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Syracuse football: smart scheduling helps program build momentum

Forget your hottest fire cliches, Just Win Baby!

NCAA Football: Army at Syracuse Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange moved to 4-0 yesterday and all of us agree that there is room to grow for the 2023 squad, but that’s not the most important thing today.

What matters most is that 4-0 record. You can point out that Syracuse hasn’t beaten anyone good (true), or that the schedule gets tougher now (agree), but that’s not really important. We talked about this last year but nationally most people look at the record first and Syracuse scheduled themselves to get to this point.

I get that there will be a lot of “Well they started fast last year too” talk. Two more wins gets bowl eligibility. A win over Clemson (even a 2-2 version of Dabo’s team) and suddenly others will take notice....but you know who is noticing? Boosters and recruits.

It isn’t just momentum on the field, but the construction of new facilities at the Lally Complex is a sign that the Orange are trying to maintain a competitive program. With the renovations to the JMA Dome and the football operations upgrade, it’s clear that Syracuse is trying to do what we’ve asked them to do the last 20 or so years, invest in the football program.

“Syracuse football is an ascendant brand. A brand on the rise,” Wildhack said Friday. “And for those who may have questioned our commitment to football, let today put that narrative to rest forever.”

Ascendant might be a bit too far, but John Wildhack’s comments during Friday’s ground-breaking make it clear to fans, boosters and recruits that Syracuse wants to compete. Some fans might not be convinced to come out to the Dome to see Colgate, Western Michigan and Army and that’s fine. Playing those teams has given Syracuse a chance to get themselves in a solid position for bowl eligibility.

A team that will replace Garrett Shrader and Marlowe Wax needs the extra practices for those stepping up next year to replace them. Being in a bowl game keeps the Orange in position to find the players who want to be under the watchful eyes of NFL scouts. As Syracuse tries to rise among their ACC peers, smart scheduling is a piece of the puzzle. It’s how other programs changed the narrative (Hi BC) and now Syracuse is beating some of those schools at their own game.

Now the Orange need to try and continue building this momentum. It starts with Clemson next week.