Here's a breakdown of the Coastal Division bowl chances:
Wins needed to go bowling: 2
Games remaining: North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, at Virginia, South Florida, at Duke
Projected path: The Canes will struggle the next two weeks but will have their bowl eligibility wrapped up one way or another by the time the Virginia game ends on Nov. 10. The question is whether or not the program will self-impose another bowl ban, or if the NCAA investigation will wrap up in time to do it for them. The prediction is that the NCAA doesn’t provide any answers until the season is over.
Wins needed to go bowling: 1
Games remaining: at Virginia Tech, North Carolina, at Florida State, Clemson, at Georgia Tech, Miami
Projected path: The Blue Devils could earn their sixth win against the Hokies in Blacksburg this weekend, but if they don’t, they’ll manage it in a home upset of North Carolina or on the road at Georgia Tech on Nov. 17. Duke just isn’t good enough yet to beat Florida State or Clemson, but the rest of the Coastal Division is weak enough that no team should overlook the Blue Devils.
Team: North Carolina
Wins needed to go bowling: Ineligible
Games remaining: at Miami, at Duke, NC State, Georgia Tech, at Virginia, Maryland
Projected path: The Tar Heels can’t play in the postseason, but they can and will play the role of spoiler and finish atop the division standings. UNC is the most complete team in the division, and the toughest game remaining on its schedule is against rival NC State. UNC should finish the regular season with at least eight wins.
Team: Virginia Tech
Wins needed to go bowling: 3
Games remaining: Duke, at Clemson, at Miami, Florida State, at Boston College, Virginia
Projected path: Don’t look now, but the preseason division favorites are in a must-win situation against Duke this weekend. With games against Clemson, Miami and FSU still remaining, Virginia Tech absolutely must beat Duke, Boston College and Virginia to go bowling. The Hokies have too much pride not to get that done.
Team: Georgia Tech
Wins needed to go bowling: 4
Games remaining: Boston College, BYU, at Maryland, at North Carolina, Duke, at Georgia
Projected path: The Jackets have a bye week to regroup after defensive coordinator Al Groh was fired, but they’re in a tight spot having to win four of their last six games. A win at Georgia is unlikely, but the Jackets should be able to handle BC, BYU, Maryland and Duke. The road trip to UNC will be difficult, but if they’re playing for their sixth win at that point -- which they should be -- the Jackets won’t have to face a must-win situation against Duke.
Wins needed to go bowling: 4
Games remaining: Maryland, Wake Forest, at NC State, Miami, North Carolina, at Virginia Tech
Projected path: The Hoos have fallen out of the weekly bowl projections posted each Sunday, and that’s because it doesn’t look like the defense will be able to handle the offenses of NC State, Miami and North Carolina. And considering how both quarterbacks Phillip Sims and Michael Rocco have struggled, the offense is going to have a tough time this weekend against Maryland and down the stretch against UNC. Maryland and Wake Forest are the best shots at Ws right now. UVa will come up short.