As has been the case since the college football season began, the Atlantic Coast Conference maintained their hold on the top spot in both polls. The conference can also boast of having the most schools in the AP Top 25 poll, as the league leads with six. The newest member of this group is North Carolina State who checks in for the first time this season at # 23. They join Clemson at # 1, Notre Dame at # 3, Miami at # 11, North Carolina at #14, and Virginia Tech at # 19. This is, however, the first time that the league has had two of the top three teams in the AP poll. The same six schools can be found in the Amway Top 25 Coaches poll. With the Wolfpack entering the polls, they become the eighth different team to be in the top-25 poll this year from the league.
There are some interesting matchups scheduled for this week in the conference. N.C. State (4-1, 4-1) will make the short trip to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels (3-1, 3-1). What makes this different is it will be just the third time in the 110 times they have met that both teams are ranked. The Tar Heels have had the upper hand in this series with an overall record of 67-36-6. Another one that stands out is the Fighting Irish (3-0, 4-0) heading out on the road to meet Pittsburgh (2-3, 3-3). This will be the first time that these two programs have met as conference members. It’s not like the two teams have not met on the field in the past. They have played dating back to 1909 with the Irish leading the series 48-21-1. However, ten of the last twelve games between the two have been decided by one possession.
The last team to knock off the Clemson Tigers (5-0, 4-0) will get another chance to pull off this feat on Saturday. This time, the Syracuse Orangeman (1-3, 1-4) will have to go to Death Valley if they are going to repeat the feat. It was back in 2017 at the Carrier Dome that Syracuse was able to defeat the Tigers. The task becomes a whole lot more difficult on the road. A Clemson win on Saturday would match Boise State (2008-10) for the longest winning streak in college football at 35. The Tigers have also won 26 straight vs conference opponents which include postseason play. They are also within two victories of the 2012-15 Florida State Seminoles for the second-longest winning streak in ACC history.
The running back position could be on display this Saturday when Virginia Tech travels to Wake Forest. The game will feature two of the best backs in the league and country. The Hokies Khalil Herbert, who leads the country in rushing with 148 yards per game, and the Demon Deacons Kenneth Walker III, who rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Virginia. The performance earned Walker III the ACC Running Back of The Week award. This will be the first time since 2014 that Virginia Tech has been the road team in this game.
The Boston College Eagles (2-2, 3-2) come off a four turnover outing on the road in a loss at Virginia Tech. They return home to play host to Georgia Tech (2-2, 2-3). The Yellow Jackets enter this game riding a three-game winning streak over the Eagles. Both teams have been getting good quarterback play so far this season. All Georgia Tech freshman Jeff Sims has done in the first six weeks of the year is be named Rookie of The Week twice. For the Eagles, transfer Phil Jurkovec has brought life to the Eagles passing attack having thrown for 300 yards on multiple occasions.
Florida State (1-3, 2-3) picked up conference win number one last weekend with their victory over North Carolina (3-1, 3-1). The win earned the Seminoles National Team of The Week honors. It was Florida State’s first win over a ranked team since 2014. The award is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America and the win gave first-year head coach Mike Norvell his first conference win.
Next week we will be back with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.