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Syracuse Football: Orange nears top 15 nationwide in ESPN power index

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

The 2023 season has a way to go, but so far, ESPN’s football power index (“FPI”) sure is loving Syracuse football.

The Orange, which sits at 3-0 after knocking off Purdue last Saturday night on the road, will host fellow Empire State squad Army this coming Saturday afternoon to round out its non-conference slate.

Then, over the next few weeks, Syracuse football kicks off Atlantic Coast Conference competition by hosting Clemson, before traveling to North Carolina and Florida State. So all of the metrics that I’ve shared of late about the ‘Cuse could drastically change as the competition intensifies.

For now, though, as we head into week four, Syracuse football resides at No. 16 around the country in ESPN’s FPI, which is defined as “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.”

Within the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Orange – the only team around the country that is in the top five as it relates to both scoring offense and scoring defense – checks in at No. 3, just ahead of Clemson but trailing No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Miami.

Syracuse football has some strong data points, to date, according to ESPN’s football power index.

At this juncture, FPI projects 9.7 victories for the Orange in the 2023 regular season, which would prove fabulous. In late August, I forecast that Syracuse football would go 8-4 in the 2023 regular term.

The ‘Cuse is looking to reach a bowl game for the second year in a row, and the FPI thinks that will happen, giving the Orange a 99.7 percent chance to get to at least a half-dozen wins in 2023.

The FPI gives Syracuse football a 14.8 percent chance to capture the ACC championship, a 6.4 percent chance to make the College Football Playoff, a 2.2 percent chance to advance to the CFP national title game, and a 0.8 percent chance to win the whole darn thing.

A few more tidbits from the FPI. The Orange has a strength of record at No. 24. Its current strength of schedule is No. 109, while its remaining strength of schedule is No. 55.

The ‘Cuse has an overall efficiency of No. 7 nationwide, which is impressive. The team’s offensive efficiency is No. 11, its defensive efficiency is No. 8, and the Orange’s special teams efficiency is No. 116.

In the latest Associated Press top-25 poll, the ‘Cuse received two votes. The Orange garnered 10 votes in the most recent Coaches top-25 poll.

When CBS Sports updated its college football rankings earlier this week, Syracuse football had moved up five spots to No. 41 overall.

We’ve got a way to go, but national pundits are including the ‘Cuse in their 2023 bowl projections. For example, I’ve seen Syracuse football slotted to play UCLA in the Holiday Bowl on December 27 in San Diego.

One projected match-up that has all kinds of intrigue would match the Orange versus Deion Sanders-led Colorado in the Sun Bowl on December 29 in El Paso, Texas.

Next. Syracuse Orange: Head of Orange United ready to ‘vie for championships’. dark