The Atlantic Coast Conference announced its 2023 football schedule – the first under a new scheduling model – Monday night during a two-hour special The Huddle: 2023 Football Schedule Reveal, exclusively on ACC Network.
The 71st season of ACC Football is the first under a 3-5-5 scheduling model announced last June that covers the 2023-26 seasons. Each team will play three primary opponents annually and face the other 10 league teams twice during the four-year cycle, once at home and once on the road. The schedule allows for each team to face all 13 conference opponents home and away at least once over the four-year period. The new model eliminates divisions with the top two teams based on winning percentage playing in the ACC Football Championship Game on the first Saturday in December.
“As a conference, we’re extremely excited to begin the new scheduling model that provides significant enhancements – the most important being the opportunity for our student-athletes to play every school both home and away over a four-year period,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The new model is also in the best interest of our schools, fans and the conference as a whole. Beyond the incredibly competitive league schedule, our teams will once again play arguably the toughest collection of non-conference opponents. There’s always great anticipation surrounding the annual release of the ACC Football schedule, and 2023 is no exception.”
The 71st season of ACC Football features 56 league games and 56 non-conference contests with each school playing eight league games.
Challenging Non-Conference Slate
• The ACC’s non-conference schedule continues to be among the most difficult in the country. In addition to 25 games against Power 5 opponents, the ACC will play 11 non-conference games against teams ranked in the final 2022 Associated Press Top 25 poll.
• Eight schools – Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest – play two Power 5 conference opponents (including Notre Dame). Louisville and Pitt each play three.
• ACC teams will play 27 games against opponents that appeared in a bowl game last year.
• ACC teams will play 11 non-conference games against teams in ESPN’s 2023 Way-Too-Early Top 25.
Labor Day Weekend – Five Days of Football
• The ACC will be featured throughout the Labor Day Weekend with 12 games over a five-day span, Aug. 31-Sept. 4. No other league plays across all five days in Week One. This is the fifth time in the last seven years the ACC has played over five consecutive days in Week One.
• The Labor Day weekend begins on Thursday, Aug. 31, with Wake Forest hosting Elon. On Friday, Sept. 1, Louisville faces Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, while Miami hosts Miami (Ohio) in Miami Gardens, Florida.
• Saturday’s slate is highlighted by the Duke’s Mayo Classic between North Carolina and South Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, and Virginia’s non-conference matchup against Tennessee at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Other games on Sept. 2 include Northern Illinois at Boston College, NC State at UConn, Wofford at Pitt, Colgate at Syracuse and Old Dominion at Virginia Tech.
• For the second consecutive season, Florida State is featured on Labor Day Sunday in the Camping World Kickoff vs. LSU in Orlando, Florida. Last season, the Seminoles posted a thrilling 24-23 victory over the Tigers in New Orleans and went on to win 10 games for the first time since 2016. FSU is ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s Way Too Early Top 25 poll.
• A Labor Day Monday evening league matchup between Clemson and Duke in Durham, North Carolina, wraps up an eventful opening weekend of ACC football. It is the earliest Clemson and Duke have ever played and just the fourth September meeting between the two schools.
Week Two at Home
• All 14 schools play home games in the second weekend of the season, including five games against Power 5 competition. Miami hosts Texas A&M, NC State welcomes Notre Dame to Raleigh, Pitt plays Cincinnati, Virginia Tech hosts Purdue and Wake Forest entertains Vanderbilt.
Games Against Notre Dame
• ACC teams will play six non-conference games against Notre Dame in 2023. Not including the pandemic-affected season of 2020 when the Irish competed as a member of the league in football, this is the first time Notre Dame has played six regular-season games against ACC opponents since 2018.
Notre Dame at NC State, Sept. 9
Notre Dame at Duke, Sept. 30
Notre Dame at Louisville, Oct. 7
Pitt at Notre Dame, Oct. 28
Notre Dame at Clemson, Nov. 4
Wake Forest at Notre Dame, Nov. 18
ACC Football Championship Game
• The 2023 ACC Football Championship Game will be played Dec. 2 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based on winning percentage. The ACC and the Charlotte Sports Foundation have an agreement in place to keep the championship game in Charlotte through the 2030 season.
ACC Bowl Agreements
• The ACC is in the 10th year of a 12-year agreement with the Capital One Orange Bowl, which will host an ACC team – either its champion or next available team – in all years when the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal site for the College Football Playoff. The opponent will be the highest ranked available team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame.
• The ACC’s current bowl lineup through 2025 includes the Cheez-It Bowl, Duke’s Mayo Bowl, Wasabi Fenway Bowl, Military Bowl Presented by Peraton, Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl, San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. In addition, the ACC will send a team to the Outback Bowl if the league’s opponent in a non-semifinal Capital One Orange Bowl is from the Big Ten. The league will also send a team to either the Gasparilla Bowl or Birmingham Bowl on an annual basis.