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Syracuse will have to find a replacement for its Sept. 12 football game against Rutgers.
The Big Ten announced in a release on Thursday that it’ll follow a conference-only season for all fall sports, including football, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. League sources told ESPN that the move limits some long-distance travel and helps ensure universal testing procedures.
Rutgers was the only Big Ten team on Syracuse’s 2020 football schedule, and the Orange were one of four Atlantic Coast Conference members — joining Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech — with a Big Ten opponent. Head coach Dino Babers, Director of Athletics John Wildhack and Deputy AD Herman Frazier are in charge of football scheduling.
Typically, FBS teams play 12-game schedules that include three or four nonconference games. But the coronavirus pandemic is shattering norms in every aspect of life, and the Big Ten’s conference-only decision may be the first glimpse at what college football will look like in 2020. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told Yahoo Sports that he’s “very concerned” about the potential of the fall season.
Syracuse also has Colgate on its nonconference schedule, which should remain safe if the ACC maintains its traditional scheduling protocol. The Patriot League issued guidelines prohibiting teams from flying to road games, but that shouldn’t affect the Orange’s matchup against the Raiders.
In a virtual press conference Thursday morning before the Big Ten news, Wildhack said that “obviously the goal would be to play a full schedule,” but outside factors might not permit that.
Wildhack also said a conference-only format in the ACC is a possibility, as conference officials and athletic directors have been working through several scenarios in bi-weekly meetings.
Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported Thursday afternoon that the ACC will also go to a conference-only format, but several other reporters said no such deal has been made yet.
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