Ranking the Best ACC Football Matchups of 2013: #112-101

The ACC Plays a Competitive Non-Conference Slate This Season, But Not Every Opponent's So Tough

The ACC Plays a Competitive Non-Conference Slate in 2013, But Not Every Opponent’s So Tough

As most noticed yesterday, the 2013 ACC football schedule has officially been released, meaning we finally have some clarity as to whom the conference’s 14 teams will face-off with from week-to-week next season. So with that in mind, we thought it would be an entertaining undertaking to rank all 112 ACC football games for 2013 because, well… it’s the offseason.

So to start us off, we have numbers 112 through 101; the worst of the entire schedule. Upset to see your team appear in this section? Don’t be. Every team in the ACC scheduled at least one FCS school this season, so each one is bound to have at least one completely uncompetitive matchup.

#112: Wagner Seahawks at Syracuse Orange (Saturday, September 14)

#111: N.C. Central Eagles at Duke Blue Devils (Saturday, August 31)

#110: South Carolina State Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers (Saturday, September 7)

#109: Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Saturday, November 23)

#108: VMI Keydets at Virginia Cavaliers (Saturday, September 21)

#107: Presbyterian Blue Hose at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Saturday, August 31)

#106: The Citadel Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers (Saturday, November 23)

#105: Savannah State Tigers at Miami Hurricanes (Saturday, September 21)

#104: Western Carolina Catamounts at Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday, September 7)

#103: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Florida State Seminoles (Saturday, September 21)

#102: Elon Phoenix at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Saturday, August 31)

#101: Old Dominion Monarchs at North Carolina Tar Heels (Saturday, November 23)

Some additional notes on today’s list:

  • All 12 opponents are visiting teams, and all 14 come from FCS conferences
  • All 12 games appear on one of five different dates
  • Breakdown of opponent conferences: MEAC (4), Southern (4), Big South (1), FCS Independent (1), Patriot (1), SWAC (1)
  • Breakdown of opponent home states: North Carolina (3), South Carolina (3), Virginia (2), Alabama (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), New York (1)
  • Public vs. private universities: Eight public, four private

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2012 ACC Football Season Recap: NC State Wolfpack

After All the Preseason Hype for Mike Glennon & NC State, 2012 Was Just Another Letdown

After All the Preseason Hype for Mike Glennon & NC State, 2012 Was Just Another Letdown

Team: NC State Wolfpack

W-L: 7-6 (4-4)

Postseason: 38-24 Franklin American Mortgage Music Cit Bowl loss to Vanderbilt

Top Offensive Performer: Mike Glennon, QB

Top Defensive Performer: Earl Wolff, S

This was the year that Tom O’Brien’s NC State team was supposed to break through and contend in the ACC. He had the senior quarterback, the experienced secondary — everything this team needed to finally get over the hump. And yet at the end of the season, the Wolfpack finished with their typical six or seven wins, and then O’Brien was dismissed. How did this happen?

Well, for starters, that experienced secondary came back down to earth from last year’s phenomenal performance. After picking off 27 passes in 2011, the team managed just 16 this season, with the biggest drop-off coming from cornerback David Amerson (just five in ’12 versus 13 in ’11). From a team perspective, it’s also easy to how this all came about. Back in 2011, State’s aggressive, go-for-broke style allowed just as many big play (passing attempts of 30-plus yards) tries, but more of those resulted in interceptions. This time around, with the decrease in interceptions, more of those attempts resulted in gains of 30 yards or more (25 of that variety, 16 of which went for 40 or more). Part of this was an adjustment in opponents’ play (see Amerson’s dreadful performance against Tennessee in the season opener), but the rest can be perceived as a severe drop-off in the team’s talent level. If we’re looking for reason number-one why this squad fell short of expectations, the secondary probably sits front-and-center. When you finish 86th nationally in pass-defense, it’s just tough to argue you did your job, necessarily.

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ACC vs. The World (Week 4)

Wake Forest’s Tanner Price played well against Army in Week 4

Week 4: 9 games (6-3)

Continuing the trend from last week, the ACC posted a winning out-of-conference record, but failed to win in games against foes from the other major FBS conferences. Luckily, the league grabbed the nation’s attention this week with a great game between two quality top-10 teams, and produced a legitimate national title contender in Florida State. That game may have distracted casual viewers from the continuing parity elsewhere in the ACC.

vs. Big Ten (0-1): Syracuse continued to underachieve and fell to Minnesota on the road.

vs. Big 12 (0-2): Maryland played West Virginia tough, and lost by a respectable 31-21 margin.

Highlight: NC State is quietly making a comeback from their week 1 disappointment against Tennessee, and handily beat the Citadel this week, 52-14.

Lowlight: Virginia continued its slide and could not get going in their loss to TCU

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week Four (Part Two)

Georgia Tech QB Tevin Washington Faces a Porous Miami Run Defense This Week, While Looking to Pad the Stat Line

This is Part Two of this week’s Previews & Predictions feature. Also check out Part One.

Miami Hurricanes (2-1) (1-0)) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-1) (0-1): Beyond the emergence of freshman Duke Johnson, the Hurricanes’ season has gone poorly to this point, despite their two wins. And Saturday’s contest with Georgia Tech may make things worse. Through three games, the ‘Canes have allowed 617 yards on the ground (an average of over 205 per game). Conversely, the Yellow Jackets have averaged 374 rushing yards per game, in three contests of their own. Given the versatility of their weapons, Tech has a real fundamental advantage against Miami, and will exploit it continuously throughout the game. Prediction: Georgia Tech 45, Miami 24

East Carolina Pirates (2-1) at North Carolina Tar Heels (1-2) (0-1): ECU comes in as a much-improved team on defense, though their offense (a trademark in 2011) appears to be struggling to find a rhythm. And UNC can likely say the same. After their strong start to the year, the Heels have dropped a big game to Wake Forest, and fell way behind Louisville last weekend, before coming back to make it a close contest. Yes, star back Giovani Bernard is out, but that can’t be an excuse for Larry Fedora and QB Bryn Renner. Renner has targets on the field — something the ball carrier doesn’t much change. Prediction: UNC 40, ECU 26

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ACC Football 2012 TV Schedule & Spread: Week Four

ESPN College Gameday Heads to Tallahassee This Week to Watch Clemson Take on Florida State

Every week, we’ll be providing a quick rundown of which ACC football games are on television, and also list the latest spread on each game (should you choose to engage in gambling-related activities). Please plan your days accordingly.

ACC Football Week 4 Television Schedule & Spreads

Saturday, September 22

Special: ESPN College Gameday from Tallahassee, Fla., 9 a.m. ET, ESPN

Bowling Green Falcons at Virginia Tech Hokies (-19.5), noon ET, ESPNU

Virginia Cavaliers at TCU Horned Frogs (-17.5), noon ET, ESPN

Maryland Terrapins at West Virginia Mountaineers (-27.5), noon ET, FX

Army Black Knights at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-7.5), 12:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network

Miami Hurricanes at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-13.5), 3 p.m. ET, ESPN Gameplan

East Carolina Pirates at North Carolina Tar Heels (-16.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Pittsburgh Panthers (no odds), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Memphis Tigers at Duke Blue Devils (-22.5 ), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3

The Citadel Bulldogs at NC State Wolfpack (no odds), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Clemson Tigers at Florida State Seminoles (-14.5), 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Syracuse Orange at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-2), 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

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ACC 2012 Scheduling Outlook: NC State Wolfpack

Tom O'Brien and NC State May Have A Lot to Celebrate Come the End of 2012

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: NC State Wolfpack

From all accounts, it appears the Wolfpack picked the right year to schedule light for their four non-conference tilts. The ACC is due to be improved and a bit top-heavy, plus the school could actually figure itself into upper-tier bowl conversations. With an opening slate featuring both The Citadel and FBS newcomer South Alabama, plus 5-7 schools Tennessee and Connecticut, it’s a nice start. However, it’s also worth noting that the latter two teams figure to be improved and can cause problems when overlooked. Specifically the Volunteers, who fall victim more to their conference than a lack of talent on either side of the ball. If State runs through these teams though, they’ll likely be sitting pretty as a top-20 program.

In terms of the ACC schedule, the ‘Pack also get several additional breaks. Most notably, avoiding both Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, plus getting league-favorite Florida State at home. Road games at North Carolina, Clemson and Miami may prove difficult (especially with several of those opponents out for some revenge from last season), but these matchups are countered with opportunities against Boston College and Maryland. Will this be the year that NC State finally breaks through into the ACC’s upper echelon and contends for a league title? Clemson surprised everyone in 2011 with an exciting run to the championship game. Why not the Wolfpack in 2012?

Previously: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami

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