As we discuss pretty frequently, recruiting rankings do matter and in many cases, directly correlate to the number of wins a team collects in a given season. There are other factors there too, of course: Schedule, injuries and coaching staff, most notably, that further dictate a team’s level of success.
Over at CougCenter, SB Nation’s excellent Washington State blog, they took a look at how teams have over- or underperformed expectations relative to recruiting rankings in recent years. To little surprise, the Syracuse Orange well outperformed its expectations last year while taking home 10 wins despite having “only” top-50ish talent on the roster.
The interactive graphic allows you to look across conferences, the entire P5, G5, etc. and is well worth playing around with. SU’s 2018 was one of the biggest outliers when it comes to the talent vs. results conversation. There’s a lot of credit due to Dino Babers there. But a manageable non-conference schedule and down ACC also factored in a bit.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
The next chart is looking at the same rankings as before, but in a scatter plot rather than a list. The upper left shows teams that had a high win total based on their overall talent (2015 Iowa, 2017 Wisconsin, 2016 Colorado, 2018 Syracuse). The lower right is teams that had a low win total based on their overall talent (2018 USC, 5 wins with #4 ranked team talent, 2017 Tennessee, 4 wins with #11 ranked team talent).
These guys will be able to rotate and stay fresh. And I’d be very disappointed if we didn’t have the same production out of those three guys together that we got out of 3-technique.” Without Williams, SU’s defensive coaching staff must handle the group more delicately. Managing reps for Black and Ruff during camp will be key as an injury to either one would put an inexperienced or out-of-position player on the field every snap.
“It seems like we’re always putting new guys in there.” Graduation losses and other attrition each of the past two seasons have forced the defensive coaching staff to re-tool the middle of the defense with less-experienced players than it would prefer. And while Syracuse intends to lean on seniors Andrew Armstrong and Lakiem Williams this year, it’s also angling to tap into its young depth to build experience for the future.
Without Pickard, Syracuse still features a talented and deep defensive ends room this fall. SU returns seniors Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman, both of whom logged 10-sack junior years. Junior Kingsley Jonathan is also back after a five-sack campaign while redshirt sophomore Tyrell Richards and redshirt senior Brandon Berry provide additional experience.
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