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What Does a Successful Rest of the Season Look Like?

Syracuse is off to one of its best starts in program history. Dino Babers has revitalized his team with new coaching philosophies, experienced players, and a new attitude. His new mantra, ‘try less harder’, has worked to perfection as the Orange are a perfect 4-0 heading into a game against FCS Wagner where they are supposed to be 50+ point favorites.

But, with more winning comes high expectations, and that’s where things get interesting. Coming into the year, SU was only supposed to win 4-5 games, and many looked at its schedule and saw less. Now, on the verge of hitting the over on its preseason win total before its bye week, Syracuse is now in a precarious position.

Many fans are now clamoring for more and more, but in reality, this season is almost already a success. With relatively easy wins against Wagner and BC still on the schedule, the Orange are likely to go bowling for the first time since 2018. But, what about the rest of those games? Su faces five current ranked ACC opponents, NC State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Florida State, and Wake Forest. Only two of those games are at home (NC State and FSU), while the other three are on the road.

Oh and not to mention Syracuse still has to play Notre Dame at home at the end of October. While the Irish have been disappointing in Marcus Freeman’s first season as head coach, they still have a ton of talent and will be a tough opponent. But, anything can happen in the Dome, so you never know what Babers has up his sleeve. The fans will surely be out for that one.

So, with a likely 5-0 start, what regular season record does SU finish with that makes its fans happy? Honestly, if you win one, maybe two of those games in that tough six-game stretch without getting upset by BC after Thanksgiving and take care of business, the Orange are 7-5 or 8-4 heading into a bowl game. That is probably the most reasonable best-case scenario. Obviously, the best-case scenario is winning 10 or more games, but we at The Fizz are realists, and that is what is likely to happen, maybe even 6-6. 

The Orange are probably going bowling for only the second time since Babers became the head coach in the mid-2010s, and that’s thanks to hiring Robert Anae and Jason Beck, continuing to trust Tony White, bringing in Bob Ligashesky, keeping continuity year over year with his roster, and a ton of other factors.

But, the fact of the matter is that Syracuse has put itself in a great position to be playing in the postseason for the first time since 2018, and even if the rest of the season contains more losses than wins out of the bye week, the Orange were never supposed to be in that position in the first place, so let’s appreciate actually having a competitive football team that may provide people some joy and exhilaration over the seasons final two months.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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