GREENSBORO, N.C. — The 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference football schedule released today by Commissioner John D. Swofford is comprised of 96 games, including 48 conference match-ups, over a span of 13 weeks.
The schedule is capped off with the Fifth Annual Dr Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game, which this year will be played on Dec. 5 in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The schedule is highlighted by the return of the Miami-Florida State rivalry to Labor Day Monday Night, as the Seminoles will host the Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Monday, Sept. 7.
The ACC schedule will also feature six Thursday Night ESPN national TV appearances beginning with the season-opening Thursday night clash with NC State hosting South Carolina on Sept. 3, followed by Clemson at Georgia Tech on Sept. 10; Georgia Tech at Miami on Sept. 17; Florida State at North Carolina on Oct. 22; North Carolina at Virginia Tech on Oct. 29 and Virginia Tech at East Carolina on Nov. 5.
Twenty-four of the league’s 48 non-conference games (50 percent) are against 20 teams that earned bowl berths in 2008 including five games with teams which finished ranked in the nation’s final Top 13 (AP) including defending national champion Florida (Florida State), 5th-ranked Oklahoma (Miami), 6th-ranked Alabama (Virginia Tech), 7th-ranked Texas Christian (Virginia) and 13th-ranked Georgia (Georgia Tech). The ACC will also face two other nationally ranked teams 25th-ranked BYU (Florida State) and California (Maryland), which was ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Non-conference opponents who earned bowl bids this past season are Alabama, BYU, California, Central Michigan (2), Connecticut, East Carolina (2 games), Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Navy, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina (2), South Florida (2), Southern Mississippi, TCU and Vanderbilt.
Florida State leads all ACC teams, meeting 11 opponents which played in bowl games in 2008. Boston College, Clemson, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech all meet nine teams which went to bowl games last year with the other six ACC teams each facing 8 foes who earned post-season invitations.
Additionally, the ACC will play 16 games against 14 teams who were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at some point during the 2008 season.
*****To get full details and to check out all the schedules, go to theacc.com.*****