The Syracuse Orange are no strangers to noon kickoffs, in a tradition stretch back to the depths of the GERG era.
Since those days, we’ve struggled for consistent success, and as a result, you find the Orange getting tossed into the less-than-prime times for games more often than not. Nooners (and their friends 12:20, 12:30 and 1 p.m.-ers) are commonplace and at times frustrating for fans — though not your author, since it means the game’s over by 1 p.m. local time.
Still, despite the rash of noon games, Syracuse is not the nooner-iest team in the ACC. That “honor,” as it ends up, belongs to the not-at-all-rival Pittsburgh Panthers:
Start time for all games for ACC teams, since the beginning of the 2013 season pic.twitter.com/mQagVlhx2l— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) September 25, 2018
Joe Giglio of the News & Observer brought up kickoff times on Monday while discussing where the ACC Network could change the way conference football inventory is laid out on a given weekend. We care about that, so check out his feed for more on the subject. However, what we’re really locked in on is that Syracuse does not inhabit the noon (to 1 p.m. ET) timeslot more than any other program.
The Orange were tied for fourth with NC State in the 12-1 block, with 28 kickoffs there since the start of the 2013 season. Pretty sure this counts the upcoming Clemson and Pitt games in those slots, too. It’s also par for the course for the Panthers, who lead the way with 40.
Not sure why that would be the case given that Pitt has found more success than Syracuse on the football field lately. However, a couple ideas: A) They need early kicks to fix field for Steelers games on Sunday, B) Coastal matchups are largely less interesting with fewer opportunities for matchups between great teams, C) Midwest-y sensibilities that carry over from B1G country dictate more nooners.
Notably, Syracuse isn’t tops in the mid-afternoon block either (3-4 p.m.) despite being pretty high up. Though not many teams have fewer primetime kickoffs than the Orange in this stretch.
Despite teams like SU, Pitt, Virginia and Boston College performing at similar levels over this 5.5-year stretch, you’ll notice the teams with Big East sensibilities are definitely shifted more to the earlier slots. Georgia Tech is as well, mostly because their specific brand of option-based offense is boring to watch and is usually pitted against teams from the middle band of the Coastal (again, pretty light on football #BRANDs, save Miami and Virginia Tech).
Personally, not sure Syracuse gets separated from the nooners no matter how much they start winning this year, given our fan base’s propensity to find other things to do besides going to football games, and the Orange’s lack of national audience appeal for primetime. People loving Dino Babers and the offensive’s tempo helps. Just probably not enough to create a huge swing in terms of kick times.