The Coastal division teams continue to be a huge mess. Duke is now out in front at least in part because they haven't played as many games as everyone else (though with their remaining schedule, as you'll see, that may not exactly be the case).
Here's the current standings and remaining schedules:
Duke Blue Devils (2-1)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-2)
Miami Hurricanes (2-2)
North Carolina Tar Heels (2-2)
Virginia Cavaliers (2-2)
Pittsburgh Panthers (2-2)
Virginia Tech Hokies (1-3)
There's a little more separation between top and bottom compared to last week. Last week all teams were within 1 game of each other. After its second consecutive Thursday night loss, Virginia Tech (1-3) is now 1.5 games behind both Duke (2-1) and Georgia Tech (3-2). But the Hokies are still only 1 game out of 3rd place.
One real oddity here is the number of remaining games for the teams. Duke has five games left. Georgia Tech has three games left. Everyone else has four remaining.
So now go ahead and take a look at this week's STL Power Rankings. Things shifted quite a bit. Virginia fell. Pittsburgh fell. Virginia Tech fell. Carolina moved up. Georgia Tech moved up.
So what does that mean for the remaining schedules?
Here's the full list:
Georgia Tech: 7.67
North Carolina: 7.75
Virginia Tech: 8.50
Virginia fans have to be looking at that and saying "ouch."
As a reminder, a team's opponent ranking for the full season should average out to around 7.5. Anything lower than that is a harder schedule. Anything higher than that is an easier schedule.
Virginia at 5.75 is brutal for a remaining four games. When you get down to only four games remaining, that's the impact that playing the toughest team in the conference can have on you. Two other games in the top half of the power rankings don't help either.
Duke's schedule is just amazingly bad. They have the most remaining games, and their highest ranked opponent right now is North Carolina at #7. So one of their remaining 5 games is against a team in the top half of the conference, and that one only barely.
The other teams are all basically what you'd expect - some a little harder than average, some a little easier.
So are we likely to finally get some clarity this weekend?
I'm a little tired of hoping for it, but yes, I think so.
Right now I'd say only Virginia Tech is likely eliminated from Coastal contention. I say likely because, well, #goacc. But they're the only team with three losses.
But all five Coastal teams with two losses are in action this weekend, and four of them are playing against another two-loss team. Miami hosts North Carolina (both 2-2) at 12:30pm on Saturday. Georgia Tech (3-2) hosts Virginia (2-2) at 3:30pm. So that's two more guaranteed three-loss teams.
Pittsburgh (2-2) hosts Duke (2-1) at noon. A Duke win would likely eliminate Pittsburgh. A Pitt win would bring Duke back to the crowd.
The one game that doesn't matter much (but that I'm assuming Virginia fans will be watching anyway) is Boston College visiting Virginia Tech (1-3) at 12:30pm.