The expanded 17-team football league will include new members Cal, Stanford, and SMU in its 2024 schedule, which the ACC revealed on Wednesday.
The league already revealed its seven-year schedule until 2030, which features each team’s yearly conference opponents. Teams knew who they would play and against whom in the upcoming season, but on Wednesday they learned the precise dates.
ACC action will begin on the road for Cal and Stanford on Friday, September 20, with the Cardinals playing at Syracuse, and the Bears playing at Florida State the following day. The next week, SMU takes on the defending ACC champion Seminoles at home to kick up ACC play.
The conference made an effort to be strategic while arranging the calendar for the three new members, two of whom were located on the West Coast, by scheduling road trips and open dates. For instance, Stanford has an off day before heading to Syracuse and then an extra day to get ready for a road game at Clemson on September 28 of the following week. After their match against Florida State, Cal has a free day before hosting its ACC home opener against Miami on October 5.
Stanford plays Virginia Tech at home on the same day to kick off ACC play. In order to generate enthusiasm on each of the three newly admitted campuses, the ACC sought to provide its new members with strong football brands for their home openers.
“The 2024 ACC football schedule is significant for so many reasons. As always, there’s tremendous anticipation and excitement surrounding the upcoming season, which this year will include our newest members in Cal, SMU and Stanford,” according to a statement from ACC commissioner Jim Phillips.
“Throughout the entire process — from creating the new model and building the complete 2024 schedule — the membership was incredibly thoughtful and committed to producing an exciting, fair, and balanced schedule with our student-athlete experience as the top priority. Between first-time matchups, meaningful rivalry games and once again playing arguably the toughest collection of non-conference opponents — there will be no shortage of interest in ACC football throughout the season.”
Among the other highlights are the Seminoles’ two conference openers during a ten-day span—they play Florida State and Georgia Tech in Dublin on August 24 and host Boston College on Labor Day night, September 2. That is a result of scheduling work done years before, well before the Seminoles were approached about playing in Ireland in Week 0, when the ACC decided that BC and Florida State would play on Labor Day night.
Additionally, the Seminoles play their two scheduled rivalry games in October: first on October 5 at home against Clemson, now starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei of the Tigers, and second on October 26 at Miami.
Georgia will be the opponent for Clemson’s season opener, which should have national title implications. On November 9, the same day that Florida State goes to play Notre Dame, the Tigers also play at Virginia Tech.
Eight conference games will still be played by the league without divisions. Over the course of the following seven seasons, all 17 teams will play each other at least twice: once at home and once away. 16 matchups are protected: North Carolina-Virginia, North Carolina-Duke, North Carolina-NC State, NC State-Wake Forest, NC State-Duke, Boston College-Syracuse, Boston College-Pitt, Syracuse-Pitt,
The Week 14 Cal-SMU match will continue to take place on the last weekend of the regular season. The ACC championship game, which takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 7, will feature the top two teams in the standings at the conclusion of the season in the absence of divisions.