The Washington Times - October 20, 2008, 05:59PM

OK, this isn’t a mailbag item so much as it is swiping something from the comments section and using it to start an entry.

That’s OK —- it basically serves the exact same purpose.


Fortunately, today’s question doesn’t require a ton of heavy lifting —- just some research back to 2005.

Given the track record here, that should be a piece of cake.

Onward to a question from loyal reader Fearthenoodle:


Another random question for you to research if you feel like it:

Each ACC team plays 5 division games a year. Does whether a team has 3 division home games and only 2 road games (like 2008 Terps) or 3 road/2 home have any bearing on the division winners each year?

In other words, is it more likely for you to finish higher in the division when you have 3 home games in division vs. only 2?

First of all, this is dealing with a very small sample size —- 36 team seasons total.

That said, in 2005, the ACC teams with three home division games were Florida State (5-3, T-1st), Boston College (5-3, T-1st) and Wake Forest (3-5, T-4th) in the Atlantic and Virginia Tech (7-1, 1st), Miami (6-2, 2nd) and Virginia (3-5, 5th) in the Coastal.

In 2006, the Atlantic had Maryland (5-3, T-2nd), Florida State (3-5, 5th) and N.C. State (2-6, 6th), while the Coastal had Georgia Tech (7-1, 1st), Virginia Tech (6-2, 2nd) and Duke (0-8, 6th).

In 2007, the Atlantic had Boston College (6-2, 1st), Clemson (5-3, T-2nd) and Wake Forest (5-3, T-2nd), while the Coastal had Virginia (6-2, 2nd), North Carolina (3-5, 4th) and Miami (2-6, 5th).

So of the 18 teams with three division home games, seven of them finished with losing league records. Four wound up in the league title game.

Of the 18 teams with three division road games, eight finished with a losing record and two wound up in the league title game.

Seems pretty even, though there’s not much data to go by.

The only teams to go 3-0 at home in division games in that span are 2006 Georgia Tech and 2007 Wake Forest, so it’s not like many teams —- even some pretty good ones —- exploited whatever advantage there might be with that scheduling quirk.

—- Patrick Stevens