Sports are a fickle thing, particularly at the college level. After Syracuse’s loss to Middle Tennessee State, the Orange’s hopes of a bowl game were kaput. Just a few weeks later, Syracuse was flying high following a massive upset win over Clemson, the defending National Champions. Now, Syracuse is somewhere in between following a narrow road defeat against Miami, another top ten ACC opponent.
So where do the Orange truly stand? Just a reminder that the Orange were 4-4 last season and lost the last four games of the season to finish 4-8. As Dino Babers pointed out yesterday, Syracuse has a big advantage this year over last year’s 4-4 team; Eric Dungey is still playing. And the Orange have some winnable games remaining on the schedule. So let’s break it down, game-by-game.
November 4 at Florida State
This is a game that before the season, pretty much everyone, myself included, marked down as an automatic loss. The Seminoles have consistently been in the national championship picture the last four or five years but a slew of injuries, including one to their starting quarterback, has the Noles floundering at 2-4, tied for their worst six game start in the last forty years. This is game that the Orange will probably be an underdog in but it is certainly winnable.
November 11 vs Wake Forest
This game is one that the Orange should, and may have to win, depending on the result of the previous game. The Demon Deacons won their first four games of the season, but haven’t won since. They gave both Florida State and Clemson decent games on the road but came up short. Who knows, with a road win in Tallahassee, this could be the bowl clincher.
November 18 at Louisville
The Cardinals are not having the season that some expected but they still have the most athletic and dynamic quarterback in the country. Lamar Jackson is still putting up ridiculous numbers and scoring for fun and it is hard to see the Syracuse defense containing him, even though the Orange have been much improved on that side of the ball. Let’s, for arguments sake, just chalk this one up as a loss.
November 25 vs Boston College
This game could very well be a do-or-die game regarding Syracuse’s bowl chances. The Eagles are much improved from the past few years and are not anything close to a walkover. B.C. knocked off Louisville on the road and dismantled Virginia this week. Boston College also has their eyes set on a bowl game as they sit at 4-4 so this final game could prove to be absolutely massive for both teams. The fact that it is at the Carrier Dome means it is advantage Syracuse but don’t just assume that this will be an easy sixth win for the Orange.