Bowl chances: Syracuse

With five Big East teams fighting for bowl eligibility, I am taking a look at the chances of each team making it to at least six wins. Next up: Syracuse.

Record: 5-5

Games remaining: Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh

Breakdown: It was only a month ago that Syracuse sat at 5-2, having flexed its mighty muscle with a 49-23 win over West Virginia. Since then, the Orange have had breakdowns everywhere and are in a real fight for their bowl lives. That was unthinkable back on Oct. 21. So what has happened? For one, Syracuse has not been able to run the football as effectively in its three straight losses. In the four games before the losing streak began, Syracuse was averaging 160.8 yards on the ground. In this three-game skid, it has averaged 94 yards rushing. Quarterback Ryan Nassib has not been as effective, either. In the first seven games of the season, he was completing 66 percent of his passes. In the past three, just 57.5 percent. All of a sudden, the defense can't stop the run, either. Syracuse has given up an average of 193 yards rushing in the past three games. What is even wackier is that Syracuse is actually at plus-4 in turnover margin during the losing streak. So what are the chances of getting to a bowl game? Well, the Orange, on a bye this week, may have caught a break with Cincinnati coming to town next week. We will see how the Bearcats play this weekend with backup QB Munchie Legaux. Syracuse was not looking so hot before its bye earlier in the season, then went out and beat West Virginia. So the bye could be perfect timing as well. The finale at Pittsburgh -- where Syracuse has not won since 2001 -- could be for bowl eligibility for both teams.

Chances of getting six wins: 25 percent.

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