The ACC announced football opponents for the 2013 season, when Pittsburgh and Syracuse officially join the league. And it has become increasingly clear that if Virginia is to rebound from its second 4-8 campaign in three years, it will have to do so with an upgraded schedule.
The Cavaliers’ conference slate will include home games against Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Virginia will go on the road to face Pittsburgh, Miami, Maryland and North Carolina. The ACC is expected to reveal its complete schedule, with dates, next month.
The Cavaliers were originally supposed to face both Clemson and Wake Forest of the Atlantic Division next year, but the Demon Deacons were replaced on the schedule because of Pittsburgh’s addition to the Coastal Division.
Virginia also faces a fairly challenging nonconference schedule, although that could be in flux. The Cavaliers are scheduled to open the season at home against BYU followed by home games against VMI and Ball State and a return game at Penn State.
But it appears the Nittany Lions are attempting to reschedule that game, which was supposed to take place on Sept. 14. The York Daily Record reports that Penn State is hoping to replace Virginia on the schedule with Rhode Island of the Football Championship Subdivision.
A change just seven months before the season begins would leave the Cavaliers in a bind since they’ve already scheduled a game against FCS competition (VMI) for next year. Most schools already have their schedules for next year complete at this time. Virginia beat the Nittany Lions in Charlottesville, 17-16, during the second week of the 2012 season.
If Penn State is kept on the 2013 schedule, the Cavaliers would face nine teams that qualified for a bowl game or finished with a record above. 500 in 2012.