There are two kinds of college coaches: Program Builders and Continuity Guys. Scott Shafer is the latter. He was elected from defensive coordinator to head coach after Doug Marrone left with the goal of maintaining the modicum of success that SU had achieved and growing the program further.
So far, that hasn't happened in the win column. And the problem with being a Continuity Guy is that you have a much shorter leash than a Program Builder and it's why some people think Shafer could be out after Year 3 if the Orange don't improve on the field.
So far, the preseason rankings haven't been kind to SU and they haven't been kind to Shafer either. Enter the Sporting News, who puts Shafe at No. 13 out of 14 ACC Coaches on their rankings. Like the Orlando Sentinel or Athlon, it's another high-level analysis from someone who doesn't actually know the ins and outs of what's been going on, but, it's a reminder of the perception surrounding Shafer and the program.
"A curious hire two seasons ago, Shafer hasn't done much to change first-look opinions. The Orange have lost 11 of 16 and Shafer's biggest win is Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl. SU scored seven points or less in four losses last season-offensive futility that gets coaches fired."
"A curious hire?" Was he? I think that's a little revisionist. Shafer was the obvious hire for the reasons stated above. That things went south last season, I suppose a lot of folks want to look back and think there were warning signs when Scott was hired. But...that's just not true.
That said, last season was a dumpster fire, injuries or not. And Shafer will be the first person to tell you where you can stick excuses (roughly the same place where you can stick stats). It's up to him and the team to defy expectations...those of the national press and local fans.
In the meantime, let's see what else this monster has been doing to the Syracuse program...