The Boston College football team is on a bye week. For some, that means a couple of days to spend apple picking and embarking on picturesque autumnal hikes. Others will use the free time to catch up on homework and dissect the relentlessly expanding pile of laundry shoved sadly underneath their bed. The BC football team will probably be tackling. Despite their lack of clean clothes and their plunging GPAs, Heights sports editors Connor Mellas, Marly Morgus, and Alex Fairchild are using the break to reflect on the state of the Atlantic Coast Conference and provide you with woefully under-researched power rankings, five games into BC’s season.
The standings were determined by each judge individually ranking each team from 1-14. The results were then averaged. Here we go.
1) Florida State
Fairchild: Jameis Winston & Co. brought swag back to Florida State last season, and through four games the good vibes still be flowing down south with smiles on their faces and free crabs in their hands. #CrabLegs
Mellas: What Fairchild is trying to say is that in their National Championship follow-up season, the Seminoles are 4-0 and still the team to beat. FSU looks significantly less invulnerable than it did last season, though. The Seminoles scraped past Clemson in overtime and survived a scare versus NC State last week—there are cracks in the armor, but for now, FSU remains on top.
2) Georgia Tech
Fairchild: No coach in the country can ask for more than being undefeated after four games. The Yellow Jackets might not be favorites on any national stage, but so far they are one of two teams in the ACC yet to pick up a loss.
Morgus: Georgia Tech is overrated here. It hasn’t done anything notable yet, with the most credible win so far a 3-point margin over Virginia Tech. Clemson should have this spot, and I don’t even like Clemson that much. Coastal has nothing on Atlantic.
Mellas: Clemson is 2-2 on the year, but both of those losses came against ranked teams, including the abovementioned heartbreaker against No.1 FSU. Defensive end Vic Beasley sits fourth in the nation with six sacks—Clemson is an all around very balanced team and hasn’t missed a field goal, so that’s cool.
Morgus: I took Sammy Watkins in, like, the second round of one of my fantasy drafts. I loved the team that Clemson had last year. This year, though, it couldn’t do enough against a Florida State team without its greatest weapon. It will bury almost everyone remaining on its schedule, but I’d expect it to struggle against NC State and be absolutely handled by South Carolina, keeping it from doing anything really big this year.
Morgus: Opening up its ACC career with a 31-13 win over Miami set the right tone for Louisville, and even with the loss to Virginia, the Cards are averaging 34.4 points per game, which is pretty respectable five games in, especially when they’re ranked ninth in the FBS for points against.
Fairchild: The Cardinals have a cool logo, a cool nickname, a defense ranked ninth in the country in points against, and a coach getting a second chance. And there’s nothing more American than that.
5) NC State
Mellas: Holy hell, NC State has gone from a pathetic pile of flattened defensive backs—courtesy of Andre Williams—to a, dare I say it? A good football team. The Wolfpack is 4-1, and damn near took FSU to the house last week. NC State had a 38-35 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter before the wheels came off and Winston came storming back to win it. Junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett has chucked 13 touchdowns and only one pick, and the running game is respectable. Who are you and what have you done with NC State?
Morgus: The beginning of that Florida State game was a glorious moment of hope for me. Who wouldn’t love to see the ’Noles go down? The Pack hasn’t really been tested yet except in the one loss to No. 1, but it’s put up strong offensive numbers, including almost as many rushing yards as passing. It does what BC tries to do, with a big element of their offense coming on the ground, but NC State does it well.
Morgus: I think the part of me that believes Virginia is going to be good this year is probably bigger than it should be—there’s really nothing special on the books for the Cavs so far, just a narrow win over then No. 21 Louisville, but Virginia is one of those teams like Duke was last year. It’s a basketball school that you don’t expect a decent football team out of, so when they do start winning, it’s easy to get excited.
Fairchild: Heath Miller played there a long time ago, and somehow, he’s still in the NFL.
7) Virginia Tech
Mellas: Virginia Tech tied with Miami in our rankings, but given our cumulative and probably irrational disdain for all things Miami—looking at you, Heat fans—VTech gets the edge.
Fairchild: This said, Va Tech doesn’t have a cool dual-threat quarterback capable of playing in the league this year, and the special teams have been average at best. #NotBeamerBall
Morgus: No love for this team.
Mellas: The UUUUUUUUU. Miami beat Duke but got spanked by Louisville and lost by 10 points to Nebraska. The Hurricanes have steadily got better over the last three years, which means the roof should come crashing down very soon.
Fairchild: James Conner is really good, and having a good running back with a couple auxiliary guys to pick up the slack is helpful, but works a lot better if Andre Williams is on your team.
Morgus: Works is a strong word there, but Fairchild has a point. Pitt only put up 10 points on Akron at home. If that doesn’t tell you the Panthers have a problem on offense, I don’t know what will. And for anyone gauging Pitt off of the BC win, you need to shift your perspective. Pitt wasn’t good that day. BC was bad.
Morgus: It’s fun to say that Tyler Murphy is going to somehow pull this team from its grave and BC will finally have a more-than-moderately successful season, but every time Murphy makes a poor decision—usually an ill-advised throw—BC’s hopes for a more balanced offense die a little more inside.
Mellas: I have absolutely no idea how talented BC is. Going into the season, I thought the Eagles were looking at a 4-8 year. That prediction felt pretty solid after Pitt. I bought in to the hype a bit once the USC game showcased Offensive Coordinator Ryan Day’s genius and BC’s Mariana Trench level of running back depth, but then CSU happened. Steve Addazio loves coin metaphors, so here’s another one—BC is a team with two sides, and there’s no way to tell which one will show up on game day.
Mellas: I’m bigger on the Blue Devils than the other editors are—I’d rank them higher—which is surprising given Fairchild’s suspicious attachment to Jabari Parker. For the second year in a row, Duke is sneaky good. Sitting pretty at 4-1, Duke’s only loss came from a 22-10 stumble against Miami last week. Don’t sleep on the Blue Devils.
Morgus: I disagree. Anthony Boone has had a strong start, but I can’t say that a team that was shut down offensively by a thoroughly mediocre Miami defense will be as sneaky good as last year. I respect Cutcliffe and the progress he has made with the Duke team, but I don’t think this is going to be as big a year as last year.
12) Wake Forest
Morgus: Wake has a loss to a team in the Sun Belt. What is the Sun Belt? With the schedule that they have ahead of them, too, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if Wake didn’t win another game this year.
Fairchild: The one winnable game on their schedule comes when they host Boston College. Pessimism or realism? You decide.
Morgus: Syracuse barely beat Nova.
Mellas: My dad’s still salty about that—he’s a huge Nova fan. Syracuse also went on national TV wearing some of the ugliest jerseys I’ve ever seen in my life. BC will still find a way to lose to them at home, though. Even if Terrel Hunt quits to pursue a full time boxing career.
Mellas: It all started out so well. Two wins to open the season, and then—chaos. UNC’s defense allowed 120 points in its last two games. 120 points.
Fairchild: If you could create a football team and program as hopeless as my love life, you’d have the Tar Heels.
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor