Statistics and musings on the non-conference schedules of the various ACC teams this year. Compare and contrast to last year, and see just how much content recycling I can get away with.
- First of all, I think the ACC needs a new policy. Every team's non-conference schedule should be compared to Duke's. If Duke's schedule is embarassingly tougher, your coaching staff runs the season opener with their dicks hanging out of their flies, just like golfers who can't drive past the ladies' tees. Because you need some way of proving you're a man, and you sure as hell aren't doing it with your choice of opponents. Clemson, this means you. Furman, Louisiana-Monroe and Central Michigan? If South Carolina was practically mandated by a state rivalry, I'm sure you'd find a way to weasel out of that one as well.
- I wonder if Notre Dame suddenly realized they had no market penetration into ACC country. Two ACC teams on the schedule last year, and three this year (Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech). Sure, you still won't get many people watching the Duke game, but still. Five games is two more ACC contests than the Irish scheduled in the entire decade of the '90s.
- Other teams you can get use to seeing: East Carolina (Legislatively mandated UNC and N.C. State, plus Virginia Tech), South Carolina (Clemson and UNC), Connecticut (Duke and Virginia), Florida International (Maryland and Miami), Army (Boston College, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest) and Navy (Duke and Wake Forest).
- Big East conference members visiting the ACC: Connecticut (Duke, 9/1 and Virginia, 10/13), Louisville (N.C. State, 9/29), Pittsburgh (Virginia, 9/29), Rutgers (Maryland, 9/29), South Florida (UNC, 9/29), West Virginia (Maryland, 9/13), and Villa- wait, Villanova has a football team?
- SEC teams doing the same: Alabama (Florida State, 9/29), Florida (11/24), Georgia (Georgia Tech, 11/24), LSU (Virginia Tech, 9/8), South Carolina (UNC, 10/13 and Clemson, 11/24), Vanderbilt (11/24). That's a big step up from last year, when the only non-rivalry games the SEC would schedule were against Duke and Wake Forest.
- Also unlike last year, some of these strange teams from Big (literally) conferences I keep hearing about make appearences: Northwestern (Duke, 9/15) from the Big Ten and Colorado (Florida State, 9/15), Nebraska (Wake Forest, 9/8), Oklahoma (Miami, 9/8) and Texas A&M (Miami, 9/20) from the Big 12.
- And the league continued to shower Conference USA with love, signing up UAB (Florida State, 9/8), Central Florida (N.C. State, 9/1), Marshall (Miami, 9/1), and the aforementioned East Carolina (Virginia Tech, 9/1, UNC, 9/8 and N.C. State 10/20)
- The conference breakdown comes out to 7 Big East teams, 7 SEC, 6 Conference USA, 4 Big 12 and 1 one lone Big 10 squad. The other twenty-three games are divided amongst the independents (8), the Sun Belt (4), the MAC (3), the Mountain West (1) and seven Division 1-AA teams. Overall, a huge improvement from last year.
And since we're talking about teams we'd like to see on schedules, I like the trends of more state school rivalries on the schedule. I'm a big fan of the matches against South Carolina and Tennessee coming up, and wouldn't mind adding Alabama, West Virginia, and yes, Kyle, Georgia to that list.
(The full list of non-conference opponents by team is beneath the cut.)
Boston College - Army, UMass, Bowling Green, Notre Dame
Clemson - Furman, Louisiana-Monroe, Central Michigan, South Carolina
Duke - Connecticut, Northwestern, Navy, Notre Dame
Florida State - UAB, Colorado, Alabama, Florida
Georgia Tech - Notre Dame, Samford, Army, Georgia
Maryland - Villanova, Florida International, West Virginia, Rutgers
Miami - Marshall, Oklahoma, Florida International, Texas A&M
North Carolina - James Madison, East Carolina, South Florida, South Carolina
N.C. State - Central Florida, Wofford, Louisville, East Carolina
Virginia - Wyoming, Pittsburgh, Middle Tennessee State, Connecticut
Virginia Tech - East Carolina, LSU, Ohio, William & Mary
Wake Forest - Nebraska, Army, Navy, Vanderbilt