After a promising start, Syracuse football is in danger of finishing the season where it began. Considering the mood surrounding the program back in October, that’s a shocking statement, to say the least.
Just after the Orange’s surprise win over Clemson, I wrote about the next steps that SU needs to take as a program. Unfortunately, Syracuse hasn’t accomplished any of those goals this season. The Orange had plenty of opportunities to do so, but couldn’t.
Which begs the question, what would this season be without the win over Clemson? The answer is simple: a huge disappointment. The season isn’t officially over yet, but let’s assume SU isn’t able to win on Saturday against Boston College. If that is the case, Syracuse will finish the year at 4-8, the same record it finished with a year ago.
Take the Clemson win away, and you have a three-win team that’s best win came against the Pittsburgh Panthers. But, that’s not the case, and many say that game alone was enough to result in a successful season. To that, I say… go have another Thanksgiving cocktail.
The reality is, that win makes the season only half of a disaster, rather than a full one. That’s plenty for Dino Babers to be thankful for this holiday season. He’s used that win to his advantage, and will continue to do so.
The fact is, Syracuse is still occasionally great instead of consistently good. On top of that, the Orange is yet to prove it can win on the road. SU was competitive in most road games this season, but that’s not good enough.
The most obvious disappointment? Missing out on a bowl game. I didn’t see that as a possibility when the year began, but after the Clemson win, it seemed likely. Now, the Orange’s season ends in November for the fourth straight year.
Here’s another alarming trend: under Babers (assuming SU loses to Boston College), the Orange has yet to win a game after the bye. Yes, that’s right, 0-8. The sign of any good team is improvement as the season goes on. Sure, the competition gets tougher, but there is no reason for the Orange to be winless.
If Syracuse hadn’t beaten Clemson, this season would feel like a total failure. That win gives the Orange something tangible to hang its hat on in a season where that was hard to come by.