Finding Miami's path to the ACC Championship Game
Miami started off ACC play with two early losses, but the Hurricanes find themselves in a good place — all things considered — in mid-November.
Manny Diaz’s squad has won three straight games, including two wins over ranked opponents. This hot streak has put the Hurricanes in position to win the ACC Coastal if things break right for them over the final three weeks.
Miami currently sits one game behind Pitt and a half game behind Virginia in the Coastal standings. Crucially, the Hurricanes hold the tiebreaker over Pitt but not vs. the Cavaliers.
Big game on Nov. 20
Virginia and Pitt still have to play each other this season with a meeting slated for Nov. 20 in Pittsburgh.
If the Cavaliers win that game, they can clinch the Coastal division title on Nov. 27 vs. Virginia Tech. However, a loss to the Hokies would give the Cavs three ACC losses and would push Miami — assuming it wins out — into the ACC title game.
If Pittsburgh beats Virginia, the path gets considerably tougher. Assuming the Panthers also win vs. North Carolina on Saturday, they would only have to beat Syracuse on Sept. 27 to clinch a berth in the ACC title game with a 7-1 ACC record.
Here’s what Miami fans should be rooting for over the next couple weeks:
- Pittsburgh (4-2) loses to North Carolina on Nov. 11
- Pittsburgh (5-2) defeats Virginia (4-3) on Nov. 20
- Miami (6-2) defeats Florida State, Georgia Tech and Duke to end the year
If those three things happen, then Pittsburgh’s season-finale vs. Syracuse would be irrelevant based on Miami winning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
If Pittsburgh does manage to beat UNC at home on Thursday night, the path for Miami in the Coastal gets much tougher.
Kickoff for Miami’s game vs. Florida State on Saturday is at 3:30 p.m. ET.