Spring football has come and gone, commencement exercises are taking place across the country and, soon enough, we'll enter the darkest of all periods for college football fans: The summer, where the only good news surrounding most programs is no news at all.
So let's have some fun and start dreaming about all of the sites we want to take in this fall. We've done this road trip series before, but as a refresher, here's what we're going for: We take a look at the ACC's schedule week-by-week, throwing monetary concerns in the air and letting our imaginations run wild with all of the different campuses and atmospheres we would like to take in come the 2014 season.
This is how we would kick things off:
Week 1 schedule
Thursday, Aug. 28
Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe, ESPNU, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 29
Villanova at Syracuse
Saturday, Aug. 30
Wofford at Georgia Tech
Clemson at Georgia
Boston College at UMass
Elon at Duke
Georgia Southern at NC State
Liberty at North Carolina
Delaware at Pitt
UCLA at Virginia
William & Mary at Virginia Tech
Florida State vs. Oklahoma State, ABC, 8 p.m., Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas
Monday, Sept. 1
Miami at Louisville, ESPN, 8 p.m.
Our pick(s): Florida State vs. Oklahoma State AND Miami at Louisville
Why you should come along: Hey, we said this is our choice, right? That means that we can pick two games if we'd like, and what better way could we open the season than to take in the Cowboys Classic featuring the defending national champs before heading to Louisville for the Cardinals' ACC debut?
The first game is another prime nonconference clash, this time featuring the Big 12. We know the Seminoles will enter as heavy favorites, but this is our first look at them since their finale last season in Pasadena, Calif. Can Jimbo Fisher get this group to keep its eye on the prize and avoid complacency with what will likely be a preseason No. 1 ranking attached to it? I'd personally love to check out JerryWorld as well, as I have heard nothing but good things about that place (at least for football games). Clemson and Georgia offer plenty of intrigue, too, but let's remember that this is a rematch from last season, one we had taken in. While both teams could perhaps make strong runs for their conference titles and maybe even more, the matchup, at least this early, lacks the luster that the 2013 one had, as both teams lose so much star power (Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Aaron Murray).
As for Labor Day night, you can bet the atmosphere will be electric for the Cardinals' first game in their new league -- and for their first game (again) under coach Bobby Petrino, as well. It will have been just more than nine months since these two teams closed last season at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and you can bet Miami hasn't forgotten about the way Louisville ran it off the field in a humiliating 36-9 defeat. The national spotlight will be on these two teams again as they close out Week 1.