clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TNIAAM's 2015 Syracuse Football Season Predictions

The 2015 football season begins tomorrow. It's finally time to share our predictions, for better or worse.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we tried to give you explanations for how the 2015 Syracuse Orange football team could finish with anything from a 3-9 record to a 7-5 record. Today, however, we have to put our money where our mouth is and give you our actual predictions for the season. Then it's your turn...

John Cassillo

6-6, Birmingham Bowl

The Orange HAVE TO be better this season, just because last year could not have been much worse. But by way of an easier schedule alone (HELLO, NON-BELIEVERS), Syracuse could find themselves in contention for a bowl bid. The team should start off 3-0 and with winnable matchups vs. USF and Virginia in October, a 5-1 start is certainly within reach. What'll determine their postseason fate could once again be the final weekend vs. a regressing Boston College. Obviously all of this is predicated on the offense improving. That might seem like a stretch to some, but really, even a marginally better O could result in a jump of two or three wins. As a glutton for punishment, I have faith. I hope I'm not severely disappointed.

Dan Lyons

5-7, no bowl

Syracuse will be better this year, especially on offense, and I expect this to be a competitive group. I also think the defensive inexperience thing is being a bit overblown nationally. However, the defense will likely take a step back, and Syracuse has some ground to make up on schools like N.C. State, Pitt, and even Virginia which was better than its record last season. I have SU beating URI, Wake Forest, Central Michigan, South Florida, and Boston College to end the year after a prolonged mid-season slump. The defense will continuously improve throughout the year, and SU will have a very promising unit enter 2016, where hopefully they will be ready to jump back into the post-season, even with a new quarterback under center.

Kevin Wall

6-6, Music City Bowl

The schedule sets up for Syracuse to start 5-1, or 4-2. From there, I can see the Orange getting the wins (Hi BC) needed to hit the 6-win threshold. It's going to be a rough stretch in the middle, but I'm calling a Cam McPherson last-minute TD to reach bowl eligibility.

Claudia Ceva

6-6, Birmingham Bowl

First of all, let me say that I'm a pretty optimistic person, but I'm also reasonable. Therefore, I can definitely see the Orange starting things off with three-straight wins over the likes of URI, Wake, and CMU. Then, comes LSU. I think that game has the potential to be competitive until the middle of the third or beginning of the fourth quarter before the Orange lose big-time. After the Bye Week, I see Syracuse beating USF, and losing a close game to UVA. Pitt is up-in-the-air for me. I see FSU as a loss, BUT, I can picture the Orange beating Louisville on the road as the annual "What If?" game before losing to Clemson and NC State before rounding out the schedule with a win over BC to become bowl eligible. There are many games that could go either way, in my opinion, but this is the most feasible to me at the moment.

Michael Burke

4-8, no bowl

Maybe I'm just pessimistic because last season was my first following Syracuse football, but I just can't see SU taking a huge step forward in 2015. The schedule is at least somewhat easier, and I'll go ahead and assume that Terrel Hunt stays healthy for the whole season. Still, though, the Orange is losing a lot on defense. That's going to be difficult to overcome, and the concerns on the other side of the ball are obvious. Syracuse will beat Rhode Island and should beat Wake Forest, Central Michigan and South Florida. But I can't talk myself into any other wins, and even if SU does beat a team like Pittsburgh or Boston College, there's just as good of a chance that it slips up against a team like Wake or USF.

Brian Tahmosh

5-7, no bowl

Two years into Scott Shafer's tenure, we still can't be entirely sure if it's going to be successful. But so far there have been a few narratives: 1. They are going to beat the bottom feeders. 2. They are going to lose to the top teams. 3. They are going to be 50/50 against the middle teams. The schedule sets up with four guaranteed losses by this formula - LSU, Clemson, Florida State and Louisville. It has three guaranteed wins - Rhode Island, Wake Forest, Central Michigan. That leaves five toss up games - South Florida, Virginia, Pittsburgh, NC State and Boston College. USF is the most likely win in that scenario - and would be guaranteed if not on the road. Virginia is very talented, and on the road hurts after playing in Florida the week before. NC State is better than a lot of us think - Brisset is a good QB and won't turn the ball over, which is what the Orange need to win. And in classic Syracuse fashion, Pitt/BC will likely end up a split. I see a path to six wins, but I don't have confidence Shafer and Co. can get them there. I hope I'm wrong.

Andy Pregler

4-8, no bowl

I don't want to be the guy that continues to take a large smiling poop emoji all of the athletic department, especially football, but I feel like the 44 fiasco at the beginning of the season is a perfect summation of how this team will play out. It will start out so promising, so exciting. Even if not the flashiest thing in the entire world, wins over Rhody, Wake and CMU are good things that should lead to better pastures. Then, much like we knew SU Athletics would find a way to screw up the announcement, Syracuse football will be hit with injuries, feature questionable play-calling and all the rest of the pitfalls that have slayed promising seasons in years past. It won't be a fun second half of the season, but it'll be necessary. How a frayed Shafer and staff handle this sinking ship will be big with their status moving forward.

Jim Simmons

4-8, no bowl

Look, of course I want this team to be good, I'd actually settle for decent, but I've seen too much Syracuse football over the past decade to realistically see this team go any better than 5-7. I think they take down the first three games versus Rhode Island, Central Michigan, and Wake. After that will be a loss to LSU before beating USF. I know that Virginia is somewhat of a toss-up game, and I'd love to see a win, especially since I might make the trip to Charlottesville, but I think SU will fall to Virginia. Nevertheless, 'Cuse will definitely lose the final six games of its schedule. There will be a lot of talk about Shafer's future throughout the season.

Nick Petraccione

4-8, no bowl

The way their schedule is set up, the Orange could start the year off 4-1 with wins over Rhode Island, Wake, CMU, and USF. However, after that I see them losing out. They don't have the talent to match up with the big programs that cloud their second half schedule. Syracuse has an inexperienced defense and an offense that seems like it can never put up points when in the red zone.

Steve Haller

6-6, Quick Lane Bowl

Playing the eternal optimist, but not the overtly optimistic. I can very easily see 6-6. Hell, I can very easily see 4-8, 5-7 or 7-5 as well. Basically the schedule breaks down into three sections: Odds on Losses, Odds on Wins and Coin Flips. The Odds on Losses are FSU, Clemson, LSU and Luhvl. Pretty self explanatory, the odds on wins are Rhody, CMU, USF and Wake. Put us at a easily see-able 4-4 after those and we've got four coin flip games that decide our fate. I like BC at home as a W to finish off the year and UVA on the road as a W. I can't see us taking NC State away, they're a bit better than people are giving them credit for, and Pitt at home screams to me standard Syracuse have the potential to win, and throw it away game. I will say we could just as easy drop UVA on the road and beat Pitt to end the same result though.

Sean Farrell

5-7, no bowl

Even though I'm not a big fan of Terrel Hunt, I have to believe he'll give Syracuse better play at the quarterback position than last season. In 2014, Orange QBs combined for six TDs and 17 INTs so it's not hard to imagine that there will be improvement in that department. Combine that with a favorable non-conference schedule and you should see (at least some) improvement in 2015.

Sean Keeley

5-7, no bowl

I've stuck pretty firmly to the party line that there are four "should win" games and four "almost certainly will lose" games on the 2015 schedule. Take those games out of the mix and Syracuse's bow hopes rest on the four games left over. Those games are Virginia, Pitt, NC State and Boston College. I would love to tell you I think the Orange can split the difference and get to a bowl game (which is the only thing that matters right now) but I just can't pull the trigger on that. Virginia and NC State are both on the road and I don't care how good or bad they are, road games are road games. Pitt comes into the game with the best running back in the conference and a potential Heisman candidate who ran wild over us last season. As for Boston College, that game is always a toss up. If bowl eligibility and positioning is on the line for one or both of us, that just makes it harder to call. Does this mean Scott Shafer doesn't make it to 2016? Not necessarily. I think how we end up where we end up has a lot to do with it, not just what our record is.

Now it's your turn. Vote in the poll and leave your prediction below. And if any of our predictions upset you, just trust that we have no idea what we're talking about.