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Notre Dame Football: A Look At How The 2017 ACC Schedule Shapes Up

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Notre Dame is sort of an ACC member... so let’s take a look at the schedule!

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC dropped the 2017 football schedule this week, and I can’t help but dive in and take a look.

Despite a 4-8 season the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still in the FBS, and they still play 5 ACC teams in a season. (Bad joke, but what else do we have at this point?) Because the ACC takes up over 40 percent of the schedule, what happens in the conference is important to Notre Dame.

We are going to look at where these games fit on the schedule and talk about that for a moment, and leave an all out preview alone.

ACC Football Schedule 2017
Click me for bigness.
@theACCfootball

Notre Dame won’t have to play either Clemson or Florida State this year, but they do get a geographically proportionate rundown of the conference. The Irish play:

  • @ Boston College, Sept. 16
  • @ North Carolina, Oct. 7
  • North Carolina State, Oct. 28
  • Wake Forest, Nov. 4
  • @ Miami, Nov. 11

Boston College Eagles

Notre Dame heads to the always awful Chestnut Hill to take on the Eagles in week 3. Notre Dame will be coming off of its home game against Georgia, and will have to avoid a letdown against Fredo. The Eagles will have actually played a couple of real teams in the Northern Illinois Huskies and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, so we should know exactly what we are going to get heading into this game (like, super fans and their annoying nonsense).

Boston College v Notre Dame
Maybe Fenway wasn’t so bad after all.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

North Carolina Tar Heels

Notre Dame’s next ACC matchup is another road trip. This time it’s to Chapel Hill (what is with all these damn hills?). North Carolina is a beautiful state, but it is amazing in the first few weeks of October (just a personal opinion). The Heels will be coming off of a two game stretch of ACC opponents with the Duke Blue Devils and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and maybe the triple-option will have them a bit dizzy. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will have played in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans (BRING HOME THE MEGAPHONE) and the Miami-Ohio Redhawks at home (hey guys: This is supposed to be a tune up game. Thanks in advance).

Notre Dame Fighting Irish v North Carolina Tar Heels
The last trip to Chapel Hill... not so good.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

N.C. State Wolfpack

Notre Dame will be looking for sweet revenge, but I’d settle for penance after last year’s 35 pass attempt game in a freaking hurricane in which the Irish lost. The Wolfpack will have played a string of ACC opponents, but they have a bye week right before they travel up to South Bend. The Irish will be coming off of a huge rivalry game against the USC Trojans, and the outcome of that game might very well affect how this game plays out. I guarantee you there won’t be a hurricane in South Bend though.

Notre Dame-NC State was the awful weather game of the year

The College Football Playoff championship is tonight. Let's celebrate by remembering why we aren't there (it's probably a very long list).

Posted by One Foot Down - For Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on Monday, January 9, 2017

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

It feels like we play Wake Forest every year nowadays. Maybe that’s why we tapped Mike Elko, and I’m positive that will be a storyline going into the game. This comes right after the game against the N.C. State Wolfpack for the Irish. For Wake, it comes after a two game stretch against Georgia Tech and the Louisville Cardinals. I’m actually predicting minimal excitement here. Minimal.

Wake Forest v Notre Dame
“Who is that absolutely gorgeous defensive coordinator over there? I’M TALKING TO YOU GORD HEAD- WHO IS THAT?!”
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Miami-Florida Hurricanes

Notre Dame will conclude its ACC portion of the schedule up with its third ACC opponent in a row: Miami. The Irish then have the task of finishing up their season with Navy and Stanford. The Canes face North Carolina and Virginia Tech prior to the Irish, and then finish out against Virginia and Pitt. There will be no Brad Kaaya, but there will also be no Jarron Jones. The Canes could be right in the thick of the hunt for the Coastal title, which we have no part in. Notre Dame finishes the season with two of its last three games being in Florida and California. This game against Miami will mark the first time since 1989 that the Canes have hosted a game against the Irish.

NCAA Football: Miami at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Overall

It’s a nice little five game package, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of “sexy” attached to it at the moment. Of course, the ACC is known to have wild cards each year. Who knows for sure right now how good these five teams will be? Miami plays a pretty weak schedule leading up to the game. Miami’s toughest out of conference opponent up to that point may be against the Toledo Rockets.

I like the schedule, and how it works out for Notre Dame this year (minimal byes before Notre Dame). It has the potential to be five bowl-eligible opponents. I don’t like having to deal with ACC officiating, but that’s our cross to bear for the foreseeable future.