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The 2015 Orange::44 Football Season Preview

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Another year, another ACC preview for the fellas here at Orange::44. Both John and I give our game by game previews of how we think the Orange will do. Also check out some other articles tomorrow to get you ready for the new season.

Brian’s Season Preview

Syracuse vs. Rhode Island: Syracuse almost lost to Villanova to start the year last year, another FCS squad. However, I don’t think Terrel Hunt will punch someone this season and get tossed. URI isn’t nearly as good an FCS squad as Villanova either. SU may get off to a slow start feeling out playing against another team for the first time, but they should pull away in the second half with little trouble.

Syracuse vs. Wake Forest: Syracuse abused Wake Forest down in North Carolina last season on the ground. I see no reasons why Syracuse won’t do the same thing in the Carrier Dome. Oh yeah, and Hunt in the mix won’t hurt either. Wake is probably the worst team in the ACC, so Syracuse should at least win this one.

Syracuse vs. Central Michigan : Last year Syracuse beat Central Michigan on my wedding day. I’ll never pick against Syracuse against Central Michigan ever. 3-0 Syracuse.

Syracuse vs. Louisiana State: Despite being a lawyer I don’t know the legal situation of the LSU players that are in trouble. But I know that LSU is beating Syracuse.

Syracuse at University of South Florida: USF is one of those teams that I remember. They beat Syracuse a good amount in the Big East days thanks to Greg Robinson.  I didn’t forget. They even won a Homecoming game or two in the Dome. Syracuse should be able to beat them in Tampa. Which is not in South Florida.

Syracuse at Virginia: Did you know Mike London used to be a cop? What the hell? Anyway, I think Syracuse could get some luck and win this one, as it’s probably the most winnable left on the schedule, but I don’t like SU on the road in this one.

Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh: Ahh Homecoming. And against an old foe in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh also isn’t that great, so Syracuse has a chance here. These games are usually close and I expect a good crowd of alumni coming back for this one. Pitt has a new head coach, but I just think they have a little more talent. Pitt wins and Syracuse loses another Homecoming.

Syracuse at Florida State: Highly doubtful.

Syracuse at Louisville: I think the worst football game I ever saw was a Syracuse/Louisville game in the mud where Krags just beat GRob. Awful football. It's better now, but Syracuse still isn't as good as Louisville. Maybe if this was in the Dome, but it isn't.

Syracuse vs. Clemson: Pfffffft. No.

Syracuse at North Carolina State: Syracuse should have had a chance in this game last year, but by then the offense was done for the year. I mean they were awful. And having the 3rd string QB on the field didn’t help. It was a bit of a surprise that Syracuse couldn’t be more in this game, despite only losing by a touchdown. Anyway, SU may have a chance in this one, catching some game momentum, but I just don’t see anything happening on the road.

Syracuse vs. Boston College: Rivalry game! Just after Thanksgiving, BC heads to the Dome in this longtime rivalry. If only Diamond Ferri was still on the roster. BC has significantly improved the last couple of seasons, and pending some critical injuries to BC during the long season, I think they will have the edge. SU should keep it close in the Dome, but this will be a bad back stretch of football for the Orange in terms of wins and losses.

So there you have it. I said 4-8 and I’m sticking with it. I’d love it if I’m wrong but I just don’t think Syracuse can get that much better in just one season. Should they be better than last year and keep more games closer? For sure. But it won’t be a great season for Syracuse in terms of wins.

John’s Season Preview

Welcome to my fourth annual game by game preview for Orange::44. Last year's picks were a bit too optimistic, so I'll be much more pessimistic this go around. This squad enters the season with a lot of unknowns: how will Terrel Hunt bounce back from the injury that sidelined him for the much of last season? Does he have proper targets and a healthy running game to help him? Express Back? We'll see the option return as well. On defense, we'll be looking at eight new starters, so will that inexperience kill any momentum the offense might build? The only way to know is to play the games and see what happens. Here's what I think:

Syracuse vs. Rhode Island: With me not really knowing what to expect out of this Syracuse team, this is the perfect game for the season opener. Obviously you can't take an FCS team for granted, and it's not a guaranteed win, but let's just face the reality that this is the most winnable game on the schedule. It'll be a learning experience, see what this team looks like against someone not wearing a Syracuse jersey, see what works and what doesn't. Lose this, and the season quickly crumbles into catastrophe. Win it, and, well, you were supposed to win it. But a win is a win, and that's what I think Syracuse gets to start the season.

Syracuse vs. Wake Forest: Another year with a random ACC game early in the season. And it's fine that it's Wake Forest. Assuming Syracuse has won against Rhode Island, and learned from any mistakes it made, then I think Wake is also a winnable game. I think maybe if this was at Wake, Syracuse loses. But it's in the Dome so Syracuse wins a close one and starts the season 2-0.

Syracuse vs. Central Michigan: Remember last year when Syracuse went to wherever in Central Michigan that Central Michigan plays its games, and won 40-3? Then you probably remember that team went 7-5 in the regular season, qualified for the Bahamas Bowl, and lost an amazing game against Western Kentucky on Christmas Eve. I don't see the Chippewas being as good as last season, but the game against Syracuse won't be a blowout, either. This will be a one score game, possibly in OT. It's the 2nd consecutive noon-thirty for the Orange, so I'm giving this one to the Chippewas.

Syracuse vs. Louisiana State: It would be great if Syracuse could enter this game with the momentum of a 3-0 team, but that's not what I'm predicting. But, even if I was, I'm not picking Syracuse to win this game. Sure, LSU isn't the team it was just a few years ago. And sure, big name programs coming into the Carrier Dome sometimes stumble. Still, barring Terrel Hunt just totally tearing apart the Tiger defense, I don't think the Orange will be able to keep up with LSU in points. Syracuse falls to a 2-2 record.

Syracuse at University of South Florida:New Talking Point: Syracuse football doesn't leave the State of New York until October 10. But it'll be nice to play our old Big East rivals. Or something. Now, here's one good thing Syracuse has going for it in this game: an extra week to prepare. Historically (at least recent history) Syracuse plays better after the bye. So in what I think will be a close one with the Bulls, Syracuse just might have the edge. You know what? Yeah. I'll give this to Syracuse. Barely.

Syracuse at Virginia: You probably know by now that the Cavaliers' student section suits up for home football games. Because it won't be warm there and they're not at all uppity. No matter, it's the players on the field that determine the outcome of the game. And that outcome is a Syracuse loss.

Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh: It was just announced that Pitt will wear its iconic script Pitt as its preferred lettering across its sports this season. Pittsburgh, of course named after Elaine's boss Mr. Pitt on Seinfeld, is probably as directionless as Syracuse this season. This is Homecoming at the Dome (not that other thing the school still keeps wanting to call it)  so there will be a few thousand fans more than usual, and some extremely elderly cheerleaders on the sidelines. Let's give that edge to Syracuse, who I think actually gets a two-score win.

Syracuse at Florida State: This is where things get ugly. Scary even, and not just because it's Halloween. Jameis Winston is gone to the NFL, but his legacy will live at FSU for a long time. Whatever that legacy is. Make plans to go to a costume party with alcohol, because Syracuse will be losing this game.

Syracuse at Louisville: I remember, probably 10ish years ago, this great game that Syracuse had at Louisville, where Andrew Robinson just had a day. According to the NCAA, that game doesn't exist anymore. So maybe we'll have to create some new memories at Papa John's Stadium. Somehow, Syracuse tends to play Louisville pretty hard. Not always, but more likely than not. It would be very huge to steal this one, but I don't see it happening. Syracuse loses.

Syracuse vs. Clemson:Clemson in the Dome, so Syracuse has a shot, right? No.

Syracuse at North Carolina State: I went down to Raleigh for this game two years ago, and Syracuse found a way to win. Based on that, I say Syracuse finds a way to win again.

Syracuse vs. Boston College: "Hello, annual rivalry game to end the regular season! How's it going? Thanks, I'm good too." That's a quote from last year's season preview. I picked Syracuse to win this game last year, and, well, we all know that didn't happen. If I get all of this season's picks right, Syracuse enters this game 5-6. Syracuse would need to win this to be bowl eligible, so I'll pick them to lose and let's see what happens.

Totally devoid of any actual football analysis, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my season preview. Here's one thing I know I'm getting right: Syracuse is wearing orange jerseys for the home game against LSU, but the fans will still not be able to buy orange jerseys this season. Take it to the bank. I'm not quite ready to predict that Jim Boeheim will be named the coach-in-waiting for when Scott Shafer is asked to step aside, though.

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