College football returns THIS SATURDAY. Here’s the first look at the AP Top 25:
Week 0 AP Top 25:
— CFB Hype (@CFB_Hype) August 19, 2019
As we know, preseason polls rarely withstand the test of time but do you guys see what I see? The Syracuse Orange are ranked #22, this is the first time the Orange are ranked in the preseason AP poll since 1998! That’s 21 years for those of you counting at home, especially if you consider Syracuse part of “Upstate” New York and you support this team like it’s your hometown squad. This ranking comes after their first double-digit win season since 2001, going 10-3 in 2018.
There’s a lot to look forward to for Orange Nation. Head Coach Dino Babers seemed to catch his stride his third year at the helm of the program, now he has to capitalize on this momentum and make the Orange a perennial contender. They are confident in new QB Tommy Devito who got plenty of experience filling in for Dungey last year and have play makers all over the field, offense and defense. Looking ahead at their schedule, I don’t see them slowing down in 2019.
Let’s split the season into 4 quarters of 3 games.
At quick glance, this seems like an easy 2-1 and we can be done with it. But in the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend. That road contest at Maryland is a textbook trap game. Right before the #1 ranked, defending champion Clemson Tigers come to the dome, ‘Cuse better handle business on the road. The Terps also have a brand new coaching staff giving Babers’ and his staff only one game of film to study, and I doubt Maryland will show much in week 1 against Howard. I think they get it done, but don’t be surprised if the Orange get a scare. 2-0 going into the Clemson game will be great, and they get the Tigers at home where they beat them last in 2017, but I think Syracuse will come up just short like they did last year in Death Valley.
Q1 Prediction: 2-1
vs Western Michigan
vs Holy Cross
@ NC State
Two weaker opponents at home followed by a bye after that match-up with Clemson will be much needed for ‘Cuse. Then they go down to Raleigh to face NC State. With new co-offensive coordinators, a new starting QB, and losing a 1,000 yd rusher and two 1,000 yd receivers, I don’t see the Wolfpack keeping up with the Syracuse offense.
Q2 Prediction: 3-0 (5-1)
@ Florida State
vs Boston College
Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse is always always always a hard-fought battle. Last year, ‘Cuse was coming off a heartbreaking loss to Clemson and got beat in Pittsburgh. This year should be a win. Florida State is an interesting case. They were embarrassed by ‘Cuse losing 30-7 in the Dome. FSU returns 16 starters and HC Willie Taggart should enjoy that experience. Tallahassee has never been nice to the Orange, I’ve got the ‘Noles handing us our second loss. Boston College will be tougher than they were for Syracuse to end last season, when Cuse beat the Eagles 42-21 in Boston, but I don’t see the Orange getting beat here.
Q3 Prediction: 2-1 (7-2)
vs Wake Forest
A much-needed bye will help the Orange gear up for the home stretch. Duke will be a much different team without future NFL Hall of Famer (probably, hopefully) Daniel Jones at the helm. It’s obviously pretty tough to know what these teams will look like at this juncture, I could see Syracuse coming out slow in Durham and losing to a well-coached Duke program. Louisville shouldn’t be an issue, although they return 10 defensive starters. Cuse rebounds with a W. Finish it off with senior day against Wake Forest and there’s no reason the Orange don’t complete their 2nd straight 9-win regular season.
Q4 Predicition: 2-1 (9-3)
Get excited, GO ORANGE!