The final piece of the Atlantic Coast Conference football puzzle was filled Tuesday with the release of the 2017 schedule, setting the stage for a 14-team league coming off an historic season that included a 9-3 bowl season and a national championship.
Three of the four Tobacco Road schools — North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest — are coming off winning seasons, with the Wolfpack and Demon Deacons also earning bowl victories. Duke will look to bounce back from a 4-8 record.
A home game against Baylor on Sept. 16 highlights Duke’s nonconference schedule before the Blue Devils open ACC play at North Carolina on Sept. 23. Traditionally played near the end of the regular season, the 2017 contest will mark the earliest meeting since the series began in 1888.
In addition, Duke will host Miami on Friday, Sept. 29 and Florida State on Oct. 14. The Blue Devils will close their regular season at Wake Forest on Nov. 25.
N.C. State opens it schedule in Charlotte on Sept. 2 against South Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in the Belk College Kickoff Game. The Wolfpack will travel to Florida State on Sept. 23 for its ACC opener and host Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson and Louisville for a Thursday night game on Oct. 5.
In addition, N.C. State will host defending national champion Clemson on Nov. 4 and close the regular season with rivalry games at Wake Forest and against North Carolina.
The Tar Heels will open the season with a pair of home games, hosting Cal in the opener before welcoming Louisville to Chapel Hill on Sept. 9 to start ACC play. In addition, North Carolina will host Notre Dame on Oct. 7, travel to Pitt for a Thursday night game on Nov. 9 and close the season at N.C. State on Nov. 25.
The Demon Deacons open ACC play at Boston College before a three-game stretch that includes a trip to Appalachian State on Sept. 23, a home game against Florida State on Sept. 30 and a trip to Clemson on Oct. 7. Wake Forest hosts Louisville in the so-called “WakeyLeaks” game on Oct. 28 before closing the season with a pair of rivalry games at home against N.C. State and Duke on Nov. 18 and Nov. 25.
Other notable ACC games include: Clemson at Louisville (Sept. 16); Miami at Florida State (Sept. 16); Louisville at Florida State (Oct. 21); Virginia Tech at Miami (Nov. 4); and Florida State at Clemson (Nov. 11).
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.