Playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference doesn’t quite have the feel of an SEC weekend or, certain parts of the Big Ten, but its Miami\Florida State and Clemson\FSU showdown highlights can match any league’s best. What has become more common, especially with the rise of Clemson, are key non-conference games involving ACC teams.

So here’s our look at the best non-conference game for each ACC school, in order of excitement and/or importance. The schedule is top heavy, with (as you will note) some ho-hum games. The ACC needs to thank Notre Dame for providing entertainment for several members.

1. Clemson at  Texas A&M, Sept. 8: How fitting new Aggie coach Jimbo Fisher gets to see a familiar face (and maybe unbeatable this season at least) in his second game at A&M.  This is also a huge game for Clemson. A Tiger loss could severely damage their national championship hopes.

2. Florida State at Notre Dame, Nov. 10: It is doubtful if No. 1 in the rankings will be at  stake, the way it was in 1993, but both teams have aspirations of being back in the Top 10. If either one is highly ranked this late of the season, it very well could be a game for a playoff berth.

3.  Miami vs. LSU, (Arlington, Texas) Sept. 2: Dangerous opener for the ‘Canes, who have championship dreams. Suicidal opener for LSU, where Coach O is already feeling the heat of preseason expectations while hearing the gloom and doom chatter about a schedule which includes Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as regular season ending meeting at Texas A&M.

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