Hard Work: AP And USA Today Top 25

Scrambled Eggs
ACC Nation Staff @accnation –

An enormous amount of hard work goes into being successful on any stage. This is where those year-round efforts in football begin to pay off. We’re not talking about the financial end of the game, at least not yet. No, we’re talking about working toward a goal. Putting yourself in position to reap the benefits of all that sweat and tears. The two polls and one index we’re about to share with you begin to be more than ink on paper on Tuesday, November 5.

There’s a bit of irony in releasing the first CFP poll on election day. The Selection Committee votes on Monday. Those results, much like your actions at the polls Tuesday will end up expressing faith in candidates. In this instance, with football, we’re talking about a road to the national title game. It’s an acknowledgement of all the hard work by coaches and players.

We shouldn’t take for granted what it takes to make something like college football succeed. At times, it’s a precarious balancing act that can blow up in your face. It’s easy to say, ‘that’s what they get paid the big bucks for’, at least when it comes to the elite tier of coaching. We know about the players and for a slim few they make it to pay day in the NFL on a wing and a prayer.

So let’s appreciate what we get each week as it could all disappear in the snap of a finger. This week’s AP Top 25, USA Today Coaches’ Poll and ESPN FPI (Football Power Index) are a precursor to the College Football Playoff rankings. From there the pay day for teams, coaches, players and fans come with a bowl invite and maybe, just maybe a shot at a national title.

Hard Work

AP Top 25 / USA Today Coaches’ Poll

AP #TEAMUSA TODAY #TEAM
1LSU1ALABAMA
2ALABAMA2LSU
3OHIO STATE3CLEMSON
4CLEMSON4OHIO STATE
5PENN STATE5PENN STATE
15NOTRE DAME15NOTRE DAME
22WAKE FOREST20WAKE FOREST
RVRV
34PITT34VIRGINIA
36VIRGINIA36PITT

For the regular everyday fan, the mix at the top of both polls is maddening. For purists, it’s pure gold. It’s been years since the top 5 and, essentially, the playoff picture has been so muddied. That hard work eluded to, well, it hasn’t finished yet. At this point, no a single, solitary game can be taken for granted by any of those teams at the top. They’ve all got a nice big bulls-eye on them.


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Let’s allow ourselves to be distracted for just a moment. This is part of the plus+ of this article. Who’s going bowling? The ACC teams that have qualified, by way of winning 6 games or better, for a bowl invite are:

  • Clemson
  • Wake Forest
  • Virginia
  • Pitt

What teams are one win away?

  • Louisville
  • Boston College
  • Miami
  • Virginia Tech

Here are the Athlon Sports College Football Bowl Projections for ACC Nation teams:

  • Independence Bowl
  • Miami vs Southern Miss
  • Quick Lane Bowl
  • Pitt vs Illinois
  • Military Bowl
  • Virginia Tech vs Navy
  • Pinstripe Bowl
  • Virginia vs Michigan State
  • Camping World Bowl
  • Notre Dame vs Texas
  • Music City Bowl
  • Indiana vs Louisville
  • Belk Bowl
  • North Carolina vs Kentucky
  • Sun Bowl
  • Florida State vs Arizona State
  • Orange Bowl
  • Wake Forest vs Florida
  • Fiesta Bowl
  • Clemson vs Ohio State

ESPN FPI

  • #1 Ohio State
  • #2 Alabama
  • #3 Clemson
  • #4 LSU
  • #5 Penn State
  • #14 Notre Dame
  • #34 Virginia
  • #35 Miami
  • #41 Wake Forest
  • #45 North Carolina
  • #46 Florida State
  • #51 Duke
  • #54 Pitt
  • #57 Louisville
  • #61 Boston College
  • #76 NC State
  • #78 Syracuse
  • #102 Georgia Tech

The hard work isn’t over as teams look to close out their seasons on an up-note. Whether it’s looking at an overall improvement, winning 6 games for a bowl bid, nabbing a division and/or conference title or looking at a national championship, teams are looking for their second wind for the sprint home.


Hard Work