Syracuse football has 'cake schedule,' pundit says, but forecasts SU at No. 10 in ACC

A national observer says Syracuse football has an easy 2024 schedule, but he projects 'Cuse to finish at No. 10 in the ACC.
A national observer says Syracuse football has an easy 2024 schedule, but he projects 'Cuse to finish at No. 10 in the ACC. / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

I know that I'm a total homer when it comes to 'Cuse sports, being a proud SU alum, but man, I feel like a lot of national observers are sleeping on Syracuse football ahead of the 2024 season.

As context, the Orange program has gone 13-13 overall over the past two seasons, making consecutive bowl games (and losing both of them). But prior to that, Syracuse football put forth some truly sub-par campaigns under then-head coach Dino Babers.

New head coach Fran Brown and his top-flight staff have created a palpable buzz on the Hill with their recruiting efforts to date. However, as we all know, what matters the most is how the team ultimately performs on the field in the upcoming season.

Yes, Brown and his assistants hauled in a strong 2024 recruiting class consisting of talented high school seniors and college transfers. The industry-generated 247Sports Composite places the 'Cuse 2024 class in the top 40 overall at the high school level, while via the transfer portal, this Syracuse football cycle is in the top 10 nationwide on the On3 Web site.

One national expert doesn't have Syracuse football all that high in ACC power rankings.

Brown, though, is a first-year, and a first-time, head coach at the collegiate level, so some level of skepticism - or at least cautious optimism - regarding the Orange's 2024 prospects is understandable.

That being said, a national pundit recently published a set of preseason Atlantic Coast Conference power rankings, and this expert isn't super high on Syracuse football's forecasted placement in the league's pecking order.

In fact, he's got the 'Cuse in the bottom-half of the ACC, which I respectfully disagree with; naturally, Orange players and coaches will have every opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong later this year.

Amid spring football and the second transfer-portal window basically wrapped up at this juncture, On3 national columnist Jesse Simonton recently unveiled his preseason ACC power rankings, and he's got Syracuse football at No. 10.

With the additions, this coming campaign, of California, Stanford and SMU, the ACC is up to 17 members in football. Here is the full list of Simonton's ACC ratings:
Florida State
N.C. State
Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Boston College
Wake Forest

Now, to be fair, while Simonton writes that the Orange has a "cake schedule" in 2024, he also says that Syracuse football "could be a tough out" in the upcoming term. I think those are logical points.

Simonton dishes out praise to Brown and his staff for what they've done this off-season in the portal, landing four-star transfers such as quarterback Kyle McCord from Ohio State, edge Fadil Diggs from Texas A&M, and several guys from Georgia, where Brown most recently served as the defensive backs coach.

The On3 national columnist adds that based on what Brown and his assistants have done in shaping the team's roster for this next term, the 'Cuse is potentially set up "for a surprise season in Year 1."

Given that Syracuse football hasn't really been nationally relevant for a while now, and it has a new head coach and a significantly overhauled roster, even with a manageable 2024 docket (at least on paper), I understand why Simonton and others aren't inclined to project the Orange in the top tier of the ACC in preseason prognostications.

But as I said earlier, while these sorts of rankings are fun for debate purposes, Syracuse football can show what it's made of in a few short months on the field.

Next. Syracuse Football: Early projection of 'Cuse regular-season record in 2024 campaign. Syracuse Football: Early projection of 'Cuse regular-season record in 2024 campaign. dark