Optimism was plentiful before the Syracuse football season kicked off but now, as the Orange sit at 2-4, having lost four of the last five games, the old negativity that has plagued the Syracuse football fan base has reemerged. And with good reason. On Saturday, the absent Syracuse defense showed up more so than it had done in any game this season. The potent Syracuse offense did not. So it is time to adjust expectations.
So, what now Orange Nation? Any hope at a bowl game has been dashed. Theoretically, Syracuse would have to win four of is last six games to make that coveted bowl. The Orange still have to play three ranked opponents, including Clemson. In Death Valley.
The easiest part of the schedule is behind them. The Orange will be underdogs in every game left on the schedule (yes, including Boston College). With that said, let us adjust those lofty six win goals to something more achievable. Four wins.
Four wins, but more importantly, four competitive games. In order to reach four wins, Syracuse has to win two more games. Presumably one of those wins would come against B.C. and the other against one where they are a relatively significant underdog. That should be the new goal.
An even more achievable, but similarly important goal, is that the Orange should be competitive in all of their remaining games, with the exception of the two against the ACC, and national powerhouses in Clemson and FSU.
Dino Babers needs to use these six games to really cement what he wants to be about. He started off the season with incredible aggressive playcalling, including going for it on fourth down nearly every time and calling gutsy plays like having Eric Dungey line up as a receiver and run a route over the middle of the field. That gaul has nearly vanished. His playcalling was incredibly conservative against the Demon Deacons on Saturday. So what is it Dino? He needs to figure out what kind of offense he is actually running.
Syracuse needs to win two of the remaining game to keep fans from completely losing their minds but more importantly, Dino needs to figure out the direction of this team for the future.