September 15, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals fans fill in the stands before the first half of play against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Papa John

2014 ACC Football Road Trip

As college football season slowly inches closer and I struggle to find ways to channel my uncontainable excitement, I decided to plan the road trip of a lifetime! the year. While I love attending Miami games, I thought it would be fun to plan a potential season-long ACC road trip. What’s that? No Hurricanes fans care about the ACC and neither do I in all honesty? While that may be the case, I’m psyched for college football and I’m eager to waste some time planning out an ACC road trip that I could never do because I don’t have the money and I have class in the fall. This post will also be a fun change of pace from the position-by-position previews we’ll continue to crank out for you. So let’s rent a theoretical RV, load it up with an entire football season’s worth of theoretical food and gear and hit the theoretical road! Who’s with me?

Before I give you the itinerary, let me lay out some ground rules:

  1. We must see a home game for every ACC team at least once in 2014. Yes, even NC State. Look man, I don’t make the rules. (I do make the rules.)
  2. Every game must be at an ACC stadium. Clemson at Georgia may be a tasty matchup, but this is an ACC road trip. I never said this was meant to be completely enjoyable. If we wanted to watch quality football every week we wouldn’t be ACC fans in the first place. (I know we’re not really ACC fans, but just go with it.)
  3. Notre Dame counts as an ACC team, but we’re not going to go a long distance out of the way to get to South Bend when the Irish refuse to actually join our conference fully, so we’ll have to catch them on the road.
  4. The journey will have to make geographic sense to drive. We can’t go from Tallahassee to Boston then Miami in a two week span. (That said, a couple of really long drives are inevitable, as you’ll soon see.)
  5. If there’s a weekday night game, we’re going. Yes, even games like Villanova-Syracuse or Pittsburgh-Boston College. That means there will be eight weeks where we’ll be seeing two games and one week where we’ll be seeing three. Save up for the theoretical gas.
  6. We’re also going to a game every Saturday during the season.
  7. With the above rules in mind, we’ll try to hit as many important ACC games as possible.
  8. Let’s go ahead and put down the extra money for the theoretical walk-away insurance. This is an ACC road trip after all, chances are many things are going to go wrong.

Enough lead-up, let’s hit the road!

Week 1

It’s a good thing we had a long offseason, because Week 1 is quite a doozy. Since we’re going to every weeknight game and a Saturday game each week, that means we have three games to get to this week. Buckle up!

Friday, August 29: Villanova at Syracuse

Look guys, I know I can’t possibly overstate how dull of a matchup this is, but IT’S FOOTBALL! Football’s almost back! If the thought of seeing a real, live game of college football with at least one FBS participant doesn’t get you really excited, you’re in the wrong place.

Saturday, August 30: UCLA at Virginia 

After taking in the ACC home opener in the Carrier Dome, we’ll have to hit the road right away and drive in shifts through the night. There’s a Pac-12 juggernaut coming to Charlottesville for a noon start, and we need to get there by kickoff.

Distance from Syracuse to Charlottesville: 492 miles (8 hours, 11 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 492 miles (8 hours, 11 minutes)

Monday, September 1: Miami at Louisville

We’ll be checking in on the ‘Canes a few times during this journey and we get to see how they respond to last December’s embarrassing Russell Athletic Bowl against a Cardinals outfit also breaking in a new quarterback.

Distance from Charlottesville to Louisville: 492 miles (7 hours, 19 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 984 miles (15 hours, 30 minutes)

Week 2

Friday, September 5: Pittsburgh at Boston College

Another dud of a weeknight game, but I hear Boston is really nice in the fall!

Distance from Louisville to Chestnut Hill: 982 miles (15 hours, 1 minute)

Total distance traveled: 1,966 miles (30 hours, 31 minutes)

Saturday, September 6: San Diego State at North Carolina

This Saturday is pretty light in terms of ACC home games, so we’ll check out a primetime kickoff in Chapel Hill featuring UNC against a solid Mountain West squad. This is going to be another overnight drive.

Distance from Chestnut Hill to Chapel Hill: 711 miles (12 hours, 3 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 2,677 miles (42 hours, 34 minutes)

Week 3

For four of the next five weeks, we have no weeknight games. We’ll have to make sure to rest up as much as we can.

Saturday, September 13: Kansas at Duke

Let’s take a nice break after a couple of grueling weeks of travel and stay in the area for the week. We’ll enjoy a nice week in North Carolina with some barbecue and rest before catching the defending Coastal Champs (guh) beat up on Charlie Weis.

Distance from Chapel Hill to Durham: 12 miles (23 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 2,689 miles (42 hours, 57 minutes)

Week 4

Saturday, September 20: Clemson at Florida State

The game to catch this week is a no-brainer as the two best teams in the conference go at it under the lights at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Distance from Durham to Tallahassee: 641 miles (9 hours, 34 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 3,330 miles (52 hours, 31 minutes)

Week 5

Saturday, September 27: Duke at Miami

We make the first of three trips down to the Gables to check out a critical Coastal Division matchup as the ‘Canes look to bounce back from last year’s brutal loss in Durham.

Distance from Tallahassee to Coral Gables: 490 miles (7 hours, 13 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 3,790 miles (59 hours, 44 minutes)

Week 6

Friday, October 3: Louisville at Syracuse

There’s no way to sugarcoat this one: this drive is going to suck. It’s by far the longest individual trip of the journey and we’re doing it just so we can see another Syracuse home game. I’m just following the rules, guys. At least we have six days to drive up.

Distance from Coral Gables to Syracuse: 1,433 miles (21 hours, 9 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 5,223 miles (80 hours, 53 minutes)

Saturday, October 4: Virginia Tech at North Carolina

We quickly turn around and head south again to check in on the Hokies for the first time at Kenan Stadium in what should be a critical game for Coastal positioning.

Distance from Syracuse to Chapel Hill: 637 miles (10 hours, 2 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 5,860 miles (90 hours, 55 minutes)

“If the thought of seeing a real, live game of college football with at least one FBS participant doesn’t get you really excited, you’re in the wrong place.”

Week 7

Alright, deep breath, guys. I know that driving over 2,000 miles in a week was pretty taxing, so we have a nice one-game week with a relatively short trip. Enjoy this, though, because afterwards we’ll be trekking to two games a week until November 15.

Saturday, October 11: Duke at Georgia Tech

It’s our first time watching the Yellow Jackets live in another important game between Coastal division contenders.

Distance from Chapel Hill to Atlanta: 377 miles (5 hours, 52 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 6,237 miles (96 hours, 47 minutes)

Week 8

Thursday, October 16: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

Enjoy the trip to the Steel City because this will be our only game at Heinz Field this year (and that’s probably for the best). Don’t expect a lot of points in what should be a pretty dull Thursday night affair (BUT IT’S STILL FOOTBALL!).

Distance from Atlanta to Pittsburgh: 685 miles (10 hours, 47 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 6,922 miles (97 hours, 34 minutes)

Saturday, October 18: Notre Dame at Florida State

Yeah, it’s easy to hate both of these teams, but this should be an electric atmosphere in Tallahassee and it will likely take place under the lights in primetime. Another reason to celebrate—this will be our last visit to Tallahassee of the trip!

Distance from Pittsburgh to Tallahassee: 898 miles (14 hours, 40 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 7,820 miles (112 hours, 14 minutes)

Week 9

Thursday, October 23: Miami at Virginia Tech

While it may be difficult to subject your eyes to seeing Virginia Tech’s offense twice in eight days, at least we get to see the Hurricanes in a primetime atmosphere at Lane Stadium.

Distance from Tallahassee to Blacksburg: 639 miles (10 hours, 21 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 8,459 miles (122 hours, 35 minutes)

Saturday, October 25: Syracuse at Clemson

It’s a pretty tame day of ACC games, so let’s spend it at iconic Death Valley. This will be our first of two trips to Clemson, a beautiful town and campus.

Distance from Blacksburg to Clemson: 300 miles (4 hours, 33 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 8,759 miles (127 hours, 8 minutes)

Week 10

Thursday, October 30: Florida State at Louisville

For the first time since Labor Day, we head back to Kentucky to watch the Cardinals battle Jameis and company.

Distance from Clemson to Louisville: 438 miles (6 hours, 56 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 9,197 miles (134 hours, 4 minutes)

Saturday, November 1: North Carolina at Miami

Remember that drive from Coral Gables to Syracuse earlier this trip? This one’s not quite as bad, but it’s going to be long and we’ll have to hit the road right away. But at least we’re doing it to get down to South Florida for what should be a critical Coastal showdown.

Distance from Louisville to Coral Gables: 1,084 miles (15 hours, 59 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 10,281 miles (150 hours, 3 minutes)

“We must see a home game for every ACC team at least once in 2014. Yes, even NC State.”

Week 11

Thursday, November 6: Clemson at Wake Forest

No rest for the weary—it’s right back on the road for us as we head back to North Carolina for our only stop in Winston-Salem of the trip.

Distance from Coral Gables to Winston-Salem: 816 miles (11 hours, 54 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 11,097 miles (161 hours, 57 minutes)

Saturday, November 8: Georgia Tech at NC State

We just logged 1,900 miles of driving in a week, so let’s take it easy and make the short trip over to Raleigh for our required stop with the Wolfpack.

Distance from Winston-Salem to Raleigh: 104 miles (1 hours, 41 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 11,201 miles (163 hours, 38 minutes)

Week 12

Saturday, November 15: Florida State at Miami

Yeah, we’re making another 800+ mile drive down to Sun Life Stadium, but at least there’s no Thursday game this week! And we get to see the crab costumes out in force in the UM student section.

Distance from Raleigh to Coral Gables: 807 miles (11 hours, 44 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 12,008 miles (175 hours, 22 minutes)

Week 13

Thursday, November 20: North Carolina at Duke

Too bad this isn’t a basketball game. That said, it could decide the Coastal, or at least have a major bearing on who wins the division.

Distance from Coral Gables to Durham: 833 miles (12 hours, 4 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 12,841 miles (187 hours, 26 minutes)

Saturday, November 22: Miami at Virginia

Take a deep breath, everyone. From here to the end of the trip we won’t have a drive longer than 300 miles. Meanwhile, we’ve seen a lot of Miami recently and this match-up isn’t anything special, but the only other logical choice was Boston College at Florida State and I think we all agree that we’d rather not go to Tallahassee again. Charlottesville is a nice place. You’ll thank me later.

Distance from Durham to Charlottesville: 186 miles (3 hours, 14 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 13,027 miles (190 hours, 40 minutes)

Week 14

Friday, November 28: Virginia at Virginia Tech

Hope your Thanksgiving dinner consisting of Bojangles’ biscuits and gravy in the RV was delicious! Stay within Virginia’s borders and watch this punt-fest between two teams that will neglect to field offenses in 2014 to wash it down.

Distance from Charlottesville to Blacksburg: 145 miles (2 hours, 13 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 13,027 miles (192 hours, 53 minutes)

Saturday, November 29: South Carolina at Clemson

We cap off the regular season with this annual rivalry game in the Palmetto state. I for one can’t wait to find out how Clemson blows it this year! Our other option was watching UF battle FSU in Tallahassee and I think I speak for all of us when I say no thank you.

Distance from Blacksburg to Clemson: 300 miles (4 hours, 33 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 13,327 miles (196 hours, 26 minutes)

Week 15

Saturday, December 6: ACC Championship Game

Yeah, you probably want nothing more than to get out of this damn RV and get back to your family, which may or may not have disowned you at this point, but let’s take in one last inevitable Florida State victory before the 2014 season fades. (I’m getting sad just typing that.)

Distance from Clemson to Charlotte: 135 miles (2 hours, 10 minutes)

Total distance traveled: 13,462 miles (198 hours, 36 minutes)

***

So there you have it. Over the course of 100 hypothetical days, we’ll travel 13,462 hypothetical miles to hypothetically see 25 games at ACC stadiums. On second thought, we should probably go ahead and purchase a hypothetical RV.

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