clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse football: Orange return 8th-most experienced roster in FBS

This look familiar? We updated it after Bill did today.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Back in February, we wrote up an article similar to this one. Based on some pretty simple “returning starters” metrics, SB Nation’s Bill Connelly determined that Syracuse was the third-most experienced team in the nation -- an exciting fact for us, even if several opponents were close by as well.

Bill said back then he would update the metric a bit, and today’s that day. Like last time, he mentions that returning production at quarterback (check), wide receiver (check) and the secondary (check) were most important, while O-line experience didn’t matter as much as we’d previously thought. It does matter slightly, though, and with that factored in here, SU’s numbers change a bit. Also changing for everyone, injuries and transfers, which may not have been accounted for in the past.

This time around, the Orange finish eighth overall, a bit of a drop from last time. They’re seventh in returning talent on offense, but 30th on defense (thanks, D-line). A quick look up and down the depth chart to confirm should confirm that for you if you need the extra confirmation.

Like last time, we note that having high experience and production numbers sounds awesome, and it is. But also like last time, there are also a good deal of Syracuse opponents near the top of this list too. The full list, sans Colgate, obviously:

Louisville (first, 89%)

Wake Forest (seventh, 84%)

Connecticut (13th, 81%)

USF (18th, 77%)

Pittsburgh (27th, 74%)

Boston College (28th, 74%)

Virginia Tech (35th, 72%)

Clemson (48th, 69%)

Florida State (65th, 64%)

NC State (91st, 58%)

Notre Dame (113th, 49%)


The glaring bit you’ll see above is that some of SU’s “easier” opponents (Wake Forest, Boston College, UConn) appear near the top, just like we do. Additionally, its three toughest opponents (Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame) appear near the bottom. Obviously those are different cases than many of the other squads here. Those teams replace 4- and 5-stars with 4- and 5-stars, so the drop-off in on-field outcome is not nearly as dramatic for them against lesser recruiting powers (like the Orange).

Based on the production numbers Bill has, he also projects potential increases and decreases in points scored and allowed -- though note this does not take into account changes in coaches and/or system. So at a baseline, the Orange should put up 4.3 more points per game without factoring in Dino Babers’s system at all. Similarly, they should allow 2.6 points per game less. Applying that swing (independent of the numbers other teams display) would give us two more wins against last year’s schedule, based on the final scores posted. However, that’s not how math works.


Anything else interesting here? You’ll find future SU non-conference opponent LSU pretty high here, which could be worrisome (as if that game wasn’t already). UConn, another future opponent and highly experienced roster, is another situation to watch over the course of the next couple years before our next matchup in 2018.