With all of the insanity going on over in the Big East and elsewhere, we wanted to give a breakdown of each of the ACC‘s schedules — how the teams stack up, and some thoughts on overall difficulty. If these change at all, we’ll also be sure to update them on a rolling basis. All information is up-to-date as of publishing, based on the latest from FBSchedules.com.
Today’s breakdown: Miami Hurricanes
Miami’s 2012 non-conference slate promises to be as challenging as ever — as if the Hurricanes needed anything else to prevent them from finding success this coming season. With the NCAA’s decisions on their off-the-field transgressions still looming, and more accusations possibly on the way, things are fluid down in Coral Gables. What we do know, however, is the uphill battle they’ll face on the field. Like last year, they’ll meet up with a highly-regarded Kansas State program (this time in Kansas), and will also see the hard-to-read USF Bulls at Sun Life Stadium (along with FCS foe Bethune-Cookman). Possibly the biggest test of all will be a visit to Chicago to take on old rivals, Notre Dame. The Irish figure to enter the season ranked, and the October 6 matchup at historic Solider Field should be one of the season’s most anticipated non-league games.
As for the ACC schedule, the Hurricanes play what may be the conference’s most difficult slate from start to finish. Each home game is more challenging than the next, as UNC, NC State, Virginia Tech and Florida State all pay a visit to Miami. Those teams went 7-6, 8-5, 11-3 and 9-4 last season, respectively, and the ladder three are all receiving top-25 consideration so far. On the road, the ‘Canes get apparent breaks in Boston College and Duke. But they must also head to Georgia Tech and Virginia. In all, they get two of the league’s three worst, but also six of the league’s seven best. The lone saving grace: missing out on the offensive buzzsaw that will be Clemson next season. Head coach Al Golden’s got plenty of other problems with his program already, and this challenging schedule is unlikely to do him any favors in diverting attention from that.
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