More than Maine or Northeastern or Rhode Island or even Colgate, the addition of Stony Brook to the Syracuse Orange's 2012 football schedule was met with derision, embarrassment and cries of "pathetic."
And yet, the more I learn about Stony Brook Seawolves, the more concerned I become that they're better than all of those other aforementioned FCS schools.
And then I remember that most of those aforementioned FCS schools gave Syracuse fits in the Carrier Dome (30-21 over Northeastern, 41-24 over Maine, 21-14 over Rhode Island).
- Stony Brook almost beat UTEP in El Paso last year, losing 31-24. Granted, they went on to lose to Buffalo 35-7 the next week, but, you know. They ended the regular season on an 8-game winning streak and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
- They are the runaway favorite to win the Big South Conference again this year.
- Stony Brook senior RB Miguel Maysonet, who rushed for 1,633 yards last season, was just named to Phil Steele's preseason All-America Team.
- The "other" guy in Stony Brook's backfield? Former Iowa Hawkeyes RB Marcus Coker, who ran for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns last year (good for 2nd in the Big Ten). Coker transferred due to some off-field issues so you better believe he's motivated to get his NFL Draft stock back in order.
- So just to make sure you have some perspective, the top two running backs on the Stony Brook roster rushed for a combined 3,000 yards last season. The top three running backs on the Syracuse roster heading into this season rushed for just over 260.
- QB Kyle Essington ain't no slouch either. He passed for 1,919 yards and 20 TDs while also running in five scores last season. I know, we're talking FCS opponents here, but, we're also talking the best of it.
Look, it's still Stony Brook and we should still beat them. But the fact is, Syracuse needs all the wins it can muster in 2012. At the very least we wanted to be able to count on this one. Given our recent history of playing down to opponents and the quality of this one, I'm not so sure we can bank on that anymore.