Rating the 2009 Non-Conference Slate, Part 1: ACC

If I were convinced anyone were waiting for this, I’d congratulate you for waiting this long! Anyway, here we go, with the ACC.

  1. Virginia Tech (1.75 Legit, 0 DI-AA): (N) Alabama, Marshall, Nebraska, @East Carolina. VPI has, by far, the most interesting OOC schedule of any ACC team this year, and that would probably be true with just the opening weekend game with Alabama in the Georgia Dome. Add to that a game at ECU, Nebraska’s return trip, and the lack of any DI-AA teams and we have ourselves a winner. Provided ‘Bama and Nebraska are decent, this could even break right for a darkhorse run to the national title game.
  2. Georgia Tech (1.75, 1): Jacksonville State, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Georgia. The rivalry game with UGA carries the most weight, of course, but playing two other SEC teams (even though they are Vandy and Miss State) allow GT to rack up enough legit points to take second.
  3. Miami (1.75, 1): Oklahoma, Florida A&M, @Central Florida, @South Florida. Major props for Oklahoma, though unless this Miami team is drastically better than last year’s edition it’s hard to see how that will turn out well. Somewhat more minor props for playing both UCF and USF, though I think I speak for most football fans when I say I’d rather see them playing Florida instead of FAMU, UCF, or USF.
  4. Florida State (1.5, 1): Jacksonville State, @Brigham Young, South Florida, @Florida. The showdown with Florida at the end there is the jewel of this schedule, of course, but FSU deserves some credit for playing in-state Big East rival USF, and also for trekking out to Provo, though I have a feeling I’m more excited about that trip than most of FSU’s players.
  5. Maryland (1.25, 1): @California, James Madison, Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers. I just Cal ran out of SEC teams to play, as UMD will take up the reigns this year of providing us the third-most interesting inter-sectional game of the year. The rest of this schedule is uninsipring, to say the least.
  6. North Carolina State (1.25, 2): South Carolina, Murray State, Gardner-Webb, Pittsburgh. Decent BCS OOC opponents bookend two DI-AA schools. For shame, NCSU, and the ACC I guess – 3 teams have 2 DI-AA opponents, while in the other 5 BCS conferences there are only 3 teams that have done so. (Though I suspect Rutgers may join the 2 DI-AA ranks as well, as I’ll explain later.)
  7. Boston College (1, 1): Northeastern, Kent, @Notre Dame, Central Michigan. This is where the quality of schedules starts to drop a bit. BC is only up here due to ND’s inflated legit ranking, which in a way reflects how overrated ND is anyway.
  8. Clemson (0.75, 1): Middle Tennessee State, Texas Christian, Coastal Carolina, @South Carolina. Nothing to see here except the obligatory rivalry game, though TCU has the potential to make it interesting.
  9. Duke (0.75, 2): Richmond, @Army, @Kansas, North Carolina Central. Well, I guess Duke is playing to their level now, but hey, there’s two gaurunteed wins here, a probabale win against Army, and well, that’s 3/4ths of last year’s win total right there!
  10. Wake Forest (0.5, 1): Baylor, Stanford, Elon, @Navy. Wake needs to watch out for Baylor, which has a slight chance of not being completely terrible this year. Outside of that, well, maybe they’ll make a return trip out here for Stanford in a couple years?
  11. North Carolina (0.5, 2): The Citadel, @Connecticut, East Carolina, Georgia Southern. The “I Wish This Were a Basketball Game” series returns, but outside of that, not much to comment on here, other than the usual slap-on-the-wrist for scheduling 2 DI-AA teams.
  12. Virginia (0.25, 1): William & Mary, Texas Christian, @Southern Mississippi, Indiana. The sad thing is that TCU and USM are probably more interesting matchups than Indiana, but that’s not saying much. And there’s still a chance they could go 1-3 on this slate.

Next: The Big East. Stay tuned!