I said on Monday that it felt like a lot of Orange fans were overvaluing the hell out of the Colgate win and suddenly talking about 6-6, 7-5, and even 8-4 as if they were reasonable expectations. As Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals reminded us Friday night, they were not.
Hell, if we had been paying attention to Dino Babers this offseason, it's what he always said. That this was a job that required faith in what's to come. That it was a two-year project. That this system would need time to come together.
All of that was evident Friday and no one should have been surprised (we certainly figured it was coming). But that's not to say that this is all doom and gloom. In fact, consider that if you got your hopes up after last week, that should be your lesson not to get down in the dumps and give up on SU now. Neither is good and neither makes sense. The Orange looked great against an inferior opponent and terrible against a superior one. That's the state of Syracuse Football now and you just have to buck up and accept it.
The truth is, we're looking at a 4-8/5-7 season and we always were. We didn't suddenly become a 7-5 team last week and now we're dropped down. Nothing changed but expectations. Louisville was always Louisville. FSU, Clemson, and Notre Dame are who they were. USF and Pitt, both of whom are better than last year and both of whom SU lost to last year, are exactly where we thought they'd be. If you looked at all of this and saw seven or eight wins, I honestly don't know what you were seeing.
All of that said, there is good news if you're willing to sift through the carnage. Eric Dungey garnered four touchdowns and now has six on the year. Amba Etta-Tawo, the transfer we all fell asleep on this offseason, has two 100+ yard games and three touchdowns so far. There were some nice moments by some of the young guys on both sides of the ball. Yes, they were in there. Trust me.
Sure there was some TURRRRIBLE defense. And the offense looked at times like Tim Lester had gotten his old job back. And it seemed like the Orange were just playing a different game thn the Cardinals. In the end, they'll be better for it because they'll remember getting their butts handed to them on national TV by Louisville and, next time, we'll be a better team. I'm sure of that.
It's just going to take time. SU fans don't want to hear it and I understand. I'm tired of waiting and keeping the faith as well. Judging by attendance numbers, SU fans are REALLY tired of it. But it's what we've got and you have to take it or not. If you're going to give up on Dino Babers already, you're probably never going to be pleased. If you're going to give up on this team, you must be glass mostly-empty.
Tonight, we got beat up by a Heisman-calibur talent and Top 15 football team. As we should have. Some of us just didn't know it until it was happening.