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Where Did Syracuse Athletics Rank in the ACC in 2014-15?

While many might think the Syracuse Orange didn't have a great 2014-15 season, a closer look shows that despite tough seasons in football and men's basketball, the men fared pretty well against ACC competition. It was a tougher year for the Syracuse women, despite the Final Four runs from field hockey and women's lacrosse.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a ranking of ACC schools by athletic performance during the 2014-15 year. The formula they used was modeled after one used by the SEC to determine that conference's All-Sports Championship

Teams were awarded points based on either regular-season finish (for sports with head-to-head tournament championships) or championship finish – 14 points for first place in a 14-team sport, 13 for second, etc. The total was then divided into the total possible number of points available for each school based on the sports for which it fields teams. (North Carolina is the only school to field teams in every sport in the ACC program.)Track was counted as one sport, with cross country and indoor track weighted 25 percent and outdoor track 50 percent. The model follows the one used to determine the SEC’s all-sports champion. The ACC does not keep such records.

That last part of the formula doesn't make sense to me (for obvious reasons), so I decided to take a little deeper look to see just how the Syracuse Orange fared last year. The first thing we are going to do is make cross-country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field count as separate sports. Next, we will just look at the sports in which Syracuse fields teams which compete in the ACC (7 men and 11 for the women).

Men's Sports

School Soccer Football Basketball Lacrosse Cross-Country Indoor T&F Outdoor T&F Points Possible Points Score
Florida St NA 14 6 NA 11 14 15 60 74 0.811
UNC 10 8 11 4 13 12 11 69 91 0.758
Virginia 5 4.5 15 1 12 13 14 64.5 91 0.709
Clemson 10 12 6 NA 7 11 12 58 86 0.674
Notre Dame 12 NA 13 5 9 4 7 50 77 0.649
Syracuse 10 1.5 8 3 15 10 9 57 91 0.626
Louisville 7 10.5 12 NA 8 7 8 52.5 90 0.583
Duke 6 10.5 14 2 4 9 10 56 91 0.615
Virginia Tech 4 4.5 1 NA 10 15 13 48 86 0.558
NC State 3 4.5 9.5 NA 14 7 4 42 86 0.488
Miami NA 4.5 9.5 NA 1 8 5 28 74 0.378
Pittsburgh 1 8 6 NA 3 7 7 32 86 0.372
Georgia Tech NA 13 2 NA 6 2 3 26 74 0.351
Wake Forest 8 1.5 4 NA 5 3 2 24 86 0.279
Boston College 2 8 3 NA 2 1 1 17 86 0.198

Takeaways:

Splitting the track points into three separate sports clearly helps Syracuse, which jumps from 8th to 6th on the strength of the ACC Cross-Country Championship and solid finishes in both track seasons. Even small improvements from football and basketball next year can elevate the Orange even further. Condolences to Boston College Eagles fans because outside of football, that's some pretty awful results.

Women's Sports

School Volleyball Soccer Field Hockey Rowing Lacrosse Softball Tennis Basketball Cross-Country Indoor T&F Outdoor T&F Points Possible Pts Score
Florida St 14 13.5 NA NA NA 11 6 14 14 14 14 100.5 115 0.874
UNC 15 13.5 6.5 2 8 10 15 10 15 12 12 119 139 0.856
Notre Dame 2 11 NA 8 3.5 9 9 15 11 13 11 92.5 132 0.701
Virginia 9.5 12 6.5 9 5 1 12.5 6 13 7 7 88.5 139 0.637
Duke 12.5 8 1.5 3 6.5 NA 12.5 11.5 6 11 8 80.5 128 0.629
Clemson 5.5 10 NA 5 NA NA 11 1.5 3 15 15 66 113 0.584
Miami 12.5 3.5 NA 1 NA NA 14 8 1 9 13 62 113 0.549
Virginia Tech 9.5 9 NA NA 1 5 7.5 1.5 10 8 5 56.5 123 0.533
Louisville 8 6.5 4 6 2 8 3 13 4 4 10 68.5 139 0.493
NC State 3 1 NA NA NA 7 2 6 12 10 9 50 115 0.435
BC 5.5 5 4 4 6.5 4 7.5 4 9 3 2 54.5 139 0.392
Syracuse 1 3.5 1.5 7 3.5 2 4 11.5 8 6 6 54 139 0.388
Wake Forest 5.5 6.5 4 NA NA NA 5 3 7 5 4 40 111 0.360
Georgia Tech 5.5 NA NA NA NA 3 10 6 5 2 1 32.5 101 0.322
Pitt 11 2 NA NA NA 6 1 9 2 1 3 35 115 0.304

Takeaways:

The 14-15 year wasn't very good for the Syracuse women overall, but the regular season ACC records for field hockey and women's lacrosse are a bit deceiving. The NCAA Tournament Final Four runs that both teams made are not reflected in this table, and certainly would push the Orange a bit higher. Hopefully 2015-16 sees stronger seasons from volleyball, soccer, softball and tennis.

The Florida State Seminoles certainly enjoyed a lot of success in 2014-15. Will that continue, or will the North Carolina Tar Heels or Notre Dame Fighting Irish overtake them? Where do you see Syracuse improving in 2015-16, let us know in the comments.