Syracuse Football: Unflattering forecasts for Orange from national pundits

Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images) /

Two national media outlets have given unflattering projections for Syracuse football ahead of the 2023 season, which begins on Saturday, Sept. 2, when the Orange hosts Colgate at the JMA Wireless Dome.

In recent days, both CBS Sports and ESPN came out with their preseason prognostications for the Atlantic Coast Conference, and each media outlet believes, by and large, that the ‘Cuse will finish toward the bottom half of the league in the 2023 campaign.

Eight CBS Sports panelists provided their forecasts on the ACC. Syracuse football got one vote at No. 8, one vote at No. 9, five votes at No. 10 and one vote at No. 11. The ACC has 14 members in football, with Notre Dame being an independent.

Over at ESPN, Andrea Adelson has the Orange at No. 11, while David Hale places the ‘Cuse at No. 10. A separate ESPN article projects that the ‘Cuse will finish at 7-5 overall (4-0 in the non-conference and 3-5 in ACC games).

Syracuse football, I think, will finish higher in the ACC than some national pundits predict.

In 2022, the Orange raced out to a 6-0 start and was ranked in the top 15 of the major polls. But the ‘Cuse slumped down the stretch, finishing at 7-6 overall while making a bowl game.

This coming term, I do believe that Syracuse football will make a bowl game for a second year in a row, and several national experts have included the Orange in their super early 2023 bowl projections.

Earlier this year, noted college football expert Phil Steele said that he thinks the ‘Cuse is primed to have a “good year.” The ACC’s preseason media poll, released at the beginning of August, had Syracuse football at No. 10 in the conference race, while CBS Sports, in its preseason national rankings, put the Orange at No. 56 across the country.

All of this stuff is speculative in nature, and Syracuse football players will have plenty of opportunities to silence their critics. The ‘Cuse will face several teams on its 2023 docket that are ranked in the preseason Associated Press and Coaches top-25 polls, including the ACC’s two preseason favorites, Clemson and Florida State.

I’ve got a piece coming up soon where I project the Orange’s 2023 regular-season record, and I do think the ‘Cuse will finish higher than No. 10 or No. 11 in the ACC (maybe in the No. 6 to the No. 8 range).

Take it with the proverbial grain of salt, but numerous Syracuse football players have received preseason ACC and national accolades, including star receiver Oronde Gadsden II, quarterback Garrett Shrader, running back LeQuint Allen Jr., linebacker Marlowe Wax Jr. and wide receiver/return man Trebor Pena.

Adelson and Hale, within the ACC, also tackled the annual “hot seat” question, and both mentioned Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers. Adelson writes that if the Orange doesn’t make a bowl game in 2023, then he’s likely on the hot seat.

"Adds Hale: “A year ago, the talk seemed to be bowl-or-bust for Babers and the Orange, but a 7-6 season and a Pinstripe Bowl berth didn’t quiet the critics. Blame it on the raised expectations of a 6-0 start. A more balanced performance — and another bowl game — should do the trick in 2023, but if the Orange regress, the pressure will mount.”"

Next. Syracuse Football: Star Oronde Gadsden II hauls in AP All-America honors. dark