2012 ACC Football Schedule Taking Shape, Will Likely Not Include Syracuse, Pittsburgh

According to Caulton Tudor of the News & Observer, the ACC's 2012 football schedule, which will be released shortly after National Signing Day (February 1), will not include Syracuse or Pittsburgh. Certainly not a shocking development, and one that was pretty much expected.

"Barring sudden changes, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not be included in the 2012 ACC football season.

The league plans to announce its entire schedule in early February and although some modifications could be made later, it would be difficult to extensively revise if the Big East released the two new ACC members without notice.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once it's set," said Mike Finn, the ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications."

A couple of interesting notes further down in Tudor's latest post:

-- Notre Dame goes on its second annual ACC tour, with games against Miami (Oct. 6 in Chicago), at BC (November 10), vs. Wake Forest (November 17) and home against future conference member Pittsburgh (November 3).

-- The trend of non-league finales will continue this season, with ACC vs. SEC matchups scheduled for the final Saturday of the weekend -- South Carolina at Clemson, Florida at Florida State, Georgia Tech at Georgia and Vanderbilt at Wake Forest.

-- Miami finished the season at home against USF, also on November 24.

The last point is the most interesting and also the most problematic. Unless Miami and USF move that game, that makes five ACC programs playing non-conference games the final weekend of the year, meaning one ACC program will have to finish its season a week early, on November 17.

Frankly, if that happens, it would be a complete and total embarrassment for the conference. It's not like the ACC even has an odd number of teams to work with here.

The ACC has long given its members total flexibility in scheduling non-conference games, then bolting on the conference schedule after the non-conference dates are set. This allows a program like Notre Dame to fill its independent schedule with ACC programs in the middle portion of the schedule, when other BCS AQ conferences like the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC are busy playing the conference portion of the schedule.

As Tomahawk Nation points out, a simple rule change could dramatically improve the ACC's football scheduling. If the conference restricted scheduling of non-conference games between October 1 and November 15, such scheduling conflicts would be avoided. As it stands, the ACC allows other programs, notably Notre Dame, to dictate the ACC conference schedule. Not the other way around.

This rule change would force ACC programs to schedule 3-4 non-conference games in September, depending on whether the team wished to schedule a season-ending non-league rivalry games on the regular season's final weekend. Very simple and straight-forward, and a rule, if only a de facto one, that works well for other power conferences like the Big Ten.

Let's hope that Miami and USF move that game from November 24 to earlier in the season so we can avoid this sort of scheduling black eye for the conference. Especially considering BC is one of those seven teams that could be S.O.L. and without a conference opponent to play on November 24. ACC football has taken plenty of lumps on the field the last few seasons; hope that the conference avoids an otherwise avoidable, off the field scheduling gaffe.

Given the non-conference dates as they stand today, a look at the possible dates for BC's 2012 football schedule after the jump. Note that due to some of these non-conference dates, the number of possible opponents goes down in early September and late November.

Sep. 1 -- at Georgia Tech / Maine / Miami / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE
Sep. 8 -- Maine / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE
Sep. 15 -- at Northwestern
Sep. 22 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / at N.C. State / BYE
Sep. 29 -- Clemson / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE

Oct. 6 -- Army
Oct. 13 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE
Oct. 20 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE
Oct. 27 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE

Nov. 3 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE
Nov. 10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 17 -- Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / Miami / N.C. State / Virginia Tech / BYE
Nov. 24 -- at Georgia Tech / Maine / Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / BYE

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