You might think all hope is lost for the 2020 Syracuse Orange football season but have you considered the possibility that the Orange still could find themselves in Charlotte playing for the ACC title?
“John, I think Kevin has completely lost it”
“This is a wonderful idea. I would like to learn more please”
Of course, we always oblige our TNIAAM readers especially when they ask so nicely. Thank you for reading and here is how it could happen.
So how does 1-win Syracuse get into the picture? First the Orange need to exit the bye week and run the table. Wins over the Louisville Cardinals, NC State Wolfpack and Notre Dame would put them at 4-6 in the league. Right now, only the top four ACC teams have more than four wins so Syracuse would also need BC and NC State to lose out.
Stay with me now, because here’s where it gets tricky. This week, you want Georgia Tech and Louisville to win and then next week you need Duke, Abilene Christian and Liberty to win over Wake, Virginia and NC State respectively.
The week after that needs to see UNC beat ND, Wake beat Miami and Florida State over Virginia. Then the next week needs Syracuse over ND, UNC to beat Miami and Louisville over Wake. Got it so far? Don’t worry we’ve got Kornacki’s calculator here to help.
Breaking: Steve Kornacki's calculator is out pic.twitter.com/kTKQZcoRGr— Vulture (@vulture) November 6, 2020
Now we’re at the final week of the season and if Western Carolina beats UNC and ND responds with a win over Wake it’s a jumbled mess. How can 4-win Syracuse make a claim to play Clemson in Charlotte? Who said Clemson was playing in Charlotte?
Due to the circumstances that no one could have seen happening in August, the Big Ten and Pac-12 fail to finish their season. So the College Football Playoff decides to take the bold stand of making the Nebraska Cornhuskers play the Ohio State Buckeyes with the winning facing the Indiana Hoosiers for one playoff spot. Clemson and Alabama are awarded two of the other spots and Notre Dame is schedule to play Florida for the fourth and final CFP berth.
As a result, Clemson and ND decline the ACCCG appearance. John Swofford tries to invite UNC but Mack Brown goes home after losing to Western Carolina and forgets to check his email. Manny Diaz doesn’t want to have a Mark Richt moment in Charlotte and he goes to work on the 2021 Turnover Chain. Bowl cancellations mean other squads have gone home for the holidays and with no Belk swag to entice them to the Queen City the ACC is left with the game that everyone wants......everyone meaning the ESPN execs and the two athletic directors who have enough healthy players to make it to Charlotte to play for the golden football.
Syracuse vs. Virginia
Sure there won’t be a CFP berth at stake but man won’t it be enjoyable for all of us to talk about Dino Babers doing something that only a handful of Orange coaches have done before- play for an ACC title.
Now close your eyes.
I want you to imagine yourself at the 2021 home opener.
The lights are dimmed.
The music is cranked and when the smoke clears Dino Babers leaves the tunnel holding an ACC Championship trophy.
Can you picture it or do you lack faith?