2013 Pitt football schedule: Opponents, game dates and more

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The Panthers finally have some program stability, but will face some new opponents in the ACC. Here's what they should expect in 2013 based on their schedule.

On one hand, the Pittsburgh Panthers are stepping into uncertainty in 2013. They're leaving the Big East for the greener pastures of the ACC, and will have to familiarize themselves with a new set of conference foes. However, this is the first time in several years that the Panthers will have the same head coach for consecutive seasons, and it doesn't look like Paul Chryst is going anywhere.

So what does 2013 hold for the Panthers? Let's take a look at the schedule and try to project.

2013 Pitt schedule

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

9/2/2013 Florida State ACC 19

9/7/2013 Open Date

9/14/2013 New Mexico MWC 121

9/21/2013 at Duke ACC 89

9/28/2013 Virginia ACC 71

10/5/2013 Open Date

10/12/2013 at Virginia Tech ACC 24

10/19/2013 Old Dominion FCS

10/26/2013 at Navy Indep. 88

11/2/2013 at Georgia Tech ACC 32

11/9/2013 Notre Dame Indep. 10

11/16/2013 North Carolina ACC 29

11/23/2013 at Syracuse ACC 55

11/29/2013 Miami ACC 25

12/7/2013 ACC Championship (Charlotte)

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.

Pitt's first step into life in the ACC is a doozy, as it has the pleasure of opening the season against defending conference champion Florida State. That game will more than likely be a loss, but after a bye week, the Panthers have a shot to reel off three straight wins before heading into another bye.

What's odd about the schedule is that the Panthers don't play their out of conference schedule early in the season. They have back to back games against Old Dominion and Navy at the end of October and a quasi-out-of-conference game against Notre Dame in November, so their early season slate is loaded with conference foes. Duke and Virginia aren't the most daunting of opponents, but it's not quite the cake walk that many teams enjoy during September.

Pitt's season will be either made or broken in November, when it plays five difficult games. Thankfully, the three most difficult of those games (Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Miami) are at home, but that doesn't guarantee success. With the Panthers changing conferences and only returning five starters on offense, getting to 6-6 and into a bowl game would probably be considered a successful season.

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