Only one longshot scenario keeps Hokies alive in Coastal Division; Boston College will be 12:30 p.m. kickoff
In a normal season, the Hokies would have been mathematically eliminated yesterday from representing the Coastal Division in the ACC championship game. But math doesn’t factor in an extenuating circumstance surrounding Miami this year.
Georgia Tech’s upset of North Carolina and Virginia’s upset of Miami muddled the division race even further Saturday. The division standings now look like this:
* Miami 4-3
* Georgia Tech 4-3
* Duke 3-3
* North Carolina 3-3 (ineligible)
* Virginia 2-4
* Virginia Tech 2-4
Amazingly, Duke is the only team that controls its situation. Win twice and the Blue Devils win the division. This is because the ACC has said that North Carolina, though ineligible, will still factor into tiebreakers in the division standings, so Miami doesn’t necessarily own all tiebreakers with with Georgia Tech, despite a head-to-head victory.
Because Duke still plays both Georgia Tech and Miami, it guarantees that one of those three teams will get to five conference wins. Even if the Hokies win out, they can’t get to five conference wins.
But, there is also the matter of whether or not Miami self-imposes a postseason ban, which would take it out of the running for the Coastal Division title and a spot in the ACC championship game. The Hurricanes won’t make a decision until after they are bowl eligible, which could happen next week when they host South Florida.
If they do decide to self-impose a postseason ban, incredibly, Virginia Tech could still sneak in to the ACC title game. Here’s what would need to happen:
- Duke beats Georgia Tech next week.
- Miami beats Duke to win the division with a 5-3 record.
- Virginia Tech beats both Boston College and Virginia.
- Miami self-imposes a postseason ban, removing itself from an appearance in the ACC title game.
- Virginia Tech wins a three-way tiebreaker at 4-4 with Duke and Georgia Tech.
If anything else happens, the Hokies have no shot. So yeah, the odds aren’t great.
This news came late last night, but Virginia Tech’s game at Boston College this Saturday will start at 12:30 p.m. and be televised on the ACC Network.
Here’s the full ACC schedule this week:
Thursday, November 15
- North Carolina at Virginia, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 17
- Florida State at Maryland, ESPNU, Noon
- Virginia Tech at Boston College, ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.
- USF at Miami, RSN, 3 p.m.
- NC State at Clemson, ABC/ESPN2*, 3:30 p.m.
- Duke at Georgia Tech, ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.
- Wake Forest at Notre Dame, NBC, 3:30 p.m.
*Televised regionally on ABC, to other parts of the nation on ESPN2.
The ACC still only has four bowl-eligible teams at this point: Florida State (9-1), Clemson (9-1), Duke (6-4), N.C. State (6-4).
Boston College (2-8) and North Carolina (6-4 but ineligible due to NCAA sanctions) are the only teams in the league that have not shot to make a bowl.
Everybody else has a shot to get to six wins. Here they are, with their remaining schedule and a likelihood of getting to six wins:
- Wake Forest (5-5): at Notre Dame, vs. Vanderbilt — Will come down to the smart-school battle with already bowl-eligible Vandy.
- Maryland (4-6): vs. Florida State, at North Carolina — No quarterback, no shot.
- Miami (5-5): vs. South Florida, at Duke — Should get it next weekend against a USF team that is 3-6.
- Georgia Tech (5-5) — vs. Duke, at Georgia — Suddenly-hot Yellow Jackets better take care of business against Duke, because Georgia is among the nation’s best and could be playing for something larger than bragging rights in regular season finale.
- Virginia (4-6) — vs. North Carolina, at Virginia Tech — Amazingly still alive after six-game losing streak. UNC, which gave up 68 points last week, suddenly doesn’t look as tough. Virginia Tech has been reeling all year. Cavs just might do it.
- Virginia Tech (4-6) — at Boston College, vs. Virginia — It’s laid out pretty clear for the Hokies. The Eagles are a struggling team that will probably axe their coach sometime soon. The Cavaliers are a team they’ve beaten eight straight times and 12 of the last 13. And they get them at home. Falling short of bowl eligibility with this remaining schedule might be the biggest disappointment of the season.