Schedule Analysis — 2021 Syracuse Football preview

Va Tech
Syracuse plays Virginia Tech in football. Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

The Orange do not have an abnormally tough schedule, save for the general low expectations around the team.

Just three teams in the ACC appear in the preseason top 25 polls and only one is on the Orange schedule. Of course, it is Clemson, who starts the season ranked third in the nation and got 146 of the 147 preseason ACC votes to win the Atlantic Division.

If you believe in history repeating itself, the Tigers will visit Syracuse on a Friday night during the middle of October.

Three other opponents did receive some votes in the preseason poll. Conference foes North Carolina State and Boston College both received some support, as did non-conference foe Liberty. The Flames return to Syracuse after handling the Orange last season, 38-21. That game, as well as the opener at Ohio, are the most difficult contests aside from ACC play.

Syracuse was expected to finish last in the Atlantic Division in the preseason ACC media voting. Wake Forest (sixth) and Louisville (fifth) are the Atlantic rivals who finished closest to the Orange in that voting. SU garnered fewer points than Duke, who is expected to finish last in the Coastal Division.

The two Coastal crossover opponents, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh, are expected to be middle of the pack teams in their division. The Orange, however, have had trouble with their cross-divisional rival Pitt in recent years, dropping seven of their last eight to the Panthers, including four of five under Dino Babers.

» Related: An in-depth preview of Syracuse football’s defense in 2021

DATE TIME OPPONENT TELEVISION
Sat, Sep 4 7:00pm at Ohio CBS Sports Network
Sat, Sep 11 2:00pm RUTGERS ACC Network
Sat, Sep 18 12:00pm ALBANY ACC Network
Fri, Sep 24 8:00pm LIBERTY ACC Network
Sat, Oct 2 TBD at Florida State TBD
Sat, Oct 9 TBD WAKE FOREST TBD
Fri, Oct 15 7:00pm CLEMSON ESPN
Sat, Oct 23 TBD at Virginia Tech TBD
Sat, Oct 30 TBD BOSTON COLLEGE TBD
Sat, Nov 13 TBD at Louisville TBD
Sat, Nov 20 TBD at North Carolina St TBD
Sat, Nov 27 TBD PITTSBURGH TBD

(All listed times Eastern, time and TV coverage subject to change)

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About Jim Stechschulte 714 Articles
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.