The last time we checked in on our quest, the Syracuse Orange seemed resigned to take the path of least resistance to a bowl game, which is the path of Beef, aka, Gasparilla, aka just six wins baby. With the loss to Rutgers, we were not loving the chances of finishing said quest. However, with the win over Liberty, the outlook has changed.
As mentioned yesterday, SP+ has seriously upgraded Syracuse to 70th, and that bump has increased the Orange’s projected win total from 3.5 to 5.8, and not just because of Syracuse’s improvement. The rest of the ACC isn’t good, and SP+ agrees! Future opponents Wake Forest (54th), Louisville (69th) Florida State (73rd) are now sub 50 teams, and the Orange get their “toughest opponents” Pitt (21st) and Boston College (34th) at home along with a struggling Clemson.
The humans haven’t caught up to the computers, with no post week 4 bowl projection including the Orange in any projection at the moment. While this is disappointing, this is to be a bit expected. Syracuse’s only loss on the season is to their lone Power 5 opponent faced (Rutgers) and as mentioned above, the Orange’s home slate is less than ideal. For the Orange to go bowling, they will more than likely need to win at least two road ACC games. For those wondering, the Orange have only won 2 ACC road games in the entire Dino Babers era at ‘Cuse if you remove 2018’s season.
While the road is not easy, there is a clear next step: defeat a bad Florida State team this Saturday, and get humans and computers optimistic about the Orange’s postseason chances.