Syracuse Orange
(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

A season of resurgence for the Syracuse Orange will end against an old rival in the Camping World Bowl, their first bowl game since 2013.

Geoff Magliocchetti

It’s not exactly Disney World, but the Syracuse Orange will nonetheless savor this trip to Orlando, Florida.

The Orange will face an old enemy in their return to postseason play, as they will take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2018 Camping World Bowl at Camping World Stadium (formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl). Their first bowl game since 2013 will be held on Dec. 28, with ESPN nationally televising the game. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET.

The game will feature a battle between old Big East rivals, as this serves as the 61st all-time meeting. Syracuse, now of the ACC, has the edge with a 33-27 advantage, winning the past three showdowns. Ironically, the last meeting against the Big 12’s Mountaineers also came in December, as the schools met in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl at snowy Yankee Stadium. The Orange won 38-14 behind 369 rushing yards.

Syracuse will make their first postseason appearance under head coach Dino Babers. The third-year Orange boss holds a 1-0 bowl record, earning a victory with Bowling Green in the 2014 Camelia Bowl. Babers would lead the Falcons to the ensuing season’s GoDaddy Bowl, but accepted the Syracuse job before the game was played.

The Camping World Bowl serves as the coda to a resurgent season for the Orange, whose previous bowl game was the 2013 Texas Bowl. They finished the year with a 9-3 mark, including a 6-2 tally in conference play, their first winning ACC season since joining in 2013. They also made their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff rankings, coming in at 20th in the season’s final edition on Sunday. Should they defeat the Mountaineers, Syracuse would clinch their first 10-win season since 2001.

This will be the second appearance in the Camping World Bowl for the Orange, who previously took on Georgia Tech in 2004 under the Champs Sports Bowl moniker. Syracuse fell to the Yellow Jackets in a 51-14 defeat.

West Virginia (8-3) finished the year with consecutive defeats, but ranked 16th in the final CFP poll. This will be their fifth appearance in the Camping World Bowl, and they’re still seeking their first win in the game. The most recent visit came in 2016, under the Russell Athletic Bowl name, as they lost to Miami 31-14.

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