Every year, the TNIAAM staff submits its W-L predictions for the Syracuse Orange football team just before the season starts. We’re typically not great at it (as SU football is a hard thing to predict most years), but last year, we were especially miserable at the exercise.
Now, these #disloyalidiots will aim for some redemption.
With the “Why Syracuse will finish X-X” series over and done with, we now give you our actual predictions.
TNIAAM’s 2019 Syracuse football season predictions
Steve Haller (8-4, 4-4) — Pinstripe Bowl
The pragmatist in me says slight regression to the mean on the coin flip games. I want to say 9-3, but there’s a few question marks to go there. There’s a sweet spot at eight or nine wins that seems realistic without reaching too much.
Brandon Ross (9-3, 5-3) — Orange Bowl
On paper, does Syracuse have the talent level typically required to win 9 or 10 games? I personally don’t think so. That being said, the Orange have a rather light schedule this year. Aside from SU being heavy ‘dogs against Clemson, any other game on the schedule is at worst a toss-up. Assuming ‘Cuse expectedly drops a game or two that it isn’t supposed to, 9-3 seems like a safe guess for this season. However, this team could honestly finish anywhere between 7-5 and 11-1 depending on things like health and Tommy DeVito’s success.
Kevin Wall (8-4, 4-4) — Music City Bowl
I am a bit concerned about the uncertainty with the offensive line heading into the season and the depth at QB behind Tommy DeVito. Last year’s Orange team survived some inconsistent play thanks to turnovers and outstanding special teams. It’s tough to expect those things to remain at such a high level for a second year in a row and the Orange will face some tougher ACC road trips this year. The season ends a trip to the Music City Bowl to face the Missouri Tigers (if they’re eligible for the postseason, that is). People might view this as a step backwards but after another bowl win Syracuse ends the season ranked and continues to build a solid foundation for the future.
Dan Lyons (9-3, 5-3) — Orange Bowl
While last year has already gone down in the annals of recent Syracuse football history, this year might wind up being most important. Another good season, and I think you can really stamp Syracuse as being “back” in terms of national relevancy. Fall back to sub-.500, and 2018 looks like a blip. Luckily, I don’t think that will be an issue.
Moving on from Eric Dungey will be a process. He was such a unique player and the Syracuse offense will likely look very different this fall. That may not be a bad thing. I imagine Tommy DeVito will have some growing pains, the extent of which may be based on offensive line play, but SU is more loaded at the skill positions than it has been since the 90s.The defense will likely still give up some points, but an elite pass rush and uber-talented, ever-improving young secondary should be extremely opportunistic and give the mostly-mediocre ACC offenses fits. Unless linebacker turns out to be a big issue, the group should take a step forward as a whole. Add in a special teams unit that we should pencil in as Top 10 again, and I like us to win another nine games, and to do so in less nail-biting manner than we did at times last year. Hopefully that means we can slip into that Orange Bowl this year (root hard against Notre Dame this year... wait, you already were? Carry on), but even if we wind up in a lesser game, Syracuse should be a program firmly on the radar for as long as Dino Babers hangs around in CNY.
Andy Pregler (8-4, 4-4) — Pinstripe Bowl
I love this Syracuse team and legitimately think that they will be “better” than last year’s teams in terms of their own performance. But last year was a very bad year in the ACC, and while this year isn’t much better, the teams the Orange play are and I just can’t see a first year starter, a rotating offensive line, and a very suspect linebacking core being able to overcome improved opposition week after week. It’s very likely the games I think they lose (Clemson, FSU, NC State, Duke) all come down to one score games, making the frustration that much higher. But this team is young, and this kind of year sets the stage for a very special 2020 and beyond. Ending the year with Dino versus the Guy We All Kinda Wanted Before Dino adds enough juice to the Orange’s return to Yankee Stadium to make the game feel special enough.
John Cassillo (9-3, 5-3) — Pinstripe Bowl
I didn’t want to seem overly optimistic here, but I do really believe in what Dino’s built and think that the offense will be more efficient with DeVito at the helm. The three losses are to Clemson, Pitt (of course) and Duke, with the former two almost entirely due to some run-stopping struggles in the early goings of the season due to the inexperience at linebacker. This winds up being a very good team on both sides of the ball, but one that ultimately gets leapt over for an Orange Bowl bid (thanks, Notre Dame). A Pinstripe Bowl vs. Nebraska’s a pretty solid consolation prize, however. Moe Neal also winds up eclipsing 1,000 yards on the ground, which will be a welcome achievement for the team after lacking a 1,000-yard rusher for the last six seasons.
What will Syracuse football’s W-L record be this year?
This poll is closed
15-0: CHAMPIONSHIP, BABY!
10-2: Yeah, we’ll take an Orange Bowl bid
8-4: Still fine
No bowl: Burn this thing (back) to the ground