Top 10 2012 ACC Non-Conference Football Games

By Kevin Kelley -
Florida State-Oklahoma
Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

ACC schools usually play some good non-conference opponents. After all, many of their rivals are SEC teams. The ACC also frequently schedules teams from the Big East.

There are several intriguing non-conference games this season and four are played at neutral site locations. Clemson and Miami are each featured twice.

Here is my pick for the Top 10 ACC non-conference games for the 2012 season:

1. South Carolina at Clemson, Nov. 24

There’s no love lost in this in-state rivalry, and the war of words between Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier grows louder each year. But the Gamecocks have backed up the talk, winning three in a row in convincing fashion. With the game in Death Valley, the Tigers need to get back on the winning side of this series.

2. Auburn vs. Clemson (at Atlanta, GA), Sept. 1

The second Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (see no. 9) pits two schools that are rather familiar with each other. The two have played three times since 2007, with Clemson finally notching a win last year at home. Auburn finished strong in 2011 while Clemson was crushed by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

3. Miami vs. Notre Dame (at Chicago, IL), Oct. 6

While these two schools haven’t been at the top of their game lately, this still makes for a great non-conference match-up. And it’s a prime time, nationally televised game at Soldier Field in Chicago. The proximity to Notre Dame will essentially make it a home game for the Irish.

4. Florida at Florida State, Nov. 24

The Seminoles have put together a two game winning streak against the Gators after losing six in a row from 2004 to 2009. Last year’s game was a snoozer with FSU only gaining 95 yards on offense while Florida managed only 184. Florida hopes to get back on the winning side of this series, but FSU is primed for a good year and the game is in Tallahassee.

5. Notre Dame at Boston College, Nov. 10

Notre Dame and Boston College, the only two Catholic schools in the FBS, have met 21 times since 1975. The Irish lead the series 12-9 and have won the last three meetings.

6. Miami at Kansas State, Sept. 8

Miami and Kansas State first met last year at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Wildcats were able to escape with a 28-24 win. This year’s game is the last of their home-and-home series.

7. Georgia Tech at Georgia, Nov. 24

Georgia has dominated Georgia Tech lately, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings. But the Yellow Jackets have played well in their last four trips to Athens, winning 45-42 in 2008. Their three losses were by an average of 8 points.

8. Penn State at Virginia, Sept. 8

After opening at home against Ohio, this will be Penn State’s first road game without Joe Paterno at the helm since 1965. Virginia warms up against Richmond before welcoming the Nittany Lions and new head coach Bill O’Brien.

9. Tennessee vs. NC State (at Atlanta, GA), Aug. 31

The Volunteers and Wolfpack play in the first game of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game doubleheader. It will be only the second time these two have met and first time since 1939. Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack are on the rise while Derek Dooley seat could get hotter with a Volunteer loss

10. Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (at Landover, MD), Sept. 29

Both teams will be tested coming into this game, but Cincinnati will be rested after two off weeks, one of which precedes this match-up. The two schools last met in the 2009 Orange Bowl which the Hokies won 20-7. Tech also leads the overall series 5-4.

Other top 2012 ACC non-conference games:

Duke at Stanford (Sept. 8); Florida State at USF (Sept. 29); BYU at Georgia Tech (Oct. 27); Maryland at West Virginia (Sept. 22); NC State at Connecticut (Sept. 8); North Carolina at Louisville (Sept. 15); Virginia at TCU (Sept. 22); Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh (Sept. 15)

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Comments (13)

It’s a personal opinion, but I’d put BYU @ Georgia Tech above Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech. there’s just too much inconsistency from Cincinnati to make it a true Top 10 game whereas you know what BYU & Ga. Tech usually bring, and that’s two Top 50 programs and usually Top 30 programs.

No arguments on the list from me, I didn’t realize penn st was playing uva this year.
The usual sec vs acc games are always intriguing. Acc needs to step it up in those games.
Miami vs Ksu and penn st at UVA are they signs of things to come?
A lot of internet chatter about big 12 grabbing fsu,miami,gt, and clemson, sec taking nc st and vt, and the big10 taking unc,md,uva,and possibly duke( to seal the deal with unc).

Don’t know if all that is true but that would be good for all 3 conference mentioned. It would make them all stronger, the Big 12 in football and the Big 10 in basketball. VT and NC St would help expand the SEC’s footprint even more. A win for everyone other than the ACC. Hard to believe it would all come down that way but it would be interesting to say the least

Where is that big game between Savannah State and Florida State? Must have been the 11th best game….

*LOL* that was pretty funny! But that said….I’ll put money down that SSU’s band whips FSU’s band hands down.
Personally I wonder if SSU will even have a team after playing Oklahoma State the week before.

cmon now, all the bcs teams play div1aa opponents with exception of Notre Dame and USC. so we could go on about _____( fill in the blank) vs div1aa. I think they all use it for a tune up game and to get a home game without worrying about returning the favor. div1aa teams get a big paycheck so kinda a glorified exhibition game.

you do realize FSU had to play Savannah state because West Virginia didnt want to play Fsu so they had to add someone… look it up it’s true I think they bought out the contract on it

Clemson? Go figure. They start off 8-0, including wins over FSU and VT (who ended the regular season 11 – 2, both losses to Clemson. But they lose 3 of the last 4, by a total of 82 points. Who can guess what team will show up for Auburn. I don’t see them giving SC a game.

ND is much improved on Defense. If they have a quarterback, Miami’s in for trouble. Miami should handle KSU easily.

Florida’s down – should be an FSU win.

GT should be better on defense, but they’ve lost 10 of 11 to Georgia and will make it 11 of 12.

Penn State? Complete mystery. VA

Tenn doesn’t stay down long.

VT over Cincinnatti easily.