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Syracuse has opportunity for football and basketball weekend in NYC against UConn

Who says no?

Big East Tournament: Syracuse Orange v Connecticut Huskies Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images

During his first media day as Syracuse Orange men’s basketball coach, Adrian Autry dropped the nugget that he didn’t make this year’s non-conference schedule - it was already set before he took over.

Well, he’s got a chance to do something interesting next fall.

According to Bryson Stricker of Bleacher Report, Syracuse football is adding Kansas as a non-conference opponent next season - likely replacing Army, who has to drop most of their previously scheduled matchups after joining the AAC.

That would leave the non-con as follows:

  • vs. Ohio (Aug 31)
  • vs. Kansas (TBD; they were scheduled to play Illinois Sept. 7)
  • vs. Holy Cross (Sept. 28)
  • at UConn (location and date TBD)

I would have been very hesitant to move UConn out of the Dome - the recent “home” game at Yankee Stadium was very sparsely attended and didn’t sit well with season ticket holders - but now that it’s a road game, I’m all for it as opposed to playing on the airstrip in East Hartford.

That part of the decision is purely on the Huskies and their Athletic Department, who we believe have wanted to play at Yankee Stadium for a while now, but Syracuse can do more on their side to incentivize the move by making it part of a much larger event.

UConn has filled in most of their 2024 football schedule, with the only open dates during the weeks of October 19, October 26, November 16, and November 23. They have one other game to schedule and two of those weeks will be byes.

You know what else is happening in November? Hoops. So on top of having football in the Bronx, bring along both of the men’s and women’s basketball teams for a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden.

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the greatest college basketball game of all time by watching a rematch in the same cathedral?

Big East Tournament: Syracuse Orange v Connecticut Huskies Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

‘Cuse would also look to create some new history by also having the WBB teams face off - can FLJ dethrone UConn as the Northeast powerhouse, avenge SU’s 2016 Finals loss, and truly put SU back on the map as one of the premiere programs in the country?

There are admittedly some obstacles. Would Autry and FLJ want that big of a challenge so early in the season? Would UConn be ok with their football season ending with three straight games on the road? Maybe they try to move some other games around to make it work, as most conference schedules haven’t been released yet.

But putting those possible challenges aside, this is exactly the kind of spectacle that would attract the NYC and New Jersey market that Syracuse desires. The SU alums in and around the city are mainly from back in the Big East days and still fondly remember the UConn rivalry - if you want to reel them back in, what better way is there than to reignite it? As for football, this can be used as a big recruiting tool for Brown, who unlike Dino Babers is doubling his efforts on SU’s backyard in the Northeast.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see these matchups take place? And if you’re able to, would you consider going to see them in person?