When the Syracuse Orange took down the Clemson Tigers on Friday night, it wasn’t just any win. The victory handed us the upset of the year (so far), and also some fictional hardware, the College Football Lineal Championship Belt.
For those unfamiliar, the belt works like this: the Nebraska Cornhuskers were the original “belt” holders on January 1, 1972, and retained it until the first game of that subsequent season -- a loss to UCLA. From UCLA on, each team to beat a belt holder takes the belt until such a time when they lose a game. Then the belt transfers owners and the whole thing repeats itself.
Coincidentally, Clemson was in possession of the belt last weekend, an had been since taking it from Alabama in the National Championship in January. Now, that belt belongs to Syracuse.
SU is no stranger to championship belt matchups, but this is our first time winning it. The three previous matchups were all against the Miami Hurricanes — ranked No. 1 or No. 2 every time. Now that Syracuse holds the belt, it seems fitting that they’ll need to defend it against the team they could never take it from.
The ‘Canes are actually one of the most successful championship belt teams ever, with a 34-8 record in contests either defending or challenging the belt.
While it’s not a national championship, it’s a fun sideshow to college football. Hopefully SU responds well to the rare position it’s in this weekend.
Another fun sideshow: the College Football Imperialism Map, which has been going since week one. Beating Clemson earned us quite a bit of turf as you’ll see below. According to Reddit CFB, we currently hold the fifth-most counties at 195, and the third most territories, with eight. The Miami game has 18 territories on the line and if we win, we’d dominate the map.