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Best ACC Games Week by Week

By Dave Holcomb
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A week-by-week look at the best of the upcoming ACC schedule.

Coronavirus has forced so many parts of American life to change, and that includes the 2020 college football schedule.

The ACC reshaped its schedule this fall to include 11 games over 13 weeks including two open dates for each team to maximize flexibility. This fall, there will be only one division, and Notre Dame, playing an all-ACC schedule, will be eligible to play in the conference championship game.

Each team will also have only one non-conference game. The ACC Championship will be on either Dec. 12 or 19.

Let’s take a look at the best game each week on the new ACC schedule:

**Weeks are based on ACC schedule**

Week 1: Syracuse at North Carolina, September 12

With the SEC not kicking off until Sept. 26, there will be plenty of attention on the ACC during the first few weeks of September. Syracuse’s visit to Chapel Hill for the first time since joining the conference should be one of the more entertaining matchups of the opening weekend. These schools have only met five times. Syracuse holds a 3-2 edge and has won the last two matchups, including an overtime thriller in 2018.

Week 2: Virginia at Virginia Tech, September 19

Usually a Black Friday staple, the Virginia rivals will square off in September for the first time since 1987. Last year, the Cavaliers ended a 15-game losing streak against their biggest rival. Without the Coastal Division, this matchup likely won’t hold as much importance as last season, but don’t tell that to these two schools.

Week 3: Florida State at Miami, September 26

Similar to our Week 2 game, these two rivals will meet earlier than originally scheduled. The Seminoles and Hurricanes last played in September during 2009. Florida State went 7-0 versus Miami from 2010-16, but the Hurricanes have won the last three matchups, and blew out the Seminoles last year, 27-10.

Week 4: Virginia at Clemson, October 4

A rematch of last year’s ACC Championship Game, the Cavaliers will make a rare visit to Death Valley. Virginia last played in Clemson during 2009. The Tigers are 39-8-1 all time and have won the last four meetings against the Cavaliers.

Week 5: Virginia Tech at North Carolina, October 10

The Hokies appear on our list more than any other team. They play in several big games, none of which may be bigger than their matchup with the Tar Heels. In a normal season, this matchup would likely decide the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech has won the last four matchups against North Carolina, but last season’s contest was very close, with the Hokies claiming a 43-41 victory.

Week 6: Louisville at Notre Dame, October 17

The Fighting Irish were expected to blow out the Cardinals in Week 1 last season. While Notre Dame won by 17, it wasn’t exactly a lopsided affair, and now Louisville will get another crack at the Irish in South Bend this season. These two programs have split their only two meetings. Louisville defeated Notre Dame, 31-28, in 2014.

Week 7: NC State at North Carolina, October 24

There are several great games scheduled for Oct. 24, but this North Carolina rivalry is probably the top matchup for most ACC fans. While it won’t technically be a “cross-divisional” showdown this season, the Wolfpack and Tar Heels have played some entertaining games over the years. The two programs have split their last eight meetings, but North Carolina won last season, 41-10.

Week 8: Virginia Tech at Louisville, October 31

On the original schedule, the Cavaliers and Cardinals were set to square off for the first time since Louisville joined the ACC six years ago. With that weirdness, it's fitting this matchup is now scheduled for Halloween. Virginia Tech and Louisville last played in the 2006 Gator Bowl. The Hokies won, 35-24.

Week 9: Clemson at Notre Dame, November 7

If we were to rank these matchups, the Tigers-Fighting Irish showdown might be No. 1. This could very well be an ACC Championship Game preview. Notre Dame will be looking for revenge from its embarassing 30-3 loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl two years ago. The Tigers last visited South Bend in 1979.

Week 10: Pitt at Georgia Tech, November 14

The Panthers own a 4-3 edge over the Yellow Jackets since joining the ACC, but Pitt has won four of the last five matchups in the series. Pitt is also 2-1 in its last three trips to Atlanta. Without cupcakes on the schedule, Georgia Tech could really struggle to win a few games this fall. Drawing Pitt at home is one of the Yellow Jackets’ most winnable matchups.

Week 11: Wake Forest at Duke, November 21

In an effort to have all 15 ACC teams on our list at least once, the Wake Forest-Duke matchup is the pick for Week 11. In North Carolina, it’s a must-see game every year. Wake Forest has won three of the last four meetings, including two straight versus its usual cross-divisional rival. But Duke owns a 58-40-2 all-time record and is 5-3 since 2012 versus Wake Forest.

Week 12: Louisville at Boston College, November 28

These two traditionally Atlantic foes played a highly entertaining contest last season, with Louisville winning 41-39. It could be more of the same at Chestnut Hill a few days after Thanksgiving. Louisville is 5-2 against Boston College since joining the ACC in 2014.

Week 13: Clemson at Virginia Tech, December 5

The Tigers and Hokies met twice in the ACC Championship last decade, and even without divisions, could square off again in the conference championship game this season. That could mean the two teams facing each other in back-to-back weeks. Clemson has won the last five meetings with Virginia Tech, but the Hokies won the previous five games in the series.