By Jerry Ratcliffe
When the ACC computer issued a newly revised 10-plus-one schedule on Wednesday afternoon, they did not show the love of the Virginia soccer team.
Let’s face it, the UVA new league schedule is brutal. Of the 10 conference games, the Cavaliers face what many college football observers believe are the top three teams in each of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions, although everyone has played in only one division this season.
The Cavaliers’ five home games are against Boston College, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and NC State, in no particular order. Five UVA road games – and here it is increasingly brutal – against Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
How many college soccer teams come out of the road schedule who feel good about themselves?
If Bronco Mendenhall likes a challenge, he also has a challenge.
Some preseason polls have Clemson, Louisville and Florida State 1-2-3 in the Atlantic, and Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami 1-2-3 on the Coast.
No, UVA did not gain much respect after winning the division last fall and returning most of its start to defense, alongside the entire offensive line and the experienced backs and broad receivers. In addition, the Wahoo have some good transfers in the offseason, including quarterback Keytaon Thompson from the State of Mississippi and Tony Poljan from Central Michigan.
Hosting Louisville and Carolina can be very supportive of Virginia, although many predict Tar Heels will be strong behind quarterback Sam Howell, the second best QB in the league after Trevor Lawrence from Clemson.
But street games are evil. Clemson will fight for another Playoff College Football experience and chances are that no one at ACC can even hang out with the Tigers.
The 2020 Soccer Schedule model has been announced.
– ACC Football (@ACCFootball) July 29, 2020
The State of Florida did not initially fit the UVA schedule, but it was another challenging road game even though Seminoles were not like they used to be. Cavaliers defeated FSU at Charlottesville last season, 31-24. There is a new sheriff in town, because Mike Norvell came to Tallahassee with the aim of restoring order in the program. Norvell won in Memphis and his team has a reputation for placing many points on the board.
Virginia played in Miami last season and suffered a haunting 17-9 defeat when the Cavaliers fouled and stammered and could not punch the final zone in six trips inside the red zone.
If those three road games are not challenging enough, how about we travel to Blacksburg where UVA hasn’t won since 1998.
While the game is over a month away, there are worries in the sports world about playing contests in the state of Florida, which has become a new hot spot for the Covid-19 virus.
John MacKnight, head of the UVA team of doctors and members of the ACC Medical Advisory Group, said recently that nobody wants to play in Florida now.
ACC allows his team to play one nonconference opponent, but the stipulation is that the game must be played in the state of an ACC institution. There were rumors about West Virginia filling the slot, but there was no confirmation that the game was approved.
UVA said it would announce the plus-one opponent in the future.
No TV dates, times or assignments were announced at this time.