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Why Syracuse isn't 3-0 and ranked in the top 10 right now


Full disclosure: I'm a VT Hokies fan. When the announcement was made way back when (gee, it seems like forever, doesn't it?) I was please to find out that Syracuse and Pitt would be joining the ACC. I know about your tradition of football, and I can still remember watching the Hokies lose to the Orange once or twice in the past. So, mostly out of curiosity, I watched the first two Syracuse football games this season against Northwestern and USC. This is my take...

I mostly like what I've seen from the Orange football team this year. Your QB is the real deal, IMO, and he has some good receivers to throw to. For the most part I think your defense is good enough to win at the BCS level as well. I simply think you have 2 things going against you right now - both of which are correctable.

1) Your schedule is too tough. Look, I really enjoyed watching you almost beat Northwestern and USC. However, as folks in the South are found of saying, "almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades". For everything else in life there is no partial credit.

Sports Illustrated had this observation about the Big Ten: "The Big Ten is down to just two undefeated teams with postseason eligibility: Minnesota and Northwestern." Bad timing, 'Cuse - you've somehow managed to schedule both of them!

Your Big East schedule doesn't line up all that well for you either, IMO. Most of your conference games are on the road (only 3 at home), and two of the conference home games are looking like tough outs. Pittsburgh finally decided to start playing football this weekend (against my team - how nice!), so that won't be an easy home win. We all expected Louisville to be good this season, and so far they've looked the part.

2) Mental errors. I won't even go into all the mistakes made in the NW game. Suffice it to say you had that game won 5 or 6 times and somehow managed to lose it anyways. The solution is nothing more than focus and coaching, IMO.

I'm anxious to see how the Pitt/Cuse game turns out. Either way, I'll be pulling for the winner to win the Big East (so one of you guys can bring some hardware with you when you join the ACC!)

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