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ACC Preseason Poll Doesn’t Think Highly of SU

As crazy as it sounds, the first ACC football game of the season is only a month away and Syracuse’s first game is only 38 days from now. Yesterday the ACC released its preseason poll. 103 members of the media voted in this poll, including those at the ACC Kickoff last week in Charlotte. Be warned, the results aren’t a pretty sight for Orange fans.

Dead. Last. Sure, SU improved by four wins last season and it has a Heisman Candidate. Nonetheless, Dino Babers’ squad still got the fewest votes of any school in the conference. So why is the media so low on the Orange?

First off, Syracuse’s schedule is a bloodbath. It’s the 26th toughest schedule in all of the FBS, and the toughest opponents come consecutively. Earlier this week, ESPN ranked its four-game stretch of NC State, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh in succession as the toughest in all of college football. That in all likelihood is four losses right there. Combine that with the fact that Wake Forest is also ranked in preseason polls, Boston College may have the best QB in the conference, and Louisville has owned the Orange in recent matchups, wins are gonna be tough to come by.

There is also one very serious hole on this roster: who’s gonna catch passes? That’s been a lingering question ever since Taj Harris left the program. No one on the roster topped 400 receiving yards last season. SU’s leading receiver averaged a whole 32 yards per game. That is not going to cut it. Unless someone breaks out, the offense is going to be very one-dimensional, and under no circumstances is that a route to success.

Finally, the disparity in talent between divisions is quite high. Most wouldn’t bat an eye if someone said the sixth-ranked team in the Atlantic in Boston College is better than North Carolina, the third-ranked team in the Coastal. Perhaps because of that disparity, teams like Georgia Tech and Duke are benefitting a bit in the polls, putting them ahead of SU. The Atlantic is better than the Coastal, and it’s not reaching to say Syracuse might be higher ranked if it played a Coastal schedule.

The only surefire wins on the schedule are Uconn and Wagner, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that SU doesn’t win a single game outside of those two. There’s a big missing piece on the roster. The Orange have a much tougher schedule than some of the bottom-feeders in the Coastal. Syracuse fans aren’t going to like hearing this, but when you factor all of those things together, the last place ranking makes sense. Even with all the optimism that came out of last season’s improvement, it could be a tough go of things in 2022.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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