The Syracuse Orange won, which is awesome. Looking at the upcoming schedule, however, many opponents did too. Rather than focus on all of those teams, we’ll just call attention to the ones that are ranked -- a list that included four upcoming foes.
With the updated rankings out for both the Coaches and AP poll now, let’s take a quick look at what we’re up against.
3. Florida State Seminoles (last week: 4)
FSU started slow against Ole Miss yesterday. Then they put their foot on the gas and never let the Rebels up for air again. Outscored 28-6 at one point in the second quarter, the ‘Noles scored 33 straight before Ole Miss finally got on the board again. Deondre Francois ended up putting in a rave-worthy performance to the tune of 478 total yards and two scores. The offense looked great, and the defense certainly looked able to buckle down later in the game. This team could get better too, which is terrifying.
13/15. Louisville Cardinals (LW: 19/23)
This Friday’s opponent, Louisville, demolished the Charlotte 49ers by a score of 70-14 and looked every bit the darkhorse some predicted they’d be during the preseason. Yes, it’s Charlotte. But the Cardinals still scored 56 in the first half, put up 663 yards of offense and showed off Lamar Jackson at the height of his abilities. The QB accounted for over 400 yards of offense, to pair with eight (!!!) scores. You were already concerned about this weekend’s matchup. I’d advise you to be even more worried now.
2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2/2)
The Tigers’ explosive offense was held in check by Auburn on Saturday night, but Clemson still pulled off a 19-13 victory. The defense was able to shut down Gus Malzahn’s up-tempo attack and came up big on a late pass into the back of the end zone to prevent Auburn’s go-ahead score. Clemson has some room to improve on that week one effort. But it’s very early to call for any sort of runner-up hangover until we see this sort of thing becoming a trend. Deshaun Watson’s still on the team, after all.
18/21. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10/9)
Notre Dame didn’t do a terrible job against a then-unranked Texas team on Sunday night. But they did lose in double overtime, and give up 50 points in the process. For a team that was supposed to be pretty good on the defensive end, this is pretty disconcerting. For one that was also thought to be a solid offensive team, you’re not necessarily down about your efforts against the Longhorns. Notre Dame’s schedule strength this year can keep them in the rankings with a few losses. We’ll see how they rebound vs. Nevada.
Just like the preseason, Pittsburgh and USF are sitting on the outside looking in, with potential to be ranked down the road. Syracuse’s road is a tough one, but if they can be competitive against Louisville on Friday, we’ll obviously feel a whole lot better about it going forward.