There's no more hiding or hoping it's gonna go away. The Syracuse Orange (3-6) must take on the No. 1 Clemson Tigers (9-0) today in the Carrier Dome. Try to lock the doors but it's probably not gonna work.
So, if we have to do this, let's see what everything thinks is going to happen. And while we're waiting for the 3:30 pm. kickoff on ABC/ESPN2, join your fellow Orange fans below to talk out the day in college football (here's your schedule).
Clemson 41 - Syracuse 20
Clemson is out to impress the CFP committee that it deserves to stay No. 1 so don't expect them to come out slowly on Saturday. I would look for them to try and get their 2nd string in as early as they can to avoid injury, which will allow Syracuse to make the final score look more respectable.
Clemson 55 - Syracuse 9
Clemson is ranked No. 1 right now, and it knows that racking up style points is the best way to keep itself there. There thus won't be any letdown for the Tigers this week, and they will dominate a banged up Syracuse team from start to finish, handing SU a seventh straight loss and (probably) eliminating the Orange from bowl eligibility.
Clemson 69 - Syracuse 10
Clemson is very aware of the whole "Clemsoning" narrative, and they're as confident as ever after beating Florida State. They're going to come into the Carrier Dome looking to make a big statement to the college football world, and they'll have a perfect foe in Syracuse for that. The SU defense can't stop anyone right now, and the Tigers will take advantage of that and not take their foot off the gas.
Clemson 56 - Syracuse 20
Call me #disloyal (you have), but there are few signs that point to a successful outcome for Syracuse here. The Orange are sending Zack Mahoney out there at QB, seem banged-up on the defensive end, and to boot, have struggled on both sides of the ball quite a bit in the last few games. Even if the Orange can score on one of the country's best defenses, they'll have to stop Deshaun Watson. This will get ugly, unfortunately.
Clemson 48 - Syracuse 17
So here's the biggest problem for Syracuse...because the new boss (playoff) is the same as the old boss (pollsters), Clemson absolutely has to try to impress them with their dominance from here on out. They don't have the luxury of taking the second-half easy and then cruising to a 20-point win. That's not the kind of thing that looks good next to blowouts by Ohio State, Alabama, etc. They have to make it look really good and I fear that means they're going to score as much as possible. Zack Mahoney will try as he might but I don't see how he'll be able to do much of anything against this defense. I expect most of those SU points to come long after the outcome of this game is in question.
What do you think?