USA TODAY Sports
It's time for Syracuse football fans to stop worrying about who's not coming back or coming here and worry about those who will actually represent the orange and blue next season.
Doug Marrone is not walking through that door.
Nate Hackett is not walking through that door.
Zach Allen is not walking through that door.
And that's fine. I repeat, that's fine.
Syracuse Orange football will be fine.
If Scott Shafer coaches as well as can fire up fans during a press conference, we'll be fine.
Nate Hackett's replacement is going to run the same offense, according to Shafer. And you didn't even like Hackett until mid-October. So we'll be fine.
Syracuse still has fifth-year senior Charley Loeb, senior John Kinder, junior Terrel Hunt and three-star freshman Austin Wilson, not to mention converted QB Ashton Broyld who might just convert right back. None of them were Elite 11 but then again Ryan Nassib was a two-star kid out of Pennsylvania when he got here. We'll be fine.
Apparently some of you think there was a better time that Doug Marrone could have left Syracuse for the Buffalo Bills. I suppose he could have told the Bills, "Hey, can you guys just wait two weeks until after the early enrollees are locked in to Syracuse and THEN I'll announce that I'm leaving and Hackett's coming with me and it won't matter if Zach Allen doesn't want to still play for Syracuse cause he'll have to." I'm pretty sure the Bills would have gone for that and I'm pretty sure that would have been great for everyone. Actually, no, because that's absurd. We'll be fine.
Credit where credit is due, Doug Marrone was a good coach. There's a lot of revisionist history going on right with some Syracuse fans, saying "At the end of the day he's a 25-25 coach." First of all, I didn't hear you complaining when he brought you to your first bowl game since 2004 a year ahead of schedule. And I didn't hear you complaining when he beat nationally-ranked Louisville, followed it up by beating an SEC team on the road and capped it with a beatdown of West Virginia in another bowl game. Fine, you want to stick to the 25-25 thing. Guess what? The four years prior to his arrival we went 10-37. 25-25 is a friggin' dream record compared to that (especially considered HCDM Year 1 which was, for all intents and purposes, a throwaway 4-8 season). In actuality, Marrone went 21-17 with two bowl wins in the three seasons that count. And it put Syracuse in a position where it can now run side-by-side with other programs and complete. So, we'll be fine.
Syracuse lost it's best recruit because it's head coach and offensive coordinator left. And your point is? This stuff happens. And yeah, it sucks. I wish everyone was coming and/or coming back. But they're not. Every other school that's lost a coach has dealt with this. I was as excited as anyone about Allen's potential but for all we know, he would have been redshirted this year. Or beaten out by Loeb/Kinder/Hunt. At the end of the day, you can't get hung up on lost potential. The only thing you can worry about is actual results. Losing a four-star recruit sucks. Losing a WR that caught 10 TDs last season is when you actually get worried. We'll be fine.
We're probably going to lose Greg Adkins. If you didn't know that was coming the moment Marrone left, you haven't really been paying attention. And we're probably going to lose some other assistants. I hate to break it to you, but...this is normal. We were lucky to have Shafer and Adkins on our staff and we're lucky that we're still going to have one of them. And whoever we lose, we'll replace them with other qualified people. You'll probably hate or distrust that replacement for a while. And then you'll love them or you'll hate them and they'll get a new job or get fired and we'll do it all again. We'll be fine.
Maybe Syracuse football takes a step back next year. Maybe the recruiting class falls off (not that Doug Marrone's recruiting classes were ever ranked that high to begin with). So be it. Just like I was willing to sit through multiple losing seasons early in Marrone's tenure in order to give him the time to do what he needed to do, I'm willing to do the same with Scott Shafer. I recognize that this team is losing a lot of weapons but I also recognize that is has a lot of capable, veteran players. And while I recognize that some teams in the ACC are a step up in competition, most are not. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you I expect five, six or seven wins (besides, any guess you or I make will be based more on last season than next season). But there is one thing I do know...we will be fine.