Crystal Ball Predictions for SU Football
I’m predicting this edition of the Orange ends up 5-7, just short of a bowl game. Let’s pencil SU in for wins against URI and CMU. Even a halfway decent team should beat Wake Forest at home, let’s give the Orange a win there too. Here are the rest of the games SU has a fighting shot in: @UVA, @USF, vs. PIT, vs. BC. A clean sweep of these games and this team has an exciting 7-5 season. But let’s cut it down the middle and say SU goes 2-2, that gets them to 5 wins. LSU, FSU, Clemson, NC State, and UofL? Could you sneak a win in there – shock one of those teams? Yeah. NC State and UofL could be ripe for upsets. But if we play the averages, this is a 5-win team.
Seth Goldberg 5-7
I’d say this prediction is about 1 step away from “best case scenario” meaning that this is probably on the higher end of predictions with the team probably landing at 4-8. This prediction is also dependent on starting the season no worse than 4-2 because after the first 6 games, there is probably 1 game that you would feel relatively confident about, relative to the previous 5, and that is BC. So first and foremost, win the first three, then split or take both of the road games against USF and UVA, it’s very possible the Orange takes both of those games. If the Orange can win both those road games, then they have a chance to go bowling with wins against either Pitt— with a rookie head coach—or BC, both of those coming at home. So there is a way to get to 6 wins and a bowl game, but eventually, I think the Orange lands at 5 wins.
Connor Morrissette 4-8 (2-6)
The good news for Syracuse football fans is that this year’s team should finish with a higher win total than last season’s. The bad news is that it won’t be by much. The Orange must replace eight starters on defense and on offense there are question marks at wide receiver and on the offensive line. This is a very important year for Scott Shafer. Members of his first SU recruiting class are now in their sophomore seasons. The performance of Steve Ishmael, Ervin Phillips and Zaire Franklin will affect how new AD Mark Coyle views his football coach. If the sophomores excel in a losing season Shafer may have bought himself some more time on the Hill. The Orange should get off to a dominant start against Rhode Island, but then after that there are no guarantees. Four wins seems fair for a team with a brand new offense and limited experience.
Jason Weingold 6-6 (3-5 ACC)
The 2015 Orange squad should be focused on one thing, and one thing only: improvement. Last year, the optimism for the program was through the roof and here at the Fizz it seemed like everyone was picking SU to finish with at least seven wins, resulting in a bowl game. This season however, it’s about improving on last year’s measly three wins, and the team should match that before the calendar turns to October. Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Central Michigan should be three easy wins for the Orange in its first three weeks. SU should realistically win its fourth game in week six against UCF. Consider these four games “must-win” because the Orange will almost certainly drop its games against LSU, Florida State, Louisville, and Clemson. That leaves the four games against Virginia, Pittsburgh, NC State, and Boston College as the deciding factor for the season, and we’ll really know where this team stands after week 8. I think the Orange takes the games against Virginia and Boston College, reaches the six-win plateau and qualifies for a bowl game based purely on favorable scheduling and a (hopefully) revamped offense.
Nathan Dickinson: 5-7 (2-6)
It’s been a while since Syracuse fans have seen expectations this low for the football team. Almost everyone has the Orange finishing at the bottom of the ACC’s Atlantic division, and even I only put Syracuse above Wake Forest in my ACC Preview for theScore. The Orange should finish the month of September 3-1 with wins over Rhode Island, Wake Forest and Central Michigan. After the LSU game, Syracuse has two winnable games on the road against South Florida and Virginia. If (and it’s a big if) Scott Shafer can lead Syracuse to a 5-1 start, there’s still no guarantee of a bowl game. The big question will be whether or not the Orange can rebound from what will be all but certain losses against Florida State, Clemson and Louisville to win that precious sixth game at the end of the year. The Orange will have to win either at NC State or against Boston College at home to end the season, and I don’t think it happens. An easy front end of the schedule will have Syracuse fans jumping in October, but I think six consecutive losses to end the season keeps the Orange out of a bowl game for another year.
Wins: Rhode Island, Wake Forest, Central Michigan, South Florida, Virginia
Losses: LSU, Pitt, Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, NC State, Boston College
Logan Grossman: 4-8 (2-6 in the ACC)
The long story short is the Orange went 3-9 last year and it is hard to see where they will improve greatly. The return of Terell Hunt is sure to help the offense but questions surrounding the offensive line and the running backs leave Tim Lester’s offense a big question mark. The Orange have a very favorable first three games, so look for Syracuse to jump out to 3-0 with wins over Rhode Island, ACC rival Wake Forest and Central Michigan. Syracuse also has the chance to snag a non-conference win against USF, but as it is on the road the Orange will drop that game. Late in the season, the Orange will grab a somewhat meaningless conference win over B.C. or N.C. State.
What are your predictions for the SU football season? Comment below or respond on Twitter, @OrangeFizz.