The Syracuse Orange’s loss to Miami on Saturday failed to shake the faith of college football prognosticators around the country. Despite a 4-4 record through eight games, it seems SU is now included in even MORE bowl projections.
So where are we (potentially) headed this December? A rundown of picks from around the country:
College Football News: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
ESPN (Hale): Quick Lane Bowl vs. Western Michigan Broncos
Sporting News: Camping World Bowl vs. Iowa State Cyclones
No change from CBS or SB Nation, facing two “national powerhouse” basketball programs on the football field. But the ESPN games are the most concerning matchups, for very different reasons.
Purdue, with a new coaching staff, has been feisty, improved and faster -- potentially nullifying our advantage in that department. Western Michigan has former Orange offensive coordinator Tim Lester, potentially bringing some insider knowledge of the SU roster along with him. Plus, facing WMU at the close of this season could potentially hurt Syracuse’s odds of beating them to start next season (we open at WMU).
Iowa State’s another feisty group, and the Camping World Bowl is actually one of the best slots the ACC has (Miami played in it last year). We’d gladly take the extra exposure in Florida as recruiting gets down to the wire in late December.
Nebraska would be an entertaining opponent because a) Syracuse is arguably in a better situation than the storied Huskers right now, b) We might have just topped the Nebraska win in 1984, and c) We’d be very likely to win.
Beggars can’t be choosers, obviously. And we hate to get picky when we’re still far from guaranteed a bowl spot right now. However, that Pinstripe Bowl game vs. Iowa does seem like the current best bet for fans and SU alike.