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Tuesday Thoughts 9/8: Observations about the ACC Schedule

The ACC has crafted a pretty wonky plan for 2020, let’s talk about some of the weirder parts.

Georgia v Georgia Tech Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Hello everyone and welcome back to sustained GT football coverage (for now!)! The season that has changed shape a billion times is now actually upon us and the Jackets are set to take on Florida State this Saturday (9/12) at 3:30pm on ABC (yes, real television!). Barring anything absolutely insane happening this week (decently possible to be fair) it looks like we will actually see at least one game of football this year. Of all years, 2020 looks to be one of the most chaotic for college football that we’ve ever seen and the ACC schedule we’ve been given is no different. Let’s take a look at this schedule and make some mental notes of things to look out for.

The hottest Commonwealth Cup on record

UVA and VT are playing in week 2 (September 19th) rather than their usual Thanksgiving Rivalry Weekend slot. In recent years this game has had fairly large Coastal implications and it’s late season scheduling makes for great drama. But in these u n p r e c e d e n t e d t i m e s we’re getting this game in 95 degree September heat with pretty much nothing on the line, and that kinda sucks.

Miami, right where we want ‘em

Another team we get to play late in the season is Miami, and boy is that a real treat. November is about the time that the Canes love to fall apart and catching them in a tailspin as we find our stride is a recipe for something :chefs-kiss:.

The biggest stage for the SUPERWEAPON

One of the most amazing opportunities on this schedule is the fact that Pitt is scheduled to play Clemson in the penultimate week (and actually Pitt’s last game of the year). If we make it that far, this could be one of the biggest moments of all time for our favorite superweapon. As a reminder, the top two teams in the entire conference get an invite to the Championship game. Imagine how perfectly Pitt it would be for them to upset a 8-1 Clemson and force them into third place obscurity. Which brings me to my next point.

Wait, Notre Dame?

The most meh part of all of this might actually be that the Irish everyone loves to hate are actually part of our conference. What’s even more meh, they’ve got a good shot at making the title game. “2020 ACC Champion Notre Dame” is just about the worst thing I could possibly think of, but it’s a reality we might have to contend with. Luckily we get our chance at them later in the season, so hopefully we’ve figured our identity out by then.

Travel isn’t safe, so let’s travel a lot

This is the thing I noticed first about our schedule specifically: we sure are traveling a lot in a schedule that was supposedly designed to limit travel and exposure. We play at Syracuse and at Boston College (jury still out on if I can get myself to this game or not), while UCF, Notre Dame, and Pitt come to Atlanta. And yet we can’t play UGA because….? None of this makes any sense to me.

There are wins if we can take them

We’ve got a weird schedule for sure, but there are definitely wins on it if we play well. In our Season Predictions I called out Syracuse, Louisville, Boston College, and either Pitt or Duke as wins. I’ll add UCF, Miami, and NC State as possibilities as well. If we can find our peak form then we could find ourselves with 7 wins and I’d call that a rousing success.

Excessive Florida-ness

We are set to play 3 teams from Florida: FSU, UCF, and Miami. This last happened in 1999 when we played...FSU, UCF, and Miami. The circumstances were slightly different back then though: we played Miami in the Gator Bowl (they were in the Big East), and FSU was a perennial opponent for us.

What are y’alls favorite nuggets from this wacky 11-game plan?