GREENSBORO, NC – The 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference football schedule released Tuesday again includes one of the most difficult nonconference slates among the Power Five conferences.
With Clemson and Florida State winning two of the last four national championships, ACC programs will face teams in 2017 that have won 10 of the last 11 national titles.
ACC teams will play more games (22) against Power Five nonconference teams than any of its peer conferences. The ACC will also have a higher percentage (.393) of its nonconference games against Power Five opponents than any other league.
ACC teams will play more games against nonconference teams (7) that were ranked in last year’s final Associated Press Top 25 than any other Power Five conference. The ACC also has the second-highest percentage of games against teams ranked in the final AP poll of any of its peers.
Including the 11 ACC teams that went to bowl games, no ACC team will face fewer than seven opponents that went to bowls in 2016, while eight teams will face eight or more opponents that played in the postseason with Syracuse (11), Duke (10), Clemson (9), Georgia Tech (9), NC State (9) and Virginia (9) leading the way. ACC teams will play 26 games against nonconference opponents that went to bowl games in 2016, the second-highest total among Power Five conferences.
ACC teams will play seven nonconference games against teams in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2017, which ties for the most among Power Five conferences.
ACC teams’ FBS nonconference opponents had the second-highest winning percentage (.526) in 2016 of any of the Power Five conferences.
"Our ACC football programs are coming off a record-setting season that was capped off with nine postseason wins, including Clemson’s National Championship and Florida State's Orange Bowl Title," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Our football success over the last few years has helped put the ACC in one of the strongest positions we have ever enjoyed as a league. As we look ahead to 2017, conference games will continue to be extremely competitive and our schools are once again playing what is arguably the top nonconference schedule in the country. This is a great tribute to our schools and programs, and it will be exciting on a weekly basis for our fans."
Six ACC teams are ranked in the ESPN Way-Too-Early rankings, including Florida State (No. 2), defending National Champion Clemson (No. 5), Miami (No. 16), Louisville (No. 18), Pitt (No. 22) and Virginia Tech (No. 24).
ACC nonconference opponents from the Way-Too-Early rankings include No. 1 Alabama (vs. Florida State on Sept. 2), No. 4 Penn State (vs. Pitt on Sept. 9), No. 7 Oklahoma State (at Pitt on Sept. 16), No. 11 Auburn (at Clemson on Sept. 9), No. 13 Georgia (at Georgia Tech on Nov. 25), No. 15 LSU (vs. Syracuse on Sept. 23) and No. 21 Florida (vs. Florida State on Nov. 25).
No. 1 Clemson led five ACC teams, tying the league’s all-time high, which finished in the Top 25 of the final 2016 AP poll. The Tigers, who claimed their second national championship and the 14th by current ACC schools with a 35-31 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, were followed by Florida State (No. 8), Virginia Tech (No. 16), Miami (No. 20) and Louisville (No. 21).
Florida State will face five teams that finished 2016 ranked in the AP Top 25, including Alabama (No. 2), Miami, Louisville, Clemson and Florida (No. 14). Syracuse will also face five teams from the final AP poll in LSU (No. 13), Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Louisville.
Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Pitt will each face four opponents that were in the final Top 25. The Tigers face a rematch of the 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game when the Tigers face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Sept. 30, as well as Auburn (No. 24), Florida State and Louisville. Boston College will have games against Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech faces Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and Tennessee (No. 22). Pitt will have games against Virginia Tech, Miami, Penn State (No. 7) and Oklahoma State (No. 11).
Nonconference opponents that earned bowl bids this past season include Alabama, Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Army-West Point, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, Central Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, LSU, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion (2), Penn State, South Carolina (2), Tennessee, Toledo, UCF and West Virginia.
The ACC will have three games nationally-televised by ESPN or ESPN2 on Thursday nights, including Louisville at NC State (Oct. 5), Georgia Tech at Miami (Oct. 12) and North Carolina at Pitt (Nov. 9).
The schedule incorporates five games against Notre Dame. Boston College hosts the Irish on Sept. 16, while North Carolina (Oct. 7) and Miami (Nov. 11) also will have home games with Notre Dame. NC State (Oct. 28) and Wake Forest (Nov. 4) will each travel to South Bend.
ACC teams will play five neutral site games on the opening weekend of the season, including two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games scheduled for Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. On Saturday, Sept. 2, Florida State will face Alabama, and on Labor Day Monday night Georgia Tech will host Tennessee.
The other opening weekend neutral site games include Virginia Tech facing West Virginia at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland; Louisville facing Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis; and NC State facing South Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte in the Belk College Kickoff Game.
One other neutral site game scheduled for later in the year has Boston College facing UConn at Fenway Park in Boston on Nov. 18.
In all, the schedule includes 56 regular-season conference match-ups over a span of 13 weeks and is capped off with the 13th annual Dr Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game, which will be played on Saturday, Dec. 2.
The ACC Digital Network, the home of ACC Postgame Highlights and Must See Moments, will give fans a glimpse into the key matchups of the 2017 ACC Football Schedule with a Live Release Special at 3 p.m. EST on Facebook.com/theACC as well as a close look into the Clemson's road to repeat as National Champions. The 2017 Football Schedule Release videos as well as all ACCDN video content is available on theACC.com, the ACC Sports mobile app, and through the ACCDN channel on various streaming media such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, go90, Roku, and Xbox.
About the Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 64th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports – 14 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (facebook.com/theACC).