Syracuse Football: Fran Brown is ranked next-to-last among P4 head coaches - nonsense

A CBS Sports ranking of head coaches in the power-four leagues has Syracuse football first-year boss Fran Brown next to last.
A CBS Sports ranking of head coaches in the power-four leagues has Syracuse football first-year boss Fran Brown next to last. / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

CBS Sports has published rankings of the 68 heads coaches in the power-four conferences, and Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown checks in next to last.

The recent article from Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports has Brown, who officially took over the 'Cuse program in early December of last year, at No. 67. The only head coach behind him is UCLA's DeShaun Foster, at No. 68.

This ranking for Brown, candidly, doesn't surprise me. He's a first-year head coach on the Hill, and he's a first-time head coach in college football. Brown, an ace recruiter, joined the Orange after most recently serving as the defensive backs coach at Southeastern Conference member Georgia.

Now, because Brown hasn't been a head coach before, nor served as a coordinator, I get why his ranking from CBS Sports is near the bottom. My issue here, and why I used the word "nonsense" in the headline for this column, is because I think it's unfair to rank a head coach who has yet to coach an actual game.

But these rankings come out year after year, and I'm not throwing shade at Fornelli. Maybe the better thing to do with these sorts of ratings is to not include guys who are first-year head coaches at a new program.

I don't know. It just made me a little bit irritated to see Brown so "low" on this list. Naturally, he'll have every opportunity to show what he can do as a head coach in the upcoming 2024 season.

A national writer has Syracuse football's Fran Brown near the bottom in head-coach rankings.

To be fair, here's what Fornelli included in his story regarding Brown: "This hire is one that I look forward to following. Brown was a good coach and incredible recruiter for Georgia, but will his recruiting acumen translate to upstate New York? It's a very different sell, but Brown is off to a strong start. Now we await what kind of results the Orange can get on the field."

That sentiment is spot on. Brown was a fabulous recruiter at Georgia. He's recruiting at a high level to date with the 'Cuse. But, yes, he's yet to coach a game. So we'll have to wait and see how he fares on the field.

In a separate piece, Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports authored a story where he looked at what the head coaches in the "bottom 10" of these rankings, including Brown, can do to boost their stock in the 2024 season.

Here's what Jeyarajah had to say. "Brown's hire marked another rare jump from position coach to head coach, but he learned from some of the best in the industry. The former NFL corner served under Matt Rhule (Temple and Baylor) and Greg Schiano (Rutgers) before landing on Kirby Smart's Georgia staff. He is considered perhaps the best recruiter in the Northeastern region."

Jeyarajah then added, "Brown has emerged as one of the fiercest recruiters in college football and has also produced a few major wins in his short tenure. The Orange jumped from No. 73 to 36 in the 247Sports overall recruiting rankings after reeling in a top 25 transfer class, headlined by Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord. Frankly, Brown is well on track to shoot up the rankings if his roster lives up to some of its high promise."

Again, these are valid and logical points from Jeyarajah. Brown has demonstrated his historical recruiting prowess thus far in Central New York, and it's to be determined whether that recruiting excellence translates to wins on the field in 2024 and beyond.

As I and other writers covering Syracuse football have noted lately, the Orange's schedule in the upcoming term appears favorable, and many 'Cuse fans whom I interact with on social media and in chat rooms think that the team can notch eight, nine (or dare I say, double-digit?) wins in 2024.

To that end, for more context, not too long ago, Will Backus of CBS Sports did have an article that looked at new head coaches in college football this off-season. Backus, using some examples from other recent seasons, did seem to indicate that Brown's top-flight recruiting skills could bode "well" for Syracuse football this coming season.

Super early preseason rankings, of any kind or regarding any topic, are so subjective in nature. They're fun for discussion purposes. I look forward to Fran Brown and his players proving all the naysayers wrong in a few months.

Next. Syracuse Football: In ACC quarterback rankings, 4-star Kyle McCord is far too low. Syracuse Football: In ACC quarterback rankings, 4-star Kyle McCord is far too low. dark