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Syracuse football: 2022 season predictions from the TNIAAM staff

Anyone up for bowling?

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ok Syracuse Orange fans. No more hypotheticals here. Today we get down to our actual predictions. Will we be #Orangeoptimists or #DisloyalIdiots? We put our reputations on the line as we tell you what we think the 2022 Syracuse football season will look like. Let’s get to it:

Steve: 6-6, 3-5 Fenway Bowl

You saw it last week that I did the 6-6 dance as I usually do in our planned exercise. This time I’m all for that outcome and think it’s reasonable. I’m high on the new staff straightening some things around with Shrader’s arm and riding the legs of the best running back we’ve seen in a long time around here. The biggest thing keeping me from higher on the team is the inexperience of the defensive line. Overall, the team has talent and I think will put in enough to get to a bowl in a baseball stadium because we seem to like those.

Christian: 4-8, 2-6, No Bowl

I swear we aren’t just copying our “Why Syracuse will finish ____ in 2022” scenarios.

This really boils down to one person for me: Garrett Shrader. He needs to show that he’s made the jump with his arm to at least be respected as an aerial threat. Otherwise, one of Carlos Del-Rio Wilson or Justin Lamson (if healthy) better be ready to step in mid-season. While he may have improved a bit, the lone improvements Syracuse fans and media members have seen have been against air or in one-on-one drills. If Shrader’s arm is better, Syracuse can get to a bowl. I just don’t think it’s happening however.

NCAA Football: Liberty at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Mike: 6-6, 4-4, Pinstripe Bowl

Maybe I just drank too much of the Orange Kool-Aid, but can you really blame me? With the great offensive mind of Dr. Bob here to fix the passing game, the Orange just need to start off hot and then scrape out wins in two of the last four. Tucker does what Tucker does best all season long and the veteran defensive leaders make up for the holes on that side. I’m with Steve in that ‘Cuse will play in a baseball Bowl - but instead of Fenway, they’ll go to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. Even better, it’ll be against Rutgers to prove last year’s home opener was a fluke and SU runs the NYC market.

Kevin: 6-6, 3-5, Military Bowl

I’ve waffled on this all summer. On one hand I worry about the time it will take for Syracuse to get into rhythm in the new offensive system, but I also know that even a slightly more efficient passing game means the Orange and will be a challenge for opposing defenses who can’t key on Tucker. Yes, the defensive line is young and unproven, but the units behind them are better than Syracuse has seen in years and their play will keep the Orange in close games. I think Syracuse starts the season 4-1 and finds enough offense to go with improved turnover luck and special teams play to grab two more wins and a trip to Annapolis in December.

Andy: 5-7, 3-5, No Bowl

I think that this team will be dramatically improved over last season, but I am genuinely concerned about the schedule. The schedule legitimately features two playoff contenders (Clemson, Notre Dame), two ACC Title Contenders (Pitt, NC State), and the traditional wins (Boston College, Wake Forest) on the road. That’s an insane schedule for a good program, let alone one like ‘Cuse who still has serious questions at wide receiver in a pass first scheme and defensive line. There is enough talent at every other position group to be competitive in most of their games this year, but I’m not sure there is enough depth at key spots or x factors at skill positions to win a game that Sean Tucker doesn’t win by himself.

Now it’s your turn. Choose wisely because we will revisit this one in late November.