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3-0

The 60's and the 90's for SU were very similar. After the undefeated 1958 and 1987 seasons, people wondered when we would do that again. The overall talent level remained high for another decade but the teams could never make fans happy because they all had multiple losses, the first coming early in the season, dashing dreams of another national title, (or at least a run at one). Syracuse Historical Scores

1960: 5-0 start, then losses to 4-3-3 Pitt (0-10) and 6-3-1 Army (6-9). Result: 7-2
1961: Lost game 3 to 7-3 Maryland (21-22). Result: 8-3
1962: Opening losses to 8-3 Oklahoma (3-7) and 6-4 Army (2-9) Result: 5-5
1963: Second game loss to Kansas (0-10). Result: 8-2
1964: Opening loss to (6-3) Boston College 14-21 (on a tipped pass that should have been intercepted - we also lost on a last-minute bomb to West Virginia in the final regular season game). Result: 8-3
1965: Second game loss to 5-4-1 U of Miami, 0-24. Result: 7-3
1966: Opening losses to 5-5 Baylor (12-35) and 9-1 UCLA (12-31). Result: 8-3, (We won 8 in a row after that start.)
1967: 3-0 start followed by a 14-27 loss at 5-4-1 Navy. Result: 8-2
1968: Opening 10-14 loss to 5-5 Michigan State. Result: 6-4
1969: Second game loss to 1-9, (yes, 1-9) Kansas 0-13. Result: 6-4

1988: Second game loss at 4-6-1 Ohio State 9-26. Result: 10-2
1989: 2-0 start followed by three straight losses to teams with a combined record of 26-8-2. Result: 8-4
1990: 16-34 Kickoff Classic loss to 8-4-1 USC. Then a victory over Temple followed by the last two ties we've ever had vs. 8-3-1 Michigan State and 3-7-1 Pitt. Result: 7-4-2
1991: Four straight wins followed by a 14-46 loss at then #1 Florida State and a 20-23 home loss to 11-1 East Carolina. Result: 10-2
1992: 2-0 followed by 12-35 home loss to 8-2-1 Ohio State Result: 10-2
1993: A 3-0-1 start included a 21-21 tied at 5-5-1 Texas in game 3. Result: 6-4-1
1994: A wild 29-30 opening loss to 6-6 Oklahoma was followed by 6 straight wins. But the result was 7-4.
1995: An opening win at North Carolina was followed by another home loss to 8-3 East Carolina (24-27). Result: 9-3
1996: An opening home loss to 10-2 UNC, (10-27) was followed by a fumble-plagued 33-35 loss at Minnesota. Then we won 8 in a row before getting absolutely screwed by the refs in losing 31-38 to U of Miami in the Dome. Result: 9-3.
1997: A tremendous 34-0 win over 8-5 Wisconsin in the Kick-off Classic got us thinking "This is the year." No, it wasn't. We lost the next three games 31-32 in the Dome to 6-5 NC State, 34-36 at 4-8 Oklahoma and 3-31 at 7-5 Virginia Tech. Then we won 8 in a row again. Result: 9-4
1998: We again get screwed by the refs in a 33-34 loss to eventual 13-0 national champion Tennessee in the Dome. We then blew defending national champion Michigan out of their own place and put up 7 dimes on poor Rutgers before a lost evening in Raleigh where we lost to 7-5 NC State 17-38. Result: 8-4 but at least we made it to the Orange Bowl.
1999: After beating Toledo and Central Michigan easily, we lost in the Dome to 10-2 Michigan in a game remembered by Troy Nunes making the field disappear, as he retreated 35 yards against the pass rush only to be tackled in the end zone. Result: 7-5
Let's add: 2000: An opening blow-out win over Buffalo was followed by a 10-12 loss at 7-5 Cincinnati and a 17-34 loss at our old friends 8-4 East Carolina. Result: 6-5
and 2001: The season opened with a Kick Classic loss to 8-5 Georgia Tech (7-13) and a 9-33 disaster at 11-2 Tennessee. We then had still another 8 game winning streak before U of Miami squashed us like a bug in the Orange Bowl.

In both cases criticism of the coaching staff built up over the years as we were unable to duplicate the miracle year and many were glad to see the old staff go. :oops:

Then we had a long period of mediocrity or worse that put these years in a better perspective. :rolleyes:

We still shoulda done better! :mad:
Thanks for this great post. What do many of those losses have in common? They were mainly to pretty good P5 teams. We always over scheduled back then to generate fan interest, offset our relatively weak conference /or independent schedule, and because we still thought more like an independent football program than one who was a member of a conference (once the BE football conference was formed). Unlike schools like Virginia Tech, I always respected us for our willingness to play the big boys when we didn’t have to. For that reason, I can’t stand VT and Rutgers to this day (Rutgers for other reasons as well). I’ve always thought of them as “fake” programs who built their notoriety on beating patsy opponents. Now, our problem was we didn’t figure out that was the wave of the future until much too late. We finally started scheduling lessor opening opponents after we had already seen the decline start to happen. It would’ve been an easier climb back if we had taken the VT route much sooner. I know you know all this, but just thought I’d mention it as a discussion point.
 

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