I had a chance to finally sit down and really look at the ACC’s recently released 2013 football schedule. There’s new additions Pittsburgh and Syracuse plus a very ambitious non-conference slate. This will be a two part series where I go through what I like and I don’t like about the ACC schedule this season.
Out of Conference scheduling in week 1
Clemson vs Georgia , Syracuse vs Penn State, North Carolina vs South Carolina, Virginia Tech vs Alabama
The ACC earned a measure of respect going 4-2 during the bowl season with wins over LSU by Clemson, USC by Georgia Tech, and Florida State winning the Orange Bowl. There are 4 non-conference that could get the momentum going or stop things in their tracks. Virginia Tech probably has the least chance of winning their game with Alabama among the 4 games, but a 2-2 record in these 4 games would be a good start. You only get respect by winning these type of games and the ACC has their chance early.
Pittsburgh vs Florida State (Labor Day 9/2)
I like this a lot. Pittsburgh gets a prime time game to open their new conference affiliation by playing one of the ACC’s marquee football programs Florida State who obviously get the prime time benefit as well. This is good for both schools and the ACC.
Clemson vs Florida State (Week 8 10/19)
One train of thought is that if Clemson and FSU play early in the year, the loser can get still get into the BCS race, as Clemson nearly did last season. The other is the hype and publicity for this game can build if its later in the season. I prefer the second option. Should Clemson defeat Georgia to open the season, this game stands a great of chance of being a prime time affair between two top 10 teams. While I understand ESPN will hype the SEC to no end, watch closer, and ESPN will hype any big time matchup.
This game was all over ESPN last season with Gameday there. Even the top 5 game between Miami and Duke basketball game this weekend has been hyped all week long. A game later in the year will add to this. Now Clemson and FSU just have to take care of business beforehand and ESPN will do the rest.
Pittsburgh vs Miami 11/29 Friday after Thanksgiving
I’m not a huge a fan of Friday games, in particular for the Southern schools where High School football is very important, but this game is good. Who watches football the Friday after Thanksgiving and early morning shopping? I do and alot of people do as well. If it’s good enough for LSU vs Arkansas every year, I think it’s good enough for Miami and Pittsburgh. The Canes are typically a good TV draw and Pittsburgh gets another national game. I wouldn’t mind seeing this become a yearly tradition.
Non Conference cupcakes the week before In State SEC rivals.
The week before Clemson\South Carolina, FSU\Florida, GT\Georgia the opponents of the Tigers, Noles, and Jackets are the Citadel, Idaho, and Alabama A&M. Thank you ACC! Thank you! The SEC has been doing this for years while their ACC counterparts have been playing conference games. Finally these ACC teams will get 2 weeks to prepare for their instate rivals. It’s about time and a smart move.