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Syracuse Football: How Bout We Focus On Beating Maryland First, Cool?

Orange Nation seems to be looking ahead at the potential that could come with the next two weeks. How about we worry about taking a step before we start leaping?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know if Syracuse Orange fans are insufferable but I think we sure do have a lot of hopes and dreams for our football program.

That's fair. We certainly don't see ourselves as the program that could only win four games in a season during the GERG years. And we don't even really see ourselves as the 6/7-win program we've become in recent years. We remember the 1990's and think there's no reason we can get back to that kind of standard.

So when a crack forms in the wall separating us between then and now, we have a tendency to start hammering away before we've even checked to make sure that wall's not load-bearing.

Right now, as of this very moment, Syracuse is 2-0. We expected to be 2-0, so, in theory, we shouldn't be too excited. But preseason expectations die the moment the season begins and they're replaced by new ones. The Maryland Terrapins (2-1) visit the Dome tomorrow and it's not hard to convince yourself that Syracuse can win the game. Do that and we're 3-0 headed into a showdown with equally-undefeated Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium during primetime on ABC. There's even talk of ESPN's GameDay crew hunkering down in Times Square (which may or may not be part of SU's quad) and broadcasting with a sea of orange shirts behind them.

The fever pitch is so strong that DOCTOR Daryl Gross is even openly discussing WHAT IT ALL MEANS if Syracuse can win both games and get to 4-0.

"This is our opportunity, it's right in front of us, to become relevant over the next two weeks from a national perspective," Gross said.

"It's not just a nationally televised game, it's an event," Gross said. "It's an incredible event. It's like a mini bowl game in the middle of the season. So to say that it's significant is an understatement."

Surely we'll be ranked at that point. More of our games will be moved to TV (Go F yourself, ESPN3...). Maybe we don't win the ACC Atlantic but our momentum carries us into third place and a next-level bowl game (Go F yourself, Military Bowl...). Scott Shafer, you get an extension! DOC Gross, you get an extension! Syracuse Players, you get...uh...a nicer weight room! Keep this up and we'll be ACC Champions by 2015 and National Champs by 2016!!!!!!!!!

Or we could lose this weekend to Maryland. Next week's MetLife match-up just isn't sexy enough to warrant a GameDay crew. SU loses that one as well. All of a sudden we're 2-2 and DOC Gross is deflecting rumblings about Shafer's job status if he can't turn things around.

Maybe that's a little "sky is falling" for you, but, you and I both know how quickly things change in the world of college athletics. The difference week-to-week is jarring, let along the difference month-to-month or year-to-year. Looking ahead only gets you into trouble. Just ask every team that ever said "We Want [Insert November Opponent]" while in September. 90% of the time, the hype was unwarranted because something that defied expectations happened on the way there.

4-0? Let's worry about getting to 3-0. Then we can start talking about beating a top ten team on a neutral field and the opportunities that come with that. One thing at a time, everyone.