This past Saturday’s 65-0 win over Colgate was impressive, there is no denying that. However, it was a win over an FCS team who won just three games last year. In the Raiders matchup against an FBS team last year, they lost by more than 30 to Stanford, who won just three games.
Since Saturday, the national expectations for the Orange have skyrocketed. ESPN’s Football Power Index ranks the Orange as the 27th-best team in the country. The FPI ranks SU as the fifth-best team in the ACC, ahead of Duke, Pitt, and NC State. Just a few weeks ago, the Fizz Staff polled where the Orange would finish this season and the highest answer was 8th in the conference.
Maybe the craziest thing of all though is that ESPN analytics project Syracuse to win all but three games this season. Those three losses are Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State. The analytics are about as close as it gets to predicting Syracuse to win all but two games. Right now, ESPN gives Syracuse a 48.9% chance to knock off Clemson at home in the last game of September. If the Orange upset the Tigers and win every other game they are favored in, SU would win 10 regular season games. The last time that happened was in 1987, before more of the current player’s parents were even in college.
The schedule for Syracuse has absolutely opened up. Duke’s dominating win over Clemson gives a reason that Dino Babers could beat Dabo Swinney again. But didn’t we just do this last season? Syracuse was close to beating Clemson but it didn’t happen. Then SU fell apart in November, once again. Dino Babers is a shocking 6-20 in the month of November since taking over as head coach.
Syracuse has had a good start to the season, and the schedule is promising. But, SU fans can’t get ahead of themselves. And assume this team will win nine, or ten games until the Orange can beat a team who wasn’t one of the worst in the FCS last year.