Louisville will kick off a brand new era of football by taking the ACC spotlight in week one of the 2014 season. The Cardinals, with new head coach Bobby Petrino, will host Miami in the ACC opener on Labor Day night, their first game as an ACC member. Later in the season the Cardinals will host the defending ACC and BCS champions, Florida State in a Thursday night game on national television after a bye week to prepare. Welcome to the ACC, Louisville.
The ACC released their 2014 football schedule Wednesday afternoon, highlighted by 24 non-conference games against teams that played in a bowl game in the 2013 season. The usual non-conference match-ups include the SEC rivalry games between Clemson and South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Georgia and Florida State and Florida. Louisville will get in the ACC vs. SEC fun with the moving of the annual game against Kentucky to the end of the season.
“This is an exciting time in ACC Football, and as we look ahead to the 2014 season, it’s clear that our teams have once again combined for a strong lineup of non-conference opponents, along with our competitive league schedule,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a statement released by the conference with the schedule. “In addition to the overall schedule and season, we look forward to welcoming Louisville into the ACC and beginning our annual scheduling agreement with Notre Dame.”
Florida State will open the 2o14 season in Arlington, Texas against Oklahoma State in week one. Florida State will host Clemson this season after a bye week on September 20. In addition to the Thursday night game at Louisville (October 30), Florida State will travel to Miami on November 15 for a rare late season game against their in-state rivals. Florida State ends the season at home against Florida on November 29.
Defending Coastal Division champion Duke skips Florida State and Clemson on the crossover division schedule (again) and they get a bye week between a road game at Miami and another road game at Georgia Tech in key division games. Duke also makes back-to-back road games at Pittsburgh and Syracuse in November before ending at home against Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
The ACC will feature five Thursday night games with Virginia Tech’s road game at Pittsburgh on October 16 opening a stretch of four straight weeks with Thursday night primetime games. In addition, three games will air on Friday nights, including a season finale between Virginia and Virginia Tech on the day after Thanksgiving for the first time since 1996.