Syracuse to play USC, Notre Dame

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Syracuse has agreed to play three home games against Notre Dame and Southern California over the next seven years in the new stadium at the Meadowlands.

Two people with knowledge of the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official announcement has not been made, said the Orange will face USC in 2012 and Notre Dame in 2014 and 2016.

The new, privately owned $1.6 billion stadium is being built by the NFL's Giants and Jets. It is scheduled to open next season.

The Jets and Giants have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to announce the games.

The new stadium will seat about 80,000 people, 30,000 more than capacity at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse's home field.

Once one of the powers of college football, Syracuse (3-9) has fallen on hard times in recent years. The Orange have not played in a bowl game since 2004, finished last in the Big East Conference last season and fired coach Greg Robinson.

Doug Marrone will have 13 starters returning in his first season as coach.

Pete Carroll's Trojans have been one of the best programs in the country this decade, with a run of seven straight Pac-10 titles, BCS bowl games and 11-win seasons.

Notre Dame, a football independent and a Big East member in most other sports, has agreed to try to schedule three games a season against Big East opponents.

While the Irish have been scheduling some home games at neutral sites, such as next season's game against Army at Yankee Stadium, the games at the new stadium, which has not been named, would be home games for the Orange.

The Irish have played Syracuse six times, most recently an embarrassing 24-23 loss last season when the Irish gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns to an Orange squad that had scored two fourth-quarter TDs all season and finished with nine losses. The series is tied 3-3.

A telephone message seeking comment was left for Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.