The last couple of years Clemson has replaced Florida State, as the Alabama (SEC), Ohio State (B-10), & USC (P-12) as the face of the ACC, its best team, the flag ship and so on! In 2013 the Seminoles put a ‘whippin’ on the Tigers in “Death Valley’s” Memorial Stadium, 51-14! The next year, Clemson showed up in Tallahassee with a lot more michezo, losing in Seminole Country, 23-17. Since then it has been all Tigers, as they have now beaten FSU three straight and looking to make in 2 in a row at Doak S. Campbell Stadium!
The ACC plays 8 conference games and lines it up in 4 NC contests, to get to their allotment of 12 games! This conference plays the best (most P5’s) schedule of any of the other 4 Power 5 leagues. In part, because of their agreement with Notre Dame, to play the Fighting Irish 5 games each season!
We will break the schedule into three components, Power 5 (P5), Group of 5 (G5), and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). It should be noted, the P5 & G5 award an identical number of full scholarships, 85, while an FCS team can give out only 63 full rides! In other words, 22 fewer full scholarship players on a FCS roster!
Let take a ‘look see’ what 2018 has in store for the ACC and then how it compares to the SEC, B-10, & PAC 12 (B-12 info is on deck)!
Boston College challenges only 1 P5 in 2018, Purdue (B-10), on the road, in West Lafayette’s, Ross Ade Stadium! BC takes on 2 G5 teams, U-Mass (IND) and Temple (AAC) and lines it up against 1 FCS squad, Holy Cross (Patriot League). All 3 of these contest are in Boston’s Alumni Stadium!
Clemson will kick it off against 2 P5’s in 2018, 1st @ Kyle Field, in College Station vs Texas A&M (Just when Jimbo Fisher… FSU’s old Coach & A&M’s new coach … thought he would not be seeing ‘orange’ for a while) they’re back! The Tigers then end their season by take on, the in-state rival South Carolina, @ home in Death Valley! Clemson plays only one G5 as it welcomes, Georgia Southern out of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and 1 FCS team, North Carolina Central, a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) club!
Florida State will step up against 2 P5’s, Notre Dame in South Bend, @ Notre Dame Stadium (FSU leads the series 6-2) and then welcome in-state rival, Florida, to Tallahassee, a place where the Gators have not won since 2012! The Seminoles will also play Northern Illinois (MAC), a G5 team and a FCS club, Samford, out of the Southern Conference (SoCon).
Louisville is seeing its opponents in 2018 all ‘high fiven’, as Lamar Jackson has moved on the NFL and now NFL D lineman can chase his tail’ all over the field! That said, the Cardinals are stepping up big time, as they open with Alabama (SEC), @ a neutral site, Orlando, FL and end their season with in-state rival, Kentucky (SEC). Patrino’s team also battles 1 G5, Western Kentucky (C-USA) and 1 FCS squad, Indiana State, an FCS team, from the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)!
NC State plays West Virginia, a P5 out of the B-12, @ home, Carter-Finley Stadium, in Raleigh, NC. The Wolfpack tackle two G5’s, Georgia State (SBC), @ home and Marshall (C-USA) in Huntington WV @ Joan Edwards Stadium! ‘The Pack’ open their season against one of the best FCS programs, James Madison, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Syracuse battles the Fighting Irish in Yankee Stadium, the only P5 they play in 2018! They take on 2 G5, at Western Michigan (MAC) in Kalamazoo, Mi, @ Waldo Stadium and U-Conn (AAC) at home in the Carrier Dome! The Orange play 1 FCS team, Wagner out of the Northeast Conference (NEC).
Wake Forest puts on the gloves and takes on the Fighting Irish at BB&T Field, in Winston-Salem, NC! The Demon Deacons line up against 2 G5’s, @ Tulane (AAC) and Rice (C-USA) @ home. They play one FCS opponent, Towson (CAA) @ home!
The ACC Atlantic Division plays 10 P5 (B-10 1, SEC 5, IND 3, B-12 1), 11 G5’s ( IND 1, AAC 3, SBC 2, MAC 2, C-USA 3) and 7 FCS teams (Patriot League 1, MEAC 1, SoCon 1, MVFC 1, CAA 2, & NEC 1).
Duke battles 2 P5’s, Northwestern (B-10) & Baylor (B-12), both of these games are on the road, @ NW’s Ryan Field & McLane Stadium respectively! The Blue Demons also take on one G5, Army (IND) and one FCS team North Carolina Central (MEAC). The Army / NC Central games are played in Durham, NC, @ Wallace Wade Stadium.
Georgia Tech plays 1 P5, Georgia (SEC), this in-state rivalry is always played the last week in November (rivalry week). Tech also ‘kicks it off’ against 2 G5’s, South Florida (AAC) & Bowling Green (MAC), both Contests will be played @ Bobby Dodd Stadium, GT’s home field! The Rambling Wreck close out their 12 game slate with an FCS team, opening weekend, welcoming Alcorn State, a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)!
Miami seems to have their ‘swag’ back, they better, as they open the 2018 season against the ‘bad boys’ from LSU (SEC), in Arlington, TX! The Canes also look to intimidate, Toledo (MAC) Maybe? & Florida International, (C-USA & Old Cane Coach, Butch Davis) Not likely! The Toledo game is on the road, while the FIU game is at Hard Rock Stadium! Miami plays one FCS team, Savannah State (MEAC) @ HRS!
North Carolina looks to roar back from a disastrous season in 2017, 3-9, winning only one conference game, beating Pitt, 34-31! The Heels play 1 P5, Cal (P-12), in Berkeley. The ‘lock it up’ against 2 G5’s, East Carolina & Central Florida, both teams hail from the AAC! UNC will travel to East to Greenville, NC, to battle ECU at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and welcome UCF to Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels also play an In-state, FCS opponent, Western Carolina (SoCon) @ home, in Kenan Memorial Stadium!
Pittsburgh has taken a big bite of the ‘preverbal apple’ taking on 2 P5’s, Penn State (B-10) @ home in Heinz Field and the Fighting Irish (IND) @ Notre Dame Stadium. They also play the lone undefeated G5 from a year ago, Central Florida (AAC) 13-0 in 2017. Further, this game is a road game, at Bright House Networks Stadium, in Orlando, FL! As stated, Big Bite! Pitt does get some relief, as they play one NC, FCS opponent, Albany (CAA), @ Heinz Field!
Virginia ‘lines it up’ only once vs a P5, @ Indiana’s (B-10) Memorial Stadium! The Cavaliers play 2 G5″s Ohio (MAC) & Liberty (IND), a team that is transitioning from the FCS to the FBS! Virginia rounds out its 12 game schedule on opening weekend, as they welcome, an in-state FCS team, Richmond (CAA) to Scott Stadium!
Virginia Tech plays 1 P5 opponent, welcoming the Fight Irish, in Blacksburg, VA @ Lane Stadium! VT beat the Irish in South Bend in 2016, 34-31! The Hokes play 2 G5 teams at home, East Carolina (AAC) & Old Dominion (C-USA) and 1 FCS opponent, an in-state university, William & Mary (CAA) in Blacksburg!
The ACC Coastal Division plays 9 P5 (B-10 3, SEC 2, IND 2, P-12 1, B-12 1 ), 12 G5’s ( IND 2, AAC 5, MAC 3, C-USA 2, and 7 FCS teams (MEAC 2, SoCon 1, CAA 3, & SWAC 1).
As a conference
The ACC plays 19 Power Five opponents (SEC 7; IND 5; B-10 4; B-12 2; & P-12 1).
They play the Group of Five in 23 games (AAC 8; C-USA 5; MAC 5; IND 3; & SBC 2)
The ACC takes on the FCS 14 times (CAA 5, MEAC 3; SoCon 2; MVFC 1; SWAC 1; NEC 1; & Patriot 1)