The ACC finally released the conference schedule this afternoon, only 15 years after every other conference had already announced theirs, allowing the football fans of each conference to have their Fall Saturdays planned out. It is shit overall and shows the conference has little intelligence, but I'm pretty pleased with how it sets up for Clemson.
Recall we had a good non-conference opponent originally scheduled for the slot occupied by SC State, but Clemson had to back out of it because the ACC decided to play the 9th conference game. Clemson could not get back into another series on such short notice, so we're stuck with both SC State and Citadel on the schedule.
|Sept. 7||SC State|
|Sept. 19 - Thursday||@ NC State|
|Sept. 28||Wake Forest|
|Oct. 5||@ Syracuse|
|Oct. 26||@ Maryland|
|Nov. 2||@ UVA|
|Nov. 14 - Thursday||GT|
|Nov. 30||@ Sakerlina|
Obviously a BCS Title shot depends on what happens on August 31st. I think if we defeat what will likely be a suspension-decimated UGA squad at home, we could set up an awesome run. A loss could be quickly straightened out over the next month of soft pansies as well, but might take a lot of the luster off this team very early in 2013.
I'm a little concerned over a night game at Carter-Finley because its going to be a good atmosphere for the pit wolfies and a loss to UGA might not bode well for us here, but Clemson should still win this game against a team with a new coach and comparatively little talent left. I see no reason Clemson should not have at least a 5-1 record going into the home game against a depleted FSU squad. However, it should be noted that the ACC gave them a Bye week before facing Clemson in Death Valley, where we've smacked them around since 2003.
An undefeated Clemson with a victory over both UGA and FSU at this point would likely have us in serious contention for a national title shot, and a Top 5 ranking.
I'm shocked we got the 2nd Thursday night game, at home since our Admin hates them, and I'd bet there were numerous people in the football administration and the AD that pushed for us to take the home game here. With two weeks to prep for the triple option, and the atmosphere we should have at home, a loss here would be inexcusable.
Almost as nice is having a patsy before SC, as they have done for quite some time now before facing Clemson. We'd be able to rest anyone banged up and perhaps Dabo will have learned that SC is the most important opponent on this schedule for his future.
I don't see any reason why I should not hold an expectation of 11 wins with this schedule, and since Dabo says Clemson is a title contender, he must hold a similar expectation. We'll be holding him to that. Clemson should win the ACC championship in 2013, reaching the BCS bowls.