Well, that was a weird day in Storrs.
They woke up fully expecting Mark Whipple to be introduced as the next head coach of UConn football, heard about some snags related to assistant coach pay (the same issue that seemingly forced Randy Edsall on, and now have to come to grips with the cold, hard truth that longtime Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni is their new head coach.
As a Syracuse fan, excuse me for saying "Wow" out loud as I read the news. And as a Syracuse fan, this news EXCITES THE PANTS OFF OF ME.
Syracuse vs. UConn was already developing into a pretty decent on-field rivalry. Well Syracuse vs. UConn just went to the next level. Think about it. The longtime Syracuse man who was unceremoniously fired by the university's hot-shot new AD returns to coach their yearly rival and face-off against said AD, the University that cast him aside and the fanbase that didn't appreciate him.
This is EXACTLY what Syracuse needs in terms of building local rivalries and it's EXACTLY what the Big East needs. SU-UConn might not be the Backyard Brawl but I'm willing to bet that 2011 game is going to be the second-most "rivalrous" game in the conference. You don't think Coach P wants to come out and drop fifty points on DOCTOR Gross' team? And just wait until 2012 and the Huskies come to the Dome. That's gonna be...weird.
By the way, never underestimate the power of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association ever again.
Syracuse-rivalry aside, is this a great hire for UConn? I mean, it doesn't sound like it is, and i don't think UConn fans are going to like it, but then again maybe it's the best they could do. Randy Edsall leaving was a Batman-like signal to the rest of the college football world, saying "things will never get any better than this here." Mike Leach wasn't going to walk through that door. Rich Rodriguez wasn't going to walk through that door. That leaves folks like Pasqualoni, who have good track records but aren't exactly going to blow your field hockey skirt up.
Can't wait to read the UConn reaction as this unfolds. And I definitely can't wait to watch them talk themselves into this. FUN!