Bill Connelly SP+ Ratings for 2020 College Football

sutomcat

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Syracuse has the lowest rating in the ACC. Of P5 schools, only Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Kansas have lower ratings.

Based on this, we are going to be favored to win 2, possibly 3 games.

I will argue that the biggest issue for the offense was the OL, and it was solved late in the season. We have 4 starters back from that much improved lineup of OL and it is highly likely Bleich will be given immediate eligibility, so we would have 5 experienced returning starters.

Losing Mo, Trishton and Riley really hurts our production numbers returning but we are loaded at RB and there is little doubt in my mind we will get as good or better production from the RBs returning than we got from Mo. Abdul, Traveon and Jawhar have a lot of potential. One thing Sterlin has done consistently as an OC is run the ball successfully. I expect with an improved OL and a better OC, we will see improvement here in 2020.

I am more worried about production at WR. Taj, Nakeim and Aaron are a nice group to start with but we need a couple of other players to step up. I think Benson will definitely be a featured part of the offense and often be on the field with Aaron. He might benefit more from Trish leaving than anyone. We still need a WR or two to step up. I don’t know who will but the good news is we have a lot of WRs on the roster, all have talent and it is probable at least one emerges as a reliable weapon. And there is still the possibility we get a late transfer.

So we will likely have some problems getting our WRs open again but we will surely have much better pass blocking, I think having a more experienced OC will again help, Tommy should be better after a year of adversity and I think we end passing a lot more to our talented TEs and RBs. Especially Jordan. So I think we are improved in the passing game as well.

On defense, things don‘t look great on paper, We lose Robinson and Coleman at DE, Ruff at DT, Armstrong and Williams at LB and Foster at SS. Plus we are changing schemes and should expect some growing pains. But other P5 schools have switched to the 3-3-5 and seen improvements immediately. I am talking about Iowa State and Arizona State here. Kingsley Jonathan played at the same level as Robinson and Coleman and we have a bevy of well regarded young DEs to fill out the depth chart. We go from needing 4 starting DL to 3, which also helps address depth issues here. With McKinley Williams and Curtis Harper in the middle and Black likely able to play both NT and DE, we have 4 guys with a ton of PT to build around and should be okay. Though a late transfer DT would be a great addition.

We lost our starting LBs but return Mikel Jones, who played a lot and looked very promising (and well suited to the 3-3-5). Richards has gotten a lot of PT for 2 years and is another guy whose skill set appears well suited for the new scheme. Wallace looked good in limited PT last year. We have a number of fine young LBs to throw into the fray. Cantin-Arku and Kpogba in particular are likely to get PT. Both wowed in limited playing time last season. We have a bunch of guys who have speed and raw athletic ability. This is what the 3-3-5 scheme needs to work.

At secondary, Frederick, Cordy and Foster are gone. But our best CB, Iffy is back. Our second best cover guy, Trill Williams is back. Our AA FS Andre Cisco is back. Eric Coley quietly finished 6th on the team in tackles, played a lot last season and will likely be the SS. Stritzinger has played a lot the last 2 seasons and could play nickel (likely) or SS for us. And we have a bunch of well regarded youngsters who will fight for spots on the two deep. We have a lot of experience at all positions and should be fine. Though it should be noted no one on the team has ever played the new, as yet unnamed hybrid LB/S position that comes with the 3-3-5. But we have a bunch of players who could fill in here (I think that position basically replaces our nickelback we used when we played a 4-2-5). They aren’t the same positions at all but Trill and Striz are probably going to be shots at it.

Anyway, long post to say that while it is true we are not returning a ton of production, there is a lot of experience that is returning, way more than you would think just looking at things like starts. I think we are dramatically underrated here.

 

orangenauburn

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Aren't these things reactionary to the year prior?

When we were last or close to it, we were picked last the following year.

We had a ten win year and then were picked 2nd in conference the year after being picked last.

Now we have a step back year and we are picked last again?

Nahhhh

Fuhget these numbers

Also pretty sure we will be ranked last in almost every preseason article
 

UpstateSM

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The first two games 100% define the season and I don’t care for it
 

OrangeAl

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As Coach Mac used to say, in college football you lose players but the beat goes on.
I'm sure we'll be as pleasantly surprised this fall as we were disappointed last fall.
 

storange

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Get ready for the barrage of crap predictions. I agree with Tom , but they will jump all over us they always do.
 

skurey

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Will be interesting to see if the oline improvement was due to the reshuffling of players or the weaker pass rushes we faced at the end of the year.

RB and WR should be fine.

The defense has been bad for almost Dino's entire tenure. Add in a brand new scheme and it might be ugly again. Or maybe our players fit better into the new D and show a nice improvement. It can't get much worse can it?

Overall I'm not too high on the win total but we don't play a hard schedule so you never know.
 

baggerbob

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Syracuse has the lowest rating in the ACC. Of P5 schools, only Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Kansas have lower ratings.

Based on this, we are going to be favored to win 2, possibly 3 games.

I will argue that the biggest issue for the offense was the OL, and it was solved late in the season. We have 4 starters back from that much improved lineup of OL and it is highly likely Bleich will be given immediate eligibility, so we would have 5 experienced returning starters.

Losing Mo, Trishton and Riley really hurts our production numbers returning but we are loaded at RB and there is little doubt in my mind we will get as good or better production from the RBs returning than we got from Mo. Abdul, Traveon and Jawhar have a lot of potential. One thing Sterlin has done consistently as an OC is run the ball successfully. I expect with an improved OL and a better OC, we will see improvement here in 2020.

I am more worried about production at WR. Taj, Nakeim and Aaron are a nice group to start with but we need a couple of other players to step up. I think Benson will definitely be a featured part of the offense and often be on the field with Aaron. He might benefit more from Trish leaving than anyone. We still need a WR or two to step up. I don’t know who will but the good news is we have a lot of WRs on the roster, all have talent and it is probable at least one emerges as a reliable weapon. And there is still the possibility we get a late transfer.

So we will likely have some problems getting our WRs open again but we will surely have much better pass blocking, I think having a more experienced OC will again help, Tommy should be better after a year of adversity and I think we end passing a lot more to our talented TEs and RBs. Especially Jordan. So I think we are improved in the passing game as well.

On defense, things don‘t look great on paper, We lose Robinson and Coleman at DE, Ruff at DT, Armstrong and Williams at LB and Foster at SS. Plus we are changing schemes and should expect some growing pains. But other P5 schools have switched to the 3-3-5 and seen improvements immediately. I am talking about Iowa State and Arizona State here. Kingsley Jonathan played at the same level as Robinson and Coleman and we have a bevy of well regarded young DEs to fill out the depth chart. We go from needing 4 starting DL to 3, which also helps address depth issues here. With McKinley Williams and Curtis Harper in the middle and Black likely able to play both NT and DE, we have 4 guys with a ton of PT to build around and should be okay. Though a late transfer DT would be a great addition.

We lost our starting LBs but return Mikel Jones, who played a lot and looked very promising (and well suited to the 3-3-5). Richards has gotten a lot of PT for 2 years and is another guy whose skill set appears well suited for the new scheme. Wallace looked good in limited PT last year. We have a number of fine young LBs to throw into the fray. Cantin-Arku and Kpogba in particular are likely to get PT. Both wowed in limited playing time last season. We have a bunch of guys who have speed and raw athletic ability. This is what the 3-3-5 scheme needs to work.

At secondary, Frederick, Cordy and Foster are gone. But our best CB, Iffy is back. Our second best cover guy, Trill Williams is back. Our AA FS Andre Cisco is back. Eric Coley quietly finished 6th on the team in tackles, played a lot last season and will likely be the SS. Stritzinger has played a lot the last 2 seasons and could play nickel (likely) or SS for us. And we have a bunch of well regarded youngsters who will figt for spots on the two deep. We have a lot of experience at all positions and should be fine. Though it should be noted no one on the team has ever played the new, as yet unnamed hybrid LB/S position that comes with the 3-3-5. But we have a bunch of players who could fill in here (I think that position basically replaces our nickelback we used when we played a 4-2-5). They aren’t the same positions at all but Trill and Striz are probably going to be shots at it.

Anyway, long post to say that while it is true we are not returning a ton of production, there is a lot of experience that is returning, way more than you would think just looking at things like starts. I think we are dramatically underrated here.

Frederick, Cordy, and Foster were a big part of the problem. Missed tackles, and blown coverages by all 3.
 

kcsu

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Coaching was the biggest part of the problem. We fired our DC in season and Lynch is back to coaching a position this year. Our QB coach isnt even coaching. Our coaching cost us big time last year.
 

griddy

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Thanks for this thoughtful, analytical assessment. Great points, as usual.
Three additional factors that I believe will be huge for this team:
1. A different attitude. Last year’s team believed its own press clippings and paid the price for it. This year’s group is doing a lot less chirping. They have a boulder on their shoulder and are determined to prove they are a lot better than they showed last season.
2. New coordinators on both sides of the ball mean that every player has to prove himself to a fresh set of eyes. Players know they are going to have to fight for their spots and that competition will be healthy. In addition, I’m hopeful the schemes these new coordinators install will play to our strengths.
3. Finally, the S&C program is one of the best In the country and I sense that they have turned it up a notch on these guys. Our tight end played at 230 at the end of last season. He’s now 245, and much stronger, leaner and faster. Extrapolate that and the picture that emerges is that many of the guys we saw last year are going to look significantly different when they line up this fall,

I sense Coach Babers is as energized and hungry as he has ever been. Last year was a huge disappointment, but I think it will end up being a blip on where he takes this program. He’s a great coach.
 

FasterCuse

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Great post. I really hope that Hendrix can stay healthy this year. I feel like he could be someone to step up and help fill that big time receiver roll we've had the last few years.
 

SoBristol

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The big problem in 2019 was in the OL, where we rolled out a RsF at the key L-OT spot, the struggling transfer at R-OT, and a 275 lb center. Devito was under constant pressure from both edges, and up the middle, and not good when forced to roll away from the pass rush. The 2020 line and TE should be much better — better in protection, better in the run game. Devito needs to round out his skills and likely he will.

The LBs play a big part in an attacking 3-3-5 defense. As in the past two years, we don’t know what we have at LB. But as Tom outlined above, we return a lot in the DL and a handful of young guys who played early in the secondary.

It sure looks like a bowl team if Devito has made the expected improvement. Don’t care that national experts think otherwise.
 

Chip

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1. A different attitude. Last year’s team believed its own press clippings and paid the price for it. This year’s group is doing a lot less chirping. They have a boulder on their shoulder and are determined to prove they are a lot better than they showed last season.
I think this is a big factor this year.
 

gmoney44

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Get ready for the barrage of crap predictions. I agree with Tom , but they will jump all over us they always do.
We’ve hugged nuts for the majority of 20 years. We have finished at or near the bottom of our respective conference like 85% of the time the past two decades. If you are in the predicting business it’s a safe pick to choose us to suck once again. the tide was turning for Syracuse but last season was a disaster.
 

Trueblue25

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on the bright side, lets look at potential plugins for the departed receivers.

ACC level potential replacements:
Jordan
Courtney
Queeley
Sharod

High Ceiling Wildcards:
Mital
Alford
Hendrix

The rest will either redshirt or I wouldn’t expect to make contributions this year.

We have serviceable depth imo if nothing else. I think Cam Jordan could be special.
 

HRE Otto IV

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Against this schedule I have a very hard time seeing us out of Bowl contention going into the last game. Can’t see us 4-7 or worse. I can easily see us at 7-4 though. We have the most should be Ws we have had in awhile and only one sb L. We aren’t losing all the toss ups so not making a Bowl would be a serious issue.
 

orangepassion

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Great post. Have you heard of other specific guys gaining significant (good) weight since the season ended-ie. D-Linemen and LB's? Very interested where guys like Tuazama, Linton, Rondi, Okechuku, Jones, Wallace, Kpogba are at in their physical development. Think that'll be a big key for next season.
Thanks for this thoughtful, analytical assessment. Great points, as usual.
Three additional factors that I believe will be huge for this team:
1. A different attitude. Last year’s team believed its own press clippings and paid the price for it. This year’s group is doing a lot less chirping. They have a boulder on their shoulder and are determined to prove they are a lot better than they showed last season.
2. New coordinators on both sides of the ball mean that every player has to prove himself to a fresh set of eyes. Players know they are going to have to fight for their spots and that competition will be healthy. In addition, I’m hopeful the schemes these new coordinators install will play to our strengths.
3. Finally, the S&C program is one of the best In the country and I sense that they have turned it up a notch on these guys. Our tight end played at 230 at the end of last season. He’s now 245, and much stronger, leaner and faster. Extrapolate that and the picture that emerges is that many of the guys we saw last year are going to look significantly different when they line up this fall,

I sense Coach Babers is as energized and hungry as he has ever been. Last year was a huge disappointment, but I think it will end up being a blip on where he takes this program. He’s a great coach.
 

Chip

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Great post. I really hope that Hendrix can stay healthy this year. I feel like he could be someone to step up and help fill that big time receiver roll we've had the last few years.
There are certain guys that I just find it easier to never expect to see, and then be pleasantly surprised.

Ed Hendrix is one.

Caleb Oke(Pascal)chukwu is the other.
 

721Comstock

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Just our O-line going from God-awful to meh will be a massive improvement for this season.

I agree that given we have brand new OC & DC, that the competition will be fierce -
pretty much nobody besides Tommy & the 2 Andre’s is guaranteed a starting spot.

Yeah, I know - there are definitely other dudes who are probably rolling with the 1’s in sharpie:
Adams, most of the O-line, Hackett, Taj.
Bear, Black, Jones, Trill, Iffy.
 

Cuse12

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Will be interesting to see if the oline improvement was due to the reshuffling of players or the weaker pass rushes we faced at the end of the year.

RB and WR should be fine.

The defense has been bad for almost Dino's entire tenure. Add in a brand new scheme and it might be ugly again. Or maybe our players fit better into the new D and show a nice improvement. It can't get much worse can it?

Overall I'm not too high on the win total but we don't play a hard schedule so you never know.
100% had to do with shuffling our players and putting the players where they fit best. We had issues with pressure from frickin HOLY CROSS.
 

TexanMark

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Get ready for the barrage of crap predictions. I agree with Tom , but they will jump all over us they always do.
Yup...I predict every preseason mag will have us 6th or 7th in the Atlantic.

One may really go out on a limb and put us 5th.
 

Millhouse

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i like bill connelly but i don't really care for his rating system, especially before the season - he doesn't have any good way of projecting.
 

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