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Syracuse Football: Latest ESPN power ranking projections for the Orange

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

Recently on Twitter, the ACC Network tweeted out the top 5 teams with projected win totals in 2023 within the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Syracuse football was included.

And needless to say, Syracuse football defensive lineman Caleb Okechukwu and I agree.

Now I know that for some fans, 7.5 wins isn’t a slight and they’d probably take that and run. For me though, I see a lot of promise and depth going into the season so I’ll take the over. The four teams ahead of Syracuse football are Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and Miami.

ESPN power ranking projections for Syracuse football.

And while that’s not terrible news even though I think Syracuse football can do better, I decided to look a bit further into the ESPN FPI (Football Power Index) than just the ACC Network tweet and found more reasons for an optimistic fan like me to doubt it even more.

You can see the data for yourself here, but I wanted to share a few things I noticed.

For instance, on the positive side, their analytics show there’s a 92.1% chance Syracuse football gets at least 6 wins (which means another bowl season). But after that, the doubt gets heavy.

When it comes to how they’ll finish in the ACC, they gave Syracuse football a 4% chance to win the division and only a 1.9% chance to win the conference (and yes, of course, Clemson is the perennial favorite in all categories).

If you’re hopeful the Orange has a chance to make the playoffs, play in the national championship game or win it all, ESPN FPI says you’re wrong and there is a 0.0% chance of any of that. Only Clemson and FSU are given any opportunity for the championship game and winning it (though they do give Carolina a .5% and Miami a 0.1% chance of making the playoffs).

Now look, it’s only May and these are projections that, according to the website, are based on 20,000 simulations of the season. This isn’t some hot-take host trying to get clicks by upsetting fans.

This is just what simulations say but simulations don’t know how players will react to situations in real time. They don’t know if a coach will go for it on 4th and 1 at midfield. And they don’t know the heart and determination that the players might have going into the game or especially certain plays.

With that said, this also isn’t written as a clickbait piece because I don’t do that. This is me simply sharing with you what I found and saying that as an optimist, I refuse to believe Syracuse has no chance at the playoffs in May.

I’m sure Phil Steele and the pundits will put out their lists in the next couple of months as well and as we get closer, I might try to do something as well but it’s also hard for me to ever think my team will lose. Can they? Yes but saying they definitely will in my eyes means I don’t believe my team is capable of winning and I believe SU can win any game on any given day.

And while the past couple of years have usually seen experts picking the over/under for wins at around 4-5, this is higher but is it high enough in your book? Do you think Syracuse football has the talent to win with the staff and players they have now?

I’m going on the record again saying, “Why can’t Syracuse win them all?” What proof does anyone have that Syracuse has no chance? As of right now in May, I truly in my heart believe Syracuse football has just as much opportunity and desire to win as anyone else in the country.

Next. Syracuse Football: Expert forecasts Orange to earn bid to 2023 bowl game. dark