Syracuse Football vs. USF: Getting over the South Florida hump could be big for Orange

Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

If Syracuse can defeat USF on Saturday it would be the program's second victory in eight meetings. However, a victory would do more than put an end to the Bulls' dominance, but would keep SU's BCS bowl hopes alive and well.

Since becoming a part of the Big East Conference, the South Florida Bulls football program has had its way with the Syracuse Orange. Six times in seven meetings the Bulls (2-5, 0-3 Big East) have defeated to the Orange (3-4, 2-1), and have done so with an average margin of victory of 23.5 points.

On Saturday, SU and its head coach Doug Marrone will have a shot at stopping USF's dominance, at least for one day, when they visit Tampa, FL for a Big East showdown at Raymond James Stadium (7 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and Time Warner Cable Sports). This will be the final meeting between the two schools for the foreseeable future, as Syracuse is playing its final season in the Big East and will move onto the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.

A victory for the Orange would be their first on the road since defeating Tulane, 37-34, last season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Its last conference road victory came in Nov. of 2010 when Syracuse edged Rutgers, 13-10, at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Not only would a win help Syracuse overcome some road woes, but it would also improve the Orange's league record to 3-1 and give them some separation from the conference's cellar dwellers -- USF (0-3 Big East), Pittsburgh Panthers (0-3) and Connecticut Huskies (0-3).

It would also keep -- and don't hold your breath folks -- SU's hopes of earn the league's automatic BCS bowl berth still alive. The chances are slim, but if Syracuse can move to 3-1 in the Big East, and you look at what the other top-tier teams in the league still need to go through, its possible that the Orange could be peaking at the right time.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-0, 4-0 Big East)

Nov. 17: @ Cincinnati
Nov. 24: @ Pittsburgh
Nov. 29: vs. Louisville

Louisville Cardinals(8-0, 3-0)

Nov. 3: vs. Temple
Nov. 10: @ Syracuse
Nov. 24: vs. UConn
Nov. 29: @ Rutgers

Cincinnati Bearcats (5-2, 1-1)

Nov. 10: @ Temple
Nov. 17: vs. Rutgers
Nov. 23: vs. South Florida
Dec. 1: @ UConn

Temple Owls (3-3, 2-1)

Oct. 27: @ Pittsburgh
Nov. 3: @ Louisville
Nov. 10: vs. Cincinnati
Nov. 23: vs. Syracuse

If Syracuse can get over the USF hump, and string together its second victory in as many weeks, it could be huge for the overall outlook of the 2012 season.

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