These are the can't-miss games of what will be a different-yet-exciting season
The ACC released its modified schedule in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday. Some of the timing of the traditional matchups and previously scheduled games have changed, and the conference has added Notre Dame as a full-time member for the season.
This is going to get very interesting.
Here are the best matchups each week of the 2020 ACC football season.
Week 1: NC State at Virginia Tech
These are two wild card programs with bowl aspirations. The loser of this one is going to be playing catch-up the rest of the year, both on the field and emotionally.
Week 2: Miami at Louisville
Both of these teams are on an upward trajectory and expected to flirt with the double-digit win mark in 2020 before the schedule shortened.
Week 3: Florida State at Miami
There are a lot of rumblings that sound like "we're back" coming out of Tallahassee heading into the season. If the Seminoles can pull off a road win over their in-state rival, they just may have to be taken seriously.
Week 4: Virginia at Clemson
Bronco Mendenhall has built a winning program at Virginia, and Clemson is known to struggle with a game or two early on. Could this be one of those?
Week 5: Florida State at Notre Dame
The last time the Seminoles visited South Bend, they left on the losing end of a 42-13 beatdown, and Notre Dame's starting quarterback didn't even play. Irish fans wouldn't mind a repeat of that outcome.
Week 6: Louisville at Notre Dame
Scott Satterfield has the Cardinals headed in the right direction and gave the Irish fits a year ago in the season-opener. This is possibly a matchup of two of the top three teams in the conference.
Week 7: Syracuse at Clemson
Dino Babers has the Orange at a point where they cannot be ignored or overlooked each week. A win under his belt over Clemson two years ago is enough to keep the Tigers' attention leading up to this one.
Week 8: Virginia Tech at Louisville
Two coaches who know how to put points on the board are going to make this one a lot of fun.
Week 9: Clemson at Notre Dame
It's not often that southern schools travel north of the Mason-Dixon line after November. On paper, these are the two most talented teams in the ACC this season.
Week 10: Miami at Virginia Tech
Lane Stadium hasn't always been kind to the Hurricanes over the years. This game could have conference title game implications.
Week 11: Clemson at Florida State
The Tigers (and anyone else from the ACC) probably need to be perfect to get into the College Football Playoff. A late-season road trip to what should be a much-improved team's back yard increases the degree of difficulty.
Week 12: Notre Dame at North Carolina
I tried to warn you early on, the addition of the Irish changes a lot in 2020. The Tar Heels are a sexy choice to knock Clemson off the top of the ACC mountain this season. On the day after Thanksgiving, UNC welcomes to Chapel Hill a Notre Dame squad looking for its fourth-consecutive 10-win season.
Week 13: Clemson at Virginia Tech
Depending on if fans are allowed (and how many) come early December, this could be a game that flips the table on the College Football Playoff rankings.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, Bleacher Report and FantasyPros. He is a three-time FWAA award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.