Was there really any doubt about it? Shafer is the SOFA Coach of the Year after a landslide victory, in what may go down as the biggest blowout. The head coach, affectionately known as SMFS, received an overwhelming 87 percent of our poll. His main competition -- coordinators George McDonald and Chuck Bullough -- failed to reach 10 percent.
Despite the outcome, several commenters said they gave consideration to the other candidates.
I voted for Shaf
But I like OCGMcD and I hope he keeps progressing, and recruiting. I could be misremembering this, but didn’t he come in and kind of save the day for us last year from a recruiting perspective?
Chuck Bullough received some support for how well his defense played. But several people such as DukePettyJohn said Syracuse's blowout loss to Georgia Tech prevents Bullough from being their choice.
Our own John Cassillo said this:
After how much I criticized George McDonald, there’s no way I could vote for him here. Besides the last two games, his play-calling was alternately confusing or atrocious. Also can’t vote for Bullough because Georgia Tech game. So SMFS it is.
Of the seven-member TNIAAM panel, Dan Lyons was the only person not to chose Shafer. This week, offensive line won SOFA Offensive MVP. For the line's performance, Lyons said, its coach should win this award.
Shafer is the easy answer, but I'm going with offensive line coach Pat Perles. The offensive line exceeded many expectations, and did a great job of replacing Justin Pugh and Zach Chibane. Many had questions about this group, but Perles seems to have done a great job with it.
The Invisible Swordsman chose Shafer for his leadership and resiliency:
Feisty and honest, Shafer promised hard-nosed football and delivered. The fact that his team could pick themselves off the mat one week and come back just as aggressive and confident the next speaks volumes to his leadership.
Because Shafer led Syracuse to seven-win season in spite of the challenging circumstances he was faced with, we deemed him "Coach of the Year". And, of course, those entertaining press conferences didn't hurt his chances either.
Said Cassillo, "He wasn't perfect, but you'd run through a brick wall for him."