ESPN announces ACC/Big Ten Challenge Pairings

ESPN released the pairings for the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Monday afternoon. The Big Ten has won the past three events, including a resounding 8-4 victory last season, this after losing each of the first 10 years. The 12-game Challenge will be played Nov. 27-28 this season. Check out all the matchups, get your Challenge history and see BTN.com Brent Yarina’s predictions in this post.

Tuesday, Nov. 27
Minnesota at Florida State
No. 13 North Carolina at No. 1 Indiana
No. 6 North Carolina State at No. 5 Michigan
Maryland at Northwestern
Iowa at Virginia Tech
Nebraska at Wake Forest

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Purdue at Clemson
No. 8 Ohio State at No. 15 Duke
Georgia Tech at Illinois
No. 9 Michigan State at Miami
Boston College at Penn State
Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin

2012 prediction: The Big Ten should win its fourth straight Challenge. I’ll go 8-4, the same score as last season. The Big Ten is the superior league, especially when it comes to depth, and it will benefit from having three of its expected top teams (Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin) all playing tough matchups at home. That’s a big deal. Michigan State, another one of the expected top teams, is at Miami, hardly an intimidating place.

Predicted wins: Indiana (North Carolina); Northwestern (Maryland); Iowa (at Virginia Tech); Purdue (at Clemson); Illinois (Georgia Tech); Michigan State (at Miami); Penn State (Boston College); Wisconsin (Virginia).

[Read BigTen.org’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge release]

Best matchup: North Carolina at Indiana – Pretty easy choice. The Hoosiers may be the nation’s No. 1 team — at least if all the experts are right — and North Carolina will be up there, too. This will be a primetime battle between two of the nation’s most decorated programs. Together, they combine for 10 national titles, with both winning five.

Runner-up: Ohio State at Duke
Honorable mention: North Carolina State at Michigan

Under-the-radar game: Virginia at Wisconsin – Two solid teams meet in this one, and there’s a great storyline, too, as Tony Bennett, the Virginia coach and a former Wisconsin assistant, goes up against his daddy’s old team. Don’t expect a lot of points, though. You have been warned.

Runner-up: Minnesota at Florida State
Honorable mention: Iowa at Virginia Tech

First-time Challenge matchups: Virginia Tech-Wisconsin; Maryland-Northwestern; Michigan State-Miami; Georgia Tech-Illinois.

ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE HISTORY
2011: Big Ten, 8-4
2010: Big Ten, 6-5
2009: Big Ten, 6-5
2008: ACC, 6-5
2007: ACC, 8-3
2006: ACC, 8-3
2005: ACC, 6-5
2004: ACC, 7-2
2003: ACC, 7-2
2002: ACC, 5-4
2001: ACC, 5-3
2000: ACC, 5-4
1999: ACC, 5-4

BIG TEN RECORDS IN CHALLENGE
Illinois: 6-7 ; .462
Indiana: 4-7; .364
Iowa: 2-9; .182
Michigan: 4-7; .364
Michigan State: 6-6; .500
Minnesota: 5-8; .385
Nebraska: 0-1; .000
Northwestern: 6-7; .462
Ohio State: 6-5; .545
Penn State: 5-6; .455
Purdue: 5-6; .455
Wisconsin: 6-7; .462

Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for BTN.com. Find all of his work here and follow him on twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.

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2 Comments

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Marilyn Heustis on 11/28/2012 @ 1:57pm EST Said:

How are the pairings selected for the ACC/ Big Ten challenge?

    BTN.com staff on 11/28/2012 @ 2:04pm EST Said:

    ESPN has the broadcast rights. We think it’s generally based on the previous season’s records although there have been some exceptions. We’ll open this up to anyone who knows here.