Yesterday we had some fun dissecting the major university opponents that the Syracuse Orange have somehow never faced on the gridiron. As for who we need to break the seal with, we came away somewhat divided but it seemed like Stanford was the option people most wanted to see (even if it would be a bloodbath right now).
Looking over the historical stats, there's a flip side to this discussion that we thought might be fun to note as well: The schools Syracuse Football has played way more often than you think.
There are quite a few schools out there SU has only ever played once (Georgia, Colorado, Kentucky, Purdue, TCU). And there's a ton of schools we've only played two or three times. These opponents stick out because you'd probably expect them to be in that group, and yet...
East Carolina Pirates (10 games, SU leads 7-3) - The Pirates were a pretty trendy non-conference opponent for Syracuse in the late 80s and 90s. We played then eight times between 1988 and 1997. And come to think of it, they'd probably be a decent pick to have on the non-con schedule these days as well, even with their reputation for upsetting good opponents.
Illinois Fighting Illini (12 games, Illinois leads 2-8) - We need to keep playing these guys if for no other reason than to make that series look a little better. We cannot let another orange & blue team own us like this. Most of the games between us took place in the 50s and 70s and we've only played twice in the last 30 years, splitting that series.
Kansas Jayhawks (8 games, series tied 4-4) - See now if the people at SU and KU were smart, they'd make some kind of deal for a football and basketball series between the two schools. It's a good matchup for the football squads and it's a kiler matchup for two elite basketball programs. We played most of these games in the 60s and 70s and haven't met since 1980.
Maryland Terrapins (36 games, SU leads 19-15-2) - We might have only been conference-mates for a year but SU and Maryland actually had a pretty solid rivalry base in place long before that. In fact, the two schools met every year between 1955 and 1978, then picking up the series again for most of the 80s. Because of conferences and the changing face of the sport we only met twice in the 90s before the most recent meetings in 2013 and 2014.
Michigan State Spartans (13 games, MSU leads 9-3-1) - Aside from a game in 1990 (that ended in a tie), these two schools hadn't played since 1978 and haven't played since. But we were pretty common opponents back in the 30s, playing six times that decade. We actually had a 3-2 series lead in 1934 but haven't beaten the Spartans since.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (12 games, SU leads 7-5) - We all remember that one Syracuse - Nebraska game. But it might be surprising to know the two schools have played each other so often. It might be even more surprising to learn SU leads the series. The two schools played seven times by 1929 but the Orange have actually won four of the last five meetings. No wonder they never scheduled us after 1984. Scaredhuskers.
Oregon State Beavers (8 games, SU leads 5-3) - This one probably messes with my head more than anything else. We've never played Oregon but we've played Oregon State eight times?!?! Is this cause of all the orange? Aside from one 1915 game in Portland, every other game between the two schools took place in the 60s and 70s.
UCLA Bruins (8 games, SU leads 6-2) - Another West Coast opponent who you wouldn't think we've met eight times, just not quite as random as Oregon State. Every single game in this rivalry took place between 1959 and 1968, the height of the Great Los Angeles - Syracuse Conflict.