National Television vs. Clemson is a Blessing & Curse for Syracuse’s Program

Syracuse has a lot to think about as it prepares for a nationally-televised matchup against Clemson.

Photo: Bleacher Report

National television, 3:30 p.m. window, against a top-three team in the nation with a Heisman hopeful at quarterback is a big stage for Syracuse. The spotlight itself is a good thing. It’s exactly why SU was so aggressive about a move to the ACC. More exposure, better competition, brighter future. But there’s also a risk to being on that stage. The audience is waiting to see if someone misses his cue cards or part of the set falls down.

Syracuse’s tilt against Clemson will be shown regionally on ABC, and nationally on ESPN2. And why wouldn’t it? Tajh Boyd is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The Tigers play an exciting brand of football. Clemson is in the national title hunt. It’s SU’s first ACC game. Don McPherson will have his jersey retired. Should be a good, noisy crowd at the Carrier Dome. There’s plenty to like if you’re ABC/ESPN about getting this distributed to a wide audience.
But just showing up on Saturday is not enough for the Orange. That’s not where the benefit lies. A 70-10 pasting on front of an apathetic crowd where SU isn’t even competitive does plenty of damage. Syracuse wants to prove to its fans, the country at large, and, most importantly, recruits, that it’s ready for this ACC stuff. If the Dome is loud and passionate, and SU hangs with Clemson for most of the game, the Orange has to feel good about this brave new world. 


If Dabo Swinney decides the Orange secondary is vulnerable, and this is going to be Boyd’s Heisman moment, and attempts to get him 7 touchdowns to do so, well SU will look like it’s not ready for prime time. The Tigers have put up 50 twice this year, including a 56-7 win over Wake last week. They hung 62 on NC State last year. The Orange needs to keep this game under control, make sure it stays around for three quarters and doesn’t look completely overwhelmed.


A win is a lot to ask. Even the most strident SU fan isn’t expecting a huge upset. But as the first conference game in a new big-boy league, this also shouldn’t look like Coastal Carolina getting whipped by 65 against Alabama. And the Tigers have the weapons to make that happen.


The attention can be a great thing. This is a chance to sell recruits to the big time of the ACC. It can be an emotional and historic day inside the Dome where maybe it starts to feel like the old days again, when football mattered just as much as hoops. It can also be a huge letdown if SU isn’t careful. Watch out, Orange—the nation is watching.


Posted: D.A.

20 Comments on this Post

  1. FINALLY. The Cuse is out of that Big East conference. It almost destroyed our football program, playing teams that only had something to gain from us while we could only lose our rep.Clemson will get all they want from the Orange.

  2. orangeinva

    We have to hit Boyd. If he thinks he can or is allowed to sit back there and loft 50 yard bombs to Watkins and Co. without paying a price, CUSE will get dumptrucked.

  3. Damn I still feel its a loss for SU for the Clemson game(but remember I picked Tuluane to), but ESPNU helped the Clemson cause out I feel. Kinda like a kiss of death thing!! One of its reporters said a look out game would be the Clemson/SU game because Clemson always loses to a team it should kick the tar out of. OH well there goes any surprises huh-LOL!!!

    DA you say ” If Dabo Swinney decides the SU secondary is vulnerable” DUH they(secondary stink) not doubt its a damn good chance Boyd will fire on all cilinders!! Unless Boyd is hurried or the “LOUD” crowd botheres him he’ll do another WF on SU!!

  4. Do not forget the abused children of PSU!!

  5. JB,thanks for the vote of confidence and saving us from the mean BE.Now I feel better.I think it’ll be a game but Im not predicting a score!My gut says Clemson will win by 15 but my heart says “Cuse” in a thriller!!(I hope my heart beats my gut)Ha Ha…Ron,where are you now when I need some of your optimism?

  6. Terry,we’ll never forget the PSU cult victims but espin/media will try to salve it over but people like us won’t let them!Keep the heat on Terry!

  7. Cuse Don't Luse

    Cuse by 4 in a game they could have won by much more Hunt plays well but offense starts stalling of late and clemson takes advantage to make it close

  8. @Russell Stugots;

    You know russ I feel like I’m the lone duck swimming against the tide here. I’ve said it from the get go I feel a major upset is in the works on Saturday in upstate New York.

    I thought I was alone but I remembered “Cuse Don’t Luse” and I had Syracuse going 4-0 and upsetting Clemson in game 5.

    I know,I KNOW Terry you think I’m crazy. I feel that the players that play the game with heart is going to win the game. It isn’t going to be the star rating system that will win the game,heart overrides everything.

  9. Ron,most of the guys who predict upsets feel alone Ron thats why we respect them and what keeps Vegas and Atlantic City in business!The great prognosticaters can feel an upset in the works!Take the points!

  10. Cuse Don't Luse

    Ive got $60 on Syracuse +12.5 what do u think of that line?

  11. Take them on the money line.

  12. Good bet CuseDontLuse,a LOCK!!

  13. Its only money anyway but Cuse at home against anyone is a good bet!

  14. Saltine5

    Cuse covers 12.5, and in fact, they win by 3.

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