If you want to try to be the best, you need to play the best, and, boy, that's just what the Syracuse Orange football program will be doing during the 2012 football season. On Friday, the Orange filled out its non-conference schedule with a road contest at the Missouri Tigers, Nov. 17.
The game will be the finale of a five-game non-conference schedule, which also features BCS opponents Northwestern Wildcats (Big Ten Conference), Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten) and USC Trojans (Pac-12) . The addition of the Tigers (Southeastern Conference) creates arugably the hardest non-conference slate since the Bowl Championship Series began in '98-99, as only two previous Syracuse football schedules has showcased four BCS programs during that span.
Other years featuring that many BCS schools was in the first year of the BCS ('98-99), when SU played the Tennessee Volunteers, Michigan Wolverines, N.C. State Wolfpack and Cincinnati Bearcats. In '04-05, the Orange played the Cincinnati, Purdue Boilermakers, Virginia Cavaliers and Florida St. Seminoles.
This season, the Orange will also host FCS-program the Stony Brook Seawolves, the defending Northeast Conference champion.
According to SU deputy athletics director Herman Frazier, other schools that were considered by Syracuse fill the opening in the non-conference schedule were FSU, Boise St. Broncos, Arkansas Razorbacks and Nevada Wolfpack.
"It’s been a long process," said Frazier, adding that SU will now wait until the Big East Conference fills a void in the Orange’s league schedule left by West Virginia’s departure for the Big 12.
Here's a quick composite look of the 2012 Syracuse football non-conference schedule:
Sept. 1: vs. Northwestern
Sept. 8: vs. USC (at MetLife Stadium)
Sept. 15: Stony Brook Seawolves
Sept. 22: at Minnesota
Nov. 17: Missour
Big East Conference Games:
Home: Connecticut Huskies, Louisville Cardinals and Pittsburgh Panthers
Away: Cincinnati, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, South Florida and TBA (the Big East is talking currently talking with the Temple Owls).
For more on the Syracuse's 2012 football season, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream, while the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is all about the Orange.