Change continues to roll through the ACC, and we’re reminded of that after the 2014 football schedule released by the league Wednesday. Gone will be Maryland to the Big Ten and in comes Louisville from the American Athletic Conference.
And don’t forget about Notre Dame, which is a full-time member in all sports except for football, but will play an average of five games against ACC teams beginning in 2014.
Here are some highlights of the ACC schedule, beginning with an unlikely prime-time game between long-time conference rivals:
• Duke and North Carolina are on national television – and it’s not in basketball. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels will play at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium on Thursday night, Nov. 20 on ESPN. That’s one of seven home games for the Blue Devils, who went 10-4 this season and won the Coastal Division.
• Clemson will jump right into the deep end with an Aug. 30 opener at Georgia and will play at defending league and national champ Florida State on Sept. 20. The Tigers will close the regular season at home against South Carolina on Nov. 29. As Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier likes to remind us, Clemson hasn’t beaten South Carolina since 2008.
• North Carolina and N.C. State will face off in their regular-season finale Nov. 29 in Chapel Hill. It will be the fourth time the teams will finish the regular season against each other and the first time at Kenan Stadium.
• N.C. State will begin the season with nonconference home games against first-year Football Bowl Subdivision teams Georgia Southern and Old Dominion, at the AAC’s South Florida and at home to the Football Championship Subdivision’s Presbyterian. Then it will get interesting for the Wolfpack, which was winless in the ACC in 2013, as it will run smack into Florida State at Carter-Finley Stadium on Sept. 27 and travel to Clemson on Oct. 4.
• There’s nothing terribly exciting about the nonconference schedule for Wake Forest under new coach Dave Clawson: home games against Gardner-Webb (Sept. 6) and Army (Sept. 20) and trips to Louisiana-Monroe (Aug. 28) and Utah State (Sept. 13). The Deacons do get a Thursday night ESPN home game Nov. 6 against Clemson, however.
• Another nationally prominent matchup on that first full weekend of Aug. 30 has defending national champ Florida State facing Oklahoma State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
• ACC newcomer Louisville will open with a home game against Miami on Monday, Sept. 1, on ESPN.
• The league’s Virginia schools will get at least one appetizing nonconference matchup: Virginia Tech will be at Ohio State on Sept. 6 and Virginia will host UCLA on Aug. 30.
• Notre Dame will play four ACC teams: at Syracuse (Sept. 27), North Carolina (Oct. 11), at Florida State (Oct. 18) and Louisville (Nov. 22). The Irish will play six games against ACC teams in 2015 then five against conference foes from 2016 on.
• It all will wrap up again with the ACC championship game Dec. 6 in Charlotte, the fifth consecutive year the game will be at Bank of America Stadium.
Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14
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