ACC Playoff Picture: Season 20, Week 4

Ryan Moreland · June 1, 2024

By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)

Season 20 is halfway over and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. This will be the first of four articles you will see this week that will look at each conference’s playoff race. Let’s start by refreshing everyone on how the playoffs work.

How to Make the Playoffs

The top three teams from each conference will automatically earn a playoff spot. After that, there will be a league-wide vote on who the last four teams should be. If there is a tie within the top three teams, the following tiebreakers will be used (in order) to break the tie.

1Conference Record
3Record vs common conference opponents
4Point differential vs common conference opponents
5Record vs common overall opponents
6Point differential vs common overall opponents
7Overall record
8Overall point differential

Conference Playoff Picture

Now that we are caught up on how it works, let’s look at the current standings.

RankTeamOverall RecordConference Record
1North Carolina2-22-0
5Florida State2-20-1
6Notre Dame0-40-2

As you can see, the ACC is still wide open at this point with 6 of the 7 teams tied in overall record. However, only the conference record matters for the conference standings. Right now North Carolina leads the pack after wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame. The Tar Heels still have some big tests to come in the ACC, but they control their own destiny right now. They will win the conference and punch their ticket as long as they keep winning. But that is easier said than done.

Syracuse sits second after a great win this week over Florida State. They do not control their destiny in the race for the conference title (thanks to a head-to-head loss to North Carolina), but they do control their destiny to make the playoffs. If they were to win out, the worst they could finish is second. But that will not be easy with teams like Miami still ahead of them.

Clemson and Miami are tied, but Clemson has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami. Since they have already played, there is no way for Miami to beat Clemson in a tie. They have to outperform the Tigers for the rest of the season or it could spell trouble for the Hurricanes. Because of that, Miami does not have control of their destiny. Clemson does have control. As long as the Tigers keep winning they will make the playoffs.

Florida State played their first conference game this past week and it didn’t go their way. However, they are still in firm control of their destiny. They could finish the season 4-1 in conference play with wins over every team but Syracuse. If that happens the worst they could finish is second place. There is a lot of work left for the Seminoles, but the opportunity is there.

Last is Notre Dame. The Irish have yet to win a game and are 0-2 in conference play. They have lost to Miami and North Carolina. The door isn’t closed, but the Irish have to seize the opportunity soon. Starting 0-3 in conference play will be a hole they are not likely to pull out of. That will loom large this week.

Big Games in the ACC This Week

Florida State at Clemson

Wednesday, 8:30 P.M. CST on YouTube

Both teams are coming into this game on two-game losing streaks that include a conference loss. Both teams need to get back on the winning track and improve their odds for the playoff push. This will be a game with major repercussions in the ACC.

Notre Dame at Syracuse

Thursday, 6:30 P.M. CST on YouTube

The Irish need to get into the winning column if they want to keep playoff hopes alive. However, that won’t be easy. The Irish have to play a red-hot Syracuse team that has won back-to-back conference games. Can the Irish get back on track or are the Orangemen deadset on making their playoff debut this season?


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