Syracuse Football: Expert says ‘Cuse is one of biggest mysteries ahead of 2024 season

A national expert says Syracuse football is one of the sport's biggest mysteries ahead of the upcoming 2024 season.
A national expert says Syracuse football is one of the sport's biggest mysteries ahead of the upcoming 2024 season. / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

It remains to be seen how Syracuse football first-year head coach Fran Brown and his team fare in the upcoming 2024 season, but I will say this.

The Orange is receiving a lot of chatter among national and Atlantic Coast Conference pundits as these folks discuss the next campaign. The ‘Cuse will begin its spring practices on March 21, and the team’s annual spring game is scheduled for April 20.

Since taking over the program in early December, Brown and his newly assembled staff have undeniably created a buzz in the air on the Hill.

Brown, deemed by 247Sports as the No. 1 national recruiter for the 2024 cycle, and his assistants have hit the recruiting trail hard.

The Orange’s 2024 class, inclusive of both high school seniors and college transfers, includes multiple four-star prospects. This SU cycle is also rated in the top 40 nationally at the high school level and in the top 25 overall via the transfer portal.

What’s more, while the ‘Cuse saw a bunch of 2023 players hit the portal, the Orange also is returning multiple key guys on both sides of the field.

Some national experts aren’t entirely sure how to evaluate Syracuse football in the 2024 term.

It’s clear that Brown, most recently the defensive backs coach at Georgia, and his staff can recruit at a stellar level. But how that translates into on-field performances is to be determined.

Let’s also provide some context in that Brown is not only in his first year guiding the ‘Cuse, but he’s also a first-time head coach.

It’s been well-documented that, on paper, Syracuse football appears to have a fairly favorable 2024 schedule. Yet the Orange is just a combined 13-13 over the past two seasons (making a bowl game in each year), so for some fans and pundits alike to forecast the ‘Cuse to win 10-plus games in 2024 could be deemed a stretch.

Then again, maybe not. I’ve already put in a projection of nine regular-season victories for Syracuse football in the 2024 stanza. Various experts have opined that the Orange could – I repeat, could – contend for the ACC’s top tier in the upcoming campaign.

So, to me, this suggests that the ‘Cuse has a high ceiling. On the flip side, FanDuel recently predicted the over/under win total for Syracuse football at 6.5. I like the over here, but one could argue I have Orange-colored glasses on.

Recently, Josh Pate, the host of Late Kick Live and The Late Kick Podcast, identified the four teams that enter the 2024 term as the biggest mysteries in college football, according to an article from 247Sports writer Carter Bahns.

The ‘Cuse was included here. As Bahns wrote in part, “Syracuse faces one of college football’s most favorable schedules next season. The question is whether the program has what it takes to capitalize on that opportunity. … Should Brown’s on-field acumen match that recruiting ability, the Orange could make significant noise in the ACC during his debut campaign.”

Totally agree with Carter.

Pate was quoted as saying, “Fran Brown just took over as head coach. There was an immediate uptick in portal activity, in recruiting, and they got Kyle McCord at quarterback by way of Ohio State. If I were to say, just for example, ‘Kyle McCord will be the best quarterback in the ACC this year,’ you would laugh. And maybe you’re right. But my question is, ‘Who will be definitively better?’ … If they get production like that, they have a schedule that’s very interesting.”

That’s well said by Josh. Yes, Syracuse football has a brand new, first-time head coach. Yes, the Orange’s roster has seen a sizable makeover. How the ‘Cuse gels as a cohesive unit will be key.

Given the team’s recent history, some experts being skeptical about Syracuse football loading up on wins in 2024 is understandable. Simultaneously, the Orange does seem to have the potential to surprise people and make a run at the ACC title come this fall.

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