There is still a lot to be said about the 2012 Syracuse football season. In the preseason, there were mixed expectations about the potential for the team. Following the first four games, expectations were incredibly low, with some fans even going as far as saying this season would be a 3 win season. Fans were losing faith in Doug Marrone in just his fourth year of employment, complaining that he can’t coach discipline to his players while holding him directly responsible for fumbles or blown assignments. Today, we sit here with the Orange at 6-5 and a favorite this Friday at Temple. The potential for an eight win season is very possible before heading in to the ACC next year. There are still two significant games left in the Syracuse season, but following the big victory against Missouri the question has to be asked:
Do you consider the 2012 Syracuse football season to be a success? My answer is a resounding yes, although it did not happen the way I thought it would. When I predicted the schedule before the season, it went like this:
Stony Brook W
South Florida L
7-5. So far, the season has gone in almost the exact opposite fashion than I expected it to. Which is why some fans may not find this season satisfying. The games that Syracuse lost are games that they are more than capable of winning, and in a few instances games that they SHOULD have won. Had the Orange limited mistakes during crucial moments in games this season, they could easily have two to three more wins. Does that make this Syracuse squad an underachieving team?
Personally, I believe that although no one could have predicted the way this schedule has played out, it is the destination that matters and not the journey. The games that Syracuse lost, even if some were against inferior teams, were still losses regardless if the team beat itself or if it were beaten by its opponents. Mistakes define a football team, whether it is forced or unforced. And this team has been prone to mistakes. As frustrating as the losses have been to teams with less talent, penalties, fumbles, and mental mistakes are a part of the game, and need to be treated as such.
But fortunately for this team, character and toughness are a part of the game as well, and these are two qualities that the Orange excel at. Whenever this team has needed a win with their season in the line, they delivered. They are peaking at the exact time you would want them to peak down the stretch, which makes 8-5 seem all the more reachable.
Which is why I believe this season has been more remarkable than we even realize. Despite the mistakes, fumbles, turnovers, and downright poor play at times this season, Syracuse is 6-5, and a GOOD 6-5. Teams don’t like to play them, and Syracuse can play with anyone in the country. Despite being 1-3 with the lone victory being against an FCS team, and a fan base with a very shaken confidence in both the head coach and the program, Syracuse never quit and without a doubt earned a right to play in a bowl game.
I think it would be a disappointment if this team dropped the game Friday against Temple, but I don’t think it is going to happen. I see Syracuse winning big Friday and finishing the regular season on a high note, winning six of their final eight games.
So I ask you: how satisfied are you with how this season has played out? Vote on the right side of the page.