I’m stealing a page from the Pac-12 playbook and taking a look at the single most important game on the schedule this year for each ACC school. Just how meaningful these games are will obviously change as the season unfolds, but in looking at the schedules and knowing what we do right now, these are the games that will reveal the most or have the biggest impact on the 2012 ACC race. We’ll go in alphabetical order, starting today with Boston College:
Most important game: Sept. 1 vs. Miami
Why it’s important: Because Boston College has started each of the past two seasons with a loss in conference play, only to spiral into a 0-4 hole. This is the perfect opportunity for the Eagles to make a statement early that they are better than they were a year ago. If ever there were a time to take advantage of Miami, this is it. The Canes have to replace 12 starters, including their quarterback, and BC will have home-field advantage. A win over Miami could snowball into a 3-0 start heading into the Clemson game, as wins over Maine and Northwestern aren’t unfathomable before BC heads into the bye week. BC was able to beat Miami last year on the road in the season finale, but in order for the Eagles’ November games to mean anything, they’ve got to get off to a better start in ACC play. The Miami game could set the tone for the season, and because it’s a conference game (as opposed to say, UMass), we’ll know from the start if BC is any better.