Orange Fizz


Who Is Considered Syracuse Football’s Biggest Rival?

Syracuse linebacker Derek McDonald makes a tackle on TE Dan Villari in the Spring Game

The weather’s getting warmer, which means we’re one step closer to Fran Brown’s inaugural season as head coach. Summer camp is about to get underway, with the campaign officially kicking off on August 31st. But the more and more fans look over this schedule, the more fans feel like something is missing. Where’s the one game that the SU faithful would have circled on their calendars, desperate for a win? This brings up the question, does Syracuse football even have a rival these days? If they do, who is it? Let’s dive into the closest programs that would fit that mold.


This one probably makes the most sense. The Orange and the Panthers have gone way back with one another, playing their first game back in 1916. The two have shared conferences in both the Big East and the ACC, but do the games between the two really carry that importance you look for in a rivalry? The programs have met yearly since 1955, but only three of those matchups have featured both teams ranked in the top 25. The two squared off at Yankee Stadium last season, and have been designated by the conference as each other’s “rivals” to continue playing each season. It checks the boxes on paper, but does Week 8’s matchup in the Steel City really keep SU fans up at night in anticipation?

Boston College

This is another matchup where the two programs can’t get enough of one another. SU and BC first met in 1924, and also both occupied the Big East conference throughout the late 20th century. The two played annually from 1971 to 2004 until Boston College went to the ACC, in which Syracuse followed suit not much later. Both teams are slated to face off against one another until 2030 in that same grouping as Pitt, so maybe some future bad blood could be brewed out of that. Aside from a sour taste in Orange fans’ mouths from last season’s primetime matchup, this one doesn’t seem as reasonable with little to no games having major stakes between the two in their histories.


One thing you look for in a rivalry is close proximity to one another. Syracuse and Colgate certainly have that, being located just 38 miles from one another, with Colgate University being in Hamilton, NY. If you’re gonna call this a rivalry though, it would be one of the most one-sided in collegiate history. The Orange haven’t lost to the Raiders since 1950, and the matchups aren’t as frequent as they once were. SU and Colgate played almost annually from 1891 to 1961, but have only squared off three times this century. A majority of the contests have been lopsided in the Orange favor, most recently taking down the Raiders 65-0. Syracuse’s biggest rival being an FCS school doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it is something to monitor if Colgate can one-up the ‘Cuse sometime down the road.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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