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2013 CFN Final ACC Rankings & Roundup
Posted Jan 13, 2014

ACC 2013 Fearless Predictions, Game Stories, Game of the Week, Roundup & Standings

CFN 2013 Final Season Rankings | The Top Ten
11 to 25 | 26 to 50 | 51 to 75 | 76 to 100 | Bottom 25
By Conference ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA
Independents | MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

The Formula's Components: 
1. Wins. - If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
2. Quality Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each win counts as 1.
3. Elite Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each win counts as 1 with a road win over an Elite team getting an extra 0.5. Also counting as 1 is a road win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer (but the extra 0.5 isn't added). A win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game counts as one.
4. Bad Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer or a loss to a FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
5. Bad Win - The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a D-IAA team. Each win counts as minus 0.25. 
6. Elite Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
7. Point Differential - Points for minus points against divided by 100. 
8. Winning Percentage - To take losses into account, winning percentage is in the mix. Total wins is the tie-breaker followed by winning percentage.

Remember, these rankings are based on how good the seasons were overall, and NOT based on how good the team might have been. Number next to team is the final overall season ranking.

1. Florida State (14-0)
2013 CFN Season Score: 30.28
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 2
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 8

And you thought we were nuts for the preseason No. 2 ranking. It was among the greatest seasons in the history of college football, and why? Margin of victory. Not only did the Seminoles win 14 games and the national title, they had a whopping eight quality wins and absolutely destroyed everything in their path up until the BCS championship win over Auburn. Clemson wasn’t just an elite win, it was a very, very elite win going into Death Valley and coming away with a 51-14 beatdown. Lost in the fog of the season was how Maryland was unbeaten and rolling going into the October 5th showdown – FSU 63-0. Miami was undefeated and looking to come up with something special on November 2nd – FSU 41-14. ACC championship? FSU 45-7. The 34 points allowed to Boston College was an aberration, allowing no more than 17 points to anyone other than Auburn, and finishing the season with an average margin of victory of 39.5 points per game.

13. Clemson (11-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 19.69
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 14
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 17

The season started out great, and ended with a bang. In between there were two badly failed tests, getting destroyed by Florida State in an emotional home loss, and dropping a rivalry game to South Carolina. There weren’t any problems against anyone else, rolling through the slate with a high-powered offense that was able to keep up the pace against Georgia in a thrilling opener and against Ohio State in a whale of an Orange Bowl. The offense put up 40 points or more in eight games and hit the 50 mark five times.

24. Virginia Tech (8-5)
2013 CFN Season Score: 15.79
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 17
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 56

This doesn’t seem right. Didn’t Virginia Tech sort of stink? Losing 42-12 to UCLA in the Sun Bowl made it seem that way. So how? Quality wins, quality wins, quality wins, beating six teams that finished with a winning record including tight victories over East Carolina – the key to the ranking, beating a three-loss team on the road - Marshall, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. There weren’t many dominant performances, but the Hokies quietly came up with a good campaign despite the losses to Maryland and Boston College to go along with losses to Alabama and Duke.

32. Duke (10-4)
2013 CFN Season Score: 14.82
2013 CFN Preview Preseason: 62
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 74

The Blue Devils couldn’t have asked for much more. Yes, they got walloped in the ACC championship, but just getting there was a win, and they hung with the eventual national champions for a while. Yes, they couldn’t hold a lead and helped add to the legend of Johnny Manziel, but it was a 52-48 shootout and they showed that they could play. An impressive eight-game winning streak after an 0-2 ACC start was terrific, helped by wins over Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina, for one of the best seasons in school history. It would’ve been nice to have come away with a Chick-fil-A Bowl win, but there’s no real complaint.

37. Miami (9-4)
2013 CFN Season Score: 13.36
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 39
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 57

The Hurricanes were rolling along with a 7-0 start, a win over Florida, and strong victories over Georgia Tech and North Carolina, and then Florida State happened. The Seminoles blew away Miami 41-14, sparking a three-game losing streak for The U with blowout losses to Virginia Tech and Duke to follow. Beating Virginia and Pitt made the record look better, but Teddy Bridgewater put the Canes right back into place with a 36-9 Louisville win in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

38. North Carolina (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 13.36
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 30
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 32

Everything turned out okay, but it was dark for a while after starting out the year 1-5 with a four-game losing streak including clunkers against East Carolina and Virginia Tech. A win over Boston College changed everything as the Tar Heels ripped off five straight wins once the schedule eased up. The loss to Duke might have hurt the fans in the rivalry, but blowing away Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl ended things on a high note with a fifth quality win on the year. The 80-20 blasting of Old Dominion turned out to boost things up a wee bit in the point differential component.

42. Georgia Tech (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 12.63
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 42
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 108

After losing three of the last four games and finishing with six defeats overall, how is the ranking so high? Blowout wins over Elon, Syracuse and Alabama A&M – winning those three by a combined score of 192-7 – helped the overall ranking, and bating Duke, North Carolina and Pitt helped. All of the losses came to teams that finished with winning records, and while it would’ve been nice to have come out on the right side of seven point losses to Virginia Tech, Georgia and Ole Miss, but the blowups by the offense were enough make it a decent overall year.

45. Pitt (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 12.18
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 65
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 69

Pitt 28, Notre Dame 21. That was the key to the inconsistent season, breaking up a rough stretch with losses to Navy, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The Panthers needed a win over Miami to get to a bowl game, and beating MAC champion Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Bowl ended things on a high note. But with six losses, how is the ranking so high? Five of the seven wins were quality wins, including a win over Duke, with the only bad wins coming against New Mexico and Virginia Tech.

56. Syracuse (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 10.69
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 51
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 48

Scott Schaefer’s first season might not have always been perfect, but it closed out well with a win over Boston College to get into a bowl game, and a strong 21-17 victory over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl to close things out. On the year, the Orange beat four quality teams – teams that finished with winning records – to offset a bad year from an offense that struggled to score more than 20 points, hitting the mark or going below it in seven games. The blowout losses – Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech – were brutal, and it was a struggle, but the transition into the ACC is complete.

66. Boston College (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 8.88
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 61
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 110

The emergence of Andre Williams and the promise of more big things to come under Steve Addazio made this a good year, but closing out with two losses and a blowout defeat to Arizona in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl soured things. No one gave Florida State a tougher time in the regular season, and all seven losses came to teams that finished with a winning record, but the wins over Virginia Tech and Maryland were the only ones of note. Three of the losses came to teams that finished with ten wins of more.

T87. Wake Forest (4-8)
2013 CFN Season Score: 4.39
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 59
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 85

The Demon Deacons just couldn’t generate any offense, scoring a mere 220 points on the year putting up more than 21 just four times – it just so happened to be the four times they won, with the lone positive a victory over Maryland. There wasn’t a cheap loss on the lot in the finishing kick, but a 21-19 loss to ULM in September turned out to be a problem. Three of the four wins were against the dregs, and while the defense did its part, the offense just couldn’t come through.

97. NC State (3-9)
2013 CFN Season Score: 2.62
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 50
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 60

Was going to three straight bowl games under Tom O’Brien really that bad? Dave Doeren’s first season was supposed to be a little bit of a fight, but this was a stunner. Injuries were a problem, but the lack of offense turned out to be the real problem after a 3-1 star and a good fight in a loss to Clemson. The Wolfpack closed the season with eight straight defeats with only the 27-19 loss to North Carolina by fewer than ten points.

99. Virginia (2-10)
2013 CFN Season Score: 1.80
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 56
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 79

Everything seemed right on track for this to be one of the up-and-coming teams in the ACC with a win over BYU to open things up, and the blasting from Oregon didn’t seem like that big a deal after a 2-1 start, but nothing went right the rest of the way with nine straight losses to close out the year. Not only did the Cavaliers keep losing; they kept losing big. The 27-26 loss to Maryland was he only defeat by fewer than ten points.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year
QB Jameis Winston, Florida State – Winston has taken the nation by storm in his first season of action, authoring one of the greatest seasons ever for a rookie. Not only did he win the Heisman and lead the country in passing efficiency, but his unbeaten ‘Noles are one more victory in Pasadena away from a national title. Winston never wilted in the spotlight, always rising to the level of the situation.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh – Donald was the ACC’s best Big East import, racking up a slew of postseason hardware for his new conference. Despite drawing constant double-teams and the other guy’s best interior blocker, No. 97 still led the country with 26.5 stops behind the line, a remarkable level of production for a defensive tackle.

3 Biggest Surprises
1. Duke. It was a season of milestones for the Blue Devils, which were pegged for last place in the seven-team Coastal before the year began. Duke would actually go on to win the division and 10 games for the first time in school history.
2. The emergence of Jameis Winston. Everyone knew Winston was special, particularly after a scintillating spring. But no one saw this coming. He played like a veteran, the kind who goes on to become someone’s franchise NFL quarterback. Winston, though, is just getting started, the game’s second straight freshman Heisman winner.
3. Boston College RB Andre Williams. Williams was an improbable revelation for the Eagles, leading the FBS with 2,102 yards on the ground. The Doak Walker Award recipient, who’d never rushed for more than 584 yards in a season, became a national entity after rushing for 897 yards during a three-game stretch in November.

3 Biggest Disappointments
1. The QBs. Thank goodness for the rise of Jameis. Tajh Boyd’s production was down. Stephen Morris hit some rough patches. Logan Thomas failed to evolve. And Bryn Renner missed almost half the season. For the first time in a few years, the ACC failed to fulfill expectations behind center.
2. The FSU-Clemson showdown. Boy, what a flop for everyone not rooting for the ‘Noles on Oct. 19. The game of the year in the ACC was entertaining in the lead-up, as the Tiger buses approached the stadium. Once the teams got on the field, though, Florida State’s superiority led to a 51-14 rout that stopped being interesting in the second quarter.
3. NC State. While the Pack wasn’t supposed to compete in the Atlantic Division, it wasn’t supposed to go winless in league play either. Dragged down by inconsistency on offense, first-year head coach Dave Doeren beat just two FBS opponents, going 0-for-October and November.

Best ACC Game of the Season
Aug. 31 Clemson 38 … Georgia 35
The ACC peaked early when it came to entertaining football games, largely because champion Florida State was never threatened. The Tigers and the Dawgs, back when the latter was at full-strength, was a battle between two of the top 10 teams in the country. The pair traded blows in a thriller that showcased offensive stars, like quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd, RB Todd Gurley and WR Sammy Watkins.

Coach of the Year
1) David Cutcliffe, Duke 2) Jimbo Fisher, Florida State 3) Steve Addazio, Boston College

Grading the ACC
Florida State: A+ … The Seminoles not only swept the schedule, but they did so with unrelenting dominance. Picked to finish second in the Atlantic, FSU has won its games by an average score of 53-11.

Duke: A … From worst to first, the Blue Devils made the unimaginable ascent from preseason cellar-dwellers to Coastal Division champs. It was a remarkable campaign for a perennial afterthought in football.

Clemson: B+ … The good news is that the Tigers are No. 12 and headed to the Orange Bowl. Bad news? They lost their two biggest games to Florida State and South Carolina.

Boston College: B+ … A year after going 2-10, the Eagles are bowling. Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job of changing the culture overnight on the Heights.

Miami: B+ … The ‘Canes beat Florida and rose into the top 10 before suffering three straight losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke. Miami is making considerable strides under third-year coach Al Golden.

Syracuse: B … All things considered, it wasn’t a bad debut for the Orange in the ACC. It played well enough in November to squeak out a bowl berth in back-to-back years.

Maryland: B … It looked for a time as if the Terps might be this year’s Duke, but then reality and injuries brought the program back to Earth. Still, a bowl game and a three-win improvement are big strides for Randy Edsall.

Georgia Tech: B- … The Yellow Jackets remain stuck in neutral, losers of at least five games in four straight years. Tech was only .500 against FBS teams during the regular season.

North Carolina: B- … It was a tale of two seasons for the Heels, which rallied back from a 1-5 start to go 5-1 and nab a bowl berth.

Pittsburgh: C+ … Pitt upset Notre Dame and was one of just three teams to get past Duke. However, the Panthers also fell to Navy, and will need to beat Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Bowl to avoid a third straight 6-7 season.

Virginia Tech: C- … The Hokies are suddenly spinning their wheels under Frank Beamer, underachieving for a second straight year. Home losses to Duke and Maryland down the stretch were examples of the program’s 2013 struggles.

Wake Forest: D … A ton of returning veterans weren’t enough to get the Deacons in the black—or save Jim Grobe’s job. Hope at 4-3 was replaced by a five-game season-ending losing streak.

NC State: D- … The Wolfpack closed the season on an eight-game losing streak, leaving rookie head coach Dave Doeren pining for the availability of Florida transfer QB Jacoby Brissett.

Virginia: D- … It was all downhill for the Cavs after beating BYU on the opening weekend. UVa went 1-10 against FBS teams, setting the stage for an offseason of tumult and change.

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