Syracuse, N.Y. -- Syracuse football is playing for its New Year's Six bowl hopes from here on out, starting with Friday night's home finale against Louisville.
The Orange checked in at No. 13 in this week's College Football Playoff rankings and has a couple of resume enhancers looming in the next couple of weeks.
Until then, there is a lot of football to be played that will shape the playoff and major bowl picture, so let's dive into some of this weekend's games that will have an impact on the Orange.
Consider this akin to a bubble watch for basketball. Here are six meaningful games for this week. Teams Syracuse fans should root for this weekend are highlighted in bold.
No. 13 Syracuse
Thank you, captain obvious.
Louisville has lost six in a row and is winless in the ACC heading into Friday night's home finale at the Carrier Dome.
SU needs to keep winning to stay in the New Year's Six picture.
No. 11 Kentucky at
The Wildcats have a better resume right now than the Orange, but a third loss would solidify the Orange moving ahead of Kentucky in next week's rankings.
Tennessee (4-5) won at Auburn earlier this season and is trying to move a step closer to bowl eligibility under first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt.
No. 16 Mississippi State at
No. 1 Alabama
Roll Tide, y'all.
Mississippi State would have the best win in the country on its resume if it upsets Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
A fourth loss by the Bulldogs bounces them from the major bowl picture.
No. 7 LSU at
Arkansas is 2-7 on the season under first-year coach Chad Morris, but the Razorbacks have scored 31 or more points in their last three SEC games, albeit two of the scores in a 65-31 loss against Alabama came late in a one-sided affair.
LSU's defense is one of the best in the nation, but, maybe, the Tigers can't avoid a huge letdown performance one week after getting shutout, 29-0 at home against the Crimson Tide to ruin their SEC championship hopes.
No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College
Syracuse can't afford to have Clemson fall out of the playoff picture, short of a complete collapse by the Tigers down the stretch that is unlikely to happen.
The Orange Bowl does not have the automatic ACC tie-in this year because it is a semifinal host, meaning Clemson would get shipped to the at-large pool for the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl should it fail to make the playoff.
Texas Christian at No. 9 West Virginia
Injury-ravaged TCU is a shell of the team that played Ohio State in a back-and-forth affair in September.
West Virginia and Oklahoma are the frontrunners in the Big 12, and it would make things a little less stressful for the Orange if one of them picked up a second loss before they meet in the final weekend of the regular season in Morgantown.
Oklahoma hosts Oklahoma State in a rivalry game this weekend. Don't be shy pulling for the Cowboys here, either.
Source : https://www.syracuse.com/orangefootball/2018/11/6_games_that_will_shape_syracuse_footballs_new_years_six_bowl_picture.html