The Beef Bowl. Now that The Quest For Toronto is forever a memory, it's the hope and dream of every young Syracuse fan. You can have your Manhattan bowl games in December and your Birmingham, Alabama locales. Give me Beef. Of the O'Brady variety. Of course it's not technically called The Beef Bowl. But in our hearts, we know it is.
All Syracuse has to do is go 6-6 this upcoming season and they will swimming in a sea of Beef. The pathway to that goal is almost set now that the Big East schedule has been finalized. So now your SU schedule looks a little like this:
|Sat, Sep 04||Akron||Syracuse||Akron, Ohio||TBA|
|Sat, Sep 11||Washington||Syracuse||Seattle, Wash.||TBA|
|Sat, Sep 18||Syracuse||Maine||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 09||USF||Syracuse||Tampa, Fla.||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 16||Syracuse||Pittsburgh||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 23||West Virginia||Syracuse||Morgantown, W.Va.||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 30||Cincinnati||Syracuse||Cincinnati, Ohio||TBA|
|Sat, Nov 06||Syracuse||Louisville||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA|
|Sat, Nov 13||Rutgers||Syracuse||Piscataway, N.J.||TBA|
|Sat, Nov 20||Syracuse||Connecticut||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA|
|Sat, Nov 27||Syracuse||Boston College||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA||ABC/ESPN/ESPN2|
Somewhere along the line the Akron and Maine games switched places. The Orange still have to fill in one space, either the last weekend in August or last weekend in September. Either way it gives the Orange the potential for two winnable games back-to-back.
September looks like it can be an extremely good month for the Orange. Playing at Washington against Jake Locker will be tough but otherwise SU is looking at two very winnable games and potentially a third.
October will be an extremely tough stretch for SU. Road games against USF, WVU and Cincy and a home tilt versus Pitt. Things could get dicey. (Update: According to Syracuse.com, the 12th game will be played October 2nd.)
But November looks like it could work in the Orange's favor. Home games against Louisville, UConn and Boston College and a road test at Rutgers. All four games seem winnable from where I'm standing, but we'll see.
The Orange currently only have one nationally-televised game on the docket (BC) but as usual, that can change as we get closer. The Washington game seems like it's worth some consideration, if for no other reason than for an early look at Locker.
Looking around the league...
Cincy has the potential to go south in a hurry. At Fresno to open the season and then early contests against NC State and Oklahoma. We might witness a very quick end to the Bearcat dynasty.
UConn opens the season at Michigan, quite the high profile contest. They then feast on some low-level OOC opponents before conference play.
Louisville opens as usual with Kentucky and also gets a trip to Oregon State to offset a couple creampuffs.
Pitt opens the season at Utah in a critical intra-conference game. They also have Miami, FL, Notre Dame and FIU on the schedule.
Rutgers continues it's tradition of scheduling only the finest competition in the land by playing Norfolk State, FIU, Tulane and Army. North Carolina's on the schedule as well to lend the semblance of credibility.
USF opens the season against, I kid you not, Stony Brook. They then play an actual team in Miami before moping up on Western Kentucky and FAU.
Finally, west Virginia does their usual schpiel (Marshall, Maryland) before heading to LSU for a big game. They also host UNLV.