If Atlantic Coast Conference officials move forward with their new 3-5-5 scheduling model under consideration, two permanent foes on the yearly calendar for Syracuse football could likely be Boston College and Pittsburgh, according to the ‘Cuse athletic director.
Chris Carlson of Syracuse.com published a piece in which he detailed recent comments made by ‘Cuse athletic director John Wildhack on the fabulous Orange Nation program, which airs on ESPN Radio Syracuse.
In his interview on Orange Nation, Wildhack said that Syracuse football annually playing Boston College and Pittsburgh, should that end up occurring, would “make a tremendous amount of sense. We’ve played them frequently. They are geographic rivals. That third opponent, it gives the conference a little more flexibility where teams might want to be in certain markets, certain matchups might be more attractive for ESPN or the ACC Network. We’ve tried to create some flexibility for that third spot.”
When Wildhack refers to that third foe, this is where the proposed 3-5-5 scheduling model within the ACC comes into play. The conference’s two divisions would get eliminated, and here’s how this scheduling model would work.
Every league member would have three permanent foes on their schedule season after season. The remaining ACC teams would get paired into two groups of five squads that would rotate in and out every other campaign.
Syracuse football and its peers are waiting to see if the ACC changes its scheduling model.
Wildhack said he’s hopeful that this new scheduling model in the conference “can get … over the finish line and potentially it could be in place in 2023.”
I’ve said more than once that I’m fine with the two ACC divisions, the Atlantic and the Coastal, getting the boot. The 3-5-5 model would also nix these sometimes long timespans in between when certain ACC squads compete against one another.
Given that Syracuse football has lengthy historical series with Boston College and Pittsburgh, and the geographic proximity as well, it’s completely logical if the Eagles and the Panthers end up as permanent opponents for the ‘Cuse.
Now, the third permanent foe seems less clear. I’m all for Syracuse football having it prove one of the ACC’s premier groups, such as Clemson, although former Big East Conference rivals like Louisville, Miami or Virginia Tech would also make sense.
Conversely, some of my fellow Orange fans have accurately said, under the 3-5-5 model, maybe the playing field is better leveled for all of the conference’s members.
Perhaps the ‘Cuse could have a more manageable schedule year after year, while positioning itself to more realistically attain six victories and compete for post-season bowl berths.