2014 composite ACC football schedule

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GREENSBORO, N.C.--The 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference football schedule released Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford once again is one of the most difficult nonconference slates among the Power Five Conferences.

ACC teams will play more nonconference games against teams in ESPN’s “Way Too Early Top 25” rankings for 2014 (12) and more games against teams in the final AP Top 25 (9) than any of the other Power Five Conferences and will play 24 nonconference games against teams that participated in bowl games in 2013, which tied the Big Ten for most of any Power Five Conference.

None of the other Power Five Conferences will play more than seven nonconference games against teams in ESPN’s Way Too Early Top 25 for 2014 and no more than eight games against teams in the final 2013 AP Poll.

"This is an exciting time in ACC Football, and as we look ahead to the 2014 season, it’s clear that our teams have once again combined for a strong lineup of nonconference opponents, along with our competitive league schedule," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "In addition to the overall schedule and season, we look forward to welcoming Louisville into the ACC and beginning our annual scheduling agreement with Notre Dame.”

In all, the schedule is composed of 113 games, including 56 conference contests over a span of 15 weeks culminating in the 10th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Among the nonconference foes this year is Notre Dame, which begins its scheduling with the ACC this fall with four games, including against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. (Sept. 27), home games in South Bend, Ind., against North Carolina (Oct. 11) and Louisville (Nov. 22) and at Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. (Oct. 18).

Louisville officially joins the ACC on July 1 and will compete in the Atlantic Division with defending champion Florida State, Boston College, Clemson, NC State, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The Coastal Division remains as it was in 2013 with champion Duke followed by Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

On the opening weekend of the season (Aug. 30), defending National Champion Florida State takes its nation’s best 16-game winning streak to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where the Seminoles will face Oklahoma State in the sixth annual Cowboys Classic. The Classic will mark the fifth meeting between the Seminoles and Cowboys and first since the 1985 Gator Bowl, won by Florida State 34-23.

The ACC will continue its tradition of national exposure on Labor Day Monday, as Louisville makes its league debut, hosting Miami in its first ACC football game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville on Monday, Sept. 1. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with an 8 p.m. kickoff.

The Hurricanes, who hold a 9-2-1 advantage in their series with the Cardinals, will be making their first appearance in Louisville since a 31-7 Cardinals victory in 2006. The game will mark the 10th appearance in 11 years by an ACC team on Labor Day Monday Night since the telecasts began in 2004. It will also mark Miami’s sixth appearance on Labor Day Monday.

Two other games featuring nationally ranked teams dot the opening weekend when Clemson, which finished 2013 ranked 8th in the AP final poll, travels to Athens, Ga., to face Georgia, ranked 11th in ESPN’s Too Early Top 25; and when Virginia hosts UCLA, which is ranked 7th in ESPN’s Too Early Top 25. Both games will be on Saturday, Aug. 30.

The league will also have five games nationally-televised by ESPN on Thursday nights beginning with Virginia Tech traveling to Pitt on Oct. 16 which begins a string of four straight Thursday night appearances for the ACC, including Miami at Virginia Tech (Oct. 23), Florida State at Louisville (Oct. 30) and Clemson at Wake Forest (Nov. 6). The final 2014 ACC Thursday night contest on ESPN will see North Carolina traveling to Duke on Nov. 20 for the Blue Devils’ first appearance on the ESPN Thursday night package since 1996 and their first home appearance since 1994. Duke finished the 2013 season ranked 23rd in the final AP poll, while North Carolina is rated 17th in the “Way Too Early ESPN Top 25” for 2014.

For the second year, the ACC will also play three nationally televised games on Friday, beginning with Boston College hosting Pitt (ESPN, or ESPN2) on Sept. 5; followed by Louisville at Syracuse (ESPN or ESPN2) on Oct. 3 and finally, Virginia Tech hosting Virginia on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 28. The Hokies and Cavaliers previously played on Thanksgiving Friday in 1996.

With the ACC sending an NCAA-record 11 teams to bowl games in 2013, no ACC team will face fewer than six opponents that participated in bowl games last year, while 11 of the 14 ACC teams will play at least eight bowl teams from 2013 with both Miami and Virginia each facing 10 teams that were in postseason play a year ago.

ACC teams will play nine games against teams from the final 2014 Associated Press poll including games against 4th-ranked South Carolina (Clemson), 12th-ranked Ohio State (Virginia Tech), 16th-ranked UCLA (Virginia), 17th-ranked Oklahoma State (Florida State), 19th-ranked Southern California (Boston College) and 20th-ranked Notre Dame (Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse).

Conference teams will play 12 games against teams that were ranked in ESPN’s Too Early Top 25 including 7th-ranked UCLA (Virginia), 9th-ranked Ohio State (Virginia Tech), 11th-ranked Georgia (Clemson, Georgia Tech), 13th-ranked South Carolina (Clemson), 14th-ranked Southern California (Boston College), 21st-ranked Iowa (Pitt), 23rd-ranked Notre Dame (Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse) and 25th-ranked Florida (Florida State).

ACC teams will play 24 games against nonconference teams that earned bowl bids in 2013, including Southern California and Colorado State (Boston College); Georgia and South Carolina (Clemson); Tulane (Duke); Oklahoma State and Notre Dame (Florida State); Tulane and Georgia (Georgia Tech); Notre Dame (Louisville); Arkansas State, Nebraska and Cincinnati (Miami); San Diego State, East Carolina and Notre Dame (North Carolina); Iowa (Pitt); Maryland and Notre Dame (Syracuse); UCLA and BYU (Virginia); Ohio State and East Carolina (Virginia Tech) and Utah State (Wake Forest).

In all, the league’s FBS nonconference opponents posted a .532 winning percentage in 2013, second highest among the Power Five Conferences.

Thursday, August 28
Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe

Saturday, August 30
Boston College at UMass
Clemson at Georgia
Elon at Duke
Oklahoma State vs. Florida State (Dallas)
Wofford at Georgia Tech
Liberty at North Carolina
Georgia Southern at NC State
Delaware at Pitt
Villanova at Syracuse
UCLA at Virginia
William & Mary at Virginia Tech

Monday, September 1
Miami at Louisville, 8 PM, ESPN

Friday, September 5
Pitt at Boston College, ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, September 6
South Carolina State at Clemson
Duke at Troy
The Citadel at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Tulane
Murray State at Louisville
Florida A&M at Miami
San Diego State at North Carolina
Old Dominion at NC State
Richmond at Virginia
Virginia Tech at Ohio State
Gardner-Webb at Wake Forest

Saturday, September 13
Southern California at Boston College
Kansas at Duke
Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech
Arkansas State at Miami
NC State at South Florida
Pitt at Florida International
Syracuse at Central Michigan
Louisville at Virginia
East Carolina at Virginia Tech
Wake Forest at Utah State

Saturday, September 20
Maine at Boston College
Tulane at Duke
Clemson at Florida State
Louisville at Florida International
Miami at Nebraska
North Carolina at East Carolina
Presbyterian at NC State

Iowa at Pitt
Maryland at Syracuse
Virginia at BYU
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
Army at Wake Forest

Saturday, September 27
Colorado State at Boston College
North Carolina at Clemson
Wake Forest at Louisville
Duke at Miami
Florida State at NC State
Akron at Pitt
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Kent State at Virginia
Western Michigan at Virginia Tech

Friday, October 3
Louisville at Syracuse, ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, October 4
NC State at Clemson
Wake Forest at Florida State
Miami at Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech at North Carolina
Pitt at Virginia

Saturday, October 11
Louisville at Clemson
Duke at Georgia Tech
Cincinnati at Miami
North Carolina at Notre Dame
Boston College at NC State
Florida State at Syracuse

Thursday, October 16
Virginia Tech at Pitt, ESPN

Saturday, October 18
Clemson at Boston College
Virginia at Duke
Notre Dame at Florida State
NC State at Louisville
Georgia Tech at North Carolina
Syracuse at Wake Forest

Thursday, October 23
Miami at Virginia Tech, ESPN

Saturday, October 25
Syracuse at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Pitt
North Carolina at Virginia
Boston College at Wake Forest

Thursday, October 30
Florida State at Louisville, ESPN

Saturday, November 1
Virginia at Georgia Tech
North Carolina at Miami
Duke at Pitt
NC State at Syracuse
Boston College at Virginia Tech

Thursday, November 6
Clemson at Wake Forest, ESPN

Saturday, November 8
Louisville at Boston College
Virginia at Florida State
Georgia Tech at NC State
Duke at Syracuse

Saturday, November 15
Virginia Tech at Duke
Clemson at Georgia Tech
Florida State at Miami
Pitt at North Carolina
Wake Forest at NC State

Thursday, November 20
North Carolina at Duke, ESPN

Saturday, November 22
Georgia State at Clemson
Boston College at Florida State
Louisville at Notre Dame
Syracuse at Pitt
Miami at Virginia
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

Friday, November 28
Virginia at Virginia Tech

Saturday, November 29
Syracuse at Boston College
South Carolina at Clemson
Wake Forest at Duke
Florida at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Georgia
Kentucky at Louisville
Pitt at Miami
NC State at North Carolina

Saturday, December 6
Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship

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