With three open dates remaining on Syracuse's 2015 football schedule, we knew they'd be filling them eventually. But given recent trends, that "eventually" felt like it would probably be some time this fall. Instead, we get a pleasant (maybe not-so-pleasant) surprise this afternoon: Reports are that the Orange are working on a home-and-home arrangement with the LSU Tigers.
Obviously, this is equal parts exciting and terrifying. Syracuse would head down to Baton Rouge in 2015, and then... well, there are no details just yet. The return game can't come in 2016 as of right now, since LSU's technically booked up with four games already (one's TBD with Southern Miss) and Syracuse was already playing down at MetLife vs. Notre Dame.
So does this mean the game's getting pushed to 2017 so it could be at MetLife instead of the Carrier Dome? This would be a bummer for fans and pretty much establish that elite non-conference foes are never coming to the Dome ever again. (See update at bottom)
While it could be apropos of nothing, this also brings to light the discussed "8 + 1" scheduling model with the SEC and ACC that came up back in February. Could this be the first move in getting the non ACC/SEC aligned teams in line with that setup? Again, nothing confirmed there -- just a possible theory.
So looking at the future non-conference schedules for both teams, here's how things could look:
2014: Villanova, at Central Michigan, Maryland, Notre Dame (neutral)
2015: Central Michigan, at LSU
2016: Notre Dame (neutral)
2017: Central Michigan, LSU
2014: Wisconsin (neutral), Sam Houston State, UL-Monroe, New Mexico State
2015: Eastern Michigan, Western Kentucky, Syracuse
2016: Wisconsin (neutral), Jacksonville State, South Alabama, Southern Miss*
2017: Georgia Southern, NC State, Troy, at Syracuse
Syracuse and LSU have never met in the regular season, but the teams have split their two postseason meetings. The Orange won their 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl matchup, by a score of 23-10. While the Bayou Bengals beat SU 13-10 in the 1965 Sugar Bowl.
So what do you think? Good scheduling for Syracuse? Will we get anything out of heading down to Baton Rouge at all?
And what of the potential for this to be another neutral site game sent to MetLife? Also... "Les Miles Meets New York Media." Weigh in below...
UPDATED (2:17 p.m. ET)
Per Syracuse.com's Nate Mink, it looks like it's definitely going to be at the Dome! This is big for the program, since it re-establishes home games as an option for elite teams.