ACC Power Poll: Week 12 | College Sports | richmond.com – Richmond.com

Clemson cornerback Mario Goodrich (31) intercepts a pass intended for Connecticut wide receiver Elijah Jeffreys (14) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Wake Forest and Pittsburgh are the clear choices as the top two teams again in this week’s edition of the Lee Enterprise’s ACC Power Poll. Georgia Tech and Duke were unanimous picks for the bottom two spots. Everything else, like the league itself, is wide open.
Pittsburgh can clinch the Coastal Division title with a home win over Virginia on Saturday, while Wake Forest can sew up the Atlantic with a win at Clemson.
Voters: Greg Madia and John Shifflett (Charlottesville Daily Progress), Mike Barber and David Teel (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Aaron McFarling and Michael Niziolek (Roanoke Times) and Ethan Joyce (Winston-Salem Journal).
1. Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons bounced back from their lone loss of the year by outlasting North Carolina State this weekend. Next up, a road game at Clemson where Wake hasn’t won since 1998. In all, the Tigers have won 12 straight in this series.
2. Pittsburgh: The Panthers beat North Carolina and can clinch the ACC’s Coastal Division title with a home win over Virginia on Saturday. UVA may not have star quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who missed the team’s last game with a rib injury. Pitt will have its star quarterback, Kenny Pickett.
3. North Carolina State: The Wolfpack couldn’t quite get it done against Wake Forest, but with two winnable games against North Carolina and Syracuse remaining, North Carolina State can secure its third 9-win season in the past six years under Dave Doeren.
4. Clemson: Don’t look now but the Tigers have won three straight – and scored 30 or more points in all three – as they get ready for their big games at home against Wake Forest and at rival South Carolina.
5. Virginia: Without Brennan Armstrong, UVA looked punchless and pedestrian against Notre Dame on Saturday night. Hard to envision the Cavaliers looking any different at Pittsburgh this weekend if Armstrong can’t go again, even with a shot at the Coastal title on the line.
6. Louisville: The Cardinals had lost four of their last five before absolutely putting it on Syracuse this past weekend. Now, Malik Cunningham and company are one win away from becoming bowl eligible with Duke and Kentucky ahead.
7. North Carolina: The Tar Heels are the embodiment of average this season. Mack Brown’s crew has alternated wins each of the past eight weeks. Coming off a loss to Pittsburgh, UNC fans should feel good knowing the pattern dictates a win over Wofford on Saturday.
8. Boston College: Quarterback Phil Jurkovec (hand) is back in action and the Eagles are back on track. BC has won two straight since Jurkovec’s return. They’re already bowl eligible and finish with home games against Florida State and Wake Forest.
9. Florida State: Should the Seminoles, who came back to beat rival Miami 31-28 this past weekend, actually be a spot higher? They’ll get a chance to prove it when they play Boston College next.
10. Miami: The Hurricanes could have been at No. 9 – or higher – but they found a way to blow their game against Florida State late in the fourth quarter. With AD Blake James ousted, Manny Diaz’s seat is hotter than ever, though wins at Boston College and at Florida could help cool things off.
11. Syracuse: A blowout loss to Louisville leaves the Orange a win shy of bowl eligibility and Dino Babers joining Diaz in hot-seat town. The schedule won’t help Syracuse out any as they finish against North Carolina State and Pittsburgh.
12. Virginia Tech: How did the Hokies celebrate their blowout win over Duke on Senior Day on Saturday? They fired coach Justin Fuente on Tuesday. At least Fuente went out on a high note – even though the rest of his team will play two more games this year.
13. Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have now lost four in a row, a stench – errr, stretch – that includes home losses to Virginia Tech and Boston College. Only a final-minute win over Duke back in October is keeping Georgia Tech off the bottom line here.
14. Duke: The Blue Devils suffered another blowout loss, this time at struggling Virginia Tech. Thankfully, Duke fans have the basketball team to fall back on. It’s not like that program saw its best player charged for letting the coach’s grandson drive his car while intoxicated. Oh, that happened? Man, it’s tough to be a Duke fan right now.
mbarber@timesdispatch.com
Twitter: @RTD_MikeBarber
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Clemson cornerback Mario Goodrich (31) intercepts a pass intended for Connecticut wide receiver Elijah Jeffreys (14) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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