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For the first time ever, the UConn-Syracuse game matters


I've followed UConn football for a whopping seven years. I know, that's not all that long, but when you take into account how long UConn football has been worth following, it means I've been on board long enough to see just every significant moment the program has gone through. Still, there is one thing I haven't seen, and that's a meaning game between UConn and Syracuse.

That isn't UConn's fault. Since UConn joined the Big East, Syracuse's best record was the 6-6 mark they posted in 2004, and that was stellar compared to some other years. That all changed this year, the second one in which the Orange have been coached by Doug Marrone. The Orange and 7-3, have gone 4-2 in the Big East and even have an outside shot at winning the Big East.

UConn, on the other hand, is sitting pretty with tiebreaking wins over West Virginia and Pittsburgh, and is one Pitt loss away from controlling their own destiny. Randy Edsall seems to have the recipe for Formula 2007 (combine two quarters of running the ball with two more quarters of running the ball, bake for three hours and don't commit turnovers) and if he can somehow make pact with the devil figure out how to win a road game, the team will finally be getting close to preseason expectations.

Adding more fuel to the fire is the fact that two flukey touchdowns in the final minute of last year's matchup turned a comfortable 42-31 UConn win into a 56-31 exercise in salting a wound. From where I was sitting, it was fun to watch. The Orange did not see it the same way

I've spent this week letting my excitement build, and it'll be at fever-pitch for tomorrow's kickoff, because this is SYRACUSE. We have a Syracuse Hate Week around these parts for a reason. Sure, that hatred grows entirely out of a basketball rivalry, but it doesn't mean the institution and its fans are any less deserving of our scorn. A competent Syracuse program matters because it makes our games against them matter and it makes our wins over them that much sweeter. Go Huskies.