Georgia Tech entered Week 13 already in the clubhouse with a 6-2 record in the ACC, guaranteeing at worst a tie with Duke for first-place in the Coastal Division. Duke held the tiebreaker thanks to a head-to-head win, however, so the Jackets had to root for North Carolina and Wake Forest.
UNC came through, beating Duke, 45-20, in Durham. Duke's amazing streak of division titles ends at one, and the Jackets will face No. 3 Florida State in Charlotte on December 6.
This is Tech's third time representing the Coastal since 2009 and fourth overall. Its last trip was in 2012, when its talent-neutralizing offense and three Florida State turnovers gave the Noles plenty of trouble in a 21-15 FSU win. And that was a GT team that backed its way into Charlotte due to NCAA issues for both Miami and UNC.
The Jackets are considered a better team than Duke this year, showing at No. 18 in the Playoff rankings as the ACC's second-ranked team and at No. 16 in the computer composite, 18 spots ahead of the Blue Devils. For that reason and the unpleasant experience that is facing the option-run offense without a fully healthy defense, FSU folks had been rooting for Duke.
With wins against Boston College, Florida, and Georgia Tech, Florida State is guaranteed a trip to the Playoff, while strong showings against Georgia and FSU would likely mean an Orange Bowl for the Jackets. Upsets along the way would, of course, mean mayhem.