Hello everyone! If you couldn't tell by the recent string of random posts by me popping up, I have joined Sean's blog and coverage of the Syracuse Orange. If the 300 some readers I got over at Bleacher Report are here, well yeah that's done. For introduction, all you need to know is that Speech and Debate was my thing in high school and have been dealing with some withdraw issues over the last year or so. Thus, Sean has given me the OK to cave back in and start debates on his site (as if they didn't already).
This is how the Great Orange Debate will work: every Monday, I will tweet and post next's week question at the end of the article. Your tweets and comments that make up the arguments for each side with the article bringing everyone together (Kumbaya everyone!) and declaring a victorious side, which I'm sure will start a debate in itself. So enough with the details, let's jump in!
Is Playing "Home" games in NYC Good for Syracuse?
This is a topic that has lit up the Orange fan base for quite some time now. Syracuse will start a series of games played in MetLife Stadium that will count as "home games for the Orange even though there is exactly 247 miles between the Dome and MetLife. This gimmick (let's be honest, that's what it is) is not exclusive to Syracuse. Last season, 13 neutral site games were played that featured teams like Texas, LSU, Florida and Rutgers. But is this good for Syracuse?
Affirmative - Dr. Gross' vision is correct.
The main reason Syracuse worked to make this happen is so that the name "New York's College Team" sticks. You can't call yourself that and not ever play in the largest city in the country that happens to be in that state you claim you possess. However, there is much more than just branding that motivates and makes this decision a wise one for Syracuse.
First, there is the national exposure element. Let's be honest: did you hear/care about Oregon before their crazy jerseys were forced upon you by ABC on a weekly basis? Did we care/root for a team from the Mountain West in Idaho was tearing it up until we saw them on National TV winning on a consistent basis? Probably not. A game in NYC against some of the most iconic teams in college football is guaranteed to be shown on national television, preferably in prime time, and thus more people know who Syracuse is. This also makes Syracuse far more marketable for Nike. Like it or not, Nike showed with Oregon that you can revamp a program with just looks and Syracuse football still hasn't seen a Pro-Combat third uniform while Rutgers will this season.
This then helps Doug Marrone in recruiting. We all know how he has extended the Otto-Man Empire into Georgia but we all know the best recruits in the country aren't just on the East Coast anymore. Nationally televised games ensure that recruits in Texas and California at least hear of Syracuse and maybe peak their interest. The more name recognition Marrone has when he shows up to a recruits abode, the better.
Finally, this game brings in the moolah.The revenue from the game gets split between the two teams, but USC, Penn State and Notre Dame ensure huge television audiences and in the case of the latter two, excellent traveling fan bases. There is no question this kind of game brings in more revenue than a game against Rhode Island or Wake Forrest on TWC Sports or ESPN3.The Opposition: This Just Doesn't Make Sense for 'Cuse
While the opposition brings forth good and relevant points, most of the argument can be shot down with common sense. Syracuse should not just "go along with the crowd" but rather do what's best for themselves as a program and upset the loyal fanbase in Syracuse while doing so.
First and foremost, is Syracuse even ready for this kind of national exposure. Sure, national exposure on prime time is great and all, but not if you get slaughtered by 30 like the Orange likely will against USC pending a miracle. The Orange are a decent team but under Marrone have never finished any higher than 4th in the Big East and haven't finished about 3rd since 2001. USC, Notre Dame and Penn State are all consistent Bowl qualifiers and top 25 teams that should rather easily defeat Syracuse. Send that message along to recruits.
This plays along to my second point which is that the Orange recruiting issues break down into far more than just exposure. New facilities are needed as some sources tell me our weight room is on par with Akron, not Louisville or West Virginia. While the money brought in from these games are nice, they won't pay for a multimillion dollar renovation of Manley. The Orange need to win more, not play in NYC/NJ more to attract recruits and gain the viewing dollars other schools receive (which means mixing up the playbook every once in a while).
Finally, there is the whole loyalty thing. You know, keeping already sparse home games in Syracuse and the Dome so that season ticket holders in the Central New York region can go to the game. You know, those same fans who supported the Orange during the unmarketable Greg Robinson era and support the local economy on game days? I'm just saying that when Spring Practices are closed off and the team was short-sticked on home games, it would be nice to see them play home games in the Dome.
This is still murky. If Cuse pulls of the win against USC, suddenly this looks amazing. If they lose like expected and the money brought in is small, then this series is just betraying loyal fans. I'm a fan of these games...if you can compete with the team you're up against. Tweet me/leave comments below for this week and next's week topic?
Will Syracuse be better next year without Scoop Jardine?