Rutgers and Syracuse could play twice in 2012

By Kevin Kelley -

Rutgers and Syracuse could play twice in 2012 if West Virginia leaves the Big East prior to the start of the season, sources told The Star-Ledger.

If West Virginia negotiates a settlement with the Big East that allows them to move to the Big 12 in 2012, each Big East team will need to schedule another non-conference game.

Rutgers is slated to host Syracuse in 2012 based on the rotating Big East football schedule. But the two teams are rumored to be in discussions to meet at Yankee Stadium or the Carrier Dome. That game would not count in the Big East standings.

The Scarlet Knights currently have four non-conference games scheduled: at Tulane (Sept. 1), vs. Kent State (Sept. 15), vs. Army (Nov. 10) and vs. Howard (date TBA). Rutgers needs one game if West Virginia stays and two if they depart.

Another possible opponent for Rutgers in 2012 is, as The Star-Ledger reports, the Arkansas Razorbacks. The two schools are said to be in discussions for a home-and-home series at Arkansas in 2012 and at Rutgers in 2013.

Syracuse is in the same situation as Rutgers in that they also need two non-conference games for 2012. Rutgers could fill one of those slots. The Orange open the season at home vs. Northwestern (Sept. 1), face USC at East Rutherford, NJ (Sept. 8), host Stony Brook (Sept. 15) and travel to Minnesota (Sept. 22).

One caveat to this scenario is that FBS teams are not required to play a 12-game schedule. The 12th game is usually scheduled as a home contest to add extra revenue, so Big East teams could conceivably play 11 games if they desired.

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