On Monday afternoon, the Atlantic Coast Conference was finally able to announce the league’s football schedule for the 2012 season.
As expected, the Eagles will open the year at home against the Miami Hurricanes. The schedule in full:
Week 1, Saturday, Sept. 1: vs. Miami
Week 2, Saturday, Sept. 8: vs. Maine
Week 3, Saturday, Sept. 15: at Northwestern
Week 4: Bye
Week 5, Saturday, Sept. 29: vs. Clemson
Week 6, Saturday, Oct. 6: at Army
Week 7, Saturday, Oct. 13: at Florida State
Week 8, Saturday, Oct. 20: at Georgia Tech
Week 9, Saturday, Oct. 27: vs. Maryland
Week 10, Saturday, Nov. 3: at Wake Forest
Week 11, Saturday, Nov. 10: vs. Notre Dame
Week 12, Saturday, Nov. 17: vs. Virginia Tech
Week 13, Saturday, Nov. 24: at NC State
This schedule does not appear to be absolutely brutal, nor are there any apparent gauntlets to run. If any stretch of the season appears to be more difficult, it’s towards the end. Notre Dame and Virginia Tech coming to town to conclude the home slate should be interesting, and you never know what you’re going to get finishing the season in Raleigh.
Last year’s schedule definitely seemed to be broken up neatly by “easy” and “hard.” This schedule seems a little more balanced, and speaking personally, having a BC game in the Hudson Valley should provide a great opportunity for New York-area alumni (myself included) to attend a game.
It is difficult to venture a season prediction based on a schedule in late February, but it would appear this schedule (in terms of the quality of teams on it) is at nearly the same level of difficulty as 2011, perhaps a little less. UMass, Duke, and UCF have been replaced by Maine, Army, and Georgia Tech; Maine and Army are lesser than the Minutemen and Knights, but the Yellow Jackets are better than the Blue Devils. Right now, there are too many things that can change over the next six months to make an informed guess, but it is my expectation that the results will not be drastically different to either extreme from 2011.
One thing BC fans do know, however, is that after the lackluster play of last season, it’s going to be a long road back to the top. It’s up to BC to win the games no matter who’s on the schedule, and they’ll need to show us that they can do it before fans start believing again.