Sept. 1st vs. Northwestern – W
This game is virtually a must-win if Syracuse hopes to return to postseason play. They need to get the season off to a fast start in front of a rowdy home crowd at the Carrier Dome and I think they are capable of taking down the Wildcats, just like they did the last time these two teams met back in 2009.
Sept. 8th vs. USC (@ Metlife Stadium) – L
It is looking very likely that USC will enter this game in the Meadowlands as the number one team in the country. Syracuse will have trouble just keeping up with the high-powered Trojan offense, led by Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley, therefore a close game would be considered a victory of sorts.
Sept 15th vs. Stony Brook – W
Let’s hope that the football team does not find some of the magic that was on display by the Stony Brook baseball team in this year’s College World Series.
Sept. 22nd @ Minnesota – W
Doug Marrone is looking to avenge an overtime loss to the Gophers in his Syracuse coaching debut in 2009 and Minnesota has been pretty dreadful over the past few years so I think the Orange will be able to return home with a win but it will be another close game between the teams.
Oct. 5th vs. Pittsburgh – W
The last time the Orange beat Pittsburgh was all the way back in 2004, so I think a victory over the Panthers is long overdue before they both make the move to the ACC next season. This is another crucial home game for Syracuse if they hope to reach six wins and become bowl eligible.
Oct. 13th @ Rutgers – L
I’m sure that disastrous double overtime loss last year will be added motivation for the Syracuse players and coaches but I don’t see the Orange taking down the Scarlet Knights on the road in this matchup.
Oct. 19th vs. Connecticut – W
This Friday night game is set up to become one of the premier games at the Carrier Dome this season, with former head coach Paul Pasqualoni making his return to Central New York. The electric home crowd will propel Cuse to a win in this one over UConn.
Oct. 27th @ South Florida – W
There is a lot of hype surrounding South Florida and quarterback B.J. Daniels (who it seems has been their starting quarterback for the last decade) but I’m not buying it. The only reason Skip Holtz still has this job is because of his last name and this win for Syracuse should be the perfect start to the traditional late season collapse for the Bulls.
Nov. 3rd @ Cincinnati – L
Cincinnati always seems to be the team in the Big East who no one is talking about that emerges as a serious threat to grab the league’s BCS Bowl spot and it will be no different this year. Syracuse will give the Bearcats a tough challenge but this one will go to the home team in the end.
Nov. 11th vs. Louisville – L
The Cardinals and sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater are among the favorites to win the Big East this season and I think that Cuse will not be able to slow down the explosive playmakers for Louisville.
Nov. 17th @ Missouri – L
Anytime you travel to face a SEC team on their home turf it’s going to be a tough battle. Syracuse will struggle to keep this game close but hopefully this is a positive experience for the team and further prepares them to face top competition in the country.
Nov. 23rd @ Temple – W
Just as Temple is making its return to the Big East, Syracuse is on its way out. The Orange will smack the Owls in their final Big East football game ever, showing everyone why one team is heading for greener pastures while the other is stuck in an unstable conference with an unknown future.
Bowl Game – Pinstripe Bowl vs. TCU (@ Yankee Stadium) – L
I’m feeling another postseason trip to the Bronx for the Orange and Coach Marrone and it would be interesting to see them battle TCU, a team that they were supposed to face in conference play this season before their change of heart and a move to the Big 12. However I don’t think Syracuse is capable of taking down such a talented team with experience in big-time bowl games but a postseason berth would either way be a nice end to the season for this Syracuse team.
Record – 7-6 (4-3 in Big East play)