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January 11, 2013In high school Journalism class, we were taught to pursue stories considering who, what, when, where, and why.
As it relates to the Atlantic Coast Conference's release of the 2013 football schedule, we now know the 'who' and the 'where' part of the equation, and naturally the 'what' and 'why' are clear to anyone who loves Carolina football.
Now, all that's left to find out is the 'when.'
While we've still got a few weeks before the official release of North Carolina's 2013 football schedule, the ACC's release of the home and away games for the upcoming season Friday does give us a much clearer picture.
We now know everyone that the Tar Heels will be playing later this year, as well as dates for all of the non-conference games, of which three will be at home.
In a much-anticipated season opener several years in the making, Carolina will travel to Columbia Saturday, August 31 to play a South Carolina squad that could very well start the season in the Top 10.
As a result of Minnesota buying out of the home-and-home with Carolina, the Tar Heels re-scheduled with Middle Tennessee, who will come to Chapel Hill September 7.
That's the first of UNC's three non-conference games, which includes matchups against East Carolina September 28, and Old Dominion Saturday, October 12 to complete another seven-game home slate.
Carolina's four ACC home games in 2013 will come against Duke, Miami, and Virginia--- all Coastal Division rivals who UNC traveled to this past fall---along with Boston College, who is rotating back onto the Tar Heel schedule from the Atlantic Division.
The Eagles will come to Kenan Stadium for the first time since 2008.
The Tar Heels will travel to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech---the remaining Coastal Division opponents, who each came to Chapel Hill in 2012---and then back to Carter-Finley Stadium to take on N.C. State in Raleigh.
The newcomer to the North Carolina road schedule is Pittsburgh, as the Panthers make their introduction to the ACC.
The last time UNC traveled to Pitt was in 2000, when Julius Peppers and Ronald Curry, among others, helped Carl Torbush's last team at Carolina to a 20-17 triumph in old Three Rivers Stadium. This time around, Carolina will get to play in Heinz Field.
With the knowledge of all the teams Carolina will be playing, we can see that UNC will be playing seven bowl teams from 2012 (South Carolina, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Pitt, Duke, Virginia Tech), and an eighth in Middle Tennessee State who won eight games.
Some might suggest it's an even easier schedule than the 2012 slate, since Louisville isn't there and Carolina still manages to avoid both Clemson and Florida State.
Even if one disagrees with that particular stance, it's clear that this is a manageable schedule that should put the Tar Heels in position to challenge very competitively for a return to the postseason after its one-year bowl ban, as well as for the Coastal Division title.
NORTH CAROLINA 2013 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
August 31: South Carolina (AWAY)
September 7: Middle Tennessee State (HOME)
September 28: East Carolina (HOME)
October 12: Old Dominion (HOME)
AWAY ACC GAMES