Miami football has one of most challenging ACC schedules

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02: (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02: (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

The revised ACC schedule has increased the difficultly of the opponents for the Miami football program in 2020.

The new schedule for the Miami football program dropped Duke and added Clemson, Louisville and North Carolina State. According to the ESPN Football Power Index Miami plays six of the top seven teams in the ACC in 2020 in the revised schedule. All 14 ACC teams plus Notre Dame will compete without divisions in 2020.

Miami misses Notre Dame who many predict to finish second in the ACC and play Clemson in the conference championship game in December in Charlotte. Other revisions to the 2020 Miami football schedule are games against Georgia Tech and Virginia that were previously on the road will now be played at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Hurricanes will host the Yellow Jackets and Cavaliers for the second consecutive season. If the schedule remains the same for 2021 Miami would play Georgia Tech and Virginia at home three consecutive years. Neither the Yellow Jackets nor Cavaliers are expected to be among the top teams in the ACC in 2020.

Losing those games on the road and having to go to Clemson, Louisville and Raleigh make the Miami football schedule more difficult in 2020. Prior to the revised schedule the highest-ranked team the Hurricanes were playing was Virginia Tech who is 18th in the FPI. Clemson is the top-ranked team in the FPI.

After Virginia Tech, Louisville is 20th in the FPI, Florida State in 26th, North Carolina 29th, Georgia Tech 50th and Pittsburgh 56th. Miami is 51st. The FPI is not without its flaws. Teams with returning starters, stability in their coaching staff, a returning quarterback, past performances and recruiting rankings all play a role.

Miami is essentially penalized for the improvement of their roster through transfers, particularly with QB D’Eriq King. The Hurricanes are on their third offensive staff in as many seasons and a 13-13 record over the past two years also contributes to their ranking of 50th. Adding Clemson significantly upgrades the Miami football schedule.

Duke is 60th in the FPI, UAB 63rd, Michigan State 67th and Temple 97th. Wagner who an FCS team is not ranked. Duke, Michigan State and at least two of the other three teams will be off of the 2020 football schedule. Miami was fortunate to miss Notre Dame, but the Tigers will be far more difficult than the Fighting Irish.

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All three of the new games to the 2020 schedule are on the road with the Georgia Tech and Virginia games changing from road to home games. Miami has lost to both Duke and Georgia Tech in ACC Coastal Division games the last two seasons. It’s imperative for Miami to win the games they will be favored to win in 2020.