Miami football eliminated from ACC Championship contention

The Hurricanes were eliminated from the ACC Coastal Division race Saturday and will no longer have the opportunity to appear in the conference championship game. Miami’s slim path to the title game in Charlotte was ended after Virginia Tech’s 45-0 win at Georgia Tech Saturday night, a game that was never in doubt after the Hokies jumped out in front, leading 31-0 at halftime.

In Manny Diaz’s first season as head coach, he will miss out on the ACC Championship game but will still get an opportunity to play in a reputable bowl game. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Because VT is still yet to play in-state rival Virginia, one of those teams is guaranteed to have an additional win before the regular season concludes. Both teams sit above the Hurricanes in the division standings, making it impossible for Miami to jump them both. The Canes would’ve had to pass both Virginia teams in addition to Pittsburgh in order to win the Coastal championship.

A run to Charlotte’s championship matchup would’ve required a Hokie win over Virginia, a Virginia Tech loss to Pitt next week, and a Pitt loss to Boston College. This is given that the Hurricanes were to defeat Duke on the road to conclude the 2019 ACC slate. In all, four results after Saturday would’ve had to go a certain way to give UM a shot.

Miami fell behind the the division race after losing their league opener at North Carolina, 28-25 on Sept. 7. Additional defeats at the hands of Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech saw the Hurricanes fall as low as last place in the division for a week.

The Coastal Division winner will take on Clemson in the ACC Championship, who clinched the Atlantic Division title with a win over North Carolina State in Week 11. Clemson has won four consecutive conference titles, including in 2017, when they beat Miami 38-3 at Bank of America Stadium in Miami’s only appearance in the ACC Championship game.