The Syracuse Orange football team will play their biggest game of the season this Saturday at Noon when they line up across the Bye Week Fightin' Byes.
What they lack in victories the Byes make up for in experience playing the Orange close. Like almost everyone else SU has beaten this season, Bye Week took the Orange down to the wire in an overtime thriller.
Unlike Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Toledo and Tulane, Bye Week gets a second chance to make good on their missed opportunities. And you better believe Syracuse needs to be ready.
We haven't been paying too much attention to Bye Week since the game, mostly because we've been so wrapped up in the three-game losing streak that has stymied SU's bowl eligibility. So I've called in an expert. Byron Byerson, who runs SB Nation's Bye Week blog, One Week To Rule Them All. Below are Byron's answers to my questions.
Bye Week is in the midst of another winless season (0-10). Is this the week the Byes get their first win...ever?
Honestly, I stopped giving up hope years ago. There was this one game against Rutgers in 1997. Everything was lined up. I mean everything. The Knights were just awful. Terry Shea was prominently involved. I figured if we were ever going to win a game, this was it.
The game got rained out. Have you ever heard of such a thing? A Bye Week being called off? That's how bad Rutgers was, they didn't even want to risk it. Anyway, they went on to finish 0-11, same as us. Now Schiano is there and all that scheduling against high schools makes them too strong by the time they get to us. Shame.
If there's any one Fightin' Bye we need to be concerned with, who is it?
Certainly the game's going to come down to whether or not QB #14 can control the offense.
Well, let me take a step back. Actually, let's just hope he can take a step back. It's been a problem all season.
The game is going to come down to whether or not QB #14 can successfully take a snap from the center, hold on to the ball long enough to hand it off to HB #20 and not trip all over himself before doing so.
When we say we want to see baby steps out of him, we mean that literally. Small steps. Plant the feet before moving on. It's something our coaches preach all week. We're hoping he'll pick it up at some point.
Head coach Bobby Byeden has been a mainstay with the Byes for years. After another winless season, is he on the Hot Seat?
Bobby is an institution at Bye Week. His 0-197 lifetime record isn't indicative of what he's done on the field and, more importantly, off it.
None of his players have ever flunked out of school. None of his players have ever been arrested. None of his players have ever embarrassed the school or the team. Mostly because none of them actually exist, but that's playing Devil's Advocate if you ask me.
And let's face it. Most of the guys he's working with are, like, 56 Overalls, and have very low Stamina and Injury scores. So, we understand.
When you think of the most memorable moment in Bye Week history, what is it?
So many mediocre memories to choose from. I think I have to go with one Saturday night game in 2002. The crowd was insane. They were yelling and screaming, throwing things, punching each other indiscriminately, urinating profusely and I'm pretty sure one girl defecated on the field.
And this was all at nine in the morning. On Wednesday.
Last time we played West Virginia for a reason.
Care to make a prediction?
We'll lose, obviously. We're worse than UCLA at this point.
Rumor is the Bye Week might be interested in joining the revamped Big East. Thoughts?
No thanks. We don't want our reputation to take a hit like that.