A tough conference schedule can be a blessing and a curse. A cake walk can pad the win column, but a run through stiff competition can make you a better team.
There will be no cake walks in the new ACC, but as the 2013-14 ACC match-ups were revealed this week, we wonder which Tobacco Road team will be tested--to their benefit or detriment--by the tougher draw.
Home-home: Syracuse, UNC, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest
Home only: UVA, FSU, Maryland, NC State, Virginia Tech
Away only: Notre Dame, Pitt, Miami, Boston College, Clemson
Home-home: Duke, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, NC State
Home only: Pitt, Maryland, Miami, Boston College, Clemson
Away only: Syracuse, UVA, FSU, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech
My own take? Undecided. It appears Duke has the slightly more difficult home-home series, assuming Syracuse is better than Notre Dame and a talented and chippy Tech team is better than a depleted State.
But the Heels seem to have the slightly tougher road schedule. Both teams face Syracuse, Notre Dame, Tech, Wake, and each other on the road, leaving Carolina's remaining UVA-FSU-NCSU-VT road schedule to compare to Duke's PITT-MIA-BC-CLEM. (I'm betting UVA bests PITT, FSU bests MIA, with NCSU/VT and BC/CLEM looking pretty even.)
Looks like a wash to me, but let's hear what you think: who gets the rougher deal in next year's ACC?