We’re less than 90 days from college football! We’re even closer to the ACC Media Days down in Charlotte, North Carolina coming in mid-July. For now we’re sticking with previews and hypotheticals.
South Point Casino released over/unders for ACC teams conference win totals. Syracuse and Duke are projected to get the least amount of wins at one and a half apiece. The Orange and the Blue Devils don’t play each other this season which may have factored into this number.
In 2020, SU picked up its one and only win (and ACC win) against Georgia Tech. Can ‘Cuse win two this fall? Well in case you forgot here’s a refresher on Syracuse’s conference slate.
10/2: @ Florida State
10/9: vs Wake Forest
10/15: vs Clemson
10/23: @ Virginia Tech
10/30: vs Boston College
11/13: @ Louisville
11/20: @ NC State
11/27: vs Pittsburgh
From top to bottom the conference is as competitive as ever. Florida State is in year two of the Mike Norvell era and still has a long way to go, but it’s not like SU has taken advantage of the Seminoles lethargy in the past three years.
Wake Forest is as solid as they come. Year in and year out the Demon Deacons are hovering around six wins, despite talent disadvantages in most games. Clemson is, well, Clemson. It should be noted that the Tigers are replacing a lot of talent this fall. Yes, more talent is coming in, but don’t be shocked if North Carolina is crowned the ACC champion.
Virginia Tech hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far under Justin Fuente, but Blacksburg, Virginia, is a VERY tough place to play, especially after dark. Hopefully the Hokies save ‘Enter Sandman’ for Virginia or another respected ACC team.
Boston College is a program on the rise under second year coach Jeff Hafley. SU competed well against the Eagles last year, but BC is only getting better.
The bye week comes as a great time (theoretically). It gives Syracuse a chance to rejuvenate and prepare for the final stretch of the regular season which could determine if the Orange get to the coveted six win benchmark. However, last season SU had a bye before the Louisville game and lost 30-0 so you be the judge.
NC State should have one of the best offenses in the country if it can find a potent quarterback. Bam Knight is one of the best tailbacks in the ACC, if not the best. The Pack also has an explosive receiving core.
Finally there’s Pittsburgh at home inside the Loud House. Please don’t allow a Panthers player to shotgun a beer celebratoriously (is that even a word?) on your home turf. Pitt lost pretty much its entire defense to the draft this year so this one should be an offensive game.
Okay, time to put our money where our mouth is. Are there over or under 1.5 wins here? This is difficult to determine because there is absolutely no indication of what to expect offensively. Yes, we know Sean Tucker will get his, but who the heck is playing quarterback? Being right is more fun than being hopelessly hopeful. So for now, there’s only one win on SU’s ACC slate.
That one win is Pittsburgh. SU played the Panthers in week two in 2020 which was far too early. This time around Pitt rounds out the schedule as the season finale and by then Dino Babers should be trotting his best team onto the field.
Other than that, there are certainly some winnable games in Wake, BC, and Louisville but the Orange lost to those three by a combined 61 points last season. Optimism is cool, but SU has given its fanbase no reason to feel in the last two years.