Syracuse linebacker Dyshawn Davis has high expectations for the Orange in 2013. Specifically, the all-conference linebacker thinks Syracuse will "shock the world" in the expanded Atlantic Coast Conference.
In a conversation with the Syracuse Post-Standard, Davis issued a threat to the rest of the ACC.
"Coming in to the ACC, guys might know [about us]," Davis said. "We're coming into the ACC not to just be an average team. We're coming into the ACC to win a championship, an ACC championship. Teams better watch out. That's all I can say."
With Shamarko Thomas off to the NFL, many believe that Davis will be the face of the Orange defense in 2013. Davis ranked fifth in the Big East in tackles for loss (14.5) in 2012, and he has already appeared as a preseason All-ACC selection in several publications.
The team appears to have taken the attitude of their new coach, former defensive coordinator Scott Shafer. When Doug Marrone left to take the coaching job with the Buffalo Bills, Shafer was promoted and used the 2012 Big East co-title as a launching point for the new era of Syracuse football. Shafer has the team believing that, regardless of preseason rankings or projections, the Orange can be champions again in the ACC.
"One thing about Syracuse football is we're going to be tough," Davis told the Post-Standard. "We might not be the biggest. We might not be the strongest. But when guys play us, they know that we're going to be tough. We're going to hit, we're going to play tough ball and we're going to be very physical."
There are two major obstacles in the way of Syracuse's run at an ACC title. In the Atlantic Division, the Orange will have to play Florida State and Clemson annually -- with Louisville joining the division in 2014. Syracuse was able to tie for a share of the league title in 2012, but in the ACC you must win your division to earn a spot in the ACC Championship Game. With the current state of ACC football, it appears easier to emerge from the Coastal Division than the Atlantic.