Syracuse University history against future ACC opponents

Syracuse University football shares plenty of history against members of its future conference, the ACC. Hereâ??s a look at the members of the conference and SUâ??s history with them:

SUâ??s overall record vs. the ACC is 21-27-1 (the one tie was in 1981 to Maryland).

Florida State:

The Seminoles, no doubt, are the premiere football playing member of the conference. They didnâ??t even lose an ACC conference game in their first five years of conference play. SU and the â??Noles have locked horns a few times, most recently in 2005. That game resulted in a 38-14 Seminoles win. Overall, SU has beaten FSU just one time compared to five wins for the Seminoles.

Memorable moment: although coming up short both times, SU played Florida State twice in the Carrier Dome, both during its 100th season of football and in 2004. In â??04 SU took the top 10 â??Noles down to the wire. A late fumble doomed the Orange cause in a 17-13 loss. In another losing effort, who can forget Syracuseâ??s Marvin Graves connecting with Qadry Ismail on the freeze option pass for a touchdown to start the 1991 game with FSU?


The Tigers have emerged to challenge Florida State as the top-dog in the conference, and won the ACC in 2011. Clemson could very well win the ACC in 2013 with two of the most prolific offensive weapons in the nation in quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins donning the orange and purple.

Memorable moment: The only time Syracuse and Clemson played it was one of the best moments in the last 20 years for Syracuse football. Freshman quarterback Donovan McNabb led the Orange to a 41-0 thrashing of the Tigers in the Gator Bowl on New Yearâ??s Day 1996.

That game remains the largest margin of victory in Gator Bowl history.


Itâ??s a little sad that this will be Marylandâ??s only year sharing the ACC with Syracuse, as the Terrapins bolt for the Big 10 in 2014. Itâ??s sad because Maryland at one point was a rival of the Orange. While they havenâ??t met on the field since 1994, Syracuse and Maryland have played 34 times (SU leads the series 18-14-2). The last time SU and Maryland played, SU beat the Terps in the Carrier Dome 21-16 in 1994. Maryland got the better of the Orange in the 1985 Cherry Bowl.

Wake Forest:

This is Syracuseâ??s most recent ACC foe. The Orange erased a 15-point deficit and to the Demon Deacons

36-29 in overtime in the 2011 season opener. The two schools only met one other time and that was in 2006. The eventual ACC champion, Wake beat Syracuse 20-10 in the season opener of that season in Winston-Salem, NC.

Georgia Tech:

Georgia Tech, no doubt, is one of the most prestigious teams in ACC Football. Both times that theyâ??ve met the Orange on the gridiron itâ??s been on a neutral site. The Yellow Jackets beat SU in the 2001 Kickoff Classic at the Meadowlands and in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl. In 2013, theyâ??ll meet in metro Atlanta for one of two "crossover" games for SU against members of the ACCâ??s Coastal Division.

Boston College:

No doubt, a nice little rivalry will be renewed in November. Thatâ??s because on Thanksgiving weekend, Syracuse will host Boston College. The game marks just the 2nd time in 10 seasons that the Orange and Eagles will meet, but trust me these teams have a lot of history.

SU leads the all-time series 28-18, but nobody will ever forget Diamond Ferriâ??s incredible iron-man performance in 2004 that denied BC a Fiesta Bowl bid and landed Syracuse in a bowl game by way of a 43-17 victory.

Remember, from 1992 until that 2004 season the Orange and Eagles were Big East Conference members together, now their rivalry is renewed in the ACC. The last time these two teams played was the 2010 regular season finale when BC beat Syracuse 16-7 in a game where both teams had already clinched mid-level bowl bids.


The Orange and Panthers donâ??t miss a beat as they join the ACC together in the same year that they left the Big East. SU has played the Panthers the 2nd-most of any other team in football, the 68 meetings between the two is second only to Penn State (70 times).

Pittsburgh leads the overall series 34-31-2. It should be noted the series favored Syracuse before Pitt went 9-2 against the Orange from 2002-2012. In 2012, SU earned its first win over Pitt since 2004 with a 14-13 decision at the Carrier Dome last October.

No doubt, as Big East members and well before that the Orange and Panthers share a historic and evenly matched history. Pittsburgh will be placed in the ACCâ??s Coastal Division but was named a permanent cross-over opponent of the Orangeâ??s, meaning the two Northeast powers will continue their rivalry for the foreseeable future.

North Carolina State:

Many Orange fans, including those at

think the Wolfpack could be a future rival of the Orange. Itâ??s just a prediction, but you can see it happening.

If for nothing else, SU fans remember NC State beating Syracuse in overtime 32-31 in the Carrier Dome in 1997 while wide receiver and future NFL Pro-Bowler Torry Holt sprinted down SUâ??s sidelines taunting. Orange Nation figured SU, with senior Donovan McNabb would get revenge in 1998 but the Wolfback thwarted that attempt beating SU 38-17 in Raleigh. Whatâ??s more, SU has NEVER beaten the Wolfpack, ever, in its nearly 125 years of football - thatâ??s hard to believe. Maybe it changes in 2013. Nevertheless, it should be a great game with all of that history on the line.

North Carolina:

This is a team that SU fans have seen several times in football history, but wonâ??t see for a few more years. The ACCâ??s crossover plan means you only play two teams from the "other" division every year. For Syracuse, a member of the Atlantic Division, it plays Pitt of the Coastal Division every season. After that, the other 6 schools of the Coastal rotate playing against the Orange. For UNC, that means not playing SU until a 2018 date in the Carrier Dome, and not seeing the Orange in Chapel Hill until 2023.

As for the two prestigious universitiesâ?? past battles, those are split evenly at 2-2. Syracuse won in Chapel Hill in both 1995 and 2003 while the Tar Heels won in the Carrier Dome in 1996 and 2002. The 1995 date in Chapel Hill was the first ever start for Donovan McNabb. Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni didnâ??t reveal the starter until just before kickoff, as a fierce competition raged between McNabb, fellow freshman Kevin Johnson (who later became a wide receiver and was a 2nd round NFL draft pick) and junior Keith Downing. McNabb though, never looked back and became one of the most celebrated signal-callers in SU history.

This matchup is also huge for basketball - Syracuse vs. North Carolina? Enough said. The fact that this is a home-and-home matchup in the winter of 2013-2014 is a great call on the part of the ACC, and should be one of the most anticipated games of the college hoops season.


At one point Miami was one of Syracuseâ??s biggest rivals. However the teams havenâ??t played since 2003, and despite SUâ??s inaugural ACC season in 2013, they wonâ??t play again until 2017. That game is in Miami, with the Hurricanes not returning to the Carrier Dome until 2024. Still, itâ??s one of the reason SU fans are excited for its new affiliation in the ACC.

Fans remember battles of Top 10 teams in the early 1990â??s between the Orange and â??Canes and I donâ??t think any SU fans will ever forget Donovan McNabb rallying SU fans while standing on top of the bench on his Senior Day as the Orange trounced Miami 66-13. A Big East member from its inception through the 2003 season, Orange fans canâ??t wait to see Miami again. Even if the program is on probation and down in recent years, Miamiâ??s history is too rich for it to be down for very long.


The Orange and "Hoos," as theyâ??re called, had a brief series in the mid-2000â??s. Virginia won both games (I went to both contests, including the 2004 contest in Charlottesville which was a beautiful place to visit). Overall, the series is even at 2-2.

UVA is in the Coastal division, but their return to the Orange schedule is much sooner than that of North Carolina or Miami. SU travels to Charlottesville in 2015, with the Cavaliers coming to Syracuse in 2022.

Virginia Tech:

Perhaps Syracuseâ??s most bitter rival in its time in the Big East. The series overall, is pretty even with SU gaining a slight edge 9-8 over the Hokies in 17 all-time games. But so many of the matchups went down to the wire and are games SU fans will never forget.

Need an example? Watch this.

Donovan McNabbâ??s rallying of the Orange from a 21-3 1st half deficit to a 28-26 win will live in Orange history forever. Another classic saw Fayetteville-Manlius grad Damien Rhodes score an overtime touchdown to beat #8 Virginia Tech in triple overtime in 2002. The Hokies though, won some big games over SU, including when the ESPN game day crew was on hand to see freshman Michael Vick and the Hokies trounce SU. The last time these schools met was 2003, and the Hokies come to the Carrier Dome in 2016.


As far as basketball is concerned, itâ??s probably a decent bet that over 35,000 fans will turn out for the for the basketball matchup. The basketball teams havenâ??t met since the 1998 Sweet 16, a game Duke won 80-67. This winterâ??s matchup between the two will pit two of the best hoops powers in the country, and two of the best coaches in the country in "Coach K" and Jim Boeheim.

In football? Thereâ??s not as much allure in this matchup, basically since Duke has been down for about 20 seasons (The Blue Devils did make a bowl in 2012, the Belk Bowl). Syracuse has never defeated Duke in football, but theyâ??ve only played twice. Duke actually comes to the Carrier Dome next year, in 2014 for football. The teams rematch in Durham in 2018.

We touched base on a couple of the basketball matchups, but hereâ??s a look at SUâ??s all time record against ACC foes on the hardwood:

Vs. North Carolina, 3-4 (last game, an SU win in the 2009 preseason NIT)

Vs. NC State, 4-1 (last game, a win at the Carrier Dome in December of 2011)

Vs. Duke, 2-2 (last game, as mentioned, a loss in the 1998 Sweet 16)

Vs. Wake Forest, 1-0 (last game, an SU victory in the 2001 preseason NIT)

Vs. Clemson, 0-2 (last game, a loss in the 2007 NIT quarterfinals)

Vs. Virginia, 3-1 (last game, a win in the Carrier Dome in November of 2008)

Vs. Virginia Tech, 4-2 (last game a win in the 2011 Preseason NIT)

Vs. Georgia Tech, 2-2 (last game, a win at the 2010 Legends Classic in Atlantic City)

Vs. Miami, 14-5 (last game, a win in Miami in February 2004)

Vs. Boston College, 40-23 (last game, a loss in February 2005)

Vs. Pittsburgh,63-39 (last game, a win at the 2013 Big East Tournament)

Vs. Maryland, 2-5 (last game, a win at the 2008 postseason NIT)

Vs. Notre Dame, 25-19 (last game, a win in February of 2013 in the Carrier Dome)

Vs. Florida State, 3-1 (last game, a loss in the 1997 postseason NIT)