Orange Watch: Key takeaways from the 2023 Syracuse football schedule

Dino Babers
Dino Babers. Courtesy: Syracuse University Athletic Communications.

Item: For some inexplicable reason Monday night, the ACC saw fit to release the complete 2023 football schedules for the 14 league teams during a two-hour special on the ACC Network, directly opposite of the ESPN ‘Big Monday’ basketball game between Syracuse and No. 6 Virginia. The schedule reveal showed in the first year of the new 3-5-5 scheduling rotation, the conference office and ESPN didn’t do SU any favors.

The items that jump out of the schedule for the 134th season of Syracuse football include:

  • For the first time since 2008, there are no home games in the month of October. In fact, between September 30-November 25 there are only three home games.

  • In turn, three consecutive road games are scheduled, albeit with the open week splitting the road games between the second and third contests. No ACC team should ever be scheduled to play three straight road contests open week or not. It’s the first time since 1996 the ‘Cuse will play three consecutive road games.
  • After opening with four non-conference games that provide a nice mix of competitive challenges (winnable games), the first three ACC games are home against Clemson, at North Carolina and at Florida State in consecutive weeks, before the off weekend (October 21). Ouch.
  • Following the open week, Syracuse plays on a Thursday night (at Virginia Tech), followed by a Friday night (home vs. Boston College), then the following Saturday against Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium (see below). Football coaches like stability to their weekly routines, playing on days other than Saturdays shakes that comfort level. On the plus side, those weeknight TV games are great for program exposure.
  • Moving the Pittsburgh home game to Yankee Stadium has many Orange Nation members upset to have to consider making the roughly four-hour drive to New York City. After winning 11 straight against Pitt in the 1990s-early 2000s (one tie), the ‘Cuse is a measly 3-18 against its Eastern rivals in the last 21 games of the series. Any Dome homefield advantage is taken away by playing outside on a converted baseball diamond in The Bronx, in what will be a more spread-out crowd. We understand the centennial celebration of the first college football game at the old Yankee Stadium (Syracuse’s 3-0 win over Pitt on Oct. 20, 1923, in front on an estimated 30,000 spectators) and the economics involved, but it’s still a sore point whenever a game is moved off-campus.
  • We’ve consistently advocated that Syracuse always end its season playing Boston College as a geographic (Northeast) rivalry game against its closest fellow conference member. The ACC and ESPN should have flip-flopped the Boston College and Wake Forest games, Wake into the Dome on a Friday night, the Eagles into the season finale slot Thanksgiving Weekend.

» Related: 2024 OL James Muller recaps ‘great’ Syracuse visit

Here’s the complete 2023 SU schedule with game times to be determined:

Date Opponent
September 2 Colgate
September 9 Western Michigan
September 16 at Purdue
September 23 Army
September 30 Clemson
October 7 at North Carolina
October 14 at Florida State
October 21 (Open Week)
October 26 at Virginia Tech (Thursday)
November 3 Boston College (Friday)
November 11 Pittsburgh (at Yankee Stadium)
November 18 at Georgia Tech
November 25 Wake Forest

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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.