1. SYRACUSE WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
Last year’s team caught a few nice breaks to get to ten wins.
Give the Orange credit for getting the job done – there’s never any complaining about a double-digit win bowl season – but Florida State wasn’t Florida State, North Carolina wasn’t North Carolina, and Louisville really wasn’t Louisville.
It also helped to have Western Michigan, Wagner, and UConn on the schedule, and it really helped that West Virginia’s Will Grier decided to sit out the bowl game.
Whatever. Any team that was good enough to almost beat Clemson and take down NC State did something right.
This year’s version might have a few concerns – the quarterback play has to be strong, the O line could use some work, and the linebacking corps might need a little tweaking – but the pieces are there to do it all again.
The pass rush will once again be among the nation’s best, the secondary is loaded with experience and upside, the receiving corps will be great, and the kicking tandem of PK Andre Szmyt and P Sterling Hofrichter might just be the strongest in college football. However …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 7
There can’t be any misses early. The Orange can and likely will lose to Clemson, but they have to take down Liberty and Maryland on the road and Western Michigan and Holy Cross at home to go into October 4-1.
The rest of the ACC slate isn’t anything to get into a twist over, and there’s no Notre Dame to deal with like there was late last season. However, going to NC State, Florida State, Duke and Louisville – the Cardinals are going to be better – is just sneaky-rough enough to come up with a misfire or two like the team did in last year’s loss to Pitt.
Here’s the deal. If FSU and Louisville really do need a lot more time and work, Syracuse will probably push for nine regular season wins again. Seven might not be what the base wants after the breakthrough 2018, but it’ll still be a strong season in a good conference.