Now that we're 4-1 coming off a big statement win for the program, tied for 1st in the BE and actually favored to beat Pitt, is it time that we fans expect the team to win this game? To me, SU needed to beat either USF or Pitt to keep the season headed in the right direction. DONE. Now what? We lose to Pitt, even by a small margin, people will say "See, its the same ol' Syracuse. They suck". We beat Pitt by any margin, and people may give SU a lil' more credit but still say "Well, Pitt just sucks beyond belief this year and anyone can beat them, even Syracuse".
And before I get anyone too riled up I recognize that Pitt very well could go on a winning streak at any second and win the BE. They're in the mix just as much as anyone at this point. They also may be in the middle of a melt-down that gets Wannstadt kicked to the curb this season. Even the latter Pitt team example could beat this SU team.
Our team seems to have embraced the role of the underdog, and a lot of folks seem like they would prefer that trend to continue. I totally get and respect that. But, at some point, perhaps even sometime this season, the team needs to show up to games expecting to battle their way to a W every week. I'm not talking about chest-beating cockiness or looking past the other team, I'm talking about confidence and the assertion that they are in fact the better team and will prove so by imposing their will on the other guy all day long.
That being said, is it too soon to expect a win Saturday? I say no. I think HCDM has it ingrained in his DNA that winning is the expectation, whether they are playing Maine or WVU or anyone in between. Will it happen every week? Certainly not. But it doesn't mean that winning still isn't the standard.