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Orange::44 Is An Absolute Magician 15.0

Each week Brian from Orange44 and myself trade paint on the issue of Syracuse Athletics. This week it's Brian turn to answer questions about the SU-Pitt game, the Lloyd Carr kerfuffle and what the Scoop Jardine injury means to SU Hoops.

Watching the SU-Pitt game, did you...

A. Know we would eventually find a way to lose.
B. Think we would win and felt crushed when we didn't.
C. Remain hopeful that the lead would hold but not exactly confident.
D. Get drunk and pass out by the 4th quarter.

For the majority of the game, I was clearly C. The team was rolling, they kept sustaining drives, and at key moments the defense made some stops. The passing game seemed to be working better than any game so far this season. I actually believed that this team could step up and beat a team that they probably had no business hanging with.

Then the game became tied, and I shifted from choice C to A in a heartbeat. I felt like a fool for believing. Sure enough, the defense collapsed, and Pittsburgh marched right back into the game. Basically all hope was lost by the middle of the forth quarter. At this point it would have been more enjoyable to have been choice D, but alas I was not.

Greg Robinson angrily defended his two perceived blunders (punting in the 3rd quarter, subbing an untested freshman for Brinkley) on Saturday but seemed to know he was wrong by Sunday. How did you feel when both happened and what does it say about Greg Robinson as a coach and strategist?

Initially when it happened, to me it appeared that Brinkley was fatigued or just shaken up, and to me it looked like it was just going to be a substitution for a couple plays at most. This did not bother me at this point because I figured it would only be temporary so I really gave it not much thought. However, as I noticed that Greg Robinson was leaving him in I obviously questioned the decision. I mean, after the game gets tied and the momentum has shown to clearly have shifted to Pittsburgh, why would you not have your best personnel in?

I think time has already shown that Greg Robinson is not exactly the smartest guy in the room when it comes to football strategy. As the Three Idiots would say, friends don't let friends quick kick. Clearly if he is second guessing himself, that clearly opens the door for us to do so right? Plus, I think we all know that Greg has not warranted the "defensive guru" title for quite some time. Either way, I have been historically underwhelmed for quite some time. This is just another tangible example of how in over his head Greg has been his entire career at Syracuse.

Doesn't look like Greg is getting fired this week, is he officially around for the long haul?

I guess it depends on your definition of "long haul". For me, that would mean that you are asking me if I think he will be around after this season. No. N. O. NO. This cannot and should not happen under any circumstances. Nor do I think it will. Enough alumni, program boosters, and fans are so far off the Greg Robinson bandwagon that economically the program simply cannot stand another season of losing attendance revenue and donors failing to donate.

While I still think there is an extreme possibility that he will be replaced mid season (and I maintain that this should happen immediately or as soon as possible), I guess it will not be this week. I can live with this as we do not play another game until the 11th of October. But it clearly should happen before that game or anything else. Then again, I suppose I'm wrong for discussing a coaching change, because only qualified media types can discuss such important and world changing issues.

You were at the center of this Lloyd Carr mini-controversy over the weekend, in retrospect would you have done anything differently before posting that tip? Have you heard anything since in regards to Carr and Cuse?

Yeah, honestly I never thought it would become the big deal it has become. I guess this is just another illustration of the power of the internet. Within an hour or two of me posting the article, you and several other Syracuse and Michigan blogs were linking to it. This, I think is pretty damn cool.

In retrospect, I would have played it the exact same way. Hindsight is 20/20 and I really cannot see how I could have maintained any more integrity than the way I played it. While blogs and bloggers traditionally abide by no rules, I like to personally be slightly more responsible than that. I clearly maintain a separate mode of operation when I am ranting or providing commentary and something I maintain is actual news, breaking or otherwise. I think I make the distinction quite clear and it would be easy for any reader to distinguish between when I am doing either. At least that is my intention. I certainly never mind getting called out for something I say that is an opinion or for a wrong prediction, but what I will never stand for is being accused of something or getting slandered for something that I did not do.

Really, this has just become another example of the entire Main Stream Media v. Blogger debate. Something of which I never thought I would be on the front lines on. Considering I run a modest blog that covers Syracuse Athletics, and a blog that I only manage to post on a handful of times each week, I wouldn't anticipate that I would be a breaking news source. However, fate dealt me the cards last Friday, I felt it was a legitimate tip backed up by several sources that I trust, so I went with it. I have no regrets, and I think my open letter to Mr. Webb fully articulated and justified my actions.

Subsequently, I am being interviewed by the Daily Orange today, and there should be an article about the entire Lloyd Carr rumor/blogger/Webb thing on Wednesday, so look for that to even further articulate and illuminate the entire affair.

What are your top three criteria for the next head coach of SU football?

First and foremost, they need to have immediate and prosperous recruiting ties to several areas. Syracuse used to recruit the likes of McNabb, Harrison, and Freeney. Now, the talent committing to Syracuse is not even close to what it should be. Syracuse needs a coach that can immediately come in and convince top talent that a new day is coming to the program and Syracuse will once again reclaim some of its past glory. Then and only then will the team truly get better, because you can have the best coach in the world, but he is only as good as the talent of his players at the end of the day.

Second, they need to have measured success in the college game. Growing a middle of the pack program, showing the ability to win big games, or something like this should be a must. The last thing I want is to get some big name NFL guy that has not been in the college coaching ranks for years. The college game is different than the NFL, we all know this. We need a coach that understands this as well.

Third, Syracuse needs someone they can believe in. By Syracuse, I mean the fans as a whole. The community needs a reason to believe that this team is going to get better and a new day has dawned. The last thing this program needs is something that the public perceives as more of the same. While the Athletic Department can't "clear" their final choice with the public, they clearly need to be reasonable in who they pick and not pick someone who the public is clearly showing they do not favor. If the department does pick someone that the public does not believe in, the money will not start flowing and attendance will not rise until they start winning again, and this might not be immediately. However, if it is someone the public does believe in, attendance and revenue will rise immediately, which will help everything. Immediately.

Scoop Jardine is likely out for the season, what effect does this have on the Orange?

To be honest, save for a couple of games, did Scoop really have that big of an impact on last season, especially after the Georgetown away game? I suggest he did not, and really he was on the floor (when not suspended) as a space filler because no one else was available. Perhaps this is the best thing for him, as he could rehab, become stronger physically and mentally, and then come back the following season and really show people what he can do. With the return of Rautins and Devendorf, and the incoming freshmen looking great, this team will give the elite teams in the Big East a run this season. I'm not sure where Scoop would have fit into this team in a meaningful way at all anyway. He just would have been another bench player, and with Flynn basically able to play all 40 minutes, and our guards deep again, how much time would he really have seen?

UConn. What can be done to stop them before they go to the Orange Bowl and lose by 40 to Florida?

Three letters; USF. God willing, the Bulls, those fun upstarts in Tampa, will continue to climb the rankings, win all those Big East games, and topple UConn to not only avenge their loss to the U of Conn from last season, but prove that they are in fact the best in the Big East, which I do think they are.

I am still not convinced that even a 5-0 UConn team is the second best team in the conference. Beating Hofstra, Temple, Virginia, Baylor, and Louisville is not exactly impressive to me. While Syracuse probably would have only won one or two of those games, UConn got a lot of luck in some of those games, and surely these teams are not of the caliber of say the teams in the Top 25. I mean, do you really see UConn going undefeated until they play USF in the second to last game of the season for them? I do not. Especially when they have a good chance of being beaten on the 4th of October by North Carolina before getting back to the Big East, I just can't see UConn staying ranked or being undefeated in the Big East heading into that game.

Conversely, I do think USF is that good this year. Last year was a tease compared to this year's USF team, and I think USF has a good shot to continue to stay atop the Big East standings. At least, that is what I hope. It is bad enough UConn is going to go to a bowl game and Syracuse will not, but for that bowl to be a BCS game, I will surely put a gun in my mouth.