ACC Coastal Is As Bizarre As Advertised


The last Saturday of October is almost complete, and the ACC Coastal championship race is no more clear now than it was in the summer.

Week 9’s action helped to further muddy the waters in the division, starting with Miami’s 30-6 drubbing of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

In suffering its third conference loss, the ACC’s old, reliable Hokies are in last place in their division. That’s just the kind of year this is; one in which a Frank Beamer-coached team has zero run game, doesn’t defend particularly well and sits at 1-3 halfway through its ACC slate.

Otherwise? Everyone else sports two losses, save 2-1 Duke. The reigning ACC Coastal champion Blue Devils were on bye this week, otherwise David Cutcliffe’s squad very well could join the two-loss party.

Virginia jumped into that fray today, dropping a one-point decision to previously floundering North Carolina. Just like that, the Tar Heels are right back in the ACC Coastal hunt. Maybe the preseason hype was not so unfounded?

OK, it was unfounded. North Carolina should not strike fear into any opponent’s heart–bear in mind, this team surrendered 70 points to East Carolina.

But, again, it’s just that kinda year. The ACC Coastal champion could be a team that gave up 70 points to a first-year member of the American.

The ACC Coastal champion could also be a Pitt team that gave up five first-quarter fumbles in a 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech today. The Panthers aren’t eliminated from contention.

Neither is Georgia Tech, which climbed back to .500 in ACC play after dropping its previous two straight. Why not the Yellow Jackets?

Why not Miami? The U put together the most wholly impressive Week 9 performance of any of the ACC Coastal teams, and running back Duke Johnson is certainly the most electrifying player the division has to offer.

Really: Why not Virginia Tech? Because–hey–it’s just been that kinda year.

So how did we get to this point? Here’s the breakdown of Coastal cannibalism (which, coincidentally, is the title of my screenplay about surfer zombies in Southern California):

• Sept. 20: Georgia Tech 27, Virginia Tech 24

• Sept. 27: Miami 22, Duke 10

&#149: Oct. 4: Georgia Tech 28, Miami 17

• Oct. 4: Virginia 24, Pitt 19

• Oct. 11: Duke 31, Georgia Tech 25

• Oct. 16: Pitt 21, Virginia Tech 16

• Oct. 18: North Carolina 48, Georgia Tech 43

• Oct. 18: Duke 20, Virginia 13

• Oct. 23: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 6

• Oct. 25: North Carolina 28, Virginia 27

• Oct. 25: Georgia Tech 56, Pitt 28

You know what…to hell with this. Let’s just put East Carolina in the ACC Championship Game.