Orange squeezing out unlikely season

Maybe the win in Morgantown was just a magical one-time thing for the Syracuse Orange football program. It is quite possible that it was just one big tease. The real Orange have to be out there somewhere don’t they? You know the Orange who get dismantled week in and week out, the team we have come to know and love. After one week, we usually start counting the days to basketball season.

Well my friends, this isn’t the same Orange. There is a new aura around this football team; one of potential. It’s the fake potential Greg Robinson made himself believe was a possibility, but real potential. At 5-2 just over halfway into the season, the 2010 squad looks destined for a bowl game. This would be the first time the Orange went bowling since Paul Pasqualoni’s 2004 team got torched by Georgia Tech in the Champs Sports Bowl.

The win in Morgantown against a very good West Virginia Mountaineers unit was their most impressive football victory since the three-overtime thriller in the Carrier Dome against Virginia Tech in 2002. And we all know what 2002 was. It marked the start of the long decline. Syracuse has had one bowl appearance and a 35-67 record during that stretch. The Orange has not had a winning conference record since 2004, when they went 4-2.

So they aren’t the most impressive team in the land, but somebody thinks they have something going on up on the hill. They received Top 25 votes in both the AP and USA Today rankings. Sure, wins against the Maine Black Bears and Colgate Raiders aren’t as scary or intimidating as their nicknames. Five daunting games remain on the Orange’s schedule and it is quite possible they will lose them all, which wouldn’t surprise too many of the Orange faithful, given all the past failures. Four conference games remain and the Orange have already doubled their win total from the last five years in that category.

Are we brave enough to believe that this is it? Is the turnaround that has been promised to us for nearly a decade now happening? After the Pittsburgh stomping inside the friendly confines of the Dome, will the Orange we have come to expect show up once again? Do we have the internal belief to dare and dream of nine or 10 wins, or a possible conference championship? But reality hurts and the sad truth is we could be begging for hoops season within the next two weeks, or we could be representing in the Fiesta, Orange, or Sugar Bowl.