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Seven Teams Down, Five Remain
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #459, November 19, 2010
With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, five ACC teams remain alive for an ACC Championship. Both the Atlantic Division and the Coastal Division could be clinched this weekend, or things could go until the final weekend on November 27.
For the Coastal Division, it's quite simple. If Virginia Tech beats Miami on Saturday, they clinch the Coastal. If the Hokies lose to Miami, but still beat Virginia in their season finale, they will win the Coastal. The only way Miami can win the Coastal is by beating Virginia Tech tomorrow, and then hoping UVA pulls the upset on November 27. That would give both Tech and Miami a 6-2 record in conference play, with the Hurricanes holding the head to head tiebreaker.
In other words, Miami's chances of winning the Coastal Division are slim to none, and slim is on his way out of town. It's probably pretty safe to go ahead and book that Charlotte hotel room. If the Hokies don't make it to the ACC Championship this year, it will be their own fault.
The Atlantic Division race can end this weekend as well. Florida State plays at Maryland, and NC State plays at North Carolina. Let's go over the possible scenarios ...
FSU beats Maryland, and UNC beats NC State - In this scenario, Florida State would win the division. They would finish 6-2, and Maryland and NC State would be 4-3 heading into their season finale against each other.
FSU beats Maryland, and NC State beats UNC - Maryland would be eliminated. Even if they managed to defeat NC State in the season finale, they would still have three losses and FSU would have just two. In this scenario, if Maryland beats NC State on November 27, then FSU would win the division. If the Wolfpack knock off the Terps, then both NC State and FSU would be 6-2. NC State would get the bid based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Maryland beats FSU, and UNC beats NC State - Florida State would be finished, because with head-to-head losses to both NC State and Maryland, they would have no hope of winning any sort of tiebreaker. The Maryland-NC State game on November 27 would decide the Atlantic Division Championship.
Maryland beats FSU, and NC State beats UNC - Same scenario as above. NC State and Maryland would be tied with two losses, and the game would decision the Atlantic Division.
It comes down to personal preference on which of those teams you would rather see Virginia Tech play. From an atmosphere standpoint, it would be better for the Hokies to face Florida State or NC State. However, both of those teams have a much better opportunity to defeat the Hokies than Maryland, who starts a r-freshman at quarterback. Vote here for who you would like to see Tech play.
ACC Teams Try to Get Bowl Eligible
Six ACC teams are already bowl eligible: Virginia Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, NC State and North Carolina. Duke, Virginia and Wake Forest have already been eliminated from contention. Georgia Tech, Boston College and Clemson still have some work to do to go bowling.
The Yellow Jackets, Eagles and Tigers all stand at 5-5. All would be bowl eligible with a 6-6 record. Of those three teams, Boston College has the best opportunity. They play UVA this weekend, and then take on Syracuse in their season finale in a matchup that will bring back memories of the old Big East.
Georgia Tech faces Duke this week, and then end the season against Georgia. Clemson takes on Wake Forest, and then plays in-state rival South Carolina in the final week of the season.
All three of those teams will likely finish at least 6-6, but 7-5 looks much better on the resume, all things considered.
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