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Pitt down but not out in the mediocre ACC Coastal Division

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, it's hard to think that highly of Pitt football right now.

The team is not only coming off of an ugly Homecoming loss to Georgia Tech, but has lost four out of their past five games. Pitt's win against Virginia Tech seems a bit like a distant memory and at only .500 on the season, it's difficult to see them going on a run to close out the season.

But as bad as things look right now, would you believe that Pitt still has a fighting chance to win the ACC Coastal Division? No? Let me explain.

Currently, only 1/2 game separates the 1st through 6th place teams in the Coastal. Duke sits at the top and is a near-perfect 6-1, but in the case o winning the Coastal Division, it's all about conference records. Fact is that Duke's 2-1 record is just a shade better than Pitt's 2-2.

A Division title for Pitt isn't as far away as it might seem right now. A Pitt win against Duke not only gets the team back in the mix, but perhaps even makes them the favorites. Let's take a quick look at the other Coastal teams.

Duke - Duke is 2-1, but a loss to Pitt would give both teams two conference losses and the Panthers would have a tiebreaker against the Blue Devils.

Georgia Tech - Both Pitt and the Yellow Jackets have two losses in the conference and Georgia Tech holds the tiebreaker. But the Yellow Jackets still have to play Clemson, which looks like a difficult game. Another loss for them is far from out of the question.

North Carolina - Pitt and North Carolina are both 2-2, but Pitt still gets to play the Tar Heels and North Carolina plays both Duke and Miami on the road.

Miami - Miami and Pitt are both 2-2 but the Hurricanes still have to play against Florida State and at Virginia.

Virginia - Virginia and Pitt are both 2-2, but while the Cavaliers hold the tiebreaker against the Panthers, they still have to play at Florida State and at Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech - The Hokies are 1-3 and Pitt holds the tiebreaker here.

Don't get me wrong - based on how Pitt has played recently, expecting them to win a few games in a row seems unlikely. And if I'm making predictions here, I don't expect the Panthers to win the Coastal. But if Pitt can somehow manage a win against Duke at home this weekend, they're still right there - in part due to their schedule the rest of the way since they avoid both Florida State and Clemson.

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