You can stop mocking the ACC now. The conference has given us the best matchup of the weekend for the second time in three weeks. The ACC produced the first top-10 matchup of the season, and now it'll offer up the first top-five meeting of 2016. Let’s take a first look at Week 5, beginning with No. 3 Louisville at No. 5 Clemson.
The "To Be the Man, You Got to Beat The Man (Wooo!)" game: Louisville at Clemson
It’s a premise Ric Flair couldn't get on board with, but in college football, to be the champ you don't always have to beat the champ. But when the reigning champ resides in your division, you have to take a swing at the king to wear the crowd. For Louisville to win the Atlantic -- a win over Clemson would likely wrap the division up barring a complete meltdown -- the Cardinals have to go through Clemson in Death Valley.
After dismantling Florida State 63-20, the Cardinals proved they're for real and had the look of the ACC’s best team. Lamar Jackson is the clear early frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and the defense is playing lights out.
For all of their early-season struggles, the Tigers are still arguably the most talented team in the country not named Alabama. The defense has not dropped off despite a complete rebuild, which has allowed the offense some time to work out the kinks. The offense needs to have figured out the issues with the few extra days of practice, as they're going to have to keep pace with Jackson -- but not in a race. That's close to impossible; just ask Rajon Rondo.
A Clemson win would bring us one step closer to a chaotic Atlantic scenario in which Clemson, Florida State and Louisville all finish 11-1 and we have to bring the computers back to declare a winner.
The "Looking for a signature win" game Part I: North Carolina at No. 12 Florida State
Much of college football is about who did you beat, not how many did you beat. North Carolina knows that after the playoff selection committee criticized UNC last season for its lack of quality wins.
The Tar Heels are winning at a pace the program has not seen since the 1990s, but they're still in search of a signature win under Larry Fedora. Opportunities were missed during a three-game stretch dating back to last season that included Clemson (in the ACC championship), Baylor and Georgia.
A win at Florida State would highlight Fedora's tenure.
The Seminoles don't need any signature wins right now. They just need to worry about winning with an October schedule that includes UNC and undefeated teams Miami, Wake Forest (not a misprint) and Clemson.
All you, the fan, need to worry about is watching what should be a lot of points get scored.
The "Looking for a signature win" game Part II: Notre Dame at Syracuse
Notre Dame isn't all that good, but a win over the Fighting Irish still means something, especially for a first-year coach trying to make his mark at a school that has seen interest severely wane.
New Syracuse coach Dino Babers picked up his first FBS win after beating UConn, so the Orange have a little momentum built going into this game. The Irish are on the opposite end of the spectrum, having just fired their defensive coordinator after a 1-3 start.
The final score could end up looking a lot like what the final will be when these two meet on the hardwood in January. Syracuse likes to say "Orange is the New Fast." Win against Notre Dame and the Orange could become the new fad at Syracuse.
The "Old Face, New Place" rivalry: Miami at Georgia Tech
Mark Richt just can't get away from the Yellow Jackets. As the new coach at Miami, which is in the same division as Georgia Tech, Richt will coach against the Jackets for the 16th straight season. Richt is 13-2 against Georgia Tech, so he doesn't mind seeing his old rival.
Georgia Tech is coming off an ugly loss at home to Clemson, so the Jackets should be intent on not being a tune-up game for the second straight week. Clemson beat Georgia Tech before its showdown with Louisville, and Miami hosts Florida State next Saturday.
The "It Bears Repeating" Game: Wake Forest at NC State
Again, that was not a misprint above. Wake Forest is undefeated, and the Demon Deacons moved to 4-0 by winning on the road with a backup quarterback. Dave Clawson has done a really good job getting Wake going in the right direction.
Lose this one and NC State's fan base could get a little restless.