Look it was a weird year. Obviously when your team starts 6-0 and earns a top-15 ranking your expectations and greed for more set in. It doesn’t help that the same team that ripped through six straight opponents then proceeded to lose its next five and free fall out of both relevancy and rankings.
Let’s rewind to the summer though. Syracuse’s projected win total was right on the money at five. If we were to tell that the Orange would claim seven wins, you’d take it right? Of course you would. SU had won just six games combined between 2020 and 2021. You shouldn’t be surprised by the way, we told you that the ‘Cuse would be bowling back in the summer.
Frustration is understandable after watching losses for most of October and November. It’s a tough pill to swallow to usurp an eleven point lead against Clemson, get trounced by Florida State, and outclassed by Pittsburgh.
The response here in the end of November is unacceptable though. People are out here calling this season a failure and saying Dino Babers’ coaching seat is even hotter than it was in July. How is this possible?
Look, Babers out performed the preseason expectations period. Sure, it’s very tough to see a team fall from 6-0 to 7-5. However, you have to remember a couple things.
First of all, the losses came to a Clemson team that’s playing in the ACC Title, a Notre Dame team that’s firmly in the top 20, a Florida State squad that might be the hottest in the country. On top of that, SU fell to Wake Forest in a very competitive game on the road, and to Pittsburgh without Garrett Shrader.
Also remember all of the starts Syracuse lost throughout the year? Chris Elmore, Stefon Thompson, Garrett Williams, Terry Lockett, and the list goes on and on. It’s not a stretch to think SU was capable of beating any of the teams it lost too outside of maybe Florida State.
In summation, Babers proved he can compete at a high level in the conference and even out of conference. This same Orange team beat the Big Ten West Champions in Purdue, don’t forget. We asked for some signs of life from the ‘Cuse, we got them. So take the bowl game, celebrate a successful season and now wait to see if bowls become the norm and not an anomaly.