Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse football is 9-3 after a 42-21 victory at Boston College, finishing the regular season with its most wins since 2001.
This weeks stock watch takes a look at the players and themes rising and falling heading into the bowl game, which, as youll see, we have strong feelings toward where that will be.
Syracuse moves up one spot in the latest AP Poll
Official bowl announcements will not be made until next week, but strong signals were sent to me after Saturdays victory that Syracuse will be the ACC pick for the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Plus, how appropriate would it be for Dino Babers, noted movie buff, to coach in a bowl with Blockbuster as its original title sponsor?
Assuming chalk holds and Clemson captures the ACC title next week against Pittsburgh, Syracuse is on track to be the second-highest ranked team in the ACC, which will be a major check mark on its resume.
North Carolina State edged North Carolina in overtime on Saturday to, perhaps, keep the Wolfpack in the conversation.
But there is a good relationship between Syracuse University and Florida Citrus Sports, who organizes the game.
And, the prospect of pairing Syracuse and, say, an old Big East rival with a larger fan base in West Virginia — and two explosive offenses with two alpha quarterbacks — should satisfy all parties. West Virginia has played in the Camping World Bowl twice this decade, and the game drew close to 50,000 both times (vs. N.C. State and vs. Miami).
The Camping World Bowl gets the second pick from the Big 12, after all CFP/New Years Six bowls are filled by the selection committee and the Alamo Bowl makes its first choice among remaining Big 12 teams.
Oklahoma and Texas will meet in the Big 12 championship game next week. If Oklahoma wins, it could find itself in the College Football Playoff, which would elevate Texas or West Virginia into the Sugar Bowl, depending on which team the selection committee ranks higher.
If Oklahoma beats Texas but does not get invited to the Playoff, Oklahoma would be shipped to the Sugar Bowl, giving the Alamo Bowl the first pick between West Virginia and Texas (the guess here would be Texas, based on geography and program prestige).
If Texas beats Oklahoma, Texas would grab the Sugar Bowl bid, likely sending Oklahoma into the at-large pool for a different New Years Six bowl.
This would give the Alamo Bowl the first pick among remaining Big 12 teams, and West Virginia would likely be more attractive than Iowa State.
Dungey battled back spasms early in the week and rehabbed himself back in time to play a complete game Saturday with no limitations, minting one of the best performances of his career, right up there with the time he nearly willed his team to victory at Florida State playing on a broken foot.
He finished with close to 400 yards of offense with six total touchdowns in Saturdays victory against Boston College.
“Nobody tells that kid anything,” Strickland said. “Its all in his heart. He has the desire to be out there with his family.
“Nothing you can teach. Love playing with that guy. Him being my quarterback is something special, and we got one more game together, so we gotta leave it all out there.”
Syracuse wrapped up its best regular season in nearly two decades and will enter the postseason as a top-20 team after being picked to finish last in the conference by media members in the preseason.
Dabo Swinney is churning toward a fourth-straight appearance in the College Football Playoff, but everyone saw that coming in July.
Pierce got the celebration started early on the Syracuse bench, starting a live video on social media midway through the fourth quarter.
This didnt make quite as much noise online as the game of hangman that broke out on the Florida State bench in the second half of a 59-3 loss in 2013.
But it offered a candid window into the vibe of a team that more than doubled its win total from a year ago.
A win or even a close loss to No. 5 Georgia could have significantly helped Georgia Tech’s bowl picture. But, after a 45-21 loss to the Bulldogs Saturday in Athens, the Yellow Jackets’ bowl choices are not as hopeful but slightly clearer, though there’s still multiple possibilities.
This much is clear: The Camping World Bowl, which has the top choice of ACC teams after those in either the College Football Playoff or New Year’s Six bowl games, is not an option due to league rules stipulating that a bowl can’t take a team if there is another team available that has two more wins.
Saturday, Syracuse beat Boston College to improve to 9-3 while Tech’s loss dropped the Jackets to 7-5. An eight-win team could leapfrog the Orange to get into the Camping World Bowl, held December 28 in Orlando, Fla., but not Tech. A report on Syracuse.com on Sunday indicated that No. 20 Syracuse would be the bowl’s selection.
The next four possibilities are the four “tier one” bowls – the Belk, Pinstripe, Sun and either the Music City or Gator bowls. All the bowls pick together in collaboration with the ACC, and the Music City and Gator bowls share a pick.