The Syracuse Orange football team has beaten the West Virginia Mountaineers two-consective times.
The Syracuse Orange have won every single Pinstripe Bowl they've ever played in since 1895.
The Syracuse Orange are currently on a three-game winning streak in which they scored no less than 31 points in each game.
Those three streaks are not what matters on Saturday and yet, they're a clear indicator of the way things are moving for Syracuse Football. By keeping them all alive, the Orange can send a great message (mostly to recruits) and it's not smoke and mirrors, we really are pretty good.
Everyone and their mother is predicting this game to be a high-scoring affair. The over/under opened at 68 and just about every prediction for the game is over that. Stewart Mandel thinks both teams might hit that number themselves. I don't know of anyone who isn't saying at lease one of these teams will score 40+.
And so, I think the final score is going to be something like 28-24.
Yes, West Virginia's secondary is horrendous and Syracuse's isn't that much better. And they're both going against two of the most prolific quarterbacks and offenses in the nation. But this is a bowl game. Neither team has played in a month. It's going to be frigid on gameday and the elements might play a factor. Weird things happen in bowl games. On paper, what should be a 48-45 game ends up being 21-20.
I can't back up my prediction with any hard facts or proof. Just a hunch. The expectations of a scoring explosion will crumble under their own weight as each offense starts rusty and each defense starts better than they should. Things will course-correct as the game goes on but it'll be too late to put up record-breaking numbers.
So am I picking Syracuse to win or what? Absolutely. West Virginia certainly can win this game. And the Syracuse fan in me wants to initially fear the worst, a blowout loss. But I just don't think that's going to happen. That was supposed to happen the last two times we played West Virginia, too. Last year they were a lot better and we were a lot worse, and we saw how that played out.
So I'm going to say Syracuse wins the Pinstripe Bowl 28-24 and takes a whole lot of momentum into the ACC with them.
How bout you?