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Why Must You Punish Me, God?

Big East Football Rules! Psych!
Talk about synergy. On Monday, Syracuse released it's 2006 football schedule. Yesterday, the Big East dropped knowledge on the 2006 conference slate.

As anticipated, the Orange will face 12 opponents in 2006, with the Orange playing its entire out-of-conference schedule in the first five weeks of the season. The out-of-conference slate for 2006 consists of three BCS conference opponents (headlined by a home showdown against Iowa), a solid MAC squad in Miami (OH), and the indomitable "to be announced," which will be played on September 30th. Syracuse Post-Standard football guru Donnie Webb notes that the opponent will not be hapless Buffalo, which means that you can simply put "Future Syracuse Annihilator" into that "TBA" slot.

Additionally, Syracuse is not currently slated to play any games on television this upcoming season. Finally, it appears as if somebody at the networks realized that there is too much senseless violence on television.

With respect to Syracuse's Big East Conference opponents, Donnie Webb again drops some super tight insights:

The Big East Conference gave Syracuse the toughest draw with back-to-back-to-back games against Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville. They're Syracuse's first three Big East games.

No one else in the Big East plays those three teams in consecutive order. Pittsburgh and South Florida are the only other teams that play West Virginia and Louisville back-to-back, though Pittsburgh received nine days between games.
Personally, it doesn't really matter to me when Syracuse has to play Pitt, West Virginia, and Louisville. It's not like Syracuse was going to win any of those games anyway, so why not get the pummelling out of the way early in the season before I have a chance to root any unwarranted expectations.

However, it is still incumbent on the conference to allow each team to have a fair shake in their conference schedule. When Syracuse is the only team in the league that is forced to walk this treacherous road, issues of equity naturally arise. I'm not saying that Syracuse should have been given an easier road than its conference mates (as in the NFL), I'm just saying that it is suspect that Syracuse has to be the only team to face that series of challenges while every other conference opponent gets a reprieve, no matter how slight.

I guess the moral of the story is that everyone will be blessed with more crying children accompanying football essays for the 2006 season.

From a non-Syracuse perspective, the Backyard Brawl (the closest thing to a game that matters nationally in the Big East) is not being played on Thanksgiving this year, thanks to ESPN. What's more, it's not even the final game of the season! Chas has some notes on that and more in his terrific blog Pitt Sports Blather.

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