Syracuse Football: Christmas Wish List Heading into 2017

Dec 18, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Santa Claus on the field before the game against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 18, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Santa Claus on the field before the game against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse football team didn’t do as well as we would’ve hoped in 2016. But there’s always hope for 2017. What’s on SU’s Christmas Wish List?

I’m sure the Syracuse football team had bowl hopes on last year’s list, but it didn’t pan out this season. But that doesn’t mean next season is out of the question by any means!

A 4-8 campaign is never good whether you expected a lot of wins or not. But things are looking bright for 2017 for the Orange.

With a year in the books for Babers and company that should only benefit the team going into next season. But you only get one chance to hop on Santa’s lap before Christmas is here.

What do you ask for? Should you be humble and ask for little and hope for a lot? Do you ask for a lot and hope Santa comes through for you? So many questions, so little time!

Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers chats on the sideline prior to the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Dino Babers will be SU’s lead man in 2017

A lot of this could have very well been paranoia more than anything else. But you can’t deny the rumors that have been swirling around Dino Babers and possibly leaving Central New York.

To correlate this to a modern example. Syracuse ended up getting a date to the dance that was way out of their league. But despite all odds the girl said yes and SU has been clicking their heels ever since.

Babers came in promising a revolution on offense and that’s exactly what we got. The pillars of success are there, we just need to see it come all together.

You’ve got to give him credit, he’s a man of his word. He repeatedly pounded his chest that this was the location he wanted to be. While he fell short of calling this his “dream job” the point remains, he’s the face of the Orange.

Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; A Syracuse Orange helmet as seen on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 76-61. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s hoping Babers finally gets some recruits

All season Babers has been working with someone else’s groceries. Of course that someone else is former SU coach Scott Shafer.

Next season will be Babers’ first opportunity to work with his own ingredients that he bought himself. That factoid can’t be understated and we should start to see the fruits of Babers complicated offense’s labor this upcoming season.

I spoke with Syracuse.com football reporter extraordinaire Stephen Bailey over the weekend to get the temperature of Babers’ 2017 recruiting efforts, here’s what he had to say:

Stephen Bailey, SU Football Beat Writer for the Post Standard/Syracuse.com (@Stephen_Bailey1):

“Syracuse’s 2017 class is shaping up to be one of the program’s best in recent years. The Orange projects to bring in players who fit new systems on both sides of the ball, add depth at key positions and take on a potential quarterack of the future in Tommy DeVito. As long as SU can hold onto who it has and reel in another handful of contributors (expect some from the JUCO ranks), this cycle should be considered successful. Then the question will be whether SU’s coaches can take this talent, produce more on-field success and parlay that into more significant recruiting bounds.”

A bowl game in year two?

Hey if SU got lucky with Babers, can the fanbase get lucky asking for a gift maybe they don’t

deserve? One of our staff writers, Paul A. Esden Sr. has wrote early and often about the attendance issues at the Carrier Dome.

The argument we always hear back is that when this team starts winning, fans will come. But I’m one who has the belief the two things are synonymous with one another.

When fans start coming, they can create the competitive advantage that this Carrier Dome can provide. Which in turn can help the team win. While the fans won’t be the ultimate difference between winning and losing, their impact is still very important.

As many fans pointed out this season. A bowl game would’ve meant extra practice time to master this Babers offense. Plus that’ll only help Babers’ recruiting efforts getting to a bowl game.

Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Moe Neal (21) runs to score a touchdown as Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Jay Stocker (43) and defensive back Malik Henderson (21) chase during the third quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 76-61. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Final Notes

The worst part of this SU season was the inexperience on defense, the injuries on defense, and the defense. Babers needed that high octane offense of his to compete because the defense couldn’t stop a nose-bleed.

So going into 2017 if the new recruits and some of the returning Orange could be respectable on defense, #OrangeNation would really appreciate it. Also I don’t know if you can affect anything medically, but if Eric Dungey’s health status could be cleared that’d be swell.

Not only in terms of his football career, but also for his life because he seems like a really nice young man. Since it seems we’re just going to ask for everything a running game would be cool too.

I’m not asking for the reincarnation of Jim Brown, but if you could do that I wouldn’t complain. Thanks for reading everyone and happy holidays to you and your families. Did we miss anything? What would you add to the list? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

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