The Syracuse Orange football season is just days away, and the only offseason box we haven’t checked is our actual predictions.
Of course, we’ve given you something resembling predictions already, in the form of last week’s “Why the Orange will finish...” series. Plus Hoya Suxa gave you numerous win probabilities. And my dog gave you our most optimistic outlook yet.
But what do we really think?
Without further ado, TNIAAM’s 2018 Syracuse football season predictions:
Steve Haller (6-6, 3-5) - Military Bowl
I’m on the 6-6 train for this team. We’re going to go about this in what can only be described as the Syracuse way. I can see them losing on the road at Pitt, but taking care of business vs BC or ND to make it happen. It’s time to ride the train all the way to a match-up with some former conference mates in Annapolis for the Military Bowl.
Adam Hillman (5-7, 2-6) - No postseason
I really want to believe in this version of Syracuse. They have one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the country, Aaron Roberts returning from injury along with five other offensive lineman and boast NFL caliber defensive lineman. But with question marks at wide receiver and linebacker, it’s difficult to pencil them into a bowl game. As well, the schedule is once again rigorous. With away games to Clemson, Pitt, Wake Forest, Boston College, and Western Michigan, it’s difficult to imagine the Orange winning more than two or three of those games. Of course, they are expected to beat Western Michigan in their first game, but BC and Wake Forest are strong once again and Clemson on the road is almost a guaranteed loss.
If the Orange are to make a bowl, they will need to win at least three off those games. That’s why I have SU going 5-7 this year. I see wins against Western Michigan, Wagner, UCONN, UNC, and Louisville as well as close losses against Pitt, NC State, and Wake Forest. I want to believe, but I just am not confident enough that they can get the job done on the road against ACC opposition.
Brandon Ross (6-6, 3-5) - San Francisco Bowl
I’m personally convinced this team is either going 5-7 or 6-6. In my piece about why Syracuse would finish 5-7, I explained how the Orange would start 5-2 but wind up losing out to NC State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Notre Dame, and BC. This is entirely possible, but I am of the belief that Syracuse is capable of beating at least one of these teams, so hopefully SU can find itself in the San Francisco Bowl-To-Be-Named-Later come the end of the season.
Andy Pregler (6-6, 3-5) - Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Listen: I wasn’t kidding with my prediction article. I genuinely think the Orange can and will go 6-6, in the most ‘Cuse way possible. I’m even fairly confident in it!. How do they get there? In broad strokes? A healthy Dungey connects the dots with an improved offensive line opening holes for the run game and buying him time to make reads and run to move the ball, not save his skin. The nickel allows more ‘Cuse athletes on the field, and the defense makes turnovers in games they win. Any bowl game is preferable at this point, but I’d love a matchup somewhere warm where I can spend a winter weekend watching Dino and Dungey rack up 70 on some poor, unaware defense. They didn’t know.
Kevin Wall (6-6, 3-5) - Quick Lane Bowl
I think the Orange start off 3-1 and find a way to defend the Bronx and defeat Notre Dame to get to 6 wins. Some people are disappointed that it’s not a 7- or 8-win season as Syracuse comes up just short in a couple of road games, but the true #disloyalidiots are excited to trek to Detroit in December to celebrate with Sean and Coach P at the Quick Lane Bowl. After a thrilling 77-71 win over Purdue we head into the off-season excited about the young defenders who were pressed into service and the additions of Abdul Adams and Trishton Jackson to the 2019 Orange offense.
John Cassillo (6-6, 3-5) - Quick Lane Bowl
It feels like forever ago since we’ve made a bowl game, but five years is a long time in college sports. Dino gets the Orange back to the postseason with an assist from a healthy Eric Dungey and a November upset over Louisville. The offense clicks at a level it hadn’t previously, averaging over 30 points per game. On defense, the sort-of switch to the 4-2-5 seems to stop the bleeding against peer opponents (or at least enough so that we’re not giving up 40-50 to them). SU takes on Indiana in the Quick Lane Bowl and grabs a victory, extending our win streak to four straight bowls (don’t ask about the timeframe on those, though).
Now it’s your turn? Is Syracuse going bowling? Vote in the W-L poll below and give us your bowl picks (as applicable) in the comments.
What will Syracuse football’s W-L record be in 2018?
This poll is closed
15-0, NATIONAL CHAMPS BABY!!!