Syracuse football, despite loss, in top 25 nationally of football power index

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse football, over the weekend, suffered its first defeat of the 2023 season, but the Orange remains in the top 25 across the country, according to ESPN’s football power index (“FPI”).

The FPI, by the way, 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,” according to ESPN’s Web site.

In the latest FPI, the ‘Cuse (4-1) resides at No. 22 nationwide. The team fell two spots from last week, when it checked in at No. 20 overall in the FPI.

On Saturday afternoon at the JMA Wireless Dome, during homecoming weekend for Syracuse University, the Orange struggled on offense and was hampered by both turnovers and penalties in losing to Clemson (3-2), 31-14.

With the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ‘Cuse is No. 5 in the FPI. Florida State is No. 1, followed by Miami, Clemson, North Carolina and then Syracuse football. This coming Saturday, Oct. 7, the Orange will travel to top-20 North Carolina (4-0) in another tough test for the ‘Cuse in ACC play.

Syracuse football remains high up in the ESPN football power index.

With seven contests left in the 2023 regular season, the Orange needs two more victories to qualify for a bowl game for the second year in a row. The FPI, at present, gives Syracuse football a 99.6 percent chance to get to a half-dozen triumphs, and this metric is forecasting 8.8 wins for the ‘Cuse at this juncture.

The FPI says that the Orange has a 2.5 percent chance to capture the ACC title, a 0.3 percent chance to make the College Football Playoff, and a 0.1 percent chance to advance to the CFP championship game.

Look, I think we all agree that Syracuse football isn’t going to do any of the above things. But the ‘Cuse still has a great opportunity to get to a bowl game and reach, say, eight or nine wins in total. That’s a successful 2023 season, in my book.

Here are some other metrics, per the FPI. The Orange’s current strength of record is No. 37. The team’s strength of schedule is No. 78, and the remaining strength of schedule is No. 56.

The ‘Cuse has an overall efficiency of No. 26, which to me is still pretty darn solid. The Syracuse football offensive efficiency is No. 29, the defensive efficiency is No. 19, and the special teams efficiency is No. 88.

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