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Top Syracuse scheduling option Oregon State will face Purdue in 2021


NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, we looked at the (very) short list of Power Five teams that the Syracuse Orange could add in place of the Wisconsin Badgers on the 2020 and 2021 football schedules. Unfortunately, one of those preferred teams is already off the board now...

The Oregon State Beavers will play the Purdue Boilermakers in 2021, which means we can’t face the Beavs anymore. Purdue wasn’t on our initial list because they already had a P5 opponent (Notre Dame) for that year. But current Boilermakers schedules seem to be looking to add two P5s. Not my cup of tea, but Purdue can do what it wants.

So this puts us in an even more precarious situation now -- assuming that the ACC holds us to a P5 or BYU, and won’t let us sub in Army. With Oregon State no longer an option, our choices for 2021, in order of preference:

  • BYU (unlikely, given their schedule)
  • Texas Tech
  • (maybe) South Carolina

On top of those options, the following teams have openings, but also have P5 teams already on the schedule. We’ve removed teams that already have two P5s, since there’s no way they’re going for a third:

  • Big Ten: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin (nope)
  • Big 12: Oklahoma, TCU, Texas
  • Pac-12: Arizona, California, USC, Washington
  • SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M
NCAA Football: Syracuse at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Depending on your perspective, this is either bad, pretty bad or catastrophic. The SEC teams are listed above, but are entirely unrealistic given how they usually schedule (one P5 max). Pac-12 teams like to punish themselves for some reason, so maybe Arizona or Cal can throw us a bone for 2021 (and then we’ll see what happens after that).

The Big Ten teams are the most convenient, though we don’t want/need to play most of them. Minnesota and Northwestern seem like the best bets there. Rutgers doesn’t take on tests unless it has to (and rightfully so).

At this point, I’d say TTU is the first call. If that doesn’t work, you’re likely paying up for something with one of the secondary teams on this list.

Though I’m not blaming Syracuse for being in this current predicament given the fact that Wisconsin scheduled over the series, it is worth noting that a) we never should’ve scheduled the Badgers anyway and b) while we’ve helped short-term scheduling gaps, there are still a ton of openings in the 2020s range that already have limited options because of how the rest of the country is getting ahead of things.

Hopefully we can just schedule Army and not have to worry about this (for 2020 and 2021 anyway).