Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Duke-North Carolina headed for Thursday night national spotlight

SPORTS FBC-DUKE-UNC 2 RA
Chuck Liddy - MCT
Duke Blue Devils cornerback DeVon Edwards (27) returns a kick-off 99 yards to score against North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Mack Hollins (13) during the second quarter at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

More Information

  • ACC football: 2014 brings Louisville, scheduling quirks
  • More information

    N.C. State

    Aug. 30 Georgia Southern

    Sept. 6 Old Dominion

    Sept. 13 at South Florida

    Sept. 20 Presbyterian

    Sept. 27 Florida State

    Oct. 4 at Clemson

    Oct. 11 Boston College

    Oct. 18 at Louisville

    Oct. 25 open

    Nov. 1 at Syracuse

    Nov. 8 Georgia Tech

    Nov. 15 Wake Forest

    Nov. 22 Open

    Nov. 29 at UNC

    UNC

    Aug. 30 Liberty

    Sept. 6 San Diego State

    Sept. 13 open

    Sept. 20 at ECU

    Sept. 27 at Clemson

    Oct. 4 Virginia Tech

    Oct. 11 at Notre Dame

    Oct. 18 Georgia Tech

    Oct. 25 at Virginia

    Nov. 1 at Miami

    Nov. 8 open

    Nov. 15 Pittsburgh

    Nov. 20 at Duke

    Nov. 29 N.C. State

    Duke

    Aug. 30 Elon

    Sept. 6 at Troy

    Sept. 13 Kansas

    Sept. 20 Tulane

    Sept. 27 at Miami

    Oct. 4 open

    Oct. 11 at Georgia Tech

    Oct. 18 Virginia

    Oct. 25 open

    Nov. 1 at Pittsburgh

    Nov. 8 at Syracuse

    Nov. 15 Virginia Tech

    Nov. 20 UNC

    Nov. 29 Wake Forest



Duke and North Carolina are getting the prime-time treatment from ESPN … in football.

After the Blue Devils’ 10-win season and Coastal Division title in 2013, they will host the Tar Heels on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Wallace Wade Stadium in one of ESPN’s showcase games.

The national spotlight for the Devils and Heels, a regularity in basketball, is one of the highlights of the 2014 football schedule, which was announced Wednesday by the ACC.

The good, and bad, from the ACC schedules:

Serious upgrade for the champs

After playing Murray State, Savannah State, Bethune-Cookman and Nevada outside the ACC the past two years (in addition to the annual game with Florida), Florida State’s nonconference schedule will get a major upgrade. The 2013 national champions will open Aug. 30 with Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas, and will host Notre Dame, a partial ACC member, Oct. 18.

Given strength of schedule will be a major part of the criteria for the four-team playoff, this is a smart move by Florida State and the ACC.

The Seminoles, who likely will open the season ranked No. 1, will visit N.C. State on Sept. 27, their only game against a Triangle team this season.

The Fighting Irish, full ACC members in all other sports, will play four ACC games this season and five going forward. The Irish will get one game against the Triangle, an Oct. 11 visit from UNC.

Tough sledding for tar heels

Essentially, UNC – 7-6 this season – traded South Carolina for Notre Dame outside the league and Boston College for Clemson inside the league. The Heels also will have to go to East Carolina (Sept. 20) and Miami (Nov. 1) in what is the toughest schedule yet for third-year coach Larry Fedora.

Adios, maryland

The Terps are off to the Big Ten and Louisville, 12-1 this season, will take their place in the stacked Atlantic Division. The Cardinals, who have a new coach (Bobby Petrino) and will have to replace quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, will open at home with Miami on Labor Day (Sept. 1) on ESPN.

N.C. State has to go to Louisville on Oct. 18, neither Duke nor UNC will play the Cards this season.

Who are these guys?

The home schedule for N.C. State, coming off a 3-9 finish in coach Dave Doeren’s first season, lacks name-brand appeal. The Wolfpack will get Florida State in September, but it also will get Georgia Southern (Aug. 30), Old Dominion (Sept. 6) and Presbyterian (Sept. 20) outside the ACC. There’s no Duke, at least until the 2020s, and the UNC game will be on the road (Nov. 29).

Georgia Southern (Sun Belt) and Old Dominion (Conference USA) are making the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision. N.C. State’s other ACC home games will be Boston College, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

Hang 10 (again?)

The Blue Devils won 10 games for the first time in 2013. Their schedule is set up to win at least 10 more for what will be a veteran team for seventh-year coach David Cutcliffe.

Inside the ACC, the Blue Devils avoid Florida State, Clemson and Louisville (they will have Wake Forest and Syracuse). Outside the ACC, the Devils will get Elon, Troy, Kansas and Tulane.

Direct flight from Winston-Salem to Logan, Utah, please

First-year Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson will have to take his team to Louisiana-Monroe and Utah State. You’d be hard-pressed to find any team from a major conference that has ever played a Mountain West and Sun Belt team on the road during the same season.

Some of that is Vanderbilt and Notre Dame’s fault, but Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman isn’t exactly giving his new coach a chance to hit the ground running.

The Deacons also will have trips to Louisville and Florida State during the first six games.

Thanks, boss

Check out what AD Craig Littlepage did at Virginia. The Cavaliers, 2-10 in 2013, have by far the toughest schedule of any ACC team. They will open with UCLA, which will be a preseason top 10 team, trade Maryland for Louisville (This is what the ACC classifies as a “rivalry” game) and get Florida State (albeit instead of Clemson).

The Cavaliers’ road schedule will include trips to Brigham Young, Virginia Tech and Florida State. And all of this in what most people would consider a make-or-break season for fifth-year coach Mike London.

Giglio: 919-829-8938
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
College Basketball Bracket Challenge
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More