The football schedule release is always a welcome moment each winter as fans get to plan ahead for fall Saturdays in Tallahassee and around the country. And unlike the frequent changes of 2020 due to the pandemic, ACC officials have been planning ahead on a 2021 schedule that should remain in tact.
FSU senior associate athletics director Jim Curry said administrators across the conference have been focused recently on football scheduling.
“There has been a lot of conversation regarding the schedule composition and the release over the last week the ADs have done a great job there,” Curry told Tom Block and Keith Jones on the Front Row Noles radio show. “We expect it to be on the same timeline, which would be mid to late January.”
The 2021 ACC schedule will be a return to the Atlantic and Coastal Division format, Curry said. With new commissioner Jim Phillips arriving next month as well as the late finish to the bowl season, there hasn’t been enough time to evaluate the prospect of an ACC schedule without divisions. In a year that saw coaches and administrators forced to adapt constantly, one of the benefits of the 2020 ACC schedule framework was the chance to adapt and allow the top two teams (Clemson and Notre Dame) to face off in the ACC title game.
“The plan right now is to treat ’21 like we were already planning to treat it previously,” Curry said. “I’ve got no doubt that there would be some substantive conversation spring, summertime about what future football scheduling will look like within the conference.”
One other major question is that of the home-and-home series with Florida. The Seminoles and Gators did not face off in 2020 as the SEC opted for a conference-only schedule. FSU’s turn as host in 2020 will be skipped and the Seminoles will travel to Gainesville in November 2021. Among the reasons why FSU and Florida want to stick to the schedule is that non-conference game contracts have been settled years in advance and would create an inbalance.
FSU will play host to Notre Dame on Sunday, Sept. 5 to open the season. The Seminoles also play host to UMass and Jacksonville State as part of the non-conference schedule. Miami is among the ACC home games, while the Seminoles will travel to Clemson and North Carolina.
The future non-conference schedule is also one that will be challenging on the field and entertaining. FSU plays LSU in 2022-23 before playing a home-and-home series with Alabama and Georgia.
2022: Florida, Louisiana, LSU at New Orleans
2023: at Florida, LSU at Orlando
2024: Florida, at Notre Dame
2025: at Florida, vs. Alabama
2026: Florida, Notre Dame, at Alabama
2027: Georgia, at Florida
2028: at Georgia, Florida
2029: Notre Dame, at Florida
2030: Florida, at Notre Dame
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