It will prove a massive challenge for Syracuse football to earn a bowl invite under the ACC’s newly proposed schedule.
Call me a pessimist, but Syracuse football isn’t going bowling under the 2020 scheduling model revealed by Atlantic Coast Conference officials on Wednesday.
ACC teams – with Notre Dame joining in the fun for football, much to the dismay of many ‘Cuse fanatics – will suit up for 10 league contests as well as one non-conference clash. The first games, according to the league’s press release, will occur the week of Sept. 7-12.
Okay, here’s what Syracuse football is up against under the tentative model. The Orange will welcome Boston College, Duke, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech to the Carrier Dome. Those are absolutely a bunch of winnable battles for the ‘Cuse.
The tricky part is the road calendar, and to say it’s daunting is the understatement of the century. Syracuse football will make trips to Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.
ACC leaders did Syracuse football absolutely no favors whatsoever in their proposed docket for the Orange.
If I’m being 110 percent honest here, I can’t foresee the Orange prevailing in more than one of those away match-ups, and that’s versus the Panthers. Clemson should claim the ACC crown and significantly contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Fighting Irish is a perennial top-10 to top-20 group. Louisville will prove one of the better teams in the ACC, and the bevy of national and regional pundits are projecting the Tar Heels to claim the Coastal division prize.
The ‘Cuse non-conference duel, by the way, has yet to get announced by the ACC.
Let’s assume that Syracuse football goes 1-4 outside of Central New York. We don’t know the non-conference foe, but the Orange would likely either need to conquer that opponent and slip up just once at home, or record a perfect 5-0 mark on the Hill to have a realistic shot at a post-season bowl bid.
The ‘Cuse enters the 2020 stanza with some exciting pieces, like a terrific secondary, but a whole lot of question marks, like at quarterback, wide receiver and on defense, where a new system is getting employed.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s far from certain that a 2020 campaign will transpire this fall. But, if it does, Syracuse football faces an uphill battle to register the required number of wins to go bowling.