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Why Syracuse football will finish 6-6 in 2022

What is this optimism Steve is spinning?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Boston College at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

We’ve made it. Bowl eligibility. I’m always the W/L optimist around here and there’s some paths for this one to happen. It’s not easy, it’s not even likely, but it’s really really possible and I’m here to tell you how.

Louisville Cardinals- Loss (0-1, 0-1)

The Orange have a bit of a trial by fire in their first contest. The defensive line will need to be up to the task right off the bat against Malik Cunningham and his versatility stretches the rest of the defense enough for the Cards to walk away with a close W.

at UConn Huskies- Win (1-1, 0-1)

Time to get back on track. Sean Tucker has his way with UConn and we get the lines on both sides some solid gel-time here. While Syracuse is heading to the Rent, they’re still going to walk away with an even record out of Hartford with a win in a blowout here.

Purdue Boilermakers- Win (2-1, 0-1)

B1G member comes to Dome. Neither team knows what the other is doing. Overall this is a coin flip, but I think the Orange come out opening up a little more of the new playbook after some weeks to work it in and comes away victorious.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Cavaliers- Win (3-1, 1-1)

If there’s anyone who knows what Brennan Armstrong can do, it’s probably his former offensive coordinator and his former quarterback coach. The Orange channel this energy and while Armstrong gets his, Duce Chestnut and Garrett Williams still contain the edges in solo coverage enough to have Syracuse walk away with this one, and a downright streak heading into the FCS game.

Wagner Seahawks - Win (4-1, 1-1)

Great time in the middle of the schedule to get the FCS game. This one will keep the streak alive and hope heading into the midpoint of the year on the front burner.

Bye U- Draw to U of S

NC State Wolfpack - Loss (4-2, 1-2)

State is projected to be right at the top of the conference. They show it against the Orange coming off the bye. While it’s not Syracuse’s normal post-bye week collapse, they still can’t pull it together and fall at home to the Wolfpack.

at Clemson Tigers - Loss (4-3, 1-3)

Unfortunately Syracuse heads to Death Valley later in the year, allowing their new OC and DC to become a bit more entrenched. Syracuse gets a wakeup call from the Tigers on the road, and while Sean Tucker still gets his against a great Clemson defense, they contain the rest of the threats en route to another defeat.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Loss (4-4, 1-4)

Streaks. We’re all about streaks here and this is the third loss on the trot as the Orange are in the midst of their worst stretch of the year. The Irish come into town and roll the home team as they’re still ranked in the Top 10 at this point of the year.

Holy Cross v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

at Pitt Panthers - Loss (4-5, 1-5)

Losing at the Artist formerly known as Heinz Field has become something of a trend for Syracuse in the recent past and this trip is no different. The streak continues and the Orange lose four on the trot. Pitt’s new WR corps finally clicks with USC transfer Kedon Slovis and they spike a win out of no where in a consistently ugly game.

Florida State Seminoles - Win (5-5, 2-5)

Because just when you thought things were spiraling out of control, the Orange come back and surprise the Seminoles at home. While the Seminoles have improved again this season, and the talent is always present in Tallahassee, Syracuse finds some gaps in the armor and knocks down FSU to keep the bowl hopes alive.

at Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Loss (5-6, 2-6)

Just not enough. Sam Hartman returns from his unknown timeframe injury a game or two prior and starts picking the Orange apart after they emptied the tank against FSU. With the stretch before that, Syracuse is running on fumes and gets it handed to them against Wake.

at Boston College Eagles - Win (6-6, 3-6)

It’s all on the line at this point. Bowl. Season salvaged. Northeast annexed again. Syracuse heads to Chestnut Hill to win or go home. The secondary holds Zay Flowers in check and the Orange squeak out a win to finish off a successful campaign with a bowl game for the first time in a long time.

Is it possible? Yes. Have I actually talked myself into more wins than this while typing this all out? Also probably yes. Am I also a weirdly optimistic person when it comes to wins and losses. Also yes.

But there’s hope...