ACC releases 2016 football schedules

ACC releases 2016 football schedules

On Tuesday, Jan. 26 the Atlantic Coast Conference released the 2016 schedules for each of its 14 members.

Arguably, Wake Forest could not have asked for a better schedule as it is much more balanced than it was last season.

Last year, the Demon Deacons played a three-game stretch in which it hosted Louisville and then traveled to both Notre Dame and Clemson, two of the teams competing for a spot in the College Football Playoff at the time.

This season, the Demon Deacons will space out its most difficult opponents, playing in Tallahassee, Fla., against Florida State on Oct. 15 and then hosting Clemson a month later on Nov. 19 in Winston-Salem, NC.

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“The ACC will once again be one of the top conferences in the country and we look forward to the many challenges the schedule presents,” Clawson said.

Perhaps most notably, Wake Forest will play seven of its 12 games at home, the most scheduled in Winston-Salem since 2012.

In addition to Clemson, the Demon Deacons will play host to Tulane, Delaware, Syracuse, Army, Virginia and Boston College.

“We are excited to have seven home games in front of our fans at BB&T stadium,” Clawson said.

In addition to Florida State, the Demon Deacons will travel to Duke, Indiana, N.C. State and Louisville in 2016.

Despite a record of 3-9, Wake Forest proved it was improving throughout the 2015 season. Expect the Demon Deacons to continue to improve in 2016 and perhaps reach a bowl game for the first time since 2011.

It will be hard to view the 2016 football season as a success if the Demon Deacons fail to make a bowl game. I believe, based solely on looking at the schedule that the Deacs could finish with anywhere from five to eight wins, with the most likely scenario being a six and six season ending in a bowl berth. It must be noted that Wake Forest will still be one of the youngest teams in the country next year and will therefore likely make many mistakes that could cost them close games.

This team will be coach Clawson’s most talented group since he joined the Demon Deacons three seasons ago. This team has the capability to beat nine of the teams on their schedule next season, but that will unfotunately not be the case.

As a team and a program that is  in the midst of a rebuilding process, the most important thing next season is to see proof that the program is improving and headed in the right direction. No one is claiming that Wake Forest needs to be a consistent title contender; however, Wake Forest should be consistetly striving to compete in a bowl game at the end of the season.

2016 is coach Clawson’s third season as the Deacs leader and this is likely the teams first realistic chance to reach a bowl game.

In his first two seasons progress was undoubly made, but the record stayed the same. In his third season it will not be enough to just acknowledge that the team improved, this year there must be tangible evidence of success in the form of a bowl berth. Anything short of six wins will be perceived as a failure.

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