First things first, I would like to congratulate the Duke Blue Devils on becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. A few weeks ago I wrote that I didn’t think that they could do it, but they proved me wrong, so good on you Duke. Unfortunately, that is the only good news for the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Coastal used to be the better division in the conference, but it has become apparent that the Coastal Division is down and out in 2012.
The division hasn’t had a team ranked in the top-25 since week 3 when Virginia Tech lost to Pittsburgh. The loss began the Hokies tailspin into mediocrity and no team but perhaps Duke has stepped up fill that void. Preseason favorites Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are currently 4-4 and 3-4 respectively. Miami is 4-4 and Virginia is 2-6.
The only team other than Duke that has anything positive to say about their season so far is North Carolina. The Tar Heels are 5-3, but because of NCAA sanctions they are ineligible to compete in postseason play.
As of now Duke is leading the Coastal and has a one game lead over Miami, but it is conceivable that a team with three or four losses in conference play could win the division. Duke still has to play both Clemson and Florida State, Miami still has Virginia Tech on their schedule. The Hokies have Miami and Florida State on their schedule. Surprisingly Georgia Tech might have the inside track to win the Coastal.
The Yellow Jackets final three conference games are against Maryland, UNC and Duke. If they can win those three games then it could very well be Georgia Tech representing the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship.
If you like parity in college football, then look no further than the ACC Coastal Division, but it is truly amazing how far and how quickly the division has fallen as a whole.