Going into the 2018 Syracuse Orange football season, we were optimistic things could go well, but had no idea to what extent — if at all. As you know, SU hadn’t made a bowl game since 2013, and had gone 4-8 for the last three years. It makes sense we’d be cautious even predicting a bowl game.
And yet... Syracuse went 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the ACC. We’re still waiting to hear where SU goes bowling, but it’s going to be somewhere good (the Camping World Bowl or Pinstripe).
So looking back at our August predictions, who got things sort of right? And who was terribly wrong? Diving into the staff picks...
Steve Haller (6-6, 3-5) - Military Bowl
Steve picked things pretty well in terms of the road there, including the road loss to Pitt and the win over BC (or ND, as he mentioned).
Adam Hillman (5-7, 2-6) - No postseason
Adam said bowling meant winning at least three of the Clemson/Pitt/BC/Wake Forest/WMU games. Well, we did win three of them. He also picked five of the wins correctly, though picked close losses to the Deacs and Pack (both of whom the Orange beat). Without picking a bowl, though, verdict is #disloyalidiot.
Brandon Ross (6-6, 3-5) - San Francisco Bowl
Brandon said we’d start 5-2 (check), and saw us needing to beat one of the last five opponents to make a bowl. We beat four of them, thankfully.
Andy Pregler (6-6, 3-5) - Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
As master of ceremonies for the Quest for Gasparilla, Andy was contractually obligated to pick that game as SU’s destination this postseason. He saw Dungey being healthy, the O-line being better and the run game being improved (checks all around). He also saw turnovers as a key factor in Syracuse’s wins. Didn’t come close to the win total, but nice work by Andy getting those details correct.
Kevin Wall (6-6, 3-5) - Quick Lane Bowl
Kevin picked an upset over Notre Dame (sigh), and thought we’d face Purdue in Detroit. We’re probably not facing Purdue — though could in the Pinstripe. He also saw fans getting excited about the Orange’s young defenders, which was true... though players like Andre Cisco and Trill Williams ended up making big impacts on the game right away, rather than late in the year.
John Cassillo (6-6, 3-5) - Quick Lane Bowl
Got a healthy Eric Dungey correct, and the win over Louisville too (though far from an “upset”). I also said the offense made more strides and clicks all season, averaging over 30 points — they averaged more than 40. Mentioned the 4-2-5 switch as a positive too, and it was.
James (8-4, 6-2) - TBD postseason
No “expert” had a better read on this team than my dog, James, who picked the conference record completely right and fell on win short of the actual total. Though he incorrectly picked losses to UConn and NC State (dogs have to stick together) and wins over Notre Dame and Clemson, he still had faith when the rest of us did not.
So congrats to James for being better than the rest of us. Want to revisit your own projections? Or the comment section which had some additional, entertaining conversation (some of which proved prophetic, including Orange is the New Orange’s dead-on 9-3 pick)? Have fun below.