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ACC nonconference scheduling not going unnoticed

Give the ACC credit: It has really beefed up its nonconference schedule. The end-of-season rivalries with several SEC teams were one thing, but recent announcements, along with the semi-addition of Notre Dame, have given most teams in the conference plenty to work with from a resume standpoint.

Several lists this week bear that out. Virginia comes in at No. 1 on The Sporting News' list of toughest nonconference schedules for 2015, while AthlonSports lists the ACC's top 10 nonconference games of the year, highlighted by Notre Dame's trip to Clemson.

We've talked about the Cavaliers' difficult schedule ad nauseam. The Hoos' slate has, in some ways, kept coach Mike London from generating momentum since an 8-5 mark in 2011. And it gets no easier this season, as UVa has games at UCLA, vs. Notre Dame and vs. Boise State. (And, of course, vs. William & Mary.)

What's more telling in The Sporting News' list, which was compiled by Matt Hayes, is that three of the top-five nonconference slates in the nation come from the ACC: Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech check in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. There is also Pitt at No. 10.

Three of those four ACC teams have the Irish on their schedules this fall, with the Hokies being the lone exception. Frank Beamer's squad drew praise for a lineup that includes opening with defending national champion Ohio State, along with trips to Purdue and East Carolina (and a home tilt with Furman).

The Buckeyes' revenge match in Blacksburg is actually only No. 4 on Athlon's list of top ACC nonconference games, which was compiled by Braden Gall. Georgia Tech's game at Notre Dame is No. 3 on that list, behind Florida State's trip to Florida.

Hayes, meanwhile, has that OSU-VT game as the No. 2 nonconference tilt in the nation in 2015, behind just Oregon-Michigan State. He has two Notre Dame games on his list, but none against ACC teams, thought it is entirely possible he eliminated those matchups from consideration, given the fact the schools didn't exactly schedule those games independently, the way most nonconference matchups originate.