Even though it’s still basketball season, it’s NEVER too early to start thinking about football- especially if you’re the ACC. Or a fan of a disappointing basketball team. Coming off a historic season, with 2 BCS wins and a National Championship, the conference looks to keep its momentum going with an impressive collection of conference and non-conference games this fall. Today’s release of the 2014 ACC football schedule shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Yes, the release is earlier than usual. But with more buzz surrounding the league than ever before, it’s no wonder that John Swofford wanted to pull the trigger and make some noise. And looking at the schedule, that’s exactly what the ACC has an opportunity to do.
While we could look at each schedule individually, here are some of the highlights, according to the conference-
1) 12 games against non-conference opponents in ESPN’s Way Too Early Top 25 (More than any other conference)
2) 9 games against non-conference teams that finished in the 2013 AP Top 25 (More than any other conference)
3) 24 games against non-conference teams that played in bowl games last season (Tied for most of any conference)
4) 1 game nationally televised on Labor Day
5) 5 games nationally televised on Thursdays
6) 3 games nationally televised on Fridays
7) 1st year of the ACC/Notre Dame Football Partnership (w/Syracuse, UNC, FSU and Louisville)
8) Louisville’s inaugural season of ACC play (#solongmaryland)
9) 2014 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game
A full schedule can be viewed in a number of formats by following the link below-
There are a LOT of exciting things about this schedule. While Notre Dame is only playing four games against ACC teams this year ( as opposed to five), it’s the start of what hopes to be a good partnership for the league (hopefully, leading to full membership some day). Non-conference games against Oklahoma State (FSU), Georgia (Clemson) and Ohio State (VT) are a great opportunity for the league to make a statement, and the institution of a permanent rivalry weekend the last week of the season, should help create a lot of excitement, even for teams without a bowl opportunity. With little coaching turnover in the off-season, exciting match ups and the introduction of Louisville, ACC fans have a lot to look forward to this fall.