Those signs of college football season’s arrival are getting more and more frequent. The latest one? The first major preseason rankings, the Coaches Poll, was released today.
While preseason polls are a silly relic of a previous era of college football, it at least gives us a gauge of who could be good this year as we start framing conversations around the upcoming season. With that in mind, the Syracuse Orange have their work cut out for them in 2016.
Four different teams in the first coaches poll appear on the Orange’s schedule this fall. Louisville, at no. 23, is first when they visit the Carrier Dome on September 9. Next up is ninth-ranked Notre Dame on October 1 at MetLife Stadium. SU will face no. 2 Clemson and no. 4 Florida State later in November, on the 5th and 19th, respectively.
For those counting at home, that’s also three top-10 teams for the Orange, too. In the extensive “others receiving votes” pile, you’ll find additional SU opponents as well. Pitt comes in at 43rd overall, while South Florida is 49th.
We knew this was a challenging slate months ago, but it certainly makes it more real to see that reflected in the official preseason poll now. Obviously we always have high hopes for Syracuse football (even when we shouldn’t), but schedules like this one are going to be speed bumps for Dino Babers’s rebuilding job, even if it goes well.
It’s also worth mentioning that Babers is a voter this year. So if you start seeing the Orange pop up in week three, well... there’s your reason.