Orange Watch: A letter regarding scheduling to Syracuse AD John Wildhack

Syracuse athletics director John Wildhack
Syracuse athletics director John Wildhack looks to the Syracuse bench. Mandatory Photo Credit: Brad Bierman.

Item: Catching up on some future Syracuse football/basketball scheduling we’d like to see in the years ahead, while we were watching Villanova host Kansas this past (Sat.) Dec. 21 at the Wells Fargo Center; thinking that should have been the Jayhawks playing in the Dome in a 12:00 ET tipoff, not in South Philly.

Hi, John.

From a fellow Newhouse grad to another, thank you for the great work you have accomplished on many fronts in your tenure as Director of Athletics.

As an Orange fan as well as an administrator, you recognize and prioritize the stakeholders in your leadership role, and have been applauded for your quick responses and dialogue back/forth with many inquiring minds throughout Orange Nation.

Our request for you to consider is a “wish list” to schedule a home-and-home series with the one biggest name in college football and the one biggest name in college basketball that have never played on campus in the modern era at the (soon-to-be-renovated) Dome.

That would be the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the Kansas Jayhawks, respectively. (As you’re aware, Alabama did play at Archbold Stadium in 1923, a 23-0 Syracuse domination.)

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Of the Top 10 FBS programs with all-time wins, only Alabama (No. 3) and Southern California (No. 9) have not played in the Dome. The only Div. I basketball team in the Top 10 in all-time victories not to play in the Dome is No. 2 on the list – Kansas.

We’ve written about this previously in our “Orange Watch” column, a couple of months before you took over in the summer of 2016.

For football, we figure if LSU can agree to a home-and-home series to balance out its non-SEC schedule as it did with SU in 2015 and 2017, then perhaps ‘Bama, with one-year SU assistant (1977) Nick Saban possessing a loud voice to your Tide counterpart Greg Bryne, could do the same with another ACC team?

According to, Alabama does have a home-and-home series scheduled with Florida State in 2025-26 and Virginia Tech in 2034-35, perhaps there’s room for Syracuse as well?

Concerning Kansas basketball coming to Syracuse, we realize there’s obstacles such as the need to balance the competitiveness of the few dates to play with while maximizing home games for revenue, scheduling an exempt November tournament to max out at a 31 game slate, a commitment to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in addition to the 20 league games, but is there a place for a future 2020s home-and-home series with the one program that the ’Cuse beat for its 2003 national championship?

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and continued success.

Kindest regards,

Brad Bierman
“Orange Watch”

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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.