June 30, 2010

Penn State and Sryacuse to meet at the Meadowlands

Penn State announced today it will play a three-game series with the Syracuse Orange, to take place at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, beginning in 2013. There is also talk of a deal for two more games, a home-and-home in 2020 and 2021. Unless I completely missed something there, this announcement sort of comes out of nowhere. But who can argue with this move, as it most definitely benefits both programs, albeit in different ways.

Penn State's stranglehold in the New York City metro area has been weakening lately, particularly with the rise of Rutgers and Pittsburgh. The Nittany Lions will want to use exposure like this to keep the brand name the biggest on the East Coast.

For Syracuse, this will offer a big boost to their own prospects in its home Empire State. By 2013, there's a very real chance that the Orange will be a better football team than they were during the last two years facing Penn State--the Lions won by a combined 83-20.

Syracuse AD Daryl Gross was quoted on the possibility of a longer series, which he gave the impression that this thing could go well beyond even the five games already being discussed.
"We look forward to continuing our long term series with Penn State," Gross said. "Playing a neutral site game in the New Meadowlands versus Penn State was the impetus for a longer series."
In terms of a long-term series, Penn State has had little trouble with Syracuse historically, losing only three of the last 25 meetings.

And about the facility? Yeah, it's a pretty spiffy place:
The New Meadowlands Stadium sets the standard for venue excellence, with state-of-the-art technology, comfort and amenities. With a full seating capacity of 82,500 the New Meadowlands Stadium is the third-largest stadium in the National Football League. Highlights include four massive 30' X 118' HD video display boards in each of the stadium corners; a 48" X 1810' ribbon board that circles the interior bowl; 2100 + HD Monitors throughout the stadium; and 20 HD video pylons ranging in size from 20' X 40' to 20' X 60'.
The renewed rivalry with Syracuse is a big move by Penn State. This adds a BCS automatic qualifier to the schedule for five years, two of them coming during the Lions' series with Virginia and Rutgers. In 2012 (UVA) and 2014 (RU) Penn State will play two BCS programs in its out-of-conference tilt. Add in the possibility of Nebraska during those years' conference schedules, and Penn State is setting itself up nicely to maintain a decent strength of schedule.

Should anything else come out on this, we'll let you know. Until then, I know I couldn't be more pleased with Tim Curley on this one.

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  1. Lose a possible game at the Beav for three years to play Syracuse?? For real??

  2. Nittanykid,

    Yeah they lose by not playing at the Beav, but it will be a virtual home game and the TV exposure in the NY market will pay dividends. I think this is a good idea, of course I'm a little bit older Penn State fan and I remember playing Syracuse in the 80's so my opinion may be clouded by nostalgia.

  3. Penn State already has Virginia in Happy Valley in 2013, and Rutgers in 2015. The only year in which Penn State will play two non-conference away games will be 2014, but both of those away games will be in New Jersey (East Rutherford and Piscataway), less than 4 hours from State College.

    Plus, I can't imagine Penn State agreeing to a deal with the Meadowlands that would LOSE money for Tim Curley's athletic department. I'm sure Penn State will make out like a bandit with this deal.

  4. Mike, who are we playing in East Rutherford in 2014?

    Have to say, this news feels like receiving an unexpected bonus from your boss.

  5. The New Meadowlands Stadium is in East Rutherford, NJ.. the site of the old Giants Stadium

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  7. Nevermind, I'm retarded...Just realized now the "three games" were alluding to 2013-2015 and that the 2020 and 2021 proposals are separate. 8 to 5 weekdays are already starting to make me delirious...