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ACC rankings: Florida State separating itself from pack

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At the midway point of the season, Florida State and Clemson are the top two teams and Wake Forest is the worst -- just as expected. But the rest of the league is a jumbled mess. Saturday's Duke-Virginia contest has become one of the biggest games of the season in the Coastal Division.

1. Florida State (6-0, 4-0 in ACC)

Up next: vs. Notre Dame, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: This week's game with the Irish has a ton of intrigue and is the toughest remaining game on the Seminoles' schedule. And as for off-field intrigue, the Jameis Winston saga supplies it by the ton.

2. Clemson (4-2, 3-1)

Up next: at Boston College, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: BC's one-dimensional offense shouldn't worry Clemson's defense. But how effective will Clemson's offense be without injured star freshman QB Deshaun Watson?

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

Up next: at Duke, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: A Duke-Virginia showdown with Coastal Division title implications? Welcome to the ACC.

4. Duke (5-1, 1-1)

Up next: vs. Virginia, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Duke has won five of the past six games against the Cavs, and the Blue Devils also have won seven in a row at home overall.

5. Louisville (5-2, 3-2)

Up next: vs. North Carolina State, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: The Cardinals need to find some more offense. Perhaps the Wolfpack's flimsy defense will help in that regard.

6. Georgia Tech (5-1, 2-1)

Up next: at North Carolina, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Tech's long-shot dreams to finish unbeaten ended last week. The Yellow Jackets should have no issues moving the ball on the Tar Heels, but can Tech's defense hold up?

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

Up next: at Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 16
The skinny: Injuries have hurt the Hokies at tailback and at defensive tackle. Expect a low-scoring game against Pitt.

8. Miami (4-3, 1-2)

Up next: at Virginia Tech, Thursday, Oct. 23
The skinny: The Hurricanes took out some frustrations on Cincinnati last week; next week's game will determine whether they have any hope of winning the Coastal Division.

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

Up next: vs. Virginia Tech, Thursday, Oct. 16
The skinny: The Panthers will be looking to snap their three-game losing streak when the Hokies come calling Thursday night.

10. Boston College (4-2, 1-1)

Up next: vs. Clemson, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: BC would seem to have a shot at the upset because Clemson has lost star freshman QB Deshaun Watson.

11. North Carolina State (4-3, 0-3)

Up next: at Louisville, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: The Wolfpack won their first four games. But they still seem likely to sweat it out when it comes to bowl eligibility because they have lost 11 in a row in league play.

12. North Carolina (2-4, 0-2)

Up next: vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: The Tar Heels closed last season with a flourish. If they want to do the same this season, Saturday's game would be a good place to start.

13. Syracuse (2-4, 0-2)

Up next: at Wake Forest, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Nothing says "college football" like a mid-October matchup between a bad Syracuse team and an even worse Wake Forest team.

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

Up next: vs. Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Wake's best chance for a league victory comes this week.

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

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