I'm not exactly sure where Syracuse's Beef O' Meter will be this week, but defeating USF gave the Orange their fourth win of the year, third within the Big East. Even after an impressive offensive showing, a depressing defensive showing should ensure that the Orange will be underdogs against every team and a pick' em against Temple.
Thus, a bowl game seems still a dream.
But I have had a lot of perspective this past week. My soccer club is Arsenal and to spare everyone a long explanation, they haven't won anything in seven years after being a dynasty. Their management, coach, players and fundamental approach to the game are being questioned. And then I realized: Syracuse might not be in DEFCON mode like Arsenal, but this season has found the same chords of contention.
Nothing is going to change from this year to next and we all accept that. We knew this talented team is never going to play a full 60 minutes. We know this team will have bone headed penalties and play calling each game with the extent of each varrying. This is why we are Syracuse and not Alabama.
But unlike Arsenal who lost 2 of 3 games this week, Syracuse is winning. They took care of UConn. Held on against Pitt. Came back against USF. That leaves Cincinnati, Louisville, Missouri and Temple. Win two, go bowling. Lose all, and it's really no surprise. I wouldn't put any money on Cuse this week against an immensely talented team that almost knocked off the undefeated Cardinals on the road.
But look at this sentence with a straight face and say you don't think Syracuse can pull it out of their ass somehow. I know I can't.
There's something about this team that kicks in the moment you count them out. They feel it. They get mad. You don't want to play against them when their angry. The offense line becomes a stone wall. Ryan Nassib gets veins of ice. Sales and Lemon become the best WR combo in the Nation. The defense gets hungry and destroys anything in front of them.
Which is why, thanks to my Aunt, I'm going to the game of the year this weekend. If Syracuse wins, there is no way this team should miss a bowl. They very well could because well, it's Syracuse. But honestly. This team has a switch they've managed to keep on for two weeks.
I think they keep it on for three. I think they make a bowl. But no way in hell I'm putting any money on that. That's just crazy.