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ACC 2020 Non-Conference Schedule & Beyond

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will play 112 Conference games & 56 Non-Conference (NC) games for a total 168 contests. They will take on 19 Power 5 (P5) teams, play 23 Group of 5 (G5) opponents, & 14 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) squads.

It should be noted, that P5 & G5 are both in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), this means that they must award 85 scholarships, while the FCS can only award up to 63 rides, although they may offer fewer, unlike the FBS which must offer 85! That said, an FCS program can offer partial athletic dollars up the equivalence of 85 scholarships, as long as the $’s do not exceed the amount equal to 63 full scholarships!

The ACC plays 19 P5 opponents, 5 more than the SEC’s 14 & 8 more then the B-10’s 11! The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has a contractual agreement with Notre Dame to play 5 games each year, an agreement that has definite advantages for both parties. It explains why the ACC plays 5 more P5s’ then the SEC, as both leagues play 8 conference games and must schedule 56 NC games (4 NC games per team).

The fact that the ACC plays 8 more P5’s than the B-10, is related to 2 elements, 1) the ND factor, & 2) the B-10 plays 9 conference games as compared to the SEC & ACC’s 8 conference tilts! As a result of this discrepancy (in the number of conference games, 8 to 9), the B-10 schedules 42 NC games (3 NC per team), 14 fewer than the ACC or the SEC NC games (56)!

The web address listed below. will take you to the 2020 ACC schedule!

http://www.sullyscollegefootballpage.com/Football_Stats/Conference_Listings.cfm?MCID=1&DVID=1

Here is a break down of ACC teams, NC schedules, and other tidbits!

Boston College, Atlantic Division (AD): the Eagles take on 2 P5’s, Kansas, a team out of the Big Twelve (B-12) & Purdue (B-10), 1 G5, Ohio (MAC), and 1 FCS team, Holy Cross from the Patriot League (PL). There are only 2 Catholic University playing in the FBS, Boston College & Notre Dame. BC has parted ways with HC Steve Addazio (Addazio took the Colorado State job) and hired Ohio State co-defensive coordinator, Jeff Fafley!

Clemson, (AD): the Tigers take on 2 P5’s, Notre Dame, an independent (IND) in South Bend & South Carolina, a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), @ home. The also play 1 G5, Akron, from the Mid-American Conference (MAC), & 1 FCS opponent, The Citadel, out of the Southern Conference (SoCon). Clemson last played the Irish, in South Bend, in 1979, a Clemson win, 16-10 and Clemson leads the series with the Irish, 3 to 1  (including 3 in a row)! The Tigers have beaten South Carolina 6 straight times. If Clemson wins both of these games, then wins the ACC Championship, even with 1 loss, chances are good they will get in the CFP. Unlike last year, their 2020 schedule is stronger then the one they faced in 2019; while their star power & depth remains as good as any FBS roster!

Duke, Coastal Division (CD): plays 1 P5, Notre Dame, 2 G5’s, both from C-USA, UNC Charlotte & Middle Tennessee, & has 1 FCS opponent, Elon (SoCon)! Duke needs to go 3-1 in their 2020 NC schedule. Their divisional crossover games are winnable (@ NC State & Wake @ home) and the CD has had 7 different champs in 7 years!

Florida State, (AD): the Seminoles line it up against 2 P5’s, West Virginia (B-12) to open the 2020 & Florida (SEC), to close the 2020 campaign! FSU also plays one of the country’s best G5 programs, Boise State (MWC) on the Blue Field! State also battles 1 FCS team, Samford (SoCan). New Coach, Mike Norvell, inherits the 2nd best roster in the ACC, based on his track record, look for the Seminoles to play @ a level consistent with their talent levels in 2020!

Georgia Tech (CD): the Yellow Jackets play 2 P5’s teams, ND (IND) & Georgia (SEC), 1 G5, Central Florida (AAC), & play 1 FCS opponent, Gardner Webb (BSC). GT’s schedule, is, @ the very least, arguably, the best NC schedule in the ACC! Georgia is the #1 recruiting program in all of college football, Notre Dame has won 33 games the past 3 years, & UCF, in that same time, has won 34 games and twiced represented the G5’s in their New Year’s Six Bowl spot! GT is recruiting much better now that they have gone away from the triple option, in the talent rich Georgia HS football community! Tech will be better in the very near future … much better!

Louisville (AD): the Cardinals take on 2 P5 in 2020, ND (IND) & Kentucky (SEC), in games 11 & 12, played in late November. The Wildcats face ND in South Bend and then welcome in-state rival, Kentucky, to Papa John Cardinal Stadium. The Cats also face 1 G5, another in-state opponent, Western Kentucky (C-USA) & 1 FBS opponent, Murray State, from the Ohio Valley (OVC)! Louisville is the only team in the ACC that finishes its conference season in week 10, as mentioned, they are out of conference in week 11 (ND) & week 12 (UK)!

Miami (CD): the Hurricanes NC schedule follows the SEC model, 1 P5 (Michigan State), 2 G5’s, Temple (AAC) & UAB (C-USA), and 1 FCS team, Wagner, out of the Northeast Conference  (NEC). The MSU / Miami game is ‘must see’ TV, as neither one of these teams know when or how to shut up & play! They both like talk & play! I can’t speak for you, but I have already got this game circled on my calendar!! The Canes ACC schedule draws FSU @ home & Wake on the road, in their divisional crossover games. Manny Diaz will need to have a breakout year in 2020, he is 13-13 in his 1st 2 years @ Coral Gables, and coming off a bowl disaster, losing to Louisiana Tech in a 14-0 debacle! This will not fly in Hurricane Country!

NC State (AD): the Wolfpack take on the B-12, battling near-by West Virginia in Morgantown, WV. They will line it up against 2 G5’s, an is-state opponent, East Carolina (AAC) Greenville, NC & a MAC team from Indiana, Ball State. The “Pack” also will ‘kick it off’ vs an FCS team, Western Carolina, another North Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, NC! State will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2019 season (4-8), they opened the 2019 season at 4-2 & then lost 6 straight to close out their season!

North Carolina (CD): the Tar Heels open their 2020 season against a G5 opponent, yet, G5 only in name, as the Heels travel to Orlando Fl, to take on Central Florida (AAC). They  then go from the purverbal frying pan to the fire, as they battle Auburn (SEC), in Atlanta’s  Mercedes-Benz Stadium in week two! UNC also plays a 2nd G5 opponent, U-Conn and even in their FCS game, they will be challenged, as the play the 2nd best program in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), James Madison, out of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)! UNC has legendary coach Mack Brown & one of the best young QB in country, Sam Howell, roaming their sidelines in 2020, a very good recipe for success!

Pittsburgh (CD): the Panthers play 1 P5, 2 G5’s, & FCS opponent in 2020. Pitt will travel to South Bend to face the Irish, Last time in Indiana, the Panthers lost a tight battle, 19-14 to the Irish. Pitt will travel to Huntington, West Virginia, to take on Marshall (C-USA) and welcome Miami of Ohio (MAC), who won the MAC East Division & then beat Central Michigan to win the Mid-American Conference! Finally, Roc (mascot) the Panther, will lead Pitt against an FCS opponent, Richmond (CAA)!

Syracuse (AD): the Orange continues the trend of playing 1 P5, Rutgers (B-10), 2 G5’s, Western Michigan out of the MAC & an independent, Liberty (IND). The Cuse’ will round out their NC schedule against an FCS opponent, Colgate, a team out of the Patriot League (PL). The divisional crossover games, unfortunately for Syracuse, include a trip to Clemson! Last year, the Orange slipped to 5-7, after the 2018 season found Dino Babers’ team, winning 10 games and coming within a eyelash of beating National Champion, Clemson, 27-23! Syracuse will be looking to regain that 2018 magic!

Virginia (CD): the Cavaliers play 1 P5, Georgia (SEC) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Ga, 2 G5’s, both @ home, U-Conn (IND) & an in-state opponent, Old Dominion (C-USA). UVA rounds out its schedule vs an FCS team, another Virginia University, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Charlottesville, VA. Their divisional crossover games are not friendly, they travel to South Carolina, to battle Clemson and welcome, an improving, Louisville to Scott Stadium! The Cavaliers were the 7th team, from the Coastal Division (CD), to win the division in a 7 year time frame. This fact is, to the best of my knowledge, this has never happened in any other conferences’ divisional play, ever, that is; until 2019, when the Cavs completed the cycle; 7 championships, won by 7 different teams, in 7 years!!

Virginia Tech (CD): the Hokies play a traditional NC schedule, 1P5, 2 G5’s & 1 FCS team. VT hosts the B-10’s Penn State, play Liberty (IND), a G5 from Lynchburg, VA @ home, and then travel to Murfreesboro TN, to take on a G5 from C-USA, Middle Tennessee! The Hokies get a gift, playing Boston College, who have a new head coach, Jeff Fafley, (Ohio State, Co-DC), who is also new to the ranks of the FBS as a HC! They also travel to Kentucky to play Louisville. Both of these games are winnable! They also get these divisional opponents, Miami, G-T, & Virginia @ Lane Stadium! V-Tech should be one of the favorites to win the Coastal Division!

Wake Forest (AD): the Demon Deacons host the Fighting Irish (IND), sort of; (game will be played at the Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte, NC). WF will battle 2 G5’s, 1st they travel to Norfolk, VA to ‘line it up’ against Old Dominion (C-USA) & then welcome, Appalachian State, to Winston Salem, NC & BB&T Field! In their divisional crossover games, the Deacons draw, in-state rival, Duke and then travel Florida, to ‘kick-it-off ‘ vs Miami! In the Atlantic Division, WF plays FSU @ home and then heads to SC, to battle Clemson (ouch)! The only team in the Atlantic Division that has any chance (on paper) of making the division race interesting, is Florida State, otherwise it’s all Clemson!

 

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