Gerry McNamara being “overrated” might have been the most bullshit thing Jim Boeheim or any of us heard in 30 years (or more!)... until Monday.
The ACC released its all-conference teams for football today, based on votes from a panel of 46 media members and all 14 coaches, who named players for first-, second- and third-teams. And somehow, Eric Dungey was named to the third team.
You’re clearly, rightfully confused. We’ll get to that in a second. But first, let’s run through the full list of Syracuse Orange players who were named to the All-ACC team — an impressive collection totaling nine different guys, which was third-most of any team in the conference.
Orange kicker Andre Szmyt was one of the leading vote-getters of all players, getting 165 out of a possible 180 points. The former walk-on is 28-of-32 on field goals this year and 57-of-57 on extra points, while setting new SU and ACC records for scoring in a single-season. He’s also a Lou Groza Award finalist, acknowledging the best kicker in the country.
Punter Sterling Hofrichter (134 votes) continued the “Special Teams University” trend, getting his own first-team nod after averaging 43.3 yards per punt and hitting at least one 50-yarder in nearly every game this year. He also had a forced fumble and recovery against Boston College, if you forgot.
Andre Cisco (110 votes) was the other first-team selection for his stellar freshman campaign. On the year, he had 41 tackles and a nation-leading seven interceptions (second-best total in school history). He also broke up nine passes, forced a fumble and had a tackle for loss.
Jamal Custis was the second receiver on the second team, with 115 total votes. After an injury-plagued first four seasons at Syracuse, he had a strong senior season with 46 catches for 826 yards and six scores. He could still hit 1,000 with a big game against the Orange’s bowl opponent.
Alton Robinson and Ryan Guthrie also made the second team on the defensive side of the ball. Robinson was a key part of Syracuse’s renewed emphasis on the pass rush, tallying 10 sacks on the year. Guthrie led the Orange in tackles and was essential to the improved run defense later on in the season.
Dungey, as mentioned was put there and got just 76 votes (compared to 106 for second-team QB Trevor Lawrence). We’ll get into some numbers comparison below, but you can read about all of the records he set this year elsewhere.
Sean Riley made the third-team as an all-purpose back, after catching 63 passes for 733 yard and there TDs. He also ran for 37 yards and was one of the conference’s most dangerous return men.
Texas A&M transfer Koda Martin also received third-team honors as an offensive tackle.
Honorable mention: Cody Conway, Chris Slayton
WHOLE lot of Carolina-area bias going on here, despite the fact that SU still received plenty of praise. Arguably the conference’s best offense, Syracuse had no first-teamers on that side. I’m not saying we should have more players than Clemson. But it’s clear that a lot of these voters simply didn’t pay enough attention to the Orange to vote for anyone but their local teams’ player (this has happened before, after all).
Now onto the Dungey comparisons:
The senior had 2,565 passing yards and 17 TDs through the air, plus another 732 rushing yards and 15 scores there. Ryan Finley had more passing yards (3,380) and touchdowns (21). But also had fewer total yards and touchdowns — he trailed by 10 TDs. Lawrence had fewer passing yards, but five more TDs. His total yards and touchdowns both trailed by quite a bit, though.
Dungey was also the most important player to his team — something that you can’t necessarily say for either of those other QBs. Finley set records and NC State still lost to Syracuse (and Wake Forest and Clemson). Clemson didn’t need Lawrence to beat the Orange and him playing that full game against SU might’ve actually altered the outcome in favor of Syracuse (if you recall, he hadn’t been playing too well to that point).
If the vote was close, it would be a little more palatable. But for it to shake out this way when the numbers so clearly favor Dungey is completely bogus. Not surprising, mind you. But still ridiculous.
That said: Congrats to all on the honors this year. Dino Babers has been improving the talent and production on this roster each season, and some evidence for that comes from the increase in players named to these all-conference teams.