The ACC schedule was finally released after a lengthy delayed caused by West Virginia pulling out of their game with Florida State. You can see the full league schedule here.
UNC's slate looks like this.
[table id=192 /]
Two things jump out from first glance.
1. The season finale is against Maryland? Really? Can we pick a game that means absolutely nothing and not only that but is not even a divisional opponent? This is simply mystifying. While UNC-Duke may not be as much of a rivalry in football as UNC-NCSU but at least making it the season finale for both schools is a tradition. In 2009 the ACC moved the UNC-NCSU game to Thanksgiving weekend which I thought was a great move since it felt more like a rivalry game than UNC-Duke did. Now the ACC has decided to pit Maryland vs UNC on that weekend which doesn't make any sense for either team. For the record, Duke will play Miami on November 24th and Boston College will visit NC State which is a rivalry game of sorts given Tom O'Brien's inability to beat his former team.
2. UNC will play a Thursday night game at Virginia. That should conjure up plenty of bad memories for UNC fans such as the 23-0 shellacking in 2006 that ultimately did John Bunting in or the infamous loss there in 1996 that cost UNC a berth in one of the major bowls at the time. Charlottesville is never a good place for UNC to play. Charlottesville on a Thursday night is a death trap.
The schedule itself will be challenging. UNC opens with three of the first five at home with road trips to Wake Forest and Louisville. The Cardinals will be tough and nothing should be taken for granted playing in Winston-Salem. The goal for UNC would be to hit the middle of the season with at least a 4-1 mark. The next four games prior to the bye are the real meat of the schedule with road trips to Miami and Duke sandwiched between home dates vs Virginia Tech and NC State. Beating both Duke and NC State is the baseline for that stretch with hopes of stealing one vs either Miami or Virginia Tech. UNC then gets the all important bye prior to the Georgia Tech game which will hopefully give Vic Koenning and Dan Disch enough time to solve the triple option. Not to mention, Georgia Tech's record facing teams coming off a bye under Paul Johnson is not particularly good. UNC closes with Virginia then Maryland. A 2-1 record to close the season wouldn't be unheard of putting the very early over/under for wins next season at 7.5.