Nov 19, 2008

Orange Magic, An Interview

Earlier this week, I was contacted by the dominant Syracuse blog "Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician." He was looking for a little Q&A, and I was more than willing to oblige. Here are my questions for Sean and the answers are provided as well. Cool how that works, huh.

I have always considered Sean to be an even minded individual and have enjoyed his posts. There is a couple of things that I find out about Sean in this interview that validate my opinions. Try and find out what those 2 things are.

You were hoping for an International Bowl bid earlier this year. What went wrong?

Greg Robinson happened.

I'll be the first to admit my International Bowl hopes were facetious at best. I don't think anyone was predicting this team would win more than three games. And it looks like we were right.

Forget about the fact that Greg Robinson has been prominently involved or that our defense has been instructed to tackle by using the "ole" technique. Look at our schedule. You've got Northwestern (8-3), Akron (5-5), Penn State (10-1), Northeastern (1-AA), Pitt (7-2), West Virginia (6-3), USF (6-4), Louisville (5-5), Rutgers (5-5), UConn (7-3). Not a losing record among them (aside from Northeastern, which doesn't count). And now we get a 6-4 Notre Dame and then a 8-2 Cincy, both on the road. It's not the hardest schedule in the country but it's up there.

But believe me, that's not the reason we're terrible, that's just part of the issue. Even a mediocre team could be 5-5 with that schedule. Hence, Greg Robinson is no more.

Who are your best offensive and defensive players? What/who should ND be afraid of?

If he's firing on all cylinders, beware of Curtis Brinkley. The Orange started the season with a whole slew of running backs competing for the starting job. By the end of the first game it was clear Curtis was our guy and we've been riding him ever since (no homo). Curtis passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week, a season that includes six 100-yard games. He hasn't broken that barrier in two games (94 last week) so he's due.

Our passing attack has been abysmal the last few weeks so even though we have some talented receivers on the field, don't worry about them. Greg Robinson is being coy about who he's going to start at QB, last year's starter Andrew Robinson or this year's starter Cam Dantley. Neither have been particularly impressive lately so...whatever.

Defensively, DL Arthur Jones is the main man and his partner Nick Santiago is no slouch either. They have 5.5 of SU's 9 sacks this season and you expect them to put pressure on Clausen all day.

How do you expect the team to react in terms of on-field performance after the news of Robinson being fired? Should he still be coaching these last two games or do you wish that they would have gone with an interim coach?

Regardless of the results, I've always been under the impression that the team likes Greggers. He is, if nothing else, a really nice guy. And what he lacks in coaching ability he makes up for in being a good person. And the players seem to appreciate that. I think they will keep the intensity level high and try to win one for Greg before he goes.

That said, they're still the same team so...try as they might I don't know if that's possible.

I have no problem with him coaching the last two games at this point. What's the harm? I would have rather they fired Robinson after the Pitt game. We had a bye week afterwards and it would have been perfect timing to install an interim coach (OC Mitch Browning probably) and try something different. It certainly couldn't have ended up much worse and who knows, maybe Mitch could have found a formula that Robinson couldn't. We'll never know.

What is the biggest misconception of Syracuse football besides the fact that Ernie Davis never wore Nike's?

That we've been bad for a really long time. I always get the sense that college football fans in general think that Syracuse has been a mediocre-to-bad program for a long, long time and that's just not the case. We had a 10-win season as recently as 2001. We went to an Orange Bowl in '98 and a Fiesta Bowl in '96. We've had a ton of NFL talent walk through the doors in the last decade (Donovan McNabb, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Donovin Darius, Will Allen, David Tyree).

I also can't stand it when people say that Syracuse will never be good again. How short-sighted and dumb do you have to be. I mean, have you followed college football at all in the last thirty years? Programs rise, programs fall, players come and go. Nothing is constant. Look at Northwestern. Look at Kansas. Look at Minnesota (1-11 last year, 7-4 this year). All any program needs is a good coach and a couple good recruiting classes and they can compete. It's so much simpler than we make it out to be sometimes.

What are your personal feelings towards Notre Dame in terms of conference affiliation, scheduling, BCS deal, etc.?

I should probably note at this point that in a former life I was a Notre Dame fan. I grew up an extremely passionate Irish fan from the 1987 Tim Brown/Cotton Bowl season to around the end of the Lou Holtz Era. By the time I got to Syracuse I dropped the Irish and haven't looked back since.

My claim to ND fame is that I attended the #1 FSU vs. #2 Notre Dame game in '93. Still the best sporting event I've ever been to in my life. Went on the field after the game, walked out the tunnel as a sea of stone-faced Florida State fans sat in stunned silence. Amazing experience.

Do I think Notre Dame should just up and join a conference already? Absolutely. But I also understand why they don't. And until the time comes when the NCAA, the BCS, NBC and everyone else doesn't give them that special treatment, why should they change?

While at this point the Big East is a viable option based on the relationships with all the other sports, the Irish would be crazy not to join the Big Ten if they ever do make the move. Too much history with many of those programs, let alone the geographic ties.

My only real beef at this point is the SU/ND deal that was put into place that has us playing ten times in the near future, five in Notre Dame and five in Giants Stadium (or whatever it will be then). I feel like Syracuse pulled it's pants down a little bit on that one. Our athletic director is desperate for any kind of NYC exposure so I see why he loved the idea. But I really think at least one of those games should be played at Syracuse. Or at least one of the ND home games should be in Chicago to give us some new exposure. The fact that SU doesn't lose a home game for it eases the pain but I would have liked to have seen a little more give and take.

What are your dreams for the Syracuse program and can your dreams become a reality?

Here are my realistic expectations for Syracuse football.

8 out of every 10 years, we are in competition for the Big East title.
6 out of every 10 years, we finish the season ranked.
3 out of every 10 years, we win the Big East title.
1 out of every 10 years, we are in competition for the National Title.

This is pretty much how things were for SU between 1987 and 1997. I see no reason things have changed so drastically that we can't do it again. Give me a good coach and a couple good recruiting classes and we can at least get back on track.

A friend and co-worker, who just so happens to be an Ohio State fan is a big reader and supporter of Subway Domer. His name is Trent (A.K.A. beanie4heisman) and I believe him to be one of the biggest fans of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. He reads your work and loves your site. I asked him to come up with a question for me to ask you, so here it is: 1. Who do you honestly believe to be the next Syracuse head coach and who is your dream guy? 2. Where does the website go from here? (Considering the amount of print regarding Greggers).

First up Trent, your check is in the mail.

As to my dream guy, I assume I'm not really allowed to say Urban Meyer will leave Florida for Syracuse, so let's go with who is available. My dream coach would be someone who has proven they can not only win but that they can take a low level program and turn it into a winner relatively quickly. He has strong Northeastern recruiting ties and familiarity with the region. He's not interested in running any cockamamie pro offenses and just wants to play some good old fashioned college football. And he's an SU alum.

There's only one person out there who fits that criteria. Randy Edsall. The bonus of taking Edsall would be that we make a rival, UConn, weaker. Edsall is now publicly saying he's not interested, but who knows with coaches. I mean, would he really say otherwise right now?

I honestly believe the next coach of Syracuse football will be Buffalo's Turner Gill. He's turned the Bulls into a bowl team, he can recruit New York and the Northeast and had his team played SU this season I think we would have had a new New York's College Team. I think all of those candidates are going to come and go, most of them looking to "better" opportunities and Gill will be there waiting for us in the end.

As for what we're going to do for content now that Greggers is leaving...I'm not sure. He's such a tough act to follow. Can I request that press conference stupidity be a requirement of the next coach?

You can see what the Orange are up to all week over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. Thanks to Sean for indulging in mine and Trent's guilty pleasure that is TNIAAM.

If you want to know why Troy Nunes is so fucking dominant, watch the following video that was posted earlier this year.

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