After the Pinstripe Bowl win, the Orange ushered in the new year with some great news. Two coaching changes in the Big East, and a possible third on the way means potentially great things for SU football.
Pittsburgh fired new head coach Mike Haywood just 16 days into his tenure after the domestic violence charge. On Sunday, UConn’s Randy Edsall jumped ship after 12 years in Storrs to take the Maryland job. (Incidentally, not everyone thinks he’s the right choice after a 9-4 record this season.)
At West Virginia, Bill Stewart is a lame duck coach who will be out after next season, but Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples says, “West Virginia may be better off buying out Stewart to avoid a mess next season.”
Maybe the scariest part of all of this is that Greg Schiano is now the longest tenured coach in the Big East.
This is all great news for the Orange. It means after a bowl victory, Syracuse’s recent recruiting flaws are beginning to be erased, and the scales are certainly tipping in their favor. The big fish right now is standout defensive player Ishaq Williams, who will make his decision this weekend. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Orange is selling its program from a position of strength.
The situation at Pitt is perilous according to Friend of The Fizz Pete Thamel:
“Now, with about half the university’s football recruits wavering or rescinding their commitments, (Pittsburgh AD Steve) Pederson needs to fix a program in disarray.”
As for Edsall, things aren’t going swimmingly in either Maryland or Storrs.
The Hartford Courant reports:
“What could be at issue are pending stricter guidelines for admission at UConn. The details of how things would change but sources say Edsall hasn’t exactly been shy about them, either and that he’s been quite vocal around the athletic department.
Edsall is respected for his focus on academics and the tighter guidelines would hurt in terms of bringing in players.
Rose Bowl champ Texas Christian University is joining the Big East in 2012. The Huskies would need their up their efforts to compete.
The program struggles to bring in talented players because academics guidelines already. Some have landed at other Big East schools.”
Syracuse is coming off of it’s first winning season since 2001 and has a head coach who is employed at his dream job. Doug Marrone is attracting players like Pennsylvania lineman Rob Trudo who told The Fizz:
“I believe in what Coach Marrone is trying to do, turning Syracuse into a winning program. The undergrads there, the freshmen and sophomores, I spent some time with them over the weekend. They believe that too.”
This offseason can be huge for the Syracuse coaching staff. The program is one of the hottest commodities not only in the northeast, but gaining national leverage with ESPN’s coverage of the Pinstripe Bowl.
The SU coaches hit the recruiting trail at the end of the regular season, but now have a final push that includes program stability and a postseason win before Signing Day on February 2nd.
While other schools flounder not only in their bowl games – both West Virginia and UConn got dominated – their coaching situations aren’t getting any better.
Doug Marrone and the Orange are now a rare constant in a conference full of transition.
Posted: Mike Couzens