The ACC-Big Ten Challenge will see the National runner-up Wisconsin Badgers visit the Dome late in 2015. A report emerged Monday that suggests the Badgers may be coming back to the Dome in the future, this time to take on the SU football team.
Madison.com reports that Syracuse and Wisconsin are in talks to schedule future non-conference games. Wisconsin would just be the latest huge, powerhouse team that the Orange add to their non-conference schedule. In 2013, the Orange took on Penn State and in 2014 Syracuse played Norte Dame, both at MetLife Stadium. This year, the Orange are set to play the LSU Tigers in late September.
The Orange are scheduled to take on the Irish in 2016, 2018, 2022, and 2025 and there is another meeting scheduled with LSU in 2017, this time in Baton Rouge. The point is, the Orange already have some big names on their schedule.
This just feels like another game that the Orange are scheduling with little expectations. It seems like a game the Orange have little to no chance to win, particularly if it is at Camp Randall in Madison, one of the toughest game-day environments in the country.
Yet, I fully support the Orange scheduling a series against Wisconsin as I (and Seth Goldberg) did with the LSU series. The first reason that it makes sense is ticket sales (assuming they do play at the Carrier Dome at least once). Not only does Wisconsin have a big fan base, but Orange fans may decide to come out to the Dome for the chance to see one of the nation’s most historic programs.
In addition, these games are pretty much a no-lose situation. The Orange have continually built weak non-conference schedules around these marquee games. Outside of LSU in 2015, the Orange are playing Rhode Island, Central Michigan and South Florida.
As they have no control over their conference schedule, scheduling their non-conference schedule in this matter actually sets them up quite nicely. Obviously, it is ideal go undefeated outside of the ACC but with three weak and one strong non-conference games, the Orange have ample chance to make a bowl game. The marquee game presents an opportunity for the Orange to a) stack themselves up against elite opponents b) shock the college football world.
These games are no pressure. If you lose, that is no less than what was expected and if you win, that is sure to be a confidence builder and could help them get to a better bowl game if they were to reach six wins.