No rest for the weary, Syracuse Orange fans, because the Bye Week University Fightin' Byes are here.
You circled the week on your calendar when the schedule came out. You waited. You fretted. You prepared. And now it's time for the greatest rivalry in the history of Syracuse Football to write another chapter.
Syracuse and Bye Week have played every season since 1908, sometimes multiple times a year. It is a rivalry unlike any other...assuming you don't count all the rivalries Bye Week has with every other school.
Let's find out if this is the year BWU finally upends the Orange and take home the coveted Golden Pepper Grinder trophy.
Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-1) vs. Bye Week Fightin' Byes (0-4)
Day & Time: Saturday, October 3, 12:00 p.m. EST
Field: Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
Line: -3, Syracuse
TV: Fox Sports 9
Announcers: Time Byerando, Byetros Byepadakis and Dave Wannstedt
Radio: Bye Week IMG Network (consists of one radio station, KBYE in Sheboygan)
Bye Week News: EveryWeekShouldBeByeWeek, SByeNation
Rivalry: 249-3, Syracuse
Streak: 8, Syracuse
First Meeting: 1908, Syracuse 4 - Bye Week 2. The Orangemen were able to out-safety the Byes, who were led by halfback Frank "Ol' Two Legs" McMaCenMacks.
Most Memorable Meeting: A ten-overtime barnburner in 2012 that culminated in a game decided by the extremely-rare penalty kick option. SU won 84-76 (5-4 on kicks).
Last Meeting: No one's actually sure. Due to gas leaks below the Carrier Dome, all non-essential people, including fans, were vacated from the Carrier Dome. Players and coaches were all found unconscious on Ernie Davis Legends Field the next day with no memory of the day. Syracuse claims to have won last year's contest 27-3 but there's no actual proof that it happened. A formal Bye Week protest to the NCAA was denied on the grounds that the outcome of college sporting events "is not in our wheelhouse."
School Connections: Former Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson graduated top of his class, Bye Week U '74. He is considered the school's ambassador to the world and honorary Board of Trustees president.
Curious Connections: Tim Daoust once got a bagel and coffee from the Wawa in Rocky Hill, NJ. Bye Week University operates out of that Wawa's break room. At least until the next time the Feds show up.
Head Coaches: SU: Scott Shafer (3rd Year, 13-16), Bye Week: Scott Schaeffer (3rd Year, 0-25-3)
Last Year: Another tough year for The Fightin' Byes. It was their eighth-consecutive 0-11-1 season. Scott Shaeffer fired his entire staff and then rehired them because they're all just a collection of Cabbage Patch Kids he found at a Goodwill in Tukwila so it doesn't really make a difference either way.
Last Game: The Fightin' Byes had their hands full last week. That had less to do with the 63-0 drubbing by Florida State and more to do with RB Esly Bristime, who unfortunately ran into a haphazardly-placed garrote wire while crossing the ten-yard line. A twenty-minute play stopping to scoop up Bristime's innards really derailed any hopes of a BWU comeback. R.I.P., Bristime, you will be missed.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds Of Timelords": There's always something that makes Bye Week feeling like Syracuse's inverse. As if they're the yin to our yang. Or is it the yang to our yin? Either way, it's kinda creepy. While Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt nurses an injury, the Byes are led by a somewhat familiar face.
Some say Herrel Tunt's ten-gallon hat is the reason he's able to avoid injury. Almost everyone else says its illegal for him to wear a cowboy hat during games. One thing they can all agree on is that he really should not be wearing a Ruger pistol over his uniform. That's against the rules and just plain dangerous. But who's gonna tell him not to? You? Doubt it, guy's got a gun.
Rumors have been swirling that the Byes could mix things up at quarterback this week. True freshman Derek Ungey and walk-on transfer Mack Dahomie have both been making waves at practice. Given Hunt's lifetime record of 0-25-3 as a starter, BWU might want to make a change soon. Could that happen this weekend?
Fun Fact: A Bengal Tiger has appeared in the Carrier Dome during the game in seven-straight years. In the past the tiger has had it's sights set on Charley Loeb. Smart money says the tiger makes a beeline for Austin Wilson this time around.
H/T: Tom C. for the wonderful visuals