Given what a college basketball powerhouse you have in the Syracuse Orange, you easily forget the history of college football surrounding the SU program. Jim Brown, Ernie Davis the first black Heisman Trophy winner, I suggest you Netflix “The Express,” to edify yourself on what the program once was.
What it is today is far less impressive. The Orange won 8 games in 2010, including a bowl, and got off to a 5-2 start in 2011. However, they lost 5 in a row to finish below .500 overall and a terrible 1-6 in Big East play. I’d say .500 might be a pipe dream again this year, as their offense just doesn’t really make plays.
2011 was: great for converting third downs, but horrible for giving up third downs, as the Orange ranked first and last respectively in conference, in those categories. The Cuse had issues running the ball, finishing in the 90s in the national rankings in both rushing offense and scoring offense
2012 will go smoothly if: they learn how to stop people, as they were last in the Big East in total and scoring defense. And now they’ll have to do it without pass rusher supreme Chandler Jones who was taken by the New England Patriots in the NFL Draft. Nassib will have to make plays via his experienced wideouts, even if they are more possession receivers than vertical threats. Perhaps the arrival of dual threat QB/RB Ashton Broyld will help?
2012 will be rough if: they consistently give up big plays through the air, as they ranked 98th in pass defense last season. It also would help is they didn’t finish dead last in conference in sacks again.
BMOCs: QB Ryan Nassib, WR Alec Lemon who set a school record for single season receptions, LB Marquis Spruill (how much he’ll be ready by season kick off is up in the air, as he suffered an injury in spring ball), WR Marcus Sales (hey, the drug charges were dropped! Huzzah)
All-name team: SS Shamarko Thomas, RB Prince-Tyson Gulley, C Macky MacPherson, FB Clay Cleveland
Bottom Line: There are too many issues in the secondary, linebackers and running back for this team to go bowling. They’ll probably finish in the 3-9 to 5-7 range and close to the Big East basement. The schedule is tougher than usual this year- obviously that doesn’t help things.
Rankings: Athlon- 67 Lindy’s- 75
All the 77s
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too