GREENSBORO, N.C. — A quick take on Syracuse’s first preseason media event and the media predictions as a member of the ACC, wrapping up Monday at the Grandover Resort:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange were selected to finish in sixth place, ahead of only Boston College in the Atlantic Division, in a vote taken by the media covering the league teams who are also members of the ACC media coalition group ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association). Clemson was selected to win the Atlantic and beat preseason Coastal Division pick Miami in the championship game. The rest of the Atlantic picks in order: Florida State, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Maryland, then SU and BC. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd was the unanimous choice as preseason player of the year.
ANALYSIS:Do the words “football snobbery” come to mind here? It seems there’s simply no respect for football played above the Mason-Dixon Line, especially by southern-based media who are not overtly familiar with Syracuse, or have a built-in perception that the former Big East football conference was so weak, there’s no way a team from that league could contend in year one of ACC play. Eight months ago Louisville beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Two months earlier the Orange crunched the Cards.
HERO: SU’s player contingent of DT Jay Bromley and C Macky MacPherson, and rookie head coach Scott Shafer were politely respectful of the new opponents and teams they will face this season, praising the quality of players, coaches and competition they will see beginning Oct. 5 when Clemson comes to town. Deep inside, and in stretches of honesty during the many interviews they conducted, the Syracuse group clearly feels it can compete for one of eight ACC bowl bids.
ZERO: Too much southern cooking, or the fact that too many media members simply don’t know enough about the ‘Cuse program, new coach Shafer, or the caliber of player the school has been recruiting to form an educated opinion on Orange football 2013. Picking SU only ahead of BC was the easy vote to make.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will open its 2013 football season at MetLife Stadium when they play Penn State on Aug. 31. Kickoff: 3:30 ET. TV: ABC/ESPN2