Syracuse’s out of conference schedule has always been criticized for it’s ease. Let’s check in and see how those opponents are doing early on in the college season:
San Diego State (2-1) — The Aztecs have bounced back after their loss at sea against the Orange. They have beaten San Diego Christian and Missouri State. Their OOC is littered with easy games although they have got a pair of games coming up against USC and UCLA which could help them out.
Princeton (1-2) — The Tigers are up next on the slate. They have played three close games although only one has turned out in their favor. They beat Buffalo 57-53, while losing to Northeastern 67-66 and Rutgers 58-52. Princeton now has four straight and five of their next six on the road. Outside of Syracuse and Kent State, not much of a challenge ahead for the Tigers until conference play.
Colgate (2-3) — A bit of a rough start for the Raiders this season. They were blown out by Illinois and Marquette to start the year before getting a 14 point win over Marist. They won on Sunday over Coppin State which came one day after a loss to Elon. They are also going to be road weary with four straight and six of seven coming up.
Arkansas (2-0) — The Razorbacks were given a scare by Sam Houston State to start the season before blowing out Longwood on Sunday. They play just two road games in their first 12 contests overall. We won’t get a good read of Arkansas until the Syracuse game, although they may trip up a bit at Arizona State before that.
Eastern Michigan (4-1) — The Eagles are off to a good start although none of their wins are anything to brag about. They have bested Rochester (MI), IPFW, Eastern Illinois and Texas Pan-American. They play a school named Madonna on the 24th before seeing the Orange on December fourth so they will have a bit of a break to prepare. Road trips to Ann Arbor and Lexington are also on the slate.
Long Beach State (1-2) — The 49ers hung around for a half with North Carolina before succumbing to their talent. Long Beach State also lost to USC. This team has never shied away from a fight as Arizona, Ohio State and UCLA are still to come. This will be a dangerous team come conference play, but they may have to get beaten up a bit in order for that to happen.
Canisius (2-0) — The Golden Griffins have a nice win at home over A-10 conference champion St. Bonaventure. Syracuse will be the end of a five game road trip for the school that begins on 11/24 with Stony Brook. Temple and UNLV are still to come for this squad who will be a contender in the MAAC.
Detroit (2-1) — The Titans will be a big challenge for the Orange come December 17th. Ray McCallum has been hot especially in wins over Drake and Northern Michigan. Their lone loss is by three points to St. Johns. Miami and Pittsburgh are coming up for this team. We’ll just say it now that we won’t be surprised if an upset happens.
Temple (2-0) — The Owls have had workmanlike wins over Rice and Kent State to start out the year. A win over Temple will help the Orange’s resume especially since they still have to play Duke, Kansas and Villanova.
Alcorn State (1-2) — The Braves shouldn’t be much of a challenge. They lost by 18 to Stanford and by 37 to Missouri. This team will have played just four home games by the time they get to Syracuse on December 29th.
Central Connecticut State (2-2) — The Blue Devils are the final squad Syracuse will see before Big East play. The Blue Devils are coming off a win at La Salle. While that won’t make a rumble in college basketball, it’s still a win at an Atlantic 10 team which doesn’t happen a lot in the Northeast Conference. They start out with 10 road games in their first 13.