ACC Wheel of Destiny 2018

Halfway through the season, and the ACC isn't completely crazy yet.

In the Coastal, the three teams that control their destiny are VT (3-0), UVA (2-1), and Pitt (2-1). UVA's conference loss was from the Atlantic, and Pitt's loss was to UNC. Since UNC is 1-2, that puts Pitt back in control of their destiny.

Miami (2-1) and Duke (1-1) are still alive, but need help. Miami needs a UVA loss, and Duke needs two VT losses.

GT (1-3) is sitting at the bottom of the division. And that record is interesting, because they will be eliminated with a loss and a VT win. And look at what the next game is for both of them. They would be 1-4, and we would be 4-0. They wouldn't be able to get a better record than us, and we would have the head-to-head. Maybe they would have a slight chance if the entire division pulls a #goacc and ends up 4-4, but that's not a rabbit hole worth pursuing this early in the season.

The Atlantic has Clemson (3-0) and NC State (2-0) at the top, which is fun because they play against each other next week.

BC is at 2-1 and needs two NC State losses to regain control of their destiny.

Syracuse (1-2), FSU (1-3), and Wake Forest (0-2) are all sitting in that middle spot where they probably don't have a chance at the division, but they haven't been mathematically eliminated yet.

Louisville is 0-4, and will be eliminated with a loss plus a Clemson win. But go figure, they're on a bye next week, so it's not going to happen yet.

*All records mentioned here are conference records only, as that is all that applies for winning the division.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


The ACC is absolute trash this year outside of Clemson and maybe NC State.

Tier 1- Clemson

Tier 2- NC State

Tier 3- Everybody else

Tier 4- Louisville

FSU is closer to UofL, and BC with AJ Dillion is closer to NC State

NC State is also not very good, they almost lost to JMU and would have got throttled by WVU if it had been played.

ACC is 3 - 9 versus non-conference power 5 teams (I'm including Notre Dame as Power 5) thus far this season. ACC isn't doing to great this year.

Notre Dame is 3-0 versus ACC teams. With two more ACC games...they will likely finish the season 5-0 vs. ACC teams. Still trying to figure out what this deal with them does to help the ACC. For football they're disrupters. If you're an ACC team playing ND in Oct or Nov, how much time do you spend preparing for this non-conference game versus the important conference games?

Notre Dame does more harm than good for ACC football. Thoughts from TKP peanut gallery?


if you're only talking top25 rankings sure, playing Notre Dame late in the season is a risk. But it's also an opportunity.

And when it comes to brand awareness and TV ratings and butts in seats it's a big opportunity

More like Notre Dame is a good team, but beatable.

I don't see how it really harms the ACC, other than potentially taking one of our bowl games. Sure you have to prepare for the game, just like you should be preparing for every game. The ACC also gets to play them in other sports, which is good for the brand.

Not sure losing to them helps all that much, but winning against them would help quite a bit. It's good exposure, sells tickets, and gives teams an opportunity at a quality win. It's good for brand awareness. Yes, those are all positive things.

I keep seeing people complain about the potential for ND to take one of our bowl games, but when was the last time a bowl-eligible ACC team wasn't selected for a bowl?

Even if we "run out" of contracted games, there will be another that has an opening and selects an ACC school before a MAC or CUSA school with a similar record. And besides, we probably have one extra bowl contract than we would have without ND in the mix, so years when they go 11-1 and make the NY6 or 4-8 and miss out entirely we end up in the black.

For me, the bigger issue with ND having access to ACC bowls is taking a higher tiered bowl and bumping the rest of us down.

I'm not entirely sure how the money works. Since the ACC pools bowl revenue, it doesn't really matter which team goes to which bowl, but it's in the conference's best interest to lean more towards the NY6 side of the scale than Tier 2. If ND goes to CWB or a Tier 1 bowl and doesn't share the revenue, then that's a significant chunk of change that we're not getting. If they do share revenue for any non-NY6 bowl they go to, then the money's not an issue.

They share bowl revenue unless they get into a NY6 bowl, in which case they keep it all for themselves.

Ah, I didn't know that.

So all around, I'd say that's a positive for the ACC.

I think it's a net positive. ACC teams have a quality non-conference opponent built into our schedules about every 3 years now. Getting quality non-conference opponents to play a home-and-home is getting tougher every year, it seems. (See Michigan backing out of our series and the perpetual ODU and ECU series we're locked into these days.)

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

I'd much rather play ND than ODU.

Yeah, it's a much less embarrasing loss.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

Also, a much better game and a much better win.

Heck, a loss to ND is still bigger than a win against ODU.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

I've ranted on this since the "deal" was signed. Here it is in a nutshell.... ND- you can park your Olympic sports in the best conference in the country, keep all of your NBC and bowl football money, play (an average of) 5 games a year vs. ACC teams and in exchange the ACC gets.............. possible longer term arrangement with the Champs sports bowl, and perhaps a bump in revenue for the non football portion of the linear ACC network... that's the deal basically. And it sucks for the ACC. Yes ND at VT this year had more "juice" than an NC State or Louisville visit would have, but not enough to justify the lopsided deal, IMO.

The ACC also got a (small) bump in revenue from ESPN for having the 2-3 guaranteed ND games each year (ie, the ones not in South Bend). As well as adding ND to the "grant of rights" deal in case they join another conference, meaning they're essentially locked into being either an independent or a full ACC member through the duration of the current ESPN deal, so if they realize that not having an opportunity at a conference title will hurt their playoff chances then they'll join the ACC when their current deal with NBC expires.

For once, it was actually an example of Swofford looking towards the future, playing the long game in an effort to finally woo ND into joining. Might not work, but depending on how the playoffs play out over the next few years we could see it happen.

Perhaps, but I would be willing to bet the playoff expands to 8 teams before their NBC deal is done, thus increasing their playoff chances as an independent. In other words, IMO they will never join the ACC for football.

So what does the ACC lose, again?

The ACC gets 5 games a year vs Notre Dame in football, plus Notre Dame in all other sports. All of which get Notre Dame fans viewing them. That's a good thing for the ACC, and makes the ACC as a whole more valuable.

Is it a sweetheart deal for Notre Dame? Sure it is. Does the ACC also benefit from it? Sure they do.

If you think of ND as equal to Maryland or West Virginia, it doesn't make sense to give them special treatment. But if you think of ND as a unique national brand, it does.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I think you're right. Notre Dame is a much different brand than Maryland or West Virginia.

IMO an 8-team playoff would only accelerate the timetable of Notre Dame trying to join a conference. Chances are that the 8-team playoff would come with a system where the 5 P5 champions and highest G5 champ are coupled with 2 at-large teams, and therefore being in a P5 conference affords a much greater chance of earning a playoff bid.

Unless you're pretty sure you're going to be one of those 2 at-large teams.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

It would really only be one at large team because either the loser of the SECCG or the second place team in the SEC west will be one of them almost every year, and is some years those teams take up both spots.

As you can see, I've already done the leg work and that's not true!

In the previous four years of the CFP using an 8-team tournament with two at-large + the champions of each P5 conference and the highest ranked Go5 champion, the SEC would have only sent a total of 6 of the possible 32 teams: Alabama (four times), Mississippi State and Georgia.

Of the other Power 5 conferences, the ACC and Pac-12 would have each sent the minimum four teams while the Big XII would have sent five: Oklahoma (three times), TCU and Baylor. The Group of 5 would also only send four teams. That means the conference with the most bids in the last four years is...

the Big Ten with 9 total bids! In fact, the Big Ten would have taken both at-large bids in 2015 and 2016.

2014: Ohio State
2015: Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State
2016: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan
2017: Ohio State, Wisconsin

And the first team out in each year?
2014: #8 Michigan State
2015: #8 Notre Dame
2016: #8 Wisconsin
2017: #7 Auburn

If we want to fall back to the BCS years and acknowledge the Big East as taking up one of the two at-large bids during its existence, the spread would look like this from 1998-2013:

0 - ACC
1 - Big East (VT)
3 - Big Ten
5 - Big XII
1 - Pac-12
7 - SEC
0 - Other (Non-AQ/Go5/ND)

Note that 2013 is the first year of two at-large bids as the Big East ended as a football conference in 2012.

Holy comprehensive analysis, Batman! One question about the bottom section though, where is ND's at-large appearance in the "8-team 2012 CFP" accounted for in your list of at-large bids in the BCS era?

Also, as the successor to the Big East, the American Athletic Conference received an auto-bid to the BCS in 2013, and so probably would have been included in the 8-team 2013 CFP.

Pre-CFP, any appearance by Notre Dame takes the place of the highest ranked "non-BCS conference" champion if they're ranked higher. Basically I gave automatic bids to the six BCS conference champions and then:

a. gave an automatic bid to the highest ranked conference champion from a non-BCS conference OR Notre Dame if Notre Dame was ranked higher than all conference champions from non-BCS conferences (though listed it as at-large)
b. gave an at-large bid to the highest ranked team that didn't receive an automatic bid.

If you thought that was comprehensive I also did this:

A playoff bracket using the I-AA/FCS model (24 teams, all conference champions represented).

Notre Dame was #1 in 2012 and played for the natty, but they're still listed as 0 appearances in your list.

Never mind, I re-read what you said and understand it now.

(Although I'm of the opinion in that kind of scenario that ND should get an at-large spot instead of bumping out a G5/non-AQ team.)

The only reason I did things like that from 1998 to 2013 is because it's consistent with what the BCS was doing at the time. That being said, it only happened a grand total of four times:

* 2012 as the #1 team in the country, replacing #15 Northern Illinois. Had NIU received the Go5 bid, they would have replaced #3 Florida in an 8-team field.

* 2005, as the #6 team in the country, replacing #14 TCU. TCU would have replaced Notre Dame in an 8-team field.

* 2002, as the #9 team in the country, replacing #19 Boise State. Boise State, like TCU, would have replaced Notre Dame in an 8-team field.

* 2001, as the #11 team in the country, replacing #14 TCU. Again, TCU would have replaced Notre Dame in an 8-team field.

This is awesome! Honestly any of those playoff scenarios were better than whatever else was done that year. Some of those games would have been epic.

Thanks for the analysis - this is certainly not what I expected the data to show. Living in B1G country, I tend to discount the conference "hype" because there always seems to be too much of it.

Expand to 16 teams (all conference champs, 6 at-large OR all conference champs, 5-at large when there were 11 conferences) and here's all the at-large bids by conference from 1998-2017:

0 - AAC, big West (ended in 2000), Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West (began in 1999), Sunbelt (began in 2001), WAC (ended in 2012)
1 - Big East (2000 VT)
5 - Notre Dame
6 - ACC (5 since 2004, two at-large bids in 2015)
16 - Pac 10/12 (received two at-large bids in both 2000 and 2016)
21 - Big XII (received two at-large bids multiple times)
23 - Big Ten (received three at-large bids in 2016)
31 - SEC (no at-large bids in 2000, 2002, 2015, 2016. 1 at-large bid in 1998, 2005, 2008. 3 at-large bids in 2012 and 2013)

16 team playoff!? haha you're on drugs

the playoff, if it ever expands, will never get bigger than 8 teams

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

In order for it to align with literally every other NCAA sport (including every other level of football) it has to get to at least 16, to allow all 10 conference champions.

I firmly believe that at some point we will get there. It might not happen any time soon, but maybe 50 years down the road we'll finally have it. If the NCAA is even still a thing by that point.

Unless conference expansion gets to a point where they condense down into 8 or fewer conferences.

I do think four mega-conferences is a likely possibility, though competitive balance within each conference will be absolutely garbage. That or you're only playing games against your conference and then your champion is guaranteed a slot in a four-team "playoff".

I've personally been having a hell of a time trying to come up with three different 16-team ACC conferences (one with WVU, one with UConn, and because of the rumors in the mid-2000s one with Texas). Part of the trouble has been trying to get some sort of balance within the pods and between the pods, but then I've also put the following restrictions on myself:

* divide the conference into North and South
* each pod must have two North teams and two South teams
* the following teams must each be in a different pod: FSU, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech (or Texas if Texas is in the conference)
* the following teams must also each be in a different pod: Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Louisville, Pitt (or West Virginia if WVU is in the conference)
* each team gets one permanent rival in their pod to preserve each school's most traditional rival (this may get scrapped but is one of the problems)
* each team gets three permanent cross-over rivals from the other pods. You play one cross-over rival each year + the entire pod of another cross-over rival
* which pod you play rotates each year, as does which cross-over rival so you're playing each pod every 3 years and each rival twice in a three-year cycle.

Basically, each pod had to have two of VT, WVU/Pitt, Texas/GT, Clemson, Miami, FSU, Notre Dame and Louisville but couldn't have, say, FSU andMiami or VT and WVU. The cross-over opponents were also problematic because I can't put, for example, UNC, Duke and UVA all in the same pod to keep the Duke-UNC game anually and to keep the "South's Oldest Rivalry" as an annual game. Nor should I because that would be a fairly weak pod most years, so the question becomes "which one only gets played two times every three years?" Obviously going to a 9-game conference schedule would fix that, but I've already stated my disdain for the unbalanced conference schedule -- the schedule where you play five home conference games one year then four the next. I also think an unbalanced schedule would make it harder to make a schedule actually work with the pods but I'd need some time looking into it.

I thi k I read the current 4 team playoffs are locked in thru like 2026 or something

True, as set up by Steger.


(just kidding)

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin the Bakken.
“When life deals you lemons, pick ‘em up and chuck ‘em at Gritty.”


Well played

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Wait, why?

Because I am not sure why anyone would want Bama to have anything other than a nice day - and certainly would not want to play them right now.

Maybe in 2020.

to beat Clemson again!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

It's just a shame that the wheel handed UVa another win over Miami.

Should NEVER be THAT random.

I think UVA has a decent team this year and they appear to be playing harder than years past. We can't play them like we played UNC.

As much as I don't want to admit it, I believe you're correct.

Also, we shouldn't play anyone the way we played UNC.

I mean as long as we still win, I don't care how we play anybody. Our defense went full on bend don't break against unc with 5 touchdown saving tackles. If we can do that every week when a play falls apart I like our chances.

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

I don't.

We were luckier than crap against UNC. While the result of that game was OK, I don't think you could count on it as much as consistent execution.

I do love the fire in this team, though. They don't seem to quit, and that counts for a lot in football.

Dazz Newsome should have scored two TDs easily...they missed so many layups.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Well you cant just say as long as we win lol. Yeah we all dont care how we play as long as get the win. But in reality if we play like we did against UNC we are gonna lose 3-4 more games this season.

100% true. But did you see how many interceptions LOLUVA threw? I think it was 3, one was a bad 50/50 ball, one was a roll out (kind of under pressure?), and one was completely unforced. I would like to hope that we could get some turnovers off what appears to be a QB that doesn't read coverage very well at all.

I would like to agree, but considering we don't cover very well at all doesn't give me a ton of hope

Silver lining: we could still find ourselves in a position where we need Miami to have two losses. If we ever find ourselves in a situation where we need UVa to have two losses, the season is already gone.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

2011, is that you?

I did enjoy being at the 38-0

Duke will definitely beat UVA next week.

Wow, two teams I would never (traditionally) say would "definitely" beat any other team, in the VT-ACC era.

Well, that depends:

is the game at Lane South or Lane North?

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Happy we won ...glad we are first in coastal, but I think we need to slow our roll here...

We are not a good football team right now....GT, BC, THE U, all three could potentially mop the floor w us......and UVA is playing with gusto right now ...its going to be a long 2nd half of the season...buckle up

Don't forget Pitt. Pitt happens, especially at Heinz Field.

I literally see each of those games as 50/50 with the exception of Miami which I see as a 33/67.

If we pick up 3 or more of the next 5 I'll be surprised.

A two loss coastal team will lose to Clemson in the ACC championship.

Someone actually figured out the Coastal 4-4 scenario.

Yeah...I'm passing on attempting to figure out tiebreakers there.

F*ck uva, pitt, miami, and chin balls

Wouldn't that only give us 3 losses?

Recruit Prosim

BC would be our fourth. It's written to assume that each team would lose the remaining games on their schedule.

Yeah, GT is not sweeping those 3 teams this year. No chance.

Really depends. They've been less effective passing the ball this season. Lets see if that part of their game can rise up again.

(add if applicable) /s

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

They also seem to be having issues on the exchange recently, causing a lot of fumbles.

In that scenario, we break the bowl streak. So I would rather not do that.

Let's beat GT, BC, Pitt, Miami, and UVA instead and make all the tie breakers not apply this year.

The tie breaker MIGHT fall to #6 -- win % vs. common non-divisional opponents in order of finish. The problem how is that interpreted? Is it:

a. Everyone lost to/dnp Clemson so next team is NC State. Only UNC and UVA would have played them. If UNC beats NCSU (they also still have Syracuse), does that eliminate UVA and then you go to a 6-way tie instead of a 7-way tie?


b. you can't resolve the tie because all seven teams don't have a common opponent so you go to tiebreaker 7 -- SportsSource Analytics ranking? And then if there's still an unresolvable tie Swofford does a random draw.

Option B. That part of the tiebreakers was added when everyone played 3 non-divisional games, and therefore it was possible for all teams in a 3-way tie to have a single common opponent from the other division. Possibly (but highly unlikely) a second, but you'd have to look at the rotation to see if everything fell the right way for it.

Probably not worth taking out in case we end up with 9 conference games at some point.

I hope that never happens. I hate the unbalanced schedules and would much prefer the ACC expand to 16 teams then split into pods.

I have ideas on how that would work but I'm having trouble coming up with a good balance for examples that also include playing traditional rivalries at least twice every 3 years. if said rivals aren't already in your pod. Part of the problem is figuring out the 16th team.

He spelled our school three different ways

haha. VPI, VPISU, Virginia Tech, Va Tech, VTech, VTU, Virginia Tech University

missing any?

"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips


Lmao, how did he forget that one.

There's a chance he "missed" it on purpose. But maybe I'm giving him too much credit.


VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

So, let's beat GT next week so 4-4 Coastal isn't a possibility.

So, let's beat GT next week so 4-4 Coastal isn't a possibility. because it's the right thing to do, gorramit.


Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

1-0, amiright?

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

In that scenario, we lose to LOLUVA, which I hope doesn't happen. But we definitely need to play better than we have been and Tech doesn't play well at Heinz field.

It's okay, Fuente's figured out Pitt at the expense of being unable to figure out GT.

Not sure "figured out" is the way I'd put it. VT has won vs Pitt, but not dominated. I recall those being close games.

Winning close, mind-numbing games to Pitt> losing close, mind-numbing games to Pitt.

So, all games vs Pitt are mind numbing.
Hmmmm,...... (checks math on this)...
Obligatory: math checks out gif...

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

We're playing LOLUVA at Heinz Field? That was a major scheduling fail by Whit. /s

"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

Week 8 update

A light week in the ACC, as only 3 Coastal and 5 Atlantic teams played today.

The top of the Coastal stayed the same with VT (3-0), UVA (3-1), and Pitt (2-1) remaining in control of their destiny. Miami (2-1) is right behind them, only needing a UVA loss to regain control. Duke (1-2) lost some ground, as they now need 3 VT losses and 2 UVA losses to regain control. UNC and GT are both 1-3 and will be in serious trouble with a loss combined with a VT and/or UVA win. (VT plays GT, and UNC plays UVA next week.) Therefore, we might be able to see some of the bottom teams officially eliminated from contention, but I right now can't definitively state that any team will be out with some combination of wins and losses.

In the Atlantic, Clemson stands alone on top at 4-0. NC State (2-1) needs two Clemson losses for control. BC (2-1) just needs one NC State loss for control (they lost to NC State and haven't played Clemson yet). Syracuse (2-2) needs three Clemson losses. FSU (2-3) is still managing to hang in there (but need everybody else already listed to lose at least one game against another opponent), although the nail is probably getting put in their coffin next week when they play Clemson.

WF (0-3) and Louisville (0-4) are playing mop-up duty at the bottom. Interestingly enough, they play each other next week. Louisville will be officially out of contention with a loss OR a Clemson win. WF will be eliminated with a loss AND a Clemson win.

Well, VT did it's part.

This is now no longer possible. To get there, we would have needed at least one of Duke and UNC to win yesterday, and they both lost.

Now, not only can we not have all 7 teams end up tied at 3-3 within the division, we can't even have a 7-way tie at 4-4 overall. Now we're stuck with a minimum of a 5-3 Coastal champion, with no more than 5 tied teams. All of the remaining possible 5-way ties include Pitt, UVA, and VT, and none of them include UNC.

Week 9 mini-update.

VT's loss didn't affect the ability to control destiny, since GT is still two games behind them in the standings. We're 3-1, same as UVA, with Pitt right behind at 2-1.

Miami's loss to BC dropped them to 2-2 in conference. They now need UVA to lose 2 games to regain control.

Just for fun, a quick rundown of Atlantic vs. Coastal so far this season.

Coastal (5)
-VT over FSU
-UVA over Louisville
-Miami over FSU
-Pitt over Syracuse
-GT over Louisville

Atlantic (4)
-NC State over UVA
-BC over Miami
-Clemson over GT
-Syracuse over UNC

Yet to play (5)
-BC at VT
-Duke at Clemson
-Wake at Duke
-Pitt at Wake
-NC State at UNC

Week 9 update

VT (3-1), UVA (4-1), and Pitt (3-1) still control their destiny.

Miami (2-2) is still stuck in the middle. They need two UVA losses to regain control.

Then, we have GT (2-3), Duke (1-3), and UNC (1-4) bringing up the rear, but yet they all still have some bit of a chance. Duke and GT will be eliminated with a loss AND a UVA win, while UNC will be eliminated with a loss OR a UVA win.

Clemson's 5-0 record isn't enough to lock up the division yet, but it is enough to knock FSU (2-4) and Louisville (0-5) out of contention. BC (3-1) regained control of their destiny when NC State (2-2) lost to Syracuse (3-2).

I'm pretty sure WF (1-3) is out. First, they need Clemson to lose out, and they still need to get in a multi-team tie. While I haven't gone through every single variation, most of what I find is that either Clemson has enough tiebreakers to get ahead, or WF just doesn't have tiebreakers.

Oh, and UVA is keeping us from developing the full ACC Coastal circle of suck. They need to lost a divisional game (preferably 3).

Best you can do right now is 2 separate circles of suck, with one including 2 teams from the Atlantic Division:

Miami beat
UNC, who beat
Pitt, who beat
Syracuse, who beat
NC State, who beat
UVA, who beat

GT beat
VT, who beat
Duke, who beat

I'm fairly confident that within the next few weeks we'll have a single complete circle, even if it includes NC State and Syracuse for a short time.

Here's what's on the line for the November 3rd games:

Louisville at Clemson (noon) - a Clemson win would eliminate Wake.

Syracuse at Wake Forest (noon) - Syracuse is eliminated with a loss AND a Clemson win. Wake is eliminated with a loss, regardless of the Clemson game.

GT at UNC (12:15) - UNC is eliminated with a loss.

FSU at NC State (3:30) - NC State is eliminated with a loss AND a Clemson win.

Neither division can be clinched, but several teams can finally be eliminated.

UNC and Duke should already be eliminated as long as the UVA/VT and/or Pitt/VT games get played


  • UVA has to lose out, which gives VT a 4th win
  • Someone has to win the Pitt/VT game, which gives the winner a 5th win
  • Likewise, UVA beating VT gives the Hoos a 5th win

For Duke at 5-3, no two-way ties exist for Duke/GT or Duke/Miami and Duke has already lost head-to-head to Pitt, UVA and VT. Duke also can't win the division outright because one of UVA, VT and Pitt would finish 5-3 in order to get the other two to 4-4.

Three-way ties, 5-3

  • A Duke / GT / Miami tie can't happen because Duke and GT both have to beat Miami to make 5-3, leaving the Hurricanes with at least 4 losses.
  • Duke / GT / Pitt tie would go to Pitt due to being 2-0
  • Duke / GT / UVA tie would go to GT. Duke would be 3-3 in the division, GT and UVA both 4-2. GT beat UVA head-to-head
  • Duke / GT / VT tie would likewise go to GT due to Duke being 3-3 in the division and GT beating the Hokies.
  • Duke / Miami / Pitt tie is only possible if Pitt beats VT and loses to Wake because otherwise the VT/UVA winner would be guaranteed a fifth win. This tie goes to Miami either because Pitt and Miami are 4-2 but Miami beat Pitt head-to-head
  • A Duke / Miami / UVA tie is also only possible if UVA beats VT and loses to GT. UVA claims this tie due to being 2-0 against Duke and Miami
  • A Duke / Miami / VT tie only exists if VT beats Pitt and UVA but loses to BC. Miami and VT would be 4-2 in the division, with Miami winning head-to-head.
  • A Duke / Pitt / UVA tie goes to Pitt head-to-head
  • A Duke / Pitt / VT tie goes to the winner of the VT/Pitt game (winner 2-0 head-to-head)
  • A Duke / UVA / VT tie goes to the winner of the VT/UVA game (winner 2-0 head-to-head)

4-way ties, 5-3
Duke loses every 4-way tie because both Georgia Tech and Miami cannot finish 5-3, meaning at least two of VT, Pitt and UVA would be involved in the tie.

For Duke At 4-4, the same problem with UVA/Pitt/VT that exists for UNC exists for Duke - someone of VT, Pitt and UVA would end up with a 5th win trying to get everyone else to 4-4

The game against BC doesn't matter much - we can lose today and still win the division.

Though it would be nice to win it, even if it doesn't give us a buffer at all what with head to head tiebreakers we still need to earn against Pitt, LOLUVA, and Miami. This is going to be a stressful month.

Looks like Pitt, LOLUVA, and us all control our own destinies.

We need this big win at Lane. I want VT to go to the ACCCG because they won the coastal not because they were picked in a crazy tiebreak scenario.

But I would take the crazy tiebreak.

UVA doesn't control their own destiny anymore. They are 4-2 in conference. VT and Pitt only have 1 loss each, plus Pitt has the tiebreaker. Therefore, UVA needs Pitt to lose two games to fully regain control.

Over on the BC side of today's game, if they lose, they lose control of their destiny, because they would need Clemson to lose an additional game other than their head-to-head matchup next week.

Shoot you're right - I forgot about the tiebreaker between Pitt and LOLUVA. Which is odd because I was pretty much strictly talking about the results of last night's game.

Week 10 update - Atlantic

Clemson (6-0) clinches the division with a win over BC next week.

Boston College (4-1) still controls their destiny, but only if they beat Clemson. They pretty much need to win out, although they would have a one game cushion if Clemson loses out.

Syracuse (4-2) and NC State (3-2) appear to still be in contention until you look at the tiebreakers. Best record for either team is 6-2. Worst record for Clemson is 6-2. Both teams lost to Clemson, so Clemson would win any 2 way tie among these teams. The only other team that could be involved in a tie is Boston College, and that would require them to beat Clemson but lose to Syracuse. However, in any combination of a 3 or 4 way tie involving those teams, Clemson comes out ahead. Clemson would be 5-1 in the division, which would trump any other team except Syracuse, but they have the head-to-head.

Therefore, Clemson and Boston College are the only teams alive in the Atlantic.

UPDATE: The Coastal division was seen floating down the river searching for someone to claim first.

Coastal Standings

Pittsburgh: 4-1, Clinch with Win over VT AND UVA lose Advantage over GT, Duke, UVA
Virginia: 4-2, Advantage over Miami, Duke, UNC
VT: 3-2, Controls own destiny Advantage over Duke, Miami
GT: 3-3, Advantage over VT, UNC
Duke: 2-3, Advantage over GT, Miami
Miami: 2-3, Advantage over UNC
UNC: 1-5, eliminated

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Duke is also eliminated for all practical purposes. The only possible scenario where Duke can win the conference is:

* Duke wins out with 0 games cancelled. This would involve beating Clemson.
* VT/Pitt OR VT/UVA gets cancelled
* Pitt loses their remaining games
* VT loses to Miami and beats whichever team they play in VT/Pitt or VT/UVA
* UVA loses their remaining games

Current weather forecast for this coming Saturday in Pittsburgh is cold (high of 39)
Current forecast for Blacksburg on the 23rd is rain with some ice early but a high of 51

Granted, forecasting weather this far out is a massive craps shoot but I'd say the likelihood of either of those games being cancelled is almost 0.

A slight detour out of the ACC because it looks like Maryland is feeling a bit nostalgic for their former conference. Somehow, they actually have a minuscule chance to win the Big Ten East, and it's a total #goacc scenario.

There are nine games over the next three weeks that need to go a certain way for Maryland to win the division. Odds are severely stacked against them because it would require them to win out, Michigan to lose out, and for Rutgers to win two games.

I have the full rundown here if you're interested.

Week 10 update - Coastal

Pitt (4-1) and VT (3-2) still control their destiny.

UVA (4-2) needs two Pitt losses, and Miami (2-3) needs a UVA loss plus an additional Pitt loss.

GT (3-3) might still be in it with tiebreakers, but I spent too much energy figuring out Duke and Maryland to worry with it.

UNC is out.

Duke is also out, as demonstrated in Tai's post above. The short version is that their best record is 5-3 (3-3) in division, and they've already lost to VT, Pitt, and UVA, which really limits their ability to break ties. While they have tiebreakers over GT and Miami, at least one of those teams will drop to 4 losses next week. Therefore, there's no scenario where Duke could get 2 wins over the tied group. (Duke's only remaining division game is UNC, and then they have two Atlantic games.) In most scenarios, Duke either has the fewest wins among the group, the worst divisional record, or they're in a group where one team beat all of the others outright.

There is no clinching scenario for next week, as UVA is playing Liberty. I do believe that a Pitt win would eliminate VT.

If Pitt wins, their worst record and our best record is 5-3. They win a two way tie.
In that case, Miami would go to 3-4 (beat Pitt, lose to VT), unable to be in the tie. UVA would be 4-3 (loss to VT).
A Pitt/VT/UVA tie would be caused by UVA beating GT (dropping them to 4 losses). Pitt would win that (2-0 H2H).
A Pitt/VT/GT tie would be caused by GT beating UVA and Miami. VT is 0-2, Pitt would win H2H against GT.
No four or more way tie is possible.

I'm pretty sure the GT/Miami loser will be out, regardless of the Pitt/VT outcome. They're definitely out with a Pitt win.

I do believe that a Pitt win would eliminate VT.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

It's the Coastal. Never say never unless you've done at least ten minutes of research and number crunching.

I only did five.

But ESPN says for the third straight game we are projected to win (even though TKP felt we would lose each of the last two). Statistics call for a loss. But the laws of Coastal chaos says the opposite must be true. Don't think, bet Hokies, eat shit Pitt.

I'm fairly certain we're eliminated with a loss to Pitt.

At 5-3, we'd either have:

Pitt/VT - Pitt won h2h
Pitt/GT/VT - Pitt went 2-0
Pitt/VT/Duke - Pitt went 2-0
Pitt/VT/UVA - Pitt went 2-0
Duke/UVA/VT/Pitt - Pitt 3-0

A win, however, opens up a number of possibilities including a possible 5-way tie:
Duke wins out (5-3)
Miami wins out (5-3)
We go 2-1 (lose to Miami)
UVA goes 1-1 (loses to us)
Pitt goes 1-2 (beats Wake)
We'd be 3-1, Miami'd be 2-2, Pitt'd be 2-2, UVA'd be 2-2, Duke'd be 1-3

Looking at some of the other 4- and 5-way ties if we beat Pitt, we're also potentially eliminated with a loss to UVA if Duke or Georgia Tech win out but I need more time to figure that out.

Looking at some of the other 4- and 5-way ties if we beat Pitt, we're also potentially eliminated with a loss to UVA if Duke or Georgia Tech win out but I need more time to figure that out.

In that scenario, Pitt would win a 5-way tie at 5-3 by being 3-1 against the group. If Duke doesn't win out and we only have a 4-way tie, then Pitt and GT would be 2-1, and Pitt wins on head-to-head.

(If GT wins out, it doesn't matter which games Pitt wins or loses after us, because Miami would have already gotten pushed to 4-4 or worse.)

Lol, I already had all this stuff worked out in a giant spreadsheet (I make one every year in late October/early November).

There are 11 ACC games left involving Coastal teams, meaning a total of 2048 possible outcomes for the rest of the season. 6 of those outcomes end in a 5-way tie. VT wins 2 (outlined in the post above yours - it's 2 instead of 1 because NCSU-UNC doesn't matter with the remainder of the outcomes), and Pitt wins the other 4 (once again, NCSU-UNC doesn't matter, and it requires Pitt to go 1-1 vs. Miami and Wake and doesn't matter which of the two they lose to).

By the way, I checked, the NCSU-UNC game could come into play in exactly 3 out of 1024 scenarios (all the possible outcomes of the other 10 games), all of which result in a 3-way tie between GT, Pitt, and VT. In all 3 scenarios, a UNC loss would send Pitt to Charlotte. In 1 of them, a UNC win would send GT to Charlotte, and in the other two the tie wouldn't be broken until Step 7 (link to the tiebreaker procedures), which presumably can't be determined until after all the games are played.

I figured as much, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something I missed before I proclaimed that "Yes, we're also eliminated with a loss to UVA".

Btw, here's every possible remaining scenario:

No ties
Pitt wins out: Pitt 7-1

Two-team ties:

  • VT/Pitt 6-2: Winner VT
  • Miami/Pitt 5-3: Winner Miami
  • Miami/UVA 5-3: Winner UVA
  • Miami/VT 5-3: Winner Miami
  • GT/Pitt 5-3: Winner Pitt
  • GT/UVA 5-3: Winner GT
  • GT/VT 5-3: Winner GT
  • Pitt/UVA 5-3: Winner Pitt
  • Pitt/VT 5-3: Winner is whomever wins Saturday
  • UVA/VT 5-3: Whomever wins head-to-head

Three-team ties

  • Duke/Miami/Pitt: Winner Miami.
  • Duke/Miami/UVA: Winner UVA
  • Duke/Miami/VT: Winner Miami
  • Duke/GT/Pitt: Winner Pitt
  • Duke/GT/UVA: Winner GT
  • Duke/GT/UVA: Winner GT
  • Duke/Pitt/UVA: Winner Pitt
  • Duke/Pitt/VT: Winner of Saturday's game between Pitt and VT
  • Duke/UVA/VT: Winner of VT/UVA game
  • Miami/Pitt/VT: Winner Miami
  • GT/Pitt/UVA: Winner Pitt
  • GT/UVA/VT: Winner GT

Three-team ties with more than two scenarios:

EDIT - corrected this portion for some information below
If Pitt beats VT, Pitt wins
If VT beats Pitt and UVA + Pitt beats Wake, GT wins
If VT beats Pitt and UVA + Pitt beats Miami, tie is broken by 5th place team
-UVA is 4th because they went 2-0 against Duke and Miami while UNC can't finish better than 3-5
-Duke is 5th if they finish 4-4 OR they and Miami finish 3-5 with UNC finishing 2-6 or 1-7 because they beat Miami head-to-head
-Miami is 5th if they finish with more wins than Duke OR finish in a tie with UNC at 3-5 and Duke is 2-6
---All three teams beat UVA, so tie not broken
---If Duke is 5th, GT lost to Duke so is eliminated. VT beat Pitt head-to-head
---If Miami is 5th, VT is eliminated for losing to Miami. Pitt beat GT head-to-head
---If Miami/Duke/UNC tie for 5th, things get messy. Basically an outside source will break the Miami/Duke/UNC tie for 5th and that breaks the VT/GT/Pitt tie
-----If Miami wins the tie, Pitt wins
-----If UNC wins the tie, GT wins
-----If Duke wins the tie, VT wins

If Pitt beats VT, Pitt
If VT beats Pitt and UVA, VT
If VT beats Pitt and Miami + Pitt beats Wake, UVA
If VT beats Pitt and Miami + Pitt beats Miami, Pitt

If Pitt beats VT + UVA beats GT + VT beats UVA, Miami
If Pitt beats VT + UVA beats VT + GT beats UVA + 2 Duke wins, Pitt
If Pitt beats VT + UVA beats VT + GT beats UVA + 1 Duke win, Miami
If Pitt beats WF, UVA

You're missing something in the "GT/Pitt/VT" tie, where VT beats Pitt and Pitt beats Miami...

Out of the 2048 different combinations of results from the remaining 11 ACC games involving Coastal teams (hereafter referred to as "outcomes"), 14 result in the scenario described. Pitt wins 5 of them, VT wins 6 of them, and GT wins 1. The other two are only broken by Rule #7, like I said in the post just above yours.

I'll work through exactly what has to happen for each of those scenarios and post a summary in a few minutes.

If Duke wins 2 of their last 3, to finish tied with UVA for 4th, VT takes the tiebreaker.
- GT would be 1-1 against Duke and UVA
- VT and Pitt would be 2-0 against Duke and UVA, and VT wins the tiebreaker by virtue of having beaten Pitt

If Duke wins only 0 or 1 game, and UNC loses to NC State, Pitt wins.
- UNC is taken out of the conversation for a tie for 5th, meaning it's either solely Miami or Miami and Duke. In that case, VT will have lost to Miami, and Pitt will have beaten both, so Pitt wins either outright if Duke is involved (since GT lost to Duke) or wins the remaining tie with GT via H2H.

If Duke wins only 0 or 1 game, and UNC beats NC State, it gets messy.
- Duke beating UNC results in Duke tying Miami for 5th, with UNC in last. Pitt wins for the same reason as the last section.
- UNC beating Duke and Duke beating one of Clemson and Wake results in a 3-way tie for 5th. Go to Step 7 of the tiebreaker, which can't be determined until the end of the season.
- Duke losing all 3 results in UNC tying Miami for 5th. GT already beat UNC and would have to beat Miami to get to 5-3, so their 2-0 beats both Pitt (loss to UNC) and VT (loss to Miami) for the Coastal.

That's not how the tiebreaker works.

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 bolded the part you're missing. You're required to break those ties then resolve the tie you're working on in order of finish. This means:

VT beats Pitt and UVA + GT beats Miami and UVA + Pitt beats Miami
-Teams are 1-1 against each other, 4-2 in division. Look at 4th place team

Duke and UVA both finish 4-4, UVA is 4th because they beat Duke. Miami can't finish 4-4 because they have to play all three teams in this tie and lose to two.
--All three teams beat UVA, so tie isn't broken
--Pitt and VT went 1-0 against Duke, GT lost. VT beat Pitt

Duke/Miami tied at 3-5, Duke is 5th because Duke beat Miami. VT comes out ahead.

Miami 3-5, UNC 3-5 (or not), Duke 2-6
--Miami beat UNC head-to-head if this tie happens, Miami 5th, UNC 6th.
--GT and Pitt go 2-0 against Miami, VT 0-1. Pitt beat GT head-to-head.

Edit: I just realized this scenario existed
Miami 3-5, UNC 3-5, Duke 3-5
-All thee teams 1-1. Still breaking GT/VT/Pitt tie
--All three lost to UVA
--All three teams played different Atlantic opponents
--All three teams would have split their games against Atlantic opponents
--No common opponents
--Tie would be broken based on ranking by SportsSource Analytics
--If UNC wins tie, GT wins
--If Duke wins tie, VT wins
--If Miami wins tie, Pitt wins

I didn't miss that statement, but rather I took that to mean that you break ties for 1st before breaking ties for 3rd, or 4th, etc. Meaning that you do not apply any tiebreakers to teams further down in the standings until you have settled who the 1st place team is, which is the absolute literal interpretation of that statement (ties will be broken first-to-last). But then again there's no actual reason you'd ever need to break a tie for 3rd or whatever, unless doing so helped you break a tie for 1st, so you might be right about the intent of the rule as well as how it would be carried out, even if the wording of the rule means something else entirely.

Also, I fail to see how it would be beneficial to the ACC to break a tie for 5th using the SportSource Analytics rankings just for the purposes of determining which team tied for 1st beat them while the others lost, when they could just use the SportSource Analytics rankings to break the tie for 1st directly and get a more desirable result (ie, a team that finished 4-0 outside of the conference in place of a team that went 0-4), which makes me wonder if the intent might be to try to break all ties within each step, first-to-last, meaning when doing step 3 you try to break ties other than 1st using steps 1 and 2.

Don't you love the ambiguity of the English language?

4-way ties:

Duke/Miami/Pitt/UVA - Pitt
Duke/Miami/Pitt/VT - Miami
Duke/Miami/UVA/VT - winner of VT/UVA game
Duke/GT/Pitt/UVA - Pitt
Duke/GT/Pitt/VT - winner of VT/Pitt game
Miami/Pitt/UVA/VT - Miami
GT/Pitt/UVA/VT - Pitt

Multi-scenario 4-way tie
If Pitt beats VT, Pitt
If VT beats Pitt and UVA, VT
If VT beats Pitt and Miami + Pitt beats Miami, Pitt
If VT beats Pitt and Miami + Pitt beats Wake, UVA

5-way ties
Duke/Miami/Pitt/UVA/VT - VT
Duke/GT/Pitt/UVA/VT - Pitt

Yes. VT needs to beat Pitt to retain any chance of winning the Coastal.

If we beat pitt this weekend, what's our % to win the coastal?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

If we win every remaining game? 100% So that should be the goal.

the more I read all the breakdowns, the more I think this is probably the route we should take.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I'm trying to extract the VT scenarios and determine rooting interests for the rest of the season.

As shown above, VT cannot win the Coastal without beating both Pitt and UVA.

I think there is a way to win the division even if we lose to Miami. There are four other Coastal games outside of ours that would affect our destiny: GT/Miami, Wake/Pitt, UVA/GT, Pitt/Miami. I believe Duke is only a factor if they win out.

I would try to figure out every scenario in order to come up with a maximum rooting guide, but I just don't have energy for those mental gymnastics. However, I have a couple of easy scenarios.

The hypothetical scenario begins with us beating Pitt and UVA but not Miami, leaving us 5-3. Pitt would drop to 4-2, UVA to 4-3. Miami would rise to 3-3.

From there, GT beats Miami (GT 4-3, Miami 3-4 and drops out). Then, UVA beats GT (UVA ends 5-3, GT 4-4 and drops out). Then, we need Pitt to lose at least one of their last two, but I don't think it matters which one.

Then it doesn't matter how many teams out of UVA/Pitt/Duke we end up tied with, because we'll have head-to-head over all of them.

A second scenario would have Miami beating GT (Miami 4-3, GT 3-4 and drops out), so we would need Pitt to beat Miami so they would fall to 4-4. That would raise Pitt to 4-3. At that point, the Wake/Pitt, and UVA/GT games wouldn't matter because we'd win any ties with Pitt and UVA. (Although, if Wake and GT win, then everybody but us is 4-4.)

Personally, I'd rather go 3-0 and not worry about any of this.

I have the list of scenarios... there are over 2,000. And literally every single one of the 11 games left in the Coastal Division have some bearing on our chances at winning, even though the only times when the NC State-UNC game has a bearing on us winning it determines whether Pitt wins or if we are in an unbreakable 3-way tie with Pitt and GT, broken by some weird rankings system.

The main thing to watch this week is, we gotta beat Pitt or we're out. After this week, the list of scenarios drops to only 256, which is probably low enough to provide a full list of what needs to happen. Though I will leave you with the following table of results, and how each result (combined with a VT win over Pitt) affects our odds of winning the Coastal:

UNC-Duke Winner Miami-GT Winner VT Odds
Duke GT 34.2%
UNC GT 32.5%
Duke Miami 26.5%
UNC Miami 21.6%

Meaning, our odds get slightly better this week if Duke and GT both win, but not significantly so. But all cases are an improvement on our current chances of winning (14.4%), which accounts for a 49.5% chance of beating Pitt.

As I listed above, that's not entirely accurate because you've been unknowingly applying the tie breakers wrong.

A two-way tie for 4th between UVA and Duke goes VT's way as you stated above but only indirectly so since the proper procedure is to compare against UVA first then compare against Duke if there's still a tie (there is).

A two-way tie for 5th between Duke and Miami actually goes VT's way because you have to break the Duke/Miami tie first then try to break VT/GT/Pitt using Duke (winner of the tie) before using Miami

A Miami 5th place finish because Duke is 2-6 goes Pitt's way

A Miami/UNC/Duke tie at 3-5 gets super messy and requires an outside source to break

How does this information change your data?

As I responded above, by the way the rule is explicitly written I am implementing it correctly. However, since the rule doesn't really make a whole lot of sense as explicitly written, it's possible that there is an implicit meaning that I missed.

In any case, if I were to recalculate using your interpretation of the rule, it would take a not-insignificant amount of time, time that I don't have the rest of this week. It will take exponentially less time next week, so I might try to do it then.

Pitt still controls their destiny.

UVA still needs a Pitt loss.

GT is out because they wouldn't win the tiebreakers against other 5-3 teams. (They lost to Duke and Pitt. They would have a tiebreaker over UVA, but Pitt beat both of them.)

If Miami loses to GT, they're out. If they win? I don't know, but there's a 50% chance that the question won't matter in three hours.

I'll do full scenarios after GT/Miami.

Miami still has a decent shot, if they win tonight. My numbers say they have a 10.4% chance if they win, which is better than UVA's 8.8% at that point. Still far behind Pitt's 80.8% at that point.

GT beats Miami, which is why I wait to do some of the more difficult scenarios.

Pretty much, as soon as Pitt wins another game or UVA loses another game, Pitt clinches the division. The only way for UVA to win the division is to win out while Pitt loses out.