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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

ACC 2015 Football Schedule Preview

The ACC released its schedule earlier today and even though the season is several months away, I can’t help but take a peek at some big games coming this year in the ACC.

Boston College

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Syracuse
  • Weeknight: Sept 18 vs. Florida State
  • Other notable game: Nov 21 vs Notre Dame @ Fenway Park

The Eagles get a great opportunity in their weeknight game this year as they’ll get Florida State at home. After coming so close last year, BC gets a chance to get revenge. They are also one of Notre Dame’s 5 ACC matchups this year, but this will be a fun one as it’ll be played at historic Fenway Park

Clemson

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 @ South Carolina, (ACC) Oct 10 vs Georgia Tech
  • Weeknight: Sept 17 @ Louisville
  • Other notable games: Nov 7 vs Florida State, Oct 3 vs Notre Dame

Clemson could have a real chance to do something special this year especially when you look at their schedule. They get Florida State, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech at home. Any team with wins against those 3 should find themselves in good position for a New Year’s Six bid (if not a CFB Playoff spot). However, all Clemson fans know how the story goes by now, but I feel cautiously optimistic about this team.

Duke

  • Rivalry: Nov 7 @ North Carolina, Nov 28 @ Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 @ Tulane
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Northwestern, Oct 24 @ Virginia Tech

Not that a rivalry game needs any more hype, but last year we saw UNC go into Durham and absolutely embarrass the Blue Devils. This year, you can be sure that Duke will be looking to turn around and do the same to the Tar Heels. Also, September 19th will be the 2nd game in the new Wallace Wade Stadium and the first against a FBS team. Northwestern may not be the best of the B1G, but this is a bigger power 5 matchup than Duke fans are accustomed to.

Florida State

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 @ Florida, (ACC) Oct 10 vs Miami
  • Weeknight: Sept 18 @ Boston College
  • Other notable game: Nov 7 @ Clemson

With the departure of Jameis Winston, no one is really sure how the Seminoles will look next season. We should find out on September 18th as Florida State travels to Boston College for their first real test of the season. Later on, they travel to Clemson who will be hungry for a victory after losing the last 3 matchups against the Seminoles.

Georgia Tech

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 vs Georgia, (ACC) Oct 10 @ Clemson
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs Alcorn State, Nov 12 vs Virginia Tech
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 @ Notre Dame, Nov 21 @ Miami

Even though it’s a weeknight game, I don’t think many people will be tuned in to the opener against Alcorn State. Either way, the bigger weeknight game for the Yellow Jackets will come on November 12th when the Hokies come to town. Just a few weeks later, we will find out if Georgia Tech can win consecutive games against Georgia for the first time since 2000.

Louisville

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Kentucky
  • Weeknight: Sept 17 vs Clemson, Oct 30 @ Wake Forest
  • Other notable games: Sept 5 vs Auburn @ Georgia Dome, Oct 17 @ Florida State

Louisville got a schedule this year that places most of their tough games at the beginning of the season. The Cardinals get the Chick-fil-A kickoff game this year and face Auburn to open up the season. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as Clemson comes to town just two weeks later for a weeknight game. Then, Louisville travels to Florida State a few weeks after that. On the other hand, the season ends with Virginia, Pitt, and Kentucky. With a schedule like this, there are only two ways this turns out. If the Cardinals can get hot to start the season, they could find themselves in the driver’s seat of the ACC and have a (somewhat) easy road to Charlotte. Otherwise, the beginning of the season will be brutal with the end serving as a consolation for a tough year.

Miami

  • Rivalry: Oct 10 @ Florida State
  • Weeknight: Nov 27 @ Pitt
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Nebraska, Oct 1 or 3 @ Cincinnati, Oct 31 @ Duke

The Hurricanes apparently didn’t get the memo about scheduling easy non-conference opponents. They face Nebraska and travel to Cincinnati before even getting in to ACC play. It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them as two wins here will give the team some serious momentum heading into their season opener against Florida State.

North Carolina

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ NC State, Nov 7 vs Duke, Oct 17 vs Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs South Carolina @ Bank of America Stadium, Oct 29 @ Pitt
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Illinois, Nov 14 vs Miami

You don’t see it much anymore, but this year UNC will play all of its in-state rivals plus South Carolina. Wins in all of these games could give the Tar Heels the title of state champions and the right to be known as “The True Carolina” for at least the next year. This will be a challenge however as winning a game in Raleigh and fighting off a revenge-minded Duke will not be easy.

NC State

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs North Carolina, Oct 24 @ Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Oct 9 @ Virginia Tech
  • Other notable game: Nov 14 @ Florida State

The Wolfpack open with 4 cupcake games to open the year and two of them on the road due to questionable home-and-home scheduling from a previous AD. After that, they travel to Blacksburg for their weeknight game against Virginia Tech. Later, the Wolfpack look to pick up its first win in Tallahassee since 2005.

Pittsburgh

  • Rivalry: Oct 24 @ Syracuse, Nov 7 vs Notre Dame
  • Weeknight: Oct 29 @ North Carolina, Nov 27 vs Miami
  • Other notable game: Sept 19 @ Iowa

Pitt has a great chance to make a name for themselves this year as they get two weeknight games this year. They also have home dates with Notre Dame and Louisville. Even though there’s no guarantee of winning (or even being competitive in) those games, this is a program that could really use a fresh image. Maybe a win on national television could do the trick.

Syracuse

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Boston College, Oct 24 vs Pittsburgh
  • Weeknight: N/A
  • Other notable games: Sept 26 vs LSU, Oct 31 @ Florida State, Nov 14 vs Clemson

Looks like the ACC forgot to give Syracuse a weeknight game this season. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that Syracuse won’t be playing in the national spotlight this season. LSU comes to the Dome on September 26th. The schedule only gets tougher from there as the Orange will make a trip to Florida State, Louisville, and NC State. Don’t count them out of a bowl game yet though. Assuming they can start the season wins wins over Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Central Michigan, 6 wins isn’t out of the question at all.

Virginia

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Virginia Tech
  • Weeknight: Sept 25 vs Boise State
  • Other notable game: Sept 5 @ UCLA

After a surprisingly close game last year, Virginia will open their season playing the second half of a home-and-home series with UCLA. Many probably assume this game will be a blow-out, but remember, that’s what everyone said last year. The Cavaliers also have a weeknight game versus Boise State and after the Broncos have fallen from their former glory, this could be a good early win for UVA.

Virginia Tech

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Virginia
  • Weeknight: Sept 7 vs Ohio State, Oct 9 vs NC State, Nov 12 @ Georgia Tech
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Purdue, Sept 26 @ East Carolina

Two of the Hokies defining non-conference games reverse locations this year as Ohio State comes to Blacksburg and the team travels to ECU. The Ohio State game is on a Monday and should the Hokies be able to pull of another upset, it should set a great tone for the season. That is, assuming they can get past ECU this year even with that game being on the road.

Wake Forest

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Duke
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs Elon, Oct 30 vs Louisville
  • Other notable game: Sept 26 Indiana

Well maybe it’s not the traditional Thursday night action we’re used to, but Wake will open its season on a weeknight against Elon. They also get to host Indiana, Florida State, NC State, and Louisville. If nothing else, these should be entertaining games for the fans to watch and who knows, maybe the Deacons can get a win or two from that bunch.

Did I leave any big games out?

What games are you most looking forward to?

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3 thoughts on “ACC 2015 Football Schedule Preview

  1. Not going to lie, I am not loving the Friday Night game for FSU. I didn’t like that the ACC was forced to play on Friday’s, as I think it generally makes the conference look weak. I know the Pac 12 does it, but they have no competition out west when it comes to eye balls. You do not see the SEC or BIG generally doing this (although I think Rutgers played WSU on the road on a Friday, which was probably a bit out of their control since it was a road game against the Pac 12). You certainly never see their blue bloods play on Thursday or especially Friday.

    You may like or hate FSU, but no one can deny it is likely if not the most important, the second most important brand for the ACC Football schools (ND is excluded for this comment). It is generally not a good idea to put your top brands on Friday night. The ACC at all costs needs to exude prestige, and that means protecting your elite football brands (Clemson, VT, UM, and FSU… even UNC and GT). Thursday is one thing, as it has become a tradition, and is not a dead tv night… Friday is another, where the only people watching are the most hardcore of fans.

    It is a good thing FSU has no shot at a title this year (too much rebuilding), as a move like this could hurt its playoff chances. Out of sight out of mind is dangerous, and it is too often that Friday Night games are forgotten about. Most of the time analysts and others forget the games that are played on those Friday evenings. In the playoff hunt the ACC schools can not afford to loss PR on any of its title contender’s games.

    Side note, if you are going to do a Friday Night game, or Thursday night, a bye should be granted just before it. If generally people blast the NFL for forcing their players to play short weeks in Thursday Night games, as it adds to their health issues, people should be even more concerned that it happens in college… where the players allegedly play for free.

    • hhuntley17 on said:

      The whole Friday night thing just feels Big East to me. It hurts recruiting because coaches can’t be at games and players can’t watch game. I’m sure there’s some money involved, but it doesn’t seem worth it.

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