Miami are still holding steady at the top of the rankings while Pitt, Boston College, Virginia and NC State all moved upward following their game performances.

Here are The Pitt News’ ACC power rankings heading into week 11:

  1. Clemson (8-1) – 95 points (Even)

The Tigers’ imposing ground game was on full display in the team’s game against NC State. Sophomore running back Tavien Feaster rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries, and junior quarterback Kelly Bryant also added two rushing touchdowns. Clemson will need to continue its impressive play this week against Florida State, because even though the Seminoles are having a down year, they are still loaded with talent. –Adin Link, Staff writer

Next Up: Florida State

  1. Miami (8-0) – 94 points (Even)

Miami put itself in a position to claim the ACC Coastal with a 28-10 victory over Virginia Tech over the weekend. The Hurricanes’ defense was the star of the week, holding the Hokies to less than 300 yards of offense and forcing four turnovers. Miami returns home to face Notre Dame in what will be the biggest matchup this season. If the Hurricanes win, they will put themselves right in the middle of the playoff race. –Grant Burgman, Staff writer

Next Up: Notre Dame

  1. NC State (6-3) – 81 points (Up 1)

North Carolina State played a close game against Clemson, even holding the lead heading into the half. But the Tigers’ explosive run game proved too much to handle. The Wolfpack should breathe easier against Boston College Saturday after two tough weeks against elite teams. –Brandon Glass, Staff writer

Next Up: Boston College

  1. Virginia Tech (7-2) – 80 points (Down 1)

The ACC Coastal title is all but out of reach for the Hokies after a 28-10 loss to No. 7 Miami. Despite forcing three Hurricanes interceptions, the Hokies’ offense couldn’t move the ball to capitalize on these mistakes. Virginia Tech accumulated a season-low 299 yards for the game, and redshirt first-year quarterback Josh Jackson threw for less than 200 yards. Looking to keep any hope of an ACC Coastal title alive, the Hokies will try to rebound this weekend as they head to Atlanta for a matchup with Georgia Tech. –David Leftwich, Senior staff writer

Next Up: Georgia Tech

  1. Georgia Tech (4-4) – 63 points (Even)

Georgia Tech’s defense failed Saturday, as it allowed 40 points in a close loss to Virginia. The Yellow Jackets will need to play better on that side of the ball if they hope to pull off an upset over No. 17 Virginia Tech. –Trent Leonard, Staff writer

Next Up: Virginia Tech

  1. Virginia (6-3) – 55 points (Up 4)

Virginia managed to hold off Georgia Tech 40-36 Saturday to record a win after losing back-to-back games. This marked the Cavaliers’ sixth win of the season, qualifying them for a bowl game for the first time since 2011. Virginia now turns its attention to junior quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals for Saturday’s game and in the hopes of keeping their ACC Coastal title chances alive. –Dominic Campbell, Staff writer

Next Up: Louisville

  1. Wake Forest (5-4) – 54 points (Even)

Wake Forest suffered a tough 48-37 loss at the hands of No. 3 Notre Dame this week. Despite the high score, the game wasn’t terribly close, as the Irish put in their backup quarterback after taking a 41-16 lead in the third quarter. Wake Forest senior quarterback John Wolford did have a good day through the air, passing for 331 yards and two touchdowns, but with both of his passing touchdowns coming in the second half, his performance was too late. –Burgman

Next Up: Syracuse

  1. Boston College (5-4) – 46 points (Up 1)

Boston College is coming off a bye week, but it brings a three-game win streak into its home matchup against NC State. The Eagles will see if they can score 35 points or more for the fourth straight game, while the Wolfpack will look to avoid its third straight loss. –Leonard

Next Up: NC State

  1. Syracuse (4-5) – 44 points (Down 3)

Syracuse dropped back-to-back games after losing 27-24 to Florida State Saturday. While the Orange played well and kept the game close, they struggled against Florida State first-year running back Cam Akers, who ran for 199 yards. The Orange still need two wins to make their first bowl game since 2013. –Campbell

Next Up: Wake Forest

  1. Pitt (4-6) – 34 points (Up 2)

After an off week, the Panthers had the opportunity to reach a .500 record after being sub .500 since the week three loss to Oklahoma State. But the Panthers were unsuccessful and fell to the Tar Heels 34-31. –Abbot Zuk, Staff writer

Next Up: Virginia Tech, Nov. 18

  1. Florida State (3-5) – 33 points (Even)

Florida State was a preseason favorite, but now the Seminoles are battling to break .500 and make a bowl game. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois’ season-ending injury on opening day was a major blow to the Seminoles, and they barely outscored Syracuse Saturday, 27-24, to bring their overall record to 3-5. The road will not get any easier for Florida State, as the team travels to No. 4 Clemson for a date with last year’s national champions. –Leonard

Next Up: Clemson

  1. Louisville (5-4) – 32 points (Down 4)

The Cardinals are coming off a much needed bye week after a tough loss at Wake Forest. Currently Jackson leads this Louisville team in both passing and rushing, so it should be interesting to see if someone else steps up in Saturday’s home game against Virginia. –Glass

Next Up: Virginia

  1. Duke (4-5) – 17 points (Even)

Duke is coming off of a bye week, sparing the Blue Devils from losing again over the weekend. After starting the year 4-0, the Blue Devils have since lost five straight games. They now face Army West Point, a team with a five-game win streak. –Alex Lehmbeck

Next Up: Army

  1. North Carolina (2-8) – 7 points (Even)

The Tar Heels followed a tough 24-19 loss to Miami with a bye week before travelling to Pittsburgh for a night game against the Panthers. In a back-and-forth game, North Carolina defeated Pitt for the third year in a row, 34-31. –Leonard

Next Up: Western Carolina University, Nov. 18

The rankings do not reflect the results of Pitt and North Carolina’s Thursday night game.