The ACC released the football schedules for all schools earlier this week. By now, fans have had their first thoughts on how positive and negative the specific schedule will be. From an ACC fan perspective, the schedule analysis is broader–for example, what is the “must see” game of the week. Here is the Confidential’s early prediction on what will be the games to watch each week:
- Week 1… with all due respect to Florida State and UNC, who are coming off great 2015 seasons, it was Clemson that carried the ACC in 2015 and the Tigers open Week 1 against Auburn. If they can pull of that road win against a tough SEC foe, it will be a good omen.
- Week 2… with apologies to Virginia Tech and Syracuse/Louisville… Pitt hosting Penn State gets the nod. These two Pennsylvania rivals have not faced each other often of late, but it will be ACC vs Big 10 in week 2.
- Week 3… no real contest here… if Louisville and Florida State are both 2-0 at this point, it will be all the more important to the Atlantic/ACC race. And if either school has lost heading into this one, there could be desperation.
- Week 4… Duke vs. Notre Dame has historically been more interesting in basketball, but these are different times and the Blue Devils are quite competent. They will give the Fighting Irish something to think about.
- Week 5… a fair amount of good conference games, but the slight edge goes to Clemson-Louisville. If Clemson is a top ranked team, the Cardinals will either be rolling or desperate.
- Week 6… Florida State traveling to Miami should be interesting. Miami under a new coaching staff needs to start taking advantage of its talent. An upset win over FSU would be a big momentum boost.
- Week 7… Virginia Tech and Syracuse used to play annually in the Big East. While Frank Beamer coached all of those games for the Hokies, these two former rivals play as ACC foes in 2016, in the Dome, with Syracuse under a new coaching staff as well.
- Week 8… Speaking of new coaching staffs, Virginia has one as well. In Week 8, rival North Carolina will come to Charlottesville. Keep an eye on this one.
- Week 9… The biggest ACC game of the year in recent years has not been the conference championship game, but Clemson-FSU. This year, Clemson will travel to Florida State. Circle this one on your calendar for sure.
- Week 10… a difficult week to know which game will be the most important. Will Clemson have looked past Syracuse in a post-FSU matchup? Florida State has struggled at NC State recently. Pitt-Miami is a Coastal clash, as is Georgia Tech-North Carolina.
- Week 11… with apologies to Duke-UNC, the Confidential ponders whether Pitt traveling to Clemson may feature the top teams in each division.
- Week 12… while many teams are slowing down to prepare for ACC/SEC rivalry games, a Northeast rivalry between BC and UConn will resume. This game may feature less than 10 total points, but both schools detest each other. Tune in.
- Week 13… of all the rivalry games, chances are that Florida State/Florida will be the best combination of high ranked teams and great teams. South Carolina should struggle this year.
What do you think? How do you rank the games of the week for each week? Let us know.