The Missouri Tigers were the only school left in FBS that had an open spot on their 2012 football schedule. And so, the Syracuse Orange are going to play them.
Syracuse and Missouri will play on November 17th in Columbia, meaning that Syracuse will only play five home games in 2012 to go with six away games and one neutral game.
This also means that Syracuse's 2012 schedule looks downright brutal now.
A home date with Northwestern on September 1 will kick off the 2012 season. Syracuse will square off against USC in ‘The Battle in the Apple’ at MetLife Stadium on September 8 before returning home to host Stony Brook (Sept. 15) in the Carrier Dome. The Orange will travel to play at Minnesota on September 22 and at Missouri on November 17.
Minnesota and Stony Brook look like wins but the other three games (Northwestern, USC, Mizzou) all look extremely tough for a team coming off a 5-7 season.
The Tigers are coming off an 8-5 season and a year removed from a 10-3 tilt. They'll be entering their first season in the SEC, so they're probably looking at this as one of their "easy" games.
Doug Marrone tried to explain how the Orange ended up here and added some names of schools we almost ended up with:
"Our discussions included Florida State, Arkansas, Boise State and Nevada. We did not pursue a second FCS opponent. Although we could not schedule the game at home, we are fortunate that another BCS team like Missouri was available. "
As Kevo23 pointed out on Twitter, the Orange will play a Pac-12 team, two Big Ten teams and an SEC team in one season. Who's crazy enough to do that? Seems the answer is Notre Dame, a Sun Belt school looking for exposure and now Syracuse.
Interestingly, the school also included the Big East schedule and noted a curious "TBA" road game. Obviously, that's supposed to be Temple and the fact that Syracuse would make the full schedule announcement tells me that Temple joining the conference is a lock, or as close to a lock as one could imagine.
Oh and they're going to try and call the USC game the "Battle In The Apple" despite the fact that it takes place in New Jersey. Fine.
2012 Home Games: Northwestern, Stony Brook, UConn, Louisville, Pitt
2012 Away Games: Minnesota, Missouri, Cincinnati, Rutgers, South Florida, TBA
2012 Neutral Games: USC