Daily Blog •February 26, 2013

Yesterday, the ACC officially released all of their 2013 schedules and similar to what I did for the MW and Pac-12, I thought I would give you a schedule analysis for each team taking a look at the hits and misses in conference play as well as some of the marquee non-conference games. I will also analyze the hits/misses for several other conferences coming up in future blogs later this week.

First, let me say as a fan of college football, the ACC did a fantastic job in scheduling some marquee non-conference games this upcoming season. You can look no further than the opening weekend to find several ACC teams in marquee games as North Carolina opens up the college football regular season with a trip to South Carolina on Thursday, August 29th while Clemson has a home game against Georgia on Saturday, August 31st along with Virginia Tech playing 2-time defending national champ Alabama in Atlanta to kick off the season. Just one week later Miami, Fl and Florida renew their in-state rivalry as the Hurricanes host the Gators. Naturally you also have the non-conference rivalry games played between Florida/Florida St and Clemson/South Carolina. When you add up all of these games, this quite possibly gives the ACC more marquee non-conference games than any other conference at this point for 2013!

Now to the conference schedule’s hits/misses. With Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC this year, each team only has 2 cross-over division games now and like the SEC last year, many of the power teams in the opposite division avoid each other in conference play.

First, as of right now, I will consider the only marquee teams in the Atlantic division to be Florida St and Clemson as while NC State and Syracuse both went to bowls last year they both have to replace their quarterbacks and head coaches.

The Coastal side is much different as it is a much more wide-open race between North Carolina, Miami, Fl and Georgia Tech who all tied for the Coastal Title last year and I will also throw in perennial ACC power Virginia Tech as the marquee teams for this upcoming year.

With that in mind here are the 2013 ACC Hits/Misses:

Atlantic Division:

Boston College-New head coach Steve Addazio will have his work cut out for him as the Eagles pull both North Carolina and Virginia Tech from the Coastal division and also must play USC in non-conference play. On a positive side they do have four home games and a bye week in the first six weeks to get them ready for the stretch run.

Clemson-The Tigers again have a brutal non-conference slate with games against Georgia and South Carolina but in conference play they do only pull Georgia Tech from the Coastal and get the all-important game vs Florida St on October 19th at home.

Florida St-The Seminloes open up the season with a road game against Pittsburgh on Labor Day night in conference play and naturally pull rival Miami from the Coastal but it is at home. While they do have that trip to Clemson on October 19th, they do have a bye week prior.

Maryland-Despite the massive number of injuries, the Terps showed a lot of improvement in head coach Randy Edsall’s second season and have a chance to take another step in year three. They pull both Virginia schools from the Coastal but do have to travel to play the Hokies. Their non-conference slate is manageable with home games against FIU, ODU and West Virginia.

NC State-The Wolfpack naturally pull arch rival North Carolina from the Coastal but their non-conference schedule is manageable as they get all four non-conference opponents at home meaning NC State will only leave the state of North Carolina twice all year in 2013!

Syracuse-The Orange pull Georgia Tech from the Coastal and also a cross-over game against former Big East rival Pittsburgh. The non-conference schedule includes a pair of Big Ten teams to open and they only have to travel out of state once in the first six weeks of the season.

Wake Forest-The Demon Deacons pull Miami and Duke from the Coastal and unlike past years, their non-conference slate is a bit more manageable with games against Presbyterian, ULM and Army.

Coastal Division:

Duke-If the Blue Devils can replace veteran quarterback Sean Renfree who departs, they have a great shot at making it to another bowl game as they avoid both Florida St and Clemson from the Atlantic and pull NC State and Wake Forest. Stanford is also gone from the non-conference portion and they play 4 non-BCS teams.

Georgia Tech-The Yellow Jackets pull a road trip at Clemson from the Atlantic along with Syracuse, but they do get other Atlantic favorites North Carolina and Virginia Tech at home in B2B weeks but with only 5 days to prep for Virginia Tech. Their non-conference slate includes a road trip to BYU and naturally their rivalry game against Georgia.

Miami, Fl-The Hurricanes have to travel to Florida St from the Atlantic but in Coastal play get both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech at home while having a bye week prior to their road trip to North Carolina. On the down side, their games against FSU/VT are B2B weeks.

North Carolina-We will know what the Tar Heels are made of come October 17 as in the their first six games they play at South Carolina, at Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech and Miami but on the positive side they do avoid both Clemson and Florida St from the Atlantic.

Pittsburgh-The Panthers open up play in their brand new conference by hosting the defending ACC champs Seminoles on Labor Day night. 4 of their first 5 games come against ACC competition and after two bye weeks in the first six weeks, they close the season with 8 straight games.

Virginia-The Cavaliers start off the season in grand fashion with home games against BYU and Oregon in non-conference action. The conference schedule is also tough as they pull Clemson from the Atlantic and have one of the most difficult stretches of any team in league play as they play Georgia Tech, Clemson, at North Carolina, at Miami, Fl and Virginia Tech to close out the season.

Virginia Tech-While the Hokies open up the season against 2-time defending national Champ Alabama, their conference schedule is more forgiving as they avoid both Florida St and Clemson from the Atlantic and pull lowly Maryland and Boston College. They do have to play at Georgia Tech and North Carolina in B2B weeks and the B2B long road trips in November at BC and at Miami will be no easy task as well.

In tomorrow’s blog I will break down my next conference.