Syracuse Football 2012: Schedule Will Test Orange in Already Tough Season

Andrew Pregler@ACPreglerContributor IIIMarch 27, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Ryan Nassib #12 of the Syracuse Orangemen throws a pass against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 38-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange football team is going to face a lot of questions this season, ranging from coaching changes to on-field personnel. Unfortunately for the Orange, the schedule they will play while answering these questions is one of the most difficult in recent team history. 

We knew that the Orange were going to have a rough time when Missouri was added to finish off the out-of-conference schedule. 

When the Big East schedule for the Orange was released today by the university and conference, things only got worse for Doug Marrone's team.  

The Orange will start the season with three home games against Northwestern, USC and Stony Brook, but the USC game will be the "New York College Classic" in MetLife Stadium on one of the ABC family of networks. Then Syracuse will finish off its opening non-conference stretch on the road against Minnesota.

The Orange then get to play Pittsburgh on an ESPN Friday night game before heading off to Rutgers, and they get another home Friday night ESPN game against Connecticut before going on the road twice against USF and Cincinnati. 

The Orange then come back home for their 2012 home finale against Louisville before finishing off the season at Missouri and Temple. The Temple game will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2. 

So in synopsis: the Orange do not play any back-to-back true home games, they finish the season with four of five games on the road and they're on national television four times this year. Aside from the television appearances, this is one of the worst schedules Syracuse could draw. 

Let the conspiracy theories begin, but in what will more than likely be the final Big East season for the Orange, Doug Marrone may have his toughest challenge yet.