"I've gone through in my head all week what it's going to be like if we win, and I really can't put it into words." - Dan Vaughan
Is it just me or do you get the distinct feeling USC is decidedly-underwhelmed by Syracuse?
I haven't heard any trash talk. I haven't seen their fanbase or players elicit much concern over our team, offensive weapons or statistics. Even this trashtalk column feels laborious. I believe them when they say Syracuse is "from some part of New York..." because I'm not entirely sure most USC fans could actually find Syracuse on a map (due in equal parts to lack of caring and their Pac-12 educations).
Over at Conquest Chronicles, the Orange are being mentioned casually in linkposts and commenters seem more excited about bashing UCLA than previewing Cuse.
If a fanbase represents what the team is feeling, then USC is looking at us the way we looked at Rhode Island last week. And let's all pray to God that's the truth cause that means we might be able to do what the Rams almost did to us.
The first thing to remember is that Syracuse Football still lives in a Regressive Victory Bubble. What that means is, "The value of a Syracuse football victory is immediately diminished by the perceived lack of value in their opponent." Or, in layman's terms, the story won't be "Syracuse beat USC, they must be good!" The story will be, "Syracuse beat USC, USC must be terrible!"
For all our recent success, it's our recent failures that still take precedent. And will continue to do so until we rattle off a few more potential wins like this one.
And so, those of you wondering if the Orange would find themselves ranked following the victory would be wise to heed such a thing when it doesn't happen.
But forget about the national significance. What would it mean to you, the Syracuse fan, if the Orange were able to "shock the world" and win this game? What if they beat the team Doug Marrone says is "arguably, since 2003, maybe the best program in college football?"
To me? It would be an official notice. Not that "Syracuse is back" or that "Syracuse is here." Rather, it would say that "Syracuse is relevant."
A win wouldn't mean that we should expect to go undefeated and finish the season No. 3 after we get snubbed in the BCS rankings. But it would mean that all of those little victories and positives that have accumulated over the last couple seasons were not random moments. They were clear and obvious proof that something orange this way comes. If we can beat USC in the Coliseum, even if its a version that's 80% of its former self, then the stigma of Greg Robinson will be washed clean once and for all. Maybe. Hopefully.
Before 2003, Jim Boeheim's reputation was as a coach who "led his team to two Final Fours but couldn't win the big one once he got there." After 2003, Jim Boeheim's reputation was as a coach who "Won a National Title and has been to THREE Final Fours!"
I'm not comparing a regular-season football game to the 2003 basketball National Championship. I'm just illustrating how one game can change an entire perspective. I don't believe it's too crazy to think that a win over USC could have that kind of effect for Syracuse football.
Now all we gotta do is actually win the game.