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Forecasting the 2017 ACC Football Schedule

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Attempting to formulate the 2017 ACC football schedule

NCAA Football: ACC Football Championship Game-Clemson vs North Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

As is the case in late December, ACC fans sit around and twiddle their thumbs in anticipation of the Atlantic Coast Conference finally announcing the following season’s schedule for league participants. This week, Florida State made final touches to their out of conference schedule for 2017 by adding FCS opponent Delaware State to round out games with Louisiana Monroe, Alabama, and in state rival Florida.

While we sit and wait, I took the opportunity to draw up what we may see released come late January:

Notes about the schedule:

-Blue indicates a conference game. Red is non-confirmed date for OOC opponent

-In week 3 (week of September 16th), 10 of the 14 ACC teams are already locked into a game. The 4 who are not scheduled as of now are Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, and Miami.

Miami does not play Louisville or Clemson in 2017. It does not seem likely the ACC would put the ‘Noles and ‘Canes in a week 3 game, so we are going to assume Miami gets an early bye week. That leaves us with the three Atlantic powers. Clemson will be coming off a week 2 out of conference tilt with Auburn, thereby causing a dilemma for the ACC and the Tigers: back-to-back showdowns while breaking in a new quarterback, or having their bye week come in week 3, forcing Clemson to play their final 10 (or 11) games without a break.

For this exercise we’ll say the ACC gives Clemson the bye, while scheduling Louisville vs. Florida State in week 3, as they did this season.

-Per usual, many ACC teams have scheduled ambitiously, perhaps to their detriment. Syracuse is taking a pay day for a game in Baton Rogue against LSU; Virginia Tech has set up a week 1 neutral site game with West Virginia; Florida State plays Alabama in Atlanta; Clemson hosts Auburn; Georgia Tech gets Tennessee on Labor Day in Atlanta; NC State clashes with South Carolina; as well as the annual end of season ACC vs. SEC rivalries that close out the schedule.

-Conference Games of note:

September 9 Louisville @ North Carolina

September 16 Louisville @ Florida State

September 23 Georgia Tech @ Clemson

September 30 North Carolina @ Virginia Tech

October 7 Clemson @ Louisville

October 14 Miami @ Florida St

October 21 Clemson @ Virginia Tech

October 28 Florida State @ Clemson

November 4 Miami @ North Carolina

The ACC released the 2016 schedule on January 26th, a Tuesday. If that holds true to form in 2017, we should see the schedule announced on Tuesday January 24th.