Orange Fizz


ESPN Doubts Syracuse Football In ACC Preview

Every year, the national media likes to release an in-depth analysis of each team in college football, plotting how it’s believed the team will perform for the upcoming season. Yesterday, senior staff writer Bill Connelly of released the annual ACC preview for the 2024 season. Unfortunately for Orange fans, national outlets are saying to pump the brakes on all the hype this season.

For its ranking system, ESPN prefers to use the advanced statistical term SP+, also known as the adjusted points per game figure. Last season, Syracuse football finished with a -4.4 SP+, meaning the team was just over four points worse than the FBS average. For 2024, with the addition of Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord and first-year head coach Fran Brown? It’s not as good as you may think, with the algorithm slotting them at a -0.9 SP+. Improvement of course, but this projects SU to finish 12th in the ACC.

In terms of winning the ACC, chances might be even more slim. ESPN has the Orange tabbed with a 0.8% chance of winning the conference, which is the tenth-best odds. In terms of winning 11+ games, even slimmer at 0.2%. ‘Cuse fans might hear these numbers and feel insulted or disheartened, but to quote one of the best movies of all time Dumb And Dumber, you’re saying there’s a chance?

The full-team analysis at least showed some positivity. The Orange are officially projected to rank 64th in the nation in SP+ and finish with 6 wins, which the program has done in back-to-back seasons under Dino Babers. Connelly went in-depth on some of the team’s additions over the offseason, citing the program as “thin in some aspects, but with strong abilities physically.”

ESPN’s player to watch for the 2024 season? Not the guy you may think. That honor went to CB Duce Chestnut, who is returning to Syracuse after a year at LSU. Many fans (and ESPN) hope that he can return to the all-ACC form he once held in his last dance of sorts.

So the negative Nancy’s are out in full force against SU football this year, downplaying the buzz surrounding the program. But to quote New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, “If you ain’t got haters, you ain’t popping,” so it may be time for Fran Brown and company to prove some people wrong this year.

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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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