Clemson University

Miami eliminated from ACC race

MIAMI | Miami's wait to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title will continue for at least another year.

The 23rd-ranked Hurricanes (7-4, 4-3) were eliminated from contention for the ACC's Coastal Division championship on Saturday, when Clemson defeated Virginia 13-3.

Miami lost at Georgia Tech 41-23 on Thursday night, virtually dooming its title chances. The last remaining way for the Hurricanes to win the crown was by finishing in a three-way tie with Georgia Tech (which finished 5-3 in the ACC) and Virginia, something that's now impossible, since the Cavaliers lost their fourth conference game of the season on Saturday.

The last two contenders for the Coastal title were Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, which beat Duke 14-3 Saturday night in a must-win game. North Carolina was eliminated earlier Saturday by losing to North Carolina State, 41-10.

Whichever team wins the Coastal Division will face the Atlantic Division winner in Tampa on Dec. 6 for the league's overall title and a guaranteed spot in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1. If Virginia Tech beats Virginia next weekend, the Hokies — the defending ACC champs — will return to the championship game.

The scenarios, if there's a two- or three-team tie, are like this:

— If Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech all finished tied at 5-3 in ACC, the Hokies would win the tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker is how those schools did against each other, and each team would be 1-1 in that category. The second is how each fared in the division, and Virginia Tech would be 4-1 against Coastal clubs, better than Miami (3-2) or Georgia Tech (2-3).

— If Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech were the only two Coastal clubs tied at 5-3, the Hokies would advance again because they beat the Yellow Jackets 20-17 on Sept. 15.

— If Virginia Tech loses next weekend and Miami wins, creating a two-team tie between the Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets, Georgia Tech advances because it would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker edge.

Since starting ACC play in 2004, Miami has yet to win the league championship. The Hurricanes, who are already assured a bowl berth, close the regular season at North Carolina State next Saturday, and could be candidates for a spot in either the Gator or Champs Sports bowls.