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Who will Penn State’s 12th opponent in 2014 be? My money is on Syracuse

Before you continue reading, please keep this disclaimer in mind. In no way is this the start of a rumor or citing obscure anonymous sources. This is pure speculation and hypothetical thinking on my part. Now that I have cleared that up with you, let's continue.

Penn State's 2014 Big Ten conference schedule was released earlier today. As you have probably seen by now, Penn State has one schedule hole to fill next season and the available weeks to work with are not exactly the most friendly. Penn State has two open weeks in October and another in November to work with. So, how will one of those games be filled? Who fills it?

After a quick look at some future schedules out there, my early money is on Syracuse.

As I explained on Examiner, Syracuse has just one non-conference game currently scheduled for 2014 (Notre Dame in MetLife Stadium). The ACC will also stick to an eight-game conference schedule so that leaves Syracuse with three non-conference games to fill. The Orange have home games against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and NC State on their home schedule and road trips to Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. Penn State has seven home games on their 2014 schedule so I believe that leaves a door open for a potential road game. Seeing as Syracuse already makes a trip to Pennsylvania to play Pitt, I am just guessing they might prefer to stay at home if they have to play a second.

Or, maybe Syracuse will line up two home games for the Carrier Dome and entertain the idea of playing a game in Beaver Stadium in front of what should be a larger crowd. Again, I am speaking hypothetically here. Given the history between the two schools, it would be nice to see the old rivals reunited once again after a brief tease a few years back. Of course, the two schools meet this season to kick off the year in Met Life Stadium. Maybe, just maybe, this could be the start of another series revival.

Given that Penn State and Syracuse have a history, Penn State needs one more opponent that would ideally not have to require a great amount of travel and that Syracuse has three non-conference opponents to find n 2014, I believe there could be potential to see Syracuse fill that last schedule spot eventually.

The other possibility I mentioned on Examiner was West Virginia. It is a clear reach and probably a pipe dream at best. West Virginia opens the 2014 season in Atlanta against (three-time BCS champion?) Alabama and they also travel to Maryland. West Virginia plays a nine-game Big 12 schedule and their last non-conference opponent is filled by FCS Towson, in Morgantown. The only possible schedule change that would work is if West Virginia dropped Towson and found a date to host Penn State. Unlikely, but I explored it anyway for the sake of looking at old Penn State rivalries.

Now it is your turn. Who will eventually be Penn State's 12th opponent in 2014? Leave a comment with your team that will fill the final spot. For extra credit, pick which open date will be taken by the game.

Be sure to check out the entire updated 2014 Penn State football schedule page, and bookmark it now. It will be updated as needed. Here is Penn State's most up-to-date 2013 football schedule.

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