No agenda here (in terms of Dino), but hard for me mathematically to say being favored by 2.5 or less in three games that there is "no excuse to not go bowling."
Those three games we are slightly favored are essentially toss ups, especially with two of those being on the road. Right?
Couple all that with five road games, only one of which we an underdog by less than a TD!?!
That's a pretty challenging schedule, especially with two new coordinators in play. Lotta variables none of us know about (and am excited for Beck and Rocky).
Look at it this way, standard deviation would tell us there is a strong likelihood of anywhere from 4-9 wins. That's a lot of variance to make such a broad must-go-bowling declaration, if you ask me!
I have been extremely pro-Dino, I was firmly in the camp of bringing him back after 2021 and said prior to last season that he should be guaranteed at least two more years based on his offensive hires. Just want to make it clear my declaration has nothing to do with wanting a different HC.
That said, anything less than 3-1 in the non-con is unacceptable. I am months away from diving into my offseason cfb research but I will guess that I will have Syracuse rated higher than Purdue, making both that a winnable road game and 4-0 far more more likely than 2-2.
Even if we go 3-1 and then can't steal one from Clemson/UNC/FSU, my thought process is like this:
Virginia Tech is coming off a garbage season with a second year coach. Our HC/OC/DC group is much better than theirs, we have higher returning production and we will be coming off a bye. Just about any conference road loss is excusable but unless something unforeseeable happens with either team we should be favored.
BC at home HAS to be a win. Full stop.
Pitt owns us and I am as pissed off as anyone that the game isn't being played in the Dome. However, they are bottom 15 in the country in returning production, I think Jurkovec is an average P5 QB and Narduzzi is fine running an antiquated offense after the Whipple experiment (for some reason). I will always be shocked if we beat Pitt but an unbiased cfb fan would call that a winnable game for Syracuse on a neutral.
We have more talent that Georgia Tech, a much better coaching staff and as far as ACC road games go the only place you would rather play is BC. Again, just about any conference road loss is excusable but unless something unforeseeable happens with either team we should be favored.
Wake lost Hartman, who probably ran that gd slow mesh offense better than anyone else ever will. Beyond him they are bottom 1/5 in returning production. We were right there with them in the Dome in 2021 and Hartman and AT Perry absolutely killed us. Neither is there anymore. I don't look at it the same way as BC at home but we need to beat Wake Forest in the Dome to close the season.
A good college football team finds a way to win three games with our second half schedule. The schedule isn't a cakewalk by any means but I'm not sure we could ask for much better. The bye sets up perfectly to get healthy for winnable games down the stretch.
HCDB is in his 8th season, Rocky Long invented the defense we run, I heard a national cfb podcast predict Jason Beck to be a stud OC before the move was even made and we have plenty of talented pieces coming back and added talent on defense through the portal. Barring major injuries this season HAS to end with Syracuse playing in a bowl game. I am fine with having unenjoyable conversations about Dino if it doesn't.
We go 7-5 or better, though. I think we start 4-0 and Clemson is gettable at home.