Testing times filled with adversity and challenges can make or break sportsmen. The last year or so has certainly been filled with those, although looking ahead to the 2021 football season, Syracuse Orange will be aiming to bounce back stronger. Building on experience and while not ignorant of past disappointments, the team will be keen to look ahead towards a much more positive new campaign.
Syracuse lost all but one of their eleven games in 2020, with the sole Orange victory coming against Georgia Tech at the Carrier Dome, underlining the fact that much improvement is needed this year. Once again, the strongest rival in both the ACC and the Atlantic Division will be Clemson Tigers, who have reached four of the last five National Championship games, winning twice and losing twice.
— Syracuse Orange on SI (@SyracuseOnSI) January 29, 2021
Looking at the early American football odds for the NCAAF 2021 Championship, the +100000 price for Syracuse would suggest they are distant outsiders. The Orange have gone without a conference title since 2012, and the last claimed national title was back in 1959. This implies that fans will need to remain patient, while encouraging the team to surpass all expectations this year.
The last time head coach Dino Babers led his team to a winning season was 2018, when Syracuse went 10-3 overall and finished second in the ACC, despite being picked to finish last by preseason media polls. As that campaign goes to show, college football results can often be capricious and unpredictable, whenever a group of players begin hitting the right groove and upsetting the odds.
We all know the 2018 Syracuse football season was the real Best Picture winner. pic.twitter.com/mPhylUAUck
— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) February 25, 2019
Nevertheless, the 1-10 record last season was the worst for a long time, undoubtedly making the Orange even hungrier to achieve much better results, as the coaching team and players look towards a far more fruitful 2021 NCAAF campaign. Good news is also a welcome boost, and Syracuse have had plenty of that in the last couple of months, adding to the possibilities of this being a year filled with ambition and achievement.
After opting out on the 2020 campaign, running backs Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard have returned for the 2021 season. Both were pivotal players during the 2019 season, although they will need to compete for their places, given that Babers now has plenty of backfield options to choose from. That said, quality competition is always welcomed by the most determined players, which is also hugely beneficial for the team as a whole.
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) February 24, 2021
Following the addition of eight new players in time for the spring semester. Potentially the most exciting of those arrivals is quarterback Garrett Shrader, who proved his yards per completion qualities in the SEC last year, during his second season at Mississippi State. Furthermore, after hiring Mike Schmidt as offensive line coach, his experience developing players will be invaluable, after 16 years at San Diego State.
Quite literally all that remains now is to look forward with optimism, because the 2021 Orange football team could be vastly superior to that of recent years. They will be hoping the ‘Loud House’ is packed to the rafters at every game, urged on by vocal and passionate support from fans, towards what promises to be a successful season for Syracuse.