Back in February, the ACC announced that they were moving to a nine-game football schedule. This was due to the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse which brought the total number of ACC teams to 14.
The addition of the extra conference game forced many ACC teams to cancel future non-conference contests. Some of those games were slated for next season.
But then last month, the ACC announced that they had reached an agreement with Notre Dame for the Fighting Irish to play five ACC football teams per season beginning as early as 2014. As a result of five ACC teams playing the Irish each season, the conference has decided to keep an eight-game football schedule.
How does this change affect the future schedules of the 14 ACC teams? Let’s take a look, but keep in mind that Notre Dame will fill five holes per year beginning in 2014, we just don’t know who or when yet.
Boston College (schedules)
The Eagles have one spot to fill on their 2013 non-conference schedule, thanks to the change back to an 8-game slate. In 2013, they are scheduled to host Army and Stony Brook and travel to USC. BC was previously scheduled to play Syracuse, but that contest is now a conference game.
As BC Interruption suggests, the Eagles could go with a MAC team to fill that spot. Central Michigan has one open date (more on that below) and Western Michigan has two. Other possibilities include a bevy of C-USA teams, plus Idaho and New Mexico State who will both be Independents in 2013. This will likely be the path for most ACC schools that already have an FCS team on the schedule.
Poor Clemson. The Tigers did a lot of work to get ready for the nine-game schedule, including canceling a 2013 game against Kent State (Sept. 14) and 2014 game against Central Michigan (Oct. 4). And they almost canceled a home-and-home series with Georgia before ultimately deciding to play it as scheduled.
Clemson also canceled future games against Ole Miss (2015-16) and Oklahoma State (2019-20). But Clemson may try to salvage one of those series, as TigerNet.com reports the Tigers will re-open talks with OSU.
Look for the Tigers to schedule a MAC, C-USA or similar team in the immediate future because they already have The Citadel and Coastal Carolina set for 2013 and 2014, respectively. The last spot on each schedule is occupied by an annual contest against South Carolina.
The Blue Devils are in need of one non-conference game for both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. They too won’t likely add an FCS team since they have N.C. Central set in 2013 and Elon in 2014. Down the line, Duke is tentatively set in 2015, 2016, and 2017 with four games each season.
Other games in 2013 include vs. Navy and at Memphis, while 2014 features home games against Kansas and Tulane.
Florida State (schedules)
FSU had four non-conference games set for 2013 before West Virginia infamously pulled out of the 2012-13 home-and-home series. That left the Seminoles with one open spot next season, but it could stretch to two if Nevada pulls out.
If the Wolf Pack decide to play the Seminoles as scheduled, then FSU will likely schedule a mid-to-lower level FBS team. The Noles need to add two non-conference games in 2014, one in 2015, and three in 2016.
The Seminoles only have three openings on their non-ACC slate each year due to their annual contest with Florida.
Georgia Tech (schedules)
Due to the now defunct 9-game schedule, Georgia Tech canceled two games of a four-game series vs. BYU. The final two games of the series were scheduled for Atlanta in 2014 (Oct. 11) and Provo in 2017 (Oct. 14).
The cancellation leaves the Yellow Jackets with one non-conference opening in 2014 and two in 2017. Tech also needs one game in 2013 and 2015 and two in 2016.
Georgia Tech is the 3rd ACC school that plays an in-state SEC rival on an annual basis (Georgia).
The Terrapins currently have three non-conference games scheduled for 2013: Temple, at UConn, and vs. West Virginia (at Baltimore, MD). Look for Maryland to add an FCS team to fill out their 2013 slate. Old Dominion would be a likely candidate.
In 2014, the Terrapins are at Temple and home vs. West Virginia. A mid-level FBS team is a possibility along with an FCS school. Maryland needs one game in 2015 to go along with Bowling Green, Richmond and at West Virginia.
Miami, FL (schedules)
In 2013, the Hurricanes are scheduled to host Florida Atlantic and Florida and travel to USF. The Canes need one more game and have the option of adding an FCS team.
The 2014 schedule tentatively includes games vs. Florida A&M and Memphis and at Nebraska. Miami needs one game and will likely opt for a mid-to-lower FBS team.
One game will need to be dropped from the 2015 schedule (if it hasn’t been already), as Miami has five games on the books: at Toledo, vs. Nebraska, at Memphis, vs. Cincinnati, and at Florida Atlantic.
NC State (schedules)
The Wolfpack are in need of one more non-conference game in 2013 and 2014. They have FCS teams scheduled each season and no major BCS teams. Look for them to possibly add a Big East or SEC team those years.
NC State’s schedule really opens up after 2014, with only one scheduled non-conference game in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
North Carolina (schedules)
UNC needs a game in 2013 and doesn’t currently have an FCS team scheduled. As we mentioned earlier, Old Dominion is one option as they are looking for some games.
The Tar Heels have three openings in 2014 and 2015, no games set for 2016 and one in 2017.
Pitt was previously set to face NC State and Virginia Tech in 2013 as non-conference games. Currently, the Panthers are slated to host Notre Dame and Villanova and travel to Navy. They need one game to complete their slate.
The Panthers will need to postpone or cancel a game in 2014 as they have five non-conference games scheduled (Akron, Delaware, Iowa, at FIU, at Notre Dame). It could simply be the Notre Dame game if they aren’t selected as one of the five ACC teams to face the Irish that season.
The Orange were scheduled to face Boston College each year, but that game is now an ACC Atlantic matchup. Syracuse also had Georgia Tech slated for 2015 and 2016.
One game is needed to complete their 2013 slate, which currently consists of Penn State (at MetLife Stadium), at Northwestern and home vs. Tulane. An FCS game is likely.
Syracuse is wide open from 2014 out, as they primarily have only Notre Dame on the schedule most years. It remains to be seen which years they will and will not face the Irish.
Virginia was slated to play a home-and-home series with UTSA in 2013 and 2014, but canceled due to the 9-game ACC schedule. With the Roadrunners moving to Conference USA in 2013, this series likely won’t be revived.
The Cavaliers already have an FCS team set for 2013, so their fourth non-conference game will probably be a mid-lower FBS school unless they sign a home-and-home deal with a BCS team.
Virginia also needs a game in 2014 and two in 2015. FCS teams are already scheduled for both seasons.
Virginia Tech (schedules)
Tech recently updated their non-conference slate due to the 9-game schedule. A four-game, home-and-home with East Carolina was pushed back from 2014 to 2015, while one-game deals with Akron and Western Kentucky were canceled.
The Hokies have an FCS team scheduled each year from 2013 through 2016, so adding another won’t happen. With one BCS game set each season (vs. Alabama in ’13, at Ohio State in ’14, vs. Ohio State in ’15, vs. Wisconsin in ’15), Virginia Tech is likely to add the standard mid-to-lower FBS teams to fill those voids.
A long-shot option mentioned by Tech athletic director Jim Weaver would be playing some ACC teams in non-conference games. “I’m not opposed to playing someone in the conference as a non-conference game,” he said.
Wake Forest (schedules)
The Demon Deacons have two games set in 2013, at Army and Vanderbilt, after Rice postponed their trip to Winston Salem. Wake has three games slated for the 2014 season. In both years, they can add an FCS team.
Wake is full in 2015, but one of the games is Notre Dame. The Irish may or may not stay in the schedule that season. The Demon Deacons are wide open 2016 and out.