With the conclusion of the regular season for Clemson football following their 16-7 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks, attention now turns to where the 8-4 Tigers could be playing this postseason and who they might face.
Right now, the Florida State Seminoles are the only ACC team with a shot at the College Football Playoff. If the ACC champion does not qualify for the playoff, they automatically slot into the Orange Bowl. If they do qualify, then the next highest-rated ACC team is placed in the Orange Bowl.
While this scenario does not impact Clemson directly this season, it does impact which teams are available for the next level of bowl games that select from ACC schools.
Clemson was ranked 24th in the most recent CFP Top 25. While their win against SC wasn’t awe-inspiring, it isn’t likely the Tigers will drop in the ranking this week.
Louisville lost to Kentucky. They were ranked 10th and likely will fall somewhere from 14th to 18th in this week’s poll. They play Florida State for the ACC Championship and have a legitimate shot to win.
Notre Dame was ranked 18th this past week. This is relevant because most bowls with ACC tie-ins have the right to select them instead of a full ACC member. The exception is the Orange Bowl.
Then there is the NC State Wolfpack lurking at 22nd in the ranking and coming off a win over North Carolina.
We might not have a great idea where Clemson could end up until the conference championship games conclude next weekend, but here are the most likely spots.