Days after saying they were going to wait to make a decision on what to do for the 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACC has announced it will play this year. Ohhhhh babyyyy we are going to have Syracuse Football!!! I haven’t felt this excited since I got a bike for Christmas in 2007.
Of course, there are a lot of strict guidelines that the ACC has implemented to ensure the healthy and safety of the student-athletes and everyone involved. Some of the measures include:
- Testing each week within three days of a game.
- Positive test results must be reported immediately and within a minimum of 24 hours.
- All people on the sideline must wear a mask, including players unless they are wearing a helmet.
- All equipment and facilities must be regularly sanitized.
- Ball-boys and anyone who touches the football other than players and refs, must wear masks and gloves.
- Games can be cancelled for a multitude of reasons, including an inability to isolate people who tested positive, an outbreak at a school, etc.
So, the season is obviously going to look a lot different, but at least there is going to be ACC football!
After the conference announced its return to play plans, it also released a new football schedule.
Here’s a breakdown of Syracuse’s new schedule.
Syracuse has a relatively easy home schedule. Boston College lost its entire offense with the departure of AJ Dillon, Duke is an okay team that on a good day Syracuse can handle, Georgia Tech is still in a rebuilding phase, NC State has had a lot of turnover, and Wake Forest just lost its starting quarterback. I’m not saying these games are a walk in the park, but they are definitely winnable. If Syracuse can win three or four of these games, coupled with a non-conference win, and a win at Pittsburgh, they could be looking at a six win season, which doesn’t blow the doors off the place but is an improvement.
In the ACC’s new schedule, they are allowing only one non-conference game. That’s not great for the Orange because if they were to make a bowl this year, they probably would have gotten three of the six wins against non-ACC opponents. Syracuse was set to play Rutgers, Liberty, and Western Michigan. Three sub-par teams that should be easy wins to help your bowl chances. Now, with only one non-conference matchup on the schedule, it hurts Syracuse’s chances at having a good record. I’m not even worried about them making it to a bowl, because who knows if there are even bowl games this year. I’m just worried about them having a solid record to help with recruiting and building momentum for the future. Another four-win season is not going to help the Orange down the road. Those non-conference games were big for Syracuse and now two of them are wiped out.
Syracuse plays pretty much all of the best teams in the conference on the road. Clemson in Death Valley, Louisville at Cardinal Stadium, North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Notre Dame in South Bend, and Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. To be completely honest, Syracuse couldn’t have had a worse draw. Clemson, Notre Dame, UNC, and Louisville are probably the top four teams in the entire conference, and the Orange always have trouble with Pitt on their turf. Sure, you can say that there probably aren’t going to be fans at these stadiums, but still. If you were Syracuse, you would much rather play the best teams at home, rather than having to travel to their place.