Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

The Road to Infamy Goes Through Rutgers

Syracuse probably isn’t going to beat Rutgers Saturday afternoon.

With that said, please excuse me while I wash the vomit out of my mouth.

Considering Syracuse’s recent history against the Scarlet Schianos, losing to Rutgers isn’t as disconcerting as it probably should be. However, a loss to Rutgers this year carries implications greater than what dumpy bowl Syracuse puts itself in the running for. If Syracuse cannot slip past the Scarlet Knights Saturday, the Orange will have put itself in a position the football team has not been in since the sunrise of the Carrier Dome.

Since 1980, Syracuse has fielded only five teams that have accumulated a losing record (1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, and 2002). In four of those seasons, Syracuse has failed to score less than 200 points (1980, 1981, 1982, and 1986). In only two of those losing seasons has Syracuse been outscored, in the aggregate, by its opponents by more than 50 points (1982 and 2002).

As things stand right now, Syracuse is on pace to recapture the vomit-inducing glory of the 1982 Orange squad. The parallels are eerily similar:

• Through five games, the 2005 Orange has scored only 83 points while yielding 106 to its opponents. Similarly, five games into the 1982 season, Syracuse was sitting with a 72/121 disparity.

• Both the 1982 and 2005 editions of the Orange Rush began the season with 1-4 records.

• In both seasons, the Orange lost their home opener to a winnable opponent. In 1982, Syracuse lost to a Temple team that went on to a 4-7 record. This season saw Syracuse grab defeat from the jaws of victory by losing to a West Virginia team that committed five turnovers.

• In both 1982 and 2005, the Orange had to replace great running backs (Joe Morris and Walter Reyes) with underwhelming rushers.

• In 1982, Syracuse fielded a starting quarterback (Todd Norley) who threw for more interceptions than touchdowns (12 to 1). At Perry Patterson’s pace, he too will finish the season on the wrong side of the ratio.

• The Orange Rush yielded 3,942 yards to its opponents in the 1982 season (358.36 per game). In 2005, Syracuse is projected to give up 3,810.4 yards to its opponents over the course of the season for a 346.4 yards per game average.

So can Syracuse channel the 1982 Orange and send its fan base into the bottom of a tequila bottle? The odds are better than even.

There are six games remaining on Syracuse’s schedule (Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, South Florida, Notre Dame, and Louisville). Louisville and Notre Dame are almost stone-cold locks for blowout losses on the road, thus generating a nice disparity between points scored and points yielded. Pittsburgh and South Florida are likely losses that could go either way in terms of blowout potential. Cincinnati is a likely win, but the jury is still out as to whether the victory will be enough to even out the points disparity created by losses to Pittsburgh and South Florida.

Thus, the infamous nature of the 2005 season turns on Syracuse’s performance against Rutgers this Saturday.

Should Syracuse lose to Rutgers, the Orange is in a position where they could match the team’s 1982 record of 2-9 with wins against only Buffalo and Cincinnati. Additionally, if Syracuse gets blown out (which is a very good possibility considering Rutgers’ ability to put points on the board and Syracuse’s inability to do so), the disparity between points scored and points yielded will widen. Finally, should Syracuse continue to treat the endzone as kryptonite, it will resume its slow, painful slide toward scoring fewer than 200 points on the season.

Darryl Gross wanted a retro feel for this season. He just may get more than he bargained for.

0 Responses to “The Road to Infamy Goes Through Rutgers”

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • Air Your Grievances

  • This About Sums It Up

  • I am less smart for having read your blog.
  • - Anonymous Georgetown supporter.
  • You are an idiot...
  • - Anonymous Nunes/Magician Reader.
  • Congrats on not being very good at what you do.
  • - Anonymous ACC supporter.
  • You are a dweeb, my friend. Grow a backbone.
  • - Anonymous UConn supporter.
  • ...vacuous, asinine, and mind numbing...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • Honestly, just admit that you are pathetic...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • You just don't have hoops experience.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • Leave the journalism to talented people. Brian is just another hack and another fair weather fan.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • A bad blog about Syracuse athletics.
  • - UConn Fan on Twitter (after winning NCAA).