The flood of schedules continues with Virginia's, and as we noted previously, the Cavaliers' non-conference slate includes one brutal stretch. Beginning on Nov. 18, the Cavaliers begin a two-week stretch that sends them to Tennessee, Cancun - for games against Iowa State, West Virginia and TCU - and Ohio State. Tennessee is projected as a Top-5 team this season, Ohio State is likely to be Top 10 and the other three are good bets to open the season among the Top 25. In fact, when ESPN's Charlie Creme did his (extremely) early forecast of the 2010-11 season, he had all five teams in his Top 20.
Throw in the fact that the top of the ACC figures to be more potent this season and, well, we usually roll our eyes when a coach refers to their schedule as "challenging", because that's what they all say. But we're giving Debbie Ryan a pass on her "It's a very challenging schedule this year" quote. Because with this lineup, the woman ain't just blowin' smoke.