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Headlines: Initial Thoughts on 2009 Out-of-Conference Sched?

Brian: The Boston Globe's College Sports Blog gives us a glimpse at the schedule for the football team's non-conference slate of games.

From what I can gather from the post, the non-conference sched will break down like this ...

September 5 - Northeastern
September 12 - Kent State
October 24 - at Notre Dame
October 31 - Central Michigan

The rest of the ACC schedule will be released either late this week or early next week. ACC games this coming year will be:

Home: Florida State, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, North Carolina
Away: Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia

Jeff, your thoughts?

Jeff: I think the only big news here is that it appears that the Parents' Weekend game will probably be an ACC opponent. I have no problem with this but given out out of conference slate and the fact that we play at Notre Dame this year, this is terrible for ticket sales. Terrible. Florida State will clearly be the hot ticket for a home game this year, followed distantly by whatever turns out to to be the Parents' Weekend game and then followed even more distantly by one of the other ACC games. Do you agree?

Brian: There won't be a marquee home game outside of Florida State and maybe North Carolina State. Wake Forest will be competitive (as usual) and who knows how UNC will respond to the loss of their offensive playmakers.

I think the benefit of this schedule is that Spaziani, Tranquill and the team will get the first two weeks to break in the freshmen and possibly a new offensive philosophy. That part of the schedule I like.

I also like the fact that the schedule breaks for two weeks in late October. Two years ago - the four straight out of conference games seemed to be a little too much, and this past year having the Notre Dame game in the heart of the late season ACC games led to a predictable letdown before the Notre Dame game (the Clemson game). Since the team seems to get up for the Notre Dame game such that there is the possibility of a letdown on either the weekend before or the weekend after, I'm glad we follow that game with a home out of conference against Central Michigan. That being said, Central Michigan is no pushover as we learned full well back in September 2006.

Also important to note that this season, there will only be one BYE week (as teams play 12 games in 13 weeks), as opposed to the two open dates college football teams had this past season.