Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interesting Info on the Syracuse Football Schedule

In the ideal world of college football all games would be played on Saturday. That's how it used to be. Before we sold out common sense for dollar signs, in a game where the athletes get zero dollars for their services. In 2010's reality there are prime time games played on Wednesdays, Thursdays and of course Friday nights. Due to Syracuse's poor record the last five or so years the Orangemen have rarely played a football game on any day other than Saturday. That doesn't stop Syracuse's opponents from picking up mid-week time slots though.

When Syracuse traveled to Morgantown to take on West Virginia on Saturday Syracuse hadn't played a game since the previous Saturday. Makes sense. West Virginia on the other hand played their previous week's game on Thursday night, allowing them two extra days of rest. Thankfully, the outcome of the game was not determined by how much rest the Mountaineers received. Perhaps they were rusty from the long layover between games?

When Syracuse travels to Cincinnati for this week's conference match up Saturday at noon, the Bearcats will be coming off a Friday night game, another extra day of rest for a Syracuse opponent. Will the extra day of rest be a factor in the game? Especially for a team that doesn't have to travel?

November 13th's opponent is the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, another road game for the Orangemen. Rutgers will be playing the week before on a Wednesday night in South Florida on November 3rd. Syracuse of course plays the Saturday prior at home against Louisville and will travel down to New Jersey for the football game on the 13th. Three extra days of rest for Rutgers to get healthy, no big deal?

As if that wasn't enough rest for opponents against the Syracuse Orangemen, the following week Syracuse will finally host a team coming off extended rest, the Connecticut Huskies at the Carrier Dome on November 20th. UCONN's previous game will be the Thursday night before, against Pittsburgh at home. Just another two days of rest to prepare for the cuse.

That's quite the alarming trend this season, especially when you consider 4 of the 7 conference games Syracuse plays the other team has an extended period to get healthy. That doesn't even factor in that Syracuse has only one bye week this year while most Big East teams have two.

The big question is does it matter? There's two schools of thought. One, that the team with the rest will get rusty and out of game shape, while Syracuse has played more recently and are prepared to play every single Saturday, and sharper because of it. Then there's the thought that Syracuse will need the extra days rest particularly towards the end of the season when players get dinged up and may benefit from a few more days off between games. Especially Syracuse's defense which has been a catalyst for the teams 5-2 record.

The truth is until we play the games we will not know the true effect it will have. It's equally disappointing to find out that not only do these teams get extra rest, but they also do not have to travel more often and have the comforts of playing at home. This is in addition to their off days. That's a very interesting thing to consider when looking at Syracuse's remaining schedule and the quest for the Orangemen's first bowl bid since 2004.

Never the less, Syracuse is still 5-2 overall, 2-1 in Big East play and in control of their own bowl destiny. Doug Marrone and the team can not afford to look at the schedules and make excuses for what ever happens down the road. All they can do is keep playing games, and hopefully, keep winning them as well.

photo courtesy of


SyracuseIsGodsTeam said...

.....Then here's to the rust factor playing its part in our favor!

Michael Isserlis said...

yeah its pretty crazy.. id still rather play all our games on saturday!