Friday, August 29, 2008

Ready or Not....The Season starts tomorrow

Greg Robinson keeps insisting that he likes this team and that it's time to show something, to get out there and show something.

Unfortunately, I don't have any confidence in Greg Robinson. I mean like none, zero, zilch. As a result, I've never been less excited about the start of a Syracuse football season, since I started to care way back in 1991. No I'm not Paul Pasquoloni, but I do long for the days of Coach P, but I did arrive on campus the same time P took over the coaching duties. And truly, I don't lay the blame on the program being as bad as it is on GRob (certainly he hasn't helped matters) but put that blame squarely on Daryl Gross and Nancy Cantor's shoulders.

But anyhow, I promised myself, I wouldn't write about the Orange until I wouldn't rant about all that is bad. And now the season starts tomorrow, and well here are my 10 predictions for the season.

1). The offense is going to be different than what we saw the last three years. So I'm calling it the Syracuse Spread. And I think it will have a lot of similarities to the spread offense. I certainly don't expect to see Andrew Robinson running around like Pat White, or slinging it from sideline to sideline like Colt Brennan, but I expect we will spread the field and run from a lot of spread like formations.

2) So that brings us to the running backs. I think this might the position with the most depth. And I think at times we'll see all three running backs, and maybe even think all three running backs are the right guy for the job. For now, I think Boonah Brinkley gets the most work, but that may change it Delone Carter is healthy. Personally, I'd still like to see Doug Hogue at linebacker where he could be a force, but I think he'll be more than adequate a few times this year.

3) The receiving corps will surprise some people if Donte Davis stays healthy. Obviously, based on past history there is no guarantee there. But if he is healthy I think that even though the loss of Mike Williams will be large, this group can do a good job in this spread like offense.

4) I'm extremely concerned about the defense as a whole. I think there is definitely talent on this side of the ball, but a lot of it is young under experienced talent. Art Jones is a monster and will anchor everything up front, but I'm concerned about the rest of the front line. I think the linebacking group could be excellent in time. But I also think it will make its share of mistakes. And the secondary makes me believe that opposing quarterbacks will salivate everytime they get to the line of scrimmage.

5) I expect that South Florida and West Virginia will battle for the Big East crown. I think that Louisville will be the big surprise in the conference, and I think Pitt will be the big disappointment.

6) Meanwhile, I think 3-9 is the record for the Orange this year. I am predicting wins over Penn State, Northeastern and Notre Dame. That might actually be enough to give me some very satisfying moments as an Orange fan.

7) I don't believe the reports that the Offensive line is any better. I think the coaching staff (as the previous one did) with the addition of Mitch Browning, might do a better job at playcalling towards the unit's strength, but it won't be enough to cover the holes that the line has. Still, I think there is some young talent on this line, and maybe someday this group will be a cohesive unit. Just don't see it happening this year.

8) The Dome crowds will be an all-time low. Even with two September wins, one over the fierce Penn State rival, the season will be all but over by the time the team returns after that October road trip and it will be empty.

9) Northwestern 37, Syracuse 31

10) Part of that 3-9 might be some improvement against some of the more quality opponents. I expect more close games, and the defensive unit to get better as the season wears on. There likely could be some promise by the end of the season. That could make getting rid of Greg Robinson a tough decision. (and why it should have been done last year). But ultimately it will be done, and the Orange will have a new coach by Christmas. I only wish, we'd have a new AD.

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