19 For '19 Offseason Topics: No. 17 Every Power Five Team's Letdown Game

19 For '19 Offseason Topics: No. 17 Every Power Five Team's Letdown Game

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19 For '19 Offseason Topics: No. 17 Every Power Five Team's Letdown Game


19 for ’19 Offseason Topics, No. 17: The most dangerous letdown – or sandwich – games for every Power Five team.

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They’re the games that all fans blow off and all coaching staffs lose sleep over.

They’re the games that are supposed to be sure wins, but won’t come close to receiving the undivided attention of the superior teams.

Each one is the song off the new album, played before the mega-hit that got it all started, and after the emotional anthem that became the big commercial success.

They’re the letdown games, or the they’re the sandwiches. On each Power Five team’s slate, there’s at least one game that they’re going to have to find an extra gear for that might not be there.

More often than not there’s not a problem, and there shouldn’t be one for almost everyone on this list. However …

You’ve been warned.


Boston College Eagles

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at Louisville, Oct. 5
Game Before: Wake Forest
Game After
: NC State

There aren’t any real sandwiches for BC. However, the Wake Forest game will matter, and there’s a week off to look forward to before dealing with NC State and a trip to Clemson. Going to Louisville at the end of a run of six straight games should be rough.
Full Schedule Analysis

Clemson Tigers

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Wake Forest, Nov. 16
Game Before: at NC State
Game After
: South Carolina

2008. That was the last time Clemson lost to Wake Forest – a run of ten games – and it hasn’t lost at home in the series since 1998. Even so, it’s in the middle of November after playing five straight games, including a trip to NC State. The rivalry against South Carolina closes things out. The positive? It’ll be Senior Day.
Full Schedule Analysis

Florida State Seminoles

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at Wake Forest, Oct. 19
Game Before: at Clemson
Game After
: Syracuse

FSU gets a week off to get ready for Clemson on the road, and it has two rough games against Syracuse and Miami coming up. The Noles haven’t lost to Wake Forest since 2011, but they need to be focused, and they can’t be beaten up after the date with the defending national champs.
Full Schedule Analysis

Louisville Cardinals

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at WKU, Sept. 14
Game Before: Eastern Kentucky
Game After
: at Florida State

Eastern Kentucky shouldn’t be a problem the week before, but the focus will be totally on the ACC opener at Florida State after going to WKU. The Hilltoppers might not be amazing, but they’ll be experienced under new head coach Tyson Helton.
Full Schedule Analysis

NC State Wolfpack

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Louisville, Nov. 16
Game Before: Clemson
Game After
: at Georgia Tech

It’s not just that the game comes in mid-November after playing Clemson. It’s that Louisville is coming into Raleigh after the Wolfpack play two straight road games and then the defending national champs. The road game at Georgia Tech the week after will matter.
Full Schedule Analysis

Syracuse Orange

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at Liberty, Aug, 31
Game Before: None
Game After
: at Maryland

Liberty obviously isn’t a sandwich game considering it’s the opener, but it’s on the road against a veteran team. New head coach Hugh Freeze should come up with a good start, and for the Orange, having to go to Maryland the following week and with Clemson right after will seem far more important.
Full Schedule Analysis

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Duke, Nov. 23
Game Before: at Clemson
Game After
: at Syracuse

It’s late in the season, and Wake Forest will be deep in the midst of a brutal run with road games at Virginia Tech and Clemson before the home game against Duke, and a trip to Syracuse right after. However, it’s the final home game, and Senior Day.
Full Schedule Analysis


Duke Blue Devils

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at Middle Tennessee, Sept. 14
Game Before: North Carolina A&T
Game After
: at Virginia Tech

North Carolina A&T won’t be a concern, but that comes after playing Alabama. And then comes the weird trip to Middle Tennessee in a game that’s very, very losable with Virginia Tech on the road to follow. At least there’s a week off after going to Murfreesboro.
Full Schedule Analysis

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Letdown/Sandwich Game: NC State, Nov. 21
Game Before: Virginia Tech
Game After
: Georgia

The problem isn’t just having to play NC State in the team’s ACC finale. It’s that it comes just five days after dealing with Virginia Tech. That gives the Yellow Jackets more time to prepare for Georgia, but it’s still Georgia. A few extra games probably won’t matter.
Full Schedule Analysis

Miami Hurricanes

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Louisville, Nov. 9
Game Before: at Florida State
Game After
: at FIU

Miami vs. Florida State is going to matter again, especially with the game on the road in Tallahassee. The city date with FIU is on the road, too, with the Hurricane players sure to hear about it weeks in advance. Taking down Louisville might be harder than it seems.
Full Schedule Analysis

North Carolina Tar Heels

Letdown/Sandwich Game: at Wake Forest, Sept. 12
Game Before: Miami
Game After
: Appalachian State

The Appalachian State game will matter for the Tar Heels – they really, really, really can’t lose that. Playing Miami right after starting things out against South Carolina is a problem, too. Lose to Wake Forest – by the way, Clemson comes up at the end of September – and it’s going to be a disastrous start to the season.
Full Schedule Analysis

Pitt Panthers

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Ohio, Sept. 7
Game Before: Virginia
Game After
: at Penn State

Ohio might just be the best team in the MAC this season. Pitt starts out the season with the ACC opener against Virginia, and it has the Penn State showdown to follow and UCF right after. Beating the Bobcats isn’t a given.
Full Schedule Analysis

Virginia Cavaliers

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Liberty, Nov. 23
Game Before: Georgia Tech
Game After
: Virginia Tech

It’s a disastrously-timed game against what should be a well-motivated Liberty team. Hugh Freeze should have the Flames’ offense humming by late November, and Virginia has to deal with it while not worrying about the rivalry showdown against Virginia Tech just six days later.
Full Schedule Analysis

Virginia Tech Hokies

Letdown/Sandwich Game: Wake Forest, Nov. 9
Game Before: at Notre Dame
Game After
: at Georgia Tech

Now this is a sandwich game. It’s on the road against a Wake Forest team that will desperately need the win – its schedule is brutal in the back half. It comes right after going to Notre Dame and right before going to Georgia Tech. Worse yet, the Pitt and Virginia games to follow will matter more to the Hokies.
Full Schedule Analysis

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