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Updated ACC football projections after 9 weeks

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This morning, I used F/+ projections to help figure out what to expect from the national title race. In this space, let's go back to the conference races.

Grant Halverson

Win projections

We're still on last week's path in the Atlantic, where FSU holds the edge (because of tie-breakers) and Clemson waits to see if FSU can manage to somehow slip up against both Louisville and Miami. But in the Coastal last week, we saw the balance of power (below Duke, anyway) flip around. We also saw our dreams of a seven-way, 4-4 tie stay alive.

Odds of ACC conference records
Atlantic F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change) With Week 10 win With Week 10 loss
Clemson (5-1, 6-2) 9 6.64 6.64 (+0.00)

Florida State (4-0, 7-0) 11 6.55 6.91 (-0.36) 7.14 6.14
Louisville (4-2, 6-2) 15 5.30 5.04 (+0.26) 5.70 4.70
Boston College (2-2, 5-3) 33 3.72 3.74 (-0.02) 4.37 3.37
N.C. State (0-4, 4-4) 53 2.06 2.05 (+0.01) 2.42 1.42
Syracuse (1-3, 3-5) 76 1.71 1.56 (+0.15) 2.35 1.35
Wake Forest (0-4, 2-6) 89 0.28 0.28 (+0.00)

Coastal F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change) With Week 10 win With Week 10 loss
Duke (2-1, 6-1) 28 6.06 5.88 (+0.18) 6.41 5.41
Miami (2-2, 5-3) 16 5.12 3.61 (+1.49) 5.17 4.17
Georgia Tech (3-2, 6-2) 26 4.90 4.24 (+0.66) 5.14 4.14
Pitt (2-2, 4-4) 38 4.01 5.25 (-1.24) 4.65 3.65
Virginia Tech (1-3, 4-4) 30 3.58 4.47 (-0.89) 3.93 2.93
North Carolina (2-2, 4-4) 59 3.13 2.01 (+1.12) 4.07 3.07
Virginia (2-2, 4-4) 36 2.94 4.32 (-1.38) 3.71 2.71

ATLANTIC
Major contenders: Clemson, Florida State
Minor contenders: Louisville

I'm glad this damned Louisville-FSU game is finally almost here. F/+ has been giving UL better-than-50% odds of winning this game for a couple of weeks, and I'm tired of getting asked about it. If I had to personally bet my life savings on a winner here, I'd be taking FSU, but then again, I'm wrong a lot. Regardless, we'll see.

If FSU wins, then obviously the Seminoles become the runaway favorite in the Atlantic. By virtue of its how-did-we-let-this-one-slip-out-of-our-hands loss in Tallahassee last month, Clemson has to hope FSU loses twice while the Tigers win out. That's the only way CU wins the Atlantic even though the projected wins above suggest the chances of a tie are very strong and that, if you simulated the rest of the season 10,000 times, Clemson's average wins would trump FSU's. If Louisville wins, we've got ourselves a potentially crazy race, one that Petrino's Cardinals could join with another upset. If FSU wins, we've got a cakewalk.

COASTAL
Serious contenders: Duke, Miami
Minor contenders: Georgia Tech

Similarly, if Duke survives its trip to Pitt this weekend -- and who the hell knows what Pitt is capable of from week to week?? -- then the Blue Devils become the runaway Coastal favorite. If they fall, however, we're well on our way toward Slog Level Delta.

Slog Level Delta

Here are the odds of a division champion finishing with a particular record:

Record Atlantic Winner Coastal Winner
4-4 0.0% 0.0%
5-3 0.0% 10.8%
6-2 16.5% 56.0%
7-1 70.9% 33.2%
8-0 12.7% 0.0%

Because Duke has edged ahead in the race and is projected to win each of its five remaining contests, the national dream of a seven-way Coastal tie is very much on life support. But with a specific series of Week 10 results, the odds will improve, perhaps dramatically.

  • Virginia Tech beats Boston College. Odds: 65%.
  • Pitt beats Duke at home. Odds: 35%.
  • Virginia wins at Georgia TechOdds: 24%.
  • North Carolina wins at Miami. Odds: 6%.

UNC has won two consecutive games against a 90+% favorite -- teams given a 90+% chance of winning a given game are currently 95-5 this year ... but 0-2 against the Heels. So yeah, with a 6% chance, they have Miami right where they want them, ahem.

If UNC does win, there's still only about a five percent chance that the other things also happen. But ignoring odds for a moment, it certainly feels like VT could beat BC, Pitt could beat Duke, and Virginia could beat GT, doesn't it?

If this happens (and it obviously won't), we'd be left with the following (approximate) win probabilities in the Coastal: Duke 5.41, Pitt 4.65, Miami 4.17, Georgia Tech 4.14, UNC 4.07, Va. Tech 3.93, Virginia 3.71. At that point, everything would be in place ... as long as Duke is upset one more time.

So yeah, let's root for this. And if Duke doesn't lose, then we need to root for Duke to win out; it's reasonably likely, and it would be fun to make all sorts of "Duke on the verge of the Final Four" jokes.

All Projections

Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
10 30-Oct-14 Florida State Louisville 40.9%
10 01-Nov-14 Boston College Virginia Tech 34.5%
10 01-Nov-14 Duke Pittsburgh 65.0%
10 01-Nov-14 NC State Syracuse 63.5%
10 01-Nov-14 North Carolina Miami 5.7%
10 01-Nov-14 Virginia Georgia Tech 23.5%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
11 06-Nov-14 Clemson Wake Forest 98.2%
11 08-Nov-14 Duke Syracuse 87.7%
11 08-Nov-14 Georgia Tech NC State 80.2%
11 08-Nov-14 Louisville Boston College 70.7%
11 08-Nov-14 Virginia Florida State 12.7%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
12 15-Nov-14 Clemson Georgia Tech 65.7%
12 15-Nov-14 Florida State Miami 42.8%
12 15-Nov-14 Pittsburgh North Carolina 65.5%
12 15-Nov-14 Virginia Tech Duke 31.9%
12 15-Nov-14 Wake Forest NC State 15.3%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
13 20-Nov-14 North Carolina Duke 11.5%
13 22-Nov-14 Boston College Florida State 15.4%
13 22-Nov-14 Miami Virginia 73.0%
13 22-Nov-14 Syracuse Pittsburgh 13.3%
13 22-Nov-14 Virginia Tech Wake Forest 91.1%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
14 28-Nov-14 Virginia Virginia Tech 30.3%
14 29-Nov-14 NC State North Carolina 38.6%
14 29-Nov-14 Pittsburgh Miami 13.5%
14 29-Nov-14 Syracuse Boston College 8.7%
14 29-Nov-14 Wake Forest Duke 2.6%