The picture above shows empty seats. It's a growing problem at the Carrier Dome, where the Syracuse Orange play home football games. Attendance has been lackluster in recent years, and the team's record the last four seasons is a dismal 15-33.

Fewer and fewer people are making the trip to the Carrier Dome, once a prime destination for football fans from all points of the compass, including the Mohawk Valley and Central New York, Rochester and parts of Western New York, and the Southern Tier.

According to the folks at WalletHub, Syracuse is the next-to-worst football city in the U.S. The study took into account attendance, on-field results, ticket prices, parking and stadium accessibility, fan engagement, and other factors.

Here's WalletHub's full list of 2018's Best & Worst Cities For Football Fans. Some of the top cities are places like Green Bay (home of the Packers), Pittsburgh (where the Steelers play), and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the market owned by the perennial college powerhouse Crimson Tide.

Syracuse finished 242nd. The only football market faring worse is Jackson, Mississippi, where the only decent-sized college program, Jackson State, once produced NFL Hall of Famers like Walter Payton, but has since dried up.

Hope springs eternal in Syracuse, where coach Dino Babers soon enters his third season at the helm for the Orange. With a little luck, a few more key recruits, and maybe a slightly easier schedule, Syracuse can reverse its football fortunes. Rebuild it and they will come.

Until then, we've still got Syracuse basketball.

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