The ACC has never failed to put a team in the College Football Playoff, since the move to the four-team system in 2014. Florida State made the field in the first year, and Clemson has made it every year since, winning a pair of national titles under Dabo Swinney.
Nothing is official until the final College Football Playoff poll is announced of course, but it is hard to see a way that Clemson keeps its streak going at this point. The team already has three losses this season—vs. Georgia, at NC State, and at Pitt—and hasn’t looked very good They’re currently unranked in all major polls.
With the Tigers out of the picture, Pitt and Wake Forest entered last week as the ACC’s best hopes to reach the Playoff. Pitt brushed off a bizarre early season loss to Western Michigan, looking dominant in games against Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Clemson, before falling to Miami last week. At two losses, it is hard to see even an ACC champion Pitt team making it anywhere near the top four.
That left undefeated Wake Forest, which has been an offensive dynamo this year, even with some close calls against teams like Louisville and Syracuse. The Demon Deacons had a chance to score another nice win at North Carolina today. Unfortunately for the Deacs fans out there, and the ACC’s Playoff hopes, Wake blew a big lead and fell 58-55.
Heels’ win essentially guarantees that a) the ACC won’t have a playoff team and b) UNC will be bowl eligible (assuming it beats Wofford).
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) November 6, 2021
Wake’s lead was as big as 45-27 in the mid-third quarter, when the Deacs starter hemorrhaging points to the Tar Heels. UNC outscored Wake Forest 30-10 in the final 20 minutes, with a 24-7 edge in the fourth quarter alone, to capture the dramatic win.
Wake was ranked No. 9 in the year’s first College Football Playoff rankings. They’re set to tumble now with a loss, especially without a truly marquee win on the schedule.
No. 19 NC State and No. 25 Pitt were the only other teams in the Playoff rankings this week. State lost to Mississippi State early in the season, and at Miami a few weeks ago, so they’re almost certainly out of the running as well.
THE ACC HAS BEEN ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 6, 2021
With No. 19 NC State still having to play, the ACC is unlikely to have any teams in the Top 15 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 6, 2021
Ty Chandler with a 50-yard TD run to put this one away as UNC will knock off undefeated Wake Forest.
Down goes the #ACC‘s chances for a playoff team.
— Matt Murschel (@osmattmurschel) November 6, 2021
Again, nothing is official until the committee selects four final teams, but there doesn’t seem to be any pathway for an ACC team to make it that is at all realistic.
Wake Forest is still having its best season in forever, and has plenty to play for. Still, losing today has to really sting, both for those in Winston-Salem and down the road in Greensboro at ACC headquarters.
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