Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: ACC

First up, the Atlantic Coast Conference. See last year’s post for all the gory details.

  1. Clemson (2 legit, 2 FCS): Georgia, South Carolina State, Citadel, @South Carolina. Clemson and UGA meeting up again is always a good thing. “Wait”, you say, “aren’t those two schools your two biggest rivals?” Well, yes. Nonetheless, the Clemson-GT rivalry is not in-state and is not nearly as acrimonious as the one with the so-call “university” in Athens. So unlike when Georgia and Alabama meet, and I can still root for Georgia’s opponent without a twinge of guilt. Anyway, though I usually discount yearly rivalry games for these purposes, I simply couldn’t rate any other schedules above this one, despite the two FCS schools.
  2. Virginia Tech (1, 1): N-Alabama, Western Carolina, @East Carolina, Marshall. I have to say, I like Clemson’s chances against Georgia much, much better than VPI’s against Alabama. Ugh. But it’s good enough for second on this list.
  3. Virginia (1, 1): Brigham Young, Oregon, Virginia Military Institute, Ball State. It’s always good to see East Coast-West Coast matchups, especially in the ACC. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really say anything about the quality of the game that is likely to be played.
  4. North Carolina (1, 1): @South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Old Dominion. UNC-USC is getting a fair bit of publicity, as it will be the first major game of the season. It’ll also be an early test for the Tarheels. The rest of their schedule is what it is, as the kids say.
  5. Boston College (1,1): Villanova, @Southern California, Army, @New Mexico State. It’s possible that BC may lose to Villanova, but they deserve some credit for the road game to LA.
  6. Miami (1, 1): Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, @South Florida. Ranked this low under the “rival game” rule, even though they don’t quite play Florida every year. Might’ve been the top schedule if they rounded up the all-Florida look with the only school they’re missing now: FIU.
  7. Florida State (1, 1): Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, @Florida. Again, yearly rivalry games don’t count as much in these rankings. Too bad that’s not the frisky Nevada squad from a few years ago, as well.
  8. Pittsburgh (1,1): New Mexico, Old Dominion, @Navy, Notre Dame. See above on “rivalry games”.
  9. Syracuse (1, 1): N-Pennsylvania State, @Northwestern, Wagner, Tulane. That said, strength of your rivalry opponent does count for something. Perhaps I’m punishing the ‘Cuse unfairly for what happened to Penn State, but them’s the breaks.
  10. Georgia Tech (1, 2): Elon, @Brigham Young, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical, Georgia. All the way down here due to two FCS schools. Also, it’s been recently reported that the GT-Alabama series scheduled for later this decade has been indefinitely postponed. It’s starting to look pretty bleak for the alma mater, I have to say. But hey, there’s room in the schedule now for that GT-Stanford or GT-Cal home-and-home, right?
  11. Maryland (0.75, 1): Florida International, Old Dominion, @Connecticut, N-West Virginia. WVU is playing the wrong ACC team here. Can we get the Backyard Brawl back?
  12. Wake Forest (0.25, 1): Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, @Army, @Vanderbilt. Not much to even joke about here. I imagine Wake is not thrilled about the up-and-coming Commodores, though, as that used to be a competitive matchup for the Demon Deacons.
  13. North Carolina State (0, 1): Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina. There’s just nothing to say about this schedule in any way, shape, or form. Well, other than the chance they’ll lose to Louisiana Tech.
  14. Duke (0, 1): North Carolina Central, @Memphis, Troy, Navy. With an OOC schedule like this, Duke will almost certainly make a bowl again, as they’ll need just two conference wins.

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