When Syracuse Orange football coach Scott Shafer threatened every team in the Atlantic Coast Conference in his introductory press conference the experts at Athlon's Sports must have not been listening. How do I know? I know because on Monday the go-to sports preview magazine/online publication predicted the Orange would finish sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 2-6 conference record.
Syracuse was slotted behind Wake Forest, which last year went 3-5 in the conference, and just ahead of last-place Boston College -- OK, that is fair.
What is odd is that Maryland is predicted to finish third after a dreadful pair of seasons that featured the Terrapins winning a total of six games!
So, why is Athlon so down on the Orange? Luckily, they tell us.
The move from the Big East to the ACC is a factor, but the bottom line is that we don’t think Syracuse will be as good in 2013. The Orange lost three elite offensive players to the NFL Draft — quarterback Ryan Nassib, wideout Alec Lemon and left tackle Justin Pugh — and also have to deal with a coaching change. Out is the highly respected Doug Marrone. In is the unproven Scott Shafer. Syracuse’s first season in the ACC could be a struggle.
Anyway, here's Athlon's overall predictions for the ACC.
2013 ACC Predictions ACC Overall
1. Clemson 8-0 12-1
2. Florida State 7-1 10-2
3. Maryland 4-4 7-5
4. NC State 3-5 7-5
5. Wake Forest 3-5 6-6
6. Syracuse 2-6 4-8
7. Boston College 1-7 4-8
1. Miami 6-2 9-4
2. Virginia Tech 5-3 8-4
3. Georgia Tech 5-3 8-4
4. North Carolina 5-3 8-4
5. Pittsburgh 3-5 6-6
6. Virginia 2-6 4-8
7. Duke 2-6 5-7
What do you think? Personally, I think we take the Athlon writers, lock them in the Carrier Dome and beat the hell out of them!!