The Washington Times - November 7, 2009, 11:38PM

Pretty simple stuff before turning in for the night —- what is needed for every team to reach the ACC title game with three weeks left in the regular season.

These are merely most likely scenarios. At this stage, there’s too many permutations to really break everything down. In another week, it’ll be much, much easier to analyze every possible contingency.




* A victory next week at Duke OR
* A Duke loss AND a Miami loss

MIAMI (4-2)

* Victories over North Carolina AND Duke
* AND a Georgia Tech loss

DUKE (3-2)

* Victories over Georgia Tech, Miami AND Wake Forest
* AND a Virginia Tech loss to Maryland, N.C. State OR Virginia


* Victories over Maryland, N.C. State AND Virginia
* AND a Georgia Tech loss to Duke
* AND Duke victories over Miami and Wake Forest
* AND a Miami victory against North Carolina

This scenario would leave Georgia Tech, Duke and Virginia Tech at 6-2. They are 1-1 against each other, and each would be 3-2 in the division. The next tiebreaker is head-to-head against next best division team, which would be Miami. Georgia Tech is eliminated based on its loss to Miami. Virginia Tech then wins head-to-head with Duke,



* Victories over N.C. State AND Virginia
* A victory over either N.C. State OR Virginia AND a Boston College loss to Virginia OR North Carolina OR Maryland


* Three conference victories AND a Clemson loss
* Two conference victories AND two Clemson losses

Any other Atlantic Division team will be completely mathematically eliminated with one Clemson victory OR two Boston College victories.

That said, it is bizarre that Maryland has the “easiest” mathematical path to winning the division at this stage of any of the four-loss teams. It would require all of the following:

* Victories over Virginia Tech, Florida State AND Boston College
* Losses by Clemson to N.C. State AND Virginia
* Loss by Boston College to Virginia OR North Carolina
* Loss by Wake Forest to Florida State OR Duke
* Loss by N.C. State to Virginia Tech OR North Carolina

At least that’s what it looks like in a sleep-deprived haze at this late hour.

Of course, this is all a waste if Georgia Tech wins next week and Clemson wins the next two weeks. Those two teams hold the keys to everything in the conference.

—- Patrick Stevens