Schedule analysis — 2014 Syracuse football preview

Simply put, the schedule is not favorable. The Orange open with FCS opponent Villanova, then have one of their two bye weeks. While it will be nice to get back to the drawing board after the opener and have a couple weeks to make adjustments before gearing up for their next game, the trip to Central Michigan starts a stretch of nine straight weeks with games. This march includes the treacherous five-week stretch beginning with Notre Dame and ending with Clemson.

louisville

Syracuse welcomes Louisville into the Dome

Both the Irish (#17) and the Tigers (#16) are ranked in the pre-season top 20 and the defending national champs from Florida State are an almost unanimous choice atop the pre-season poll. Louisville is a team that, while not in the top 25, received a significant number of votes, and the Orange will welcome them to the Carrier Dome on a short week. That leaves Wake Forest as the lone team in that run that should be a win. If SU can emerge from October in mostly one piece (and with more than one win), they should feel quite good about themselves.

Syracuse has a manageable final month starting with the two home contests. N.C. State is expected to be an improved ACC squad and Duke is the defending champion of the Coastal Division. Getting both teams at home should help, as will the Orange knowing they defeated the Wolfpack on the road last year, as well as a couple major preseason injuries weakening the Blue Devils. After their second bye week, Syracuse closes with a couple familiar foes, facing both Pitt and Boston College on the road. Pitt is one of the most talented teams in the Coastal Division and the Eagles will be rebuilding this season.

» Related: Previewing the 2014 Syracuse defense and special teams

Date Opponent Time
8/29 vs. Villanova 7:30 ET
9/13 at Central Michigan 12:00 ET
9/20 vs. Maryland TBA
9/27 vs. 17 Notre Dame TBA
10/3 vs. Louisville 7:00 ET
10/11 vs. 1 Florida State TBA
10/18 at Wake Forest TBA
10/25 at 16 Clemson TBA
11/1 vs. North Carolina State TBA
11/8 vs. Duke TBA
11/22 at Pittsburgh TBA
11/29 at Boston College TBA

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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