Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pre-game from Syracuse

Greetings from the Carrier Dome, which is empty and dark 2.5 hours before kickoff. I have a feeling it's going to fill up pretty soon. No guarantee about the lights, though.

Early Big East game results are in, and Pitt's victory over South Florida makes tonight's UConn-Syracuse game a true elimination game. Well, sort of. We know UConn is eliminated with a loss because Syracuse will finish its conference slate 5-2. The question is whether a loss tonight will finish off the Orange. The answer is, most likely. Their only shot is if Pitt loses it's final two games, and there's a three-way tie for first place. In the case of a three-way tie at the top, the tie breaker is not head-to-head but the BCS standings. Conceivably, Syracuse could finish with the best BCS rank of the bunch, but it's highly unlikely.

I still can't believe the outrage in Syracuse over last season's game. A column in the Post-Standard this morning referred to Zach Frazer's touchdown pass (on 4th-and-11 from the Orange 28 with 47 seconds left and the Huskies up 11) as "completely unnecessary". It also suggested Syracuse coach Doug Marrone is still angry at Edsall for running up the score, and is using last season's game as a William Wallace, "fire up the troops" motivator.

If Marrone is indeed angry, it's a contrived anger. The game wasn't over. UConn wasn't punting, and a field goal was risky given Dave Teggart's range. A quick strike touchdown from the Orange could have had them lining up for an on-side kick with a chance to win the game. Syracuse loaded the box, and Easley was one-on-one with a cornerback. Touchdown. But it's running up the score only if the game is out of hand. Or if Marrone waived a white flag on the sideline and vowed he wouldn't try to score when his team took possession.

OK, Syracuse was sensitive from being down for so long. It's a non-issue.


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