The offseason hype for Syracuse football hasn’t been this high in a long, long time. With a new fleet of coaches led by Fran Brown, an impressive transfer class headlined by former Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord, and SU’s best high school class in recent memory, Orange fans are rightfully excited. But all that is just a part of the reason for optimism. Syracuse football has an easy schedule next season that’s ripe for the picking.
As of now, there’s still one non-conference opponent that needs to be added. But unless that foe is a national title contender, which it likely won’t be, then SU is in a great spot schedule wise. No Clemson, no Florida State, and no North Carolina. That’s an opportunity that Brown and the Orange can’t waste.
Take a look at this list of games, and keep that in the back of your mind when you’re forming expectations for Syracuse football next year. There are a lot of winnable games, and with an expanded 12-team playoffs next year… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Ohio: In an average year, this would be far from a gimme game. The Bobcats are coming off a strong 10-3 year in a good MAC conference, including a dominant 41-21 win over Georgia Southern in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Still, if Syracuse football is the program it thinks it is, then this should be an easy win. In the programs’ lone matchup, SU won 29-9 back in 2021. Expect a bigger win this time around.
Holy Cross: There isn’t much to say here. Holy Cross is an FCS opponent that just lost a great coach in Bob Chesney. This will be a blowout.
UConn: The Huskies’ recent program success makes Syracuse look like Alabama. UConn hasn’t had a winning season since 2010 and hasn’t beaten SU since 2011.
Cal: It’s been four seasons in a row of losing records as well as losing conference records for the Golden Bears. While they might be better in the ACC, Syracuse should get the job done on its first trip out west for a conference game.
Stanford: The other Pac-12 addition has also struggled recently. Stanford has been 3-9 in the last two seasons, and there aren’t many signs of improvement. The Orange even convinced wide receiver recruit Emmanuel Ross to flip his commitment away from the Cardinal. Plus, this game is at home for SU. This should be a rude awakening to the ACC for Stanford.
Classic Conference Clashes
Boston College: The Eagles has a solid 7-6 year and had a great win in the Fenway Bowl over ACC newcomer SMU. However, Boston College has been inconsistent in recent years. At the worst, this is a tossup game.
Pittsburgh: Syracuse beat Pitt without a quarterback this year. That should tell you everything you need to know. While this will be a true road game and the Panthers just brought in Alabama transfer quarterback Eli Holstein, SU should still handle Pitt.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets bested the Orange this season. Quarterback Haynes King is set to return after scoring three touchdowns in that clash. Georgia Tech and Syracuse football are two programs on the rise, and this will be a fun, close game between two teams trying to get into the next echelon of the conference.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies also took down the Orange this year, and are also bringing back most of their starters. This could be a 50-50 game, but SU needs to win to fully take care of business.
Miami: Yes, Miami lost to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. No, that doesn’t mean the Hurricanes are a bad football team. The U has been one of the best programs at adapting to the transfer portal, NIL era of college football. Beating Miami will go a long way to conference championship aspirations.
NC State: This is the biggest game of the year for Syracuse football. A road trip to NC State, perhaps the most under the radar nine-win team in the nation last season. If SU takes care of business elsewhere, this game will likely have major implications on what the postseason holds for the Orange.