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The New New New 2020 ACC Football Schedule

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Analysis of the revised revised schedule for 2020

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Notre Dame at Duke
The 2020 ACC football schedule is finally set.
Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The final(?) non-conference game was scheduled just in time for the season to begin this week. For some teams, what were originally bye weeks are now used to play out of conference games, while previously-scheduled games are now open dates. What does the 2020 ACC football schedule look like now, and which teams are at a possible advantage - or disadvantage?

New Composite Schedule.

Here is the updated composite schedule. I know the ACC published a nice infographic when the schedule was first released, but since then there have been no less than 10 changes to the 2020 ACC football schedule!

2020 Weeks 2 - 6

WEEK 2 3 4 5 6
WEEK 2 3 4 5 6
Boston College @Duke Texas St UNC Pitt
Clemson @Wake The Citadel UVA Miami
Duke @ND BC VT @Syracuse
Florida State GT @Miami Jax. St @ND
Georgia Tech @FSU UCF @Syracuse Louisville
Louisville W Kentucky Miami @Pitt @GT
Miami UAB (9/10) @Louisville FSU @Clemson
UNC Syracuse Charlotte @BC VT
NC State Wake @VT @Pitt @UVA
Notre Dame Duke USF @Wake FSU
Pitt Austin Peay Syracuse Louisville NC State @BC
Syracuse @UNC @Pitt GT Duke
Virginia @VT @Clemson NC State
Virginia Tech UVA NC State @Duke @UNC
Wake Forest Clemson @NC State Notre Dame Campbell

2020 Weeks 7 - 10

WEEK 7 8 9 10
WEEK 7 8 9 10
Boston College @VT GT @Clemson @Syracuse
Clemson @GT Syracuse BC @ND
Duke @NC State Charlotte UNC
Florida State UNC @Louisville Pitt
Georgia Tech Clemson @BC Notre Dame
Louisville @ND FSU VT @UVA
Miami Pitt UVA @NC State
UNC @FSU NC State @UVA @Duke
NC State Duke @UNC Miami
Notre Dame Louisville @Pitt @GT Clemson
Pitt @Miami Notre Dame @FSU
Syracuse Liberty @Clemson Wake BC
Virginia @Wake @Miami UNC Louisville
Virginia Tech BC @Wake @Louisville Liberty
Wake Forest UVA VT @Syracuse

2020 Weeks 11 - 14

WEEK 11 12 13 14
WEEK 11 12 13 14
Boston College Notre Dame Louisville @UVA
Clemson @FSU Pitt @VT
Duke @UVA Wake @GT FSU
Florida State @NC State Clemson UVA @Duke
Georgia Tech Pitt @Miami Duke @NC State
Louisville Syracuse @BC Wake
Miami @VT GT @Wake UNC
UNC Wake Notre Dame @Miami
NC State FSU Liberty @Syracuse GT
Notre Dame @BC @UNC Syracuse
Pitt @GT VT @Clemson
Syracuse @Louisville NC State @ND
Virginia Duke Abilene Chr. @FSU BC
Virginia Tech Miami @Pitt Clemson
Wake Forest @UNC @Duke Miami @Louisville

Here are the schedule changes so far:

  • The Boston College Eagles now have a bye in the opening week and a non-conference game in the third week (technically week number four).
  • The Clemson Tigers added a non-conference opponent in week three.
  • The Florida State Seminoles have a bye in week three and a non-conference opponent in week five.
  • The North Carolina Tar Heels added a non-conference opponent in week three.
  • The NC State Wolfpack now have a bye in the opening week and will visit Virginia Tech in week four.
  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish replaced their non-conference opponent in week three.
  • The Pittsburgh Panthers replaced their non-conference opponent in week two.
  • The Virginia Cavaliers lost their non-conference opponent in week two and scheduled a new one in week twelve.
  • The Virginia Tech Hokies had to move the NC State game from week two to week four, resulting in an opening week bye.
  • The Wake Forest Demon Deacons replaced their non-conference opponent in week six.

One good thing about this schedule is that we finally ended up with the same number of games for every team (11), although it took the Virginia Cavaliers until the final week of the preseason to find a non-conference opponent to their liking.

Updated Bye Analysis.

Last month I posted an analysis of how bye week placement gave some teams advantages in the ACC race. Now so many dates have changed that I thought it was worthwhile taking another look. So, after all the dust settled, which team(s) got the short end of the stick in terms of having their first bye too early or too late?

First Bye Too Early/Late

BYE Weeks 1st Bye Wk comes before vs week 5
BYE Weeks 1st Bye Wk comes before vs week 5
Boston College 2 Duke -3
Clemson 4 UVA -1
Duke 4 VT -1
Florida State 3 Miami -2
Georgia Tech 5 Louisville 0
Louisville 5 GT 0
Miami 5 Clemson 0
UNC 4 BC -1
NC State 2 Wake -3
Notre Dame 5 FSU 0
Pitt 9 FSU 4
Syracuse 5 Duke 0
Virginia 2 VT -3
Virginia Tech 2 UVA -3
Wake Forest 5 Campbell 0

Five teams were more than two weeks from the ideal bye week (five), with four of them having to burn a bye in the first week. Pitt still doesn’t get a bye until week nine which is by far the latest break of any ACC team.

Which teams end up taking their second bye far earlier or later than the ideal week (ten)?

Second Bye Too Early/Late?

BYE Weeks 2nd Bye Wk comes before vs week 10
BYE Weeks 2nd Bye Wk comes before vs week 10
Boston College 12 Louisville 2
Clemson 11 FSU 1
Duke 8 Charlotte -2
Florida State 9 Pitt -1
Georgia Tech 10 Pitt 0
Louisville 11 Syracuse 1
Miami 9 NC State -1
UNC 12 Notre Dame 2
NC State 9 Miami -1
Notre Dame 12 UNC 2
Pitt 14 ACCCG 4
Syracuse 11 Louisville 1
Virginia 4 Clemson -6
Virginia Tech 13 Clemson 3
Wake Forest 10 UNC 0

Because of the timing of their non-conference opponent, the Virginia Cavaliers use both of byes by week four - by far the earliest second bye of any ACC team, meaning they must finish out the season by playing 10 straight weeks. That’s even worse than the eight straight games Pitt must play thanks to a second bye in the final week of the season - certainly less than ideal.

Finally, which teams have to face the most/fewest ACC opponents coming off of byes?

Number of opponents coming off byes

ACC Opponent #Byes before
ACC Opponent #Byes before
Boston College 1
Clemson 3
Duke 2
Florida State 3
Georgia Tech 1
Louisville 3
Miami 2
UNC 2
NC State 1
Notre Dame 1
Pitt 2
Syracuse 1
Virginia 2
Virginia Tech 2
Wake Forest 1

Clemson, Florida State and Louisville are all tied for most ACC opponents coming off a bye with three - one more than the expected two. Meanwhile, there are six teams which only face one ACC opponent coming off an open date. The other six face two such teams. So, despite all of the schedule rearranging, this statistic ended up being surprisingly balanced.

Teams and Games per week.

Another factor to consider is the balance in terms of game inventory by week. There are two weeks (six and seven) in which all 15 teams are in play; on the other hand, the fewest ACC teams in action occurs in week five (nine teams).

As far as games are concerned, the week with the fewest games is again week five, with only five games, one of which is non-conference. The week with the most games is week three (the second week of the ACC season) with nine different games available for television.

Bottom Line.

It’s a less-than-perfect schedule for a less-than-perfect season. Like a dog that can walk on two legs, it isn’t how good the ACC football is or isn’t that’s important, but rather, than we have one at all...