In 2013, the ACC not only adds two new teams to the picture in Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but promises to be a very competitive conference. With the duel between Florida State and Clemson for the Atlantic and a number of teams that could take the Coastal, there will be a number of games that decide who get to Charlotte and the conference title game. Today we look at the top ten ACC games that you should look forward to in 2013.
10. Thursday, September 19 — Clemson @ N.C. State
In 2012, N.C. State shocked Florida State and almost cost them a chance at the ACC title game. This year N.C. State is without quarterback Mike Glennon, but Clemson should definitely have this game marked as an upset for the 2013 season.
9. Saturday, October 5 — Georgia Tech @ Miami
Both teams should be in the hunt for the Coastal Division crown in 2013. Since the game will be played in Miami, the ‘Canes will have an advantage, but you never know what Paul Johnson has planned for big games like these.
8. Saturday, October 5 — North Carolina @ Virginia Tech
This should be a very good matchup, as two senior quarterbacks in Bryn Renner and Logan Thomas come into the game with high expectations. Again, the home-field advantage for the Hokies should be an advantage, but look for UNC to be well-prepared for this matchup.
7. Thursday, October 17 — Miami @ North Carolina
Yet another October game that will greatly affect the Coastal Division; that seems to be a recurring theme in the 2013 ACC slate. And again, two senior quarterbacks are looking to capture their school’s first division crown. Look for this to be a high-scoring affair, as both teams enter the season with an arsenal of offensive weapons.
6. Saturday, November 9 — Virginia Tech @ Miami
By this point in the season, Miami running back Duke Johnson could be in the race for the Heisman Trophy, and this game against the ferocious Hokie defense could not affect his chances of winning the award, but the team’s chances of getting to Charlotte. Although, look for Virginia Tech to be ready to strike after losing this game last year by 18.
5. Monday, September 2 — Florida State @ Pittsburgh
The first ACC matchup of the year comes on Labor Day, and it will also be Pittsburgh’s first game against a conference opponent. And if the Panthers want to prove that they belong in the ACC, they will have to perform against a stingy Seminoles defense.
4. Thursday, November 14 — Georgia Tech @ Clemson
This will be one of the last ‘best’ ACC games of the year, and by this point in the year Clemson may be eyeing a national title game. But again, Georgia Tech’s triple option offense may have other plans.
3. Saturday, November 2 — Miami @ Florida State
This will be one of the more interesting matchups on the season. Miami, a team with 20 returning starters and sky-high expectations, looks to upset Florida State, who is annually one of the best in the conference but dealt with some harsh offseason losses. Two of the ACC’s best coaches in Al Golden and Jimbo Fisher also meet in this matchup.
2. Thursday, September 26 — Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech
In all but one of the years the ACC Championship Game has been held, this matchup has decide who wins the Coastal, and this is why it is so high on the list. Recently, Frank Beamer has found ways to shut down the Yellow Jackets’ triple option attack, but never count out Georgia Tech.
1. Saturday, October 19 — Florida State @ Clemson
And finally, Florida State at Clemson. The ACC-Atlantic Division’s outcome will likely pivot on this one game, thus why it is the top game to watch in the ACC this year. In 2013 Clemson will be the favorite, but an outstanding performance by Jimbo Fisher’s defense and the Seminoles could find themselves in the conference title game in back-to-back years.