Syracuse Orange fans now have two weeks to exist in this in-between that the football team has put us in. Do we get excited over the fact that we're 4-2 and have quite a few winnable games left on the schedule? Or do we lament the fact that we're a couple bounces away from being 1-5?
I look to the Daily Orange post-game editorials each week as they seem to mirror the what-am-I-supposed-to-think mentality so many SU fans have.
After the Wake Forest win: "To sit here and say the Orange deserved that season-opening win Thursday night against Wake Forest simply isn't true."
On attendance after the Toledo game: "Embarrassing, pathetic, shameful — whatever word you want to use is fine with me."
After the Tulane win: "The knockout blow, putting the dagger in, stepping on the throat — whatever analogy you prefer — it's about having the attitude to do it."
Syracuse plays crappy football! You're a jerk for not wanting to watch this exciting football! Arg...Syracuse play crappy football!
Every week it's a different story and every week I get it. When you take Syracuse, or any college football team, week-to-week, it's a recipe for disaster. It almost forces you to focus on what's wrong rather than be able to take a step back and see what's right.
I'm not making excuses for some of the poor play. I get just as frustrated as everyone else watching those games. But, at the end of the day, knowing what I know about college football and having seen over and over and over again how it's always better to be mediocre and lucky, instead of good and unlucky...I say we all take this 4-2 start into the bye week and we run with it.
"But we should be 5-1!" Okay, fine. I agree, we had every opportunity in the world to be 5-1. But you know what, looking back on every game we've played so far, you could make the case this team would be 0-6 if it didn't have luck on its side. Seriously, every game we've played was easily losable. And maybe we "should" have lost some of them.
But, we didn't. And whether or not you believe that luck is "when preparation meets opportunity" isn't the point. The point is that you believe in luck. Because this Syracuse team has it. In spite of itself, something keeps giving them just little enough rope that they don't hang themselves.
And I know they don't feel like a lucky team when you're watching them. The miscues, the errors, the boneheaded plays...they sure don't look lucky. But the luck exists beyond those things. In that, they happen, and we still win.
For those who didn't live through the Greg Robinson Era, I get it. If all you know is last year's 8-win team, then this year must be excruciatingly-frustrating to watch. But, I assure you, it was not that long ago you would take 4-2 and YOU WOULD PAY SOMEONE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. Four wins used to be a season goal. Now, it's a mid-season benchmark, just like it used to be.
You don't have to agree with Doug Marrone and Nate Hackett's play calling. You don't have to trust our defensive secondary to get the big stop. You don't have to believe the Syracuse offense will run on all cylinders all game long.
You just have to know we're 4-2 heading into a bye week at the mid-point of the season. And if I told you that's where we would be when the season started, I'm guessing you would have been happy with that. So be happy with that.
Syracuse Football vs Tulane Recap: The Sunny Side...Brent Axe
Syracuse Football vs Tulane Recap: The Dark Side...Brent Axe
Syracuse Football vs Tulane Recap: This, That, and the Other Thing...Brent Axe
Syracuse University football team achieved its game-plan goals in only one of three phases...Dave Rahme
Syracuse University football coach Doug Marrone will meet the public at noon today...Dave Rahme
The Axepress Lane: Why the SU Football bye week comes at the perfect time...Brent Axe
Converted safety Graham has career day at wide receiver for SU in win over Tulane...Daily Orange
Orange pass defense picked apart by Tulane during comeback effort...Daily Orange
Krautman perfect as Syracuse tops Tulane...The Juice
Excerpt from Doug Marrone Tulane Post-Game interview. Photo by Frank Ordonez / The Post-Standard