Syracuse football vaults into top 20 nationally in ESPN football power index

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Following week-two action, Syracuse football was one of the big movers around the country in ESPN’s football power index (“FPI”).

The Orange (2-0), after crushing Western Michigan this past Saturday on the Hill by a final count of 48-7, jumped nine spots to No. 18 nationwide in ESPN’s FPI, which “is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.”

In all fairness, the ‘Cuse has faced two sub-par foes to date in the young 2023 season, dismantling Colgate at home, 65-0, and then destroying Western Michigan. So the Orange’s current FPI has to get taken with a grain of salt, as the team will travel to Purdue this coming Saturday night and dive into the meat of its challenging ACC schedule in the coming weeks.

Still, to have a top-20 FPI rating is encouraging. Within the Atlantic Coast Conference, Syracuse football resides at No. 3, ahead of both Clemson and North Carolina, while trailing only Florida State and Miami, which just knocked off top-25 Texas A&M.

Syracuse football has tallied a strong power index ranking in the early part of the 2023 term.

I’m passing along some other interesting tidbits about the ‘Cuse from the various categories of the FPI. At this juncture, the Orange is projected to go 9-3 in the 2023 regular season, which would be fabulous. I had the team at 8-4 during the 12-game regular stanza.

The Syracuse football strength of record is No. 52 nationally. Its current strength of schedule is No. 131, while the ‘Cuse remaining strength of schedule, as the docket gets tougher, is No. 47.

In overall efficiencies, the Orange presently resides at No. 6 nationwide. The squad is No. 14 in offensive efficiency, No. 7 in defensive efficiency, and No. 65 in special-teams efficiency.

To reiterate, Syracuse football hasn’t played a challenging schedule so far. Colgate is a FCS team. Western Michigan was picked to finish at No. 6 in the west division of the Mid-American Conference.

Regardless, in its two wins to start out 2023, the ‘Cuse has outscored its opponents by a combined 113-7. That’s impressive.

Syracuse football needs six regular-season triumphs to reach a bowl game for the second year in a row. ESPN’s FPI says that the Orange currently has a 98.3 percent chance to get to a half-dozen victories this season.

This is all crazy speculation, but the FPI gives the ‘Cuse a 9.3 percent chance to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference title, a 4.4 percent chance to make the College Football Playoff, a 1.4 percent chance to make the CFP national championship game, and a 0.5 percent chance to win a national title this season.

Even though I’m a homer, I don’t envision Syracuse football winning the ACC crown or heading to the CFP. But I’ll gladly take an eight-victory regular season and a conquest in a bowl game.

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