Bring on Clemson, other ACC bigs as much as possible

So media reports have swirled all over the Internet over the past few days regarding Atlantic Coast Conference officials discussing a make-over of their scheduling model, and certainly, a lot of Syracuse football fans have chimed in on this hot-button topic.

According to various reports, including one from SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister, the ACC is contemplating the elimination of its two divisions, which is fine by me, because I believe it would allow squads in the league to compete with one another with more frequency.

Per McAllister, one option under consideration is deemed the “3-5-5 model,” whereby every ACC squad would have three permanent foes season after season.

Then, the remainder of the teams in the ACC would get broken up into two groups of five teams that, according to McAllister, would rotate in and out every other stanza.

I’d like to see Syracuse football play the best of the best in the ACC.

If the conference’s two divisions, the Atlantic and the Coastal, are scrapped, then I imagine the Orange wouldn’t suit up quite as often with other squads in its division.

For reference’s sake, Syracuse football is in the Atlantic division, along with Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, NC State and Wake Forest.

As such, from what I’ve read online, under the 3-5-5 model, the ‘Cuse wouldn’t necessarily have to go toe to toe with the likes of Clemson, Florida State and NC State as much.

Naturally, the Orange’s three permanent opponents could include Boston College and Pittsburgh, as they have proximity to the ‘Cuse in the Northeast. The Eagles and the Panthers also have a history with Syracuse football dating back to the old Big East Conference days.

I’m good with that. I’ve felt for a while now that the Orange doesn’t have many strong rivals in football. Boston College and Pittsburgh could emerge in this department.

For me, though, I’d love to see Clemson be another permanent foe for the ‘Cuse. The Tigers have captured multiple national titles in recent years.

And despite Syracuse football struggling by and large in the Dino Babers era, these two teams have played some pretty exciting games.

In his six terms as the head coach on the Hill, Babers has amassed a 29-43 overall record, with only one winning campaign and just one post-season bowl berth.

I’m optimistic about 2022 for the Orange, in part due to Babers bringing in new offensive coordinator Robert Anae and new quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, both from Virginia.

I’ve said countless times that I really believe Babers needs to get to at least six victories in the upcoming term. Naturally, some of my fellow ‘Cuse fans would probably like to see Syracuse football play juggernauts such as Clemson on fewer occasions.

The sentiment here is that an easier schedule could help propel the Orange to a place where it is consistently vying for bowl invites. That line of thinking, I completely understand.

However, to me, I’d prefer to play tougher opponents. I want to see the ‘Cuse compete with the best of the best. So bring on Clemson. Bring on Penn State. Bring on Purdue. Bring on Miami, NC State, Wake Forest and other really good ACC opponents – as much as possible.

Maybe my philosophy here, given how Syracuse football has fared on the field in recent seasons, is a tad unrealistic and naïve. That’s fine. But the way that I see it, to be the best, you have to play the best, and then beat the best.

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