Miami football battling with UNC behind Va Tech in ACC Coastal power rankings

Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team is battling with North Carolina behind Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal Division power rankings. Depending on the national media outlet, the Hurricanes and Tar Heels are second and third with Virginia Tech first. The Hokies have started 2-0 in 2021 including a season-opening victory over the Tar Heels.

Miami barely escaped Appalachian State on Saturday with a  25-23 victory for its first 2021 win. North Carolina won its first game of 2021 59-17 over Appalachian State’s Sun Belt East rival Georgia State. The loss by North Carolina to Virginia Tech makes the Hurricanes and Tar Heels game on October 16 more significant.

Miami will travel to Chapel Hill in what should be one of the two biggest games in the Coastal Division in 2021. Virginia Tech at Miami on November 20 takes on added significance because of the Hokies victory over the Tar Heels. The loss by North Carolina to Virginia Tech helps Miami in the ACC Coastal Division chase.

The Miami football team can afford a loss to North Carolina if they defeat Virginia Tech and still win the ACC Coastal. That scenario is very possible. It is not likely Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech would finish 7-1 in the ACC even if the three split their games against each other. Miami is ranked third in the ACC by 247 Sports.

"3. MIAMI HURRICANES (1-1)Last week’s ranking: 2Last game: 25-23 win over Appalachian StateMiami, plagued by injuries, survived a scare from Appalachian State, as the Hurricanes rallied from a halftime deficit. D’Eriq King led a 10-play, 55-yard drive in the fourth that set up freshman Andy Borregales to kick the go-ahead field goal from 43-yards out with just over two minutes remaining.King finished 20 of 33 for 200 yards passing and added 79 yards rushing, while Cam’Ron Harris paced the team with 18 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown.Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan State"

Clemson is obviously first in the 247 Sports ACC power rankings and Virginia Tech. ESPN has Top 25 overall College Football power rankings. Clemson is ranked seventh nationally, Virginia Tech 17th and North Carolina 20th. Miami fell out of the ESPN power rankings after being in their top 20 last week.

Those were the subjective ESPN power rankings. The more objective ESPN Football Power Index ranks Clemson fourth, North Carolina 11th, Virginia Tech 19th and Miami 20th overall. CBS Sports ranked all 130 FBS teams. Clemson is fifth nationally followed by Virginia Tech at 15, North Carolina 26th and Miami 30th.

Next. National media reaction following Miami win over Appalachian State. dark

Miami will have a good chance to move up with a victory over Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans are 26th in the FPI and 33rd in the CBS Sports power rankings. After subpar performances in its first two games, the Miami football team needs an impressive performance for confidence as much as anything else.