ACC Schedule: Notes and Observations
By Matt Smith
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The ACC released its official 2013 football schedule on Monday afternoon.
At long last, the ACC released its 2013 football schedule on Monday afternoon, as Florida State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were able to complete their non-conference schedules.
The delay was caused by two factors: the Orange needing a 12th game and the finalization of the Florida State at Pittsburgh game moving to Labor Day. All three teams now have completed their non-conference schedules with FCS opponents.
2013 will be the first season for the league in its new 14-team structure, as Pittsburgh and Syracuse officially join the conference on July 1. The ACC Championship Game will be held in Charlotte, N.C., for the fourth straight season on Dec. 7.
As discussed when opponents were announced last month, this rotation may be used as a model for future scheduling, or it could just be a one-year bridge schedule until a formal rotation for non-division games (and games vs. Notre Dame) is established.
The full schedule can be viewed here. Here are some highlights, games to watch and toughest stretches.
*The first conference game will take place on Monday, Sept. 2, when Florida State travels to Pittsburgh for the Panthers’ ACC debut.
*Syracuse will play its first ACC game on Oct. 5 when it hosts Clemson. Its first league road trip occurs the following week when the Orange visit N.C. State.
*The hottest rivalry in the conference at the moment, Florida State vs. Clemson, will be renewed on Oct. 19 when the Seminoles travel to Death Valley.
*There will be three meetings of first-year head coaches in the league: Syracuse at N.C. State (Oct. 12), Boston College at N.C. State (Nov. 16) and Boston College at Syracuse (Nov. 30)
*The ACC will again be a fixture on ESPN’s Thursday night package. The four Thursday games this season are Clemson at N.C. State (Sept. 19), Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26), Miami (FL) at North Carolina (Oct. 17) and Georgia Tech at Clemson (Nov. 14).
*Two Friday night games are scheduled, both on the ESPN family of networks: Wake Forest at Boston College (Sept. 6) and Miami at Pittsburgh (Nov. 29)
*Pittsburgh will face three of its four former Big East foes, missing only Boston College. The Panthers travel to Virginia Tech on Oct. 12, visit Syracuse on Nov. 23 and host Miami on Nov. 29.
*No team will face Florida State and Clemson in consecutive weeks.
*No team is scheduled for three consecutive road games.
*Notre Dame will play five ACC teams each year, likely beginning in 2014. After facing three ACC teams in 2012, it will face just one in 2013. The Irish visit Pittsburgh on Nov. 9.
*Conference games on the final weekend of the season include Virginia Tech at Virginia, Boston College at Syracuse, Duke at North Carolina, Maryland at N.C. State and Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh.
Top 10 Conference Games to Watch
1. Florida State at Clemson, Oct. 19
2. Virginia Tech at Miami (FL), Nov. 9
3. Miami (FL) at Florida State, Nov. 2
4. North Carolina at Virginia Tech, Oct. 5
5. Florida State at Pittsburgh, Sept. 2
6. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, Sept. 26
7. Georgia Tech at Clemson, Nov. 14
8. Miami (FL) at North Carolina, Oct. 17
9. Clemson at N.C. State, Sept. 19
10. North Carolina at N.C. State, Nov. 2
Top 10 Non-Conference Games to Watch
1. Georgia at Clemson, Aug. 31
2. Florida State at Florida, Nov. 30
3. Clemson at South Carolina, Nov. 30
4. Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (Atlanta), Aug. 31
5. Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Nov. 9
6. Florida at Miami (FL), Sept. 7
7. Oregon at Virginia, Sept. 7
8. North Carolina at South Carolina, Aug. 29
9. Georgia at Georgia Tech, Nov. 30
10. Penn State vs. Syracuse (East Rutherford, N.J.), Aug. 31
Toughest Three-Game Stretches
Boston College: at Clemson (Oct. 12), at North Carolina (Oct. 26), Virginia Tech (Nov. 2)
Clemson: Florida State (Oct. 19), at Maryland (Oct. 26), at Virginia (Nov. 2)
Florida State: at Clemson (Oct. 19), N.C. State (Oct. 26), Miami (FL) (Nov. 2)
Maryland: Clemson (Oct. 26), Syracuse (Nov. 9), at Virginia Tech (Nov. 16)
N.C. State: at Florida State (Oct. 26), North Carolina (Nov. 2), at Duke (Nov. 9)
Syracuse: Clemson (Oct. 5), at N.C. State (Oct. 12), at Georgia Tech (Oct. 19)
Wake Forest: at Miami (Oct. 26), at Syracuse (Nov. 2), Florida State (Nov. 9)
Duke: at Virginia Tech (Oct. 26), N.C. State (Nov. 9), Miami (FL) (Nov. 16)
Georgia Tech: North Carolina (Sept. 21), Virginia Tech (Sept. 26), at Miami (FL) (Oct. 5)
Miami (FL): at Florida State (Nov. 2), Virginia Tech (Nov. 9), at Duke (Nov. 16)
North Carolina: at Georgia Tech (Sept. 21), East Carolina (Sept. 28), at Virginia Tech (Oct. 5)
Pittsburgh: at Georgia Tech (Nov. 2), Notre Dame (Nov. 9), North Carolina (Nov. 16)
Virginia: Georgia Tech (Oct. 26), Clemson (Nov. 2), at North Carolina (Nov. 9)
Virginia Tech: at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26), North Carolina (Oct. 5), Pittsburgh (Oct. 12)