Syracuse Football: Predicting losing record, bowl game, Andre Cisco MVP

Syracuse football kicks off its 2020 campaign this Saturday, and predictions are in for how the Orange will fare this term.

Expectations are subdued for Syracuse football as the Orange travels to No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday in the 2020 stanza opener for both teams.

The Tar Heels, with an explosive offensive, are a massive favorite in this encounter, with UNC projected by national and Atlantic Coast Conference pundits as a top-three team in the league prior to the season getting underway.

For the ‘Cuse, meanwhile, following a disappointing 5-7 showing in 2019, Syracuse football is deemed one of the weaker squads in the ACC, at least as far as pre-season 2020 forecasts are concerned.

The Orange has first-year offensive and defensive coordinators, as well as a new 3-3-5 defensive scheme. The offensive line is a question mark, and the top-two returning running backs from 2019 are reportedly not suiting up.

As such, many analysts, commentators and writers say that Syracuse football will hover near the ACC basement when all is said and done. Personally, I believe that the ‘Cuse could surprise some folks, in a positive manner.

I’m predicting that the Orange, a crew that I have at No. 12 in my initial ACC power rankings, will wind up at 5-6 in 2020. Here’s how I arrived at that conclusion.

Wins
Georgia Tech
Duke
Liberty
Wake Forest
N.C. State

Losses
No. 18 North Carolina
Pittsburgh
No. 1 Clemson
Boston College
Louisville
No. 10 Notre Dame

Even with only five conquests and a losing record, because several conferences have postponed their fall campaigns, I think that Syracuse football can and will qualify for a post-season bowl berth. Which bowl, honestly, at this juncture, I don’t know.

Now to hand out my projected awards.

Overall MVP
Junior safety Andre Cisco, who will unanimously make All-America first teams.

Offensive MVP
Redshirt junior quarterback Tommy DeVito. So long as the offensive line holds up, and that’s a big “if,” DeVito could produce a relatively strong performance in 2020.

Defensive MVP
Cisco. Duh. That being said, let’s not forget about fellow junior Trill Williams, who will serve as free safety.

Most Important Player
Redshirt freshman Jawhar Jordan, who for now is slotted as the starting running back.

Surprise Player
Senior tight end/defensive tackle Chris Elmore, whose versatility will prove sorely needed as he’s listed as the ‘Cuse starting left guard.

Key Newcomer
I’ll go with a non-player here, as new defensive coordinator Tony White and his 3-3-5 system will absolutely be under the microscope. The Syracuse football secondary is tremendous, but how the Orange does up front and at linebacker is something to monitor.

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