Thursday, March 6, 2008

Judging ACC Non-con Schedules

Here's a list-filled look at how the ACC teams did with their non-con schedules. For the record, we have nothing against scheduling 1-AA teams. Tech does it a lot and almost every 1-A team's schedule this year features a team from the lower division. It's tough to schedule all D-1 games, especially when scheduling someone like Boise State is such a lose-lose proposition for BCS conference teams. Scheduling two 1-AA teams, however ... well, we have a little bit different opinion on that:

Atlantic Division

Boston College
Aug. 30 - at Kent State (Cleveland, Ohio)
Sept. 20 - Central Florida
Sept. 27 - Rhode Island
Nov. 8 - Notre Dame

The Eagles open their season with a trip to Cleveland to face Kent State (good sections still available!). This is BC's second trip to a MAC school in three seasons. BC made the trip to Mount Pleasant in 2006 to face Central Michigan and nearly embarrassed itself in its first game as an ACC member by eking out a 31-24 win.

We realize non-con schedules are made years in advance, but why the hell does BC schedule games away from home against the MAC? A team like BC in a conference like the ACC has no business playing these kinds of games away from home. You don't see Auburn scheduling road games against teams like that.

Eagles, you may not consider yourselves above playing these road games (how valiant of you), but we do. You have our permission to not make road trips to the MAC anymore.

Grade: C-
A road trip to the MAC. A 1-AA team, a Central Florida team sans Kevin Smith and a Notre Dame team that no one knows what to think of for next year.

Aug. 30 - Alabama (Atlanta)
Sept. 6 - The Citadel
Sept. 20 - SC State
Nov. 29 - South Carolina

The Peach Bowl got involved and gave us a nice August game between Clemson and 'Bama on neutral turf. We're looking forward to it. The good thing for Clemson is they get the Tide early. The Tigers annual collapse doesn't typically happen until late in the year, so its a good match-up for them. Clemson's our darkhorse for the MNC game in Miami this year, so we'll find out pretty early how dumb we are (answer: very).

However, they're also playing two 1-AA teams, neither of whom are even mediocre 1-AA teams. Both The Citadel and SC State suck out loud. For those keeping score, that's a total of four 1-AA opponents for Papa and Tommy Bowden this year. I guess we know where Tommy learned how to schedule.

Grade: B

Florida State
Sept. 6 - Western Carolina
Sept. 13 - Chattanooga
Sept. 27 - Colorado (Jacksonville)
Nov. 29 - Florida

A remarkably similar schedule to Clemson's: Two 1-AA opponents, a BCS conference team on a neutral field (if you can call Jax neutral) and the in-state rival.

Colorado returns the favor after F$U went to Boulder last year and beat the Buffs, 16-6 in one of the most boring games I was unfortunate to watch last season. I actually fell asleep during it. Between that game and F$U's 21-14 snooze-fest against 'Bama last year, the Seminoles were a tough team to watch in the non-con department. Don't think it will be any different this year. Unless, of course, you're a Gator fan.

Grade: C-

Aug. 30 - Delaware
Sept. 6 - at MTSU
Sept. 13 - Cal
Sept. 20 - Eastern Michigan

Why do ACC teams keep playing road games against MTSU? Why, why, WHY?

Grade: C+
Home game against Cal could be fun to watch.

NC State
Aug. 28 - at South Carolina (Thu.)
Sept. 6 - William and Mary
Sept. 20 - East Carolina
Sept. 27 - South Florida

Damn fine job of scheduling by NC State. They open the college football season for everyone on national TV against Spurrier and have home games against a regional rival and a BCS conference team that went on the road and beat Auburn last year. We approve of this kind of scheduling. We also realize that it would be easy for the Pack to 1-3 in non-con this year. But, they do get style points.

Grade: A+

Wake Forest
Aug. 30 - at Baylor
Sept. 6 - Mississippi
Sept. 27 - Navy
Nov. 29 - Vanderbilt

The Deacs didn't schedule a 1-AA team and don't have any road games against non-BCS schools. They're also playing three teams that will have new coaches for 2008 (all but Vandy) and seem to have a fondness for the bottom of the BCS barrel.

Grade: B+
Hey, two SEC teams is two SEC teams.


Aug. 30 - James Madison
Sept. 6 - Northwestern
Sept. 13 - Navy
Oct. 25 - at Vanderbilt

Similar to Wake's scheduling, but with the added bonus of a 1-AA team. Two excellent pillow fights on the schedule with Northwestern and Vandy.

Grade: B-
Hey, they're Duke. Do you really want them playing LSU and Florida in non-con?

Georgia Tech
Aug. 30 - Jacksonville State
Sept. 20 - Mississippi State
Oct. 11 - Gardner-Webb
Nov. 29 - at Georgia


Grade: F

Aug. 28 - Charleston Southern (Thu.)
Sept. 6 - at Florida
Sept. 20 - at Texas A&M
Oct. 4 - Central Florida

Maybe the toughest slate of non-con games in the ACC. Road trips to two of the loudest places in college football and no-win game against a regional mid-major school. This probably won't end well.

Grade: A+

North Carolina
Aug. 30 - McNeese State
Sept. 27 - at Rutgers
Oct. 4 - UConn
Oct. 11 - Notre Dame

That's right, the Heels get a home game against Notre Dame. The question is, is it a good or bad thing that they get the Irish in Notre Dame's sixth game of the season? We'd rather get them earlier than that, but there's no way UNC had a choice in the matter. UNC also plays two of the better teams in the Big East. Even if that's not saying much.

Grade: B+

Aug. 30 - USC
Spet. 6 - Richmond
Sept. 13 - at UConn
Oct. 11 - East Carolina

Including the Hokies, ECU gets its shot at three ACC teams. Don't sleep on the Pirates. As they showed last year against Tech and Boise State, they're capable of playing with anybody. And as they showed against West Virginia and Marshall, they're also capable of not showing up against anybody. France also gets to boast the best home non-con game in the ACC this year. They will open their season by getting destroyed by USC on national TV. Hey, Hoos, remember all the noise you made last year when Tech got beat by 41 on the Bayou? Payback's a bitch.

Grade: A

Virginia Tech
Aug. 30 - East Carolina (Charlotte)
Sept. 6 - Furman
Sept. 27 - at Nebraska
Oct. 4 - Western Kentucky

A neutral site game against the Pirates, a trip to face the Children of the Corn and two guarantee games against weaklings. We're going to get real sick of playing ECU real quick, we can feel it. We're also counting down the days until we leave for Lincoln.

Grade: B

1 comment:

Sid Bream Speed said...

"For the record, I have nothing against scheduling 1-AA teams."

Nice try, kid.

/Will Leitch