Last week, we dove into some “predictions” for the Syracuse Orange’s 2016 season. And then yesterday, my dog also got in on the act. Now, we actually tell you what we think about SU’s upcoming season and what you can expect of the Orange in Dino Babers’s first campaign.
Kevin Wall (6-6)
I think Syracuse starts off with a 3-2 record, beats Wake Forest and Boston College on the road and finds a way to win at home against NC State to earn a bowl bid. There are going to be moments when the offense clicks (NC State) and games where the team is difficult to watch (Louisville), but I think the offensive skill players are able to get the Orange to the six-win plateau.
Ari Gilberg (5-7)
Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida State are all guaranteed losses, let’s simply establish that right off the bat. Louisville and Pittsburgh are both pretty damn close as well, so Syracuse takes another two Ls there. That leaves Colgate, USF, UCONN, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College and NC State. With an improved offense but an inexperienced and lackluster defense, I think the Orange will go 5-2 against that slate and finish with a respectable 5-7 record.
Steve Haller (5-7)
I've got to rationally settle on 5-7 as my measuring stick for the year. Trying to look at this in a reasonable manner, You've got three wins in Colgate, BC and Wake. You've got two guaranteed losses in FSU and Clemson. You've got some should-be-favorable tossups in UConn and USF. You've got a less favorable in NC State and maybe Tech and then some probable losses with Pitt, ND and Louisville. I think you'll see some growing pains with the offense and the youth on the defense. We'll see if the Babers era is in full swing by week two, but the tale of the tape will be the two games after that. If they can take the two swing games against USF and UConn then who knows, there may be another surprise "W" in there, but I'm setting my bar at 5-7.
John Cassillo (5-7)
Dammit, I want to be on the 6-6 train. Really, I do. But I just think with a young team (look at this depth chart!) and a new scheme on both sides of the ball, there are going to be a few hiccups. Syracuse grabs wins against Colgate, UConn, Wake Forest, Boston College and one of USF, Virginia Tech and NC State. The Orange offense will get better as the year goes on, which should help a bit against clearly better teams like Clemson, Florida State and Pitt. But it’s also damaging in earlier contests vs. Notre Dame, Louisville and USF. SU will be fun to watch most of the time this fall, and that’s still an improvement I’m looking forward to.
Sean Keeley (5-7)
I think 5-7 is a very respectable outcome for a team coming off a 4-8 season with a new coach, new schemes, and tough schedule. It’s not 6-6 and it doesn’t get us to a bowl game but it’s also great foundation from which Dino Babers to build upon. Try your best to think big picture and if SU can get to five wins in 2016 (Colgate, Wake, UConn, BC and either USF or NC State) they can surely get to six or more in 2017. Of course, when SU starts the season 3-1, we’ll start dreaming of Belk Bowls, but try your best not to get ahead of things.
How about you? What W-L mark seems about right for the Orange this fall? Are we all (other than Kevin) #disloyalidiots? Share your thoughts below.