No. 5 Clemson is about to be alone. Again.
The ACC entered Week 11 with exactly two teams ranked in the first College Football Playoff Top 25 — Clemson and No. 19 Wake Forest. Exiting it, that number will likely be sliced in half as Wake, three-point road favorites coming in, was overwhelmed in the second half of a 36-17 loss to Virginia Tech. After taking a 10-6 lead into the halftime locker room, the Demon Deacons were outscored 30-7 over the last two quarters to turn a close game into a rout.
The loss drops the Demon Deacons to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in ACC play. Barring something unforeseen, Wake will spend exactly one week in the CFP rankings before falling out when the next Top 25 is released this coming Tuesday.
That would likely mean that not only will Clemson be the only ranked team in the conference, the Tigers will, at the moment, have exactly zero teams on its 2019 schedule that are currently ranked. Texas A&M was ranked 12th when the two teams played in early September; the Aggies are now 6-3 and unranked. Wake is next up for Clemson, and they too will (probably) join A&M in the ranks of the unranked.
At 7-3, Virginia might be able to slip into the lower end of the CFP Top 25, but the chances of that happening seem remote.
One final note: Wake still remains alive in the ACC Atlantic race. If Clemson loses to NC State tonight… if Wake beats Clemson next week… and if Wake beats Duke and Syracuse the two weeks after that, then the demon Deacons would claim the division.
And, yes, I almost made it through typing that entire last sentence with a straight face. Almost.