Athlon Sports regularly polls a panel of team/conference experts pressing questions about the ACC. This time around, the group was asked to rank the ACC's coaching jobs, one through 14. Syracuse finished 13th...
Before we dive in, here's the full blurb on the Orange, who only finished above Wake Forest in the poll:
"Just 15 years ago, this ranking would be absurd. This once-proud program was a national power with elite facilities, fan support and brand recognition. Yet, as population trends continue to move away from the Northeast and Cuse's once state-of-the-art stadium becomes more outdated, winning has gotten more difficult. And the fans aren't coming out like they used too. It's impossible to recruit to upstate New York and the move to the ACC hasn't opened up a Southern pipeline like anticipated. Finally, Syracuse administration clearly are more committed to basketball."
That's obviously a pretty damning assessment; one that certainly does Syracuse no favors in terms of where it stacks up in the ACC (and nationally). And while we all agree that the Orange have struggled through much of the last 15 years, is this really an accurate depiction?
The early bits about population trends are very accurate, and at least they're consistent with what's said about Boston College as well. And while we love the Carrier Dome, the ol' gal just isn't up to par compared to most stadiums anymore. There's also the attendance issue, which I've belabored far too much around here and refuse to dive into yet again.
But the rest? It's not "impossible" to recruit to upstate New York, based on 2015 alone (never mind other years) when SU was among the top 50-60 classes, and wasn't even considered last in the conference. The move to the ACC HAS opened up a southern (Georgia, Alabama, Florida) in recent years: seven recruits were from those states in 2015 to go with nine in 2014 and five in 2013, respectively. And if the SU administration is so clearly committed to basketball, then why did we spend the fifth-most (out of every ACC program) on the sport in 2013-14? And no mention of the new practice facility? Seems like we're missing part of the story...
Now this isn't to make claims that Syracuse is a top job in the ACC -- far from it. But if we're going to rate SU among the two WORST jobs in the conference, let's at least get the reasoning right.