The Syracuse Orange football schedule was released along with the rest of the ACC's respective schedules yesterday afternoon. We discussed some key takeaways. And took a longshot at projecting wins way too far out. Next?
It's unlikely we know much about that at all until ESPN starts getting its affairs in order for the fall. But we can commit to wild speculation while we wait. And what would this site truly be without a little bit of that?
So, taking a crack at the full 12 games:
Week 1: Colgate Raiders
What's become our annual opener against an FCS opponent (FINE WITH ME) has also been the annual game many of us don't get to watch on television. Bank on a date with ESPN3.
Week 2: Louisville Cardinals
On a Saturday, there was a slight chance for national TV, considering week two has been bad in many recent seasons. But on a Friday? This seems like an even easier bet that this game will see a national broadcast. Things didn't go too well the last time we faced Louisville on a Friday, but we can hope that stays in the past. Expect ESPN2 or ESPNU as the country's first intro to what Dino Babers's offense can look like at SU.
Week 3: USF Bulls
Early non-conference slates might get this one to ESPNU depending on the time of broadcast, but unfortunately, we're probably looking at the RSN treatment for his non-conference tilt. The Bulls won't have the quality of opponents to gain the momentum to be ranked by week three and same goes for Syracuse.
Week 4: at UConn Huskies
Normally this one's not hitting the TV, but with the right timing, this Huskies home game turns into a CBS Sports Network spot. We saw the same with USF last year, despite what appeared like an "underwhelming" non-conference matchup on paper. The New York area draw, and the basketball rivalry and familiarity of the two schools should push this one to broadcast.
Week 5: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (at MetLife Stadium)
If Notre Dame season starts positively and Syracuse can avoid a disastrous beginning itself, the second (and final) MetLife matchup between these two could get similar primetime treatment to the 2014 meeting. Obviously it all depends on the schedule outside of this game, as well as these two teams' W-L records. But ABC or ESPN is definitely in play.
Week 6: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Too underwhelming, and too many more important league games on the docket for anything but RSN. Syracuse would have to start incredibly well to get it out of that hole.
Week 7: Virginia Tech Hokies
With a weak ACC slate on this Saturday, and another game flexing to Friday, a nooner at the Carrier Dome probably earns itself an ESPN2 or ESPNU selection, as long as the bottom hasn't fallen out of either team by this point.
Week 8: at Boston College Eagles
Moving this one from its previous Thanksgiving weekend slot could be a saving grace in terms of in-person attendance. As far as broadcast, though? We'll have to wait and see. The ACC schedule is weak once again, as Thursday games start to grab marquee matchups away from Saturday. This one has an outside shot at ESPN2 if both teams are competent. Otherwise, ACC Network seems likely.
Week 10: at Clemson Tigers
If Clemson's as good as they're supposed to be next year, then it's a no-brainer this game will find itself a national audience. If it's a noon kickoff, ESPN's probably in play. If it heads to 3:30 p.m. or so, ESPNU might be the pick if Syracuse isn't sporting a passable record.
Week 11: NC State Wolfpack
There's a good deal of quality ACC action this weekend, and it's unlikely this game will make the cut. Expect RSN, unless both are already bowl eligible.
Week 12: Florida State Seminoles
SEC/SoCon challenge week and other FBS vs. FCS games guarantee the matchup between the 'Noles and Orange a national television spot here. A nooner probably gets ESPN. An afternoon kickoff is likely to head over to ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Week 13: at Pittsburgh Panthers
From one largely unwatchable post-Thanksgiving game to another. There's two much ACTUAL rivalry week football on for week 13 for this one to hit national TV unless both surprise by a significant amount. No, it's not the worst game. But it also may get sent to RSNs because of what else is available.
So for those who are keeping score, here's what we're probably looking at:
ABC/ESPN: 3 (Notre Dame, Florida State, Clemson)
ESPN2/ESPNU: 2 (Louisville, Virginia Tech)
Other Broadcast: 1 (UConn)
ACC Network: 1 (Boston College)
RSN: 4 (USF, Wake Forest, NC State, Pittsburgh)
ESPN3: 1 (Colgate)
Underwhelmed? That's what happens when you win seven games total over the course of two seasons. Syracuse football can and will improve, and in turn, television exposure will come with that. But for now, this is still a pretty solid showing considering what ESPN and the ACC are going off of.