Syracuse is looking for a bounce back season in 2015. It all starts with navigating the schedule.
Most Important Game
Wake Forest. Syracuse should be able to get a win over FCS Rhode Island in the opener. Week two features the ACC opener and an opportunity to start 2-0 for the second consecutive season. A win there starts to give the team some momentum with a Central Michigan team that they dominated coming to the Carrier Dome the following week. A loss puts them in danger of starting the season 3-2 or 2-3 through the first four games. A win against Wake gives them a realistic shot at a 4-1 start.
October 31st through November 14th: Syracuse faces Florida State, Louisville and Clemson during this three game stretch, with the first two on the road. That is why a fast start is so critical, so that the Orange is not tasked with pulling an upset in one of those games in order to make the postseason. Syracuse will be underdogs in each of these games.
Most Hyped Game
LSU: Syracuse welcomes an SEC power into the Carrier Dome. Especially with the potential of a 3-0 start, there is a legitimate chance of a sellout for this one. The Dome should be rocking at kickoff.
Central Michigan: There is the potential that Syracuse will start 2-0 with a team in Central Michigan that they blew out the year before coming to the Dome. The week after, the huge game against LSU looms. There is always the potential to look ahead to that big matchup as opposed to focusing completely on a team that you dominated last season.
Syracuse has the potential to get off to a 4-1 start with two winnable games against Virginia and Pittsburgh on the horizon. It is critical that the Orange does this due to the back half of the schedule, and there is every opportunity to do so.
Rivalry to End the Season
Syracuse ends the season by facing longtime rival Boston College at home. This was the case two years ago as well, with Syracuse earning a come from behind victory to become bowl eligible. The Orange would certainly take that history repeating itself in 2015.