In a scheduling quirk, Miami opens against the team that ended its 2011 season with a 24-17 upset win over the Hurricanes. The Miami players don't think that was an accident.
"Coach Golden wanted to make a statement,” RB Mike James said. “Last year, we lost to them at home. It was a hurtful loss, and we didn't have a chance to go to a bowl game. We want to play them again."
Here's a look at key matchups for the Hurricanes in 2012.
Must-see matchup: Oct. 6 at Notre Dame
Head coach Al Golden needs a program-defining win. A trip north to play the Irish will give him the first of several opportunities to get one. It's the Hurricanes' only road game in a six-week stretch. With home games against conference favorites Florida State and Virginia Tech on the horizon, a win over the Golden Domers would help boost the team's confidence heading into the meat of its schedule.
Upset alert: Nov. 10 at Virginia
Miami takes a road trip after high profile home games against the Seminoles and Hokies. There's a good chance the team will be warn down mentally and physically after a rough stretch of the schedule, which will make the Cavaliers' running game even harder to stop.
It's a breeze (easiest stretch): Sept. 1 through Sept. 15 – at Boston College, atKansas State , Bethune Cookman.
Here's how tough the Hurricanes' 2012 schedule is: Their easiest stretch includes two road games against teams that beat them at home last season. Kansas State was a 10-win team last year and returns 14 starters, but Miami should be favored in the Boston College and Bethune Cookman games.
Brutal stretch: Sept. 29 through Nov. 1 – NC State, at Notre Dame, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Four of the five games will be at home, which is about all the Hurricanes have going for them. There are no light spots on the Miami schedule this season — this five-game stretch is preceded by a trip to Georgia Tech and followed by one to Virginia.
Sept. 1 at Boston College
Sept. 8 at Kansas State
Sept. 15 Bethune Cookman
Sept. 22 at Georgia Tech
Sept. 29 N.C. State
Oct. 6 at Notre Dame
Oct. 13 North Carolina
Oct. 20 Florida State
Oct. 27 OPEN
Nov. 1 Virginia Tech
Nov. 10 at Virginia
Nov. 17 South Florida
Nov. 24 at Duke
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.