The Syracuse Orange scheduled more football games! I know, it’s a stunning development, but here we are. Today, SU announced that they’ll be playing a four-game series with the Army Black Knights beginning in 2023. The teams will meet at the Dome in 2023 and 2025. They’ll head to Army’s Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. in 2024 and 2026.
Since John Wildhack was named athletic director, SU has now scheduled five future games. While I doubt he was responsible for the Middle Tennessee contest given how close it was to his own announcement, it’s still refreshing to see scheduling be put front-of-mind as future dates for a lot of non-conference programs are filling up fast.
Despite being two of the just three FBS programs in New York State, Syracuse and Army have only met 21 times on the gridiron, and zero times since their last game in 1996. Syracuse is just 11-10 vs. Army, and have won seven of the last eight in the series. The Orange actually started on a four-game losing streak in 1899, 1902, 1904 and 1905, respectively. They broke that slide with a “thrilling” 4-0 triumph in 1906.
SU had a lot to say in the release about how this continues to strengthen the university’s relationship with the military. Some portions of the fan base had been up in arms after the Fort Drum trip (going on today) was cut down to just one day. Hopefully this makes up for that. Said Wildhack:
"We are thrilled to add this football series to an already powerful relationship. We have a long history with Army West Point on the football field and the University is a leader in supporting veterans and military families. We look forward to having the tradition and pageantry of the Army West Point program in the Carrier Dome for our fans to enjoy."
Chancellor Kent Syverud added:
"Syracuse has a century long history of veteran engagement, and we continue to lead with nationally renowned programs led by our Institute for Veterans and Military Families. "The renewed football series with the United States Military Academy is a wonderful symbol of mutual respect and commitment and it will further our important work supporting veterans and their families."
Additional quotes from Army and SU also talked about the games being a great opportunity for fans and alums from both in New York City. See? #BRAND can be present AND subtle.
The exact dates of the games are currently set as follows:
at Syracuse: September 23, 2023
at Army: September 21, 2024
at Syracuse: September 27, 2025
at Army: September 26, 2026
These are the first non-conference games scheduled for 2023, 2024 and 2026, respectively. It’s the second for 2025, which already featured a road date at Notre Dame, per the Irish’s scheduling arrangement with the ACC.
While I’m still concerned that more near-term non-conference dates remain unfilled, I won’t complain about the team looking forward and actually getting games on the books. As a reminder, Syracuse’s 2017 schedule still needs one more opponent (probably from FCS), while 2018 and 2019 need two.