Clemson’s game against Florida State was postponed on Saturday, and right now, it’s unclear if the two schools will find a way to schedule it for later in the season. Many are now wondering how the decision impacts Clemson’s chances at playing in the ACC title game.
In short, it’s complicated. But if Clemson plays against both Pitt and Virginia Tech and wins those games, it will be in the league’s title game. It won’t matter if Miami, which Clemson is tied with at 6-1 right now, finishes with one more win.
Notre Dame, at 7-0, is in the driver’s seat. The Fighting Irish still have UNC, Syracuse and Wake Forest. If they win all three, they’ll be the top seed in the league at 10-0.
If Miami and Clemson both win out, and the Tigers’ game against Florida State isn’t rescheduled, the Hurricanes will be 9-1 and the Tigers will be 8-1. So why would Clemson get in over Miami?
Because the ACC has a special tiebreaker rule this year that basically suggests that if two teams have the same number of losses and have played a similar number of total leagues games, head-to-head is considered first. Clemson crushed Miami earlier this season.
However, for any team to be eligible for the ACC Football Championship Game, or to be considered in a tiebreaker, such team must have played within one (1) total conference game of the average number of conference games played by all conference teams (rounding up/down at .5) during the 2020 season. For example, if the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 9.25 (value of nine (9) when rounded down), a team would be eligible to participate in the ACC Football Championship Game, or be considered in a tiebreaker, if that team played eight (8) or more conference games. Furthermore, in the event there is an unequal total number of conference games played among teams tied in the loss column, head-to-head results will take precedence over win-percentage.
So right now, there’s no need for Clemson fans to panic – regardless of whether the game against Florida State is rescheduled. But if the Tigers miss another game, it could get interesting.
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