Ed. Note -- As has become tradition, TNIAAM writers will spend the week telling you why this year’s Syracuse football team will finish with a specific record. With that in mind, don’t get all huffy about this prediction just yet — it improves as we go.
Monday: 3-9 (John)
Tuesday: 4-8 (Kevin)
Wednesday: 5-7 (Brandon)
Thursday: 6-6 (Andy)
Friday: 7-5 (This guy Sean)
Syracuse Orange fans have had to deal with a number of worst-case scenarios in recent years. Unfortunately I might have some bad news for those of you thinking the worst is over. The 2018 Syracuse team has some strong talent but they are replacing a lot of key players with inexperienced ones. Is this group ready for the challenges of the ACC?
Perhaps they are but here’s a look at how Syracuse could end up 4-8 for the fourth straight season in 2018:
Syracuse plays some sloppy ball in the opener and is caught off-guard by one of Tim Lester’s gadget plays. A late rally falls just short and the Orange drop a 31-30 game on the road. L, (0-1) (0-0)
The Orange return home to beat up on Wagner. A crowd of around 20,000 gets their first glimpse of Tommy Devito and it’s a nice moment in the Dome when Rex Culpepper gets some paying time in the 4th quarter of an easy win. W, (1-1) (0-0)
Seminoles fans take over Armory Square as Syracuse hosts a pivotal September game. A couple of dropped passes are the difference as Florida State gets a late field goal to drop the Orange. L, (1-2) (0-1)
Syracuse tries to get some momentum going with a comfortable win over Woke Randy Edsall’s crew. September ends with the Orange struggling to convince casual fans that things are better. W, (2-2) (0-1)
Dabo’s crew avenges last season’s upset as the Tigers defensive line spend all day bringing grape sodas to Dungey behind the line of scrimmage. Orange fans spend the next few days watching Dabo doing the #InMyFeelings challenge in the post-game celebration. L, (2-3) (0-2)
The Orange are still recovering from the Clemson game when they get stuck playing in a heavy rain. The field conditions slow down the Syracuse passing game and the Panthers grind out a 20-17 win. L, (2-4) (0-3)
Larry Fedora spends the game shaking his head on the sideline as the Orange offense uses speed and finesse to move the ball up and down the field. After the game Fedora says that he’s been unable to focus on his job as his attention has shifted to saving America by saving football. W, (3-4) (1-3)
What’s that? Is it some post-season hope? We fire up the bowl predictions as the Orange take a key home game to get within two games of eligibility. W, (4-4) (2-3)
A tough road loss to Wake has some Orange fans taking to their keyboards to launch a #BringBackShafer campaign. A sleep-deprived John Cassillo launches an epic Twitter rant in response. L, (4-5) (2-4)
Injuries on the defensive front seven have finally taken their toll on Syracuse. The offense just can’t keep scoring enough points as someone other than Lamar Jackson haunts the ‘Cuse. L, (4-6) (2-5)
Despite wearing one of the ugliest college football uniforms ever, red-faced Brian Kelly’s team is able to hand the Orange their 1st loss in New Yankee Stadium. L (4-7) (2-5)
Steve Addazio decides to boost AJ Dillon’s Heisman campaign so he runs the ball on every single offensive play watching Dillon go over the 350 yard mark. The Orange offense sets a bunch of records as Tommy Devito throws 6 TD passes but an incompletion on a 2-pt conversion in the second OT sends Syracuse to another 4-8 season. L (4-8) (2-6)
Look that was even more depressing to write than last year’s 4-8 “prediction.” Let’s hope that this isn’t outcome we get in 2018 because it’s going to be hard to get people to believe in the vision that Dino Babers has for the program.