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ACC Preview: Best Case And Worst Case Schedule Looks

The ACC has been dominated by Clemson the last 7 plus years. Last season Florida State went 10-3 and has a lot of talent back. They also were aggressive in the portal bringing in higher end depth, hoping to challenge for supremacy. Drake Maye and North Carolina are counting on being in the mix too.

However, in the ACC not all schedules are created equal. Some have an easier path, while others play a much more tough road. Let’s take a look at best case and worst case scenarios with an emphasis on each team’s schedule.


Best case scenario: 7-5, 5-3 Worst case: 4-8, 2-6

Can Brent Key push Georgia Tech to a bowl game? That's the immediate goal for a program in transition. The schedule isn't making life any easier as they have to go on the road to Oxford to finish up a home and home against Ole Miss, play at Clemson, draw Louisville, UNC, Miami, and face the UGA Bulldogs as they always do in November.


Best case scenario: 10-2, 7-1 Worst case: 6-6, 4-4

Narduzzi's team is often underrated this time of year in the ACC when most of the preseason hype revolves around schools with an elite quarterback and higher-profile talent. For Pitt's non-conference schedule, the Backyard Brawl is once again on the schedule and Pitt will welcome Cincinnati at home. They will have a tough road test against Notre Dame as well. They do not play Clemson in 2023 and do welcome top contenders FSU and UNC in Acrisure Stadium.


Best case scenario: 8-4, 4-4 Worst case: 4-8, 2-6

Jeff Hafley knows he needs to win in 2023. His teams are scrappy, but the wins have not been there consistently. Close, tough-to-stomach losses need to turn into big wins. His Eagles dodge Clemson this year with their conference schedule but isn't done any favors elsewhere. They do get the other lesser teams in the ACC at home with Virginia Tech and Virginia. They also get Miami and FSU at home but they must go on the road against the middle of the pack facing Louisville, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh away.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 5-3 Worst case: 5-7, 3-5

Dave Clawson is one of the ACC's most respected coaches, but there is no Sam Hartman this time around. Wake will draw both Clemson and Florida State this year, plus Notre Dame. They get Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech but miss out on BC and UVA. In the middle they have Pitt and NC State at home while travelling to NC State and Syracuse.


Best case scenario: 6-6, 4-4 Worst case: 3-9, 2-6

For Tony Elliott and his Cavaliers, there is no room to breathe early with Tennessee, James Madison, Maryland and NC State to play in September. The team does dodge FSU and Clemson but plays the rest of the tough middle of the ACC and add Tennessee and Maryland in their out of conference schedule. Bowl eligibility should be the goal.


Best case scenario: 8-4, 4-4 Worst case: 6-6, 2-6

There are several toss-up games against bottom-tier opponents that will determine bowl eligibility. While this teams schedule is very top heavy with Clemson, UNC, and FSU they will draw Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Georgia Tech. They'll play Purdue again but this time on the road and will have opportunities against Wake Forest and Pitt at home.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 6-2 Worst case: 6-6, 3-5

Mike Elko's success in his first season at Duke means expectations are borderline too high for the Blue Devils in 2023. Achieving nine wins again would be an impressive milestone especially with the Blue Devils having the toughest schedule in the ACC this year. Drawing Clemson, Notre Dame, NC State, Florida State, Louisville, Wake Forest, UNC, and Pitt this season. Clemson will head to Durham week one so we will find a lot out about Duke very quickly.


Best case scenario: 7-5, 4-4 Worst case: 4-8, 2-6

Things were relatively quiet exiting spring around Brent Pry's program, which might be a positive. Coaches love flying under the radar. The Hokies will miss Clemson this year but face every other tough in conference opponent besides UNC. They will get BC and always have UVA but both games are on the road. Pry will try to rebound and forget last years loss to ODU before facing Purdue, Rutgers, and Marshall in the non-conference.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 6-2 Worst case: 6-6, 4-4

It could be a quick adjustment period for Louisville as they miss both FSU and Clemson this year making their schedule a little easier. Unfortunately, missing those two they end up getting Notre Dame on the schedule, but that game will be in Louisville. They still draw some of the tougher opponents in the middle of the conference but get UK at home and will be on the road at NC State, Pitt, and Miami.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 6-2 Worst case: 5-7, 2-6

NC State expects the offseason transfer of former Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong from the portal to work out well offensively in an already notable quarterback room. The defense is veteran-heavy, too. The matchup with the Fighting Irish might be the most important game of the season not named Clemson. Wolfpack fans in Raleigh should have a ton of fun this year. The schedule is tough but they do get to play Notre Dame, Louisville, Clemson, Miami, and UNC all at home. Their true road tests will be in state at Duke and Wake Forest.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 6-2 Worst case: 6-6, 4-4

With a player as talented as Drake Maye at quarterback, getting to the likes of the elites is a possibility. However, UNC faces a schedule in 2023 considerably more difficult than last year. UNC's out of conference schedule is tough to say the least as they open up with South Carolina in Charlotte then face App State who they beat in a 63-61 game last year and welcome Minnesota at home. They will dodge FSU in conference but still have to go on the road to Clemson, Pitt, and NC State. Duke, Syracuse, and Miami will all head to Chapel Hill this year.


Best case scenario: 9-3, 6-2 Worst case: 6-6, 3-5

Mario Cristobal continues to try and change Miami's culture in his second season after Year 1 didn't go so well. The schedule is once again tough and they will play Texas A&M early, Clemson, and Louisville at home and go on the road at UNC, NC State, and FSU. The team is loaded with talent everywhere so we will see if the new coaches can correct any problems that they had last year.


Best case scenario: 12-0, 8-0 Worst case: 9-3, 6-2

Will the Garrett Riley hire work out for Dabo Swinney and Cade Klubnik? We will know early at Duke during college football's opening weekend. The Tigers do have a tough schedule this year with FSU, Miami, NC State, Notre Dame, UNC, and their yearly matchup with South Carolina. Lucky for them they will catch FSU and Notre Dame at home in Death Valley this year.


Best case scenario: 12-0, 8-0 Worst case: 8-4, 5-3

Are the Seminoles the ACC's best shot at getting past Clemson to an ACC championship with a chance at the College Football Playoff? Their schedule is tough this year getting LSU in Orlando to finish off a "home and home" neutral site series and they have to head to Clemson week 4. On top of that they draw many of the competitive teams in the ACC and will face their usual rivals in Miami and Florida. Norvell has a talented team lined up to make a push for the first time in almost a decade.

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