ACC Week: Schedule Breakdowns

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Miami could still face NCAA sanctions stemming from the numerous charges brought to light last August. The program posed a self-inflicted bowl ban last season, but the jury is still out on whether that will be sufficient alms paid to the piper.

Al Golden has some retooling to do, both with that looming and with departures to the NFL. A quarterback other than Jacory Harris will get the start in Week 1 at BC, but the question is will it be Stephen Morris, or newcomer Ryan Williams?

Sept. 1 at Boston College*

Sept. 8 at Kansas State

Last season’s match-up in Miami ended in controversy, and a narrow K-State victory. How will a rematch moved from the Biscayne Bay to the cornfields of the Little Apple shake out?

Sept. 15 vs. Bethune-Cookman^ (8-3)

Sept. 22 at Georgia Tech* (8-5, 5-3)

Georgia Tech was completely stifled by the Miami defense in last season’s 24-7 ‘Cane victory. It was one of three games in which The U. held its opponent to single digits.

Sept. 29 vs. NC State* (8-5, 5-3)

Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame (9-4)
in Chicago

The ridiculous “Catholics vs. Convicts” narrative from yesteryear is sure to get some play, though is a much different era pitting Miami against Notre Dame.

Oct. 13 vs. North Carolina* (7-6, 3-5)

Oct. 20 vs. Florida State* (10-3, 6-2)

Miami made last season’s encounter at Doak Campbell much more competitive than the 2010 installment, but still dropped its second straight in the series. The U. won in the 2009 season opener, 38-34.

Nov. 1 vs. Virginia Tech* (11-3, 7-1) 

Nov. 17 vs. USF (5-7)

Neither team scored a touchdown in last November’s 6-3 Hurricane win in Tampa.

Nov. 24 at Duke* (3-9, 1-7)


Larry Fedora’s tenure begins with a postseason ban, so the Tar Heels are playing solely for pride. That’s a shame, too, because there’s a talented roster in Chapel Hill this season. Running back Giovanni Bernard should register some impressive numbers in Fedora’s rush-friendly offense.

With a combined 71 wins, UNC faces the lightest schedule of every ACC team based on ’11 results. Only one of the Heels’ four non-conference opponents finished above .500 (Louisville at 7-6). The overall record for UNC foes is 71-80 (.471).

Sept. 1 vs. Elon^ (5-6)

UNC opened with an FCS opponent last season, CAA contender James Madison. Bryn Renner picked the Dukes apart with an astounding 22-23 passing performance.

Sept. 8 at Wake Forest* (6-7, 4-4)

Sept. 15 at Louisville (7-6)

Last season’s match-up was a defensive struggle that UNC won 14-7.

Sept. 22 vs. East Carolina (5-7)

Sept. 29 vs. Idaho (2-11)

Oct. 6 vs. Virginia Tech (11-3, 7-1)

The Tar Heels took the Hokies to the limit last season in Blacksburg, but fell short 24-21.

Oct. 13 at Miami* (6-6, 3-5)

Oct. 20 at Duke* (3-9, 1-7)

Oct. 27 vs. NC State* (8-5, 5-3)

UNC has lost every game in this rivalry beginning in 2007. Last season’s 13-0 Pack win was the widest margin since NCSU routed the Heels 41-10 in 2008.

Nov. 10 vs. Georgia Tech*(8-5, 5-3)

Nov. 15 at Virginia* (8-5, 5-3)

Nov. 24 vs. Maryland* (2-10, 1-7)


The Wolfpack’s September struggles paid dividends come November, and should amount to even more in 2012. Tom O’Brien opted for Mike Glennon over Russell Wilson, a head scratching decision initially and only more so when the Pack was stumbling early.

However, when NCSU takes the Georgia Dome turf to face Tennessee in Week 1, the seasoning Glennon got in an eight-win campaign will be noticeable. UT is the first in a series of non-conference games that certainly lacks punch on paper. And indeed, for second straight season the Pack plays an FCS opponent and South Alabama — USA was FCS last season, and in transition this season.

Meanwhile, UT and UConn were a combined 10-14 last season. Their 2011 records are not indicative of the teams that should take the field in ’12, though. Both return significant pieces and should be immensely improved. That said, the collective record of NCSU competition suffers immensely. At 73-74 (.497), NC State draws one of the weaker slates based on last season’s finishes.

Aug. 31 vs. Tennessee (5-7)
in Atlanta

The Chick-Fil-A season kick-off pits the Wolfpack against a Volunteer team hungry to bounce back from last season’s disappointing finish. A healthy Tyler Bray faces the most greedy secondary in college football.

Sept. 8 at Connecticut (5-7)

 Sept. 15 vs. South Alabama^ (6-4)

South Alabama is in a transitional phase between FCS and FBS.

Sept. 22 vs. The Citadel^ (4-7)

Sept. 29 at Miami* (6-6, 3-5)

Oct. 6 vs. Florida State* (10-3, 6-2)

This is a game I have tabbed as a serious trap for Florida State’s title aspirations. If the Pack can force E.J. Manuel into turnovers, that will give Mike Glennon breathing room against a dominant Seminole defense.

Oct. 20 at Maryland* (2-10, 1-7)

Oct. 27 at North Carolina* (7-6, 3-5)

NCSU last lost at Kenan Stadium in 2006, a 23-9 decision.

Nov. 3 vs. Virginia* (8-5, 5-3)

Nov. 10 vs. Wake Forest* (6-7, 4-4)

Nov. 17 at Clemson* (10-4, 6-2)

The Pack stunned Clemson late in ’11 with a dominating 37-13 rout.

Nov. 24 vs. Boston College* (4-8, 3-5)


UVa. was tearing through its schedule to end 2011, before ending with a thud. Recovering early is a must, but will certainly not be an easy task. The Cavaliers face FBS teams with a combined 36 wins last season. Overall, UVa. opponents went a combined 82-70 (.547) in ’11.

Sept. 1 vs. Richmond (3-8)

Sept. 8 vs. Penn State (9-4)

Sept. 15 at Georgia Tech* (8-5, 5-3)

UVa. did the unthinkable in last year’s match-up, actually out-rushing the Yellow Jackets, 274-272. The 24-21 Cavalier win was Tech’s first loss.

Sept. 22 at TCU (11-2)

Sept. 29 vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5)

Coincidentally, UVa. draws both participants in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl. La. Tech faced TCU there in December after winning the WAC championship.

Oct. 6 at Duke* (3-9, 1-7)

Oct. 13 at Maryland* (2-10, 1-7)

Oct. 20 vs. Wake Forest* (6-7, 4-4)

Nov. 3 at NC State* (8-5, 5-3)

Nov. 10 vs. Miami* (6-6, 3-5)

Nov. 15 vs. North Carolina* (7-6, 3-5)

Nov. 24 at Virginia Tech* (11-3, 7-1)

Since VPI joined the ACC in 2004, UVa. has been stonewalled in the series. A big 0-8.


Consistent contender Virginia Tech opens 2012 with a stiff conference challenge. Septembers have not typically been kind to Frank Beamer’s bunch, so navigating through the Labor Day match-up with Georgia Tech and a neutral field encounter against Cincinnati are key to reaching games with Clemson and Florida State unscathed.

Opponents went 80-71 (.530) last season.

Sept. 3 vs. Georgia Tech* (8-5, 5-3)

Sept. 8 vs. Austin Peay^ (3-8)

Sept. 15 at Pitt (6-7)

Sept. 22 vs. Bowling Green (5-7)

Sept. 29 vs. Cincinnati (10-3)
in Landover, Md.  

Oct. 6 at North Carolina* (7-6, 3-5)

Oct. 13 vs. Duke* (3-9, 1-7)

Oct. 20 at Clemson* (10-4, 6-2)

Nov. 1 at Miami* (6-6, 3-5) 

Nov. 8 vs. Florida State* (10-3, 6-2)

Nov. 17 at Boston College (4-8, 3-5)

Nov. 24 vs. Virginia* (8-5, 5-3)


Jim Grobe is looking to improve upon a surprise bowl season by winning some of the close decisions his Demon Deacons dropped last year. The return of Josh Harris should bolster the offense, as he joins talented quarterback Tanner Price. WF plays one of the weaker schedules based on 2011 finishes. Deac opponents finished a combined 76-74 (.506).

Sept. 1 vs. Liberty^ (7-4)

Sept. 8 vs. North Carolina* (7-6, 3-5)

Sept. 15 at Florida State* (10-3, 6-2)

Quarterback Tanner Price played arguably his best game of 2011 in the Demon Deacons’ 35-30 win at BB&T Field.

Sept. 22 vs. Army (3-9)

Sept. 29 vs. Duke* (3-9, 1-7)

Oct.6 at Maryland* (2-10, 1-7)

Oct. 20 at Virginia* (8-5, 5-3)

Oct. 25 vs. Clemson* (10-4, 6-2)

Nov.3 vs. Boston College* (4-8, 3-5)

Nov. 10 at NC State* (8-5, 5-3)

Nov. 17 at Notre Dame (9-4)

In an odd turn, WF closes out with a pair of non-conference games. UND came to BB&T last November and nearly left with a loss. However, the Irish rallied behind Tommy Rees in the second half to score a close win.

Nov. 24 vs. Vanderbilt (6-7)

The Demon Deacons were blasted in last season’s match-up in Nashville.