UPDATE (6:30 p.m. ET)
Seems an article on STATS FCS (and linked by Sports Illustrated) back in August cites Syracuse games against Central Connecticut State (2017) and Wagner (2018). These have not been officially announced by any of the schools involved, so it’s unclear where STATS FCS received this information from. FBSchedules has also tweeted out a link to the original STATS FCS story, which lends some credence as well.
Though SU has never faced CCSU in football, they did go up against Wagner at the Carrier Dome back in 2013. They defeated the Seahawks 54-0 in a game that ushered in the Terrel Hunt era.
Once there are official confirmations on these announcements, we’ll create an updated post.
Below is an earlier version of the article reflecting speculation around Central Connecticut State being Syracuse’s final 2017 opponent.
As Sean discussed this morning, the Syracuse Orange have one more spot to fill on its already difficult 2017 football schedule. The thoughts have always been this is an FCS game, but there were no real guarantees there.
There still aren’t today, though we may have gotten closer to one.
Lost in the shuffle of a Twitter conversation around SU scheduling on Saturday night were a couple nuggets of information from Syracuse play-by-play man Matt Park. The “Voice of the Orange” dropped two hints around who SU’s 12th opponent might be.
First: Middle Tennessee.— Matt Park (@MattPark1) November 27, 2016
Second: (Regional portion of)(State you've been to). https://t.co/ZlarZW20cd
It's an FCS program that likely will be bussing to the game. https://t.co/5WSmu8fOKc— Matt Park (@MattPark1) November 27, 2016
I saw this tweet in real-time on Saturday and thought little of it. But looking back today, it actually points us right to the CENTRAL part of the question...
It’s the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.
There are a decent amount of FCS schools that could bus to Syracuse. There’s only one that has a regional name, followed by the name of a state, and that’s Central Connecticut. The next closest options were Eastern Illinois (makes sense, Babers used to work there) and Eastern Kentucky. Both of those are pretty far out, however, and would need bus rides of over 10 hours to get to SU.
We’ve reached out to CCSU and Syracuse Athletics for confirmation here, but have yet to receive any word. So for now, this is “probably” going to happen. But we’ll wait for something definitive to know for sure. At that time, we can update this portion of the piece. Normally, something like this is just hearsay, but coming from Park, a firsthand source, it’s a little more viable.
Syracuse and Central Connecticut have never faced each other on the gridiron, though they have on the basketball court -- a 96-62 New Year’s Eve win in 2012. This would be SU’s second Northeast Conference opponent in the last four years. The first was Wagner back in 2013.