TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Running back Lama Miller #6 of the Miami Hurricanes runs upfield against the South Florida Bulls November 19, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Miami won 6 - 3. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
We've known this was going to be a problem for some time now, so as expected, Miami and South Florida have announced a change in their schedule for 2012. The Hurricanes and Bulls will move their game up one week from November 24 to November 17 "in order to accommodate the conference scheduling needs of both programs."
Miami-South Florida seemed like the most likely candidate to be moved off the final weekend of the regular season, as the other four previously scheduled games -- Clemson-South Carolina, Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Wake Forest-Vanderbilt -- are more traditionally played on the season's final weekend.
This move was needed to ensure that the ACC wasn't left with an odd number of teams needing to play a conference game on the last weekend of the season (November 24). If Miami and South Florida had kept their previously scheduled November 24 meeting, one of Boston College, Duke, Maryland, N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia or Virginia Tech would have had to finish the season a week early.
Still, there are complications. The ACC is left with three Atlantic Division teams and five Coastal Division teams needing an in-conference opponent on November 24, meaning there will likely be an Atlantic vs. Coastal Division matchup on the season's final weekend.
Virginia-Virginia Tech seems like a lock for the final regular season game for both the Cavaliers and Hokies, as does North Carolina-Duke. Both games are all Coastal Division affairs. Which leaves BC, Maryland and N.C. State to roshambo for an inter-division showdown the final week of the season, with Miami drawing the odd program out. Of those three Atlantic Division teams, Miami hosts N.C. State, visits BC (presumably on Labor Day weekend) and misses Maryland this season.
So the Eagles are left with two scenarios: see the rumored Labor Day home game against Miami moved to the final weekend of the regular season or host Maryland.
Of note, there has only been three Atlantic-Coastal Division matchups during the final weekend of the regular season since the move to the divisional format -- BC vs. Miami in 2007 and 2011, and N.C. State-North Carolina in 2009. Par for the course, TOB complained about the possibility of an ACC Championship Game rematch in back-to-back weeks (seven years later, still no ACCCG appearances for either program). Presumably, BC and Miami simply embraced the nostalgia of the Miracle in Miami playing on that weekend.
With the BC-Miami game already rumored to be on Labor Day weekend, my guess is you'll see BC keep that date, making the final weekend of the regular season Boston College-Maryland and Miami-N.C. State.
After the jump, a last best guess at what the 2012 Boston College football schedule will look like factoring in existing non-conference scheduling obligations (possible opponents in parenthesis). By the way, I'm guaranteed a zero percent chance of getting this right.
Sep. 1 -- Miami
Sep. 8 -- Maine
Sep. 15 -- at Northwestern
Sep. 22 -- at Georgia Tech (Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / BYE)
Sep. 29 -- Clemson (Clemson / at Georgia Tech / Maryland / at N.C. State / at Wake Forest / BYE)
Oct. 6 -- at Army
Oct. 13 -- BYE (Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE)
Oct. 20 -- Virginia Tech (Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE)
Oct. 27 -- at Florida State (Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE)
Nov. 3 -- at Wake Forest (Clemson / at Florida State / at Georgia Tech / Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / at Wake Forest / BYE)
Nov. 10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 17 -- at N.C. State (Clemson / at Georgia Tech / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech)
Nov. 24 -- Maryland (Maryland / at N.C. State / Virginia Tech / BYE)