The answer is Greg Robinson.
I know. We all know that. But let's put the hiring of one of the worst head coaches in college football history aside for a moment. If you're going to look back at the Syracuse Orange football timeline and exclude that program-destroying moment, what is the one moment that sticks out most you?
If you could hop in your T.A.R.D.I.S. and change or remove one moment from the timeline that got Syracuse football to where it is today, which one would it be? Could be something huge like changing the outcome of a game. Could be something small like changing a playcall. Could be somethingo on the field or it could be something that happens off of it.
I posed the question to the TNIAAM faithful and then I'll post it to you...
Other than GERG? That leaves a lot of lesser, debatable options. For me, it's probably Virginia Tech swooping in on our ACC invite back in 2003. If that doesn't happen, we probably end up experiencing a much higher floor, a much quicker bounceback and a whole lot more revenue that puts the athletic department on a better track with regard to facilities earlier too. We lose a couple things there too, clearly. But what we'd gain is likely a better alternative that has us in a much more advantageous position today.
I delete the Saint Doug departure. Despite some of his questionable comments and nicknames, he had the program going in the right direction with an amount of momentum that I haven't seen in my lifetime. The team was not only competitive, but winning. Throw in the recruiting class he and his staff had put together before it all unraveled, and I believe the program is in a vastly different position than it is right now. Nothing against Shafer, but Marrone was the perfect fit for the program. And i believe the program is in a vastly different position than it is right now if he stayed.
I'm going to keep it relatively recent, so I'd go back and erase Oct.1, 2011 when Syracuse lost to Rutgers 19-16 in 2OT. I'd take that game out because a win there and that team would have been 4-1, and would have finished the regular season at 6-6 and made a bowl game. It could have given SU three-straight bowl appearances and perhaps helped push more fans (and recruits) back to the Dome sooner.
Let's delete Jim Brown not winning a Heisman and give it to him. This probably doesn't change much about Syracuse football today but it makes me feel better thinking that he got an award he clearly deserved.
I would delete the penalty at the end of the Syracuse - Tennessee game in 1998. Get rid of that iffy pass interference call and SU probably wins that game. That not only knocks Tennessee off course to win the national title but when SU beats Michigan the following week it makes the Orangemen a top-ten team and perhaps changes the way they play that season. With momentum and confidence at their backs, they could beat NC State and West Virginia and, who knows, maybe take an undefeated record into the post-season. Of course they just as easily could still lose to NC State and WVU later on, but, I'd love to know for sure...
Now its your turn...