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Projecting Syracuse football’s 2018 television schedule

Where are we going to be able to watch (or not watch) the Orange this fall?

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC recently released information on early primetime football games for 2018. While the Syracuse Orange weren’t on the short list of contests, there are still plenty of opportunities to appear in front of national audiences in key timeslots.

The conference said times and networks are going to be released soon for the first three weeks of the season, but we’re not waiting for that to become available. We’d much rather start projecting out where and when Syracuse appears instead.

So below are the projections for all 12 games this season. Disagree? Share your own picks in the comments.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Friday, August 31: at Western Michigan Broncos

Network/Time: CBS Sports Network/7 p.m. ET

This one’s already locked in, actually, though the time has yet to be confirmed. Still, there’s one national broadcast already. Feels good to see the Friday night opener scheduling finally pay off for us.

Saturday, September 8: Wagner Seahawks

Network/Time: ACC Network Extra/Noon ET

As has been the case since 2014, the home opener is relegated to streaming-only. Wagner’s an FCS opponent and there are a whole lot of games going on that are higher profile in week two. Nooner is a near-guarantee.

Saturday, September 15: Florida State Seminoles

Network/Time: ESPNU/3:30 p.m. ET

Even though last year was tough, FSU is still FSU, and that makes them a TV draw against a conference opponent. Plus, last year’s game was close, and people will still want to see Willie Taggart in action early in the year against another up-tempo offense. This one has a moderately high fun probability.

Saturday, September 22: Connecticut Huskies

Network/Time: RSN/3:30 p.m. ET

It’s doubtful anyone outside of these two fan bases is all that interested in this game (and even then, probably questionable for UConn supporters). Plus, there are plenty of intra-conference SEC and ACC games to earn national slots.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, September 29: at Clemson Tigers

Network/Time: ESPN2/3:30 p.m. ET

As mentioned on Tuesday, Clemson is going to be very good this year. And if Syracuse gets to this point at 3-1 (probable) or better (unlikely), this game is locked into a national spot. Even if the Orange don’t necessarily look the part of David to Clemson’s Goliath again, the narrative around a rematch of last year’s upset should fuel interest.

Saturday, October 6: at Pittsburgh Panthers

Network/Time: ACC Network/12:30 p.m. ET

This isn’t too different from the UConn game, except for the fact that it’s a conference matchup. Pitt’s not going to be all that great. Syracuse could be 3-2 or so. That’s probably not enough to get this one out of the noon-ish timeframe and the ACCN/RSN range.

Saturday, October 20: North Carolina Tar Heels

Network/Time: RSN/Noon ET

A lot depends on where these teams are at this point in the season. But it’s likely a matchup between two .500ish teams in the ACC competing against a lot of other conference games that are likely better suited for national TV.

Saturday, October 27: N.C. State Wolfpack

Network/Time: ESPNU/3:30 p.m. ET

With some bye weeks placed in here, and FSU and Clemson facing one another likely in primetime, there aren’t a lot of intriguing matchups to choose from in the conference’s other television spots that Saturday. With luck, that means a national opportunity for SU and the Pack, assuming either team’s season hasn’t already been derailed.

Saturday, November 3: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Network/Time: RSN/12:30 p.m. ET

See the last two matchups here on where the game could get shuffled around. But with Wake and Syracuse, there’s even less of an outside audience barring something completely unexpected for both team’s seasons. Perhaps last year’s scoring display motivates a better TV pick-up?

Friday, November 9: Louisville Cardinals

Network/Time: ESPN2/7 p.m. ET

As of right now, the only game opposite SU vs. Louisville is Fresno State vs. Boise State on Friday night — which could actually end up being a preview of the Mountain West title game. So that means the Orange get bounced to ESPN2 (not a bad consolation prize) as they attempt to add the Cards to the list of Friday night upsets in the Dome.

Saturday, November 17: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Network/Time: NBC/2:30 p.m. ET

Similar to the WMU game, here’a another contest that’s already scheduled (except with a time as well in this case). The last time Syracuse and Notre Dame played on NBC, GERG upset the Irish. Just sayin’...

Saturday, November 23: at Boston College Eagles

Network/Time: RSN/12:30 p.m. ET

As is nearly always the case, this game gets relegated to an afterthought unless somehow these two teams are bringing eight wins apiece with them. There are just too many high-profile games during rivalry week for it to make enough noise to break through. Can we just move this game, please?