Turnaround is complete at Syracuse

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 14, 2010
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (BASN) — Two Big East football programs — Syracuse and Rutgers — are heading in opposite directions.

The Orangemen became bowl eligible on Saturday for the first time in years with a 13-10 win at Rutgers. The loss almost insured that the Scarlet Knights will not become bowl eligible for the first time after reaching five straight seasons under supposed football savior Greg Schiano.

Syracuse AD Dr. Daryl Gross was criticized by some for the hire of Doug Marrone a couple of years back. Marrone had no head coaching experience. But he was though a Syracuse grad.

However, no Syracuse grad had led the program since 1948. It has proven to be a brilliant hire. Marrone replaced one of the most inept coaches in college football history — Greg Robinson.

We all know what he’s doing now as the defensive coordinator at Michigan.

All Marrone has done this year is get his team bowl eligible with very little offense but a tough and blitzing defense. Syracuse (7-3) actually could win the Big East and get the BCS bid. They have UConn at home Saturday and a win there could go a long way towards that goal.

Rutgers has regressed under Schiano since the magical 2006 season. They have no offensive identity. Schiano has two competent quarterbacks in Tom Savage and Chas Dodd.

However, he does not appear to know what to do with either. Instead he runs a wildcat offense almost 50% of the time and often times get bailed out by superior athletes like Jeremy Deering.

He gave the game away against Syracuse by running a bizarre play which resulted in a sack to Savage instead of getting a couple of yards up the middle and almost a sure field goal.

Schiano has been a leader in the face of the Eric LeGrand tragedy against Army, but he seems lost on the field. Perhaps there is a connection. Perhaps there isn’t, but the Rutgers fan base is losing patience quickly.

Schiano has promised national championships. He’s now looking at losing seasons.