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Our Ridiculous Road to the 2012 ACC Championship: a Retrospective

Let's take a trip back in time 6 weeks to October 8th, 2012. Georgia Tech was sitting at 2-4 (1-3), the latest loss having been a boomer to Clemson that was much more disparate than the final score indicated. At around 3:30PM that day, Joey, myself, and seemingly the rest of the media in Atlanta were called into the Edge Center for a press conference to announce the firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh. The program, needless to say, was in shambles at this point. Not many people thought we could ever come out of this season with our heads anywhere but up our butts, myself included. But the ever-tenacious Paul Johnson wasn't ready to give up. He said as much in that press conference: "We're not ready to give up, we have six games left and are looking to move on." After what seemed like a rebound game against BC which moved us to 3-4 (2-3), we found out against BYU that not much had changed and BC is just terrible. Then boom, we haven't lost a game since. What changed to get us to this point, and just how exactly did we get there?

One thing that's changed that we've all noticed is team energy, particularly on defense. Players finally seem to be tackling properly, and are hitting harder. I asked Paul Johnson about this in the Duke post-game conference and he said that the team had been working on tackling technique, so that's certainly part of it. But moreover it seems like some innate energy that's just spread throughout the team. The offense shows it too. The past two weeks, the team has set records for of number of knockdown blocks in a game by coach Johnson's count. To me, there's nothing more indicative of a dominate mental state than effectively screaming at the other "get on the ground, BITCH!"

The other thing that hasn't really changed throughout the course of the season, but has certainly helped us, is the fact that the ACC Coastal is...fuck it, there's no euphemism here. We're all terrible this season. All the off-field issues don't matter, we're still all going to finish 6-6 somehow. That last sentence was the most ACC sentence ever typed in history, no matter what Spencer Hall has to say about it. I really wish I could explain the infamous ACC "parity" (pronounced "parody") but I just can't. Consider the following: in order to ger to the ACC Championship Game 5 weeks ago, we needed this absurd confluence of events for us to get to the ACC championship:

2) The other option is the possibility of a 3-way tie in the ACC. This would require Miami to lose only 2 of their last 4 ACC games. The 3-way tie would have to occur between GaTech, Miami, and Duke (3-losses per team).
- Requirement: GaTech needs to beat Duke. Duke needs to beat Miami (the toughest part about this requirement).
Miami's two losses would need to come from FSU and Duke (any extra losses would make it much easier), but Miami NEEDS to either lose to Duke or they need to lose to VaTech AND Virginia, which seems unlikely.
- Duke's two losses would need to come from (FSU or Clemson [not both]) and GaTech. (This seems improbable because Duke still needs to play a very good North Carolina as well as FSU, Clemson, GaTech, and Miami, who are all much better then Duke imo)
- Virginia Tech needs to lose to Clemson, Miami, and FSU. There is no way that we can be in a 3-way tie with VaTech and Miami, since we lost to VaTech (Unless we somehow get into a 3-way tie between GaTech, Virginia, and VaTech, which isn't going to happen). This seems very probable.
- If the above scenarios work-out, then there is a 3-way tie for first place in the ACC between GaTech, Miami, and Duke.

Of course, we got a little help from Miami because they are Miami and are magnetized to hookers, but still that's a pretty low confidence interval up there in grey. I guess what we can take away from all this is that the ACC sucks, but, at least this year we rode it into the championship game.