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
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.

5150 UOAD

November 15th, 2012
10:52 pm

UNC just put it on UVa……VPI better beat UVa or they don’t go bowling. The ACC beat each other up pretty good and others are on probation…..

hold on a second

November 16th, 2012
1:07 am

If GT goes to the ACC Championship game at 6-6 and loses, therefore becoming 6-7, we will not be eligible for a bowl game under NCAA rules.

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
1:11 am

hold on a second…………….Show me those rules. You are saying a 6-6 team that can play for their conference championship should turn down that chance to go to a bowl game instead? How STUPID is that?

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
1:17 am

Bowl-eligibility contingency plan
On August 2, 2012 The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a process that would allow 5-7 teams to become bowl eligible, in case there aren’t enough bowl-eligible teams to fill every game. If a bowl has one or more conferences/teams unable to meet their contractual commitments and there are no available bowl-eligible teams, the open spots can be filled – by the bowl sponsoring agencies – as follows:[1]
Teams finishing 6-6 with one win against an FCS team, regardless of whether that FCS school meets NCAA scholarship requirements. Until now, an FCS win only counted if that opponent met the scholarship requirements—specifically, that school had to award at least 90% of the FCS maximum of 63 scholarship equivalents over a two-year period. In the 2012 season, programs in four FCS conferences cannot meet the 90% requirement (56.7 equivalents)—the Ivy League, which prohibits all athletic scholarships; the Patriot League and Pioneer Football League, which do not currently award football scholarships; and the Northeast Conference, which limits football scholarships to 38 equivalents.
6-6 teams with two wins over FCS schools.
Teams that finish 6-7 and lose in the conference championship game are next.
6-7 teams that normally play a 13-team schedule, such as Hawaii’s home opponents. Although Hawaii normally plays a 13-game schedule, it is only playing 12 games this season.
FCS teams who are making the transition to the FBS, if they have at least a 6-6 record.
Finally, the nod would go to 5-7 teams that have a top-5 Academic Progress Rate score. For 2012, these teams are Northwestern, Duke, Boise State, Ohio State, and Northern Illinois. [2] All of these schools have 6 or more wins already, with Ohio State being ineligible due to sanctions.

hold on a second

November 16th, 2012
1:54 am

Did not see that contingency plan. But if I am reading that correctly, it would not be a guaranteed bowl game via the traditional ACC tie-ins. It would be a conditional bowl game that could be any bowl game, or not at all if there are enough bowl eligible teams.

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
2:00 am

120 teams
-57 bowl eligible now
-34 Not eligible for postseason.
leaving 29 teams to fill 13 bowl slots
of those 29 teams 10 have not real shot at becoming Bowl Eligible
So that leaves 19 teams to fill 13 spots
Some of you saying TECH will not go bowling if they finish 6-7 are not the best at the NUMBERS.
Tech is also a better name brand than some of those 18 teams.

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
2:02 am

Actually Tech is a better brand name than some of the Eligible right now. If Tech beats DUKE TECH will be bowling…..

hold on a second

November 16th, 2012
2:07 am

According to the plan, if there are, say, 73 bowl eligible teams for 70 spots (not including Tech), then Tech cannot go to a bowl game because the “bowl eligible” teams would go to any available bowls.
Tech would not be traditionally “bowl eligible”, but be in the third selection category of special cases.

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
2:14 am

I don’t know for sure but if a bowl with an ACC tie-in I think would take 6-7 ACC CG loser over North Texas Southwestern State U at 7-5 or 8-4. Not sure but still 2 weeks to know for sure.


November 16th, 2012
8:48 am

Dang. Sounds like nobody from Coastal Division deserves to be in championship game.

dry dirt road

November 16th, 2012
8:51 am

article’s scenarios conjure recollection of English course at Tech called Drama taught by Helen Naugle, an Alabama grad, in which plays were read that included acts and scenes…Act 1, Scene 1, Act 1, Scene 2, Act 1, Scene 3, Act 2, Scene 1 etc.; got a C in course; had to write blue book exams on plays


November 16th, 2012
9:09 am

GT needs to stay at HOME! Stay at home and someone needs to decide if we want to play big boy football.. Otherwise, drop football all together. Right now, it’s a TOTAL embarrassment.

GT Lee

November 16th, 2012
10:19 am

the only embarrassment is you calling yourself a fan, gt4ever.


November 16th, 2012
10:42 am

You would think we were having the season Auburn was having. We’re 5-5, people. Yes,the MTSU loss was embarrasing, but games like that can happen to anybody. This is as a bad of a season we will have unde CPJ.

Ken Sugiura

November 16th, 2012
10:59 am

new posts about to go up. thanks for the, uh, compliments? (ha ha)


November 16th, 2012
11:35 am

Ken, I would have been much more impressed if you’d added the statistical probability of the occurrences.


November 16th, 2012
12:09 pm

You’re not a dope. You’re a great guy. Keep up the good work.

old dog

November 16th, 2012
2:03 pm

Yeah, our roundball team is terrible, but even our girls roudball team would have 400+ yards on ya’ll if we suit ‘em up…………

GT Lee

November 16th, 2012
3:05 pm

old dog, instead of letting the girls’ team do your dirty work, why don’t you and 10 of your buddies from the Senior Center suit up and hang 400+ yards on our D…..I dare you!


November 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

Ken, how does your earlier analysis on the Coastal tiebreakers coexist with the official ACC tiebreakers when tiebreaker #3 which states, “3.Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall (divisional or conference) record, and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last.”

It seems breaking the tie for 4th place when reaching Step #3 to break the tie for first contradicts the last sentence that multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last.

I don’t know how the ACC could handle tiebreaker #3 any other way than using the combined record of the teams tied for first against any and all teams tied for 4th, or just say #3 doesn’t break it and move to the next tiebreaker.

Any other interpretation would seem to contradict the ACC’s official tiebreakers and, if it happens, needs to be questioned by all parties involved in said tiebreak.