Syracuse Football: Still so much to play for, like top bowl and 11 to 12 wins

Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Syracuse football isn’t going to have an undefeated 2022 season. We figured that probably wouldn’t transpire.

The Orange is also not likely going to make the College Football Playoff. We didn’t expect that to occur, either.

The ‘Cuse, additionally, probably won’t win the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic division and compete for the 2022 ACC championship, with the title contest set for Saturday, Dec. 3, in Charlotte, N.C. Again, our expectations were that Syracuse football likely wouldn’t suit up in this game as well.

I know this backdrop sounds pessimistic, but rather, I’m really building up to a more optimistic viewpoint. Hear me out here.

With five regular-season encounters left on the 2022 slate, the Orange is 6-1, ranked No. 16 in both major top-25 polls, and has much left to play for in the coming weeks.

Syracuse football can still have a tremendous 2022 stanza.

Sure, the ‘Cuse dropped its first game of the 2022 campaign by losing to No. 5 Clemson on the road by six points this past Saturday afternoon.

Next up for Syracuse football is a home non-conference battle this Saturday against Notre Dame, with the kick-off scheduled for noon and television coverage on ABC.

I don’t care that the Fighting Irish has its own TV deal and a huge fan base. Notre Dame, after beating UNLV last weekend, is 4-3. There is absolutely no reason why the Orange can’t conquer the Fighting Irish on the Hill.

The final four regular-season contests for the ‘Cuse, after the Notre Dame affair, are at Pittsburgh, versus Florida State, at Wake Forest and at Boston College.

The Fighting Irish doesn’t scare me. The same goes for the Panthers, the Seminoles and the Eagles. The Demon Deacons appear legit, as they’re currently rated No. 10 in the country, and playing at Wake Forest will prove a huge challenge for the Orange.

At this juncture, the combined record of these five foes for Syracuse football is 20-15. I’m not saying we should all get complacent, but the Orange can absolutely notch a few more victories in the 2022 regular term.

Even though Syracuse football has a bunch of road meetings on its schedule, I feel pretty good that the ‘Cuse could – I repeat, could – end up at 10-2 or even 11-1 overall prior to a bowl match-up.

Should a scenario like this happen, Syracuse football could be in significant contention for the No. 2 spot in the ACC’s Atlantic division and a juicy bowl game, perhaps such as the Orange Bowl.

"As ESPN’s Andrea Adelson recently noted about the ‘Cuse, “There remains plenty to play for even though the chances to play in the ACC championship game are extremely remote. A New Year’s Six game is very much still on the table should Syracuse regroup and continue winning.”"

Of course, the Orange roster and the team’s coaching staff have to put the setback to Clemson in their collective rear-view mirror and get ready for facing Notre Dame at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Syracuse football, from my perspective, beat itself in the second half of its clash versus the Tigers, and losing by six points when the Orange could have easily won certainly has to sting for the ‘Cuse.

But … but … that game is over and done with, and it’s time to move on. In a recent piece, Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports wrote in part that “the Orange wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Saturday in Death Valley.”

Respectfully, Syracuse football had Clemson on the ropes in the fourth quarter a few years back on the road, so to suggest that the ‘Cuse wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity last weekend doesn’t add up for me.

Then again, the Orange lost that 2018 thriller and the one against the Tigers this past Saturday afternoon. It stinks. It hurts. I hate it. But, to reiterate, those outcomes are in the past.

What’s important now is for Syracuse football to focus on the present. And that’s Notre Dame. Additionally, I hope Orange players keep reminding themselves of two important things.

One – the ‘Cuse, despite losing to Clemson, is still having a fabulous, historic season in 2022. And two – Syracuse football still has plenty to play for in the near future.

Next. Syracuse Football: Lack of consistency in officiating is totally inexcusable. dark