You might be surprised to see us talking about Syracuse Orange football schedules without John around but he’s not giving up his watch. When it comes to combing the internet for information about the Syracuse scheduling there is no one ready to take over the mantle so when he dropped a note about where the Orange stand for 2024 well we snapped to attention.
Syracuse has made some strides in trying to balance the challenges of scheduling to get six wins for bowl eligibility and putting together a slate of opponents to appeal to fans and recruits. The Orange head into next season a bit unbalanced with Purdue and Notre Dame joining UConn and Wagner. In the following year it’s a return game at Purdue along with home games against Western Michigan, Army and Colgate. That seems like a model to work with as you get a P5 game against a school that is in the same weight class along with three winnable home games.
2025 features a game at Notre Dame, home games against UConn and Army along with an appearance in the Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta against the Tennessee Volunteers. If you are going to play a challenging opener then go get a big check and invest it right back in the program. In an ideal world the Orange wouldn’t be pairing that game with a road trip to South Bend but sometimes those things are unavoidable.
Why did we skip 2024 you ask? Well that brings us back to the matter at hand. Syracuse currently has two non-conference games scheduled: home against Ohio and at Army. The Orange need two more games and one needs to be a P5 opponent and right now the options are extremely limited. The only other current P5 school looking for a P5 opponent is the Washington State Cougars. Syracuse has played the Cougars once before and that was in 1979 in Buffalo when the Orange won 52-25. Washington State would qualify as a P5 that Syracuse can match up with but it’s not really a series that would excite fans or recruits.
Another set of Cougars could emerge as an option for Syracuse as the Houston Cougars will be joining the Big 12. Houston has games with UNLV and Boise State scheduled already but could the Orange find a late road game in Texas? It wouldn’t be the worst scenario to make a trip to one of the best recruiting areas in the country. The schools have played twice- the last one coming in the 1996 Liberty Bowl.
The Big 12 expansion could throw some other P5 options into the mix but right now would you have a preference if these are the only options in 2024? Guess it’s better than Liberty at least.