Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- The Orange left Syracuse on Tuesday for the Peach State. The team is determined to beat Michigan – a win that would advance them to the National Championship game for only the second time in 10 years.
But for Syracuse Police, the focus is on controlling the chaos expected during and after Saturday night’s game.
Massive crowds spilled out onto Marshall Street back in 2003 when SU won the National Championship. Syracuse Police were there to try and contain rowdy fans.
It’s a scene Varsity Pizza manager Diana Hester remembers well.
"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen. The streets were packed, you couldn't drive anywhere, we couldn't even leave here until [after 2 a.m.] because we couldn't drive down the streets,” Hester said.
This year, Syracuse Police will beef up security not just in the university area, but around the city.
“We’re going to have a significant amount of manpower up around the university area, in particular around Marshall Street and an increased manpower down the Armory Square area and we'll have a beefed up detail at Destiny because of the increase in the amount of bars and sports places that are over in that area,” said Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan.
The biggest difference now is that there are dozens of closed circuit cameras in the university area, monitoring every angle of the celebration.
“If people think they can go into a crowd and do things anonymously...that's not the case because we're going to have people manning those cameras, if we see a problem developing we'll be able to zoom in, we will get good pictures of those people and we will identify those people and they will be arrested,” Sgt. Connellan continued.
Police share a clear message with fans: celebrate responsible, or be prepared to face the consequences.
“Anyone that acts irresponsibly and [is involved] in any criminal activity that goes on, those people will be held responsible -- not only by in a court of law -- but they will also be held responsible by the university,” Sgt. Connellan continued.