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The Greg Robinson Quandary

Four wins.

Mark my words, four wins is all it's gonna take for Greg Robinson to keep his job.

Right now you're snickering. Possibly guffawing. Almost assuredly rolling your eyes. But it's true. Believe it or not, in my humble opinion, if the Syracuse Orange go 4-8 this season Greg Robinson will be back on the sidelines in 2009.

I know, I're gonna throw every stat you can at me to prove that it's impossible. 7-28. 2-10. Horrible defense. Worse offense. Believe me, I'm with you. In a season where no one has been able to say with a straight face that the Orange are capable of more than four wins, it's hard to believe that Greg has a sho
t in hell of keeping his job with anything less than five. We're talking about a team who's been given a best case scenario of breaking even. Even the beat writers, the people outside of the team who have the most knowledge of how good they are, have little faith.

If Syracuse goes 4-8, Greg Robinson's overall record will be 11-36. Hardly the stuff of Bryant, Hayes and Schembechler. Hell, that's not even the stuff of Wannstadt. But there's two very important reasons why Greg will keep his job if the Orange find a way to beat just Akron, Northwestern, UConn and Louisville (or some similar combo).

#1 - DOCTOR Daryl Gross doesn't have the want-to to fire him

Daryl Gross has an ego. That's evident. Daryl Gross is also the man who hired Greg Robinson. That hiring was the cornerstone of his arrival at Syracuse, a program he has since broken
down, much like a drill sergeant in boot camp, and reshaped in his image. This is not the Syracuse Football of Jim Brown, "44" and Dick MacPherson. This is the Syracuse Football of Daryl Gross, New York City and Hollywood. And Daryl Gross will be DAMNED if the Greg Robinson experiment is going to end...unless he absolutely has no choice.

Gross' recent "alleged" contract extension ostensibly removed his fate from that of Greg Robinson. But that's just in a contractual sense. In the real world sense, these two guys are going to be paired together like Butch Cassidy & The Want-To Kid for a long time. For longtime SU fans, they've been like a package deal gone horribly awry, a new regime that swooped in and messed everything up. Surely, even if Greg Robinson is fired after this season, that stain will remain on Gross' resume until he finds someone who can win. All the New York City TV deals and Hollywood premieres in the world won't change that in the eyes of Orange fans.

So believe me when I say Gross is looking for any slightly-tangible reason to convince himself, and you, that Greg Robinson deserves one more year and another chance to right this ship. And four wins is the key. It's 200% growth! It brings SU back to the precipice of success. It's makes us "slightly mediocre" instead of "plain old stinking."

Four wins give Gross enough firepower to step up to a podium and, in the face of reason and your hatred, say that Greggers is a go for 2009. Then he'll give you a stern speech to try and make you feel bad about not giving Greg a fair shake. Then you'll point to Greg's record. Then he's say "the past is the past and the time for talk is done." Then you'll stick a hot poker in your eyeball.

This is your future. Prepare.

So this might explain why, if we go 4-8, Greg will keep his job. But why four wins and not five? Common sense would dictate that 5-7 would save his job given how close that is to breaking even. It'd put us right on the edge of turning this thing around. The momentum would be in our favor. But 4-8? Not so much... But that's because you're not taking into account...

#2 Our schedule

Our schedule is so ugly

(How ugly is it?)

Our schedule is so ugly that I wouldn't fuck it with Nancy Cantor's dick.

But seriously, folks...have you
looked at this thing? @ a resurgent Northwestern, hosting mighty Penn State, @ West Virginia, @ South Florida, @ Rutgers, @ Notre Dame and @ Cincy??? We have far and away the toughest schedule in the Big East and it's considered one of the toughest in the country. How in the world is a team coming off a 2-10 season supposed to rebound against that?

And therein lies Greg Robinson's ace in the hole. Going 4-8 against this schedule is like going 6-6 against last year's schedule. Even if you don't buy that, you have to admit the Orange are operating on at least a 1-win curve with this line-up. And so, any other year it's likely that Robinson would need to squeeze that fifth win out if he wanted to come back. But somehow, four wins is going to be considered slightly impressive (let's not get crazy, I'm only saying "slightly").

So here is your dilemma as a Syracuse fan if Greg Robinson isn't your cup of tea.
  • 0-3 wins, Greg is gone. The time for talk is officially done.
  • 5+ wins, Greg stays and we're all at least content in the fact that Syracuse vastly improved against a monumental schedule.
  • 4 wins, Greg stays but it doesn't really feel good. I mean, four wins against this schedule is good I guess but is it really the "tangible" difference Daryl Gross was looking for?
Chew on as we inch closer to opening day...