Does the ACC put anybody into the football playoff?
Both are 4-0 headed into big games this weekend – FSU (4-0, 2-0 ACC), ranked #12, hosting Miami (3-1, 0-0 ACC), and Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC), ranked #6, hosting Georgia Tech (2-3, 0-2 ACC).
Put up the wins that both should get this weekend, and they’re both 5-0, and it’s hard to see anybody in the ACC, other than each other, that can give them a game – mainly because neither plays North Carolina, the best team in the Coastal.
That makes their Nov. 7 game at Clemson a virtual play-in game for a playoff spot, though it might not be that simple.
Even if the winner runs the table, it’s not hard to imagine an undefeated ACC team being left on the outside looking in as far as a playoff berth is concerned.
That’s how weak the ACC is right now, particularly with the surprise free-fall of Georgia Tech, the preseason favorite in the Coastal Division, now in the midst of a three-game losing streak and 0-2 in ACC play.
The Yellow Jackets play both Clemson and FSU, but wins over the Ramblin’ Wreck will do little to boost the resumes of the ACC powers.
Both also get Miami as their other cross-division game – again, no help there.
Neither scheduled non-conference particularly well – Clemson getting Notre Dame as its one toughie, in the midst of Wofford, App State and a down South Carolina, Florida State doing Texas State and South Florida to start its season, and Chattanooga and Florida to end its season.
Assuming Florida, currently ranked 11th, continues to build on its torrid start, FSU could get some important style points for a win in Gainesville.
But whoever between the Seminoles and Tigers wins the ACC Championship Game over UNC, maybe Duke, maybe Pitt (?), well, it’s likely just not going to be enough.
– Column by Chris Graham