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Syracuse football 2016: Why the Orange will finish 5-7

Hey, 5-7 means Syracuse is only slightly below mediocre!

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Ed. Note - This week, TNIAAM writers are taking a stab at telling you why this football team will finish with a specific record, so don't get all huffy about this prediction. Yet.

Monday: 3-9 (Suxa)

Tuesday: 4-8 (James)

Wednesday: 5-7 (Ari)

Thursday: 6-6 (John)

Friday: 7-5 (Sean)

Almost average. Say it with me now, "Al-Most Average! *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap*  Al-Most Average! *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap*"

It kind of has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Well, it better, because that is where Syracuse football is headed. So lock in your predictions. Place your bets. And buy your "Almost Average" orange t-shirts (yes, those are a thing).

The computer projections have Syracuse hovering around a 5-7 record this season, and after taking a closer look at Syracuse's upcoming schedule, that seems to be a more than reasonable prediction.

Let's break down just how slightly below mediocre Syracuse football really is.

September 2, 2016: Colgate (Syracuse, NY) – WIN (1-0)

Pop the champagne! Syracuse's undefeated season and road to the College Football Playoffs is underway! Eric Dungey and co. flourish in the season premiere of Dino Babers' high-flying offense, dominating Colgate en route to a blowout win. The o/u on how many times Syracuse's Twitter account uses the phrase "Orange is the New Fast" during the game is at 17, and I'd recommend taking the over.

(Side Note: Come on, did you really think Syracuse would lose to a team in the FCS? Let alone a team whose mascot is a freaking toothpaste tube?)

September 9, 2016: Louisville – LOSS (1-1)

All good things must come to an end eventually. For Syracuse, their pristine undefeated record ends in Week 2 with an ugly loss to Louisville in their own building. Lamar Jackson proves he is a true dark horse Heisman candidate by gashing Syracuse's defense for 400 total yards and four touchdowns leaving Dungey and Babers' offense in the dust. #OrangeIsTheNewFastButNotFastEnough

September 17, 2016: South Florida – LOSS (1-2)

Last season Dungey totaled more than 250 yards of offense and three touchdowns...and Syracuse lost 45-24. This time around, expect another high-scoring affair, and one that will yield a similar result, as Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack lead USF over Dungery and whoever won the running back carousel this week. The hashtag #OrangeIsTheNewFastButNotFastEnough starts to gain more momentum.

September 24, 2016: Connecticut – WIN (2-2)

Syracuse gets back on track with a decisive win over UConn as Dungey carves up the Huskies' suspect defense, throwing for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns. UConn's starting quarterback, on the other hand, looks unimpressive, turning the ball over twice, and downright dumb as he continues to misspell his own last name (it's spelled Sheriffs not Shirreffs, stop trying to be cute).

October 1, 2016: Notre Dame – LOSS (2-3)

The Orange will have to have more luck than the luck of the Irish if they want to win this one. Unfortunately for Syracuse, that won't be the case as both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer see the field, and shred the Orange defense accordingly. Dungey does his best to keep the game competitive early on, but the Irish pull away in the second half. The few Syracuse fans in attendance pelt Dino Babers with stale Lucky Charms as he walks off the field.

October 8, 2016: Wake Forest – WIN (3-3)

After Babers ripped into his team for their blowout loss to Notre Dame, Syracuse comes into North Carolina all hopped up on Mountain Dew to take an early two-score lead and never look back. A re-energized Orange offense is able to once again put up points, and a mediocre Syracuse defense is able to do its job against an equally mediocre Wake Forest offense.

October 15, 2016: Virginia Tech – WIN (4-3)

Eric Dungey for Heisman? Dino Babers for Coach of the Year? Syracuse a favorite to win both the College Football Playoffs AND the Super Bowl? All these questions and more are asked by disillusioned Syracuse fans after the Orange stun Virginia Tech with a 24-20 win to creep up above .500 for the first time since opening weekend.

October 22, 2016: Boston College – WIN (5-3)

The Syracuse hype train is officially full steam ahead as the Orange are able to take advantage of poor Boston College to record their THIRD consecutive win. Dungey finishes with another three touchdown game. The Orange defense actually looks formidable. And Dino Babers is informed a statue will soon be erected in his honor. With just one more win until Syracuse is bowl eligible, and four games left on the schedule, it's basically a forgone conclusion the Orange will be going bowling...right?

November 5, 2016: Clemson – LOSS (5-4)

Syracuse may have been able to stay competitive with Clemson last year (led by folk hero Zack Mahoney), but this one gets out of hand quickly. Heisman trophy candidate Deshaun Watson carves up Syracuse's defense like a turkey on Thanksgiving and, despite Clemson losing both Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd, Dungey is beat up and harassed throughout the majority of the game. Clemson easily covers the spread, and by the time their lead stretches to more than 35 points, the few Syracuse fans in attendance cry out in horror, "STOP! STOP! THEY'RE ALREADY DEAD!"

November 12, 2016: NC State – LOSS (5-5)

A mediocre NC State without the departed Jacoby Brissett is able to stun the home Syracuse crowd behind h-back Jaylen Samuels and running back Matthew Dayes. Syracuse's inconsistent offense is slowed by the Wolfpack's experienced defense, resulting in three Syracuse turnovers – including two interceptions from former Heisman trophy favorite Dungey.

November 19, 2016: Florida State – LOSS (5-6)

Who needs a quarterback? Florida State certainly doesn't, not when the Seminoles have both their entire offensive line and receiving corps returning – oh, and some Dalvin Cook guy. Even without a solid quarterback, Florida State is able to surge past a struggling Syracuse team that has seemingly lost whatever footing it once had. With the Orange back below .500, and one game remaining, a small cult of Syracuse fans campaigning for the return of the beloved Doug Marrone being to grow.

November 26, 2016: Pittsburgh – LOSS (5-7)

Oh the horror! Syracuse's hearts, hopes and dreams all come crashing down with their fourth straight loss to close out the season. Pittsburgh is able to bully the Orange in the trenches behind the Panthers' dominating offensive line. Babers attempts to call Tyler Ennis for one last Hail Mary attempt but Ennis rejects the offer, infuriated by the fact Syracuse plays by America's inferior four-down rules rather than the glorious three-down CFL.

* * * * *

There you have it, 5-7. Almost average. While this is the most likely scenario for Syracuse this season, it isn't the only one. Tune in the next two days for a more positive outlook on the season, or if you like to be a Debby Downer, check out some of the previous predictions of doom and gloom for the Orange.