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The Quest for Gasparilla: Bowl Unlocked, Destination Still Unknown

Even at 9-3, the Syracuse bowl destination is less than certain.

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Andy Pregler

At 9-3, the No. 18 Syracuse Orange just wrapped up the program’s best regular season in some time.

Finishing second in the ACC Atlantic and possessing the second-highest College Football Playoff ranking of any ACC school (currently 20th) comes with perks. ‘Cuse is assured of at least a Tier 1 ACC Bowl, and is one of a handful schools in line for the Camping Wold Bowl — the highest bowl for a non-access bowl/conference champion school this year.

I’ve been tracking SU’s bowl chances all season and can only confidently say this: It would not surprise me (or anyone) to see the Orange in the Camping World Bowl or Pinstripe Bowl. Any other bowl would be a legitimate shock, a result of usually predictable bowl committees making odd decisions. If you pressed me to make a prediction, I’d say Syracuse beats out NC State (whom they beat on the field) for the Camping World Bowl.

Do the experts agree? Let’s find out.

Quest for Gasparilla Bowl Andy Pregler

Camping World

NBC Sports: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

CBS Sports: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

ESPN’s Mitch Sherman: vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Orlando Sentinel: vs. Iowa State Cyclones

The Mothership: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Bleacher Report: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

College Football News: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers


247 Sports: vs. Michigan State

Athlon Sports: vs. Purdue Boilermakers

The Action Network: vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Sun Bowl


Citrus Bowl

Sporting News: vs Kentucky Wildcats


As previously noted, Citrus Bowl’s not in the cards for the ACC this year (sorry, Sporting News). And the Sun Bowl wouldn’t make much sense for the Orange given the larger fan bases they could invite from the ACC and the fact that the game has equal selection status to the Pinstripe.

So we cool with the Camping World Bowl? And everyone’s on board with West Virginia, I’d assume? As a reminder, we last faced the ‘Eers in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl, a 38-14 victory for Syracuse amid snowy conditions. SU’s also won three straight in the series.