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Re-Mapping the Road to Tampa

Entering the final month of the season, it's time to re-assess the Atlantic Division race. I'm fairly certain the last time we did this, Wake Forest appeared to have the inside track in terms of remaining schedule. But after showing now signs of offensive life in consecutive losses, it might not matter whom the Deacons play (moreover, the perception of their Nov. 8 game against Virgina has changed significantly).

We'll begin by reviewing the standings (conference record and remaining games only, as that's all that's relevant to this discussion).

Team...........Record....Remaining Opponents Va. Tech, North Carolina, Florida State, at BC
Fla. Ga. Tech, Clemson, BC, at Maryland
BC...............2-2..........Clemson, at Florida State, at Wake, Maryland
Wake...........2-2..........Duke, Virginia, at N.C. State, BC BC, at Florida State, Duke, at Virginia
N.C. Duke, Wake, at North Carolina, Miami

With as unpredictable as this league has been all season, it's hard to say who has the advantage there, especially because Maryland, Florida State and Boston College have yet to play each other.

Maryland has taken an early advantage in division record (3-0), which could be a tiebreaker in the event of a multi-team tie in which head-to-head records don't decide anything. Boston College is also unbeaten in the division, but the Eagles have played just one division foe (N.C. State) and close out with nothing but division games.

If Wake Forest could get its act together, it could still be a factor, with three of its final four at home and a 2-1 division record that includes a win over Florida State. The Demon Deacons would obviously lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with Maryland by a score of 26-0.

That brings us to Florida State. The Seminoles have somewhat quietly won four straight to stand at 6-1. It's looking more and more like the Maryland-Florida State game on Nov. 22 could decide the division. Even if one team were to slip up once between now and then, each could hand the other a second loss and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win in College Park.

Of course, in this league, you can't make any kind of assumption. I don't think N.C. State can win the division, but beyond that, who knows?

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 27, 2008; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Neal's Take on the ACC


I'd argue that all MD has to do is beat FSU and BC and their ticket to Tampa is punched. They would hold tiebreakers over the entire division and the only scenario in which they would encounter a team with a better conference record is FSU winning it's other three games (certainly a possibility but I would put the odds at less than 50%). After the UVA loss I couldn't imagine a scenario where all MD would need to to to reach Tampa is go 2-2 over the lasst 4 games as long as it was the RIGHT 2 but here it is...

Posted by: Lee26 | October 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The Terps can go all the way! No Excuses!

Posted by: robinficker | October 27, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

maybe if Ralph can convince his wards that Vick or Druckenmiller are still QB'ing the Hokies, they'll get up for this game. i'm still paranoid about their motivational issues.

Posted by: mdrockjock | October 27, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Silly Terps and I know that the Noles will beat you...afterall, they are slightly better than middle of nowhere state or whoever it was that you lost to....

Posted by: jcard14 | October 27, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The Terps can go all the way! No Excuses!

Posted by: robinficker | October 27, 2008 2:23 PM

YES!!! If we can't do it on the field, maybe we can heckle our way to a league championship...

Posted by: Barno1 | October 27, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Can we please keep this to a Prisbelle-only blog? Sorry Rennie, but you're analysis is, as usual, not up to par.

For starters, Clemson has no real shot at winning the division. Why you still hold out hope for them is beyond comprehension.

Second of all, you didn't assess anything. You just listed the records of each teams within the division and the games remaining on their schedule. Way to take a position, Switzerland.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

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