In case you somehow missed it, the LSU Tigers under former Syracuse Orange assistant Ed Orgeron defeated the modern machine that is the Clemson Tigers. As Syracuse fans, we yearn for the days that the football program could be on the stage that the two Tigers teams had Monday night, and Orgeron’s ties to Syracuse and the 2015 coaching search after the firing of Scott Shafer make many wonder what could have been. (For the sake of this exercise, we’ll ignore the fact that Coach O was never actually a candidate.)
Luckily, we have a reality hopping device I stole from Doctor Strange, and have ventured to Earth-44, where we can view the reality where DaCoachO took over ‘Cuse.
2015: A shift in the coaching search takes place when Chris Ash removes his name from consideration. While Oregeron’s stint as interim at USC did not end great, Mark Coyle is enamored with bringing a coach “home,” with big name experience. Everyone bemoans that’s how we ended up with GERG, but Coach O eats 20 salt potatoes in his introductory press conference, paying TNIAAM’s bills for the year.
2016: In his first season at the helm, the transition from Shafer to Orgeron is apparent, and the Orange stumble to a 4-8 record. While disappointing, it’s clear Orgeron strikes a cord with the local media and team.
2018: In the third season of #DACOACHO, Eric Dungey is flourishing, throwing darts all over the field and truck sticking anyone in his way. The Orange ride an easy early schedule to Death Valley, narrowly losing to Clemson. They don’t lose the rest of the way, becoming college football darlings and earning a Fiesta Bowl bid against an undefeated UCF. The Orange dethrone the Knights, and the Orange are everyone’s dark horse 2019 pick.
2019: Ed Orgeron has convinced Joe Burrow that Syracuse isn’t that far from Ohio and he should be the next great QB to follow Eric Dungey. Burrow lights up the dome, and with an early season win over Clemson establishing the Orange as the power to beat in the ACC and the nation. The Orange drop a dumb game to Louisville, but still sneak into the playoff after an ACC Championship Game win. The Orange defeat #1 Ohio State in the semifinal, matching up with Georgia. The Orange win a classic in the Superdome, officially annexing New Orleans as an extension of Syracuse, NY in a federally recognized treaty negotiated by Orgeron himself to ensure he can open a Crawfish/Salt Potato Hut Chain in CNY.
2021: Orgeron moves most of the Cuse home games to New Orleans, thanks to the treaty negotiated in 2019 to improve local recruiting and talent after a disappointing 10-2 2020 campaign. Orgeron does have one game a year in CNY on the weekend of the New York State Fair, with the Orange playing in a 100 yard mud pit next to the Pizza Frites and Moonshine Slushie stations. The changes immediately take Syracuse from a top 50 recruiting team with overachieving talent to a top 5 recruiting team loaded with 5 stars up and down the roster.
2025: In his decade at the helm of the Orange, Orgeron has never lost more than 2 games a season since 2020, establishing Syracuse as a new modern power. He has un-retired 44 to ensure the Orange get the nation’s #1 running back every year, who Orange fans get to watch in the newly renovated state of the art Wegman’s Dome, home of Ernie Davis and Ed Orgeron Legend’s Field, under the additional 3 national title banners hanging in the rafters.
2035: At age 74, many wonder if Orgeron can physically keep coaching, but the legend has won 12 National Titles and shows no signs of stopping. Many wonder if recently brought in defensive coordinator Nick Saban is the one to replace Orgeron, or should it be offensive coordinator Dabo Swinney. Regardless, Syracuse takes no prisoners, winning every game by an average margin of 24.5 points, and cruising to a national title win over Texas 44-6.
2044: With no other team even coming close to defeating Syracuse, the NCAA and Power 5 Conference announce that they can no longer finically support men’s football in a non-competitive environment. Orgeron is forced to retire at age 83, and a recording of his “Go Orange” is played on the hour across the Orange campus. The Wegman’s Dome is converted into a full time basketball facility, while the old football training facilities are converted in spaces for the Professional E-Sports team in Syracuse.
So as you can see, while hiring Ed Orgeron may have given us the national power Syracuse, the cost is far too great. We’re stuck with what we have in this reality and universe. Geaux Tigers.