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TNIAAM Reacts: Feeling good about Syracuse football

Orange you glad the season is next week?

Florida State v Syracuse Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

It’s the last weekend without Syracuse Orange football for a while. We asked you to let us know how you were feeling about some preseason expectations for DIno Babers’ squad. Here’s what you told us:

Over 80% of you believe the Orange can match their seven-win benchmark from the 2022 season and hit that win total in 2023. The road map for Syracuse to end up at 7-5 this coming season was recently all discussed on Thursday, and the biggest question mark for the Orange will be identifying where the program’s record sits at following the brutal Clemson/North Carolina/Florida State stretch and without a (most-likely) improbably repeat of a 6-0 start.

Syracuse reaching at least seven wins is still a victory in its own right. Syracuse has yet to finish with back-to-back seasons above-.500 after seven years of the Dino Babers era. Babers will look to buck the trend of inconsistency from one year to the next, and hope to finish better than .500 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2012 and 2013.

Almost all of you agree Syracuse will be entering that aforementioned stretch versus the three-best ACC teams this season at 4-0 or 3-1. The question is: which will it be?

Starting 4-0 isn’t unrealistic considering Purdue’s roster turnover this year and the Orange’s success versus the Boilermakers at home in 2022. The primetime matchup versus Purdue on NBC will easily be one of the critical “make it or break it” games of this season.

The road map following a 3-1 start, however, is definitely interesting to say the least. Assuming Syracuse loses to each of the Clemson/UNC/FSU trio (easily the most likely, realistic scenario), that leaves the Orange with three tries in five games to land a bowl game: on the road versus Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, at home versus Boston College and Wake Forest and “at home” versus Pittsburgh (in Yankee Stadium).

Unlike in 2022, where the Orange’s 6-0 start guaranteed them an eventual Pinstripe Bowl appearance, there will absolutely be more to play for at the end of the 2023 season given the layout of this year’s schedule. That will have significant implications for the state of the program moving forward, what happens next with a possible contract extension for Babers and the outlook for Syracuse beyond this year.

Nearly 90% of you think Syracuse will finish better than 10th in the ACC this year, which is the program’s projected final standing in the conference according to the ACC’s preseason poll. For context, Syracuse finished tied for the sixth-best conference record and ended up with the ninth-best record in the ACC in 2022, despite entering that season dead last in the rankings for the 2022 ACC preseason poll.

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