Syracuse football predictions: Revised look at Orange heading into 2nd half

Syracuse football predictions: Revised look at Orange heading into 2nd half

Which opponent will Syracuse Basketball face to open the 2019-20 ACC season?

Share Share Who will Syracuse Basketball face to open the 2019-20 ACC season? tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports A few years ago the ACC decided to play some conference football games during the first week of the season and now with the launch of the ACC Network (and move to 20 conference games next year) mens basketball is going to follow suit in 2019.

Sources: Several ACC programs have been informed by the conference not to schedule games on the first two days (11/5/19 and 11/6/19) of the 19-20 season because league is planning conference games to open the year.

This isnt a huge shocker because last summer David Teel reported that the ACC was looking to do this as a way of launching the ACC Network with some interesting content. Commissioner John Swofford doesnt want to hear your concerns that teams wont be ready to play a conference game right away because its really all about the bottom line fans.

It would be exciting in terms of a new network, Swofford said, and would bring people to the network right at the beginning of the season. … I think fans would be into it both from a network standpoint as well as from a competition standpoint.

If we could arrange it where almost every school played, that would be a heck of a way to start the basketball season. It would have a tremendous pop to it.

Since its likely that the Syracuse Orange are going to be one of those teams playing right away which opponent are we likely to see? I dont think its going to be that hard to narrow down that list. Every opening week match-up should be between teams scheduled to play twice a season. I think the ACC is going to try and go the rivals route and for Syracuse it means were probably seeing the Pittsburgh Panthers or Boston College Eagles.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports Why one of these teams? Well youll get the old Big East rivals label and the fact that these teams are going to play a second time later in the year means that the loser gets the opportunity to even up the series. You also give the coaches a little less to complain about when you schedule them against a school theyve been playing twice per year and should have more familiarity with than other conference foes. While neither game seems overly exciting to Orange fans, its certainly a bit more appealing to casual college basketball fans than a Syracuse-Colgate opener. As the ACC looks to close the revenue gap with the other P5 leagues its clear that Swofford believes the opening week games can help jump start the new network venture.

Immediate reaction yesterday was negative and certainly fans can worry about jumping right into conference play, but weve seen a growing number of teams facing off in closed-door scrimmages against other P5 squads. When you also add in the two exhibition games teams typically play there are opportunities to shake off some rust before the opener. As it is with most radical changes like this, next year will be tougher for fans to adjust to then the teams. If the change leads to increased revenue for the ACC schools it will be certainly be worthwhile.

Do you expect to see BC or Pitt in next years opener or do you think it will be someone else? Let us know in the comments.

With the bye week here, its a good time to take a look back at our preseason predictions and make some revisions heading into the second half.

Syracuse has flashed the potential that it is a better team than most of us thought before the season began, but it has to plug the leak in the run defense for that to come to fruition. Winning four of the last six isnt unreasonable, but Ill say the Orange wins three (UNC, Wake Forest, Louisville) and finish 7-5.

If youd asked me before the Pittsburgh game, I probably would have written in eight or nine wins. But Im not sold on the fact that the last two losses didnt magnify larger problems on both sides of the ball. 

Syracuses linebackers, and to a lesser extent its safeties, must improve at stopping the run. In fact, unless it gets better soon, it will probably only get worse as the seldom-replaced starters wear down. 

And on the other side of the ball, Eric Dungey and his receivers need to take better advantage of 1-on-1 matchups. Otherwise, opponents will be able to leave an extra defender in the box to spy the mobile quarterback consistently.

Going to stick with my preseason prediction here, based on how evenly matched most of the ACC appears to be.

As long as Syracuse stays relatively healthy, this is a team that will have a chance to win just about every remaining game.

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