The possibilities of Coastal tie at 4-4

I got a tweet last night asking if Georgia Tech fans have a rooting interest in Thursday night’s Virginia-North Carolina game. My first response was, no, because, as I’d posted earlier, Tech can only win by beating Duke and either a) Duke loses to Miami or b) Miami self-imposes a postseason ban.

But then – because I am something of a dope – I wondered what would happen if Duke beat Tech, Miami self-imposed a postseason ban and then beat Duke. Some people wonder how they could safely land a probe on Mars. Others, like my friend Mike, wonder how they can bring clean drinking water to people in underdeveloped countries. I wonder about the outcomes of unlikely ties in the ACC Coastal Division. We all have our callings. Only some of them, though, cause their parents to be vague and avoid eye contact when explaining their children’s line of work.

So, anyway, should this happen, Miami would be 5-3 but ineligible and perhaps clawing its eyes out, Duke and Tech would be 4-4 and the three other Coastal Division teams could also finish 4-4. In my enduring efforts to dig into ACC Coastal Division tiebreaking minutiae, I can tell you that Tech can’t win if this happens. So, first, the Jackets absolutely need to beat Duke and have Duke beat Miami or Miami self-impose in order to get to Charlotte. As such, second, Tech fans don’t have a rooting interest in the Virginia-UNC game, unless they want to root against a particular outcome. Third, it looks like Virginia has no shot at Charlotte, but Duke and Virginia Tech do.

If you care to know why…

I think there are five possibilities.

First scenario

North Carolina finishes 4-4 by beating Virginia Thursday night and losing to Maryland Nov. 24 to create a three-way tie. Duke would win this tiebreaker as it would be 2-0 in head-to-head. North Carolina could also finish 4-4 by losing to Virginia and beating Maryland. Duke still wins.

Second scenario

Virginia finishes 4-4 by beating North Carolina and Virginia Tech Nov. 24 for a three-way tie. Duke would win again because it would be 2-0 in head-to-head.

Third scenario

Virginia Tech finishes 4-4 by beating Boston College and Virginia. Virginia Tech would win since it beat both Duke and Georgia Tech.

Fourth scenario

Virginia Tech and UNC both finish 4-4. In this four-way tie, Virginia Tech would also win. In head-to-head competition, Virginia Tech and Duke would be 2-1 while UNC and Tech would be 1-2, eliminating them. Virginia Tech wins with its win over Duke. (It wouldn’t matter which route UNC took to get to 4-4 since division record wouldn’t be a factor.)

Fifth scenario

UNC and Virginia finish 4-4 for a four-way tie. Duke wins because it would be 3-0 head-to-head.

Thanks for reading. Next in the series will examine the ramifications of a Tech win, a zombie apocalypse and shares in Microsoft reaching a 52-week high on the Coastal race.

In case you missed it…

Tech avoids letdown vs. Presbyterian

Notes: NCAA experts say Miami should self-impose

Johnson on Lee, offense, redshirt freshmen

Notes: Washington looking like starter

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

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

71 comments Add your comment


November 15th, 2012
11:55 am

my head hurts


November 15th, 2012
11:56 am

I would say first, but this is a clear case of middle


November 15th, 2012
11:58 am

or a clear case of mediocrity

5150 UOAD

November 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

It does make the head hurt…….JUST Win and let it play out. 44 seconds against VPI put us in this bad situation.

Wrecking Ball

November 15th, 2012
12:09 pm

Ken, you, sir, are insane. And I mean that in a good way. Love it.

However, I do hope the team makes this point moot by beating Duke. Go jackets.


November 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

Need to play with the mentality that all that’s important is securing bowl eligibility. If it pans out and we win the Coastal, great! If not, I personally won’t lose any sleep.

TechApp fan

November 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

surely would hate it going into Athens needing a W to become a bowl player (or as some would say bowl smoked lol)

GT Dude

November 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

you have too much time on your hands to go through all of this or you need to see a therapist :-)


November 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

Good things happen when you win. ” COME IN HOT, JACKETS “


November 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

Ken, what do you see when you close your eyes?


November 15th, 2012
12:38 pm

I suspect Ken sees the Matrix in its true form… green numbers on a screen. Though I tease, I read through all five scenarios. My conclusion? We should just thump the Blue Devils this weekend. GO TECH!

jacket backer

November 15th, 2012
12:50 pm

just beat Duke please!


November 15th, 2012
12:57 pm

Please, just let Clemson and FSU play again. Do you realize that we could be 6-7 and going to a bowl so that we might finish 6-8? Just beat Duke, but then change the rules this season so the only two decent teams can play each other. I know they won’t, but that would be the best thing.

Jacket Man

November 15th, 2012
1:01 pm

One game at a time. Tech still has a chance to fulfill one of its goals from preseason, and that’s to win the Coastal Division. There is ZERO chance of that happening without a win against Duke so that is priority ONE.

They can’t worry about what any other team does at this point; they have no control over them; they have to take care of their own business and let the rest of it work itself out from there. They HAVE to do their part, though or the rest of it’s totally moot.


November 15th, 2012
1:09 pm

Ken thanks for the article. My head really hurts; is it all these scenarios or too much tequila last night? I did have my clothes stay on,, darn it !


November 15th, 2012
1:15 pm

Every time a tiebreaker scenario is explained, an angel gets it’s wings chopped off with a dull axe.


November 15th, 2012
1:18 pm

I always avoid scenarios that have to many scenarios.


November 15th, 2012
1:24 pm

You are just showing off your statistics skills in front of all these engineers!


November 15th, 2012
1:25 pm

Ken you are funny! Thanks (I think) for all the options of how this could all play out. Of course we just want Tech to win and then it all works out for us! Go Jackets! I like your writing style, it is humorous and fun to read! Keep up the goodwork and don’t dream about all the different scenarios.

Hayseed Dixie

November 15th, 2012
1:30 pm

Hmmm…. a ban or just a bad postback?

Hayseed Dixie

November 15th, 2012
1:33 pm

Filters, probably.

Not sure if I’m digging the 90s-era self loathing, Ken.

“because I am something of a…..”.

Nirvana was merely an above average band, and plaid with combat boots looked bad on just about everyone. Those songs about being mad at your parents, eeek. No good. Ruins parties.

Not sure if UGA and FSU back to back is what Tech’s defense needs as a confidence building exercise.

Regardless, I’ll be watching every minute of both.

Ga Tech Old Timer

November 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

Ken – Can’t you think of any other topic to spend your time on? This one has been written about until it’s no longer interesting to think about the various possibilities Tech may have to reach the “Promised Land” (Charlotte). With all that’s going on with the team in terms of better offensive line play and what they think has made a difference – what’s happening to shore up the defense since AG left and how that’s working out for the players confidence – getting focused on the Duke game and then UGA – what bowls might be interested in Tech as a currently 5 – 3 team if they can get the #6 win – what the seniors think about their last season and the few remaining games – who the players look to amongst their own for leadership and what their definition of a leader should be in terms of players and coaches – what the future holds for any players not looking to try out for the NFL -personal hardships for players who have driven through the rough times to come out better for having played for Tech. These are just some of the topics that my limited imagination can conjure up and I’m sure that you could probably think of many more as well. The point is – PLEASE STOP BRINGING UP THE POSSIBLITIES OF TECH GETTING TO THE PLAY ODD GAME IN CHARLOTTE!!! I think you’ve done a great job in figuring out how it can happen but now it’s being driven into the ground. I may be the only one to feel this way – but that’s why this is a blog I guess – to express opinions. Mine happens to be that once the first article was posted on the campionship game possibilities – it was time to move on to other things of interest like I mentioned above. It only becomes of interest if it really happens – and that puts us back into the real world – focusing on and playing the games and letting everything else fall where it will.

DS CE'91

November 15th, 2012
2:25 pm

We win out the next two games, and I will give this year a thumbs-up. The whole ACCCG thing just doesn’t excite me the way I guess it should.

BTW, I am not prognosticating that we will beat Duke and UGA. I am HOPING it happens, though. Just don’t think we have the horses on D to compete in Athens this year.

Coach Z

November 15th, 2012
2:26 pm

Hayseed Dixie. You don’t understand Nirvana. Kurt Cobain wore VANS or some other low top kick. Also, give me a lyric where he wrote about hating his parents. Stick with the Dixie Chicks and GT football and you’ll be alright.

Coach Z

November 15th, 2012
2:27 pm

On that note, just beat Duke (echo).


November 15th, 2012
2:28 pm

Just beat Duke.

There is an ancient provern that goes something along the lines of “Don’t worry about those things which you have no control over and focus on what you do”.

FOCUS and EXECUTION. Beat Duke and think of nothing else until then.


November 15th, 2012
2:35 pm

Hilarious, Ken…and informative. If your parents aren’t proud, I’d be glad to adopt you!

Also, to the dummy a few posts above me, Nirvana rules and so did the rest of the 90s alternative/grunge scene.


November 15th, 2012
2:51 pm

phil steele likes him some vad lee.

“Vad Lee, Georgia Tech QB vs. Duke: Lee entered the game last week against North Carolina after the third series and never left. He piled up 281 yards of total offense and three scores against the Heels. He is a bit risky as he may still share some time with Tevin Washington, but his ceiling is high against a Duke run defense that may have no answer for the Georgia Tech rushing attack. Continue to monitor the QB situation at Georgia Tech this week and don’t be afraid to plug in Lee if he is named the starter.”


November 15th, 2012
2:54 pm

If we put 50+ points on Duke and Vad has another monster game, especially throwing the ball, and if the Dawgs give up real points to Ga Southern —

I just enjoy the thought that privately Dawg fans will be unable to sleep thinking the unthinkable!

Coach Z

November 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

Never thought I’d meet Nirvana fans on a GT blog. Figured you engineered kept Mozart, Huey Lewis, and Devo close to the CD player. Anyways, nice to meet ya.

Ga Tech Old Timer

November 15th, 2012
3:04 pm

Talk about hilarious – in my previous post I misspelled the word OFF as ODD in the sentance about the championship game. Which actually may have been more to the point after reading all of Ken’s articles and coming to the conclusion that the only “worthy” participant in that game – no matter which team makes it from the Coastal division – will be Florida State based on this years record and performance week after week. We’ve had a weak division this year and all these articles on the possibilities of which team in the Coastal can make it to the game and why – just serve to prove that fact.


November 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

This is fun to kick around, I guess.
But let’s kick Duke around first. And then shock the mutts.

I write about offense a lot, but….

Linebackers: Let’s start off by staying in our run fits. We’re jumping out of our lanes and making the defensive line look a lot worse. Those dudes are already 1 or 2 gapping – when you get out of your area, you’re making them essentially responsible for 2 or 3 gaps.

And then let’s stop overrunning plays.

Defensive backfield: stop playing scared. And stop ‘bump tackling’ with one shoulder. Wrap up!

Defensive line: Beat someone one on one. Please.
Cross and Gotsis were able to disrupt some screens… keep that up.


November 15th, 2012
4:01 pm

holy cow. There’s FANTASY COLLEGE FOOTBALL? why?

Math is Hard!

November 15th, 2012
4:13 pm

Lots of head-scratching in these blog comments. That makes it clear who was on the M-Train at Tech. Sad, really.


November 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

I am actually rooting for Tech to win the ACC. Beat Duke, lose to my Dawgs, and hope either Duke beats Miami or Miami self-bans. Then beat FSU and go to the Orange Bowl as ACC champs at 7-6. The other part of my dream is somehow the Dawgs also play later that week in Miami. I have tickets to both games and it would be a fun trip.

Left Coast Dawg

November 15th, 2012
4:55 pm

So basically, the only way Tech gets in is if they receive a gift?

Left Coast Dawg

November 15th, 2012
4:56 pm

My my how the Jackets have regressed under CPJ when Duke controls the reigns over Tech!

Coach Z

November 15th, 2012
5:21 pm

at left coast dawg, maybe the saying we’d rather be lucky than good applies to Tech this year.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, Tech must first defeat Dook...

November 15th, 2012
5:48 pm

…but the Tech v UGA game is setting up exactly like 2009 when Tech had a really good team and UGA had its worst team in years, yet UGA won – this year it is Tech’s turn to be the “bad” team in the game with no chance, and from where I sit (25 yard line at BDS, and first row end zone at UGA) I see Tech with the upper hand this year…


November 15th, 2012
6:40 pm

Whether, it’s against us, Bama, or who ever they play during their bowl game, I cannot wait to see UGA lose, and their fans get knocked down a few notches. Most obnoxious fans I’ve ever seen.


November 15th, 2012
7:11 pm

GT vs FSU in ACC Championship.

1 4 GT

November 15th, 2012
7:18 pm

I liked the Dixie Chicks!

1 4 GT

November 15th, 2012
7:21 pm

I liked alternative rock/grunge too….listened to WRFG & WGST all the time


November 15th, 2012
8:24 pm

Ken, tell your parents that you get paid to go to football and basketball games and talk with future pro players. I think a lot of us would love that job…except for the crummy pay.


November 15th, 2012
8:51 pm

What happens if GT, Miami & NC end up 5-3 in the ACC? This is obviously the most likely scenario…….more specifically what happens if:

1. Miami decides to self impose the post season ban?

2. Miami decides to play in a bowl?

Can anyone provide a definite answer to these two scenarios?

5150 UOAD

November 15th, 2012
9:11 pm

GT Grad…..Tech & UNC Tie TECH has the head to head…..Miami wins all the head to heads if they decide to go to the ACC CG & Bowl Game. I think that is how it will work.


November 15th, 2012
9:15 pm

What happens if GT, Miami & NC end up 5-3 in the ACC?
1. Miami decides to self impose the post season ban? 2. Miami decides to play in a bowl?

Ken has covered already. UNC is already in a post season ban. #1 above means GT goes to Charlotte. #2 Miami goes to Charlotte

Hayseed Dixie

November 15th, 2012
9:42 pm

@Coach Z

I was using Nirvana, Dr. Martens, et al as an example of a cultural vanguard in the greater context of my intended-as-comedy assertion that Ken’s self-loathing was somehow a 90’s thing.

(FWIW, I understand Nirvana just fine, I’ve read Charles R. Cross’ book, widely considered to be authoritative, and seen ‘Been A Son’ on multiple occasions. Saw em’ live, twice. If you can’t see that Kurt’s parents divorce, and his estrangement from his father is the axis on which his life swung, then it’s you who doesn’t understand Nirvana. It’s in the subtext of everything Kurt did, and makes that music drag to play at parties- I prefer Motown, or Stax/Volt)

And Dixie Chicks? They’re ok, I suppose. I’m a Merle Haggard/Hank Sr. guy myself. With a glass of George Dickel, straight.

Saturday can’t get here soon enough.

I love Jan Kemp

November 15th, 2012
9:57 pm

Never thought I’d be looking forward to the next home game after the BYU debacle but I am. Good job over the 2 game road swing, now come back to BDS and take care of business! Go Jackets!


November 15th, 2012
10:26 pm

So. Miss just beat the inbreds from athens in roundball in OT! Can’t wait to play the puppies in fooball AND basketball! Go Jackets! Beat Duke first though.