Syracuse vs. UConn: The Coach P Bowl

When the Syracuse Orange play the West Virginia Mountaineers, or used to play as the case may be, they play for the Schwartzwalder Trophy. It's named as such for Ben Schwartzwalder, who played football at West Virginia and coached at Syracuse.

Paul Pasqualoni coached at Syracuse and while he didn't play football for the UConn Huskies, he did play for Southern Connecticut State, which is close enough. And since he's the coach at UConn now, all he needs to do is put in a decade or so there and we probably will play one another one day in the ACC for the Coach P Trophy.

Of course, if he wants to stick around for a decade, he's gonna have to do a lot better than he's doing this year.

The Huskies are 3-5 a year removed from winning the Big East Title and have lost three of their last four. With games against SU, Rutgers, Louisville and Cincinnati ahead, the chances they'll become bowl eligible seem unlikely (even if my compatriot Bill Connelly thinks otherwise).

Things got so dicey that some were calling for Coach P's over-matched head as early as the first week of October...in his first season! I'm sure he'll get the benefit of a few reasons. However, if P can't harnass the Tri-State area recruiting base he was so well-known for 15 years ago, his revival will be short-lived.

However, he can go a long way towards pushing back the demons, both professionally and personally, by beating Syracuse. Let's face it...whether you think Coach P needed to be fired (he did) or not (yes, he did), the way he was fired after 18 years with the program was pretty crappy. Not DOC Gross' finest hour, especially given who he replaced Pasqualoni with (we will not say it's name).

With Gross still lorded over Syracuse football, a win over his old program would send a message to his former boss and let the UConn faithful know that he's officially one of them now.

For his part, Coach P is doing his best to downplay the whole affair.

"I left there . . . I don’t how many years ago," Paul said. "How many years has it been? Seven? Seven years is a long time in the football business. There’s been a lot of games between my last one there and this one.

"Honest to God, there are no other feelings than, ‘Let’s get ready to play a good Big East Conference team.’ And I know that disappoints you."

"I have not had a lot of time," Pasqualoni declared, "to reflect that this is Syracuse and I used to work there."

Bud Poliquin points out that the Syracuse-UConn connection existed long before Coach P ever took over there. When P took over the SU program in 1991, fellow assistant Randy Edsall also coveted the position. Edsall would one-day take over a UConn program making the transition from FCS to FBS and lead them to somewhat-glory before taking his "dream job" at Maryland.

And, of course, we haven't even discussed UConn OC and longtime Syracuse OC George DeLeone...for better or worse.

Don't worry though, even if Coach P won't take the bait on this being a personal game, he's at least still willing to throw a "multiple" reference out there...for old time's sake.

Snowstorm becomes a distraction for Connecticut football team...AP

‘Winter Wear Drive’ takes place again this year at UConn-Syracuse game...Husky Hour

UConn Football Needs To Get On The Ball...Desmond Conner

No room for error...Journal Inquirer

Paul Pasqualoni going forward, not looking back...Norwich Bulletin

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