2013 Schedule Breakdown: The ACC Finds As Many Ways To Screw The Hokies As They Can

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

The 2013 ACC schedule has FINALLY been released, and based on its composition alone, it was hardly worth the wait.

Many of us Hokie fans are used to getting screwed over by the ACC. The conference has continually avoided concerns about officiating involving Virginia Tech, failing to ever be accountable for missed calls (2007 Senior Day Clemson basketball game, 2012 UVA basketball game where Jontel Evans' illegitimate 3-pointer provided the Cavaliers with their margin of victory, 2012 Clemson football game and countless other Duke and UNC foul-fests to name a few), treating them as nothing more than blips on their radar. Combined with a leadership that has made their conference expansion moves from a basketball perspective (not the money sport) and an inconsistent stand on academics (see Louisville), their actions have done very little to quell the questions of the ACC's future viability as a football league. But now, at least for Hokie fans, the ACC has provided the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back: The farce of a 2013 schedule that they released today.

In this year's schedule you won't see the big names (aside from a non-conference tilt with Alabama), for which Virginia Tech is partly at fault. But what you will see is at every juncture in the schedule when given the opportunity, the ACC has made the decision to make the schedule more difficult for Virginia Tech. Let's have a look:

Aug. 31 vs. Alabama (Chick-Fil-A kickoff game in Atlanta)

Sept. 7 vs. Western Carolina

Sept. 14 @ East Carolina

Sept. 21 vs. Marshall

Sept. 26 @ Georgia Tech

Oct. 5 vs. North Carolina

Oct. 12 vs. Pittsburgh

Oct. 26 vs. Duke

Nov. 2 @ Boston College

Nov. 9 @ Miami

Nov. 16 vs. Maryland

Nov. 30 @ Virginia

The first concern for Virginia Tech fans should be the Georgia Tech game. The ACC has the Hokies scheduled to play the Yellow Jackets on a Thursday night game just FIVE DAYS after a home game against Marshall. This is completely unacceptable. Not only are you asking a team to play a game, their MOST IMPORTANT CONFERENCE GAME ALL SEASON on short rest, you're asking them to travel to do it as well. Recent history shows how poorly the Hokies have handled such games. A flat and listless 42-7 win over probably the worst team to ever play in Lane Stadium, Austin Peay in 2012, despite Jim Weaver and Frank Beamer both assuring they would never do so again after... a 16-21 home loss to an underwhelming FCS James Madison University on, you guessed it, five days rest. And Hokie fans should be well-versed in the statistics regarding playing Paul Johnson teams on under/over six days of rest. Basically, if you are over that number you stand a good chance, and if you're under that number, well...good luck.

I also have an issue with each of the next five games for various reasons:

Oct. 12 vs. Pittsburgh

Oct. 26 vs. Duke

Nov. 2 @ Boston College

Nov. 9 @ Miami

Nov. 16 vs. Maryland

Then of course we come to the Pittsburgh game, one which was scheduled as a non-conference game prior to the announcement of Pittsburgh to the ACC through conference expansion. And as the Hokies traveled to Pittsburgh a year ago, the ACC mandated that the Panthers' return trip should remain intact, you know, since they're sticklers for such things. The logic behind this is two-fold: It helps preserve the home-and-home between the two teams, giving the Hokies a chance to play the Panthers on their home field (not like they're never going to get to do that again) and secondly, it helps set up a neater schedule for future seasons of ACC football (provided there are no more expansions, far from a guarantee). However, in doing so, the ACC forces the Hokies to play THREE repeat games from a season ago, two on the road. Couldn't the conference have just left the schedule alone? Would there be any serious advantage to allow the Hokies to play their schedule as was originally constructed, giving them five ACC home games instead of four? Couldn't they just sit on it and chalk it up to a scheduling anomaly? Apparently the answer was no, as instead they punish the Hokies by reversing the site of three games (two of which would have been home games) just because they scheduled the game prior to the conference's expansion and naïve to their intent to not only do so, but specifically to add Pittsburgh. That's just ludicrous. This is also unfair to Duke, as they now have to return to a venue in which they have never won as ACC members, instead of hosting a home game (debatable as Wallace Wade Stadium is still very much a home field for Virginia Tech) against a high-profile team that they nearly beat a year ago in Virginia Tech. Why should they have to play a conference road game against one of the conference's best two years in a row?

Of course getting a repeat of Duke at home and the addition of Pittsburgh means that the Hokies will have to be giving up two home games that they would have had originally. Enter Boston College and Miami, the two ACC schools furthest from Virginia Tech. Not only did the ACC designate BOTH of those schools as Virginia Tech's repeat road opponents, but they also made sure to do so in consecutive weeks. That's right, the ACC will be asking the Hokies to rack up 3,400 frequent flier miles in the span of seven days. That's just insane.

Then of course to "make future schedules easier" the Hokies have been robbed of their ONLY (save North Carolina, who may not be nearly as good without Giovani Bernard) marquee game against one Florida State. That game, which occurred far too seldom under the former scheduling (once every five years), will not occur AT ALL as scheduled, and instead will be replaced with Maryland, a school that finished 4-8 a year ago (albeit with a litany of quarterback issues). That's a fair trade, right?

Lastly, as a result of the conference slate, the Hokies do not have ONE SINGLE THURSDAY NIGHT HOME GAME ON THE SCHEDULE! The conference's (and really the nation's) premier Thursday night venue will go unused this season for the first time since 2001 (that's saying something, isn't it?) as the ACC has decided to do...I'm not sure exactly. (UPDATE: JIM WEAVER IS AN IDIOT. IT WAS HIS DECISION NOT TO HAVE A THURSDAY NIGHT GAME.) Also, you will see that Florida State is absent a Thursday night home game as well. What's the plan here? Are they TRYING to dissolve the conference? This cannot seriously be their plan for TV ratings success. Whatever the reason, it's a bad one, just as this ACC schedule, for Virginia Tech and for the conference as a whole, is a bad one.

For more on the ACC schedule release, check out SB Nation's breakdown of every team's full schedule here, now updated with a complete pictorial one for those of you who are daunted by a long block of words. And don't forget to come back to Gobbler Country, your home for Virginia Tech sports and rants against the ACC.

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