Looking at the raw numbers, there's few reasons for you to be REALLY invested in this Saturday's game between the Syracuse Orange and the Boston College Eagles. Both teams are 3-7, possess largely anemic offenses and have played a less-than-entertaining brand of football all year. Syracuse has the added specter of firing Scott Shafer as well.
With all that in mind, it's obviously "FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!"
BUT: There's still plenty on the line this weekend for both teams. Some of the storylines to keep an eye on:
Scott Shafer Going Out With a Win
Shafer's gone. We know this. But since him and his staff are indeed going to be on the sidelines for this final game against Boston College, it would be ideal to send him out with a win. Just because things haven't gone well for the past two seasons, it doesn't mean we hate the guy. And his players certainly don't either. If GERG could go out on a high note, upsetting Notre Dame in his
final second-to-last game as head coach, then why can't Shafer beat a downtrodden Eagles squad?
Syracuse Staff Auditioning
With word that the entire staff will not be retained, there's obviously some urgency for many of these coaches to leave a lasting, positive memory from their time at Syracuse as they go job hunting this offseason. We've discussed how some assistants could come back, but that number (as mentioned) is one or two at most, probably. Guys like (wide receivers coach) Bobby Acosta and (special teams quality control coach) Steve Gregory are the clubhouse favorites to stick around and the ones likely auditioning to keep their current roles. The rest could be angling to head elsewhere, which could spark more competent defense (Bullough, Lea, Daoust), a crisper offensive attack (Lester) and overall, a more disciplined approach from everyone involved.
Jockeying for Northeast Recruits
These two programs have always been pretty similar, and that means (and has meant) looking at a lot of recruit overlap. Syracuse obviously needs a new head coach to truly start selling current and future commits on playing here. But Boston College is what it is with Steve Addazio going into this offseason. A win by Syracuse could be a signal to those on the fence that SU's still the better option of the two. And from a comparative standpoint, pointing a finger at Orange victories over the Eagles is a solid sell for any future staff to Northeast-area targets.
When it's all said and done, this might be what we're playing for the most. Syracuse holds a commanding 50-6 lead on the season-long competition so far (thanks, cross country and field hockey national titles!), and with a win on Saturday, the Orange advantage grows to a nearly insurmountable 62-6. Ahem: CAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!
Hopefully the above's enough to get folks out to the game on Saturday. Or at least watching the team close out the year on an optimistic note. We know it's been a rough season, but one more game and then we head toward the next step for the program.