In 2013, Syracuse defeated Wake Forest and Boston College, finishing tied for 4th in the Atlantic with BC, ahead of Wake.
In 2014, Syracuse defeated Wake Forest but lost to Boston College, finishing tied with Wake Forest for last in the Atlantic.
In 2015, Syracuse defeated Wake Forest and Boston College, finishing ahead of both in conference wins in 5th place in the Atlantic.
I say all of this because I think its become abundantly clear that Syracuse can handle it's own year in and year out against Wake Forest and certainly goes into every BC game with a chance to win. No matter what else is happening, based on all prior results, Syracuse is not the worst team of that trio.
Headed into 2016, the Orange have a lot of question marks. They went 4-8 last year. They have a new coach. They have new offensive and defensive schemes. It's unclear how everything will fit together. But the one thing SU does have is a lot of quality returning talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. It's probably going to be another four or five win season but there's no reason to assume the Orange are any worse off than Wake Forest and it's hard to believe Boston College is worlds better even if their offense improved.
But, as we have documented over and over and over when it comes to Syracuse Football, perception is reality. And the perception is that Syracuse sucks. Not only that, the perception is that we suck on a level below that of BC (whom we've beaten two of three years) and perhaps even Wake Forest (whom we've never lost to in the ACC).
That's what makes it equal parts annoying and totally expected to see three of the four ESPN ACC experts picking the Orange to finish dead last in the Atlantic Division.
We see you, Hale, though as a Syracuse alum we admit we can only give you partial credit.
Now this isn't about bashing those writers or making them pay for their transgressions. I think if I could get Dino Babers ear, I'd show him this and explain that this is what we're up against. This is what Syracuse Football is fighting. The perception that we're the worst in spite of what's actually happened.
This is what I meant last season when I said the LSU effort was wasted because we went out and lost the next week, ensuring that no one would remember and rendering it ethereal. The only thing anyone will remember is that Syracuse lost.
And every 4-8 season just adds to the pile. Every blip with a 7-6 bowl season followed by a 3-9 crash-landing that undoes any momentum is what leads us back here.
It's frustrating. It's Syracuse Football.