So it seems I oversimplified the conference race post earlier this week. To the mailbag!
Donald in Christianburg, Va., writes: Your information on the Atlantic and Coastal races is incorrect. Clemson can win the Atlantic with a loss to Georgia Tech should Syracuse win out and FSU drop its games against Wake Forest and Syracuse. Under this scenario, Clemson, Syracuse and FSU would end up in a three-way tie in the Atlantic, each 1-1 against the other two teams. The next tiebreaker is their divisional record. Syracuse and Clemson would be 5-1 in the division (Syracuse lost to Clemson, Clemson lost to FSU) while the Seminoles would be 4-2 (losses to Wake and Syracuse). This would then revert to the two-team procedure, where Clemson beat the Orange head-to-head. Further, a 6-2 Virginia Tech can still win the Coastal tied with Duke if there is a three-way tie with Georgia Tech. The teams would, like in the Atlantic, be 1-1 against each other and the tiebreaker would go to divisional records. The Hokies would be 5-1 in the Coastal (loss to Duke) while Georgia Tech and Duke would both be 4-2 (GT losses to VT and Miami, Duke losses to GT and Pittsburgh).
Andrea Adelson: Thank you, Donald. Generally speaking, we provide the least convoluted scenarios for each division every single week based on information from the ACC office. These alternate scenarios are definitely worth posting.
Duke fan in Miami writes: Hi. I am wondering about the current race in the Coastal division. If Duke wins out, Georgia Tech wins out, and Miami loses only to Duke, (which is all possible as far as I am aware) who wins the division? Each team would have two losses, and Duke would have the tiebreaker against Miami, Miami would have the tiebreaker against Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech would have the tiebreaker against Duke. Being a rock-paper-scissors scenario, I am wondering what would be the next line of tiebreakers, and who would come out on top?
Adelson: The next tiebreaker would be division record, and Miami would win that with a 5-1 mark. Duke and Georgia Tech would finish 4-2 in the Coastal. Here is a list on how the ACC breaks three-team (or more) ties to determine the Division rep for the ACC title game.
Mike in O'Fallon, Ill., writes: Have you heard any punishment for Miami Hurricane DE Anthony Chickillo for his facemask/eye-gouging incident during the FSU-Miami game? Seems to me that with the obvious video evidence shown on national TV, there would be some sort of punishment handed down by at least Al Golden. I've heard nothing from Miami, but for FSU, Jimbo Fisher verbally admonishing both Winston and Bobby Hart for their participation.
Adelson: Have not heard anything. Chickillo refused to answer a question about what happened postgame, too.
Robert in Dallas writes: You wrote: "A flawed polling system that gave Alabama and Oregon an edge before the games even kicked off is most to blame, as voters determined in the preseason that the Tide and Ducks -- not the Seminoles -- were among the best teams in the nation." However, it will be the computers that doom FSU, as their strength of schedule deflates, not the voters.
Adelson: Not necessarily true, Robert. I checked in with our resident BCS expert Brad Edwards, who told me the only way for Florida State to make up ground on strength of schedule is to pull ahead in the human polls. "From the start, it's been pretty obvious to me that FSU will need to finish ahead of Oregon in the polls to have a chance of finishing ahead in the BCS," Edwards wrote in an e-mail. "That's why I've repeatedly stated that Oregon is in a stronger position than FSU, even when Florida State has been ranked No. 2 in the BCS. This past week, FSU finally gained some decent ground on Oregon in the polls but is still not all that close. ... It basically comes down to the ACC schedule not being as strong as the Pac-12 schedule, according to the BCS computers. At the moment, FSU's schedule is stronger, but I expect that to change as November plays out. As FSU loses ground in the computers, it can only make up for that by gaining in the polls."
Jeff in Toledo writes: Do you know the game time for the Miami @ Pitt game Nov. 29th or know when it will be decided? I will be attending that game from out of town and need to book a hotel.
Adelson: Game time will not be released until Nov. 18 at the earliest. It might be later than that if the network exercises its six-day window option.
BD Pisani in Palm City, Fla., writes: Andrea, Nicely done on the Hurricanes article. You concisely and objectively crafted exactly where the Canes program stands today. Al "The Tie" Golden is a classy coach but he'll remember this game next year. Looking forward to more professional articles.
Adelson: Thanks, BD!
Jeff in Tampa writes: Hi, Andrea. I've been doing a lot of number crunching, and for the life of me, I cannot see how Oregon would have a better top-to-bottom strength of schedule when compared to FSU. (In truth, even Alabama's schedule doesn't quite measure up to FSU's, but that's another story for another day.) I have been calculating schedule strength in a number of ways, for years, and never has the disparity between two "top teams" been so glaring. FSU to date has the toughest resume of any undefeated team, ANY. My question is this: Why does the media think the ACC is a bad conference this year? The ACC might end up with more bowl teams eligible than any other conference. Assuming each of the top three wins out, FSU will be playing another inferior team in the Orange Bowl. Any chance the AP will declare FSU national champs if they are left out? If not, why don't we just do this like we used to in the Bowl Coalition days? Oregon can take the easier game against Ohio State, and play in the Rose. FSU can take Oregon's place in the BCS Championship game. If FSU and Oregon win, they can both claim championships, right? I can't think of a more fitting way to satisfy all four undefeateds. Can you?
Adelson: Well, all the concerns about Oregon have been rendered moot after the Ducks lost to Stanford on Thursday night, though there remain more unbeaten teams than national championship spots. Even still, I never thought I would hear the day when somebody pined for the old Bowl Coalition days! It is worth discussing your first question re: ACC perception. Stereotypes die hard, and the ACC has had to deal with plenty of stereotyping in the last 10 years. The league has had no teams remotely close to a BCS championship game, and the conference has been weak top to bottom over the last several seasons. Virginia Tech's BCS record does not help matters. People think because Alabama and Oregon have been good recently, they automatically deserve more credit than Florida State. In my opinion, history should not factor into the decisions dealing with the 2013 season only. But yet on the Oregon-Stanford broadcast Thursday night, David Pollack said he thought the Cardinal win over the Ducks was more impressive than Florida State's win over Clemson. I completely disagree with his opinion, but his viewpoint just shows the ACC has a ways to go to begin changing perceptions with some media members.