Syracuse Orange football is coming off of a 3-9 campaign and is two years into a downward slide ever since Doug Marrone left. Scott Shafer is more well known at this point for his outbursts and bon mots than his victories. On paper, this year's squad doesn't appear to be the world-beaters we'd like them to be.
So...gird those loins, Syracuse fans. The national expectations are going to be low this season. Very low.
You know there's a difference between perception and reality and while you and I might be able to see some potential out there, don't expect those casting a wide lens to see it. At least not yet.
Andrea Adelson just put together her post-spring ACC power rankings and she's got the Orange coming in dead last, behind even Wake Forest.
Though quarterback Terrel Hunt is back, youth at receiver really showed itself throughout the courses of spring, especially in the spring game, when dropped passes became one of the big storylines. That’s not good news for one of the worst offenses in FBS a season ago, though having a healthy quarterback for an entire season should at least help fix that. Depth issues persist on the defensive line.
Dunno if I really take anything out of the spring game, but, there you go.
Meanwhile, our favorite trolls in the college football preseason ranking game, the Orlando Sentinel, is back. The Sentinel does the Wikipedia skim of previews every year, just barely gleaning enough info to put together a ranking slightly more valuable than your grandfather's power poll (which always seems to have Navy at Preseason No. 1 no matter what).
Their history of thinking very little of Syracuse based on sweeping criteria is a long-standing tradition. Despite finding our way into their good graces and a ranking in the 70's in 2011, they usually like to stick us in the 90's. This year? 116th.
Let me repeat, 116th. Out of 128 schools. To be fair, we're not the worst ACC school on their list (No. 125 Virginia) and we're at least ahead of No. 120 UConn, but...geez, guys.
To give you an idea of how in-depth their reasoning is, they had mentioned that Austin Wilson was briefly thrust into the role of starting QB due to injuries suffered by Terrel Hunt, A.J. Long and...Austin Wilson. They've since updated. Thank goodness for that.
Like I said, just get used to it.