Just yesterday, we found out that the North Carolina Tar Heels and Wake Forest Demon Deacons are going to play a home-and-home non-conference football series rather than wait for their turns in ACC play. The immediate thought was, will the Syracuse Orange attempt to do the same thing?
We already play Boston College and Pittsburgh every season, so we don't need to enhance our regional rivalries. But we know DOC Gross has long wanted to secure more games for SU in recruit-rich Atlanta and Miami. While we haven't heard anything regarding Georgia Tech and Miami, we found out today that Gross has had some very early discussions with North Carolina about a non-conference series.
"We're talking about playing Syracuse some other place than Syracuse or Chapel Hill as a non-conference game." - UNC AD Bubba Cunningham— Sherrell McMillan (@rellevent21) January 27, 2015
@BrentAxeMedia he said he spoke with the Syracuse AD last night. Probably in early, very early, talks.— Sherrell McMillan (@rellevent21) January 27, 2015
According to McMillan, the discussions involved the schools possibly playing in off-campus venues. Obviously for Syracuse that means MetLife could be back in play (though I can't imagine that game will draw very many people), while a game in Charlotte could be in the cards the other way around.
To me, this all boils down to the schools that wanted to play a looser nine-game conference schedule forcing the issue. Gross has said in the past that he's more than willing to put the Pitt game on hold and swap it out for a chance to travel to Miami or Atlanta more often.
As it stands, Syracuse plays North Carolina twice between now and 2025 (2018 at home, 2023 on the road). We play Georgia Tech once more but don't go to Atlanta anytime in the foreseeable future. We head to Miami in 2017 but that's it. DOC Gross tried to change this and got rebuked. The ACC may or may not have seen this loophole coming, but now that the cat's out of the bag, you better believe schools like Syracuse and UNC are going to take advantage of it.