Every year it seems like we move closer and closer to the inevitable Power Five Conferences breaking away to form their own league. This year, it looks like the beginning of the separation between FBS and FCS with the news that the Big Ten will no longer allow schools to schedule FCS opponents as of 2016.
Big Ten schools will also play nine conference games and are required to schedule at least one P5 opponents in their non-conference schedule.
Naturally, we wonder how this could trickle down to affect the Syracuse Orange.
The most obvious way is that the ACC could decide to go a similar route. The league roundly rejected the idea of a nine-game conference schedule but if everyone follows the Big Ten's lead, it might just be the way to go. Regardless, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that the ACC eventually stops FCS scheduling as well, especially if the Pac-12 or SEC jump on board as well.
Syracuse routinely includes one FCS opponent on the schedule and counts on that for the most-likely win of the season. While it'd be a shame to lose that right now, it's a wash if everyone is losing theirs as well.
On a smaller note, it would officially close the door on the Syracuse - Colgate rivalry. Obviously that's nothing to lose sleep over but there's a metaphor in there for college football landscape.
The other way it could affect Syracuse is an increase in Big Ten opponents on the schedule. 2015 is the rare season when we don't actually have a Big Ten opponent on the slate. Last year we played the Maryland Terrapins, before that it was Penn State and Northwestern (& Minnesota in the bowl game). Before that we played Northwestern & Minnesota. Big Ten teams were staples on recent schedules. However, the only one on the books right now is a Maryland trip in 2019.
Northwestern remains a good opponent for us and I wouldn't argue if you wanted to put Indiana or Purdue on the schedule either. We do some recruiting in the region and it would be good to keep that connection going. Let's just make sure that if Ohio State, Michigan State or Wisconsin call that we don't pick up the phone. We do not need that.
So what do you think? Would you like to see FBS schools stop playing FCS schools? And if that opens up a space for a Big Ten school on the roster, who do you want to see Syracuse sign a home-and-home with next?