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Resetting expectations: Will Syracuse football make a bowl game this year?

Let’s take a look at how this year might finish now.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the season, it wasn’t hard to see how the Syracuse Orange got off to a 4-4 start. That said, we probably swapped the Middle Tennessee and Clemson games, and didn’t expect the Orange to be able to hang with Miami and LSU the way they did.

So, with four games to go and a likely need for two more in order to make a bowl, how are we resetting expectations? Are we making the postseason, or not?

As a reminder, the remaining schedule includes road games at Florida State and Louisville, and home games vs. Wake Forest and Boston College.

The TNIAAM staff revisits their preseason predictions below (where applicable), and comes to some new conclusions. Be sure to chime in with your own new projections in the poll and the comments, too.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crisan

New Prediction: 6-6

Preseason: N/A

‘Cuse finishes 2-2 rest of the season, and a .500 record is enough to push them into bowl season with the surprising Clemson win making the difference.

Kevin Wall

New Prediction: 6-6

Preseason: 5-7

I'm hopeful that Syracuse will get some help on defense before November with the return of Kendall Coleman, Josh Black and Antwan Cordy. People might assume that Wake and BC are the easiest path to those wins, and I don't disagree only because I think playing at home will make a difference this November. It wouldn't shock me if the Orange could steal a road win at FSU based upon the strength of the defense, but as hard as this team plays I'm still not convinced that they can overcome their flaws to close with a 3-1 run. A six-win season would still be a success and would hopefully convince more people that the program is on the right track.

Adam Hillman

New Prediction: 6-6

Preseason: 6-6

The win against Clemson really salvaged any opportunity at making a bowl game, but with games away at Florida State and Louisville and at home against BC and Wake Forest still remaining, the schedule is still difficult. I think they find a way to beat either Wake or Florida State and then they finish off the season with a win against BC at home.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Lehr

New Prediction: 7-5

Preseason: 6-6

As long as our quarterback is still standing up, this team is going bowling for sure. I'm in for a win against FSU. Syracuse has two weeks to prepare and have lost enough close road games to be due. They'll fly high back into the dome and beat down Wake Forest. Lamar Jackson will be the most difficult matchup SU's defense faces all season, and Louisville will take care of business at home. Syracuse comes into the BC game already bowl eligible (6-5). It's Senior Day for the biggest names on both sides of the ball Zaire Franklin, Parris Bennett, Steve Ishmael and Erv Phillips will have big games and 'Cuse finishes with seven (yes, seven) wins.

John Cassillo

New Prediction: 6-6

Preseason: 6-6

These “before and after” predictions look similar for everybody. But we all know we didn’t expect 6-6 this way. If Eric Dungey’s healthy, this defense can help make up for some offensive inefficiency. As easy as it would be to project home wins and road losses here, there’s no way the season shakes out that way. I’ll tepidly call BC a win, and then given me an upset over Florida State or Louisville. From there, we’re off to either the Quick Lane or Pinstripe Bowl. Hope for the former, since the offense looks better indoors.

Now it’s your turn...

Poll

How will Syracuse finish this season?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    8-4 with a top-three Atlantic finish
    (111 votes)
  • 40%
    7-5 and a better bowl than we’d imagined
    (430 votes)
  • 40%
    6-6, which is still pretty cool
    (427 votes)
  • 8%
    5-7: progress
    (88 votes)
  • 0%
    4-8 and some conflicted feelings
    (9 votes)
1065 votes total Vote Now