Posted: 2:57 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
The ACC released everyone’s schedules Thursday and naturally, there’s some old and there’s some new.
As for the old, Maryland sees the ACC conspiring against it. First this year the Terps were unhappy that Duke, UNC and State were not going to College Park. Now the Turtles fear quick turnarounds: Maryland plays two games in three day four times.
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True? Probably. We would guess that after decades of Terrapin griping about the conference and Carolina (or Duke or State or Wake) bias, everyone in Greensboro just figured “what the hey: Let’s just stick it to them. They’re going to complain no matter what we do. Might as well have some fun.”
The surprising thing is that so many Maryland partisans expect the rest of the conference to see this as an emotional farewell tour. Kareem in the rocker it ain’t.
As for the new, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Pitt are in.
All will have some revelatory road trips: Syracuse will play at Wake, Duke, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia Tech. These games will be nothing like playing at the big sterile old Big East arenas.
Notre Dame doesn’t leave town until the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 13th.
Mike Brey’s non-conference schedule is wretched: Indianapolis, Tusculum, Miami (Ohio), Stetson, Indiana State, Santa Clara, Army, Cornell, Iowa (as mandated by the Challenge), Delaware, Bryant, North Dakota State and Canisius. They do play Indiana and Ohio State in December, voluntarily, but that’s about it for ruggedness.
The Irish will make ACC road trips to Maryland, FSU, Wake Forest, Syracuse (nothing new there), BC, Miami, UVa and UNC.
The home schedule is extremely conservative, other than the three Big Ten opponents. You get the impression that Notre Dame would just as soon never go on the road.
Pitt’s opening schedule is not much better. The Panthers start with UCSD, Slippery Rock, Savannah State, Fresno State, Howard and Lehigh before venturing out on the road. Jamie Dixon takes his team to Brooklyn for the Legends Classic, where Stanford is a reasonable potential opponent, but Texas Tech and Houston are not.
The good times roll on with Duquesne, Penn State, Loyola Marymount, Youngstown State, a rare reasonable game with Cincy, followed by Cal Poly and Albany.
In conference play, the Panthers visit State, Tech, Miami, UNC and Clemson.
What’s going to be very different is not Duke, UNC and the better teams in the conference. Playing at Syracuse or Georgetown or Villanova is similarly intense.
What may come as a shock is the crowds which can show up at Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wake, Virginia and Georgia Tech (to be sure, Jim Boeheim is very familiar with Virginia Tech, having played them often in the Big East days).
You go to Littlejohn and don’t match the intensity and you pay. Same is true up and down the conference. In the Big East, the bottom teams were going to lose and they knew it. That’s not the case in this conference, and the early schedules for Pitt and Notre Dame do little to prep them for what’s coming.
This is not the case for Syracuse: the Orange have a few lame opponents – Cornell, Fordham and Colgate open things up – before heading out to Maui.
Next up is Indiana in the Challenge. Then it’s Binghamton, St. John’s, High Point, Villanova and Eastern Michigan before ACC play starts.