This week in college football’s Top 25 will prove to be another fantastic slate of games. As each week rolls by, the stakes get higher and teams must step up their play and keep up the pressure, For the Clemson Tigers, this game could mean everything, it could even mean their season. The Syracuse Orangemen come to town with big hopes, this program has clearly turned the corner and they have improved in a vast way. Whether or not they are the team of the 90’s with Donavan McNabb, that remains to be seen but here is what we do know:
The teams hits Death Valley with a 4-0 record having beaten Western Michigan in the season opener by a margin of 55-42. In week two, they dusted Wagner with a 62-10 victory. The Wagner victory was a moral victory, this game was not a test of any kind and in reality, the final score should have placed Syracuse in the 70’s. Wagner is not a football school. For Wagner it’s this bad; they opened at home against Bowie State with a win, 40-23, then on the road at Syracuse and a 62-10 loss. Over the last two weeks they have lost to Montana State in a close one but blown out by Sacred Heart, 14-41! That’s devastating. Now, this is not about Wagner, this is about Syracuse and what their capabilities are going to be against the #3 team in the country. What the Wagner schedule gives you, is perspective. This is proof that Syracuse has the talent to destroy a week opponent. Just like the upper echelon teams are expected to do. This in no way compares Syracuse to the Ohio States, Alabama’s, Notre Dames or Michigan’s of the world. What it does, is show potential for greatness.
Any team that starts out 4-0 on the season after beating at least one formidable opponent, that team has the potential for greatness. The Orange beat Florida State by a margin of 30-7 and that’s a big win. Forget about what FSU has done or hasn’t done recently, just beating them is a big deal and holding them to 7 is a bigger deal, especially in light of the fact Syracuse has given up 10 to Wagner, 42 to Western Michigan, and 21 to UConn. The Orange have tore it up offensively but not exactly been a juggernaut on defense. They will give up their share of points to the Clemson Tigers.
A team in a bit of transition as Dabo Swinney demotes starting quarterback Kelly Bryant and names freshman Trevor Lawrence as this weeks starter. Look, Dabo is a coaching mastermind and almost everything he touches turns to gold. Who can honestly second guess this guy? Of course, the fans will and what happens on the field will dictate how this comes out in the wash. Syracuse plays Clemson well and they will this week.
Prediction: Clemson 38 Syracuse 28
Take the +25 all day long but lay the first half Clemson at home. Look for a great live line to follow the total with–and look for a great offer on the over.