While we revel in our excitement we do have to take a moment to nod in the direction of Louisville fans who are feeling...well...pretty much what we've been feeling for the last three weeks. No faith in their coach, second-guessing the actions of their players and a lack of understanding as to how things could have gotten so bad so quickly. It's like a virus that spreads through the fanbase so quickly, you forget everything else. So why don't you leave the guys at CardChronicle and BleacherReport alone for a while...they need some space.
Of course if we beat Rutgers or West Virginia, screw'm.
Q: So what exactly does this mean? Are we good again?
A: Well...hold the phone. No doubt, our boys played a great game and everything went our way. But it wouldn't be fair to remember that second part...everything went our way. You know how you play a football video game and sometimes the computer refuses to let you win? Well the game also sometimes refuses to let you lose. You get a couple good bounces and all of a sudden you're up 35-0 at halftime and your running back has 236 yards. Plus, didn't you just know Louisville was gonna come back in the end? You get the sense than if there was five more minutes on the clock, we probably would be talking about how soul crushing that loss was. Again, I'm not taking away how impressive this win was. But let's face facts. Louisville wasn't as good as their ranking and 36-point spread indicated they were.
It's a huge win, no doubt, but I don't think it puts us back on the road to a winning record yet. We find ourselves in the great unknown. How does this team react after a game like this? Do they keep the momentum going or do they revert back to past mistakes? How will Greg Robinson keep his team motivated? If this was a Paul Pasqualoni team, there would be no doubt in my mind that we would lose to Miami University this weekend. No doubt at all. Coach P had an uncanny knack for turning huge wins into deflating losses (and all you Coach P sympathizers...you know I'm right). Let's see what Greg Robinson does.
Q: So is Robinson off the hot seat?
A: Depends whose hot seat your talking about? Daryl Gross's? Yes, Greg Robinson has removed his tuchus from the hot seat in Daryl Gross's mind. But that's mostly because Robinson's fate is tied to Gross's in such a strong way that Gross is happy with ANY success that comes from this football team.
The Syracuse fanbase hot seat? I don't think he's off the hot seat by any means, but he's gotten a reprieve. If we lose this week to a non-BCS team, he will have lost all the goodwill he earned this week and be right back where he started. If the team goes 1-11 this year and this is his only win, no one's going to say "But he beat a ranked Louisville team! Let's keep him!"
The national media hot seat? I wouldn't say he's off the hot seat but I would say that he's off the radar of talking points for at least a couple weeks. Replacing him? Steve Kragthorpe and Dave Wanndstedt. Don't believe me? Check out the Coaching Hot Seat. Kragthorpe shot up to #8, Robinson moved down to #9 and Wanndstedt is climbing at #27. Expect the misery in Louisville and Pittsburgh to keep pundits occupied for a little while, at least until Syracuse loses a few more.
Q: 4 TDs and 423 yards. Is this the real Andrew Robinson?
A: Hell if I know. Louisville's secondary has certainly been exposed as extremely weak. That said, how does a guy whose stats played out like the second coming of Troy Nunes suddenly become the second coming of Marvin Graves? It's mind-boggling the difference a strong offensive line and sure-handed receivers make. Much credit for Robinson's stats have to go to the them as well. Of course, now that teams know Syracuse is capable of big passing numbers, they're going to try and shut down the passing game and make us beat them with our running game, which, we just cannot do.
I'll be honest, the first thing I thought of when I heard Robinson's final line was Ron Powlus against Northwestern in his first game as Notre Dame quarterback. He threw four touchdowns in that game and Brent Musberger said Powlus might win multiple Heismans in his career. The lesson is, of course, don't judge a quarterback by one game. But I'll tell you what, I'm giddy for his potential.
Q: Is the Quest for Toronto (i.e. The International Bowl or any bowl for that matter) back on?
A: Well, the good news for the Big East conference is also bad news for the Orange. The Big East is friggin' stacked. We have four teams in the Top 25 (WVU, Rutgers, Cincy, USF), plus another undefeated team (UConn), plus two mediocre but by no means terrible teams (Louisville, Pitt). That's a vicious gauntlet for the Orange to get through.
Assuming that the Orange can beat Miami U and Buffalo, the Orange will need to split the rest of their Big East schedule. Unfortunately, the Orange chose possibly the worst time in the history of the conference to rebuild. As we saw last weekend, anythings possible, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Let's beat Miami U, then we'll talk hotel reservations in Toronto.