Football is a fickle game. Each quarter is fickle. Each drive is fickle. Each play is fickle.
A possible scoring drive that marches 75 yards in four or five plays can all of a sudden be halted in its tracks by a penalty, turnover or a defense that all of a sudden finds its balls.
A quarterback who started the game a perfect 8-for-8 with 100-plus yards throwing and a few touchdowns can all of a sudden toss a few picks and find themselves in a second-half funk.
This roller-coaster-like feel to the game forces football fans to be the most fickle of all sports fans. That's why Syracuse's Saturday showdown against visiting No. 3-ranked Clemson will be interesting.
What are the Orange's chances against the Tigers, who visit the Carrier Dome for the first time and is looking to avenge a 41-0 loss to the then Orangemen in the 1996 Gator Bowl? According to the oddsmakers pretty slim, as Syracuse opened as 14-point underdogs AT HOME.
The scouting report doesn't favor Syracuse at all. Clemson will enter the game with a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Tajh Boyd, who is mobile -- a skill SU defenses have had a lot of issues with in the past; a dynamic wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who is going up against a struggling secondary; a solid defensive line, which is ranked second in the nation in tackles for loss; and a recent history of beating some of the best teams in the nation -- in the calendar year the Tigers have knocked off LSU and Georgia, who played an outstanding football game against each other this past Saturday.
History suggests, however, the Orange (2-2) have a shot. For some reason, Syracuse has recently found ways to play its best game at the most opportune time -- I still can't get over how this happened. Meanwhile, Clemson has a history of not showing up for games they should easily win.
Breaking down everything on paper is easy. Yet, as we discussed before football is a fickle game. There's a good chance Saturday's showdown will feature a Tigers romp, which would deflate an already fickle Orange football fan base. There's also a good chance the Orange hard-nose their way into the game by causing a few turnovers, scoring a few points and riding a hopefully loud Carrier Dome.
Later on this week, all of us TNIAAMers will try to predict Saturday's outcome. A majority of us will more than likely pick Clemson to win convincingly. Nobody will dog these picks because that's what suppose to happen. However, we know what is suppose happen in Syracuse sports defiantly will not to happen.
It is all so freakin' fickle. By Saturday night, I am going to either love or hate this word.