July 25, 2006

Syracuse looks to surpass pre-season expectations

New coach Greg Robinson's first season at Syracuse was a rough one. The Orange finished 1-10 and had several talented players graduate or move out of the program. But at the recent Big East Media Days, the voting media picked Syracuse last in the eight-team Big East.

2006 Preview: After suffering through a 1-10 season in 2005 during head coach Greg Robinson's first season on campus, the Orange hope their 2006 schedule will be a little more kind.

Syracuse opens the season with a winnable game at Wake Forest followed by a tough home game against Big Ten contender Iowa on September 9. The Orange stay in the Big Ten with a road trip to Illinois the following week. After returning home, Syracuse hosts Miami of Ohio on September 23 before closing out the busy month of September with Wyoming.

The Orange must hope to go at least 3-2 in their first month of the season to be bowl eligible because Robinson's crew will face the three toughest teams in the Big East - Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville - on three successive weekend in October. With Louisville and West Virginia likely entering October ranked in the top 15 and Pittsburgh boasting the league's best recruiting classes the last two seasons, each game will be a significant challenge. Syracuse must travel to Cincinnati on Halloween to close the second month of the season.

The Orange finally get an off week on November 4, but travel to South Florida the following week, then back to Connecticut - the two furthest teams apart in the football conference - before closing the season at Rutgers in a game that could decide the both futures of both schools.

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