Anytime you do a way-too-early projection, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The premise always relies on the idea that you know what next year’s teams will look like based on this year’s teams. That logic is flawed is so many ways, but it’s hard not to look ahead anyway.
So while the 2016 Syracuse Orange football season is officially over, let’s take a moment to look ahead at 2017 and wonder what dreams may come. Or at the very least, how likely our chances are at getting to six wins and Birmingham Bowl glory next time around.
Saturday, September 2: TBA
We can assume (hope!) that this will be a FCS opponent, though there’s a chance it could be a directional school or one of the Louisianas. It’s a bit insane that Syracuse doesn’t actually know one of it’s opponents for the 2017 season at this point (I can feel John nodding somewhere). We’ll go ahead and pencil in a win here but we’d sure love to know for sure what we’re getting into.
Premature Odds of Victory: 80 percent
Saturday, September 9: Middle Tennessee State Raiders
Your instinct is to look at this game and say “sure win,” but then you remember you root for Syracuse football. Also, MTSU is no slouch. They went 8-4 this season, including a win over Missouri at Missouri. This past weekend, they put up 77 points on FAU in what would have been the highest-scoring game in FBS history if not for...you know. Honestly, in this moment, this one is a lot closer to call than you want to admit it is.
Premature Odds of Victory: 55 percent
Saturday, September 16: Central Michigan Chippewas
By all accounts, this is the game currently on the schedule that is the “sure win.” Then again, they still went 6-6 and beat Oklahoma State at Oklahoma State. Crap.
Premature Odds of Victory: 60 percent
Saturday, September 23: at LSU Tigers
Obviously, we’re not winning this game. I don’t care who the coach is. I don’t care if LSU is “down.” I don’t care if they’re “rebuilding.” We’re not winning this game. And you’ll never convince me that scheduling this series made any sense whatsoever.
Premature Odds of Victory: 0.01 percent
ACC Schedule: Clemson Tigers
Premature Odds of Victory: 1 percent
ACC Schedule: at Florida State
Premature Odds of Victory: 2 percent
ACC Schedule: at Louisville Cardinals
Probably not, no.
Premature Odds of Victory: 5 percent
ACC Schedule: at Miami Hurricanes
Oh for crying out loud.
Premature Odds of Victory: 15 percent
ACC Schedule: Boston College Eagles
Premature Odds of Victory: 65 percent
ACC Schedule: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
No hurricanes in the Dome, Deacs. Payback’s a’comin’.
Premature Odds of Victory: 65 percent
ACC Schedule: Pittsburgh
For once, the Syracuse - Pitt game seems unknowable. Will we see a repeat performance of this season’s score-fest? Or will it somehow go back to the classic 20-17 slogfests of old? There’s something exciting about the unknown.
Premature Odds of Victory: 45 percent
ACC Schedule: NC State Wolfpack
I’d feel a lot better about this one if it were in the Dome. Who the hell knows what things will look like here but, on paper, we should be able to keep pace with them if we’re healthy. Kinda hard to say we “should” win this, however.
Premature Odds of Victory: 35 percent
So going by the premature odds, we’re looking at a 5-7 record right now. Hey, who knows, that might still be good enough to get us into a bowl game. Of course, none of this factors in the potential growth of this team and the way things change so much between seasons. For all we know we’ve got a surprise 8-4 season ahead of us. A lot of folks would laugh at that notion but they probably laughed before the Orange went from four wins to eight wins in 2010 seemingly out of nowhere.
It’s possible. Maybe it doesn’t look probable. But it’s possible.