Editor's Note: I'm out of town and friend of the site Furrer4Heisman did me a solid and wrote this for y'all. --Joe
After numerous pleas, threats and bribery attempts, the ACC has finally released its 2013 football schedule, a mere four months after the SEC, three months after the Big 12 and a month and a half after the Pac 12. Oh, and the Big Ten? They got their 2013 conference schedule in April ... of 2011.
But, hey, at least we finally have this thing and can start booking hotel rooms and RSVPing or not RSVPing for weddings. Sorry, Ron, but I told you not to get married during football season.
On to the schedule, which sucks.
Aug. 31: Alabama (Georgia Dome)
Sept. 7: Western Carolina
Sept. 14: at East Carolina
Sept. 21: Marshall
Sept. 26: at Georgia Tech (Thursday)
Oct. 5: North Carolina
Oct. 12: Pittsburgh
Oct. 19: Bye Week
Oct. 26: Duke
Nov. 2: at Boston College
Nov. 9: at Miami
Nov. 16: Maryland
Nov. 23: Bye Week
Nov. 30: at Virginia
The date everyone will immediately be up in arms about is playing at Georgia Tech on short rest. I'm really not that concerned about it. If anything, it gives the defense more time to recover after facing 60 minutes of cut blocks, which could be more important than having more time to prepare for the option.
Jacket fans are usually quick to attempt to bust the myth that having more than six days to prepare gives opposing defenses an advantage against its offense. Honestly, I don't care anymore. Now that Chan's players are gone I really don't worry about Georgia Tech's offense. I'm a lot more annoyed about having short rest for the conference opener in general than I am about having short rest for Georgia Tech.
The other reason we're upset is the lack of a Thursday home game for the first time since 2001, when the Hokies were in the Big East. The prime candidate was the North Carolina game, which conveniently is right after Tech's Thursday night road game. Alas, it's on a Saturday. No YouTube clip of Rece Davis fawning over Enter Sandman this year.
Not only is the ACC schedule bereft of a Virginia Tech Thursday home game, FSU appears on the Thursday night schedule a total of zero timesbecause #goacc. It's as if this conference wants bad ratings and/or ESPN has given up on Thursdays because of the NFL.
The next item of business is finishing with three out of four road games. This is the third straight time we've had to do that when our schedule ends at UVa (2011 and 2009). Of course, we went 4-0 during that span in both of those years.
This year, that final stretch includes trips to the two farthest outposts in the ACC in consecutive weeks. I think that's what annoys me most about this schedule. Not only are we the only team in the league that has to go all the way to Boston and Miami in the same year every other year, but this time the trips are back-to-back. The only thing that would make it worse is if either of those two schools had fans. Fortunately as it stands now the Hokies only have to contend with the high intimidation factor that comes with piped in noise during play in Boston and tarps in Miami.
So what's good about this schedule? Well, we'll know by the second week of October whether this team is any good and if they have a shot at making it to Charlotte. Also, it's a sports writer's dream with not one, but TWO trips to Cheetah, trips to Beantown and Miami and no trips to Tallahassee. The only thing that could have made it better is if the national college football schedule (this means the SEC and Big 12) wasn't awful during the two bye weeks.
What's bad about this schedule? Basically everything else. The list of grievances is long (and should be read while listening to this nsfw song - http://youtu.be/SCwzcrG7EsM): We knew FSU was off the schedule and replaced by Maryland, we knew we were going to have to play in Greenville (which is so, so stupid), now we know we have short rest for the conference opener, NO THURSDAY NIGHT GAME IN LANE BECAUSE WE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENJOY COLLEGE FOOTBALL AT ALL, we finish with three road games out of four and have to go from BC to Miami in back to back weeks. Some of those things are our own fault, some of those things are the conference's. You can figure out which is which.
Does that about cover it? We waited all this time for the ACC to release this thing and this is what we have. It could be worse, we could be in the Big East and not get the schedule until sometime around Memorial Day. Actually,, now that I think of it, that still gives us time to trade BC for UConn or USF. Or maybe we can amnesty BC's contract. That's how that works, right?
Well, see you in Blacksburg ... oh hell, I don't know ... Nov. 16 for the @D1scourse Farewell Tour ... maybe? Oh and since you asked: 8-4.