The AP Top 25 preseason rankings were released over the weekend and, unsurprisingly, THE Ohio State University earned the top spot. What is surprising, however, is that for the first time in AP Top 25 preseason history, the number one ranked team was a unanimous decision.
Surely, this will have a number of SEC teams in a in a tantrum but we're not here to discuss that. (Just head over to the comments at SB Nations SEC blog for your fix on that).
The Syracuse Orange Football team will face five teams that are ranked or received votes on the preseason poll, the same number as last year.
In order from best to worst ranking, this year's are are: 10. Florida State; 12. Clemson; 14. LSU; Louisville (received 12 votes); NC State (received four votes).
For comparison, last year's: 1. Florida State; 16. Clemson; 17. Notre Dame; Duke (71 votes); Louisville (48 votes).
On paper, the competition between last year and this year is more or less a wash. Florida State's drop to 10 and the other two ranked opponents jump higher in the polls seem to negate each other. (If you humor me and my faux-analytics, you'll see that adding up this year's ranked opponents gets you the number 36. While last year's was 34. Lower numbers are obviously better when it comes to rankings but I, in no way, checked for any sort of statistical significance on this).
What does this mean? Simply: 'Cuse will have it's work cut out for it. Last year's 3-9 record does not bode well for the upcoming year but, like every other writer on this site, I hope I'm wrong. The Seminole's sans-Jameis Winston hope to be vying for a title come the end of the year and LSU is, well, LSU. And the rest of the ACC schedule, although, not ranked, is no cake walk.
For a more in-depth view on the matter check out Brian Tahmosh's article on how he thinks the Orange will do this year -- the first article in a series where TNIAAM writers predict the football team's record this season.