While football season is still about seven months away, we began our countdown of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top 20 non-conference games for 2014. The list began with a countdown of numbers 20 through 16. Moving down the list, here are the next five as we go from 15 down to 11:
15. North Carolina at East Carolina
Saturday, September 20th
In what was by far North Carolina’s most embarrassing loss of 2013, the Tar Heels were handled at home by East Carolina, 55-31. The Pirates went on to win 10 games while North Carolina managed to turn out a winning season after just a 1-5 start. Expect it to be another high-scoring affair this time around as quarterback Shane Carden returns for East Carolina as does Marquise Williams, who sparked the Tar Heels’ turnaround last season.
14. UCLA at Virginia
Saturday, August 30th
Virginia will look to notch a second straight opening day victory at home, but the competition this time will be just a bit stiffer. UCLA could very well be a top 10 team to open 2014 and a victory by Virginia would go a long way toward reviving the program after just a 2-10 campaign in 2013. The Cavaliers will get an up-close look at one of the nation’s premier dual-threat quarterbacks in Brett Hundley.
13. Georgia Tech at Georgia
Saturday, November 29th
The in-state rivalry known as “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate” has always been one for bragging rights, but of late, it has been dominated by Georgia. The Bulldogs have won five straight in the series and 12 of the last 13. Georgia won in double-overtime last season after erasing a 20-0 deficit. Depending on what the Yellow Jackets do throughout the course of the regular season, head coach Paul Johnson’s job may ride on this contest.
12. Louisville at Notre Dame
Saturday, November 22nd
Great offensive minds will be pitted against one another as Bobby Petrino and Brian Kelly go head to head for the first time. This contest will conclude Notre Dame’s slate of games against ACC schools in 2014 and will be the final home game of the season for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame hasn’t lost at home to an ACC school since 2007.
11. Iowa at Pittsburgh
Saturday, September 20th
The toughest game of the non-conference for Pittsburgh matches the Panthers against an 8-win Big Ten team from a season ago in Iowa. Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst is very familiar with the Hawkeyes after spending seven years as an assistant at Wisconsin. There will be no Heartland Trophy on the line this time around, but the early season match-up will give the ACC and Big Ten the opportunity to flex their muscles against one another.