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Robinson's World

How can a football team win three more games than the previous season, double its amount of conference wins and come within a few plays of being .500 and still not feel like an improvement at all? Welcome to Syracuse football!

Another painful season came to a close last weekend when Rutgers finally stopped the bleeding and put us out of our misery. No surprise there, other than the fact that if I were a member of the Rutgers family, I absolutely would have run up the score to something in the sixties for all those times Syracuse did it to them. I know I wouldn't have taken it personally. The thirty-one point difference was the largest in the Greg Robinson era, which was surprising to know. The loss was the eighteenth of Robinson's tenure, which wasn't.

Two seasons. Five wins. Eighteen losses. No real growth or sense on improvement throughout the season. Meanwhile, the conference is improving all around us. Rutgers is now a contender. South Florida has quietly put together two stellar seasons in a row. Pittsburgh will always be decent. Syracuse has picked the worst possible time to suck. There's no more Temple to fall back on. No more lowly Rutgers to pick on for homecoming or parent's weekend. Now WE'RE the team everyone wants to schedule for homecoming. WE'RE the team that West Virginia's student's parents complain about seeing meander into the stadium the week
end they visit.

I think what bothers me more than anything is that every quote I've ever seen from Robinson has been even-keeled. He's Mr. Silver Lining. The guy who tells you its all gonna be okay even though he has no idea if that's true. After the Rutgers game, Robinson could be counted on to say things like "I know how much this team has improved." Other bon mots include "
I'm not discouraged" and "I'm encouraged where we're heading and what's getting done."

Robinson told Donnie Webb of the Post-Standard that "I like the perception that people have of where our program is going. I'm getting good feedback. I like that." My only assumption can be that Robinson limits his discussions of Syracuse football to his family, his pets and his imaginary friend Nonovan McDabb because he's certainly not asking for assessments from me or these guys or this guy. I can already see his press conference a year from now when he says "an 8-27 record in my three years here isn't indicitive of how good we are and what the perception is of our team."

By the way, I'm glad the "perception" says that Syracuse football is good because all the statistics, hard facts and rankings (Sagarin ranking of 108 of 117 Division 1-A teams) say that we suck.

He's kinda like one of the producers of Lost...who keeps telling you "trust us, we know where this is going, keep buying all the merchandise and fretting over the details, it'll all be worth it." Well both Lost and Greg Robinson are officially in Season 3 and I don't believe either of them.

Where's the fire? Where's the passion? I'm not talking about a Jim Mora-esque meltdown. I don't want
to see him hit a player or anything. But be a real human being. Tell me you're pissed. Call out your offense and demand more of them. Or go the other way and deflect attention by calling out your coaching staff. Or yourself. Or Otto. Just say something other than the revolving cavalcade of cliches that seem to follow every disappointing loss. You see improvement? Great. You see opportunities? Fantastic. You see chances? Wonderful. I see 5-18 and I see your ass walking out the door next year if you don't start seeing some W's. You make more than anyone at Syracuse, save for the guy with a National Championship ring on his finger. You are no longer afforded the luxury of time or patience.

What Rutgers has proven is that the "two year turnaround" isn't reserved for the Oklahoma's and USC's of the world. But as two-thirds of the Big East is improving or maintaining elite status, Syracuse cannot afford another year of "improvements" and "opportunities" to compete. Every year we go 4-8 or 3-9 and don't go to a bowl or improve recruiting is another year closer to becoming the perennial doormat. The New Temple. Now THAT'S a scary thought.