clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Golden Age Of SU Football Includes A Music City Bowl?

Bud Poliquin is on a Coach P kick now that he's back in the news. He tries to get a discussion going today...what was the Golden Era of Syracuse Football...Ben Schwartzwalder's reign or Paul Pasqualoni's. To me, I'm not even sure it's a discussion.

Coach P eeks out Schwartzy in terms of overall winning percentage (.644 to .626) but, like Bud, let's look at each coaches best ten-year span.

For Schwartzy it was '58 to '67. All he did in that span was win the 1959 National Championship, go 77-26 overall, never have a losing season, finish in the Top 20 four times and won at least 8 games six times. The Orange went to an Orange Bowl, a Sugar Bowl and a Cotton Bowl (when that meant something). Oh, and he produced a Heisman Trophy winner you may have heard of.

For Coach P, it was '91 to '00. In that time he went 81-36-1, won at least a share of the Big East title three times, never had a losing season, finished in the Top 20 four times and won at least 8 games six times. The Orange went to two Fiesta Bowls and an Orange Bowl. His most notable recruit was Donovan McNabb.


Both of their Golden Ages are a little top-heavy, with most of their best seasons coming towards the beginning. Poliquin factors in attendance levels and the NFL draftees that each had, both of which I don't really think are fair parameters for comparison considering the different in stadium sizes, the state of college football and the difference in the size and impact of the NFL at each time.


The cold and hard fact is that Schwartzwalder won a National Title and has a Heisman Trophy winner to his name and Paul does not. That alone trumps the couple of extra wins Coach P has to his credit. Championships beat regular season success anytime, anywhere. Since there wasn't a Big East conference at the time, that can't be used to Coach P's advantage.


What might be more interesting is to break it down to the best "Five-Year Eras" is SU history and get Coach Mac involved. He'd give Coach P a run for his money for sure...but would he trump Schwartzy? Hmmm...still probably not.