The worst-kept secret in town is out, Colgate is the 12th team on Syracuse's football schedule. The Orange will feature two FCS schools on the schedule, something we thought only the likes of Rutgers and South Florida did. Alas, you do what you gotta do.
There are a couple silver linings in here. First of all, if we're going to play any FCS team, it might as well be the one who's one of our greatest historical rivals of all time.
Syracuse will host Colgate on the gridiron on Saturday, September 25 in the Carrier Dome, renewing a historical rivalry and the second-oldest series in school history. The Orange has faced the Raiders 65 times in its 120-year history, which trails only the Penn State series which is 70-games old.
If this were 1920, SU-Colgate would be the biggest game on the schedule. The rivalry between the two schools was so strong at one point that opposing fans took to flying planes over the other campus to drop flyers and shaved the heads of rival students who tried to steal things from each other's campus.
The 1897 game was marred when a news reporter, apparently a Colgate fan, tackled a Syracuse player that had broken free for a game-winning touchdown. The game ended in a tie.
And then there was Hoodoo. That God damn Hoodoo.
Legend has it that while [Archbold] stadium was being constructed, a Colgate student snuck into the site and placed a varsity Maroon "C" sweater somewhere within the drying cement. This sweater gave way to the legend of the HOODOO. The word, a corruption of the word "voodoo", was used as a chant to psych out the Syracuse team and fans. Eventually Syracuse retorted with the chant "We Do" to diminish the effects of the so-called "Hoodoo", the invisible player that prevented Syracuse from winning and on some occasions kept them from scoring at all.
The really crazy part? It worked. For a long time, Colgate OWNED us. Between 1897 and 1937, Syracuse only won ten times. And this was even though every game in the series has been played in Syracuse. In fact, Colgate still leads the overall series 31-29-5. (Of course, the combined score of the last nine games between SU and 'Gate are 458-66 in favor of the Orange).
The other silver lining in this is that in the recent history of college football, this might be the best possible time to play two FCS teams in one season. We say it every year but sooner or later there will be more college bowl slots than available teams. While there are currently restrictions on teams that play multiple FCS schools (need 7 wins to quality instead of 6), those rules could be relaxed if it looks like there aren't enough qualified teams. Six teams could still be enough for the Orange, and, even five could possibly get them in as crazy as it sounds.
And finally...let's forget about the bowls for a second. Look at the first four games on the schedule. Three of them are EXTREMELY winnable. A 3-1 start to the season for SU, regardless of how they got it, would be very valuable. Any chance for the Orange to get that much closer to a winning record and showing progress is going to go a long way in recruiting, national awareness and confidence. No one outside of your own fans remembers who you played five years later, they only remember the record. And if the Orange can show improvement in 2010, however slight, that's going to be huge for the program.
And so, here is your final football schedule. Try not to cringe if you hold season tickets and you realize how flimsy the home schedule is. Also, I'm as shocked as you are that Colgate is Family Weekend. Enjoy that, Mom & Dad spending $40K a year. That'll be worth it.
|10/9||South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|10/23||West Virginia||Morgantown, WV|
|11/27||Boston College||Syracuse, NY|