For what has seemingly been every single road game this season, the Orange left the field with a moral victory on Saturday in SU’s loss to Florida State.
That pins Syracuse at 4-5 (which is the record many expected SU to have at this point anyways), yet the optimism surrounding this team seems to be at its lowest point since the Middle Tennessee State loss. But a bowl is still certainly in the picture.
The Orange’s three remaining opponents are the opposite of what we expected out of them before the season. Wake Forest and Boston College have both significantly overachieved. Meanwhile, Louisville sits in last in the ACC Atlantic division.
This spells trouble for an Orange team that you probably would have been very confident in its bowl chances if you said SU had four wins with three games to play. That is not the case anymore, especially with Eric Dungey’s status potentially up in the air after getting dinged up against Florida State.
Of the final three games, Wake Forest seems like the most likely win. Syracuse gets back home where it has only lost once this season. It is also the final game in a Demon Deacons’ stretch of four of five games on the road. That can certainly take a toll on a college team. Like Syracuse, Wake Forest has yet to win a road game in the ACC this season. But if the Orange can’t win this one, you better start praying to the APR gods.
While Louisville may look like the worst team standings-wise in this final stretch, the Cardinals have the most talent of these three teams. Lamar Jackson is a video game talent who dropped a 62-point bomb on the Orange last season. But this year, Louisville only has one win at home against a Power Five opponent, a seven point victory over Purdue. That’s not impressive by any stretch. This clearly isn’t the same Cardinals team. But you could say the same about the Seminoles, and that did not end favorably for SU.
Arguably the most important remaining game is Boston College. The Eagles are riding a three game win streak at the moment. When you think of BC, you think of a defensive powerhouse that has been held back by its lackluster offense. But during the last three games, the Eagles are averaging 40 points per game. Along with this, Boston College has been a road warrior. The Eagles will come to the Dome with a 3-1 road record, with the only loss coming against Clemson. But even that game was tied at seven heading into the fourth quarter before the Tigers pulled away for 34-7 victory.
Nothing will be easy for SU as the season draws near a close. Syracuse would have gotten into a bowl last season with five wins. Now, the Orange might have to hope that holds true for 2017.