- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
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College football schedules come in varying degrees of difficulty. Some are best described as a series of half-speed scrimmages while other schedules create doubts as to whether the athletic director has a blatant disregard for his head coach’s feelings. That’s what happens with rotating cross-division games and nonconference scheduling.
Pat Forde took a look at every FBS team’s schedule and sought out the hardest and easiest, as well as finding some interesting tidbits that add a little extra intrigue to college football.
Here are some of Forde’s thoughts regarding the scheduling of ACC teams:
Miami has the toughest October.
That cannot be argued, whether in the ACC or nationally. There is a lot of pressure from the Hurricanes fan base on coach Al Golden to at least get Miami in the Atlantic Division discussion, but the schedule is brutal. Even before the October schedule kicks off with a Thursday road trip to Cincinnati -- then FSU, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Duke follow -- the Canes play host to Nebraska on Sept. 19.
Virginia and Miami have schedules that could put its coaches out of jobs.
Andrea had something on Virginia’s scheduling recently, and it’s clear Virginia has made winning tougher on coach Mike London than it ought to be. Virginia has cost itself bowl games because of its scheduling, and now this could be London's last season in Charlottesville after many thought last season's 5-7 record would close the book on the London era. "Virginia might have kept Mike London for one more season simply to spare the new guy from facing UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State in the first month," Forde writes. As for Miami, a hard schedule is expected, though it’s probably not a good idea for Miami to schedule road games all that often at Group of 5 schools. Forde questions NC State’s scheduling, and rightfully so, but at least the Wolfpack are still in the process of building a program and have tougher future nonconference slates.
All of North Carolina’s games are on grass.
I just think that’s pretty neat, and the Tar Heels are the only FBS team that will play all 12 games on natural grass.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino’s perfect record tested.
Petrino has never lost a season opener (10-0), but he brings the Cardinals to Atlanta to play Auburn, which is among the early favorites for a playoff bid. A win over the Tigers would be a huge statement and give the Cardinals a big nonconference win, which should hold serious weight if they find themselves in the playoff conversation.
5dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna