This week had to be the most difficult power rankings that I have ever done. There is no correct way to do these rankings in the 2019-20 season because everyone has beaten everyone else and that woven confusion will continue to make this an exercise in futility.
Now, that said, it’s my job to provide and informed opinion on things that might not be represented simply by either head to head results or box scores. The most of obvious instance of this that you will see today is that I have Syracuse above Notre Dame. Why? Because regardless of the head to head result from last week, Syracuse simply looks like a better team right now than the Irish.
Now that you’re adequately prepared, here are this weeks ACC Power Rankings:
1-Duke 15-1 (5-0): In my not so humble opinion, the Blue Devils are clearly the best team in the nation. They do not have the resume’ to rank them ahead of Baylor however so they will remain my #2 in the poll. Since the SFA loss, they have been dominant and in a conference as mediocre as this year’s ACC, when they only play Louisville and Florida State once each, it’s possible for them to go 20-0 in the league.
2-Florida State 14-2 (4-1): The play of MJ Walker over the past few weeks has taken this team to a whole new level. There is a very real chance that FSU will be 21-2 when they travel to Durham on February 8th. That game will be a blood bath and potentially the best ACC game of the entire season.
3-Louisville 13-3 (4-1): I said on this morning’s podcast that it is imperative that Samuell Williamson find himself and become a key cog for this team. Jordan Nwora is the star, Dwayne Sutton is the guy that makes winning plays, Ryan McMahon will hit timely triples, but Williamson’s play is what will take this team to the championship level.
4-Virginia Tech 12-4 (3-2): Is this a stretch? Sure. After a week when I declared that this team was on the verge of fading, it is now a team that I can really get behind because they are just that, a team. They have their star in Landers Nolley and their leader in Wabissa Bede and everyone else just does their job. Mike Young looks more and more like a homerun hire every day and when he has some time to build his roster, the Hokies are in very good hands.
5-Georgia Tech 8-8 (3-3): Listen, some of you may think this is homerism, but there are seven teams in the ACC that have at least three league wins. Four of them are above the Jackets and Tech is the more balanced team when compared to Boston College and Virginia. The Jackets are 4-3 in their last seven games, but the three losses are against Duke, Florida State and a Houston team that is very good. This team is battle tested and could very well rise in an ACC full of teams that just seems lost.
6-Syracuse 9-7 (2-3): So here we go, Syracuse defeated Georgia Tech in Atlanta by a billion and they’re ahead of the Orange? Yup. I like the trio of Hughes/Boeheim/Girard, and Syracuse has a decent upcoming schedule that could allow them to jump right into familiar water: The Bubble.
7-Pitt 11-4 (2-2): Of course ranking the Panthers ahead of Virginia means they will lose by 100 to Miami later this afternoon. The backcourt is intoxicating as Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, Ryan Murphy and Justin Champagnie have the ability to make this a tournament team. They just have to put the power to the pavement and do it CONSISTENTLY.
8-Virginia 11-4 (3-2): It is what it is everyone. Right now, the Cavaliers simply aren’t that good. If their uniforms said Wake Forest on them and you looked at the body of work there is no way we would be discussing them as an NCAA tournament team. Though I do believe that they will recover on some level and make their way into the dance.
9-North Carolina State 11-5 (2-3): The Wolfpack are 3-3 in their last six games and just can’t seem to get it all together. The three losses are on the road while the three victories are at home, but even the win against Notre Dame wasn’t impressive. Sure they miss CJ Bryce, but this team is talented enough to win at Cassell. It doesn’t take talent to put forth effort on the defensive end.
10-Boston College 9-7 (3-2): They may be 3-2 in league play, but I am still not buying. The win over Virginia says more about Virginia than it does Boston College in my opinion and winning at Purcell hasn’t been that tall of an order the last couple of seasons. The Eagles have a pretty tough stretch ahead of them, we will see where they are in two and a half weeks.
11-Notre Dame 10-6 (1-4): I made some pretty ballsy predictions regarding this team in the preseason and everyone laughed. Apparently that laughter was warranted as I now feel like a clown. A sad clown. Losers of three of their last five, the Irish just can’t seem to put any kind of consistency together. At 1-4, they have NCAA tournament talent, but just can’t seem to put it all together.
12-Clemson 8-7 (2-3): A win in Chapel Hill is certainly a nice story, but improving your winning percentage to 2% over a bad North Carolina team doesn’t warrant a rise in the power rankings. Clemson looked bad in the first half and was simply less bad in the second half. I like some of their pieces, but it might not bloom until next season.
13-Miami (Fl) 9-5 (1-3): My love of Chris Lykes continues to run deep, but Miami just doesn’t have the front court to hang with the big boys in the ACC. Losing to Duke and Louisville is certainly nothing to hang your head over, but the ‘Canes looked basically the same against the Cardinals as they did to open the season. The improvement just isn’t there.
14-North Carolina 8-8 (1-4): They just aren’t good. Now, Brandon Robinson played really well yesterday and Armando Bacot was focused in the first half, but they still ultimately lost the game and are 3-8 in their last 11 games. As stated on the podcast this morning, previous years don’t influence how good you are this season.
15-Wake Forest 8-7 (1-4): The Demon Deacons needed Brandon Childress to be a scoring machine this season in order to be competitive. Instead he has become passive, only attempted 22 shots in their last three games combined. Now, with Chaundee Brown injured, it doesn’t look good going forward.