Syracuse in THE College Football Playoff? This year? Fat chance! But this 128-team College Football Playoff? Yeah, we were there!
Brian Fremeau, who as you probably know is a very smart person when it comes to football and the advanced statistics around football, put together a pretty fantastic 128-team playoff based on this year's actual results. As he points out -- and I think was pretty clear throughout this season -- the regular season was a playoff in many respects, and this visualization shows that pretty clearly. Embiggened, for your reference below:
As you may notice, Syracuse DOES make this playoff, though the Orange are knocked out of the upper-right bracket in round two, by Notre Dame. At least they won that one game against Central Michigan, right?
Interestingly, this bracket also brings us to the same four-team conclusion -- yes, that's also by design. For the most part, this plays out with the best teams moving on each round, with some minimal exceptions (hi, West Virginia in the quarterfinals?). A full rundown of where ACC teams finished:
- Florida State: Final Four participant
- Georgia Tech: Elite Eight; lost to Florida State
- Clemson: Sweet 16; lost to Florida State
- Boston College: Round of 32; lost to Clemson
- Miami: Round of 32; lost to Nebraska
- NC State: Round of 32; lost to Florida State
- Louisville: Round of 64; lost to Florida State
- North Carolina: Round of 64; lost to Miami
- Pittsburgh: Round of 64; lost to Georgia Tech
- Syracuse: Round of 64; lost to Notre Dame
- Virginia Tech: Round of 64; lost to Boston College
- Duke: First Round; lost to North Carolina
- Virginia: First Round; lost to UCLA
- Wake Forest: First Round; lost to Clemson
Fun? Pointless? I'll go with the former, personally.