So when is Midnight Madness?
Yup, the high powered, bowl ‘em all over despite being sub-.500, offense was bottled up and now it is going to take a big run through the getable Big East to make it to any bowl game.
The thing is, Doug Marrone is still the guy for the job.
Put the seat warmers away.
This is a long term project and we are reacting to short term results. Football is much more savings bond than penny stock especially here where things went bankrupt just four seasons back.
In each of the years that Marrone has been in command he has improved the results on the scoreboard and the talent in the pool. This season could be the toughest to understand though in a world where “what have you won for me lately” is the key to job security it is difficult to justify that the program is going in the right direction, but it is. It really is when we look at the longer timeline.
If is hard to make 1-for-your-last-9 seem OK, but consider the following.
After the dark ages, SU improved its record by a game in 2009, went to and won a bowl in 2010, reached 5-2 in 2011 before the injury wheels came off, and in 2012 played to within a drive of taking the lead on the No. 2 team in the nation in the fourth quarter. The Orange's I-A opponents so far this season are a combined 11-1. There are reasons to watch while waiting around for Jim B and the boys of winter.
We have to break the mental link between hoops and the gridiron when it comes to recruiting too. If Ashton Broyld was a basketball player he would be going double-double every night since a frosh can step in and contribute in hoops. On the football field he is still learning mentally and, frankly, still growing physically.
Finally, the ACC waits next season. That is a step up and going in there with a new coach would be, well, not very smart.
We have two weeks to stew on 1-3 before Pitt comes to the Dome and there are probably going to be those lighting the torches and grabbing the pitchforks for the ball coach’s job. Right now we have to take it easy even though the anger is well founded.
This was the one that was supposed to justify the closed practices and team building at Fort Drum. This was the one that going to get the Orange off of a 16-year road slide against the Big Ten. This was the one that was going to be one of the swing games to get SU to a beef bowl berth.
And they played pretty poorly. The highlight-filled SU offense made Minnesota look better than USC, the defense held its own with a pair of short rushing scores, but still the D didn’t do anything that remarkable, and the special team was a push – which is a marked improvement.
Yesterday is just another loss in another “way to try really hard guys” season.
I have to say though. Doug Marrone needs to get another two years to work. Football is as glacial a change as basketball is lightning.
With all-timers Alec Lemon and Ryan Nassib out of time there needs to be some stability as we move forward and Marrone is a pretty level headed guy even looking at it from this standpoint.
However, if 1-3 happens again next season, versus an easier slate, then we can start turning up the warmth.
But seriously, when is Midnight Madness?