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Syracuse Football: How Often Could the Orange See National Television in 2015?

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Coming off a 3-9 season... it's going to be tricky.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a 7-6 campaign, Syracuse football earned itself six national television dates for the 2014 season. It might have been more, but... well, you know how last year turned out. A 3-9 record is ugly, even when you're in the middle of compiling it. Following the team's loss to Clemson on ESPNU that dropped the Orange to 3-5, the powers-that-be had enough and SU was no more on the national stage.

So what will become of them in 2015, when they come into the season sporting a lousy record and a much-less "sexy" non-conference slate?

We won't know the rundown of early national TV dates for the ACC until May or so, but we can at least have fun projecting what might be for the Orange.

Most Likely ESPN/ABC Games

Right now there's only one -- when Syracuse hosts a likely top-25 LSU team in late September. Should the Orange be 3-0 going into that matchup, it could end up in a primetime slot, or at least be a late-afternoon feature. Others (Clemson, Louisville, Florida State) could potentially be ESPN or ABC games as well, but that very much depends on Syracuse's W-L record and the kickoff times for all of those.

Most Likely ESPN2 Games

Keep in mind, some of these could end up being the ESPN2/ABC regional flex game, so that means more or less prestige, depending on your point of view. The aforementioned Clemson, Louisville and Florida State games are the obvious candidates, with Virginia, Wake Forest and Pitt also hanging around as possibilities. Late November games against NC State and Boston College might be more intriguing to Orange fans but with better matchups around the country, we probably don't see those get high billing among the day's events.

Most Likely ESPNU Games

Virginia, Wake Forest and Pitt could trickle down here (Wake, in particular, since it's so early). USF and Central Michigan should also be included as considerations since non-conference games litter the ESPNU schedule early on, and there might be just enough of a scheduling lull both weeks to squeeze the Orange in. If Syracuse can put together a solid stat to the season, more of those October dates can get flexed here. Otherwise, we're headed to RSN town...

Most Likely RSN/ESPN3 Games

This is where the Orange primarily lived in the second half of 2014. And if things turn south for them in 2015, it'll be more of the same -- the only saving grace being that three-game string against the Atlantic's best that will at least nudge ESPN a bit to put it on a more standard broadcast option. Rhode Island is an obvious candidate for RSN/ESPN3 broadcast, despite the Friday kickoff. And again, if things turn sour, we'll find the NC State and Boston College games here as well. I suppose Wake, CMU and Virginia, despite being included in several buckets above, could also end up here too.

***

So how many is that, after what looks like some pretty broad and vague descriptors? At least one, with LSU. And you can bet at least two of three out of Clemson/FSU/Louisville. One of Wake/CMU/Pitt/UVa/USF makes it too. And then those final two games are largely decided by where the teams are in the standings. So let's set the bar at four right now, and then see if it can go up.

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