With the ACC to expand to 15 teams this summer, it released a revamped football scheduling plan Tuesday that will run through the 2024 season.
The ACC will keep its eight-game conference schedule. Each division (Atlantic and Coastal) will have seven teams, with Notre Dame joining but not a full member for football. Divisional foes play every season. Each school will have a permanent partner from the opposite division for an annual game. Then there will be a 12-year rotation for playing the rest of the teams in the opposite division.
This system will make for a few scheduling quirks, with one occurring right here in the Triangle.
Duke and N.C. State are about a 30-minute drive apart, but they might as well be on opposite coasts as far as football goes. During the next 12 years, the schools are scheduled to play just twice the 2013 season in Durham and in Raleigh during the 2020 season. Thats because the Blue Devils are in the Coastal Division and the Wolfpack in the Atlantic, and the conference decided both schools had better permanent crossover partners (Wake Forest for Duke and UNC for N.C. State).
Notre Dame will play each conference team once every three years as part of the partnership that requires the Fighting Irish to play five annual games against ACC opponents. That will count as one of the four nonconference games a team is allotted each year. That rotation is set through 2016.
Heres what is in store in cross-division games for the Triangle schools though the 2024 season:
Permanent partner: Wake Forest
N.C. State (home in 2013; away in 2020)
Syracuse (away in 2014; home in 2019)
Boston College (home in 2015; away in 2022)
Louisville (away in 2016; home in 2021)
Florida State (home in 2017; away in 2024)
Clemson (away in 2018; home in 2023)
Blue Devils travel to South Bend in 2016.
At first glance, this certainly is favorable. Duke wont face the three best teams in the ACC until the end of the first cycle. Now, of course, the balance of power could change by, say, the 2022 matchup at Boston College, but, at present date, coach David Cutcliffe and his staff must be pleased.
Permanent partner: N.C. State
Boston College (home in 2013; away in 2020)
Clemson (away in 2014; home in 2019)
Wake Forest (home in 2015; away in 2022)
Florida State (away in 2016; home in 2021)
Louisville (home in 2017; away in 2024)
Syracuse (away in 2018; home in 2023)
The Tar Heels travel to Notre Dame in 2014
For the first four seasons, the only new ACC team on the Tar Heels schedule will be Pittsburgh. Louisville and Syracuse should be well established in the ACC before they come up. The Tar Heels draw two of the toughest ACC road trips to Clemson and to Florida State before hosting those teams in Chapel Hill.
Permanent partner: UNC
Duke (away in 2013; home in 2020)
Georgia Tech (home in 2014; away in 2019)
Virginia Tech (away in 2015; home in 2022)
Miami (home in 2016; away in 2021)
Pittsburgh (away in 2017; home in 2024)
Virginia (home in 2018; away in 2023)
N.C. State hosts Notre Dame in 2016
As the lone Triangle Atlantic Division team, the Wolfpack will rarely see neighboring ACC schools Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech, which will each visit Raleigh once every 12 years. N.C. State is the only team from North Carolina that will host Notre Dame during the first three-year cycle, which should make for a tough ticket when that date arrives.
Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley