This was a historically successful season for the Orangemen, which included victories over rivals Penn State and Colgate. Syracuse lost only twice in the regular season: their season opener against the former college all-stars of the Bolling Air Force Base, and to eventual national champions Michigan State. Syracuse finished the regular season with a record of 7–2 and were ranked 14th in the final AP Poll, their first ranked finish in school history. The team was awarded its first Lambert Trophy, which signified them as champions of the East. They were invited to the 1953 Orange Bowl, the school's first ever bowl game, where they lost to Alabama.