SU football is bowl eligible for the first time since 2013. You’ve probably already seen that same exact sentence like 20 times in the past couple days and already know that but it’s just fun to type so I did it again.
Now let’s have some fun. Let’s figure out just what bowl SU could be playing in based on how they finish the season. Keep in mind, @Wake Forest, Louisville, Notre Dame (Yankee Stadium) and @Boston College are left on the docket.
Basically, two should-be wins and two tough games in Notre Dame and #24 BC on the road.
Let’s shoot for the stars and start with the most fun scenario. Say SU runs the table and finishes 10-2, leaving them roughly 12th or 13th in the country or something like that. A New Years six bowl is then a possibility. That’s right.
The above photo breaks down everything we need to know. Essentially, Clemson will likely lock up the top spot and get in the CFP, barring a loss. So that leaves Syracuse as the second best team in the ACC. There really isn’t a scenario where they wouldn’t be if they finish with two losses. They are the second highest ranked team right now in the conference and this hypothetical implies they would have beaten BC.
Now, being the second highest ACC team doesn’t mean they would lock up a New year’s six bowl. They would be in the running. The selection committee picks based on resumes available and has no conference affiliation for the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and Playstation Fiesta Bowl, the two New Year’s Sixes this year. It’s basically the four best teams that didn’t make the playoffs. So Syracuse likely needs to get inside the top 10 and not just win the final four games but make a statement in the way they win.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Dec. 29th | Atlanta, GA | Mercedes-Benz Superdome (20%)
Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Jan. 1st | Glendale, AZ | State Farm Stadium (5%)
Camping World Bowl: Dec. 28th | Orland, FL | Camping World Stadium (75%)
This might be the most likely scenario left. Just because Notre Dame is really good at football and needs every win to get themselves into the CFP. If Syracuse finishes the year 9-3, we’re probably looking at the Camping World Bowl. This bowl used to go by the names: Blockbuster Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl.
It’s a very solid bowl between an ACC and Big 12 team. Last year, Oklahoma State beat Virginia Tech in this game. The Hokies went 9-3 in the regular season. Some potential opponents out of the Big 12: Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State, and maybe even Texas depending on how that conference shakes out.
Again, 9-3 doesn’t mean Camping World Bowl is the worst case scenario. It’s possible depending on how Virginia, NC State, Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech finish their respective seasons that a 3-1 finish to the year for Syracuse would drop them down to the 4th option of the photo above. Also Notre Dame can represent the ACC in the Camping World Bowl, so something to keep in mind if they stumble down the stretch and lose to schools outside of Syracuse.
Camping World Bowl: Dec. 28th | Orlando, FL | Camping World Stadium (80%)
Four Tier One ACC Bowls (Listed Below) (20%)
If the Orange finish the year at 8-4, they are probably staring one of the ACC “tier-one” bowls right in the eye. The logical choice would be the Pinstripe Bowl because once you get down to this tier, regional location and ticket sales mean a lot. For example, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte would probably go to a Duke or an NC State if they are also an option. This would mean two of SU’s final three games of the year would be in Yankee Stadium, which would be weird. However, I don’t think the fact that SU had already played one game at Yankee Stadium would scare people away from putting SU back there. The money would be worth it.
Belk Bowl: Dec 29th | Charlotte, NC | Bank of America Stadium (17.5%)
ACC vs SEC. Maybe a South Carolina or Tennessee makes it out of the SEC.
Taxslayer Gator Bowl: Dec 30th | Jacksonville, FL | TIAA Bank Field (20%)
ACC vs SEC or Big Ten
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Dec 31st | El Paso, TX | Sun Bowl Stadium (7.5%)
ACC vs Pac-12
NewEra Pinstripe Bowl: Dec 27th | Bronx, NY | Yankee Stadium (55%)
ACC vs Big Ten
If they go 1-3, they would likely drop out of the tier one bowls and be looking at some bowls before Christmas, but let’s not talk about that.
FINAL PREDICTION: The Pinstripe Bowl seems like the best bet or the Camping World Bowl if they play better than expected coming home.