Central Michigan signs football series with Syracuse, hosting the Orangemen in 2014

Central Michigan has signed a 2-for-1 football series with Syracuse, bringing the Orangemen to Mount Pleasant in 2014 as a replacement for North Carolina State.

CMU announced the series Wednesday, along with confirming the 2014 season opener, scheduled for Aug. 28, 2014, against Tennessee-Chattanooga of the Football Championship Subdivision. Syracuse, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will play CMU at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Sept. 13, 2014, with the Chippewas traveling to Syracuse, N.Y., on Sept. 19, 2015, and again for a game in 2017.

CMU will pay Syracuse $200,000 for the 2014 game, while CMU will receive $550,000 and $250,000 for the following two games.

"We've been working on it for a while knowing that we had that dilemma with North Carolina State," CMU athletics director Dave Heeke said. "I'm always in the mix with football scheduling, looking at lots of opportunities. We have a number of people across the country that I immediately turn to when we have football scheduling dilemmas or challenges.

"We identified Syracuse as a potential right out of the game, and we're real pleased that it worked out."

Syracuse, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, serves as a replacement for N.C. State, which recently paid CMU a $350,000 buyout for canceling a 2-for-1 contract. CMU played N.C. State in Raleigh, N.C., this season and in 2011, with the Wolfpack scheduled to travel to Mount Pleasant on Aug. 28, 2014. UT-Chattanooga has since filled that date.

CMU has also filled its 2016 home opener, hosting FCS Presbyterian on Sept. 1, 2016.

"I believe that these schedules follow through with our desire to secure a strong home slate for our supporters and football program," Heeke said in a statement on Wednesday. “With the addition of Syracuse, we now have a high-profile, quality out of conference FBS opponent at home each of the next few seasons, which is our goal when assembling a non-conference schedule.”

Future CMU Nonconference Football Schedules 2014 Aug. 28 – Chattanooga Sept. 6 – at Purdue Sept. 13 – Syracuse Sept. 20 – at Kansas 2015 Sept. 3 – Oklahoma State Sept. 12 – FCS opponent - TBA Sept. 19 – at Syracuse Sept. 26 – at Michigan State 2016 Sept. 1 – Presbyterian Sept. 10 – at Oklahoma State Sept. 17 – UNLV Sept. 24 – at FBS opponent - TBA

MAC going to the beach

The Mid-American Conference on Thursday announced its sixth bowl partnership, creating a minimum of five bowl partnerships for the league beginning in 2014, in the Miami Beach Bowl.

A MAC team will play  a school from the American Athletic Conference in 2016 and 2018 at Marlins Park in Miami. The league is expected to name one more bowl affiliation in the next week.

“The Mid-American Conference is proud to have a tie-in with the Miami Beach Bowl as part of this collaborative effort among FBS conferences,” said Mid-American Conference Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher.  “We are excited for our student-athletes, fans and alumni to have the opportunity to come to South Florida as a bowl destination during the holidays for the 2016 and 2018 bowl seasons.”

Contact Aaron McMann: aaron.mcmann@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.


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