Syracuse Football: Struggling Orange plummets in ESPN’s power index

Syracuse football(Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football(Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse football, as a result of its current three-game losing streak, continues to slide in ESPN’s football power index (“FPI”).

Most recently, last Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla., the Orange’s offense continued to struggle, and the ‘Cuse got smoked by top-five Florida State, 41-3.

The ‘Cuse (4-3, 0-3 in the ACC) has now gotten decisively beat in three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference affairs, first at home to Clemson, and then on the road to highly rated North Carolina and FSU.

As such, Syracuse football dropped eight spots, to No. 36 overall, in the 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,” according to ESPN’s Web site.

Residing in the top 40 overall of the FPI is okay, but it’s a far cry from where the Orange sat last month, when the ‘Cuse was No. 18 after a 2-0 start and No. 20 overall when Syracuse football sported a 4-0 mark at the conclusion of its 2023 non-conference calendar.

Syracuse football still has a great chance to reach a bowl game in the 2023 season.

With five regular-season contests left, all against conference foes, the Orange needs to pick up at least two victories to qualify for a post-season bowl for the second year in a row.

To that end, the FPI is forecasting the ‘Cuse to have an overall record of 7.5-4.6, and Syracuse football has an overwhelming 95.9 percent chance to attain at least a half-dozen triumphs in the current term. The FPI says that Syracuse football has a 16.8 percent chance to achieve success in all of its remaining games this season.

For what it’s worth, national pundits at CBS Sports and 247Sports, among others, keep projecting that the ‘Cuse will get to a bowl game in 2023.

Coming up, the Orange has a much-needed bye week to rest and regroup, and then the ‘Cuse will travel to Virginia Tech on Thursday, Oct. 26. Without question, Syracuse football must get its act together, particularly on offense, but there are many “winnable” games remaining on the team’s 2023 schedule.

In the ACC pecking order, per the FPI, the Orange is presently No. 7, trailing in order Florida State, North Carolina, Clemson, Miami, Duke and Louisville.

The ‘Cuse has a strength of record at No. 46. Based on its recent three-game span versus high-quality opponents, the team’s strength of schedule has risen to No. 8 nationally, while the Orange’s remaining strength of schedule is No. 80.

From an efficiencies perspective, the FPI gives Syracuse football an overall efficiency of No. 38, an offensive efficiency of No. 43, a defensive efficiency of No. 29, and a special teams efficiency of No. 104.

Looking ahead, the Orange has a higher overall FPI than all five of its remaining foes, at least for the time being. Here’s where things stand with the team’s upcoming opponents:

Thursday, Oct. 26
at Virginia Tech (No. 63 in overall FPI)

Friday, Nov. 3
vs. Boston College (No. 89 in overall FPI)

Saturday, Nov. 11
vs. Pittsburgh in New York City (No. 49 in overall FPI)

Saturday, Nov. 18
at Georgia Tech (No. 55 in overall FPI)

Saturday, Nov. 25
vs. Wake Forest (No. 71 in overall FPI)

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