The Orange will be heading to a bowl game. They will be ranked for at least two more weeks and they play next week for the Atlantic Division lead. No one could have predicted this in the spring, summer or fall. It hasn’t been pretty but you don’t get style points in football. All that matters is that Syracuse has found a way to end each game with the most points on the scoreboard.
They’ve done it despite injuries and turnovers or both as was the case against NC State yesterday. Don’t lose sight that the Syracuse defense kept the game 17-9 in a goal-line series where Garrett Williams, Duce Chestnut, Mikel Jones and Leon Lowery were out of the game. Players stepped up and kept NC State out of the end zone. Then, the offense closed the game as they opened it- with a touchdown drive.
Empty seats which stood out during September were packed as those casual fans saw 5-0 and a top-20 ranking and wanted to be part of the fun. That’s the fear of missing out pushing them off the couches and into the JMA. We’ve shared the recipe the last few years- it took equal parts winning, promotion and atmosphere to make Saturday afternoons feel like Saturday night basketball games.
I’m sitting here writing this while enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate cake (shout-out Sweet Magnolia Bake Shop). The cake is great but the espresso crumble is the bonus that kicks it into another level. That’s what the rest of this season is for the Orange-it’s about what this team can do to make it more memorable.
Can they win at Clemson next week? Could they actually make the ACC Championship game? What about the CFP? Dream big Orange fans and let your mind take in all the long-shot possibilities. Just promise yourself that you won’t let the next six games ruin this moment.
The Orange might have had bigger team goals, but the reality is that a bowl game was going to make this 2022 season a success. They’ve finished that cake and we can all enjoy it....and if they make something with a little extra along the way, we can enjoy that cake too. Just remember football wins don’t have calories, but all that cake can add up.