There are few days on the Syracuse Orange sports calendar that make me happier than football schedule release day. I know, predictable and maybe a little strange. It’s fine.
Coincidentally, that day is today. So before the full schedule is officially released at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, we take some guesses about what the slate may look like.
Saturday, August 31: at Liberty Flames
Already confirmed. Syracuse kicks off the season on the road in Liberty’s first “official” FBS game. This is also to accommodate the Carrier Dome renovations a bit.
Saturday, September 7: at Maryland Terrapins
Already confirmed. SU last met the Terps in 2014 at the Dome (a 34-20 loss). This is the return game in that home-and-home.
Saturday, September 14: Clemson Tigers
The defending national champs have been tested for two straight years by the Orange now. So as long as both are unbeaten and ranked heading into week three, this could be a huge matchup for the ACC and ESPN to be able to push for College Gameday — plus the usual hype cycle that goes along with it. The ACC Network would also get some great content out of it.
Saturday, September 21: Western Michigan Broncos
Already confirmed. Syracuse beat WMU, 55-42 on the road in 2018 and this is the second game of the home-and-home as Tim Lester comes back to the Dome for the first time since the 2015 season finale.
Saturday, September 28: Holy Cross Crusaders
Already confirmed. These two programs haven’t played since 1973, but the Orange(men) have won 23 of the 28 meetings before and including that one.
Saturday, October 5: BYE
We get two this year, so might as well use the first one after five games.
Saturday: October 12: at Louisville Cardinals
SU was stomped last time at Louisville, but the Cards were beaten soundly up in the Dome last year. Scott Satterfield’s a new coach, but there are likely still some growing pains, especially on defense.
Friday: October 18: at Florida State Seminoles
This feels like a Friday night game, no? The ‘Noles will be anxious to avenge last year’s lackluster effort in defeat.
Saturday, October 26: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Deacs and Orange will kick off at noon ET on ACC Network, just as you always dreamed they would.
Saturday, November 2: at Duke Blue Devils
Syracuse’s last trip down to Durham was in 1939, plus we sort of have a basketball “rivalry” going given SU’s uncanny success against the Blue Devils despite a talent disparity. This could be fun, and hopefully not a streaming-only contest.
Saturday, November 9: BYE
Works, after three road games in four weeks.
Saturday, November 16: Pittsburgh Panthers
Might have some Thursday/Friday night potential. But also doubt anyone beyond these two fan bases really cares to see the programs play one another.
Saturday, November 23: at N.C. State Wolfpack
This could end up being for second place in the Atlantic, with a potential Orange Bowl or Citrus Bowl bid to look forward to if Clemson’s Playoff-bound once again.
Saturday, November 30: Boston College Eagles
As is customary, the two old Northeast independents will face off in front of a smattering of fans and no student section. BC’s probably 6-5 or 7-4, plus coming off a road game at Notre Dame the week before.
Let’s see how wrong I was in a few hours. And in the meantime, what’s your own projected schedule look like?