With all of the realignment and rescheduling nonsense going on around the country, we wanted to give a breakdown of each of the ACC teams‘s schedules — how the squads 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: Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia gets a moderately challenging slate for 2012, though much of that is focused in on their non-conference opponents. Unlike many of their conference-mates, the Cavaliers wrap up their entire non-ACC schedule by the end of September, playing five games in the season’s first month (four non-ACC, plus one league). Opening the year, they play host to the FCS Richmond Spiders, whom you may recall upset Duke last season, followed by a Penn State program that’s still reeling from their 2011 fiasco and Joe Paterno’s unfortunate passing in the offseason.Also headed to Charlottesville is Louisiana Tech — last year’s WAC champions — for a game most will likely overlook, but can still pose a legitimate challenge should UVa get off to a slow start. Most importantly, Virginia travels to Fort Worth, Tex. to take on TCU in one of the ACC’s most difficult non-conference tests. When the late September matchup rolls around, the Horned Frogs could very well be in the top 10 — an intimidating, but welcome test for the Cavaliers as they’re trying to prove 2011 was no fluke.Should the Hoos manage to get by the entire non-league set unscathed, there are few obstacles to prevent them from capturing their first Coastal Division crown. There are three bonafied tests on their schedule, starting with a September trip down to Atlanta to face off with Georgia Tech. The other two sure-fire challenges lie with NC State and Virginia Tech, both of which are road games. Beyond those three matchups, Virginia takes solace in four manageable home games,including a primetime iteration of the South’s Oldest Rivalry with North Carolina, and a cakewalk road trip to Duke. While there are certainly some parts to replace from last year’s surprise success, if Virginia can get things clicking early, they could be in line for one special year in the ACC in 2012.
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