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Syracuse football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter update heading into the Orange’s regular season finale

Win or go home. Literally.

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NCAA Football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl-Maryland at North Carolina State Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an interesting past few days for the Syracuse Orange and for all of us, especially after a weekend that saw now-former coach Dino Babers fired and the rumor mill churning out names of promising candidates to be his replacement. It’s an awkward spot, right?

After all, we’ve still got a regular season finale to look forward to... and somehow, the Orange can still clinch a bowl game after all the chaos that has unfolded this season. Some of us have given up, but I know something that hasn’t lost hope since the beginning: our Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter.

Even with the program eventually undergoing some significant change(s), it’s do or die time for the Orange. Syracuse will have one last chance to land that coveted bowl appearance this Saturday in the team’s final game of the year versus Wake Forest, a matchup in which Syracuse is actually favored in even with all the recent news.

Babers or not, the Bowl O’Meter will still live on until the very end.

Chart showing Syracuse has 5 wins and needs one more for bowl eligibility

Let’s check and see what this week’s bowl predictions show:

ESPN - Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

Playing Texas Tech will draw some eyes on TVs, but what would’ve really given the crowd an energy boost is if the “I-Bowl” was still sponsored by Poulan Weed-Eater. And yes, completely out of context, this was the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl at one point.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

Bonus points for the marketing and PR angles at play here, but why play against Texas Tech when we can go to the same bowl against... (drum roll, please).

Brett McMurphy - The Action Network

Armed Forces Bowl vs West Virginia Mountaineers

YES. In a season that’s had five downs for every one up, we’d trade all the Nunes Bucks in the inventory for this matchup. Marketing? Check. Local interest? Undoubtedly. Playing a not-very-well-liked opponent? Count us in.

And when did Syracuse last play West Virginia in football? In 2018 at the Camping Bowl during the apex of the Babers era. You can’t make this stuff up.

College Football News

Birmingham Bowl vs Troy Trojans

Gone are the days where Syracuse could boast a potential matchup against the Trojans of USC. Regardless, this is still a dark-horse trap game, and not just because the team would be trapped in Birmingham of all places in December.

I know it’s mainly against the Sun Belt Conference, but Troy is 21-4 combined the past two years under Jon Sumrall. The Trojans also have a quarterback who can throw the ball past eight yards.

The Athletic

Wasabi Fenway Bowl vs Mississippi State Bulldogs

The battle between the two schools who employed Zach Arnett. The Interim HC Classic. Syracuse lost two games to the Bulldogs in the 1980s so this would be a chance to get a win over the SEC school.

CBS Sports

Gasparilla Bowl vs South Alabama Jaguars

You know the fall from grace is bad when Syracuse is playing in a bowl game which got its name from a person who may have not actually existed. On the bright side, the Orange will somehow land a 6:30 p.m. Friday slot in this scenario.

Now it’s your turn: can Syracuse finish up business and guarantee itself a bowl nod? If so, which bowl game do you plan on traveling to?