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TNIAAM football fan survey responses: There’s still plenty of optimism around here

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A rundown of your answers, and what that means for Syracuse fans’ collective psyche.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, we asked you to fill out a survey in order to gauge how you — the readers of TNIAAM — feel about the Syracuse Orange football program. You didn’t disappoint, responding in droves (290 of you in total) to tell us what’s working, what isn’t, opinions on past players and the Dome fan experience.

So thank you for your answers to those questions, and the feedback around what we’re doing well/what we can improve here. It’s always appreciated, and we’ll keep doing what we can to deliver the TNIAAM experience you’re hoping for.

Men’s basketball survey comes out on Wednesday too, by the way. So if you missed out, you’ll have at least one more chance to share your opinion on all matters Syracuse when that goes live.

Do you approve of the job Dino Babers is doing as head coach (not just in terms of wins and losses)?

Despite last year’s issues, you’re all still relatively pleased with how things are going. That’s encouraging that we’re all fairly rational, as almost 97% approve of the job Dino’s doing.

What is your outlook for Syracuse football’s future?

This is where things get a little dicier, however. While nearly everyone approves of the job Babers is doing, that doesn’t create a commensurate level of optimism. Granted, it’s still 71%, so a strong contingent there. But last season’s doubts crept in for a decent number of fans, so 22.1% of you are now “unsure” about the future. Would be curious to look at this specific question over time to see how things changed from the start of last season to this one. And how it progresses going forward, too.

What is your opinion of Syracuse’s assistant coaching staff?

As you can see, responses were a little less positive about the staff around Babers — though still overwhelmingly not negative. Nearly 70% of you felt at least “somewhat positively” about the staff, and another 24.12% (a pretty significant block, actually) were “neutral” on his assistants. The negative group was fairly small, but there are a lot of swing voters in that neutral area.

When is the next season Syracuse football wins at least six games?

Again, overwhelmingly positive vibes here. Over three-quarters of you (77.28%) see Syracuse going bowling in 2020 against what looks like a relatively manageable schedule. Another 16.22% of you see SU bowling in 2021 instead. And just over 5% of you see this bowl skid lasting ‘til 2022 or later.

When is the next season Syracuse football competes for an ACC championship?

Optimism also has its limits. While a ton of responses indicated that Syracuse would go bowling in 2020, only a very small number of you (1.7%) thought that bowling also meant competing for an ACC title. Call this the Trevor Lawrence Effect, if you’d like. Nearly 22% of responses indicated the Orange could compete by 2021, and another 20% said 2022. Though the biggest group was those who said SU wouldn’t compete for a league title until 2024 or later, it still was less than half of you (43.14%), which seems like a positive.

Is there a first-round caliber NFL Draft pick on the current SU roster?

Basically comes down to whether or not you believe in Andre Cisco as a first-rounder or not. Nearly half of you do, which is good. There’s also a general feeling that talent acquisition isn’t exactly where it needs to be, as later responses reinforce.

Best Syracuse player ever...

I guess the “greatest player ever” banner Syracuse hung in the Dome resonated with enough of you. Over 83% opted for Jim Brown here. Ernie Davis was a distance second at 11.7% of the vote, and Dwight Freeney was the only other player to hit at least 2%.

Best Syracuse player from last 10 years...

No major surprises here. Chandler Jones was a great pass-rusher while at Syracuse, and only got better as a pro. So he takes 50.3% of the vote, followed by fan favorite Eric Dungey (38.6%). Riley Dixon (4.1%) was the only other player close to those two, which shouldn’t surprise given this blog’s history of supporting punting and Dixon’s specific brand of special teams excellence.

If you could change one thing about the Syracuse football program, what would that be?

This was an open-ended question, but some themes emerged around recruiting, fan support and (perhaps unsurprisingly) the return of 44. I tend to agree with the focus on recruiting, since more than anything else, that probably cures most of the other ills befalling Syracuse football. Credit to the one respondent who made a plea for fans to look beyond New York State for top talent.

Some of you want to go back to the Big East. Cool...

Who is poised to be the best player on the 2020 Syracuse football roster?

Given the general ideas around how good Andre Cisco is, it should probably come as no surprise to see him overwhelmingly picked as the top player on the team. Despite some struggles last year, Tommy DeVito was second with over 17% of the vote. Fittingly for SU, kicker Andre Szmyt was third.

What aspect of the Syracuse home experience needs the most improvement?

#TeamTrough showed up big here, making restrooms (6.9%) the least complained-about aspect of the Dome experience for football games. Seats (39%) were the biggest problem according to respondents, which won’t shock anyone that’s been to a game there. Perhaps surprisingly, audio/visuals (15.5%) were the second-largest concern.

Which aspect of the Syracuse football program needs the most improvement?

Like I mentioned above, you guys really want recruiting to improve. I don’t disagree. It’s interesting that fan support was an overwhelming second place, however, given the fact that so many of the respondents (maybe all of them) are fans of Syracuse themselves. Does better recruiting lead to better fan support? This survey doesn’t really give us a definitive answer.

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Are there other questions we should add for the men’s basketball version? How else could we improve these surveys? Let us know below.