Countdown to kickoff: No. 8

There are eight more weekdays until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups – 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with …

No. 8 Thursday night games: It’s possible no game will be bigger this season than Florida State’s Nov. 8 trip to Blacksburg in a meeting that could feature the two division winners. It’s the second of back-to-back Thursday night games for the Hokies, as Virginia Tech will also travel to Miami on November 1. Don’t forget about a rare Thursday night game in Winston-Salem on Oct. 25, when Wake Forest hosts Clemson. Remember what happened last year? The Deacs came within a field goal of winning the Atlantic Division. Last year's game between the Hokies and Canes was one of the most entertaining of the season. Virginia Tech will play on a Monday night and two Thursday nights this year, and all three league games will help determine the Hokies’ fate in the ACC race and the national picture this year.

No. 9: Atlanta

No. 10 NC State's secondary

No. 11: SEC rivalry games

No. 12: Virginia Tech's 10-game winning streak

No. 13: Florida State vs. Clemson

No. 14: North Carolina vs. NC State

No. 15: Unofficial state championships

No. 16: Talented true freshmen

No. 17: Unpredictability

No. 18: ACC vs. Notre Dame

No. 19: Clemson's offensive playmakers

No. 20: The ACC's record chasers

No. 21: Larry Fedora

No. 22: One of the nation's top rushing offenses

No. 23: The last season before expansion

No. 24: Brent Venables

No. 25: A fresh start at Maryland