Notes on ACC's 2020 football schedule
|Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 9:36 AM-|
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday its 2020 football schedule, which includes 56 regular-season league matchups (eight per team) and 56 non-conference games.
The ACC’s non-conference schedule is among the most difficult in the country.
ACC teams will play 29 games against non-conference opponents that participated in bowl games last season, the most of any Power 5 conference.
ACC teams will play 19 games against Power 5 competition (including Notre Dame), the most of any Power 5 conference.
ACC teams will play 15 non-conference games against teams ranked in the final 2019 Associated Press Top 25 poll, the most of any Power 5 conference.
ACC teams will play 12 non-conference games against teams in ESPN’s 2020 Way-Too-Early Top 25.
The season culminates with the 16th annual ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Saturday, Dec. 5.
“The accomplishments by our collective football programs over recent years has been remarkable and a compliment to our players, coaches and the leadership at our schools,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “As we look ahead, there’s no shortage of excitement and anticipation for what the 2020 season will bring. Once again, our fans will have an opportunity to watch all of our games across a variety of platforms, including ACC Network which continues to be successful in showcasing our schools and programs.”
League teams will play 14 games against seven different FBS teams that won 10 or more games, and 24 games against teams that won eight or more. All 14 teams play at least one Power 5 non-conference opponent, while five teams – Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Louisville – play two.
FBS non-conference opponents on ACC teams’ 2020 schedules posted a combined 311-228 (.577) record last season. Ten of the 14 ACC schools face FBS opponents whose combined records were .500 or better. Georgia Tech’s non-conference slate includes UCF (10-3), Notre Dame (11-2) and Georgia (12-2) – a combined 33-7 (.825) last season. Florida State and Louisville’s non-conference FBS opponents were each 28-11 (.718), while Pitt’s opponents were 27-13 (.675).
With 13 playing weekends, the 2020 schedule includes one open date for each team, and at least one conference contest scheduled each week, except for week three. The opening weekend includes three league games – Clemson at Georgia Tech and NC State at Louisville on Thursday, Sept. 3, and Syracuse at Boston College on Friday, Sept. 4. This is the second-consecutive season the ACC has opened with three conference games.
ACC teams will play in two neutral site games in Atlanta on the opening weekend as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff series. Florida State faces West Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 5, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Virginia takes on Georgia in the ACC’s traditional Labor Day spot on Monday, Sept. 7. The following weekend (Sept. 12), North Carolina will play Auburn in the Kickoff Classic in Atlanta.
The schedule includes six games against Notre Dame, which finished No. 12 in the final 2019 AP Top 25 poll. In week four (Sept. 26), Wake Forest faces Notre Dame at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Pitt (Oct. 17) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 14) play host to the Fighting Irish, while Duke (Oct. 31), Clemson (Nov. 7) and Louisville (Nov. 21) travel to Notre Dame.
Each ACC team plays six division games, one permanent crossover opponent and one rotating opponent from the opposite division. This season, the Atlantic Division plays host to the Coastal Division in the rotating crossover games. All 14 teams will make at least one appearance in a non-Saturday game.
Game times and networks for the first three weeks of the 2020 season, as well as all non-Saturday games, will be announced in May.
The ACC has won three of the last seven football national championships (Clemson 2016 & 2018, Florida State 2013), which ties for most of any league.
The ACC has had a team in either the College Football Playoff or the BCS National Championship Game in each of the past seven years.
The ACC is the only conference to send every team to at least one bowl game over the last four seasons.