Analyzing The ACC 2012 Non-Conference Schedule

Nov. 19, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish center Mike Golic, Jr. (57) prepares to snap the ball in the third quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

The ACC's long national scheduling nightmare is over. Florida State announced on Wednesday that Savannah State -- yawn -- will fill the void in the Seminoles non-conference schedule created when Big 12-bound West Virginia reneged on their September 8 date with the Noles.

As a result, the ACC schedule should drop ... soon ... so you can all make wedding plans for the fall of 2012.

Let's take a look at the ACC's 2012 non-conference schedule (dates and opponents subject to change). Nothing's official til it's official.

Boston College
9/8 Maine
9/15 at Northwestern
10/6 at Army
11/10 Notre Dame

Clemson
9/1 Auburn (at Georgia Dome)
9/8 Ball State
9/15 Furman
11/24 South Carolina

Duke
9/1 Florida International
9/8 at Stanford
9/22 Memphis
TBA N.C. Central

Florida State
9/1 Murray State
9/8 Savannah State
9/29 at South Florida
11/24 Florida

Georgia Tech
9/8 Middle Tennessee State
11/24
at Georgia
TBA BYU
TBA Southeastern Louisiana State

Maryland
9/1 William & Mary
9/8 at Temple
9/15 Connecticut
9/22 West Virginia

Miami
9/8
at Kansas State
10/6 vs. Notre Dame (at Soldier Field)
10/13 Bethune-Cookman
11/24 South Florida

N.C. State
8/31 vs. Tennessee (at Georgia Dome)
9/8 at Connecticut
9/15 South Alabama
9/22 The Citadel

North Carolina
9/1 Elon
9/6 at Louisville
9/22 East Carolina
9/29 Idaho

Virginia
9/1 Richmond
9/8 Penn State
9/22 at TCU
9/29 Louisiana Tech

Virginia Tech
9/15 at Pittsburgh
9/22 Bowling Green
9/29 vs. Cincinnati (at FedEx Field)
TBA Austin Peay

Wake Forest
9/1 Liberty
9/22 Army
11/17 at Notre Dame
11/24 Vanderbilt

First, the cupcakes. The ACC will face 14 teams from the Football Championship Subdivision, all at home, meaning that two programs -- N.C. State and Florida State -- aren't calorie-counting and will face not one but two cupcakes this season. South Alabama is making the jump to I-A in time for the 2013 season (joining the Sun Belt) and Florida State had extenuating circumstances, but there's really no reason a program should be playing two I-AA opponents unless they absolutely, absolutely have to. Goes without saying that 14-0 here is a must. This means you, Duke and Virginia.

Against BCS competition, the ACC has seven home games scheduled, nine road games and three neutral site games. Against the SEC, the ACC will benefit from having three home games, two neutral site games and just one true road game (Georgia Tech at Georgia). Hopefully the ACC will take advantage of the fact that five of six games are home/neutral games against the SEC.

The converse is true for ACC-Big East matchups, where the ACC gets just two of seven games at home -- Miami vs. USF and Maryland vs. Connecticut. Four of the ACC's games against the Big East are road games and one -- Virginia Tech vs. CIncinnati at FedEx Field -- is a neutral site contest. This may give the Big East one final chance to show up the ACC on the gridiron.

The ACC also has two games against the Big Ten (1 home, 1 road), three against the Big 12 (1 home, 2 road), including two against newcomers TCU and West Virginia and one against the Pac-12 (one road game).

Of the games against non-AQ competition, eight of nine are at home with the lone exception being Maryland's road trip to Temple, who might not be a non-AQ for much longer. The ACC has two home games against each of the WAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA, and three total against the MAC (and none against the Mountain West).

Only Duke, Georgia Tech and North Carolina failed to schedule at least two BCS AQ (plus Notre Dame) opponents, while Miami is the only team in the conference to schedule three BCS AQs. The general scheduling format is 2 BCS AQs, one non-AQ and one I-AA. You've got to think that when the ACC moves to a nine-game conference schedule (next year?) that one of those two games against BCS AQs will disappear. Which is a shame.

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