ACC football schedule release: Every game for every team in 2023

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The ACC is ditching divisions for 2023, and that has set up a schedule that looks a good bit different from years past.

The league released its 2023 schedule for all 14 teams Monday, highlighted by a showdown between defending champion Clemson and upstart Duke on Labor Day and a September matchup between Clemson and Florida State.

The league announced last year it would cease divisional play in 2023, waving goodbye to the familiar Atlantic and Coastal divisions in favor of a 3-5-5 system that will pit each team against three annual rivals and alternate home-and-home series vs. five other league opponents every two years.

The new approach means rivalry games like Florida State-Miami (Nov. 11 in Tallahassee), NC State-North Carolina (Nov. 25 in Raleigh) and Virginia-Virginia Tech (Nov. 25 in Charlottesville) remain at the forefront, but Georgia Tech will also travel to Wake Forest for the first time since 2010, Louisville will play Virginia Tech for just the second time since joining the ACC in 2014, and Miami and Boston College, once Big East rivals, will play for just the second time since 2012.

The ACC's nonconference slate gets off to a rollicking start, too, with North Carolina taking on South Carolina, Virginia facing off against Tennessee, Florida State playing LSU and, in what figures to be one of the most confusing games of the year, Miami (Ohio) travels to Miami (Florida).

ACC teams will go on the road to face off against teams outside the Power 5 six times in 2023. The league played 10 road games outside the Power 5 last year, losing three. Commissioner Jim Phillips has strongly recommended league teams cease this scheduling philosophy, as the reputational risk doesn't outweigh the money saved.

The ACC continues its annual showcase games against Notre Dame as well. The Irish will head to NC State on Sept. 9, play at Duke on Sept. 30 and Louisville on Oct. 7, host Pitt on Oct. 28, travel to Clemson on Nov. 4 and host Wake Forest on Nov. 18. The Irish typically play five games per year against the ACC, but played just four last season and have an extra date in 2023 as a result.

Below you'll find the schedule for all 14 ACC teams as well as analysis from ESPN reporters David Hale and Andrea Adelson.

Game you're most looking forward to?

Hale: Florida State and Clemson should both be highly ranked when they face off, which makes that the obvious answer, but I'm more excited about a few games that come with huge storylines and have nothing to do with the standings. Thanks to the transfer portal, there are some, shall we say ... awkward dates on the calendar at a few places. Boston College goes to Pitt on Nov. 16, where the Eagles will likely face off against their former QB, Phil Jurkovec. Virginia hosts former QB Brennan Armstrong when NC State comes to town on Sept. 22. But, of course, none of those portal-related grudge matches looms larger than Wake Forest's trip to South Bend to take on Sam Hartman and the Fighting Irish on Nov. 18. Hartman took Wake to an ACC championship game in 2021 and left the school after five years as the ACC's all-time leader in passing touchdowns. He has been synonymous with Wake Forest, and a date with the Deacons will no doubt be incredibly emotional for both parties.

Adelson:Florida State-Clemson is the obvious answer because far more shouldbe at stake when they play this year with expectations they will be the conference's top-ranked teams. The game comes in Week 4 -- Sept. 23 -- the first time these teams will play in September since 2014. That also happens to be the last time Florida State beat Clemson. Conference championship game implications (and the College Football Playoff) could be on the line, but remember there are no more divisions. So these two teams could play again in December in the conference title game, which, perhaps is part of the appeal in scheduling this game so early in the season.

Toughest stretch

Adelson: You could say Virginia has the toughest schedule of any ACC team, but let's look at the first four games in particular. The Cavaliers have two difficult Power 5 nonconference games, the opener against Tennessee and a road game against Maryland. Sandwiched in between is James Madison, which went 8-3 a year ago. After that, Virginia opens ACC play against NC State on a Friday night. So, in total, the first four opponents on the schedule went a combined 35-15. North Carolina does not have it easy to start the season, either, with games against South Carolina, Appalachian State, Minnesota and Pitt. Then there is Syracuse, which hosts Clemson on Sept. 30 before going on the road to play North Carolina and Florida State.

Hale: Wake Forest has had a habit of getting off to hot starts only to struggle to the finish line, and the 2023 schedule certainly sets up for more of the same. Yes, there's the big road trip to Clemson that provides the year's biggest hurdle on Oct. 7, but it's the final stretch that really raises some alarms. Wake hosts Pitt and Florida State, travels to Duke on short rest for a Thursday night affair, hosts NC State and then goes to Notre Dame. That's five straight opponents who won at least eight games last season. The good news for Wake is it'll have a soft open to the schedule to get a new QB ready for the grind ahead. The bad news is, there's really nowhere to hide once the calendar turns to October.

Who needs a fast start?

Hale: Miami's first five games set up nicely. The Hurricanes get Miami (Ohio), Texas A&M and Bethune-Cookman at home, then go on the road to face Temple before an off week and a home game against Georgia Tech. Of that group, only the Redhawks made a bowl last season. If the Hurricanes are going to blossom into a real contender under coach Mario Cristobal, they'll need to be at least 4-1 -- and their fans are probably thinking 5-0 -- heading into a Week 7 trip to Chapel Hill. But that might be easier said than done. It was just a year ago when Miami laid an egg against the inept Aggies before getting blown out at home by Middle Tennessee. The shine hasn't worn off the Cristobal hire just yet, but after serious changes to both the staff and roster, it's unlikely Miami fans will tolerate another bad start.

Adelson: Miami is the easy answer here, but I will go with another second-year coach in Brent Pry at Virginia Tech. No one was thrilled in Blacksburg a year ago with a 3-8 record. The open to the schedule will offer opportunities to show things are different, though, starting with Old Dominion, a team that beat Virginia Tech a year ago. Then come two Big Ten teams, Purdue, under a new coaching staff, and Rutgers. Perhaps even bigger is going on the road against Marshall, because if anything, Pry must show this team can go on the road and beat a Group of 5 team after what happened in 2022.

Boston College Eagles

Sept. 2:Northern Illinois

Sept. 9:Holy Cross

Sept. 16:Florida State

Sept. 23: at Louisville

Sept. 30:Virginia

Oct. 7:at Army

Oct. 14: Open

Oct. 21:at Georgia Tech

Oct. 28: UConn

Nov. 3: at Syracuse

Nov. 11: Virginia Tech

Nov. 16: at Pitt

Nov. 24: Miami

Clemson Tigers

Sept. 4: at Duke

Sept. 9: Charleston Southern

Sept. 16: Florida Atlantic

Sept. 23: Florida State

Sept. 30: at Syracuse

Oct. 7: Wake Forest

Oct. 14: Open

Oct. 21: at Miami

Nov. 4: Notre Dame

Nov. 11: Georgia Tech

Nov. 18: North Carolina

Nov. 25: at South Carolina

Duke Blue Devils

Sept. 4: Clemson

Sept. 9: Lafayette

Sept. 16: Northwestern

Sept. 23: at UConn

Sept. 30: Notre Dame

Oct. 7: Open

Oct. 14: NC State

Oct. 21: at Florida State

Oct. 28: at Louisville

Nov. 2: Wake Forest

Nov. 11: at North Carolina

Nov. 18: at Virginia

Nov. 25: Pitt

Florida State Seminoles

Sept. 3: vs. LSU in Orlando

Sept. 9: Southern Miss

Sept. 16: at Boston College

Sept. 23: at Clemson

Sept. 30: Open

Oct. 7: Virginia Tech

Oct. 14: Syracuse

Oct. 21: Duke

Oct. 28: at Wake Forest

Nov. 4: at Pitt

Nov. 11: Miami

Nov. 18: North Alabama

Nov. 25: at Florida

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Sept. 1: vs. Louisville in Atlanta

Sept. 9: SC State

Sept. 16: at Ole Miss

Sept. 23: at Wake Forest

Sept. 30: Bowling Green

Oct. 7: at Miami

Oct. 14: Open

Oct. 21: Boston College

Oct. 28: North Carolina

Nov. 4: at Virginia

Nov. 11: at Clemson

Nov. 18: Syracuse

Nov. 25: Georgia

Louisville Cardinals

Sept. 1: vs. Georgia Tech in Atlanta

Sept. 7: Murray State

Sept. 16: at Indiana

Sept. 23: Boston College

Sept. 29: at NC State

Oct. 7: Notre Dame

Oct. 14: at Pitt

Oct. 21: Open

Oct. 28: Duke

Nov. 4: Virginia Tech

Nov. 9: Virginia

Nov. 18: at Miami

Nov. 25: Kentucky

Miami Hurricanes

Sept. 1: Miami (Ohio)

Sept. 9: Texas A&M

Sept. 14: Bethune-Cookman

Sept. 23: at Temple

Sept. 30: Open

Oct. 7: Georgia Tech

Oct. 14: at North Carolina

Oct. 21: Clemson

Oct. 28: Virginia

Nov. 4: at NC State

Nov. 11: at Florida State

Nov. 18: Louisville

Nov. 24: at Boston College

North Carolina Tar Heels

Sept. 2: vs. South Carolina in Charlotte

Sept. 9: Appalachian State

Sept. 16: Minnesota

Sept. 23: at Pitt

Sept. 30: Open

Oct. 7: Syracuse

Oct. 14: Miami

Oct. 21: Virginia

Oct. 28: at Georgia Tech

Nov. 4: Campbell

Nov. 11: Duke

Nov. 18: at Clemson

Nov. 25: at NC State

NC State Wolfpack

Sept. 2: at UConn

Sept. 9: Notre Dame

Sept. 16: VMI

Sept. 22: at Virginia

Sept. 29: Louisville

Oct. 7: Marshall

Oct. 14: at Duke

Oct. 21: Open

Oct. 28: Clemson

Nov. 4: Miami

Nov. 11: at Wake Forest

Nov. 18: at Virginia Tech

Nov. 25: North Carolina

Pittsburgh Panthers

Sept. 2: Wofford

Sept. 9: Cincinnati

Sept. 16: at West Virginia

Sept. 23: North Carolina

Sept. 30: at Virginia Tech

Oct. 7: Open

Oct. 14: Louisville

Oct. 21: at Wake Forest

Oct. 28: at Notre Dame

Nov. 4: Florida State

Nov. 11: vs. Syracuse in New York

Nov. 16: Boston College

Nov. 25: at Duke

Syracuse Orange

Sept. 2: Colgate

Sept. 9: Western Michigan

Sept. 16: at Purdue

Sept. 23: Army

Sept. 30: Clemson

Oct. 7: at North Carolina

Oct. 14: at Florida State

Oct. 21: Open

Oct. 26: at Virginia Tech

Nov. 3: Boston College

Nov. 11: vs. Pitt in New York

Nov. 18: at Georgia Tech

Nov. 25: Wake Forest

Virginia Cavaliers

Sept. 2: vs. Tennessee in Nashville

Sept. 9: James Madison

Sept. 16: at Maryland

Sept. 22: NC State

Sept. 30: at Boston College

Oct. 7: William & Mary

Oct. 14: Open

Oct. 21: at North Carolina

Oct. 28: at Miami

Nov. 4: Georgia Tech

Nov. 9: at Louisville

Nov. 18: Duke

Nov. 25: Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Hokies

Sept. 2: Old Dominion

Sept. 9: Purdue

Sept. 16: at Rutgers

Sept. 23: at Marshall

Sept. 30: Pitt

Oct. 7: at Florida State

Oct. 14: Wake Forest

Oct. 21: Open

Oct. 26: Syracuse

Nov. 4: at Louisville

Nov. 11: at Boston College

Nov. 18: NC State

Nov. 25: at Virginia

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Aug. 31: Elon

Sept. 9: Vanderbilt

Sept. 16: at Old Dominion

Sept. 23: Georgia Tech

Sept. 30: Open

Oct. 7: at Clemson

Oct. 14: at Virginia Tech

Oct. 21: Pitt

Oct. 28: Florida State

Nov. 2: at Duke

Nov. 11: NC State

Nov. 18: at Notre Dame

Nov. 25: at Syracuse