The Orange have taken the road more traveled for opening week
That’s right folks it’s everyone’s favorite Syracuse Orange football topic- scheduling. This time we’re not talking about future schedules but did you know that when Syracuse starts the 2021 season against the Ohio Bobcats this will mark the fourth straight season that the Orange have opened up on the road?
We might give Syracuse a little reprieve for last year as the adjusted ACC schedule was out of the school’s control. However, since 2010 the Orange have chosen to open with two road games four times. Syracuse doesn’t have a game scheduled for the 2022 opening weekend which means they will likely start with an ACC game. If the conference sends them on the road that would make it a fifth season with two road games to begin the year which is rare for a P5 football program. The Orange also have Purdue and Notre Dame on the schedule next year so it would be wise for John Wildhack to be really aggressive in getting that opening week game in the Dome.
The reason we talk about scheduling so much around here is because this isn’t helping Syracuse in comparison to the schools many consider our peers in the Atlantic Division (and Pitt our annual Coastal “rival”). Take a look at who those teams have played during their non-conference schedule.
From the time the Orange joined the ACC in 2013 the other teams on this list have opened with four road games against non-conference opponents in total. BC has played two (Northern Illinois and UMass) and this year Duke will play it’s second when they go to Charlotte after having played at Tulane to open up 2015 (Duke also opened against Alabama in a neutral site game which is definitely a choice the head coach didn’t make).
This isn’t to excuse the Orange’s struggles in the win-loss column but it is to illustrate why we make it such a point that Syracuse hasn’t done the program any favors since joining the ACC (and we could extend that back to the Marrone era scheduling as well). For all the investment in the Dome renovations and to the football staff it’s imperative that the administration helps Dino Babers out by letting the team build some early momentum in the beginning of the season.
If the administration is too concerned with competing against the New York State Fair during Labor Day weekend, then maybe they could schedule their own 90’s act to appear in a free post-game concert. I bet you Skid Row or Bell Biv Devoe would be ready for that call.