Who are the real challengers to Clemson in the ACC?

Who are the real challengers to Clemson in the ACC?


Who are the real challengers to Clemson in the ACC?


Though top-ranked Clemson was off Saturday and No. 7 Notre Dame’s game was postponed, there was some separation at the top of the ACC standings.

Miami, who will visit Death Valley on Oct. 10, moved to 3-0 with an impressive thrashing of rival Florida State. The 12-ranked Hurricanes embarrassed the Seminoles, 52-10, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

As impressive as Miami’s win was, the most impressive performance of the day came in Blacksburg, Va., where No. 20 Virginia Tech took NC State to the woodshed in a 45-24 victory. The Hokies did it with 23 players unable to play and two of their coaches, including new defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton.

Virginia also opened the season by forcing seven turnovers and rallying twice to beat Duke, 38-20, in Charlottesville, Va. The Blue Devils fell to 0-3.

The Cavaliers now get set to come to Death Valley next week to play the Tigers in a rematch of last year’s ACC Championship Game. Clemson beat the Cavaliers, 62-17.

Like Miami, No. 21 Pittsburgh improved to 3-0, though it had a hard time disposing of No. 23 Louisville. Despite holding the Cardinals to 223 total yards and just a nine percent conversion rate on third down, the Panthers hung on for a 23-20 victory at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Boston College also remained undefeated, improving to 2-0 on the young season. However, the Eagles had to rally from seven points down in the last five minutes to beat Texas State, 24-21.

So, here we sit after three weeks in 2020 and we are starting to see a little clearer who the contenders are to challenge Clemson in the ACC. It is who we thought. The suspects are Notre Dame, Miami, North Carolina, Pitt and possibly Virginia Tech.

Miami definitely moved to the poll position with another impressive victory. However, what do we really know about the Hurricanes? Their three wins have come against UAB and a Florida State team that right now is clearly struggling after its first two games.

The other win came against Louisville, who scored 34 points and had more than 500 yards of total offense on them. That is the same Cardinals’ offense that threw for just 107 yards and ran for 116 against Pitt on Saturday.

Miami will get the first shot to dethrone the Tigers, but I am not sure they are ready. The Hurricanes do get the next week off to prepare for Clemson.

My ACC Power Ranking after three weeks

  1. Clemson 2-0, 1-0 (ACC)
  2. Notre Dame 2-0, 1-0
  3. Miami 3-0, 2-0
  4. North Carolina 1-0, 1-0
  5. Pittsburgh 3-0, 2-0
  6. Virginia Tech 1-0, 1-0
  7. Louisville 1-2, 0-2
  8. Virginia 1-0, 1-0
  9. Boston College 2-0, 1-0
  10. NC State 1-1, 1-1
  11. Syracuse 1-2, 1-2
  12. Georgia Tech 1-2, 1-1
  13. Wake Forest 0-2, 0-2
  14. Duke 0-3, 0-3
  15. Florida State 0-2, 0-2

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