Who does Syracuse face for the 2015 football season? We've known for awhile, but we've only known ABOUT all 12 opponents recently. College football preview season is just about wrapped up, so now, we can finally dig in and learn all we need to know about the squads you'll learn to hate each week this fall.
We've done our own research, and as you well know, SB Nation's Bill Connelly has done his -- the latter, for all 128 FBS schools. With that work complete, we wanted to give you the links to everything important. Hope you've cleared you afternoon.
Week 1: Rhode Island Rams
Last year: 1-11 (1-7 in CAA)
Bill C. Rhode Island Preview (N/A)
Want More?: Rhody Rampage
"Overall, URI gets a lot of help from the transfer market, something that can assist them with some quick growth under the right system. Thus far, it's unclear if Fleming's is the right one for them, but at the very least, they should be improved from last year. Oh, and their QBs still run, just in case you hadn't gotten enough flashbacks to that 2011 game..."
Week 2: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last year: 3-9 (1-7 in ACC)
Want More?: Blogger So Dear
"Wake Forest is one of those teams that can be better than they were last season, even if the W-L record doesn't show it. The schedule makes things tough, and the team's continued relative youth makes things tougher. But things are certainly not impossible, and Clawson has this team looking up long-term. The Deacs' job is a tough one for any head coach, and he's been allotted a whole lot of rope to get it done successfully."
Week 3: Central Michigan Chippewas
Last year: 7-6 (5-3 in MAC)
Want More?: Hustle Belt
"Looking at the schedule, CMU is all but guaranteed another slow start. While the Chippewas face six opponents that ranked 90th or worse in last year's F/+ rankings, five come in the final six games. If Bonamego can keep morale at a decent level, his squad could do damage late, perhaps even reaching bowl eligibility for a fourth straight year."
Week 4: LSU Tigers
Last year: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC)
Want More?: And the Valley Shook
"There is a lot to like about LSU, and thanks to experience, recent play, and recruiting, the numbers see it. The Football Outsiders Almanac 2015 projects LSU eighth in the country and gives the Tigers a 31 percent chance of going 10-2 or better despite a brutal division. Those are decent odds, and it reminds us that last year's only less-than-elite play was the exception, not the rule."
Week 6: at USF Bulls
Last year: 4-8 (3-5 in AAC)
Want More?: Voodoo Five
"There is potential for improvement within just about every unit on the field, especially considering the youth involved. But potential wasn't worth much last year, and at this point, the burden of proof is on Taggart and his staff to show they can turn former three- and four-star recruits into three- and four-star players. They haven't yet."
Week 7: at Virginia Cavaliers
Last year: 5-7 (3-5 in ACC)
Want More?: Streaking the Lawn
"Solid recruiting bought London time, and now it has a chance to save him. London returns high-end skill position talent, deep lines, and a potentially fantastic secondary. He also faces one hell of a schedule. And he bears the burden of proof. That Virginia improved is on him; so is the fact that the Cavaliers had to improve significantly. And his own decision-making played a role in the Hoos' fade."
Week 8: Pittsburgh Panthers
Last year: 6-7 (4-4 in ACC)
Want More?: Cardiac Hill
"And from the coaching staff to the players on the field, Pitt has more exciting components than a majority of the ACC. The program made what seems like a great coaching hire, and he has players to work with. We'll see if that is enough to overcome the rain cloud that has followed the Panthers for two decades."
Week 9: at Florida State Seminoles
Last year: 13-1 (8-0 in ACC)
Want More?: Tomahawk Nation
"The rest of the ACC is blowing it. After three straight conference titles, Florida State is in full rebuild mode. The Seminoles will be breaking in a new quarterback and offensive line, and the defensive front seven is searching for new stars. There is too much upside for them to fall far, but a top-15 team could easily end FSU's streak."
Week 10: at Louisville Cardinals
Last year: 9-4 (5-3 in ACC)
Want More?: Card Chronicle
"Louisville returns less than half of its starters from last year's nine-win squad, which is certainly going to present some challenges right off the bat. There's also the fact that ACC squads are now familiar with them, which could remove any sort of 'surprise' element that could occur from lack of playing one another. But all of those things can probably be overcome with one simple tweak compared to last season: reliable and consistent play at the quarterback position."
Week 11: Clemson Tigers
Last year: 10-3 (6-2 in ACC)
Want More?: Shakin the Southland
"With a healthy Watson, a lot of potential weaknesses get covered up. The running game has an extra efficiency option (and if the defense is going to regress in run defense, ball control and efficiency become doubly important), and the passing game has an absurdly high ceiling. Line play is a concern no matter what, but Watson appears good enough to drag Clemson toward a strong season."
Week 12: at NC State Wolfpack
Last year: 8-5 (3-5 in ACC)
Want More?: Backing the Pack
"NC State is most likely going to be the fourth-best team in a three-team ACC Atlantic race, but the gamble of replacing decent-not-great Tom O'Brien with hopes of something bigger started to pay off last year. And with just a little bit of improvement in the trenches, maybe it starts to pay off significantly."
Week 13: Boston College Eagles
Last year: 8-5 (3-5 in ACC)
Want More?: BC Interruption
"Just like last year, the narrative is Boston College taking a step back. Only this time, it won't affect the upward trajectory of the program. The Eagles lose a slew of starters, returning about nine or so depending on who you ask. In their place is a mixed bag of upperclassmen and young guns, and without the recruiting numbers to give faith in a freshman/sophomore surge, it's easy to see why the outlook may be knocked down a peg from the last couple years of bowl bids and tight matchups."