The Syracuse Orange are one college football team that no one can seem to figure out in 2011. Take a look at the end of this article at their rankings in the three publications I quote at the end of every 77 in 77. Notice how their placement is all over the map?
The consensus idea is that the football team at this college basketball school will rely on an emerging offense to carry a rebuilding defense in 2011. This is reversing the trend from last year when a pathetic offense was consistently saved by a stellar D.
If you’re looking for a wild card this fall, the Cuse may just be your team.
2010 was: very successful; the first bowl appearance in six years as the Orange went from Big East doormat to 8-5 winning a de facto home game (the Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx) over Kansas State. It was a weird bowl game as it featured mountains of plowed snow on the sidelines (that just doesn’t fit in a bowl game) and the Cuse got a major break at the end with that infamous BULLSHIT excessive celebration call on the Kansas State WR. He was simply saluting! And the NCAA are going to be even bigger fun police this season. So look out everyone with a pulse.
Anyways SU was great on D (7th nationally, 7th against the pass, 17th in scoring) and atrocious on O (97th overall, 93rd in scoring and 91st in passing)
BMOCs: QB Ryan Nassib could find his way onto the Davey O’Brien list, if he isn’t there already. Mikhail Marinovich (yes he’s related to the lazy pot-smoking dumb-ass USC QB from the early 90s) will be key to the D having another successful season. Chandler Jones at the other end could be a star in the making.
2011 will be fruitful if: the offense does what you think it can. If you’re one of those believers. All 5 of the top receivers from last year return, but what does that mean since the passing game sucked to high heaven last season? Two of those receivers have AWESOME names: Van Chew and Marcus Sales. If the OL improves as much as some people believe it will, and Antwon Bailey fills Delone Carter’s shoes at tailback, then this team will be fine.
2011 will be awful if: the Orange struggle to replace the departed talent at LB and the defense takes a step backward. The Orange also went 0-4 versus FBS teams at home. They were 5-1 on the road, but no one will take them lightly this year, so they must prepare for that. And averaging less than 17 ppg in conference play will just not cut it in 2011.
Bottom Line: Anyone can go 6-6 in the Big East. But if SU’s passing game is for real, they should go back to a bowl, possibly 8-4. They won’t compete for a league title just yet, but Doug Marrone has them moving in the right direction.
SU Rankings: #43 Athlon, #66 Lindy’s, #81 Phil Steele
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