On Monday the Syracuse Orange announced that the 2018 Homecoming game will be against the North Carolina Tar Heels on October 20th. As John pointed out last year the Orange had lost four straight Homecoming games before earning a 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers last Fall. You’d think that finally getting a win on Homecoming might change the philosophy of picking that opponent so is that the case?
When the ACC schedule was released last week it looked as though the UConn Huskies might be the clear choice. The idea around the country is that you typically schedule a win on Homecoming Weekend. One would assume that the best time to approach alumni and ask them to hand over some money for the good ole’ alma mater would be right after they watch the football team beat up on a lesser foe.
Schools also try and schedule an opponent who isn’t appealing to casual fans. With alums making their trip back to campus, ticket sales aren’t as challenging as they will be for games when the Orange compete against their most dreaded foes- leaf-raking and apple-picking.
With no games in the preferred early October timeframe and Syracuse weather getting a little bit more unpredictable after October 15th it would have been an easy call to go with UConn. You could even pitch the match-up against the Huskies as a way to involve former player and coach Randy Edsall in the weekend’s festivities.
Instead Syracuse went with the Tar Heels which is an interesting choice. UNC certainly wasn’t a strong team in 2017. They posted a 3-9 record and the only ACC game they won was against Pitt, but Larry Fedora’s team is two years away from an ACCCG appearance and he’s still highly regarded as an offensive coach. To pick them for this game will certainly provide them with some bulletin board material in the weeks leading up to their visit to the Dome.
The position of UNC in the schedule makes it appear to be a pivotal game for potential bowl eligibility. For that reason, getting the game in front of a bigger Homecoming crowd could provide the atmosphere needed to create a home-field advantage. If this game is projected as a toss-up, that could boost the Orange to a key win. (It might also be the reason why the next weekend’s game against NC State is Family Weekend).
Does this mean Syracuse made the right choice? You know we don’t like to miss an opportunity to speculate on questions which will eventually be answered. Where do you fall? Vote in the poll and as always use the comments below
Who should have been the Syracuse Homecoming game in 2018?
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