A fourth straight appearance in prime time for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and 11 national exposures in the first three weeks of the season, including six national TV appearances on the opening weekend of the year, headline the Atlantic Coast Conference early season TV football schedule announced Thursday by the ACC.
The schedule includes all of the ACC's games for the first three weeks of the season, with the exception of a few road non-conference games which are controlled by the host teams' conferences, as well as four of five Thursday night contests which will be nationally televised by ESPN.
The 2013 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be played for the fourth consecutive year in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, and will have a nationally televised kickoff time of either 7:45 p.m. (on ESPN) or 8 p.m. ET (on ABC).
The first of five ACC appearances on ESPN's Thursday night package opens the 2013 football season when North Carolina faces South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.
That game is followed by Miami hosting Florida Atlantic (8 pm) on Friday, Aug. 30 on ESPNU and three national appearances on Saturday, Aug. 31; Virginia hosting BYU on ESPNU (3:30 pm); Virginia Tech facing defending national champion Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on ESPN (5:30 p.m.); and Clemson hosting Georgia on ABC (8 p.m.).
Florida State and Pittsburgh complete the opening weekend meeting on Labor Day Monday night (8 p.m.) on ESPN at Heinz Field in the Panthers' first ACC football game. The game marks the ACC's 10th consecutive game on Labor Day Monday night, a streak which began in 2004. Pittsburgh, which, along with Syracuse, officially joins the ACC on July 1, will make its initial appearance on Labor Day Monday night in its inaugural league game, while the Seminoles are appearing for the sixth time in the nationally televised showcase.
Other national TV exposures during the first three weeks include Wake Forest at Boston College on Friday, Sept. 6 (ESPN2, 8 p.m.); Florida at Miami on Saturday, Sept. 7 (ESPN, noon); Oregon at Virginia also on Saturday, Sept. 7 (3:30 p.m. regionally on ABC, to the rest of the nation on ESPN2); Nevada at Florida State on Sept. 14 (ESPN or ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.); and Georgia Tech at Duke (ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.).
In all, seven of the Top 10 teams in the final 2012 USA Today poll will be in action in ACC games on the season's first two weekends in Alabama (No. 1), Oregon (No. 2), Georgia (No. 4), South Carolina (No. 7), Florida State (No. 8), Clemson (No. 9) and Florida (No. 10).
Gametimes were also announced for three of the other four Thursday night games for the ACC which will be televised nationally on ESPN with each one having a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Clemson at NC State (Sept. 19); Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26); and Georgia Tech at Clemson (Nov. 14). The kickoff time for the Miami at North Carolina game, set for Thursday, Oct. 17, is still to be determined.
Combined with the three Friday night games, the ACC has already announced a total of 17 national TV exposures.
A total eight games will also be available nationally on ESPN3 beginning with Presbyterian at Wake Forest on Thursday, Aug. 29 (6:30 p.m.) and continuing with Villanova at Boston College (Aug. 31, Noon); Elon at Georgia Tech (Aug. 31, noon) and North Carolina Central at Duke (Aug. 31, 4 p.m.).
The ACC's ESPN3 schedule also includes Western Carolina at Virginia Tech (Sept. 7, 1:30 p.m.); Old Dominion at Maryland (Sept. 7, 4 p.m.); Richmond at NC State (Sept. 7, 4 p.m.) and Wagner at Syracuse (Sept. 14, 4 p.m.).
The ACC will again have two syndicated packages produced by the ACC Network this fall: The ACC Network and the Regional Sports Networks (RSN).
The ACC Network will make its 2013 debut, syndicating in 95 markets nationally and more than 62 million TV households with three games, each with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff: Louisiana Tech at NC State (Aug. 31); Middle Tennessee at North Carolina (Sept. 7); and New Mexico at Pittsburgh (Sept. 14).
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