Syracuse football and the ever elusive 2-0 start... | Syracusefan.com

Syracuse football and the ever elusive 2-0 start...

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I decided to look back since the year 2000, to see how many times Syracuse had a chance to start a season 2-0. I wish I hadn't. If Green Day really wanted to name a song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," they should have just stolen "Down the Field" and changed the name. Yikes.

In 12 of the 22 years since the new millennium, the good guys have started out 1-0. The 'Cuse has beaten two other FBS teams in that time frame, in 2011 and 2003. In '03 we beat an ACC school (UNC) in OT. In '11 we beat another ACC squad (Wake Forest.)

Let's do a little breakdown of those wins by the numbers.

P5 WINS: 3'03 (UNC), '11 (WF), '22 ('VILLE)
G5 WINS: 5'00 (UB), '10 (AKRON), '18 (WMU), '19 (LU), '21 (OHIO)
FCS WINS: 4'14 ('NOVA), '15 (RI), '16 ('GATE), '17 (CCSU)

So in the non-FCS wins, how did those teams compete the rest of the year?

2000: Buffalo2-9
2003: UNC2-10
2010: Akron1-11
2011: Wake Forest6-7 (Lost in the Music City Bowl)
2018: Western Michigan7-6 (Lost in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
2019: Liberty8-5 (Won the Cure Bowl)
2021: Ohio3-9
2022: Louisville???

So by no means a Murderers Row. Potentially the best team we beat was that Western Michigan team in 2018, or the 2011 Wake Forest team. Maybe the 2019 Liberty win.

So the team as a whole is 12-10 in opening games since 2000. In those 12 games, how many times did they get to 2-0? 4 times. So in 21 seasons, SU has started the year out 2-0 four times. Yikes. Let's take a look at those seasons and who they beat in those first two games:

2011: SU started the season out with a 36-29 OT victory over the Demon Deacons. The Deacs went on to finish the season 6-7. Ant Bailey ran for 114 yds and 2 TDs in that game. Wake Forest's biggest win that year came against the 23rd-ranked Seminoles. In its second game of the season, the Orange played FCS opponent Rhode Island and won 21-14. Now that may seem like too close a call against an FCS team, but let me tell you - that Rams team finished that season...let me see here...just hold on...looking for it...3-8. Oh.

If you recall, SU ended up squeezing out three more wins that season including an impressive thumping of #11 West Virginia 49-23 at the Dome. I remember being incredibly excited for the rest of the season. We had 5 games to win just one to go to a bowl for the second year in a row! We lost all five.

2014: SU started the season off with a thrilling and scary 27-26 win over FCS power Villanova. And seriously - in 2014 'Nova was a power. They finished the season off in the quarterfinals of the FCS Championship. They went 11-3 that year and finished the season ranked 5th in the country in FCS. Not too shabby. SU then had a considerably easier time on the road, thumping Central Michigan 40-3. The Chippewas were actually a pretty respectable team that year with a final record of 7-6 including a Bahamas Bowl appearance that they lost to Western Kentucky 49-48. I may not remember what I had for dinner last night, but I remember that bowl game being one of the best bowl games to watch that season.

So Scott Shrader and the boys were looking good! A little rocky to start against 'Nova, but hey it's an opening game. So obviously the boys in Orange ended up having a banner year after starting the year off with two pretty respectable victories. Ah, no. We dropped our next four and 9 of the next 10 to finish the season 3-9. Thank God for Wake Forest, our one P5 victory that year.

2015: The 'Cuse started off with FCS Rhode Island, and summarily dumped them 47-0. Incidentally, this was the game a young Eric Dungey had his debit. Poor Terrell Hunt went down just two passes into the season. Dungey threw for 114 yards and 2 TDs. The Rams were again a doormat - they finished the season 1-11. In game number 2, Eric showed us a bit of the magic we would remember from him. He threw for 221 yards and ran for 36. His most impressive play was this play to Brisley Estime:

The fandom was feeling good! And Dungey had more for us. SU ended up taking down Central Michigan in game 3 to start the season off 3-0! We also lost Eric due to a cheap shot in that game. He came back two games later, but his injuries plagued him that season. After a promising start, SU dropped 8 games in a row. They finished 4-8 on the season and the Scott Shrader era was officially over.

2018: This is the most impressive year for Syracuse football since 2001. They finished 10-3 and started the season off 4-0. They took care of a game Western Michigan team by putting up 55 points. They then torched Wagner 62-10. Wagner would finish the season 4-7 in the FCS. SU then pummeled FSU at home followed by a thumping of UConn. At one point in the season, SU was ranked 12th in the country. They beat two ranked teams that year, and nearly upset a third in #3 Clemson at Death Valley. A Tiger squad that would make it to the College Football Playoff. SU was for real, all season long.
---
In those four seasons where SU won at least two games to start the season, they never did that without having an FCS opponent to face. We can joke that the puppies are essentially an FCS team, but they are G5'ish and a win this weekend would give the Orange a 2-0 start against two FBS programs for the first time since, drum roll please... 1999. That year SU beat two MAC squads to get to that record, before losing to Michigan at the dome in Game 3.

To find the last time SU beat at least one P5 squad in its first two games (along with a G5 team) you'd have to go back to 1992 when Marvin Graves and company took out ECU on the road in Game 1, followed by a home win over Texas (who was still in the old Southwest Conference at that point) in Game 2.

So if Syracuse beats UConn this weekend, the team will have accomplished a feat no Syracuse team has accomplished in 30 years.

In fact, if you go back 60 years, SU has only beaten a combination of 2 P5s, or 1 P5 and one G5 to start the season five times. So five times in the past 60 years has SU beaten at least one P5 squad and a G5 squad in its first two games.

So yeah, let's root for SU to stop this Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and do something only five squads have accomplished in the past six decades.
 
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NJneer12

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High risk, high reward starting off with non-FCS teams early and hitting three P5 matchups in 4 weeks plus a road game vs G5.

But if they are 4-1, 5-0 - the narrative becomes much much more important.
 

djorange1989

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let's face it, most of our teams have sucked since McNabb left. pretty much any stat you pull up is going to be ugly with a capital UGLY. we have no idea how Louisville will end up this year, but on paper they are about as good of a win as we have had in an opener during these two plus decades of general ineptitude. If our bus doesn't break down on the way to that crappy stadium tomorrow, we will be 2-0
 

cliftonparksufan

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I decided to look back since the year 2000, to see how many times Syracuse had a chance to start a season 2-0. I wish I hadn't. If Green Day really wanted to name a song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," they should have just stolen "Down the Field" and changed the name. Yikes.

In 12 of the 22 years since the new millennium, the good guys have started out 1-0. The 'Cuse has beaten two other FBS teams in that time frame, in 2011 and 2003. In '03 we beat an ACC school (UNC) in OT. In '11 we beat another ACC squad (Wake Forest.)

Let's do a little breakdown of those wins by the numbers.

P5 WINS: 3'03 (UNC), '11 (WF), '22 ('VILLE)
G5 WINS: 5'00 (UB), '10 (AKRON), '18 (WMU), '19 (LU), '21 (OHIO)
FCS WINS: 4'14 ('NOVA), '15 (RI), '16 ('GATE), '17 (CCSU)

So in the non-FCS wins, how did those teams compete the rest of the year?

2000: Buffalo2-9
2003: UNC2-10
2010: Akron1-11
2011: Wake Forest6-7 (Lost in the Music City Bowl)
2018: Western Michigan7-6 (Lost in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
2019: Liberty8-5 (Won the Cure Bowl)
2021: Ohio3-9
2022: Louisville???

So by no means a Murderers Row. Potentially the best team we beat was that Western Michigan team in 2018, or the 2011 Wake Forest team. Maybe the 2019 Liberty win.

So the team as a whole is 12-10 in opening games since 2000. In those 12 games, how many times did they get to 2-0? 4 times. So in 21 seasons, SU has started the year out 2-0 four times. Yikes. Let's take a look at those seasons and who they beat in those first two games:

2011: SU started the season out with a 36-29 OT victory over the Demon Deacons. The Deacs went on to finish the season 6-7. Ant Bailey ran for 114 yds and 2 TDs in that game. Wake Forest's biggest win that year came against the 23rd-ranked Seminoles. In its second game of the season, the Orange played FCS opponent Rhode Island and won 21-14. Now that may seem like too close a call against an FCS team, but let me tell you - that Rams team finished that season...let me see here...just hold on...looking for it...3-8. Oh.

If you recall, SU ended up squeezing out three more wins that season including an impressive thumping of #11 West Virginia 49-23 at the Dome. I remember being incredibly excited for the rest of the season. We had 5 games to win just one to go to a bowl for the second year in a row! We lost all five.

2014: SU started the season off with a thrilling and scary 27-26 win over FCS power Villanova. And seriously - in 2014 'Nova was a power. They finished the season off in the quarterfinals of the FCS Championship. They went 11-3 that year and finished the season ranked 5th in the country in FCS. Not too shabby. SU then had a considerably easier time on the road, thumping Central Michigan 40-3. The Chippewas were actually a pretty respectable team that year with a final record of 7-6 including a Bahamas Bowl appearance that they lost to Western Kentucky 49-48. I may not remember what I had for dinner last night, but I remember that bowl game being one of the best bowl games to watch that season.

So Scott Shrader and the boys were looking good! A little rocky to start against 'Nova, but hey it's an opening game. So obviously the boys in Orange ended up having a banner year after starting the year off with two pretty respectable victories. Ah, no. We dropped our next four and 9 of the next 10 to finish the season 3-9. Thank God for Wake Forest, our one P5 victory that year.

2015: The 'Cuse started off with FCS Rhode Island, and summarily dumped them 47-0. Incidentally, this was the game a young Eric Dungey had his debit. Poor Terrell Hunt went down just two passes into the season. Dungey threw for 114 yards and 2 TDs. The Rams were again a doormat - they finished the season 1-11. In game number 2, Eric showed us a bit of the magic we would remember from him. He threw for 221 yards and ran for 36. His most impressive play was this play to Brisley Estime:

The fandom was feeling good! And Dungey had more for us. SU ended up taking down Central Michigan in game 3 to start the season off 3-0! We also lost Eric due to a cheap shot in that game. He came back two games later, but his injuries plagued him that season. After a promising start, SU dropped 8 games in a row. They finished 4-8 on the season and the Scott Shrader era was officially over.

2018: This is the most impressive year for Syracuse football since 2001. They finished 10-3 and started the season off 4-0. They took care of a game Western Michigan team by putting up 55 points. They then torched Wagner 62-10. Wagner would finish the season 4-7 in the FCS. SU then pummeled FSU at home followed by a thumping of UConn. At one point in the season, SU was ranked 12th in the country. They beat two ranked teams that year, and nearly upset a third in #3 Clemson at Death Valley. A Tiger squad that would make it to the College Football Playoff. SU was for real, all season long.
---
In those four seasons where SU won at least two games to start the season, they never did that without having an FCS opponent to face. We can joke that the puppies are essentially an FCS team, but they are G5'ish and a win this weekend would give the Orange a 2-0 start against two FBS programs for the first time since, drum roll please... 1999. That year SU beat two MAC squads to get to that record, before losing to Michigan at the dome in Game 3.

To find the last time SU beat at least one P5 squad in its first two games (along with a G5 team) you'd have to go back to 1992 when Marvin Graves and company took out ECU on the road in Game 1, followed by a home win over Texas (who was still in the old Southwest Conference at that point) in Game 2.

So if Syracuse beats UConn this weekend, the team will have accomplished a feat no Syracuse team has accomplished in 30 years.

In fact, if you go back 60 years, SU has only beaten a combination of 2 P5s, or 1 P5 and one G5 to start the season five times. So five times in the past 60 years has SU beaten at least one P5 squad and a G5 squad in its first two games.

So yeah, let's root for SU to stop this Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and do something only five squads have accomplished in the past six decades.
Very interesting, but would it be appropriate to say that prior years performances have no impact on this year's results? I guess we will find out Saturday if any of that means anything.
 

pokercuse08

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This feels like a really complex way to say that Syracuse football has struggled over the last 21 years. I'm torn between the perspective and wanting to properly enjoy this, and not wanting to be a program that celebrates opening 2-0 over Louisville and UConn. Like, not to diss Louisville or diminish what was a solid win for our program, but I want it to be fairly ho hum if we beat UL at home in football. We should be a slightly better program than them, and we should beat them at home more often than not.

Also if we win this week, I think you're now contractually obligated to look up our 3-0 starts. If we win again, you'll be on the hook the following week, and so on. Thanks in advance!
 

djorange1989

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This feels like a really complex way to say that Syracuse football has struggled over the last 21 years. I'm torn between the perspective and wanting to properly enjoy this, and not wanting to be a program that celebrates opening 2-0 over Louisville and UConn. Like, not to diss Louisville or diminish what was a solid win for our program, but I want it to be fairly ho hum if we beat UL at home in football. We should be a slightly better program than them, and we should beat them at home more often than not.

Also if we win this week, I think you're now contractually obligated to look up our 3-0 starts. If we win again, you'll be on the hook the following week, and so on. Thanks in advance!
oh no, we will have to re-live the 2015 Shafer "3-0, we're 3-0" crazy eyed mantra!
 

Ozone!

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86B15047-C73C-4BB4-BFFB-2E24B5408187.jpeg
 

Orangepace

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I decided to look back since the year 2000, to see how many times Syracuse had a chance to start a season 2-0. I wish I hadn't. If Green Day really wanted to name a song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," they should have just stolen "Down the Field" and changed the name. Yikes.

In 12 of the 22 years since the new millennium, the good guys have started out 1-0. The 'Cuse has beaten two other FBS teams in that time frame, in 2011 and 2003. In '03 we beat an ACC school (UNC) in OT. In '11 we beat another ACC squad (Wake Forest.)

Let's do a little breakdown of those wins by the numbers.

P5 WINS: 3'03 (UNC), '11 (WF), '22 ('VILLE)
G5 WINS: 5'00 (UB), '10 (AKRON), '18 (WMU), '19 (LU), '21 (OHIO)
FCS WINS: 4'14 ('NOVA), '15 (RI), '16 ('GATE), '17 (CCSU)

So in the non-FCS wins, how did those teams compete the rest of the year?

2000: Buffalo2-9
2003: UNC2-10
2010: Akron1-11
2011: Wake Forest6-7 (Lost in the Music City Bowl)
2018: Western Michigan7-6 (Lost in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
2019: Liberty8-5 (Won the Cure Bowl)
2021: Ohio3-9
2022: Louisville???

So by no means a Murderers Row. Potentially the best team we beat was that Western Michigan team in 2018, or the 2011 Wake Forest team. Maybe the 2019 Liberty win.

So the team as a whole is 12-10 in opening games since 2000. In those 12 games, how many times did they get to 2-0? 4 times. So in 21 seasons, SU has started the year out 2-0 four times. Yikes. Let's take a look at those seasons and who they beat in those first two games:

2011: SU started the season out with a 36-29 OT victory over the Demon Deacons. The Deacs went on to finish the season 6-7. Ant Bailey ran for 114 yds and 2 TDs in that game. Wake Forest's biggest win that year came against the 23rd-ranked Seminoles. In its second game of the season, the Orange played FCS opponent Rhode Island and won 21-14. Now that may seem like too close a call against an FCS team, but let me tell you - that Rams team finished that season...let me see here...just hold on...looking for it...3-8. Oh.

If you recall, SU ended up squeezing out three more wins that season including an impressive thumping of #11 West Virginia 49-23 at the Dome. I remember being incredibly excited for the rest of the season. We had 5 games to win just one to go to a bowl for the second year in a row! We lost all five.

2014: SU started the season off with a thrilling and scary 27-26 win over FCS power Villanova. And seriously - in 2014 'Nova was a power. They finished the season off in the quarterfinals of the FCS Championship. They went 11-3 that year and finished the season ranked 5th in the country in FCS. Not too shabby. SU then had a considerably easier time on the road, thumping Central Michigan 40-3. The Chippewas were actually a pretty respectable team that year with a final record of 7-6 including a Bahamas Bowl appearance that they lost to Western Kentucky 49-48. I may not remember what I had for dinner last night, but I remember that bowl game being one of the best bowl games to watch that season.

So Scott Shrader and the boys were looking good! A little rocky to start against 'Nova, but hey it's an opening game. So obviously the boys in Orange ended up having a banner year after starting the year off with two pretty respectable victories. Ah, no. We dropped our next four and 9 of the next 10 to finish the season 3-9. Thank God for Wake Forest, our one P5 victory that year.

2015: The 'Cuse started off with FCS Rhode Island, and summarily dumped them 47-0. Incidentally, this was the game a young Eric Dungey had his debit. Poor Terrell Hunt went down just two passes into the season. Dungey threw for 114 yards and 2 TDs. The Rams were again a doormat - they finished the season 1-11. In game number 2, Eric showed us a bit of the magic we would remember from him. He threw for 221 yards and ran for 36. His most impressive play was this play to Brisley Estime:

The fandom was feeling good! And Dungey had more for us. SU ended up taking down Central Michigan in game 3 to start the season off 3-0! We also lost Eric due to a cheap shot in that game. He came back two games later, but his injuries plagued him that season. After a promising start, SU dropped 8 games in a row. They finished 4-8 on the season and the Scott Shrader era was officially over.

2018: This is the most impressive year for Syracuse football since 2001. They finished 10-3 and started the season off 4-0. They took care of a game Western Michigan team by putting up 55 points. They then torched Wagner 62-10. Wagner would finish the season 4-7 in the FCS. SU then pummeled FSU at home followed by a thumping of UConn. At one point in the season, SU was ranked 12th in the country. They beat two ranked teams that year, and nearly upset a third in #3 Clemson at Death Valley. A Tiger squad that would make it to the College Football Playoff. SU was for real, all season long.
---
In those four seasons where SU won at least two games to start the season, they never did that without having an FCS opponent to face. We can joke that the puppies are essentially an FCS team, but they are G5'ish and a win this weekend would give the Orange a 2-0 start against two FBS programs for the first time since, drum roll please... 1999. That year SU beat two MAC squads to get to that record, before losing to Michigan at the dome in Game 3.

To find the last time SU beat at least one P5 squad in its first two games (along with a G5 team) you'd have to go back to 1992 when Marvin Graves and company took out ECU on the road in Game 1, followed by a home win over Texas (who was still in the old Southwest Conference at that point) in Game 2.

So if Syracuse beats UConn this weekend, the team will have accomplished a feat no Syracuse team has accomplished in 30 years.

In fact, if you go back 60 years, SU has only beaten a combination of 2 P5s, or 1 P5 and one G5 to start the season five times. So five times in the past 60 years has SU beaten at least one P5 squad and a G5 squad in its first two games.

So yeah, let's root for SU to stop this Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and do something only five squads have accomplished in the past six decades.
Thank you for that read. Appreciate the research.
 

donniesyracuse

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You could same the same about The Ramones.
Or AC/DC.

Just because a bands music isn’t complex, doesn’t mean it isn’t great.
Except those band came about twenty years before
 
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This feels like a really complex way to say that Syracuse football has struggled over the last 21 years. I'm torn between the perspective and wanting to properly enjoy this, and not wanting to be a program that celebrates opening 2-0 over Louisville and UConn. Like, not to diss Louisville or diminish what was a solid win for our program, but I want it to be fairly ho hum if we beat UL at home in football. We should be a slightly better program than them, and we should beat them at home more often than not.

Also if we win this week, I think you're now contractually obligated to look up our 3-0 starts. If we win again, you'll be on the hook the following week, and so on. Thanks in advance!
I honestly found the last 60-year stat more telling because SU has been really solid in that time. It really crystallizes how big this win would be. And yes, I will 100% do this same thing as we move forward. Fortunately for me, 4-0 is essentially a once-in-50-year thing for SU.
 

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