No chance, after all, for Tech in three-way Coastal tie

In a story posted Sunday, I wrote that Georgia Tech could advance to the ACC championship game out of a three-way tie with Miami and North Carolina if Virginia finished in fourth place.

That part is true. However, at this point of the season, there is no way for Tech, Miami and North Carolina to finish in a three-way and Virginia to finish in fourth place. As a result, Tech’s only on-field course to Charlotte will require a win over Duke this Saturday and a Duke victory over Miami Nov. 24.

The other possibility would be for Tech to beat Duke and Miami to self-impose a postseason ban.

If you care to dive deep into the fine print of the ACC’s tiebreaker system, continue reading. If you don’t want to regret feeding the next five minutes of your life into a shredder, never to return again, please stop now.

Still here, huh?

So, there’s two ways that this three-way tie could happen.

Scenario 1

1. Georgia Tech beats Duke to finish 5-3.

2. Miami beats Duke to finish 5-3.

3. Duke loses to Tech and Miami and finishes 3-5.

4. Virginia loses to North Carolina and beats Virginia Tech to finish 3-5.

5. Virginia Tech loses to Boston College and Virginia and finishes 2-6.

6. North Carolina beats Virginia and Maryland to finish 5-3.

In this instance, the first two tiebreakers, head-to-head and division record, don’t separate the three teams. The three teams would all be 1-1 against each other and have the same division record, 3-2. The next tiebreaker is record against the next highest-ranked team in the division, in this case the fourth-place team. In this scenario, Duke and Virginia would be tied for fourth and Duke would be considered the fourth-place team since Duke beat Virginia.

North Carolina loses since it lost to Duke, leaving Georgia Tech and Miami. Then the two teams enter the two-team tiebreaker system, and Miami wins with its head-to-head win over Tech.

Scenario 2

1. Georgia Tech beats Duke to finish 5-3.

2. Miami beats Duke to finish 5-3. Duke finishes at 3-5

3. North Carolina beats Virginia and Maryland to finish 5-3.

4. Virginia loses to North Carolina and beats Virginia Tech to finish 3-5.

5. Virginia Tech beats Boston College and loses to Virginia to finish 3-5.

Like the first scenario, the teams can’t be separated through the first two tiebreakers, so again it’s necessary to determine the fourth-place team.

This is where it gets interesting or, if you happened to spend more hours than you care to admit trying to decipher the tiebreaker rules with the very excellent help of Mike DeGeorge in Georgia Tech’s sports information office and Mike Finn at the ACC, you lose your mind.

In this scenario, Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech are tied for fourth. None of the first six tiebreakers separate the three teams, either because the records are the same or other reasons – head-to-head, division record, record against the highest-ranked division team (the reason the tiebreaker is necessary in the first place is because the highest-ranked team can’t be determined; that’s kind of a logic wormhole), non-division record, combined record against common non-division teams (there aren’t any common opponents) and then record against highest-ranked common non-division opponent (same reason).

The seventh tiebreaker is … BCS rankings. In the most recent rankings, Duke is No. 53, Virginia Tech is No. 72 and Virginia is No. 76. Even though this scenario would call for Duke and Virginia Tech to lose twice, Virginia does not appear capable of leapfrogging both Duke and Virginia Tech, particularly considering the Cavaliers would be 1-1 in their next two games. Further, by tiebreaker rules, Virginia would have to be ahead of Duke by at least five places in order to win the tiebreaker.

Said BCS expert Samuel Chi of bcsguru.com, “you’re not going to make up 20 points at this point of the season. With two games left, I just don’t see that happening.”

So, in this scenario, like the other, Duke is the fourth-place team. That knocks out North Carolina and leaves Miami and Tech, and Miami wins that tiebreaker.

In case you missed it…

Notes: Johnson to again wait on naming starting QB

Bradley: Tech as Coastal champion? Yep, it could happen

Tech season takes another turn

Tech-Georgia gets noon kickoff

Golden, Nealy ACC players of the week

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

75 comments Add your comment

WOPR

November 13th, 2012
5:11 pm

WOPR

November 13th, 2012
5:12 pm

Enter your comments here

George P. Burdell

November 13th, 2012
5:15 pm

Thank you for going through all of the possibilities. I have been discussing this with my brother and I finally just said there were too many possibilities to consider. I should have been honest and just said there were more possibilities than I cared to figure out.

DawginSewer

November 13th, 2012
5:23 pm

Bamers beatsses uses bies 80

Ken Sugiura

November 13th, 2012
5:28 pm

it definitely helps to have someone explain the tiebreakers to you, as i had. the wording is less than clear.

Teddy Roosevelt

November 13th, 2012
5:28 pm

You mean Miami beats Duke to finish 5-3…right?

Jacket Man

November 13th, 2012
5:33 pm

Job one; beat Duke on Saturday. If job one isn’t accomplished, then playing for an ACC Championship should be the least of GA Tech’s concerns – not only are they playing UGA the following weekend, they’re playing to breakeven for the year and to even try to make it to ANY Bowl Game.

Now, if you’re a bright football player, and you have your head on straight…would you rather concentrate on beating Duke, at home, which will make you Bowl eligible and give you a shot at the ACCC, or would you rather concentrate on looking ahead to beating UGA, away, to have a chance to get just Bowl eligible, but wouldn’t even qualify for the ACCC if you lose to Duke?

Sounds like a “no brainer” to me…

By the way, Duke’s defense has fallen to last in the ACC in points allowed per game (32.6).

This happened, in part, because when Duke lost three of their last four games vs. Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State and Clemson, the Blue Devils allowed 171 points (42.8 per game). This means Saturday’s game can be another high scoring affair.

Freddie Blassie

November 13th, 2012
5:40 pm

Just as I was about to grasp it all, a flock of bird dogs flew over.

Baaby Caks

November 13th, 2012
5:42 pm

Thats class Beamer Ball

Baaby Caks

November 13th, 2012
5:43 pm

Classic Beamer Ball

GoJackets

November 13th, 2012
6:07 pm

Why is this even relevant? Isn’t UNC not bowl eligible and therefor even if they were part of a three way tie, since they could not go to the ACCCG wouldn’t they be eliminated and mean it would come to a tie between UM and GT?

Typo Alert

November 13th, 2012
6:08 pm

Ken – I think Scenario 1, #2 should read “Miami beats Duke to finish 5-3″, not 3-5.

Wrecking Ball

November 13th, 2012
6:08 pm

Ken, since you’ve obviously been poring over the ACC rules, I was curious — since bowl ineligibility disqualifies a team from ACC CG — are there any provisions for what happens if the top (or every) team in a division has a losing record after 12 games?

GT Rich

November 13th, 2012
6:12 pm

Glad someone figured it out…seems the short answer is that Miami needs to beat S. Florida, get to the sixth win, then forego their post-season as a self-inflicted punishment regardless of their Duke game outcome. Does Miami really want to limp into a rematch against FSU who already whipped them badly in Sept? Where is the upside? They already get recruits based on their name alone… A bad performance against FSU won’t gain them any advantage for anything.

Go Tech, then Go Duke!

November 13th, 2012
6:13 pm

I’m not going to put any faith in the Miami organized crime instituion to be ethical and pass the chance to go to a BCS bowl. The Dookies gotta lose and then win. It can happen. I mean, UVA beat Miami – dat’s kwayzee.

GT Rich

November 13th, 2012
6:14 pm

GoJackets, the ACC has already commented on UNC. They still factor into the division standings in spite of their inability to play the game.

Golden White

November 13th, 2012
6:18 pm

The Coastal division is so bad that they ought to
make FSU and Clemson rematch for the
championship. I do not care to back into a
championship game with our record. It may be
good enough for dwag fans since they have
backed into every SECCG in the Richt era
but I find it embarrassing.

jeffjacket

November 13th, 2012
6:19 pm

1- Beat Duke!—> We control this.

2- Become bowl eligible—> We control this.

3- Beat Ga!—–> We control this.

4- Now you can worry about the one thing you cannot control —> ACCCG

Man , I hope the players don’t read all the crap! They need to focus!

GOO JACKETS!! THWG!!!!

SansWorld

November 13th, 2012
6:23 pm

Obviously this will work out for GT one way or another.

George Stein

November 13th, 2012
6:39 pm

I have no idea how this works, but 13 games is better than 12.

1 4 GT

November 13th, 2012
6:58 pm

I agree with jeffjacket….#1=beat Duke=in the teams control….#2=becoming bowl eligible=in the teams control….#3=beat Georgie=in the teams control. To paraphrase an old proverb….work with all your strength & resolve to do those things under your influence & worry not 1 dash over that which you have no influence….ALL OTHER THINGS WILL FALL IN PLACE!!!!

Ken Sugiura

November 13th, 2012
7:09 pm

thanks for the editing help. you are correct. me and my fat fingers.
wrecking ball – i don’t know, but i think they’d have to go even with a losing record.

Delbert D.

November 13th, 2012
7:20 pm

Did UCLA play in the PAC 12 championship game last season with a losing record? I’ll check on that.

Delbert D.

November 13th, 2012
7:26 pm

Nope. They were 6-6 in the regular season, losing 50-0 to ineligible USC in the final game. They then lost to Oregon 31-17 in the PAC-12 CG, and then to Illinois in the Hunger Bowl to finish 6-8 for the season. Yech.

Marine Jacket

November 13th, 2012
7:34 pm

Delbert. Yes they petitioned the PAC 12 to do so

Go Jackets!!!!

Stinger 1

November 13th, 2012
7:48 pm

Geore Strin: I3 games is better than 12 unless you are 6-6 and lose game 13 which is exactly what could happen to GT.

Stinger 1

November 13th, 2012
7:49 pm

George Stein: I apologize for messing up spelling of your name.

dry dirt road

November 13th, 2012
8:02 pm

It’s all organized in the organizational chart that is the hexagons on the white helmets. They are not exactly a centralized org b/c there is no pinpoint top of angled sides, and they are not decentralized b/c again there is no pinpoint top of pyramid-angled sides. Your two scenarios and 6 and 5 respectively listed outcomes are the hexagons on the white helmets this year at this time. I call them honeycomb b/c I can’t stand Buzz. If they got rid of Buzz I would call the hexagons a jackets nest, like when I was at Tech from ‘69 to ‘73 during the Buzzless years of a real yj w/big wings that could fly(btw, I got stung on my stomach by a wasp this afternoon at about 3 pm with a fiery sting from a small wasp I killed afterwards, and it was not a yj, it was brown). So it is a complex organization of potential outcomes. I believe Tech could beat Duke and Georgia the same way they beat NC. If Tech wants the gold helmets and the same unis for the next two games since they beat NC in them, let them wear them. They are uni BD links, and so is Bill Curry as a potential hire for AD.

GTGirl

November 13th, 2012
8:15 pm

First things first-Go Jackets! Beat Duke!

GTGirl

November 13th, 2012
8:17 pm

I like the gold helmets better too! We seem to win more when we wear them. Go Jackets! Whatever you wear.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 13th, 2012
8:19 pm

The biggest question here in my mind is why in the heck hasn’t the NCAA stepped in and imposed some penalties on Miami already? I mean all they had to do was read the article on Yahoo Sports when it broke. Oh I forgot, they were too busy taking kickbacks from the U to have time to read anything.

Delbert D.

November 13th, 2012
8:36 pm

Stinger 1 – Fear of a loss is a nonsensical reason to not play in a bowl game, or any other game for that matter.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB – The NCAA didn’t hesitate to slam Div. III Caltech with “Lack of institutional control” even though it was self-reported. Caltech has a policy of allowing all students to spend as many as 15 days in a class before deciding which ones to enroll in. That, by NCAA rules, means that a student-athlete is participating in sports while not enrolled at the school. The administration realized that and turned themselves in for several sports. 3 years probation, no off-campus recruiting, and … well, Caltech doesn’t have athletic scholarships anyway.

Meanwhile, the NCAA slaps UNC on the hand and ruminates endlessly on Miami.

Delbert D.

November 13th, 2012
8:39 pm

GTGirl – I prefer the gold helmets, and these jerseys with the blue numbers with hexagons in them make them look green, to me. They look okay on TV, but not from the stands…green.

1 4 GT

November 13th, 2012
8:45 pm

I wouldn’t mind white pants & gold jerseys or vice versa, either one. I started out kinda ambivalent on the helmets, but I have decided I much, much prefer the gold helmets. I know some don’t like it, but I think the gold pants & helmets with the navy blue jerseys, ala 1990, look good once in a while, like maybe against the dwags.

1 4 GT

November 13th, 2012
8:49 pm

I also think Tech should give out helmet stickers for good, impactful plays, ala OSU & their buckeyes. I believe it could create competition between players to see who gets the most. And even have some kinda team award at season’s end for the top 3 sticker guys. Create some incentive to outshine your teammates.

White&Gold

November 13th, 2012
8:50 pm

Like a bounty system? haha

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 13th, 2012
8:52 pm

I mean they’ve only had a couple of years to mull this over. At this point, I am really not expecting them to dole out any punishment (kickbacks are a fine cure)

Hayseed Dixie

November 13th, 2012
8:59 pm

@dry dirt road

You wouldn’t have happened to have been really, really excited about the Boggs building being built in 1970?

Did you spend any time up there synthesizing lysergic acid diethylamide?

Dave from GT

November 13th, 2012
8:59 pm

Who cares about the acc championship game, Winning the next two games would redeem this version of the Jackets and would salvage the season.

Delbert D.

November 13th, 2012
9:00 pm

1 4 GT – I agree on the Gold helmets, blue Jerseys and white pants. That’s a great change-up look. I’ve never cared for the stickers, though. Too much “me” instead of “team.” It is way overdone, downright silly on FSU, Ohio State and Georgia with the white and black bones. Stickers for attending class? Forget about it! Put a little blue bar on the helmet or the jersey for a game MVP award, that would be okay with me.

1 4 GT

November 13th, 2012
9:20 pm

Yeah, that would be cool Delbert. Just find a way to build an internal team attitude of competing for your coaches & teammates approval. Let the team award the stickers by vote after watching game films. Whatever form they take.

yeller bug

November 13th, 2012
9:38 pm

LOL Hayseed Dixie—taking a trip down a dry dirt road seeing hexagon tracers and BIG DOGS BIG DOGS landing on my chest.

Speaking of medicine, Duke has a great hospital, a great basketball team and now not a bad football team—they can pass, but their D is far worse than UNC. Should be another shootout with a basketball score. As most have pointed out above—beat Duke. Then beat UGA and then see what happens. As with the serenity prayer:

Lord help us to accept the things that we cannot change
The courage to change the things we can
And the wisdom to know the difference

Ga Tech Old Timer

November 13th, 2012
9:44 pm

Ken – There is actually another option to consider concerning Tech making it to the conference championship game. Forget it!! The time for all this wondering – worrying and trying to figure out options has long past. If we beat Duke that’s great – If we beat UGA that will be awesome (as well as a Miracle). We’re doing the same thing now that we all did between the end of last year and the start of this year – live on supposition and what if’s. Our hopes were pumped sky high because of all the what if speculation. Why don’t we just play the last two games one at a time and STOP wondering and thinking about scenerios so bizarre we (players and fans) tie ourselves in knots worrying about that game and lose focus of the real world. If it happens – great – wonderful! But quit straining at the slightest possiblities.

GTGirl

November 13th, 2012
10:37 pm

Good idea GT Oldtimer. Let’s play to win and quit worrying about all the scenerios. Go Jackets!

[...] No chance, after all, for Tech in three-way Coastal tie [...]

LT

November 13th, 2012
11:34 pm

Ken, if we get down to the BCS rankings in order to break the tie, why would we be looking at the BCS rankings of the teams that tied for 4th place? By that point, wouldn’t we already be passed the point of trying to break the tie based on the record vs the 4th place team, and therefore the BCS ranking of the 4th place team be irrelevant? Wouldn’t the league instead be looking at the BCS rankings for the 3 teams tied for first place and giving the tie breaker to the team tied for first that has the highest BCS ranking? I’m not sure if Tech would finish ahead of Miami with a potential loss to UGA, so it still might not work out for us to have the higher BCS ranking, unless Miami maybe loses to USF this week, but shouldn’t that be looked into?

vince

November 13th, 2012
11:44 pm

UGA will whip GT like a rented mule. Go ahead and wear that fishnet jersey,with those wanna be tough, gold helmets.

Murray will put up 60 on GT. GT will score 17 but UGA will stomp GT and GT will not be invited to a low rent bowl game, as a result of that humiliation.

Aaron Murray is my b-tch

November 14th, 2012
12:50 am

Lord VAD-er says “never underestimate the power of the dark side”.

nh

November 14th, 2012
1:55 am

Believe it or not, I had already seriously considered the 2-separate-3-way-ties scenario (Scenario 2), where neither block of 3 can be separated. I had already logicced out that the first 6 tiebreakers would not work on either block of 3 (there’s some circularity going on, as you mentioned). But how do we know how the 7th tiebreaker (BCS standings) is applied? Might it be that it’s applied to the leading block (ie, Miami, GT, UNC) first? I can totally see GT being the highest ranked of those 3…just beat UGA. Am I missing something here?

beezit

November 14th, 2012
8:03 am

I saved those precious minutes of my life after I read:

“The only way is this way”

and then read:

“Or there is this possibility”