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ACC rankings: Florida State remains class of conference

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Florida State and Clemson went into the season considered the two best teams in the league, and Wake Forest was considered the weakest. That hasn't changed. But who should be third through 13th? That's going to continue to change on a weekly basis because of all the parity (or is it mediocrity?). The Seminoles look to be as much a playoff lock as any team, and Clemson looks to be a lock for the Orange Bowl (remember that an ACC team gets an automatic berth in that game if another ACC team is in the playoff). But the other bowl slots appear wide open.

1. Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC)

Up next: at Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The toughest ACC opponent (Clemson) already is out of the way. The non-conference game with Notre Dame on Oct. 18 suddenly has a ton of intrigue.

2. Clemson (3-2, 2-1)

Up next: vs. Louisville, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Tigers opened the season 1-2, but they shouldn't lose again. And true freshman QB Deshaun Watson is a stud.

3. Georgia Tech (5-0, 2-0)

Up next: vs. Duke, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Yellow Jackets aren't always pretty -- they allow 6.6 yards per play defensively, worst in the nation among Power Five schools -- but they are unbeaten.

4. Virginia (4-2, 2-0)

Up next: at Duke, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: This was supposed to be a bad season for the Cavaliers; instead, a lot of young talent has begun to come together.

5. Louisville (5-1, 3-1)

Up next: at Clemson, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: Surprisingly for a Bobby Petrino-coached team, the defense is outperforming the offense -- by a relatively wide margin.

6. Virginia Tech (4-2, 1-1)

Up next: at Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 16
The skinny: The good: The Hokies won at Ohio State. The bad: They fell to East Carolina and Georgia Tech in back-to-back weeks.

7. Miami (3-3, 1-2)

Up next: vs. Cincinnati, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: Coach Al Golden's seat is getting a big warm, and an underachieving (or is it poorly coached?) defense remains the problem.

8. Duke (4-1, 0-1)

Up next: at Georgia Tech, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: It seems unlikely that Duke will repeat as Coastal Division champs, but Saturday's game could change that line of thinking.

9. Pittsburgh (3-3, 1-1)

Up next: vs. Virginia Tech, Thursday, Oct. 16
The skinny: That 3-0 start has been forgotten in light of the current three-game losing streak, which includes an 11-point setback to Akron.

10. Boston College (3-2, 0-1)

Up next: at North Carolina State, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: B.C. bludgeoned USC into submission with its power running game. So how in the world did the Eagles lose to Colorado State?

11. North Carolina State (4-2, 0-2)

Up next: vs. Boston College, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Wolfpack looked good in their loss to Florida State. Unfortunately, that loss might be their high point thus far.

12. North Carolina (2-3, 0-2)

Up next: at Notre Dame, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Tar Heels are one of just nine teams nationally surrendering at least 500 yards per game.

13. Syracuse (2-3, 0-1)

Up next: vs. Florida State, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The offense has been so bad that coach Scott Shafer has made a midseason coordinator change.

14. Wake Forest (2-4, 0-2)

Up next: vs. Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Wake has one rushing TD this season. One.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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