Week 5: SEC vs. ACC
Every Thursday, we rank the SEC and ACC teams in one power poll. The order of the SEC teams is based on our SDS Power Rankings and does not deviate.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF POTENTIAL
There’s six unbeatens remaining between these two conferences and five are from one division — the SEC West. Separation Saturday takes at least two of these teams out of the equation, but who will it be?
2. Texas A&M
4. Florida State
5. Mississippi State
6. Ole Miss
BUY OR SELL?
Two of these squads could still make noise in their respective divisions while Arkansas and Clemson have a ton of ground to make after two early losses. The Tigers are two games back of Florida State considering the Seminoles own the head-to-head tiebreaker. LSU’s difficult to project in the nation’s toughest division, but Georgia has the easiest remaining road to Atlanta in the East.
STORIES HAVEN’T YET BEEN TOLD
South Carolina’s the SEC enigma this season, perhaps the most overrated team in college football. The Gamecocks have major challenges down the stretch and there’s no margin of error after two early losses. Duke lost its unbeaten mojo at Miami last weekend and dropped a few spots in our rankings while Mizzou overcame a tough loss to Indiana with a league-opening victory over the aforementioned Gamecocks.
11. Georgia Tech
13. Virginia Tech
14. South Carolina
SEASON-DEFINING GAMES FORTHCOMING
N.C. State’s better than most of us thought. Padding the schedule with early-season wins against mediocre competition, the Wolfpack proved their worth in a four-quarter battle against Florida State. Dave Doeren’s team jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter before Jameis Winston led the top-ranked Seminoles to victory. Clemson’s next and a win over the Tigers would be monumental for the program. Florida’s trip to Tennessee Saturday is crucial in the Eastern Division and could decide Will Muschamp’s future.
17. N.C. State
TOUGH LOSSES LINGER
Pittsburgh’s home loss to Akron was disappointing. Tennessee’s road setback at Georgia was gut-wrenching. And Boston College’s narrow defeat at the hands of Colorado State disrupted a promising start that included a win over ninth-ranked USC. Louisville’s getting it done during Bobby Petrino’s first season at 4-1, but the Cardinals still have matchups with Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame.
21. Boston College
IN NEED OF A BIG WIN
Each of these teams have shown glimpses this season, but signature wins are needed. The Tar Heels travel to unbeaten Notre Dame in two weeks while Kentucky hosts South Carolina on Saturday night. The Gamecocks might not be ranked, but a win would be the Wildcats’ second straight in the SEC after 18 consecutive losses.
23. North Carolina
THIS SEASON’S A WASH
Vanderbilt’s quarterback play has been putrid thus far, a turnover-ridden position without much help up front. Following a 10-point loss to Louisville, Wake Forest gets a road trip to Tallahassee next. Gulp.
27. Wake Forest