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Syracuse football: the 2022 season ended better than most local experts thought

So why all the last month drama?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 Syracuse Orange football regular season has finished. After a pair of long streaks, the Orange rallied to beat Boston College and finish with a 7-5 record.

If you were on a research assignment at the South Pole until late October, you might be shocked to see that 7-5 record. Hell, if you read a lot of comments after Saturday night’s game, you might have assumed that Syracuse was the 3-win team in Chestnut Hill that lost to UConn this season.

No, the Orange did not have a pretty season. They caught some breaks against Purdue and Virginia, they committed way too many penalties, and Dino Babers had even more questionable decisions along the way.

However, a team that lost starters Chris Elmore, Stephon Thompson, Garrett Williams, Terry Lockett, and others on the two-deep for extended periods of time battled to reach 7-5, a mark that only seven of these local writers projected and one that a lot of you didn’t think possible either. (In fact after the UConn win, 7 wins is what 50% of poll responders felt would happen).

2022 Syracuse football predictions

Name Outlet Prediction Conference Bowl
Name Outlet Prediction Conference Bowl
Steve Haller NunesMagician 6-6 3-5 Fenway
Christian DeGuzman NunesMagician 4-8 2-6 None
Mike Ostrowski NunesMagician 6-6 4-4 Pinstripe
Kevin Wall NunesMagician 6-6 3-5 Military
Andy Pregler NunesMagician 5-7 3-5 None
Josh Crawford SI Syracuse 7-5 - -
Alaina Losito SI Syracuse 7-5 - -
Mike McAllister SI Syracuse 6-6 - -
Luke Schwartz SI Syracuse 7-5 - -
Neil Adler Inside the Loud House 7-5 4-4 -
Chuck Fiello Inside the Loud House 8-4 - -
Jim Stechschulte Juice Online 5-7 - -
John Eads OrangeFizz 5-7 3-5 -
Brent Axe 6-6 - -
Emily Leiker 6-6 - -
Nate Mink 7-5 - -
Alex Cirino Daily Orange 5-7 - -
Connor Smith Daily Orange 4-8 - -
Anthony Alandt daily Orange 3-9 - -
Paulie Scibilia ESPN Syracuse 7-5
Steve Infanti ESPN Syracuse 6-6

While we certainly aren’t blaming people for thinking this was going to be the final result, we do have some questions about all the hand-wringing the last month, including the “Fire Dino” speculation. If you thought this Syracuse team was headed to 6-6 and you acknowledged that once they came back from their bye, they’d be over their heads in terms of opponents, why did you get so dramatic about the 5-game losing streak?

No, the on-field product didn’t look the same after the half at Clemson. It wasn’t fun watching players get hurt every week. It certainly wasn’t fun coming to the comments here or going on social media and seeing every single person forget the last 20+ years of Syracuse Football.

Syracuse was ranked in the Top 25 for four weeks. Do you know how many seasons since 2000 that Syracuse has been ranked? Just four. Three of which have been during Dino Babers’ tenure. I’m not going to overlook his record and all the issues we have beaten to death here this fall. I’m simply pointing out the facts when people assume that a bowl game isn’t reason to be happy, or they get wistful about the Doug Marrone era.

I mean some of you were suggesting this team should decline a bowl if they finished 6-6. What kind of nonsense is that? Then after a rally which showed the players sure didn’t quit, a majority of the talk is about the unfortunate post-game incident and the penalties. What other fan base rallies for a win over a rival and spends the next 24 hours not talking about Garrett Shrader’s dime to Damien Alford or the inspired play by the defense?

No, the Orange didn’t deliver something special like 2018. It’s ok to feel some disappointment over that missed opportunity. However, you can’t act like the 7-5 record is something that people shouldn’t be happy about. If people close to the team thought that 6-6 was the ceiling (hand raised that I’m in that group), we can’t sit here today and act like this season isn’t successful for the program.

(If you’re Orange Chuck or the Nunes Pets then you’re allowed to feel that this team under-achieved your expectations).

Tomorrow we look at the national predictions and rumor has it that a special new contributor will join us to share their opinions...