The Washington Times - July 28, 2009, 09:20AM

RALEIGH, N.C. – It would be highly misleading to believe this simplistic exercise is the best way to determine in-conference schedule strength.

It’s certainly not the only way.

SEE RELATED:


But it is a way – even if you’re inclined to believe the actual opponents a team must deal with are taken into account.

In any case, every team plays each team from its division, plus three from the other division. So for an intradivision analysis, those three crossover games make a difference.

So like last year, I’ve opted to assign a point for playing the projected division winner, two for a projected runner-up and so on, coming up in the end with who has things supposedly “easier.” If you need a reminder, the voting results are here.

ATLANTIC

12: Maryland (1-Virginia Tech, 5-Virginia, [email protected])
12: Wake Forest ([email protected] Tech, 4-Miami, [email protected])
11: Clemson ([email protected] Tech, [email protected]; 5-Virginia)
10: N.C. State ([email protected] Tech, 3-North Carolina, 6-Duke)
9: Boston College ([email protected] Tech; 3-North Carolina; [email protected])
9: Florida State (2-Georgia Tech; [email protected] Carolina; 4-Miami)

COASTAL

14: Virginia Tech (3-N.C. State, [email protected], 6-Boston College)
13: Virginia ([email protected], [email protected], 6-Boston College)
12: Duke ([email protected] State, 4-Wake Forest, 5-Maryland)
10: North Carolina (1-Florida State, [email protected] State, [email protected] College)
7: Georgia Tech ([email protected] State, 2-Clemson, 4-Wake Forest)
7: Miami ([email protected] State, 2-Clemson, [email protected] Forest)

Conclusions? There’s hardly any tilt to the Atlantic Division, but (at least on paper) Virginia Tech has a far easier road in its crossover games than challengers Georgia Tech and Miami do.

It’s no sure thing it will make a difference. But it certainly could, and it will be worth revisiting this in November if the Hokies indeed take the Coastal Division yet again.

Patrick Stevens