In each of the past two seasons, Syracuse football has surprised fans across the country with one signature underdog win. And should the trend wish to continue, there are a couple of teams that may want to prepare just a little bit extra before visiting the Carrier Dome in 2018, no matter how good they are.
In 2016, SU left its mark on then #17 Virginia Tech at home in front of a Family Weekend crowd that filled the Loud House. In Dino Babers‚Äô first year at the helm for the Orange, no one saw this coming.
In 2017, Syracuse defeated defending national champion Chemson on a Friday night with the country‚Äôs eyes watching. The stands cleared as fans stormed the field to celebrate.
So who are the candidates for a similar event in 2018?
Well, SU is not playing Virginia Tech this year, and the Orange is playing Clemson on the road.
So that leaves three possible candidates: North Carolina, NC State and Louisville. The Tar Heels didn‚Äôt really turn any heads in 2017, so a win over them would not such an earth-shifting occasion. NC State ended last year in the top 25 and would definitely be a big impact game if they are still ranked by October 27 (when they visit Central New York). Louisville did not finish as a ranked team in 2017, but has been a tough competitor that is up there over the past few years.
NC State visits on Family Weekend and Louisville is in town on Senior Day. NC State plays on a regular Saturday while Louisville plays SU on Friday national television.
So depending on how they rank by the time they come to face the Orange, NC State and Louisville are the more likely candidates for a Syracuse upset. The most likely? Based on the potential for a midseason, loud Carrier Dome ranked opponent defeat, NC State might be the game you want to see.
Situations can change by then, but mark your calendars now: 129 days until we find out!
Published: David Edelstein