can defeat FCS team Wagner (0-3) this coming Saturday&l..."/> can defeat FCS team Wagner (0-3) this coming Saturday&l..."/> can defeat FCS team Wagner (0-3) this coming Saturday&l..."/>

Syracuse Football: Last time ‘Cuse began 5-0, it was a season for the ages

Syracuse football (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

If Syracuse football can defeat FCS team Wagner (0-3) this coming Saturday in Central New York, the Orange will begin a term at 5-0 for the first time since 1987, per SU Athletics.

No disrespect to Wagner, but I would be floored if the ‘Cuse (4-0) lost to this FCS squad on Saturday, Oct. 1, from the JMA Wireless Dome.

In any event, that nugget above from SU Athletics is interesting to me. You all remember the Syracuse football 1987 season, right?

I wasn’t quite 10 years old then, and my passion for Orange sports wouldn’t evolve until a decade or so later when I became a student at Syracuse University, but of course, 1987 was one of the finest campaigns for the ‘Cuse in program history.

Syracuse football is looking to go 5-0 for the first instance in 35 years.

In 1987, the Orange was a national championship contender. Miami would win the ultimate prize, but the ‘Cuse finished that season ranked No. 4 nationally in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.

Syracuse football would sport an impressive 11–0–1 record, and that mark included a controversial 16–16 tie with Auburn in that stanza’s Sugar Bowl.

The Orange’s 11 victories in 1987 matched the program’s number of wins during an undefeated campaign in 1959, when the ‘Cuse went 11-0, destroyed the bevy of its opponents, and captured the national championship.

Not only was the Orange’s tie against Auburn in the Sugar Bowl a tough pill to swallow, since it erased any hope of the ‘Cuse perhaps claiming a piece of the national title in that season, but many upon many Syracuse football fans believe that quarterback Don McPherson got absolutely hosed in the Heisman Trophy voting.

McPherson, who set all kinds of Orange records in 1987, was a first-team All-American, throwing for 2,341 yards and 22 touchdowns, against just 11 interceptions. He led the country in passing efficiency with a 164.3 rating.

Now, despite receiving numerous national honors in 1987, including the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, McPherson finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Notre Dame wide receiver/kick-return specialist Tim Brown.

If we fast-forward to the present, I’m not in any way, shape or form trying to compare that 1987 group to the present Syracuse football roster. Undeniably, 1987 was one of the most special seasons in not just Orange football history, but also in the entire history of Syracuse University athletics.

That being said, I think it’s pretty darn cool that the current Syracuse football team is one win away (in a game it should easily win, by the way) from beginning a stanza at 5-0 for the first time since that magical – and, simultaneously, heart-breaking – 1987 run.

Next. Syracuse Football: Giant foes coming – Sean Tucker, OL have to get going. dark