The ACC Coastal Division got a lot more complicated on Saturday after Georgia Tech defeated Clemson and Duke lost to Virginia Tech — two unexpected outcomes.
The win put Georgia Tech in the temporary driver’s seat to win the Coastal, but it’s done with its conference schedule. The loss doesn’t push Duke out of the running, but it does mean the Blue Devils must win both of their final games. If they do that, both Georgia Tech and Duke will be 6-2 in the conference and Duke will hold the tiebreaker with the head-to-head win.
Oh, did we mention Miami?
Yes, there’s still a chance — albeit a slim chance — the Hurricanes could claim the Coastal title if they win their final three games. That means, however, the Hurricanes would have to defeat Florida State on Saturday night.
Then there would be three teams tied for the Coastal title and they would all have a victory against each other. So the tiebreaker would come down to Coastal Division winning percentage and that won’t be determined until all the conference games have been played.
Did you follow all that?
The only thing we know for sure in the ACC is that Florida State clinched the Atlantic Division title thanks to Clemson’s loss. Now that’s a good thing and a bad thing for the Seminoles. It’s a good thing because that means FSU will play for another ACC championship. It’s a bad thing because Clemson’s 28-6 loss to Georgia Tech was so brutal that it will probably knock the Tigers out of the top 25, thus taking away a top-25 win from the Seminoles, a much-needed brownie point when discussing the College Football Playoff race.
Clemson lost more than just the game, too. It lost its star quarterback Deshaun Watson to a knee injury. Backup Cole Stoudt threw three completions and three interceptions, including two pick-sixes. And third-stringer Nick Schuessler completed all four of his pass, but it was for a measly 19 yards.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, was as impressive on defense as it has been all season and would definitely cause a little bit of intrigue if it was to meet Florida State for the ACC title.
As for Duke, well its 17-16 loss was all the Blue Devils’ doing. It had three turnovers and all of Virginia Tech’s points came off those errors. Duke had come into the game with just six turnovers all season. Virginia Tech hadn’t forced a takeway since Oct. 16.
Duke will have to regroup if it wants to win its second consecutive Coastal title. Its remaining games are against North Carolina and Wake Forest, so certainly winnable if the Blue Devils don’t shoot themselves in the foot again.
For more Clemson news, visit TigerIllustrated.com.
For more Georgia Tech news, visit JacketsOnline.com.
For more Duke news, visit DevilsIllustrated.com.
For more Miami news, visit CaneSport.com.
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