ACC Playoff Picture: Season 20, Week 6

Ryan Moreland · June 14, 2024


By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)

Finally, we get to the ACC. This conference could go one of two ways from here. It could be clear-cut and simple or it can turn into just about everyone tying everyone else. Before we look at the potential chaos, let’s take a look at 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

ACC Standings

RankTeamOverall RecordConference Record
1North Carolina4-23-0
5Florida State3-31-2
6Notre Dame1-51-3

North Carolina punched their ticket this past week with a win over Florida State. The worst they can finish now is third. They have two tough tests ahead of them with Miami and Clemson. However, if they beat Miami this week North Carolina will clinch the ACC crown.

Miami is close to punching their ticket. They are also not far from missing out on an automatic bid either. If the Hurricanes beat North Carolina this week and Florida State loses to Notre Dame, then Miami punches their ticket. They would also keep their hopes of an ACC Conference title alive with a win. However, if they lose and Florida State wins, they could fall out of the top 3. Most scenarios come down to the Miami vs Florida State game in rivalry week.

Clemson plays out-of-conference this week, so they can’t do anything to help or hurt themselves. Their playoff hopes will largely be tied to their Week Eight meeting with North Carolina. If they win that game, they will most likely clinch the playoffs. They have a tiebreaker over Miami but lose a tiebreaker to Florida State. There is also a possibility of a 3-way tie (or even a 4 or 5-way tie) which would fall to point differential within the conference (see below). They are rooting for either Florida State to lose out or a tie with Miami.

Syracuse is done conference play for the season. 2-3 isn’t a strong conference record, but they could still sneak into the top 3. If Florida State loses either of their next two games and Clemson loses to UNC in Week 8, then Syracuse punches their ticket.

Florida State may be back in fifth place, but they still control their destiny. If the Seminoles win their next two games, they punch their ticket. They could still get in if they lose in Week 7 to Notre Dame, but they would need Miami to lose this week. This week if FSU loses and Miami wins, then the Seminoles will be eliminated from an automatic bid.

Notre Dame still has a chance, but it is long odds. They would need to win their game over Florida State first. The Irish would also need Clemson to lose to North Carolina in Week 8, which would force either a 3 or 4-way tie with Syracuse, Clemson, and potentially Florida State. The tiebreaker would then be point differential in conference play (see below). A loss to Florida State would mathematically eliminate the Irish from automatic bid contention. This means they would need to not only beat Florida State but dismantle them.

Since there are so many scenarios that in this conference that involve point differential in conference being a factor, I decided to include the following table. This shows each team’s conference point differential in conference play so far this season.

TeamNet Points in Conference
North Carolina+43
Florida State-1
Notre Dame-40

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