The Syracuse Orange will attempt to get bowl eligible for the second time in three years when they visit the Missouri Tigers on Saturday night. It's a tall order as it's Senior Night and the Tigers also need to win one more game to qualify for a bowl game.
Do the Orange somehow have another amazing game in them or will it all come down to next week's Temple showdown? Let's ask the TNIAAM crew...
Tough set up. Environmentally it's Mizzou's last home game of the season, a senior night at that. Plus, the Tigers, much like the Orange, are fighting for their bowl-lives. The difference being, Syracuse has a winnable game at Temple the following week whereas the Tigers are on the road. It's not that Syracuse doesn't have the talent to win, or that its not playing well right now, but this is one of those games, as Orange followers, we've all seen before. A classic Murphy's Law road game - one SU loses despite the fact it could have won. (Sound familiar?)
Missouri 28 - Syracuse 21 -- The Orange wait one more week to become bowl eligible.
You ask me before the Louisville game and I would tell you the Missouri game was a toss up between two teams stuck in identity crisis limbo. After this past week, it's two hot teams that can burn the scoreboard off. I don't want to draw the ire of a linebacker who could rip my head off... but Missouri is an SEC team that beat Tennessee and looks to have finally strung together an offense. On the other side, as a closet Nebraska fan I can't live with myself picking Missouri. Defense contains a gimp James Franklin and Nassib raises his draft stock with a 45-31 win that sends us to the Pinstripe Bowl!
I was originally going to pick Syracuse to win this game. After mulling over the stats, and taking Missouri's performance against Tennessee with a grain of salt because of how very bad the Vols defense is, I felt that this team would be up to making a statement, and would find a way to steal one on the road.
Then, I did more research and reading, and learned more about a certain Missouri Tiger defensive tackle named Sheldon Richardson - a poor man's college Ndamukong Suh- type defensive tackle who was going to be the best player on the field by a large margin. The dude has 70 tackles this year playing on the interior defensive line. That is madness. Former Syracuse radio host Danny Parkins called in to Brent Axe this week to preview the Tigers, Danny currently works in Kansas City. When he remembered that Macky MacPherson was playing center, you could literally hear fear in his voice. I think Macky has done an excellent job this season, and was a pretty big defender of his last season when he was far less excellent. However, I don't even pretend that Macky would be up to shutting down this possible top-15 draft pick monster. I was going to take Missouri by a touchdown.
Then tonight I was eating dinner while trying to explain to my parents why UNC was wearing feet on their helmets, and a wonderful tweet popped up on my phone:
@ZavalaASource close to the Mizzou football team says DT Sheldon Richardson is suspended vs. Cuse for not going to class/ failing to do punishment
Also, we can't lose to this, can we?
Missouri 33, Syracuse 30
In honor of Pat Forde, Missouri grad, I present: FORDE SECONDS.
"You know the name -- PAT FORDE (40). He's made of ball sweat and is a giant human turd that hasn't written anything creative in his entire turd existence. [Picture of turd]. Random deli you'll never visit."
Missouri wins, 23-17.
Syracuse- 21, Missouri-28
You guys, I REALLY want to pick Syracuse for this game. I want to believe that they will not only put it all together for a second-straight week but do it on the road with the pressure on and everyone on the line. I want to believe that Syracuse will defy the odds and win even though so many signs point to them not doing so.
But I can't. I just can't. As much as the team instilled a lot of faith in me last week...I'm still a stubborn, curmudgeony Syracuse fan who assumes the worst. Every bone in my body tells me that next week's Temple game will be for #AllThePinstripes.
(And don't think for a second this isn't all part of some kind of Simmons-esque reverse jinx)
Missouri 28 - Syracuse 20