Orange Watch: Syracuse football schedule in transition

Item: The Big East and subsequently Syracuse finally got around to releasing its 2012 football schedules on March 27, and the home pickings are slim.

For those SU football fans who are turning orange in the face over the five games to be played in the Dome this fall—Northwestern, FCS member Stony Brook, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Louisville—yes, you can hold athletic director Daryl Gross to his promise. Years in which Gross moved a home game against a “name” opponent to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey and renamed it “New York’s College Classic,” he told fans that a minimum of six other games would fill the home Dome portion.

But even Gross couldn’t have predicted what transpired in the Big East between last September and last month. The league completely overhauled into a continental mishmash of schools being plucked from all over to replace the Orange, Pitt and West Virginia, with the ‘Cuse AD waiting as patiently as possible for a spring 2013 exit to the ACC.

» What did you think of SU’s schedule?
» Syracuse releases 2012 football schedule

Thus with his moving of the Southern California game to the plush home of the NFL’s Giants and Jets for a nice guarantee, the school was handcuffed by bad timing in fulfilling that six-game promise because no other FBS team would play in Syracuse in 2012, so it’s off to Missouri instead.

There isn’t another BCS team in the country playing four BCS out of conference foes in 2012. Not even close. Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, the Orange are taking on all comers, which when we think about it, doesn’t seem too far-fetched compared to what a 2013 schedule as new members of the ACC might look like.

Besides games against the Big Ten’s Penn State (the season opener at Met Life Stadium) and (at) Northwestern, SU’s Atlantic Division games are Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State and Wake Forest.

Throw in cross-over partner Pittsburgh plus two other games against Coastal Division foes (think Virginia and let’s say Duke, for example), and that’s not only a much more attractive guaranteed home slate, but one tough overall schedule to six wins for bowl eligibility.

So don’t worry Orange fans, one more season to wait until the annual home schedule figures to become annually attractive.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.