Syracuse Football scheduling has been a bit of a sticky wicket for a while now. The Orange have been caught with their pants down in recent years, forced to schedule two FCS teams in one season and barely filling another year's slate just in time.
Things do seem to be on the mend with future schedule and the ACC's recent proclamation that schools will play eight conference games but are also required to play at least one Power Five team as well at least gives us proper guidelines to follow.
The SEC is using the same setup for their upcoming schedules and both conferences count Notre Dame as a qualifying school even though they're in that weird in-between space between being ACC-affiliated but technically still independent.
You know who else is independent? The BYU Cougars. And the Cougars were curious to find out if they too make the cut for this scheduling proclamation.
Turns out that while the SEC is still discussing the matter, the ACC has decided nope. We closed the book on Mormons.
As SBNation's piece notes, BYU rarely travels East of the Mississippi, so it's not like this is going to destroy their future schedules. But it's the principle of the thing, you know? And BYU remains a football program trapped between reality and perception.
Are they a WAC/MWC-calibur school or are they a school with a more-recent National Championship than most of the teams in the ACC?
Why isn't the 12-most winningest program since 1984 considered good enough to schedule a home-and-home with Wake Forest and have it count as a "major" game?
BYU blog Vanquish The Foe runs down the unlikely ideas before digging into what is the most likely reason. Perception.
Most likely, in my opinion though, is that ACC officials simply didn't think about BYU when they made their initial decision, and when forced to re-look at it, were unconvinced by BYU's mountain of wins and accomplishments. How the ACC/SEC treats the profile of BYU may be considered a useful microcosm of how BYU is perceived by the greater power structure of college football, which is to say, not that highly.
And what is college football is not steeped in perception? It's the basis on which the entire structure is built.
So how does this affect Syracuse. Well, if the Orange had a 1.3% chance of scheduling BYU in the near future, that's now down to 0.00001%. BYU is way too good to use on one of the "gimme" slots saved for FCS/MAC schools and there's no recruiting value in a trip to Provo. We'll continue to watch the Cougars from afar and perhaps we'll cross paths one day in a mid-tier bowl.
Until then, BYU will do their thing, the ACC will do its thing and never the twain shall meet. At least, not in a way that means much.
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