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50 Years of Orange Offense: How Bad Was Syracuse Football in 2014?

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Not to beat a dead horse (but we're going to a bit more), but Syracuse's offense was not great in 2014...

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

This post won't be the one you (and Sean) are dreading. That's probably happening tomorrow. No, this one is much simpler, though it may still aggravate you just as much.

Syracuse's offense scored just 206 points this year -- an average of 17.1, which ranks them 122nd in the country out of 128 FBS teams. That spot is behind such offensive "goliaths" as Kansas, South Florida, Southern Miss, Troy and Ohio (among others). So, "yay!" for that.

But where does that rank amongst recent Orange teams? And if we're pushing even further back, how does it rank amongst the last 50 Orange teams? Well... not as bad AND just as bad as you may think, all at once.

In the last 50 seasons, here's how your bottom 12 rank, in terms of points per game:

Season W-L Points PPG
1974 2-9 121 11.0
1973 2-9 130 11.7
1972 5-6 142 12.8
1984 6-5 152 13.7
2005 1-10 152 13.8
1976 3-8 154 14.0
1982 2-9 161 14.5
1975 6-5 175 15.8
1983 6-5 179 16.2
2007 2-10 197 16.4
1969 5-5 169 16.9
2014 3-9 206 17.1

So, no 2014 is not even in the bottom 10. BUT, it's worth noting that the majority of these teams were either a) before teams actually scored points in college football. And b) the other two post-1984 teams here were coached by Greg Robinson. Also, a lot of Syracuse teams have been pretty bad at offense. In case you were wondering (you weren't), 18 Orange teams have averaged 20 points or less per season since 1965. And somehow, 32 (!!!) scored under 25 points per game. That's startling, and depressing. Yes, both Scott Shafer teams are on that under-25 list. Why do you ask?

But so we're not all doom-and-gloom here, you'll probably want to look at the top-10 BEST scoring teams in Syracuse's last 50 years of football. Lots of fun memories here:

Season W-L Points PPG
1998 8-4 479 39.8
1996 9-3 438 36.4
1997 9-4 442 33.9
1987 11-0-1 380 31.6
1995 9-3 375 31.2
2012 8-5 390 30.0
2002 4-8 348 28.9
1988 10-2 342 28.4
1992 10-2 341 28.3
1979 7-5 324 27.0
1991 10-2 323 26.8
2003 6-6 321 26.7

What you'll notice: Coach P's teams could score. A LOT. And just about every excellent Syracuse squad over the past half-century scored a lot as well. Recent squads haven't scored a lot AND aren't very good. Coincidence? Doubtful. Also, on a more somber note... these seasons are all in the PAST. And outside of the 2012 team (which again, is better than it'll ever get credit for -- by us or outsiders), they're really in the distant past. That's a bummer, though it also tells us that scoring more is probably part of the key to winning more. Just a hunch, especially in a conference that has its fair share of solid offenses (and even if it doesn't, let's outscore the bad offenses too).

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