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Three Years Ago, a Syracuse Football Team on the Brink Beat an Undefeated Louisville

Apropos of nothing, Syracuse has been in this situation before vs. Louisville.

On November 10, 2012 -- two years and 362 days prior to this Saturday -- a five-loss Syracuse Orange football team faced off with a well-regarded Louisville Cardinals team. Granted, THAT Louisville squad was undefeated and ranked 11th at the time. But the Orange were 4-5 and basically needed the victory over the Cardinals to remain in contention for a bowl game.

Syracuse won, going away, 45-26.

I'm not creating parallels between this Syracuse team and that one. That Orange team was a senior-laden group in its fourth year under Doug Marrone, and the only reason they were 4-5 going in was due to a brutal schedule to that point (thanks, DOC!). Led by Ryan Nassib, Alec Lemon and a host of playmakers on defense, that team ended up winning out, beating West Virginia in a bowl, AND claimed a share of the final Big East football championship (and were also a top-40 squad per advanced stats).

BUT, this Saturday's game on the road vs. a 4-4 Louisville team does present a similar opportunity to the game between these two teams back in 2012. Unfortunate, unnecessary losses had doomed the 2012 Orange through two months, and you could say the same about the 2015 Orange too. Before the win over the Cardinals, Nassib and Marrone were (to a point) seen as reminders of untapped potential? After, they were the faces of a resurgence. At least subtly, all of this should be connecting for you by this point.


This isn't a prediction that Syracuse is going to beat Louisville on Saturday. In fact, I'm probably expecting the Orange to lose a close game, just like I probably did back in 2012 (if I could find a link to that prediction post, I'm almost positive that's what mine would say). It's a reminder that sometimes Syracuse DOES deliver with its back to the wall. Scott Shafer was part of that staff that pulled it off in 2012. Maybe, just maybe, he recaptures some of that magic for an afternoon and begins the road to rebounding.

... Or maybe we just plant a cardboard cutout of Ryan Nassib Eric Dungey in the Cards' locker room and attribute a fictional quote about Syracuse never losing on Senior Day in Louisville. Yeah, if you see that come up, SU's winning by 30.