Posted: 9:00 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
By Sean Keeley
Ed. Note - This week, the TNIAAM writers are taking a stab at telling you why this football team will finish with a specific record. Some are out of the norm, some are right in the norm's wheelhouse. We can't truly predict what's going to happen but we can at least try to cover our bases and understand how each record will be possible.
Hey, remember on Monday when Matt explain to you why the Orange would finish 4-8 and you got all pissy because you thought that was the official prediction by TNIAAM? Well, your day has come, WhinyPants McGee.
Hi, I'm Sean. I'm the guy who said Syracuse would finish with nine wins last year. You laughed. Guess what...they finished with eight. Close enough.
Here's what I know. The ACC is not the SEC. 2013 Syracuse is not 2007 Syracuse. The national perception is not reality. Knowing all of those things, I can sit here with a straight face and tell you the Orange are going to win eight games during the regular season in 2013. And here's how...
The Week-by-Week Breakdown
Penn St. Nittany Lions: Do you know why Penn State is favored by eight points? Because they're Penn State. It's the perfect "on paper" game. First game of the season, storied program against not-quite-as-storied program, neutral field. It's a recipe for a Penn State romp. Oh, how we love those kinds of games. W (1-0) (0-0)
at Northwestern Wildcats: I'd love to tell you I think we're going to get vengeance for last year's screwjob. But I think Northwestern could end up being one of the two best teams on our schedule. They're going to compete for the Big Ten crown and we might put up a good fight but we're just not made to win early-season road games like this. L (1-1) (0-0)
Wagner Seahawks: For once, can we just win a game like this by 30? Just once. It's all I ask. W (2-1) (0-0)
Tulane Green Wave: Hey, that's Joe Montana's kid at quarterback! Neat! W (3-1) (0-0)
Clemson Tigers: Syracuse beats one ranked team in the Dome every season. That's become our thing. But, gosh, guys, I just can't say in good conscience that I think the Orange will pull this one off. Clemson is on another level. This ain't Missouri. Hell, this ain't Louisville. You saw what happened the last time we played a team loaded with All-Americans (USC). Let this one slide. L (3-2) (0-1)
at N.C. State Wolfpack: To echo John, NC State is in the same state we are, replacing their coach and QB. Yes, they've got talent and yes this game is on the road but this one feels a lot like the Missouri game last season. The assumed loss that really shouldn't be. Besides, we owe them for that Torry Holt game back in '98. W (4-2) (1-1)
at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: This one's a real swing-game for the Orange. We could very well have problems with the triple option. But, maybe we won't. Maybe the D-Line will gel and the Linebackers will play up to potential. If the offense is cooking by then, we might just be able to slug this one out. If we do, eyes will be opened. W (5-2) (2-1)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons: They eventually got it together but I just watched Wake struggle for a good while with Presbyterian. Nope, not buying this one. W (6-2) (3-1)
at Maryland Terrapins: The expectation might be at this point to cruise over a Maryland team that probably won't be all that great. But, I have to figure we're due for a road loss at this point. And Randy Edsall's got a thing about beating us, so, let's just swallow our pride and deal with it. L (6-3) (3-2)
at Florida St. Seminoles: I don't think this is your Daddy's FSU, but, it's still FSU. Maybe next year. L (6-4) (3-3)
Pittsburgh Panthers: Pitt's in a similar spot to us in terms of replacing a whole bunch of talent while also navigating some uncharted waters. We finally figured them out and I feel like Shafer knows how to keep doing it. W (7-4) (4-3)
Boston College Eagles: Guys, BC is going to be, like 2-9 at this point. Seriously. I don't know what anyone is talking about with this 5-6-7-win nonsense. (Says the guy writing about how SU is going to win eight games). W (8-4) (5-3)
And there you go. In its inaugural season in the ACC, the Orange shock the naysayers and just about everyone else and head off to a quality bowl game thanks to an eight-win season. Perhaps we bite off more than we can chew and get our butts handed to us in the bowl game, but, I'll take it. Anything to let ACC folks know that we're not the Syracuse you were expecting to see.
Agree, disagree, or have any other thoughts? Share'em below.