- Dawson Haywood
#1 (+5): NC State (3-1) (11+13=24 Points)
Previous: vs Clemson (W 27-21)
Upcoming: vs Louisiana Tech
Summary: Well, it happened and the whole nation knows about it. NC State pulled the upset and shook the NCAA to its core. The ACC no longer has a National Title contender because of this game but it allows for other conferences like the PAC-12 to send a team to the College Football Playoffs. Had NC State beat Mississippi State a few weeks ago they would be in the conversation for sure. One thing is for certain. NC State's defense is elite and if they go undefeated for the rest of the season it would not surprise me and it should not surprise anyone else.
#2 (+3): Wake Forest (4-0) (9+10=19 Points)
Previous: @ Virginia
Upcoming: @ Syracuse
Summary: Wake Forest settled the debate on whether or not they were actually good. We can confirm, Wake Forest is a good football team. They have won every game this season by at least three possessions and currently sit on top of the ACC as the only team with a 2-0 conference play record. They will have to play NC State and Clemson back to back towards the end of the season and that could be the most important two weeks of Wake Forest football. Could Wake Forest be a New Years Bowl contender this year?
#3 (-): Coastal Carolina (4-0) (15+8=22 Points)
Previous: vs UMass (W 53-3)
Upcoming: vs UL Monroe
Summary: Coastal Carolina for the first time in program history is the top ranked team in South Carolina and reasonably so! The Sun Belt team has proven to be one of the best Group of Five programs and besides Cincinnati they are the top rated team in the Group of Five on the AP poll. Coastal does not have a difficult schedule moving forward with App State being their biggest competition.
#4 (-3): Clemson (2-2) (26+7=33 Points)
Previous: @ #6 NC State (Clemson L 27-21)
Upcoming: vs Boston College
Summary: I had said last week that Clemson's "performance against NC State this coming week is going set the tone for the rest of the season". What does this mean for the Tigers moving forward? Obviously, they are having a down season but the good news is that Clemson is still a very good football team they are just no longer a National Title contender. The rest of their schedule is filled with very winnable games but Dabo needs to rally his team and make a push to remain on top of the ACC.
#5 (-1): App State (3-1) (17+6=23 Points)
Previous: vs Marshall (W 31-30)
Upcoming: @ Georgia State
Summary: App State is difficult to rank because they did lose to Miami earlier but for the sake of playing it safe we will put them below Clemson for now. Clemson has not proved that they are an awful team, not just yet, and had Georgia Tech lost to Carolina placing them would be a little bit easier. There is still a lot left to be proven this season, but App State is a good team and that is not up for debate!
#6 (-4): North Carolina (2-2) (18+5=23 Points)
Previous: vs Georgia Tech (L 22-45)
Upcoming: vs Duke
Summary: Carolina's loss against Georgia Tech has allowed us to make a few very valid predictions for the ACC this year. North Carolina is not going to be the team to knock Clemson off the ACC throne especially with that defense. NC State is better than Clemson, Clemson is better than Georgia Tech and Georgia Tech is better than UNC, technically. This past weekend has left the ACC wide open. Carolina is now chasing to simply win the division.
#7 (-): South Carolina (2-2) (9+4=13 Points)
Previous: vs Kentucky (L 16-10)
Upcoming: vs Troy
Summary: Despite losing to Kentucky this weekend at least their student section is still a Top-10 student section. They lost to Georgia last week and we tried not to penalize them too much for that but a loss to Kentucky is hard to defend. They do still have what should be an easy next three games against Troy, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt but even now those games can be considered tossups. The next three games will usher the Gamecocks into a rough stretch against ranked SEC opponents and a weak(er) Clemson team.
#8 (-): East Carolina (2-2) (4+3=7 Points)
Previous: vs Charleston Southern (W 31-28)
Upcoming: vs Tulane
Summary: East Carolina should have won the game against Charleston Southern by a lot more than 3 points. FCS teams have been head hunting this season though and it appears that the gap between FCS and FBS teams is closing and with the SEC becoming what it is becoming that gap could close even more over the next few years. East Carolina has shown some promise for this season because of their win against Marshall. Other than Cincinnati, East Carolina has the potential to keep every game moving forward competitive.
#9 (-): Charlotte (3-1) (6+2=8 Points)
Previous: vs Middle Tennessee (W 42-39)
Upcoming: @ Illinois
Summary: Charlotte is back in the winning column! The upcoming game against Illinois could make or break where Charlotte stands as a team, not just for this season, but moving forward as a program. Though it is just Duke and potentially Illinois, taking down two Power 5 schools in one season will at the very least bring some attention to the C-USA team. As mentioned last week, we have high hopes and expectations for Charlotte this year and their loss to Georgia State could be the game that a really good team has to lose. Even Tom Brady loses a few games.
#10 (-): Duke (3-1) (3+1=4 Points)
Previous: vs Kansas (W 52-33)
Upcoming: @ North Carolina
Summary: There is not much we can do for Duke as they still do not have a quality win on the board. The two FBS teams they have beaten so far currently have a combined two wins on the season and one of those wins was against an FCS team and the other was against a team that has won no games this season so far.
Clemson: 33 Points
NC State: 24 Points
App State: 23 Points
North Carolina: 23 Points
Coastal Carolina: 22 Points
Wake Forest: 19 Points
South Carolina: 13 Points
Charlotte: 8 Points
East Carolina: 7 Points
Duke: 4 Points