The Great Debate: Could 2012 Be The Start To The End For Doug Marrone?

NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 30: Syracuse Orange head coach Doug Marrone yells at the referee against the Kansas State Wildcats during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30 2010 in New York New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Religion, politics, and sports. No matter where you're reading this from (and I can't tell you enough, thank you for doing that), those are three of the most debated subjects in all of the world. Sure, religion and politics have a far greater meaning at their core, but I would be willing to bet that last topic - with it's varying definitions - sparks arguments that are just as heated.

In a lot of ways Syracuse Orange fans also have their own Big Three of debatable subjects: Should hoops switch to man-to-man on defense (NO, LET IT GO ALREADY! He's a Hall of Fame coach damn it.), is the lacrosse team good enough to win another title (Der, of course), and, is the football coach going to get fired?

Think about that last one for a minute. Let it swish around your mouth, marinate it in your brain for a good minute or two. If you go back about fifteen years, everyone (at least my dad and I) was calling for Paul Pasqualoni's head. Then this McNabb dude showed up and saved Sam The Eagle's Pasqualoni's job. For a few years anyway.

But, in all reality, from about the early 90's forward, whoever has led Syracuse's football team has been feeling some type of pressure when it comes to actually keeping his job. Now there have been some intermittent breaks in that overall pessimism. Like when the absurdly tan Greg Robinson said hello to Central New York, though the good natured thoughts ended about half way through game one. Hope was high to, when Doug Marrone professed his love for all things Syracuse, fans were ready to throw parades and make inaccurate statues.

In fact, with Marrone being an alum, and with that second season ending in a Pinstripe Bowl win (Which by the way, does anyone else think that bowl will eventually bring visions of the Cherry Bowl?), I never thought he could ever be in jeopardy of losing his job, not this quickly anyway. But, as we enter year four of the Marrone Era, the heat is starting to be turned up, ever so slightly, but still, it's starting to get a little warm under Doug's butt (that's also what she said).

Last season was rough, especially the last two months, and looking at the upcoming season, with a brutal schedule, it could be more of the same for the Orange. While I don't think Marrone should be on the 'hot seat' right now, I do wonder if another losing season, and the thought of what lies ahead for 2013, could change things on the Hill.

Which brings me back to that whole debate thing. I work in a newsroom as a, don't laugh, 'TV news guy,' which is as surprising to me as it should be to you, but, being a 'sports guy' I find myself in a fairly common debate with a few of my co-workers. Basically, it's all about Doug Marrone's job security.

I've been firmly in the camp that Marrone would have to steal Nancy Cantor's car, crash into the Hall of Languages, and then get out and puke on DOCTOR Daryl Gross' shoes, all the while declaring his love for all things Connecticut Huskies football. And even then, I'd be willing to bet Marrone would just be placed on some sort of double-secret probation.

But in the newsroom I'm in the minority with that thinking. My co-workers feel blood is in the water when it comes to Marrone's future as head coach. And that got me to thinking, am I some how too far into the woods to be objective? Could things be worse than I think when it comes to SU football?

Let's go to Twitter for help.

@zachakens - obviously. We are going to acc next year. Nice time to start fresh and huge recruiting boost

That's it, that's the crux to the debate we have at work; What would another losing year mean for Marrone?

@ljmilman Not yet, but if they go 5-7 or worse this season, I think he'll start next year firmly on the hot seat.

@esfd283 2 more yrs atleast

I hadn't thought about it before, but what if SU goes for 5 wins in 2012? Which, let's be real, may be one of the best case scenarios when you consider just how hard that schedule could be this fall. If it's more of the same, Marrone's in trouble.

@mglane I think he's got another year before he really has to worry..if we shape up to be bowl-eligible this season he'll be golden

@chrisbee13 Don't think Marrone should be on the hot seat, but ppl so impatient these days, if don't win early, it'll be the convo

So, now I'm thinking 2012 is shaping up to be a defining season for Marrone. One that could easily carry more weight than all the good of 2010. It's crazy to think that way, considering the program Marrone inherited was garbage and in just two years he won 8 games, including a freakin' bowl game!

But I guess if 2012 stinks for fans, 2010 could be considered an aberration, not the other way around like I had been hoping for. And think about what that would mean for Syracuse football.

If you're SU administration, do you take a coach on the 'hot seat' into the ACC with you? Especially when you factor in, as the way it's constituted right now, SU could be playing quite possibly the most brutal non-conference/conference schedule in program history. Most teams making a big move, with diminishing results, don't bring along a lame duck head man looking at the possibility of another losing season.

As of this writing, I still can't really envision Doug Marrone not being SU's coach, but come December, if the season results in 4 or 5 wins I'd be a hypocrite to not to think that way. If I could rip Pasqualoni in the early 90s, after winning seasons and bowl games, fans can't let Marrone slide, even given the tougher circumstances Marrone has faced.

So I guess 2012, despite massive change on the defensive line, injuries on all sides of the ball, and a tough schedule, could really be the beginning of the end - if that beginning hasn't already begun. Despite my thinking about this in the past, Marrone's job security is really a debate - and one that I may be on the wrong side if 2010 continues to fade from fan's memories.

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