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Syracuse Football Real Talk & Bowl Projections

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Alright, alright...everyone calm down and let's discuss this like gentlemen and gentleladies.

Bad game, you guys. Bad game. The players know it. The coaches know it. You know it.

Still, that doesn't mean we're all done here. Far from it. We're 5-3, which is still a pretty good place to be (ask the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Syracuse Orange). We play football in the Big East Conference, where anyone, and I mean anyone, can beat anyone else, and I mean anyone else. Cincinnati looks all spiffy but do you honestly trust them not to lose to UConn at the end of the season with a BCS bid on the line? Of course not.

Syracuse is not the best team in the conference but then again, they don't have to be. At this point, put all those conference title and BCS dreams back in the closet and know the Orange need only win one more game to go back to the post-season. We'd rather they win all four remaining games, but, realistic expectations need to be noted.

So what is ahead? We get what might be our easiest-remaining opponent this weekend in UConn (3-5). It's a road game and we've had issues with the Huskies in recent years. Then again, Paul Pasqualoni and George DeLeone are involved and, for once, not on our side. That makes me feel good.

After that, there's South Florida, whom I predicted would win the Big East before the season started. They looked great for a while and have since fallen off a cliff, losing three-straight. I could see this one going either way.

We close the home schedule with a Dome game against Cincinnati, who not only brings a good offense but also a good defense and we just don't do well against good defenses. We're working on it.

And we end the season at Pitt, which is a complete mystery at this point. As usual, the Panthers are failing to meet their expectations (which weren't even all that great to begin with). Without Graham, they've lost whatever excitement they had to begin with. Still, they're winning football games, so that's something.

At the end of the day, the #RealTalk expectation for SU fans should be to finish the season 2-2 and get back to 7-5. Obviously we hope for better and the West Virginia win proved we're capable of going 4-0 or 3-1. However the Rutgers, Louisville and Toledo games proved we could just as easily go 1-3 or 0-4.

Even if Bad Syracuse rears its ugly head a few more times this season, I have to believe Good Syracuse shows up as well. So I feel confident in saying we're going bowling. As far as whether or not it will be Beef, Compass, Belk or something else altogether...I have no friggin' clue. And there's absolutely no way to predict it.

But that won't stop people to trying. Let's take a look at the possibilities and see where everyone thinks we're going...

BCS Bowl: Never say never in the Big East but I think it's fair to say this one is off the table.

Champ Sports Bowl: Because of the Big East's awesome deal with Notre Dame, the Irish have this spot locked up already barring an epic collapse. Which means every Big East team moves down a peg. Awesome work, guys.

Belk Bowl: Right now this one looks like West Virginia and Cincinnati's to lose. The one that wins the conference goes BCS, the loser goes here. No one is putting the Orange here right now, which is fair enough.

Pinstripe Bowl: Scout.com is sending the Orange back to the Pinstripe where they'll take on Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears. I'm kinda interested to see what will happen if Rutgers and Syracuse finish with similar records and the Pinstripe has their choice of either. If they did pick RU, Scarlet Knight fans better pack that stadium better than we did or they can throw all that TV rating evidence out the window.

BBVA Compass Bowl: Adelson is sending the Orange here right now where they'd be matched-up against the No. 9 SEC squad or a Sun Belt team. Mark Schlabach also sends the Orange here where he pits them against Ohio (a MAC school). T'were it an SEC team, it would likely be Vandy or Mississippi State.

Beef O'Brady Bowl: ESPN's Brad Edwards has orange beef on the mind as he sends SU to Tampa to take on the local UCF Golden Knights. There is something that feels predestined about this. I can't put my finger on it but I can see a 7-5 Syracuse team getting passed over and ending up here to take on the local boys with a grudge against the Big East. Keep an eye on it.

Liberty Bowl: An alternate for the Beef O'Brady Bowl, the Orange could find themselves here up against a Conference USA foe that might be a very brief Big East conference mate in the near future. Confusing, but everything about the bowl system is confusing.

Kraft Fight Hunger: Phil Steele thinks the Orange will be so far down the totem pole, they'll end up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against future conference rival N.C. State. That game's in San Francisco, making that an awful match-up for the bowl locally and for both fanbases. So...this will probably happen.