When the Syracuse Orange take on the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on Friday, they’ll be aiming for their fourth consecutive season-opening win.
Dating back to 2014, SU’s beaten FCS opponents Colgate, Rhode Island and Villanova in consecutive years. The last couple games were pretty fun. That Villanova contest, however... decidedly awful.
Taking a trip in the Wayback Machine though, how does this potential streak stack up to past years? A look at the longest season-opening win streaks in Orange football history:
25 years: 1918-1942
Scheduling lesser teams to start the season is not a new concept. Syracuse was beating the snot out of Clarkson and Hobart to kick off the year WAY before it was cool to do so. They also got a couple wins against the SU alumni team in there. Would love to see some sort of rematch like that today.
6 years: 1911-1916
Same as above. Hobart and alumni team were the victims of six straight drubbings.
5 years: 1905-1909
4 years: 1958-1961
During the program’s most impressive run in its history, it’s not surprise Syracuse reeled off four straight here. SU beat Oregon State, BU, Kansas and Boston College in that stretch, which conveniently lines up with Ernie Davis’s career arc (though without him playing in ‘58 as a freshman).
And that’s it for streaks of four years or more. The most modern one in there being the program’s golden age, obviously.
There were three more three-year streaks, including 1991-93, 1987-89 and 1946-48. The most recent two really stand out given Syracuse’s scheduling practices, which even then put the team in a hole more often than not. When you see fellow fans pining for the “old days” of scheduling non-conference games against Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc., this is the time period they were talking about. When we struggled to win the opener most years, even if we finished in the top 25.
Not to get cocky, but a four-game win streak does seem pretty likely come Friday. It may not have the gravitas that the 1958-61 run did, but then again, looking at everything above that, does anything?