Georgia Tech loss puts Duke in control of ACC Coastal race

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Duke is the big winner from Georgia Tech's loss on Thursday. (USATSI)
Duke is the big winner from Georgia Tech's loss on Thursday. (USATSI)

In Georgia Tech's 55-31 loss to Clemson on Thursday night, the Yellow Jackets missed an opportunity to clinch at least a share of the ACC Coastal Division title. By finishing with a 5-3 conference record, the defending Coastal champs have given Duke, Virginia Tech and Miami the opportunity to pass them in the division standings.

Here are the Coastal Division standings as of Clemson's victory, along with each team's remaining ACC opponents:

Virginia Tech (4-2): Maryland, Virginia

Georgia Tech (5-3): None

Duke (3-2): Miami, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Miami (3-2): Duke, Virginia, Pittsburgh

Duke is the biggest winner of the bunch, as the Blue Devils would have been eliminated from conference title game contention with a Georgia Tech win. The Yellow Jackets have the head-to-head advantage against Duke, but losses to Virginia Tech and Miami will hurt in any kind of tiebreaker situation at 5-3. Duke now controls its own destiny and can reach the ACC Championship Game for the first time in program history by winning its final three games.

Miami, coming off back-to-back losses against Florida State and Virginia Tech, plays at Duke on Saturday, with the loser facing an uphill climb to match Georgia Tech's 5-3 record. The Hurricanes want a rematch with the Seminoles in Charlotte for the ACC title, but need a Virginia Tech loss to avoid losing a tiebreaker with the Hokies.

Virginia Tech appears to have the easiest path to Charlotte -- through Maryland and Virginia, but until Duke loses a third conference game the Hokies do not control their own destiny.

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