NCAA Football

No. 4 Florida State beats No. 15 Louisville 16-6 for ACC title, but could miss playoff at 13-0

No Power Five team has ever gone unbeaten, won its conference title and failed to make the playoff


CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 2: Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles holds up the trophy after the Florida State Seminoles defeat the Louisville Cardinals, 16-6, in the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Florida State made things as difficult as possible on the College Football Playoff selection committee, using a dominant defensive performance to beat No. 15 Louisville 16-6 on Saturday night for the fourth-ranked Seminoles' first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 2014.

The Seminoles moved to 13-0, but even that doesn't guarantee a spot in the four-team playoff after Alabama knocked off No. 1 Georgia for the Southeastern Conference championship and Texas, which beat Alabama this season, won the Big 12 title.

No Power Five team has ever gone unbeaten, won its conference title and failed to make the playoff.

Seminoles fans held up signs reading “Win and we’re in!” But Florida State's offensive performance created some doubt about whether it's one of the four best teams in the country.

Lawrance Toafili ran for 118 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles, who stuck to a conservative game plan with third-string quarterback Brock Glenn behind center. Glenn finished 8 of 21 for 55 yards.

Starting QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis is out for the season with a leg injury. Tate Rodemaker, Travis' backup, was sidelined with a concussion.

The difference for the Seminoles was their defense, which had a season-high seven sacks and a critical interception that kept Louisville out of the end zone.

Trailing 10-6 in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals (10-3) had a chance to take the lead after they tackled Seminoles punter Alex Mastromanno before he could get the kick away.

Louisville took over at the Seminoles 11, but three plays later, Tatum Bethune picked off Jack Plummer’s pass in the end zone.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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