Time to critique ACC football’s non-conference schedules, which aren’t nearly as strong as the ACC’s slate in 2012:
1. Clemson: Georgia, South Carolina State, The Citadel, at South Carolina. Two SEC heavyweights? Who schedules like that? Kudos to the Clemsons.
2. Virginia Tech: Alabama at Atlanta, Western Carolina, at East Carolina, Marshall. Good schedule.A national power, plus two solid mid-majors.
3. Miami: Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, at South Florida. Like always, the Hurricanes have a solid schedule. Not like always, they are playing hapless Savannah State.
4. Florida State: Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, at Florida. The Seminoles often play a schedule better than this, but this isn’t bad.
5. Georgia Tech: Elon, at Brigham Young, Alabama A&M, Georgia. Two good games, two I-AA opponents.
6. Virginia: Brigham Young, Oregon, VMI, Ball State. All home games, but two of them against brand names.
7. Syracuse: Penn State at East Rutherford, N.J.; at Northwestern; Wagner; Tulane. The Orange played Penn State every year from 1944 through 1990, but only twice since.
8. Pittsburgh: New Mexico, Old Dominion, at Navy, Notre Dame. No Penn State. No West Virginia. That’s a crying shame.
9. North Carolina: at South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, East Carolina, Old Dominion. Does the loser of the Tar Heels-Gamecocks game have to refrain from referring to itself as “Carolina”?
10. Boston College: Villanova, at Southern Cal, Army, at New Mexico State. It would be difficult to find two locales more culturally different than Boston’s Chestnut Hill and Las Cruces, N.M.
11. Maryland: Florida International, Old Dominion, at Connecticut, West Virginia at Baltimore. I feel sort of bad ranking the Terrapins this low, considering they’ve got two games against fellow power-conference schools. But I look at this schedule and think blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
12. Wake Forest: Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, at Army, at Vanderbilt. Not a good schedule, but still better than 40 percent of the Big 12 teams.
13. North Carolina State: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina. OK, now we’ve run out of even a quality opponent. And it’s even worse in the ACC. In the Big 12, that means three rumdum games. In the ACC, it’s four.
14. Duke: North Carolina Central, at Memphis, Troy, Navy. It’s hard to get too upset with the Blue Devils for playing such an atrocious schedule.