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Syracuse Football: Orange Could Face 13 of ESPN's Top 100 Players in 2015

Looking at how many of college football's elite could suit up vs. the Orange this year.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's #CFBRank feature wrapped up today, with its dot-com property listing out the top 10 in its countdown of the 100 best players in college football this season. As you probably gathered already, Syracuse doesn't have anyone on the list at all. But our opponents end up with 13 all together.


Those 13 -- which may end up being 12 depending on what happens with Cook's status:

7. Leonard Fournette, RB/LSU Tigers (Week 4)

10. Jalen Ramsey, CB/Florida State Seminoles (Week 9)

22. Deshaun Watson, QB/Clemson Tigers (Week 11)

T-29. Tyler Boyd, WR/Pittsburgh Panthers (Week 8)

31. James Conner, RB/Pittsburgh (Week 8)

T-39. Dalvin Cook, RB/Florida State (Week 9)

42. Vadal Alexander, OT/LSU (Week 4)

60. Jalen Mills, S/LSU (Week 4)

T-69. Jamal Adams, S/LSU (Week 4)

T-75. Quin Blanding, S/Virginia Cavaliers (Week 7)

T-81. Mackensie Alexander, CB/Clemson (Week 11)

T-88. Artavis Scott, WR/Clemson (Week 11)

T-98. Roderick Johnson, OT/Florida State (Week 9)


So for those keeping track at home, that's six of the top 40 and 10 of the top 75. In all, five different opponents are represented, with LSU and Clemson (four) having the most. All of this after we found out a month or so ago that SU could end up facing seven Heisman Trophy hopefuls this year too.

Those numbers are disconcerting, but there's also reason they shouldn't necessarily scare you, either. Just one QB (Watson) is on that list, and we already knew he was lethal. Pitt's only real, quality players are both there and then the team sees a major drop-off. Same goes for Blanding and the rest of the UVa roster. And there isn't a single pass-rusher on there (for those who may have had that in the back of their minds).

It should remind us that yes, finding six wins will not be easy. And yes, the Orange still have a long way to go before getting anywhere close to elite status. The roster continues to evolve, and maybe in the next few years, an SU player or two can find a way on here. Until then, a lot will be asked of them against schedules like this one.