With all of the realignment and rescheduling nonsense going on around the country, we wanted to give a breakdown of each of the ACC‘s schedules — how the teams stack up, and some thoughts on overall difficulty. If these change at all, we’ll also be sure to update them on a rolling basis. All information is up-to-date as of publishing, based on the latest from FBSchedules.com.
Today’s breakdown: North Carolina Tar Heels
Though this year’s Tar Heels football schedule is getting some complaints as far as tradition goes, it’s also a very manageable group of games all around. Starting with the non-conference set, all four matchups are winnable for UNC, with the one questionable one being their September date at Louisville, a probable contender for the Big East title and likely preseason top-25 team. Beyond the Cardinals, however, it’s three should-wins. FCS opponent Elon opens the year on a soft note, and for the most part, East Carolina and Idaho should not prove all that challenging either. For reference, the Heels haven’t lost to ECU since 2007 (one of just two defeats for them in the series), and they’ve never faced the Vandals to this point.
As for the conference slate, North Carolina’s handed an instant road to contention by avoiding both Clemson and Florida State. Further, ACC contenders Virginia Tech and NC State will visit Chapel Hill (both in October), plus they get matchups against the league’s two worst teams, in Duke and Maryland. The biggest selling point, of course, is seeing “the south’s oldest rivalry” with Virginia get a primetime slot on ESPN on Thursday late in November. If either (or both) teams are still in contention by this point, it’ll be great exposure all around for one of the country’s oldest grudge-matches, and the conference, as well. In a year when Carolina could play a guessing game with postseason eligibility, the easy schedule’s a welcome sight, indeed.
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