I'll get to the upcoming East Carolina game tomorrow, but for now I've been thinking about the bigger-name ACC game this week. Clemson travels to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech, and I've been debating which outcome is better for Carolina.
Generally, I prefer to root for the Coastal Division teams over the Atlantic – I'm scarred by the first three years under the division system when the latter looked so much stronger. And while UNC needs some help to win the Coastal Division, a loss by Tech here might actually hurt Carolina's chances. Provided the Heels beat the Hokies, a three-way tie between UNC, VT and Georgia Tech would be more advantageous than just UNC and the Yellow Jackets, who would win a direct tiebreaker.
But for all of that, I've got to pull for Clemson. The difference in schedules between the Tigers and Florida State, their only real challenge for the Atlantic crown, is just embarrassingly large. Clemson has to play all three of the teams in contention for the Coastal division title, while the Seminoles play none. Couple that with Virginia Tech's own laughable non-conference slate, and I have to root for the team with the tougher climb this season. Plus, I'd like Virginia Tech's odds of winning the Coastal taken down a notch early in the season. If Carolina can't make it to the championship game, I'd rather see Georgia Tech be the engineering school represented. I've had more annoying run-ins with Hokie fans, and they've spent more time on top of late. And besides, choosing games based on how they might help the Heels this early in the season is like going for a two-point conversion in the second quarter – it's just too early to be making those types of calls.