Either FSU football and Clemson have represented the ACC Conference in the College Football Playoff since inception. Could that change in 2018?
FSU football won the ACC Conference in 2014 and represented the ACC in the inaugural College Football Playoff before losing to Oregon.
Clemson has won the last three ACC titles and made the College Football Playoff each of those years, playing for a national championship in two of those three years.
Clemson is loaded once again and favored to win the ACC with the Noles predicted to finish second in the ACC Atlantic division.
Odds are decent that the ACC will be won by one of these two teams. However, Athlon Sports says the ACC could be the odd man out when the College Football Playoff rolls around:
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The ACC gets left out of the College Football Playoff
I called this last year and Clemson did its best by losing to Syracuse in mid-October and nearly losing to NC State two weeks later. This year, the ACC champion Florida State Seminoles will have two losses before the conference championship game takes place. Between the preference of the committee and what we’ve seen unfold historically, there’s very little chance that a two-loss team punches a ticket to the College Football Playoff.
To be fair, they do label these prediction as outrageous, bold, and improbable. It is true Clemson easily could have two losses before getting to the ACC Championship game.
We all know FSU football was an outlier with what happened with the coaching staff and the injury to Deondre Francois.
Most folk believe Clemson is going to run through ACC conference play, but I’m not entirely sold with Kelly Bryant as their quarterback.
FSU is the wildcard most folk have them pegged to go (9-3) in 2018. Though if they get the breaks Clemson has gotten the past couple of years, they are talented enough to win the conference with maybe one loss.
The biggest key is getting through a three game stretch late in the season with only one loss or less. If Clemson comes to Tallahassee and beats the Noles for the fourth straight season, the odds of them losing two games are pretty slim.
For the fifth straight year the winner of the FSU/Clemson game should win the ACC and represent the conference in the College Football Playoff.