Syracuse Football: Why The Orange Will Finish 5-7

USA TODAY Sports

Continuing the TNIAAM feature of "Why The Orange Will Finish..." Contributor Jared Smith tackles a 5-7 record, though, he's buying a better season than that.

Ed. Note - This week, the TNIAAM writers are taking a stab at telling you why this football team will finish with a specific record. Some are out of the norm, some are right in the norm's wheelhouse. We can't truly predict what's going to happen but we can at least try to cover our bases and understand how each record will be possible.

  • Monday: 4-8 (Matt McClusky)
  • Tuesday:5-7 (Jared Smith)
  • Wednesday: 6-6 (Dan Lyons)
  • Thursday: 7-5 (John Cassillo)
  • Friday:8-4 (Sean Keeley)

For the fifth straight season, Syracuse football's brand new season could go so many different ways. There's a good chance the Orange could compile a 4-8 record -- something Matt McClusky wrote about on Monday -- and there's a good chance SU could contend for a ACC Championship. (Laugh, but I am serious about this.)

Heading into the 2013-14 season, there are too many unknowns about this Syracuse squad and somehow I am suppose to tell you why this team will finish 5-7. Well, here's my best shot:

  • Penn State -This pseudo "home game," which will feature more Penn State fans than Syracuse fans, will be an outstanding first test for head coach Scott Shafer. Honestly, I feel good about the Orange in this one, but a lot of my confidence comes from things going just right for SU. I think that's asking too much. L
    • @Northwestern - Oh man, last season's heartbreaking loss to the Wildcats still hurts. Too bad, I think Syracuse will still be trying to figure out its quarterback situation and its going to lead to another loss, this time at Northwestern. L
    • Wagner -Syracuse's "preseason" begins, as Terrel Hunt and Drew Allen continue to duke it out for the starting spot. Both perform well and the Orange give us a heart attack in a home victory. W
    • Tulane - No more messing around at the QB position. Hunt and Allen get their final shots to earn the starting job and one comes out as the clear-cut winner in a solid victory at the Dome. W
    • Clemson - I think Syracuse keeps it closer than expected in a home loss. Confidence begins to grow despite the setback. L
    • @North Carolina State - All hell breaks lose on the Syracuse message boards when the starting quarterback goes down and the backup struggles because he hasn't been getting first-team reps. L
    • @Georgia Tech - Things look a bit more promising in yet another loss, but fans are becoming frustrated as the Yellow Jackets are able to out-hard nose the Orange at home. L
    • Wake Forest - A return the Dome helps the Orange get back on the winning track. W
    • @Maryland - This is freakin Maryland. Have you see these guys play the last few seasons. Roll Orange. W
    • @Florida State - Damn you Florida State for crushing our bowl hopes. L
    • Pittsburgh - Tino Sunseri is not the Panthers quarterback anymore (or wait, is he?), which means no more easy interceptions. Pitt, sadly, ends our chances at a bowl game and they enjoy their 3-9 season. L
    • Boston College - A hard-nosed rally against the Eagles gives Syracuse fans a lot to hope for for 2014-15. W

    Honestly, I do not feel confident in Syracuse going 5-7 overall. Nope, I am buying at least a 6-6 or 7-5 campaign. But, I do what I am told and I tried to talk myself into 5-7.

    You maybe asking yourself: Why does Jared think SU is going to be better than 5-7? Well, think back to 2010-11 when the Orange's solid defense kept games close and the Orange were able to scrap by with a few extra victories. I believe that's how Syracuse is going to win this season.

    Take a look at SU's defense, sure, the defensive backs and defensive linemen are a bit young and there's not much depth, but they can play, and our linebacking corps will be one of the best in the ACC this season.

    Add to the hard-nosed defense a solid running game and a quarterback that has something to prove and SU is going to win more games in the ACC than people expect. I say, 7-5. (Yes, I feel that good about this team.)

    Anyway, that's my thoughts. What are yours?

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