A couple weeks ago I posted that I think SU will be 7-5 and Beef-bound in 2010, which to most people is probably a pretty bold/optimistic outlook. So I'm going to keep beating that drum with a few more orange-flavored phophecies as we all anxiously await the coming fall...
10) Ryan Nassib will have a better year at QB than Greg Paulus did in 2009: I honestly wish we had Greg back for one more season, but I think Ryan will be ready to pick up the slack. He won't be as flashy, but his TD/INT Ratio will also be much more favorable.
9) Delone Carter will not start a single game: First off, I'm a huge DC fan and he was one of the few players I thoroughly enjoyed watching during the GRE and 2009. I do think Delone will be back for the 2010 season, but he's looking at a multiple game suspension. By the time he's able to play, he'll be the odd man out and at the bottom of the depth chart because...
8) Averin Collier will have a break-out year: Many people are expecting 'twon to step up in Delone's absence, but I'm going with Averin Collier. He seems to finally have shaken off the injury bug that plagued him since (before?) arriving to campus. I expect the competition between Collier/Bailey to be like Reyes/Rhodes from seasons ago.
7) The 2010 recruiting class will be better than people think: Hard to quantify this, but I expect to see immediate contribution from JUCOs/transfers Goggins, Alexander, Hay and Weaver. Not sure which freshmen will step up, but given the productivity from the 2009 class, expect to be pleasantly surprised.
6) Derrell Smith will be Big East Defensive POY: Doug Houge is the most underrated player in the BE, and I don't think that'll change. His contributions will be tremendous this season, but will be overshadowed by Derrell. He is going to be the team captain, and heart & soul of a defense that will be one of the best in the Big East.
5) Losing to Washington will not feel good: Not that losing ever does. Any way I slice it up I see this as a loss. It might be a close heartbreaker like Minnesota last year, or very possibly an all-out ass whipping like in 2007. Either way, you'll walk away feeling like we coulda-shoulda-woulda played better.
4) SU will post at least a .500 record all season: My guess is that SU gets off to a 4-1 start. SU will get a couple top-25 votes for the first time in ages. Fans/students will jump on the band wagon, but then jump off just as quickly as the team drops 3 straight to Pitt, WVU and Cincy.
3) The secondary will be the strength of the defense: As excited as I am to see guys like Jones, Marinovich and Tribbey come into their own on the D-line and Houge and Smith do what they do best in destroying opposing offenses, I think the secondary is absolutely stacked. Suter has longtime been one of my favorites along with Holmes, but the emergence of Shamarko and Phillips have brought this unit up a notch. Merkerson and Scott will be solid and bring experience and depth to the table.
2) Marcus Sales will finally pull it together: I think its a foregone conclusion that Alec Lemon will be the go-to WR, and guys like Van Chew and Aaron Weaver might not be too shabby either, but I think this will be the season where Sales goes from being the 2nd coming of Lavar Lobdell to a playmaker. It won't be right away, but he'll get there this year.
1) Doug Marrone will be named Big East Coach of the Year: 7-5 really isn't all that impressive for most teams, especially when you consider two of those would-be wins come against FCS opponents. But I don't think I need to elaborate on how immense it will be for the fans to see SU go back to a bowl game (not to mention what it would do for recruiting), but consider just how important it is for the Big East to have Syracuse good again and HCDM will be properly rewarded for doing what seemed impossible just a few seasons ago.