An ode to the girls that entertain us on game day, cheering on the Orange regardless of weather or opponent, score or venue. The Syracuse Cheerleaders had another fine season indeed.
With the NCAA bowl season approaching; most of the predictions place Syracuse University in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, the home of the University’s media and recruiting efforts of the past few years. Syracuse’s last bowl was the inaugural game in the Pinstripe in 2010 when they beat Kansas St. The teams took different directions as Kansas State has been in the BCS discussion, even flirting with national championship dreams, while Syracuse dropped off the radar a year ago and looked out of bowl game contention as they sat at 2-4 at one point this season.
And then the light went on and the tough early schedule looked to pay off as the team finished out 5-1. At 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the Big East, Coach Marrone’s moves look to have paid dividends. The hiring of former All-Americans and pro’s Tyrone Wheatley and former SU receiver Rob Moore look like solid choices. The receiving corps has looked the part under his watch while the running game gets tougher and quicker before our eyes. The defense survived a young secondary as they grew into their roles and suddenly, led by Sr. Ryan Nassib, record setting arm that he possesses is bowling again.
Let’s take a look at the two teams most often talked about as potential opponents if the prognosticators turn out to be correct.
Welcome home (almost) West Virginia! This would be a regional home-run for this game. West Virginia brings a big traveling crowd and the two sides know each other inside out, even in the stands. The fans of both schools will, in my opinion, sell-out the stadium to see these old foes go toe-to-toe one more time, only this time for a bowl win.
West Virginia will bring all the offense the Orange can handle with rankings of 6th passing, 51st rushing, and 14th scoring in the FBS. The problem is the defense which sports a ‘points against’ ranking of 121st. Syracuse counters with the 21st ranked passing, 52nd rushing, and 60th ‘points for’ rankings. The defense is now rated as the 52nd best.
With all of the talk about how tough the BIG-12 is, I’ll take the Cuse and their own tough schedule along with an offense that is clicking on all cylinders and a tougher defense in this down to the wire match up.
Another BIG-12 team full of offense and little defense; the team can outscore you and that is what they try to do, period. Offensive rankings: 3rd passing, 18th rushing, 5th points for make them an intimidating puzzle. Syracuse’s quick strike offense and their own stock of diverse talent just may make this all the Bears want to handle with their 119th ranked defense.
Having seen all three teams play this season; all bring something to the table to make it an interesting game. Baylor did bring down that very mighty Kansas State team looking at a possible championship. West Virginia just knows Syracuse inside-out as the Cuse knows them. I can’t say that the Baylor Bears help fill the stadium like a Syracuse-West Virginia game will and the excitement the crowd will have; my bet will be two old foes meeting in a bowl game.