Ed. Note — As has become tradition, TNIAAM writers will tell you all week why and how this year’s Syracuse Orange football team will finish with certain W-L records. These projections will be more pleasing as we go along and we will all give our actual predictions for the season next week.
- Monday: 3-9 (Kevin)
- Tuesday: 4-8 (Christian)
- Wednesday: 5-7 (Mike)
- Thursday: 6-6 (Steve)
- Friday: 7-5 (Andy)
- Saturday 8-4 (Special Guest)
Time is a flat circle, which means there’s a good chance the Orange will once again finish 5-7.
OK, it’s mostly because of the extremely difficult schedule, but the point stands: history often repeats itself and SU might finish just shy of a bowl berth yet again. Here’s how that could happen:
Louisville Cardinals- Loss (0-1, 0-1)
Dr. Bob’s new offense gets off to a good start with Garrett Shrader looking like a dual-threat quarterback. Unfortunately, Malik Cunningham performs the part better, puts up a performance that triggers some repressed Lamar Jackson memories, and leads the Cardinals to victory in a nail-biter
at UConn Huskies- Win (1-1, 0-1)
Sean Tucker nabs two TDs early and the Orange quickly out the game out of reach. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and others get their first reps in the second half and help widen the gap even more.
Purdue Boilermakers- Loss (1-2, 0-1)
The Orange offense once again starts clicking early, but a decision to go for it on 4th and short in enemy territory backfires. The Boilermakers come out of halftime with momentum on their side and start to pick apart the SU front seven, who can’t apply enough pressure. The end result is a two-score loss.
Virginia Cavaliers - Win (2-2, 1-1)
With his mentors now on the Syracuse sideline, Brennan Armstrong doesn’t play his best and is picked off by both Duce Chestnut and Garrett Williams, while Tucker steamrolls the Virginia D and pleases the Friday night crowd.
Wagner Seahawks - Win (3-2, 1-1)
No surprises here. Wagner doesn’t even get points on the board until garbage time and ‘Cuse uses the opportunity to try out nearly every QB on the roster. Cautious optimism is brewing...
NC State Wolfpack - Loss (3-3, 1-2)
...and that optimism quickly fades as cheers turn to jeers while the offense comes out of a bye flat yet again. A second half rally isn’t enough, and the defense wears itself out in the process.
at Clemson Tigers - Loss (3-4, 1-3)
The Tigers will have ditched the underperforming D.J. Uiagalelei for true freshman Cade Klubnik by now, and the No. 1 rookie QB will show no mercy against the Orange. Death Valley witnesses an utter beatdown as SU starters throw in the towel to rest for the next CFP contender.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Loss (3-5, 1-3)
The Irish use the ancient technique of the pass-catching TE to completely befuddle the SU defense. (Basically what Christian said: Michael Mayer is so scary good he might as well play while wearing a Halloween mask.) The Orange out ends in disappointment as the contingent of Notre Dame fans that traveled to the Dome make themselves heard far too often.
at Pittsburgh Panthers - Loss (3-6, 1-4)
Both teams are so pissed off by their respective stadium’s corporate name change that they refuse to play inspiring football. Really though, it’s the typical dreary weather you’d expect in November that slows down both offenses. The Panthers have just a bit more life in them thanks to NOT playing Clemson and ND back-to-back and Shrader’s Hail Mary near the end falls just a yard short of the end zone.
Florida State Seminoles - Win (4-6, 2-4)
With their backs against the wall and needing something to change, the Orange opt for a QB switch and thrust Del Rio-Wilson into action. He obliges with an explosive outing, showing off an instant connection with Damien Alford to the tune of 2 TDs. Needing just one more first down to seal the win, Tucker instead breaks free for a long touchdown that sends the Dome into a frenzy.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Loss (4-7, 2-5)
Sam Hartman is back under center and leading Wake to another successful season. With him at the helm, the Deacs are simply a more talented team than the Orange, and despite several great individual performances, including Shrader and Dan Villari both having key receptions, SU’s bowl dreams end on a walk-off field goal.
Boston College Eagles - Win (5-7, 3-5)
With pride and draft stock on the line, the Orange outlast the Eagles in a snow bowl. Tucker braves the blizzard and wills his way to three rushing scores, then Mikel Jones forces a late turnover to ice it. Dino Babers and the coaching staff are all kept around - but fans are still talking about his one big mistake from all the way back in week 3.
Alternate outcomes: win vs Pitt/loss vs FSU, win vs WF/loss vs BC
So that’s how the cycle can continue. Will it? Hopefully not. There will be some more optimistic looks the next three days, so stay tuned for #BowlTalk.