The ACC Championship Game between undefeated No. 4 Florida State and No. 14 Louisville will put a cap on a busy championship Saturday schedule with a matchup that carries College Football Playoff implications for nearly every contender watching across the country.
Florida State moved up in the selection committee's rankings on Tuesday after beating Florida with backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker starting in place of the injured Jordan Travis. The Seminoles have a fairly clear path to making the program's first playoff appearance since 2014: Beat Louisville to finish with a 13-0 record and an ACC Championship. The committee has never left out an undefeated power conference champion, and since there are only four undefeated power conference teams left entering Week 13, the "win and in" proposition is on the table for Mike Norvell's squad.
But Florida State is not playing this game in a vacuum and there is far more on the line for Louisville than just playing spoiler or providing help to other playoff contenders. Winning the ACC is something that Louisville has never accomplished in its decade of conference membership, coming the closest in 2016 when it finished tied for 1st in the ACC Atlantic Division but missed out on the championship game due to a head-to-head tiebreaker against Clemson.
Jeff Brohm's return to Louisville brought a ton of buzz in the offseason but even the most optimistic projections might not have foreseen winning the league in his first year. Strong work in the transfer portal and smart hires have helped Louisville quickly elevate from a middle-of-the-pack squad in the ACC to a conference title contender. Beating Florida State and winning the ACC would be program-changing validation for what Louisville can accomplish in this conference.
Florida State vs. Louisville: Need to know
Tate Rodemaker's status TBD: FSU's backup quarterback hasn't been a full participant in practice this week and his status for the ACC title game is up in the air. Rodemaker started FSU's regular-season finale against Florida after star quarterback Jordan Travis went down with a season-ending leg injury the week prior. An FSU spokesperson said that Rodemaker will "go through the (preperation) process." If he can't go, FSU will turn to third-string QB Brock Glenn. Glenn ranked as the No. 21 overall quarterback in the 247Sports 2023 recruiting cycle, but has only taken a handful of snaps this season. The Seminoles' College Football Playoff hopes may very rest on the shoulders of a true freshman.
Two balanced teams with strength on both sides of the ball: Florida State and Louisville both rank in the top three in the ACC in scoring offense. The Seminoles lead the league at 38.8 points per game and the Cardinals rank third at 33.0 points per contest. These two teams also boast the No. 1 and No. 2 team passer ratings in the ACC and have dynamic running backs to provide balance in Florida State's Trey Benson and Louisville's Jawhar Jordan. But while each team's offense is a strength, so to are their defenses. Both rank in the top three in the ACC in total defense and Florida State has held all 12 regular season opponents under 30 points.
Brohm looking to break more barriers for the Cardinals: Not only is this Louisville's first-ever appearance in the ACC Championship Game. It's also an opportunity for the program to notch its first win against a top-five opponent since beating No. 3 West Virginia in 2006. The Cardinals have lost six-straight games and have a 4-16 record all-time against top-five opponents, giving Brohm a chance to make even more program history for his alma mater with a win.
Follow live coverage of Florida State vs. Louisville in the 2023 ACC Championship Game all day Saturday.
How to watch Florida State vs. Louisville live
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium -- Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: ABC | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
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Florida State vs. Louisville prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Mike Norvell and Jeff Brohm are two excellent game-planners and play-callers. Though we have two of the ACC's better defenses on the field I think good offense beats good defense when the coaching is top-notch. There is so much skill on the field there are bound to be a few explosive plays schemed up perfectly, so I'm expecting a lot more points than this total is suggesting. Pick: Over 47.5
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