32 (!!!) Coastal Division Scenarios Remain

There are now only five ACC games left with any impact on the ACC Coastal race. With Pitt beating UNC, Syracuse beating Duke, and Virginia Tech shutting out Georgia Tech, Miami is now added to the list of teams eliminated from Coastal contention. For the three teams left in contention, this is how things stack up at the moment, once again using last week's SP+ numbers for the relative odds until those get updated tomorrow now updated with this week's SP+ ratings:

Team Odds # Outcomes
Virginia 58.2% 16
Virginia Tech 31.2% 11
Pittsburgh 10.2% 4
Tie* 0.42% 1

* - A tie that is reaches step #7 on the list of tiebreakers, in this case a 3-way tie between Pitt, UVA, and Virginia Tech

At this point, both Virginia Tech and UVA control their own destiny within the Coastal Division. Furthermore, the only way for UVA to clinch the division is by winning the Commonwealth Cup, a feat they have not accomplished since 2003. Here are the various ways everything could play out:

If Virginia beats Virginia Tech:
Virginia wins the Coastal. If Pitt loses to either VT or BC, UVA will win the division outright, and if Pitt also wins out UVA will own the head-to-head (H2H) tiebreaker over them.

If Virginia Tech beats Virginia and Pitt:
Virginia Tech wins the Coastal outright at 6-2. Everyone else would be 5-3 or worse.

If Pitt beats Virginia Tech and BC, and Virginia Tech beats Virginia:
Pitt wins the Coastal outright at 6-2. Everyone else will be 5-3 or worse.

If Pitt beats Virginia Tech but loses to BC, Virginia Tech beats Virginia, and Duke loses to at least one of Wake Forest and Miami:
Virginia Tech wins the Coastal. If Miami beats Duke, there is a 4-way tie between Miami, Pitt, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, and Miami and Virginia Tech would be 2-1 within the group, and Virginia Tech would then win based on H2H against Miami. If Miami loses to Duke, there's a 3-way tie at the top between Pitt, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, where all teams are 1-1 within the group and 4-2 within the division, so it goes to tiebreaker step #3, H2H winning percentage against the next highest team(s) and working down the list. Miami would be 4-4, Duke would be 3-5 with the loss to Wake Forest, UNC would be either 4-4 or 3-5, and GT would bring up the rear at either 1-7 or 2-6. All 3 tied teams beat UNC, so the only thing that matters is record against Miami, and Virginia Tech beat Miami whereas both Pitt and UVA lost, so Virginia Tech wins at that step.

If Pitt beats Virginia Tech but loses to BC, Virginia Tech beats Virginia, and Duke beats both Wake Forest and Miami:
This is the scenario that results in a tie that reaches Step 7, found at the link above, which cannot be resolved at this time. Take the previous scenario, with the same 3-way tie reaching tiebreaker step #3, except both Duke and Miami and possibly UNC are all tied at 4-4. All 3 teams already beat UNC and GT, so the only thing that matters is combined record against Duke and Miami, where all 3 teams would be 1-1, so step #3 cannot be used to resolve this tie. Step 4 is irrelevant, as there are no common non-divisional opponents, given that there are only 2 cross-divisional games, and Step 5 is also irrelevant, as a tie for conference record and division record should also mean a tie for non-divisional record. Step 6 is irrelevant for the same reason that Step 4 is irrelevant, so we reach Step 7 and stop.

Anyway, chart time:

UVA's odds are still a majority, but that's only because they're favored by SP+. If they beat us, they win the Coastal. If they lose to us, at best for them it comes down to some nebulous "analytics" rankings that we won't have access to unless and until such a scenario occurs. Overall, UVA's odds fell from 66% to 58%, and ours rose from 27% to 31%. Pitt was a big winner this week with their win over UNC, rising from 6% to 10%, with Miami losing any chance of winning the division despite having the week off.

As for our chances, they've been pretty clear all season, win out and we're going to Charlotte, but now the scenarios with a loss to Pitt are a bit clearer. No matter what happens, we will still have a shot at the Coastal with a win over UVA, though we will need a little help from Boston College, and possibly some more help from Miami.

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We gonna best em both so no worries! Let's go FAM!!

There's 1 scenario left because we ain't losing again.

Posting again just for clarity
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uva - the taint of the ACC

If Virginia Tech beats Virginia and Pitt:
Virginia Tech wins the Coastal. They will be 5-3, as will UVA, and Pitt and Miami will both be either 5-3 or 4-4, and Virginia Tech would own the H2H tiebreaker over all teams in that group. Everyone else would be 4-4 or worse.

If VT beats both, they're 6-2, and wins without any needing any tiebreakers.

Thought that looked funny....Only option acceptable as far as we're all concerned! Real shot at the Orange Bowl I would think if we win out and either win or lose to Clemson.



Totally get it. So many scenarios to keep track of. I've done plenty of second and third guessing going over some of them.

When I first made the spreadsheet a few weeks back, I did it over again completely from scratch to check my work, but I have a list of winners for each scenario. This was probably the bourbon making me think things were more complicated than they actually were, assuming there must be a tie even when we win out. Moral of the story: don't drink and math.

If I'm reading that right, the TIE scenario will be taken off the board if VT beats Pitt or Wake beats Duke?

Also, if I'm reading the tiebreakers right, then step #4 in a three+ team tie (Combined win percentage versus all common non-divisional opponents) is completely pointless. Ever since we expanded to 6 divisional games, only two teams can share a non-divisional opponent.

Yes, the TIE scenario requires a particular set of results over the 5 games remaining that affect the Coastal championship, and that set of results includes a Pitt win over VT and a Duke win over Wake.

Also, yes, everything between Step 3 and Step 7 is pointless. I don't know why they exist, I suppose they're probably holdovers from when it was physically possible for a group of 3 teams to have a common non-divisional opponent. Though maybe it's possible that the UNC-Wake non-conference game from earlier this year could have come into play? I doubt it, but you'd need some sort of confirmation from the ACC office to verify.

The ACC was pretty clear that UNC/Wake wouldn't count for conference records, so I doubt they would suddenly add it to tiebreakers. But then again, #goacc.

1-0. Just win baby

Wait so how is the ACCCG participant decided in the event of that tie that goes through all 7 steps without anybody coming ahead in a tiebreaker? I mean somebody has to go.

8. The representative shall be chosen by a draw as administered by the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee.

So we are literally picking names out of a hat at that point?

Step 7 is a nebulous "Team Rating Score metric provided by SportSource Analytics". If that still results in the same 3-way tie, then it's literally just a random draw in Swofford's office. AKA, Swofford picking UVA because wouldn't it be funny if all 7 Coastal teams won division championships in a 7-year span?

They use that method to decide actual elections so yea.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So am I reading this right? There is no chance that Duke wins the division, but their presence in a tiebreaker will affect the outcome in certain scenarios?

It looks like you're saying that there are only three possible winners left, but only Miami was eliminated, and there are scenarios considering the outcomes of Duke games.

EDIT: Or is it Miami who can't win but might be in a jackpot?

Duke cannot share in a tie scenario, because they just lost their 4th conference game today. But they could affect some of the lower tiebreakers depending on where they place in the conference.

Miami could be part of a 5-3 tie, but cannot win the tie.

Duke was already eliminated a week ago, hence I didn't list them again.

"I don't know if y'all remember what they did to us last year," cornerback Caleb Farley said, "but I'm pretty sure everybody was kind of fuming to get their hands on some Yellow Jackets."....you don't think they feel the same about Pitt?

I trying to wrap my head around tiebreaker #3:

Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference win percentage, and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last, using the league's tie-breaker policies.

I interpret that as saying that we start looking at the result against the #4 team, then the #5 team, and so on. If all tied teams had the same outcome against that team, continue moving down the list. As soon as you get to one where there are different outcomes, then the tied teams that lost are eliminated and other tiebreakers take effect. Also, if multiple teams have the same record, then the tiebreaking procedures are used to determine the exact order.

All three teams beat UNC and GT, so it won't matter where in the order they are because we'd just continue on. UVA and Pitt beat Duke, and VT is the only one to beat Miami.

Take the previous scenario, with the same 3-way tie reaching tiebreaker step #3, except both Duke and Miami and possibly UNC are all tied at 4-4. All 3 teams already beat UNC and GT, so the only thing that matters is combined record against Duke and Miami, where all 3 teams would be 1-1

I'm confused about the combined record part. Why wouldn't it just go one team at a time?

If Duke finishes higher than Miami, then it would come down to UVA and Pitt who beat Duke, and UVA has head-to-head.
If Miami finishes higher than Duke, then VT is the only one of the three to beat them.

I've been considering the many interpretations of this step for years now. To me, the key portion is that "Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last, using the league's tie-breaker policies." Breaking the tie for first before breaking other ties is the most literal interpretation of the rule.

In years past, I've searched for further clarification on this step, in case they would rule it differently, to no avail. I've even asked multiple reporters on Twitter, and got a reply from Andy Bitter saying he would ask the league office and get back to me, but have never gotten another response. Until (and if) I learn differently, I will continue to use this strategy when implementing rule 3.

Stupid vague language...

Of course the ACC won't actually do anything about the tiebreakers until it actually becomes an issue. As I noted elsewhere, the only time they've had to go beyond a two team head-to-head tiebreaker was in 2012, and that didn't matter because two of the three teams were sanctioned.

I would say "what are the odds that there's a three way tie for 1st and three way tie for 4th?" Until I look at the current standings, and see that Duke and UNC winning out would put them and Miami all at 4-4. Head to head against each other, UNC 2-0, Duke 1-1, Miami 0-2.

If we were to use that order, then we would skip past UNC (0-3 against VT/UVA/Pitt) and get to Duke. UVA and Pitt have wins over Duke, so it would then revert to the head-to-head, and UVA would win the division.

Fuck Nardouchie!

Numbers and the odds chart have been updated based on the newly-released SP+ ratings. UVA dropped from 64% to 58%, we rose from 25% to 31%, and Pitt dropped from 11% to 10%.

Crazy that in 2 weeks we've gone from a huge underdog at 11% chance to the only realistic team with a shot to knock UVA out, at 31%.


And then there were 2.

But let's face it, there's really only 1. And it's Virginia Tech going to Lane North and stomping lolUVA for the 16th straight year to bring back the Commonwealth Cup and clinch the Coastal.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

"It's so beautiful" gif

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

3rd consecutive shut out for Bud!!!!

and stomping lolUVA for the 16th straight year to keep the Commonwealth Cup and clinch the Coastal.


TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Bronco had a look on his face this week which told me he knew this to be true. Either that or he had shit in his pants

exit light

Could be both.

I would update this, but as y'all have correctly surmised, the Commonwealth Cup is the de-facto ACC Semifinal. We have now entered a 3-team playoff for the conference championship, fam!

I'm guessing the first pie chart would just show a 50/50 split?

Second one, but yes. The first would still be 58% orange for the time being, but something tells me that it'll become a toss-up or a slight maroon majority with the updated rankings later today.

I mean home field advantage alone should make it advantage Hokies.

Surprisingly UVA gained an extra 0.5 according to SP+

That is strange, I guess Liberty must have been fortunate to have kept it as close as they did for as long as they did. Also, I'm surprised we only gained 0.8 points after a second straight shutout, but our defense is now up to 33rd in the nation, which is nice.

Though our defense improved (-1.4) the improvement seemed surprisingly pedestrian compared to last week's large jump after GT (despite both teams being considered equally bad offensively.) I suppose the results of the BC/Miami/Duke game might have impacted it (teams we defensively played poorly against in the eyes of SP+ get timed worked over by poor defensive teams sans ND). Not that it means much really. We've been playing lights out recently, while UVA not so much. I'd much rather be a Hokie than a Hoo going into this Friday but we'll see what happens.

I'd much rather be a Hokie than a Hoo going into this Friday but we'll see what happens. all the time


I agree. Hoos are limping into this more then even they like to admit. Yet we are on fire and very energized.

I feel like even Clemson has to be hoping UVA wins right now.

Previously LowBrau.

Clemson doesn't care... but they might regret that.