Pitt Defeats Syracuse: The Chinese Don't Care, But We Do

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Some random thoughts emanating from the Syracuse Orange's 17-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday.

So, that title probably looks a little weird. Well don't blame me, blame Scott Shafer:

That's HCSS during his post-game interview with Syracuse IMG Sports Network. First of all, eaaaaasy, slugger. Second of all, you're killing DOC Gross's "China's New York's College Team" campaign. Third of all...uh-oh, you guys.

Few things concern me more about a head coach then when, following a loss, he plays the perspective card. You can't play the perspective card as a coach unless someone is injured/dead or a catastrophe beyond the scope of sports is permeating the world. Short of those two things, if you're simply trying to deflect from a tough loss by telling us it's not a big deal…well, you can't do that.

Not after spending the entire season talking about how important SU football is, how important it is that we show up and how important it is that everyone cares. That's the point of all this. It IS insignificant but we all agree that it matters. So when things are good, it feels earned. And when things are bad, it feels crappy.

You wouldn't say, as you're hoisting a trophy at the end of the season, that it's just a stupid piece of metal with no inherent value. So you can't also imply after a loss that, hey, it's just a game, you guys.

I know Shafe's an emotional guy and he was probably all kinds of worked up right after the game. The wear and tear on him has been evident in recent ACC teleconferences as his answers to questions he doesn't like have gotten shorter and more curt. Being the head coach isn't easy, especially when your last two games have gone the way that SU's have.

You can tell us to stick with the team. You can tell us to trust the process. You can tell us to be patient. But don't tell us it doesn't matter. Cause us thinking this matters is about the only thing you've got going for you right now.

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Here's the thing about George McDonald. Yes, his first season as OC has been about as strange and perplexing as they come. I think of many things when I look at Jerome Smith and running him on a sweep ten times a game is not any of those things. But here's my only note for those who want him fired/demoted/taken out back and roughed up…everyone hated Nate Hackett until around game four of the 2012 season. And then we pretty much loved the s**t out of him (kinda). I know patience isn't our strong suit (i.e. this weekend's attendance), but, it's his first time as OC and he's working with an inexperienced quarterback, a revolving door of injured players and their inexperienced replacements. I hate to say that this season needs some perspective because it's not over yet, but, just a little something to keep in mind. That's all.

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Riley Dixon really is going to be the Team MVP, isn't he?

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I mentioned this in the recap comments but you know how I know Pittsburgh and Syracuse are non-rival rivals? I never got one smack-talking tweet all week. Not before the game. Not during the game. Not after the game. I didn't get any in jest, even. If anything, Syracuse and Pitt fans took turns delighting one another with talk of how terrible our respective teams were playing. The animosity level was zero. We've played these guys since the 50's and I heard more chatter from the folks at Maryland, NC State and (hoo boy) Clemson. Even watching the game I remember not seeing Pitt as anything more than a bunch of guys in a different uniform that we're trying to beat. I get it but I still find it really strange that no one can even manufacture any emotional response in this rivalry. Weird.

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Does anyone feel good about the Boston College game? Anyone? Besides this guy...

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