We give DOC Gross a lot of grief around here but it should be noted that...
1. Pretty much everything he's done except hiring GERG has worked out.
2. SU Athletics as a whole is in 10x better shape than it was when he got here.
3. Though with serious drawbacks, MetLife deal makes a lot of sense for all of the obvious reasons.
4. If you can't find any other reason to like him, remember, he's one of the major reasons we're in the ACC and not the AAC.
DOC stopped by ESPN Radio's Upon Further Review on Wednesday for his annual "This is why we play our best games in New Jersey" explanation and it's a good reminder of how things were when we originally signed the deal and what the value of the games is.
"At the time it was necessary. We were trying to get the football program on the map, trying to recruit New Jersey, trying to brand the football program. We accomplished all those things. Now we go to the ACC, there's a little bit more distribution than there was in the Big East. When we were in the Big East we were really struggling financially to try to keep things if you're going to be good at everything. It's worked out really well for us."
"When we made the deal, where we were in the Big East, Notre Dame wasn't scheduling to go on the road. They were very selective about it. We knew it would be a good opportunity to play on the big stage so we took that opportunity. With the ACC, we would have had to wait for the rotation. There's a lot of teams and a lot of years but they'll get through everyone. We'll have an opportunity to get Notre Dame in the Dome just like next year we'll have LSU in the Dome."
Of course, you can't help but find irony in the fact that, due to their ACC scheduling deal, Notre Dame would have been required to play us in the Carrier Dome soon, even if it wouldn't be for a couple years, negating the need to make this deal in the first place, but, we digress.
Gross also had a lot to say about the exposure that SU will get playing Notre Dame on Saturday night on ABC and then following it up with a Friday night showdown with Louisville. And while I agree that, from a marketing standpoint, it's great for Syracuse's "brand," what happens because of that national exposure depends largely on what the football team does during those games.
If Syracuse gets throttled by Notre Dame in front of a national audience and then follows it up with another stinker at home on Friday night, that might actually be more damaging than never having played the games at all. Beating Central Michigan on ESPN3 is good but no one outside of Upstate New York cares. They only care what they see when SU is right in front of them. Recently, when SU has been right in front of them, they've watched Syracuse lose (Penn State, USC, Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech).
Exposure can be good, but exposure to losses isn't. Winning is better, regardless of exposure level. Find a way to win with exposure, that's the best, so let's see if we can do just once and then we can talk about the true value of these games.