Next weekend’s NC State-Clemson matchup will go a very long way in deciding the ACC Atlantic division — and could even be the deciding game when it’s all said and done. The ACC Coastal? Buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild ride over the next month and a half in that division.
In the biggest Week 7 development for the conference in general and the division specifically, any faint hopes No. 16 Miami held in earning a berth in the College Football Playoffs were dashed by an inexplicable 16-13 loss to Virginia in Charlottesville. Conversely, and thanks to a touchdown with just 19 seconds left on the clock, Virginia Tech pulled out a 22-19 road win over North Carolina.
With all of this weekend’s dust settled, Tech currently sits atop the division at 3-0. However, there are also three teams sitting at 2-1 with five conference games remaining — Virginia, Miami and Pitt, which went non-conference Saturday and nearly pulled off a huge upset.
Tech, of course, holds the upper hand and could make things easy and much less convoluted by winning out; their 2018 schedule, though, ends with back-to-back-to-back games against Pitt, Miami and Virginia. Pitt also plays the other three either currently in the lead or within a game of the Coastal lead, while Miami (Tech, Pitt) and Virginia (Pitt, Tech) have two such games.
And then there’s wildcard Duke, which is 1-1 in ACC play but still gets Virginia, Pitt and Miami — those come the next three weeks, incidentally — in a stretch that could have the Blue Devils in the mix as well before it’s all said and done. The Blue Devils, though, already have one potential tiebreaker against them as they lost to the Hokies in Week 5.
Again, glorious Coastal chaos as far as the eye can see. At least, that’s potentially the case.