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Syracuse Scraps

Even though the world of Syracuse athletics has all but revolved around the tragedy that was the West Virginia football game, there have been some other interesting developments coming out of the Manley complex this past week that deserve a mention and some corresponding commentary.

Boeheim Immortalized
Whether Jim Boeheim was ever officially recognized as a Hall of Famer has never been an issue. Those with an appreciation for the collegiate game know that his record speaks for itself:
  • 27 20-win seasons;
  • Over 700 wins;
  • 24 NCAA tournament invitations
  • Three national championship appearances;
  • A national championship;
  • Three-time Big East Coach of the Year;
  • Numerous Big East Conference tournament and regular season championships;
  • A slew of All-Americans;
  • A guiding force behind USA Basketball; and
  • The continual driving force behind the monster that is Big East Conference basketball.

A lot of pundits and critics have always knocked Boeheim on his NCAA and Big East Conference tournament record. Granted, the results have been somewhat underwhelming considering Boeheim’s career has spanned almost 30 years. However, Boeheim’s legacy shouldn’t be judged by counting the number of championship trophies encased in glass. Rather, it should be evaluated by considering the number of teams Boeheim has developed from forgettable afterthought to viable contender.

Unlike Mike Krzyzewski Dean Smith, Jim Boeheim was never blessed year in and year out with a roster dotted with McDonald’s All-Americans. Instead, Boeheim has generally taken guys with potential like Sherman Douglas and Hakim Warrick, developed them, and fused them with an undistinguished (at least at their time of recruitment) cast of supporting actors.

To travel the college basketball road in this fashion would doom even an above average coach. Boeheim, on the other hand, has used this model to elevate his program to remarkable heights.

Being bronzed in Springfield doesn’t validate Boeheim’s greatness. He would be a basketball giant whether or not a dreadful rendering of his likeness was bronzed in western Massachusetts. This recognition, rather, is an acknowledgment of gratitude from the national and international basketball community.

Syracuse Looks West
Donnie Webb from the Syracuse Post-Standard has been mentioning for the last week or so that Dr. Gross would be making an announcement about Syracuse’s future football schedule some time soon. While no official announcement has been made, it appears as if Syracuse is looking to ink home-and-home series with Texas, Washington, and, potentially, Southern California.

That’s some serious firepower potentially being added to an already stacked slate of out of conference opponents.

Before dissecting whether scheduling these teams is a good thing, it may be helpful to frame the discussion by fitting it into the four concrete rules of creating a football schedule. The rules are as follows:

  • When scheduling a non-BCS conference opponent, always play them at home;
  • When scheduling a BCS conference opponent or Notre Dame, always get a home-and-home series;
  • When scheduling a non-conference game, ensure that the contest will generate enough interest to merit a television appearance; and
  • When scheduling a non-conference game, ensure that the opponent will residually increase a team’s recruiting profile.

To quote the forgettable basketball coach from Teen Wolf, “if you follow these rules, everything else is cream cheese.”

The controlling question is, therefore, whether the aforementioned three schools fit the bill. Without equivocation, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

The primary goal at this juncture for Dr. Gross and Coach Robinson is to place Syracuse in the conscious of the nation. Keeping a schedule dotted with regional and national powers like the aforementioned schools is an easy way to reach this objective.

Ohio State is Running Scared
In other scheduling news, Ohio State is absolutely terrified of facing the offensive juggernaut that is Syracuse football.

Or the Buckeyes just don’t see any value in playing Syracuse.

One of the two; it’s a fine line I suppose.

It has been widely rumored that Ohio State has been actively seeking to put a stop to their series with Syracuse before it has a chance to begin. If this state of affairs comes to fruition, Syracuse would be losing out on a great opportunity.

Coach Robinson has identified Ohio, amongst others, as a recruiting target state. Having a home-and-home series with Ohio State would clearly bring the Orange brand to the cognizance of a host of terrific D-1A prospects. The more these potential recruits have the opportunity to become aware of Syracuse product, the better off Syracuse would be in the long run. It’s simply a matter of exposure. The more opportunities these Ohio footballers have to watch the Orange, the better the chance they will consider enrolling at Syracuse.

Cutting short this series before it has a chance to begin would put a difficult restriction on Coach Robinson to reach this target demographic.

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