Teel Time: Here's how Virginia Tech, Miami, Duke, GT could tie atop ACC Coastal at 4-4

Avert your eyes if you must, but there are unlikely scenarios in which Virginia Tech, Duke, Miami and Georgia Tech could share the ACC’s Coastal Division title with 4-4 conference records.

Much like last season in the Pacific-12 South, the culprits are mediocrity and NCAA sanctions.

With games remaining against Georgia Tech, Virginia and Maryland, North Carolina (6-3, 3-2) should be large and in charge of the Coastal. But improper benefits to athletes rendered the Tar Heels ineligible to win the division, advance to the ACC title game or play in a bowl, penalties that could be extended if the NCAA acts on the academic fraud at UNC exposed by the Raleigh News & and Observer.

So we are left to sift through the rubble.

Now the most likely outcome is the survivor of Thursday’s Virginia Tech-Miami game winning the Coastal.

If the Hokies (4-4, 2-2) beat the Hurricanes (4-4, 3-2), they could still lose to Florida State a week later and win the Coastal at 5-3 by closing the regular season with victories over Boston College and Virginia.

If Miami beats Virginia Tech, Al Golden’s team would only need to best Duke (6-3, 3-2) on the road in the regular-season finale to secure the program’s first division title.

Heck, if the Hurricanes defeat the Hokies and Virginia, and Duke loses to Clemson and Georgia Tech, Miami would clinch a week early.

Conversely, if Miami beats Virginia Tech, Duke would claim the Coastal with victories over the Hurricanes -- and Clemson or Georgia Tech.

The 4-4 logjam? Here are the gory details of how it could happen, offered, fittingly, on Halloween:

Virginia Tech: Beats Miami, loses to Florida State, loses to Boston College or Virginia.

Georgia Tech: Beats Maryland, Duke and North Carolina.

Duke: Loses to Clemson and Georgia Tech, beats Miami.

Miami: Loses to Virginia Tech and Duke, beats Virginia.

I doubt the Hokies lose to Boston College or Virginia, and that Georgia Tech topples North Carolina. But stranger things have happened.

With victories over Georgia Tech, Duke and Miami, Virginia Tech would win the tie-breaker in the above Armageddon, sending the Hokies to the ACC title game at 6-6, 4-4.

UCLA (6-6, 5-4) went to the Pac-12 championship contest last season because of NCAA sanctions against Southern California (10-2, 7-2). Moreover, the NCAA allowed the Bruins to play in a bowl at 6-7 after their predictable title-game loss to Oregon.

Here’s guessing Hokie Nation would not be jazzed about a bowl if Virginia Tech were 6-7.     

I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at dteel@dailypress.com. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP

Here’s a link to my Daily Press print columns, including an advance on Thursday’s Virginia Tech-Miami game.

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