Now that the spring game’s all wrapped up, the Syracuse Orange enter the long offseason before returning to campus. The rest of the ACC has also wrapped up spring ball, so it’s natural to want to evaluate where each team in the conference stands.
ESPN’s David Hale got to work doing just that this morning. Syracuse came in at 13th overall.
13. Syracuse Orange
The defense is still young, and until we see evidence the Orange are ready to stop a few teams on that side of the ball, it’s hard to be overly enthusiastic about the progress of the offense. We love Eric Dungey, and Dino Babers’ system should put up points, but in the brutally tough Atlantic, that may not be nearly enough.
The lone team behind the Orange was Virginia. Boston College was listed immediately ahead of Syracuse.
On the one hand, maybe you take issue with SU being so low. But Hale has a point about the defense. Even if things looked improved during April’s spring game, that doesn’t really apply much to what we’ll need to see on the field against real opponents. The evidence, as it currently stands, is that this personnel can’t prevent teams from scoring. I’ll choose to be optimistic about their ability to improve this fall. But there’s no hard proof they can just yet.
The other point about the schedule is one well taken. Looking at these rankings, Syracuse is the only team forced to line up against each of the top five — Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, NC State. Four of those games are on the road. We also face LSU, in case you forgot. This blows...
Ultimately, the question will be whether or not you think that the total W-L record is what dictates how good the team is, or whether we should get some bonus points for an incredibly difficult slate.
You could debate Syracuse being better than Boston College, for sure. And I’d argue the distance between what Wake and Duke are on the field right now and Syracuse’s roster is probably negligible as well. Pitt also replaces quite a bit from last year’s team (which possessed a similarly poor defense and must also replace its offensive coordinator).
But what do you think? 13th seem to low? Fair until proven otherwise. Debate these subjective rankings in the comments below.