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Year-in-review: John’s favorite TNIAAM articles (that he wrote) in 2021

Honest question: Has anyone written more perspective pieces about Dino Babers in the last six years?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 27 Pitt at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As you know, I write quite a bit about the Syracuse Orange here at TNIAAM. And while plenty of them have probably missed the mark (some of you may claim they all have), there were at least a few winners in there, right? This list compiles my favorites of the group after yet another tumultuous calendar year of Orange-related happenings.

So if you didn’t read these the first time around, here’s your chance to get caught up. And if you missed Tuesday’s most-commented articles, be sure to check out that list as well. Thursday will also feature my favorite pieces from the rest of the TNIAAM staff.

These are sort of ranked by how much I liked on a re-read, but also wouldn’t put a ton of stock into the order. Hope you enjoy reading (or rereading) as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Syracuse football spent too much time baking the cake, and now it’s overcooked

Oddly, this could’ve been written after most of the games in 2021. But this particular piece came following a week two loss to Rutgers. While this staff did turn a bunch of the qualms expressed in the article around, it also didn’t address all of them; and arguably even tacked on some new issues by year’s end. To an extent, the exhaustion around SU football we felt after even game two populates the moves of this offseason.

Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be

And then there was the Louisville game, which was a harbinger of what was to come for Syracuse in 2021 — and the biggest issue is that we knew it at the time. Again, the feelings following this game help steer Dino Babers & co. into this offseason’s changes that are pretty welcome.

Coach K, Roy, Boeheim and the question of legacy

Legacy conversations AND a comparison to both Duke and UNC? Most Syracuse fans are fully onboard, which is why I leaned into that dynamic. Plus, it’s also fun for me as an Orange fan to continue to consider the odd space this program occupies.

The danger’s always been here

It’s been such an exhausting year that I’d honestly forgotten I’d written this piece in the aftermath of January’s events. The comments were turned off immediately there, and I’d prefer we don’t rehash in the comments below now. The themes all continue to apply, unfortunately.

Sean Tucker is making the case for Syracuse football to #Restore44

Failing to give Sean Tucker 44 was truly a miss by Syracuse, and now it seems unlikely to happen at all. This continues to bum me out, and the same likely goes for many of you.

Where does the buck stop at Syracuse?

It wouldn’t have been a year without some sort of... thing happening at Syracuse. This time, it was everything that was uncovered around Quentin Hillsman’s tenure as the head women’s basketball coach and the complete lack of accountability that sat in its wake.

The peaks and perils of living dangerously

Have we tired of this annual March surprise thing with Orange men’s basketball yet? Will we ever? It’s tough to get a read on the most recent era of this program given the differing results in the regular season and postseason.

Just Win, Baby

For once, I just preached that we enjoy the results for Syracuse football no matter how ugly. I’d live to regret it, since SU wouldn’t win another game after this piece and the on-field product was miserable.

This Boeheim’s Army team wasn’t what you thought, which may be why they won TBT

As we can all attest to, there’s some fun in unexpected sports success. And while the actual Syracuse Orange teams were unable to take home a title this year, Boeheim’s Army wound up pulling it off with a distinctly less-than-Syracuse team.

Oh, so it’s going to be one of THESE seasons...

The hallmarks of one of “those” seasons arrived early for Syracuse football and obviously never went away. Much of the first two months of the season featured dumb games in the most classic sense for this program. Despite things going completely off the rails late, a 5-7 season was still very much one of THOSE seasons.

Five possibly insane conference realignment ideas for the ACC

This wasn’t like the other pieces here, yet was a fun way to travel back in time to the 2010-11 college football internet along with everyone else. None of these nonsensical realignment ideas happened. They still could, though.


As always, thanks for reading whether your agree or disagree with any of the above. The interaction with everyone here over the years is part of the fun, and what’s made me a better writer over time. So thanks for sticking around through another weird year of Syracuse sports.