Orange Watch: 2022 Syracuse football schedule too unbalanced

Nov 20, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (16) is grabbed by the helmet by North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive lineman Daniel Joseph (99) during the first half at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Item: Needing to fill a two-hour programming window to focus on the sport’s off season on the last day of January, the ACC turned its 2022 football schedule release into a prime-time extravaganza on the ACC Network earlier in the week. When the schedule was unveiled for Syracuse, it came out disproportionately uneven.

You can also blame the tough 2022 ‘Cuse season opener on television programming.

According to the conference office, when the ACC Network debuted in 2019, “it was part of the league’s strategy to have more compelling games – both conference and non-conference – in week one.”

That is why Syracuse is opening up with an unfavorable matchup against Louisville, a conference game against a team it has lost to seven of the last eight games in the series dating back to 2014, as opposed to playing a team from the FCS ranks (Wagner) or from a non-Power Five conference (Connecticut).

Besides SU and Louisville, Clemson and Georgia Tech (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta) are the only other teams to face each other in an opening ACC game, while the other 10 conference teams have games ranging from playing FCS schools to other Power Five opponents.

The good news for Syracuse over the first seven weeks of the season, it only leaves town once to play at Connecticut. The bad news for Syracuse over the last six weeks of the season, it only plays home twice, including just once in November. Again, blame all the factors that go into the conference office putting the schedule puzzle pieces together.

While we think the ACC got it wrong in the opener, we think the league did just right with the finale scheduling Boston College. That is Syracuse’s Northeast “rivalry” game when you look at the traditional geographically-centered, season-ending games for the other 12 teams (except for Miami-Pittsburgh).

Way before Syracuse welcomes Louisville to the Dome in September, Dino Babers will showcase his team at the Spring Game on Friday evening, April 1 (No April Fool’s Day jokes, please) at 7:00 p.m. ET, also to be televised on the ACC Network.

» Related: Syracuse football adds Kevin Jobity Jr., Brady Denaburg, Greg Delaine

Below is the 2022 Syracuse football schedule:

Date Opponent Off Season Note
September 3 LOUISVILLE Never good to start a season with a conference game.
September 10 At Connecticut The debut season for new UCONN coach Jim Mora.  
September 17 PURDUE Wisconsin only other Big Ten team not to play in Dome.
September 23 (Friday) VIRGINIA Robert Anae and Jason Beck meet old friends.
October 1 WAGNER This should be the season opening tune-up game.
October 8 (No Game) Matches earliest week off since 2009, excluding 2020.
October 15 NORTH CAROLINA STATE Dino Babers’ record is 2-6 after an open week.
October 22 At Clemson Latest SU has played its first road ACC game since 2014.
October 29 NOTRE DAME Third time Irish have played in Syracuse (1914/2003).
November 5 At Pittsburgh Unfathomable Pitt has won eight of the last nine games. 
November 12 FLORIDA STATE First time FSU has played in the Dome in three seasons.
November 19 At Wake Forest ‘Cuse hasn’t been to Wake since 2018 bowl season.
November 26 At Boston College SU and BC should always meet last game of a season.
December 3 ACC Championship Game (Charlotte) Will ACC move offices to Charlotte from Greensboro?

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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.