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Syracuse Football: The Orange Aren't Winning a National Title, So Who Are You Rooting For?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

While hanging around on R/CFB last night, I came upon an interesting question posed to the community: "Your team can't win the national title. Who do you want to win it?"

Now, our team is the Syracuse Orange, and well... we know we can't win it this year. But surely we have a lot of different answers to this question depending on our own personal biases, other allegiances and geography. So we dive in:

Syracuse Isn't Winning the National Championship This Season, So Who Do You Want to Win Instead?

Jim Simmons

Tennessee, cause if it's not us it should at least be a team wearing another shade of orange. They had the most true freshman starting last year and this could be a breakout season for them and Butch Jones. Cam Sutton is one of the best DBs in the SEC and I'm excited to see what Josh Dobbs can put together in his first year as the undisputed QB1.

Dan Lyons

The pragmatic answer is another ACC team. Particularly the Florida States and Clemsons of the world that we aren't real recruiting rivals with on a regular basis. Obviously, Syracuse would benefit financially, but it would further help the ACC's rep as an underrated league, especially if it's not FSU again. Hey Georgia Tech, you guys wanna be this year's TCU?

Speaking of TCU, and their arch rival Baylor, one of those two winning would be pretty cool to see as a fan of a private school. We've discussed the inherent advantages those schools have being in Texas, and TCU has been a nationally relevant team for over a decade now, but they're still out there competing with schools like Texas and Oklahoma, who have limitless resources, and winning. Baylor was basically 2000s Syracuse in Waco when Art Briles started. They're a success story that Syracuse can take inspiration from, even if SU can't outright emulate it.

Kevin Wall

From the #goacc perspective, I'll take Georgia Tech. I just can't root for either FSU or Clemson, and don't want to see another team from the league take the next step forward. So let's go with a team that Syracuse rarely faces on the recruiting circuit, and also, I'm a sucker for the wishbone/flexbone triple-option attack. From the "Hope for Syracuse" perspective, I'll take Baylor for the reasons we've covered over and over on here lately.  Their success could be a template that Syracuse could look at as the Orange restore the program.

Sean Keeley

I have certain teams that I've always had an irrational desire to see succeed. I think because they've also been good-but-not-great and overshadowed by their conference counterparts. Georgia is one of them for some reason. I root for them to usurp Florida and the rest of the SEC behemoths and I wouldn't mind seeing them get their due. I also have that weird this for Michigan State in the same way. They've always been stuck in the second tier behind OSU, UM and the rest. As for the ACC, if I'm picking one team to win the national title from our lot, I'll go with Georgia Tech. We don't play them this year and they're not FSU or Clemson. The ACC needs as many elite teams as it can get in order to keep its reputation up. So let them eat cake.

Brian Tahmosh

Baylor has to be #1 on the list, primarily because they can give us some level of hope for the future. Sure, we're not going to suddenly get Texas-level recruits like them, but they are a private school who went through a horrific stretch - which was actually worse than ours - in the not too distant past. Baylor, too, knows what a 1-10 season feels like, accomplishing the feat in 1999. That season was surrounded by three 2-9 seasons, and a run of seasons that failed to reach 4 wins from 1997-2004 and failed to reach a bowl from 1995 until 2010. If they can come out of that and win a national championship, then we can at least SOMEDAY compete for an ACC title.

Ole Miss is an easy team to root for as well - if you can get past any political or confederate-flag related controversies. A once-proud program whose last national titles came 50+ years ago (sound familiar?), Ole Miss is also rebounding from some lean years and quickly back in the conversation for the title. The Rebels thought they were back in 2008 and 2009 when Houston Nutt led them to consecutive 9-win seasons, but then the wheels came off just as fast with four and two win seasons directly after. Just a few years later - 7 wins, 8 wins, 9 wins - Ole Miss is back in the conversation in a division that looked like it was going to be impossible to compete in. It helps to be a giant state school in the South, but Ole Miss was once the bottom dweller in a division and conference that looked to be on another level. Can't help but root for that.

Lastly, I'll go with Oregon. I've just always kind of liked them. They pose no threat to SU in any sport thanks to pure geography. They don't seem to be too annoying like Alabama or Notre Dame - or maybe it's just because they're so far away I don't ever interact with their fans. I even love their crazy Nike uniforms. I hate seeing Maryland, West Virginia or even Syracuse trying to emulate the unis, but for Oregon, they just work. And give me an aggressive, fast-paced offense every day of the week, and twice on Saturday. They deserve to win, just so more coaches will be creative and try to come up with new ways to win rather than just imitating the same styles over and over.

Claudia Ceva

I'm probably in the minority when I say that one of the teams that I want to see win the National Championship is Virginia Tech. I've always liked watching their games on TV, mostly because of the atmosphere. Secondly, two of my cousins went there, so it has the "family factor" for me. Lastly, I've always liked their combo of maroon, orange, and white for some reason.

The second team I would like to see win it all is Baylor. We've been talking a lot about them recently here on the blog, about how they could potentially be a model for Syracuse to follow as they were once in a very similar situation that Syracuse is in right now. Again, I'm a sucker for their green and gold uniform combo.

My final pick would have to be Wisconsin. A few of my friends went there and loved it, so it's got the "friend factor" right off the bat. The other reason is because games there just look like a whole lot of fun.I feel like because I'm a recent college grad that I'm attracted to teams with a very party-like atmosphere at games, while also being good at what they do on the field. I just like to have fun, ya know?

John Cassillo

For #gaocc purposes, "anyone but Clemson" will do just fine (so FSU, Georgia Tech are both suitable answers here). But beyond that, I'm rooting for UCLA and TCU. I've enjoyed the Horned Frogs' brand of football since the LaDainian Tomlinson days, and I still staunchly believe they were screwed with regard to the College Football Playoff last season. It would be nice for them to get another crack at it this season.

UCLA is one of the two local teams out here in L.A., and marrying into a Bruins-focused family, you definitely learn to quickly appreciate the team and its tradition (plus... THE ROSE BOWL). L.A.'s a ton of fun when UCLA and/or USC are playing well, so I'd like to see that play out live this fall.


How about you? Which College Football Playoff contenders are you rooting for to win the National Championship this season?