With spring football underway on many campuses across the country, the ACC has at long last released its full 2013 schedule. Pittsburgh and Syracuse officially join the league, with Pittsburgh joining the Coastal Division and Syracuse joining the Atlantic. Five gold stars to anyone who can name the other six teams in each division.
The season gets underway with two games on the season's official kickoff night, Thursday, Aug. 29, and closes with the ninth annual ACC Championship on Dec. 7 in Charlotte.
Here are the highlights:
Thursday night extravaganza(s): Any regular Thursday night college football viewer knows the traditional night of midweek football has always featured a heavy ACC diet, and this year is no different. In fact, five ACC games dot ESPN's Thursday night schedule: North Carolina at South Carolina (Aug. 29), Clemson at N.C. State (Sept. 19), Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26), Miami at North Carolina (Oct. 17) and Georgia Tech at Clemson (Nov. 14).
Labor Day debut: Another staple of the ACC television schedule is the official close to the five-day college football opening weekend on Monday night. Florida State will travel to Pittsburgh for the Panthers' official welcome to the ACC.
All Orange day: Syracuse opens the season versus Penn State at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and its ACC debut must wait until Oct. 5 when Clemson visits the Carrier Dome.
Other weekday games: Labor Day and Thursday nights aren't the only dates ACC football will take place outside its traditional Saturday home. Wake Forest will host Presbyterian on Aug. 29 (likely on ESPN3), and then visit Boston College on the following Friday. Old Big East foes Miami and Pittsburgh will close their season on Black Friday at Heinz Field.
Coaching debuts: New N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren will open his Wolfpack tenure against fellow newcomer Skip Holtz and Louisiana Tech on Aug. 31 in Raleigh. The Steve Addazio era at Boston College will begin versus Villanova on Aug. 31 at home in Chestnut Hill.
Clear Your Schedule, Part I: Virginia Tech takes the first swing at knocking off two-time defending national champion Alabama at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 31.
Clear Your Schedule, Part II: The ACC's two most recent champions square off when Florida State visits Clemson on Oct. 19.
Jumping in with both feet: The five-day college football opening weekend features big ACC games throughout: North Carolina at South Carolina on Thursday, Georgia at Clemson, Syracuse vs. Penn State and BYU at Virginia on Saturday and the aforementioned ACC lid-lifter for Pittsburgh against Florida State on Labor Day night.
Going out with a bang: As always, the ACC closes with an interesting slate of non-conference, intrastate rivalries, but this year also introduces some old Big East reunions as well. The weekend starts with the previously mentioned Miami at Pittsburgh on Friday and continues Saturday with Florida State at Florida, Clemson at South Carolina, Georgia at Georgia Tech and Boston College at Syracuse.
An awkward goodbye?: Maryland will play its last official ACC game (provided Randy Edsall's team doesn't shock the league and make the ACC Championship) on Nov. 30 when the Terps visit N.C. State.
Frequent foes: East Carolina shows up three times on ACC schedules: Sept. 14 at home versus Virginia Tech, Sept. 28 at North Carolina and Nov. 23 at N.C. State. Soon-to-be Conference USA member Old Dominion also shows up three times on ACC slates: Sept. 7 at Maryland, Oct. 19 at Pittsburgh and Nov. 23 at North Carolina.