The Washington Times - November 8, 2008, 10:02PM

It’s a week early for a true list of permutations in the ACC.

I mean, really, does anyone want to see all 64 combinations that the conference results of games involving Florida State, Maryland and Wake Forest (and, in turn, Boston College)?

SEE RELATED:


That was a rhetorical question, of course. I know some of you folks do. But time is precious, and it will be much more effective to whittle it down to eight possibilities by the end of next weekend.

But it is possible to quickly run down the simplest path for every team in the conference to make it to Tampa on Dec. 6 for the ACC title game. And that’s a much easier thing to do in the Atlantic Division than the Coastal.

These are not the only possible scenarios – just the ones that would easily solve the conundrum of determining a division winner.

ATLANTIC

MARYLAND: Win out the final three weeks.

(Also a possibility: Beat Florida State and North Carolina and hope for losses elsewhere by Boston College AND Wake Forest; or beat Florida State and Boston College and hope for a loss elsewhere by Wake Forest).

FLORIDA STATE: Win the next two weeks and get a loss from Wake Forest to either N.C. State or Boston College. Simple as that.

WAKE FOREST: Win the next two weeks and get a loss from Maryland in any of its final three games.

BOSTON COLLEGE: Win the next three weeks – against Florida State, Wake Forest and Maryland.

COASTAL DIVISION

VIRGINIA TECH: Win the next three weeks.

NORTH CAROLINA: Win the next three weeks AND get a loss from Virginia Tech.

MIAMI: Same as last week – win the next three weeks AND get a loss from North Carolina

GEORGIA TECH: Beat Miami and get two losses from North Carolina AND Virginia Tech PLUS one loss from Virginia

VIRGINIA: Win the final two games AND get one loss from North Carolina AND two losses from Miami (reeling in Virginia Tech would be taken care of with a victory over the Hokies).

In short, only three teams are in complete control of their fate within their respective divisions at this juncture – Maryland, Virginia Tech and (oddly enough) Boston College.

Patrick Stevens