The Syracuse Orange football team is now in the polls for the fifth consecutive week, moving up one spot from 19th to 18th in both the Coaches and AP rankings.
Notably, Syracuse is the lowest-ranked Power Five team with a record of 9-3 or better. Both polls also put some significant distance between the Orange and the consensus No. 17 squad, the Utah Utes. Utah does play one more game before the final regular season polls, though: a tough matchup with Washington in the Pac-12 title game. A loss there would knock the Utes below SU for sure.
Though the College Football Playoff rankings don’t come out until Tuesday night, this past weekend did spell the end of any potential scenario where Syracuse crashed the New Year’s Six. Given their current place (20th) and the lack of opportunities for eight teams in front of them to lose between last week and this coming week, there’s no chance they can get to the top 12.
Viewed in the context of what we expected out of this season, however, that’s far from a disappointment.
We won’t see any coach ballots until next week, but the AP ballots were available as always this Sunday. Two different voters ranked Syracuse 13th after week 13: Mike Barber (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and Dave Southorn (Idaho Stateman)... thanks, guys! The Orange received plenty more votes around the bottom half of the rankings, though two voters had them dead-last at No. 25 (Stadium’s Brett McMurphy and the Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon).
Also for those keeping track of these things, the ACC looked pretty bad in the polls again, as they have for much of the year. Clemson and Syracuse were the only ranked teams from the conference. NC State was the only other ACC squad to get votes from the AP panel, while the Pack and Pitt both received a few from the Coaches Poll.