We had heard a couple weeks back that the Syracuse Orange were in some kind of talks with the Wisconsin Badgers about a home-and-home football series. You know how I feel about these kinds of things. If you needed any clear indication that Syracuse Athletics cares not what I think, they announced today that the two schools will play one another in 2020 and 2021.
The Orange will visit the Badgers on Sept. 12, 2020 and Wisconsin will make their first trip to the Carrier Dome on Sept. 11, 2021.
"I'm excited for our football program, our student-athletes and our fans to announce this series," Syracuse Director of Athletics Mark Coyle said. "To add another chapter to the history between these teams and bring a program like Wisconsin to the Carrier Dome is important as we strive to give our student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level."
Was that actually Mark Coyle cause that sure sounds a lot like what DOC Gross said after scheduling Penn State, Notre Dame and USC when SU wasn't in a position to compete with them. That worked out well.
Sigh. Look, I see why this is exciting on paper. Great roadtrip. Marquee name coming to the Dome. SU can schedule three softer OOC games around it and go 3-1. It's years away so Syracuse can get better by then.
But it still doesn't make sense to me.
Do you want Syracuse Football to be good or not? Not mediocre. Not 6-6. Do you want Syracuse to win eight or nine games a year, or at least have the potential to do so? Then you need to be smart about it. Because right now, every win counts. While going 3-1 in OOC play is "fine," it's the same strategy SU has employed for years and, well, what do we have to show for it?
Pride seems to be the issue. Change the coaches and change the athletic director but Syracuse still clings strongly to a sense of pride that we become the best by beating the best. We don't back down to anyone! Except...that's part of the reason we're still trying to recover from the worst stretch in the program's 100+ year history.
While Duke, Baylor, Rutgers and other schools have gamed the system in order to become bowl-level programs and consistent winners, Syracuse remains mired in up & down mediocrity. It's why we needed to schedule LSU and Wisconsin and not, say, Vanderbilt and Indiana.
But hey, it'll be a fun roadtrip and we'll probably be on national television. That's what counts.