Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Here - the Official Idiotic Syracuse Football Season Preview


We know the anticipation has been KILLING YOU. When, oh dear GOD when, will The Three Idiots put up their official SU football preview???? Well, the wait is over. The work below is groundbreaking. It's emotional. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be amazed at how accurate and thought provoking this preview is. Yes, it's that good. You'll forget everything you've ever read before about SU, and you'll want more. You'll also realize that like every other preview and prediction that's been posted on the internet, it's most likely full of crap (much like that intro) - because that's why they play the games. Let's get started.

Russianator

If 2008 is anything like 2005-2007, without question this season will be the Greg Robinson Farewell Tour, and if that happens, it's not a moment too soon. Prior to last season, the jury was very much out on Robinson, and I openly wondered what kind of coach he would prove himself to be. The results of last season told me all I needed to know. There was a reason he was fired from his last 2 professional gigs - poor performance. Since I haven't done it yet, my portion of this preview will take a quick look at the team by position, then finish with a prediction for the season.

Offense

They will be improved on this side of the ball, the addition of Mitch Browning and the fact that things can't get much worse virtually guarantees it.

Quarterback - If Pasqualoni had convinced this many viable arms to come to SU during his last 3 years, he might not be working in Miami right now. Last year Andrew Robinson proved himself a tough and capable signal caller, and he's definitely earned the right to start this year. With over 2,000 yards and almost twice as many TDs as interceptions, he had about as fine a year as you could expect on a 2 win team. Especially you consider that he was sacked more times than an Idaho potato.

While he played well, there is a ways to go in his development. He didn't start playing football until the 9th grade, and at times it shows. At times he doesn't show a great natural feel for the game and sometimes holds the ball too long. He also doesn't throw a great, or accurate, deep ball. That being said, those are all areas he can improve on, and I fully expect he will. I like this guy. He's backed up by Cameron Dantley, who has a cannon for an arm, throws a pretty ball and has shown he can move the team when called up. Dantley's biggest downfall is that you don't know what team he's going to end up throwing the ball too. Behind him are a promising, but completely untested trio of Cody Catalina, David Legree and Ryab Nassib. The team should be solid at this spot for the next few years.

Running Back - The RBs are also solid and healthy, with Delone Carter, Doug Houge and Curtis Brinkley vying for playing time. Carter showed me enough in 2006 to convince me if he's healthy, he should be the number one choice, and Hogue has been getting rave reviews in camp. Brinkley is on his last chance, here's hoping me makes the most of it. There are 4 talented freshman behind this trio, if anyone can open a hole, SU is fine here.

Offensive Line - I'm not going to waste anyone's time here, I've never played on the O-line, I don't have coaches tape to break down and I haven't been to a single practice. Can they get better? They can't get much worse, this group is the biggest question mark on a team of question marks. If there's no improvement, don't bother watching games, it won't be worth your time.

WR/TE - an equally challenged group - only Lavar Lobdell and Mike Owen are the only returning players that caught passes in games last year - this untested bunch has a lot to prove. It also muddies the evaluation of the QB and offensive line positions. If Robinson struggles early, or if they can't run the ball, will it be because the receivers can't get open and aren't respected? We will find out quick enough, although I have a feeling Bruce Williams will make an impact this year.

Defense

I don't like Greg Robinson's defensive philosophy, I don't like his schemes and I don't like the results we've seen so far. His soft zones, use of smaller players to "fly" around the field, and bend but don't break (even though they almost always broke) philosophy simply doesn't work when the guys with the ball are faster and more talented than the guys that are supposed to be flying to it. Last year this unit was terrible, this year, I think they will be improved, but not half as much as they will need to be.

Defensive Line - Arthur Jones is a stud. Bud Tribbey is a potential stud. Jared Kimmel is recovering from a knee injury. Everything else on this unit is one huge question mark. The DL was a big part of the reason why the Orange only netted 9 sacks last year - of course it's tough to sack the QB when you rush 3 guys and your defensive coordinator is dropping your best pass rusher into coverage, but I digress.

Linebacker - This unit was simply atrocious last year. Middle linebacker Jake Flaherty improved as the season went on, look for a much better year from him. Last year's outside backers have been moved to TE and DE respectively, so that tells you all you need to know there. They've been replaced by Mike Mele and Derrell Smith, two young players who haven't proven anything yet.

Secondary - A thin, but potentially improved unit. Randy McKinnon and Mike Holmes should add some speed and swagger, and we know if Max Suter gets on the field he can do some damage, but everyone back here is young, with the exception of starting safety AJ Brown, who looked slow last year.

Special Teams - these will be solid. Patrick Shadle was a good kicker when he was fat, he's skinnier now. Brendan Carney is a solid punter and Max Suter set a record for kick returns last year.

Season Outlook - Looking at the schedule, I can only see 2 real solid wins, Akron and Northeastern. Given the fact that this is college football and there IS some talent on this team, I think stealing a win versus UConn or Louisville is entirely possible. Let's say they bite the Huskies at home. The rest of the season looks like a tough ride. I think they keep games against Northwestern, Pitt, Rutgers and Notre Dame and Cincinnati relatively close (within 2 TDs), and take a woodshed beatings versus West Virginia, South Florida, and Penn State.

The finally record, 3-9

And the coaching search begins. Get your t-shirt before it's too late.

Champ

Season Outlook

Let's get this on the record right now. Orange coaches and players, I beg you: PROVE ME WRONG on this forecast.

In the last 3 years we've witnessed the Syracuse football program hit the absolute rock bottom of their storied history. In looking to the future of this season I have to look to the recent past.

It's full-blown political season and I'm going to borrow a line that's often thrown out this time of year: Is your football program better off now than it was three years ago?

Looking at the schedule I'm willing to put 1-AA foe Northeastern into the "W" column...but keep in mind fellow Orange fans the lesson Appalachian State taught the college football world in Ann Arbor last year.

Based on three years of steps backward, falling on our faces and complete disappointment I can't see any Big East wins. The stars won't be aligned again this year when Louisville comes calling in the Dome.

Out of conference Akron pulls the upset and becomes this year's Miami of Ohio game. Joe Pa shows everyone why right now Penn State isn't playing Syracuse regularly. It's the same reason Major League Baseball teams quit playing their AAA affiliates in meaningless exhibition games.

Northwestern sets the tone opening day in front of a national TV audience.

The lone highlight will come from frosh WR Chaz Cervino who breaks all SU single season receiving records on his way to becoming the University's second Heisman Trophy winner. Or maybe not.

Please don't confuse my honest opinion with over-the-top negativity that plagues many Orange fans.

I will continue to be at every home game with my fellow season ticket holders.

I will continue to be one of the few regular tailgaters in my parking lot for every home game including the dreaded nooners.

I will continue to stand and yell on 3rd down and cheer my butt off for the players.

I will put any UConn fan in their place that starts talking crap to Syracuse fans in my section.

I love Syracuse athletics and it breaks my heart to see the program in it's current state.

Please....prove this prediction wrong. I hope so.

Final Record 1-11.

Boss

Boss Ah…college football is back! It is the season when school buses resume destroying your morning commute, yard maintenance is eschewed in favor of setting your fantasy lineup, and sitting in parking lot with beers and brats is a Saturday well-spent.

And as with every SU football campaign since Greg Robinson took the helm, it is a season of questions. Questions at LB, WR, O-Line, etc… This idiot can’t effectively rehash the same old questions with a coherent perspective (I’ll leave that to everyone else) -- so instead I’m offering up answers, and frankly this program drove by “questions” 2 exits back off the interstate…its time for some answers and accountability. Idiotic answers no less.

YesI believe Robinson is right the man for the job…Andrew Robinson that is, I just wish he had somebody to throw the ball to that didn’t attend CBA. Without any legitimate wideouts this team will live and die with the running game...and when forced into passing situations, ARob is going to have to be spot on as there won’t be much separation coming from the WR corps.

Six…I know its asking a lot to save coach’s job, especially considering that SU has won a total 7 games in prior three years under GRob, but anything less and the Farewell Tour MUST conclude November 29th at Nippert Stadium.

The basement…Seriously where are all of the Big East wins coming from...maybe Louisville, maybe UConn at the Dome…probably not. Prepare for another season in the conference cellar – which wouldn’t be so horrible if I had a 42” LCD down there.

Northwestern…I know its easy to pick the next game as the most important, but if you analyze the ‘Cuse schedule, you’ll quickly notice that getting to six wins starts with a W in Evanston on Saturday and even then it’s a longshot.
119th…or last in NCAA Division I-A (eff the Bowl Subdivision crap) is where the SU defense will be ranked. Might be harsh but Patriot League-level personnel combined with a constantly changing coaching staff isn’t what I’d call a positive…Any wins this year will come in spite of the defense.

2-10…Akron (not a given) and Northeastern are the victories, that’s it. Look at the schedule and try and find another win, there aren’t any. No more pie-in-the-sky optimism, this program has become a joke and realistically the season is likely to look pretty familiar.

Having said all that, its still SU football and I’ll be planning weekend activities around ‘Cuse games for the next 3 months…and besides college football season only lasts until early January so take it all in.

Final Record - 2-10.

1 comment:

Poncho Sinatra said...

Nice summary!

I am going with Boss on this one with 2 wins this season and GROB is out half way through the season.

Keep those coolers stocked boys, it's going to be a loooooong Year!

Danny
TheSportHump.com