With ACC Kickoff behind us, there’s only about a month before Syracuse takes the field in its home opener on September 2nd. So, that means anyone and everyone is starting to predict how this season might play out in the conference and nationally. So, what are people saying about Syracuse? The Athletic released a mailbag earlier this and answered a question on the
Orange, and staff writer Grace Raynor, who covers the conference, said in the piece:
“I cannot figure out Syracuse. The Orange seem to either be very high — winning six consecutive games to open the season last year — or very low, losing six of their final seven. In 2018, they won 10 games. In 2020, they won one. Garrett Shrader threw for 65 yards against Florida State coming off an injury, then 324 a week later at Wake Forest.
Ultimately, I believe that the Orange losing offensive coordinator Robert Anae to NC State will be a lot to overcome this season, but a path toward bowl eligibility seems possible. Colgate, Western Michigan, Purdue, and Army are the Orange’s nonconference opponents. Georgia Tech and Boston College should be winnable games while the Virginia Tech matchup feels like a tossup. We’ll see if Dino Babers’ seat is hot as the season progresses, but if we’re being totally honest, Syracuse is sort of an enigma to me.”
Raynor’s sentiment is something that seems to be shared by a lot of pundits and fans as Syracuse heads into a very important 2023 season. As outlined previously, Babers may be coaching for his job in his 8th season in Central New York, and that makes the stakes of the year much higher than in previous seasons.
But, interestingly, according to The Athletic’s Austin Mock and his college football projection model, Syracuse is projected to win exactly seven games this season and has an 85.1% chance of making it to a bowl game. Now, I’d like to see where those seven wins are coming from, but if it’s based on the Orange being the favorite in games, those contests are probably Colgate, Western Michigan, Army, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest.
Mock also listed Syracuse among his best bets at over 6.5 wins (+145), and said this about SU’s chances to succeed in 2023:
“Syracuse returns a ton of experience on defense and should be able to get after the passer with its talented defensive front. Add in Garrett Shrader returning under center — which feels like his 10th season in college football — and Syracuse could surprise some folks. Losing running back Sean Tucker to the NFL certainly hurts because he was a nice security blanket for the offense, but I like what the offense showed last season with Shrader at quarterback to give me hope this fall. The schedule isn’t all too bad, though going through October without a home game isn’t ideal, finishing the season with home games against Boston College, Pitt, and Wake Forest and just one road trip to Georgia Tech should help this bet get to the window. Though, an out-of-conference road trip to Purdue during Week 3 will be huge for this win total.”
Overall, it is still a mixed bag when it comes to what to expect from Babers and his crew in 2023, but if national experts are still questioning which side to lean on, they could take some positivity from these analytical models and predictions, and remain optimistic the Orange can go to a second bowl game in as many years.