Why Does Syracuse Resist Turning the Carrier Dome into a Unique Homefield?

By featuring a fast-paced attack SU could make a negative into a positive.

Bud Poliquin wrote about the Carrier Dome’s inherent home field advantages earlier in the week. And he was right.

“Mix in that low Dome roof . . . with that flat, dry, carpeted Dome surface built for speed and offense . . . with that collection of 49,000 Dome seats crowding the field in their claustrophobic way . . . with that dead Dome air which makes mere breathing a chore . . . with that Dome noise which can’t drift off anywhere and therefore can make hearing those quarterback audibles so difficult . . . and, well, you’ve got the most unique set of physical circumstances in the country.”

The Dome is ripe with potential. The controlled conditions specifically could and should be used by the Orange to create an uptempo attack. It’s the only indoor environment in all of the BCS, so why SU hasn’t historically used that to its advantage is anybody’s guess. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, the Dome was the Loud House, a brutally chaotic place to play. The turf was fast, the noise was loud, the temperatures were hot.

The Dome was a tough place to play because SU had a good football team, consistently ranked in the top 25 and big names coming through: McPherson, Graves, McNabb. But since SU football has dropped off, the fans have been slow to buy in, making the Dome half-empty and quiet for many games.

Syracuse has always favored a slow, grinding offense instead of a fast-paced aerial attack. Why? Think about Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense or Oklahoma State’s spread formation. Wouldn’t it be perfect to implement inside the Dome? It would be the ultimate recruiting tool as well. Attract East Coast kids who want to put up big numbers and play in a high-octane offense. Sure, it’s not easy to find the quarterback to spread the ball around. Those are much easier plucked in Texas and Florida. But if you land say an A.J. Long, or even a Ryan Nassib, then let him turn it loose.

Instead of a half-empty Dome being an Achilles Heel of the program, turn it into a strength. And when Poliquin cites an exasperated Doug Marrone lamenting his lacking homefield advantage its also Doug’s fault. He preferred a ground attack, a heavy dose of 17-14 games. The Dome is built to be a fast track and conducive to a high-powered, high-flying offense. Unfortunately, no coach has figured that out yet.

Posted: D.A.

29 Comments on this Post

  1. Gilbert

    I read about the Dome Ranger before my time. I would like to see The Dome ranger make it back in football and basketball games and get the crowd going.

  2. the dome is toasty in august and september but perfect for october and november. no snow or rain and no winds. if syracuse was ever to consider another football stadium i hope it would be another larger dome. i feel a dome is perfect for syracuse do to the different seasons its always going to be dry and warm.

  3. orangeinva

    The issue of the dome being a unique home field or not has more to do with what is OUTSIDE the dome than the field inside.

  4. Why not install a decibel meter with record highs adjacent to the meter. It gives the crowd a goal to surpass and encourages participation insetting a new highEspecially helpful when the opposition has the ball on crucial third and fourth downs or our teams celebratory big plays. It seems like a natural . Other teams have used this device for the home field effect.Excellentfor basketball as well.

  5. @chris;

    A decibal meter???? Come on folks lets get real here. Everyone is forgetting that the population is getting older. Except for a few like me,they set there in their seats and say nothing. They expect the people around them to be just as quite and are not afraid to tell you set down and shut up.

    One of the other problems I see is the great use of the English language that people use today. Do anyone of you think that a guy who brings his 5-6 year old son/daughter or wife to game likes hearing that great 4 letter word that starts with a “F” being used all of the time? Think about it people,some Fans have become down right a$$holes.

  6. A winning program will HELP fill the seats, but the WHOLE game experience is needed for the loud house to be loud and hot and nasty again. To have lathered up fans won’t hurt either. That means the game starts at tailgating time. Ron it ain’t church after all. My young daughters were there as well as my young butt at Archibold too!! They and myself heard many off-word comments(many were deserving as well for SU and the opposing teams too). That’s part of the game and growing up. Go to the vatican for clean words!! I have overstated the tailgating issue on the hill for years. I do see the issues making it a joke compared to other universities, but SU and DR Gross and the hill community are better than that. All 3 must find a solution to this problem. Go to UNI’s that have a great tailgating tradition and you’ll see SU can do the same!! SU just needs the people to clear a way for true NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL tailgating experience to happen on the hill!!

  7. The Lone Dipper

    Wow to this article! HCDM used multiple formations, a ton of spread, and motion plays into single back looks, as well. By saying “speed dome”- you’re not reinventing the wheel? ’12-’13 produced:

    A. 4000 yd & 20+ td passer
    B. 2000 total yds rushing *( returning in ’13-’14)
    C. A 1000 yds receiver & 900 ydr
    D. 1st rd NFL OL pick

    * are you saying SU needs to do it again, Fizz? Is the expectation every season? You are assuming,as well, that run games can’t be explosive! If SU wins running or passing, or scoring on defense, I’ll take it! Wins, not pretty points……..

    1. Syracuse economy would drive attendance if you ask me! It sux..
    2. And then winning…and most important:
    3. TV schedule…. there’s no way to black out espn/acc/internet

  8. @terry;

    Look,I’m not an ordained minister or Cardinal Ron that works with the Pope in the Vatican.

    I will say that there is a time and place for everything,using fowl language around my wife and granddaughters is never the time or the place to be doing so. If it’s a group of men doing something together,then that”s a different situation.

    So,based on your comments, I take it that you talk like that,all of the time,in front of your wife and grandchildren,just because they need to learn one of lifes lessons. How sad!!

    I’ve always thought Terry that people from our generation treated our women with respect and honor. I guess you didn’t learn that lesson growing up,right.

    I have never used that language in front of or around my wife. I wouldn’t do it in front of yours or anyone elses wife and I expect the same treatment in return.

    Usually,when I turn and tell someone to keep their mouth shut,they ought to take that as a warning,the second time that I have to tell them to shut up,has consequences.

    Terry you and I will never agree that it’s part of the college experience,because it’s not!!!!!

  9. The Age of Diptron

    Attendance + turf speed….. where’s the connection again?
    Last and only example: Ohio State, 100,000 in attendance+ per game, and slowest top10 powers traditionally(last decade). They’re slower than any SEC team…

    I don’t buy your argument Fizz! Winning football ALONE will pack the dome, there is no method to define HOW to WIN!!!!!!!

  10. Shafer and MacDonald have said that they are going uptempo, so you should see your wish. The problem is that if drives don’t produce touchdowns with this strategy, you’re putting the defense in a place where they’ll wear out. That’s why most uptempo teams also give up tons of points. I’m all for uptempo, but I’d like to see more scholarships allocated for defensive recruits so there’s more rotation to keep fresh.

  11. 44forever


  12. Ron your #@*+!%? nuts!!! Hey its a sporting event and people let off some steam. Let them. Their daily lives might need that release and not your “old ways”!! The old foggies like your self just sit there like lumps on a log anyway. I bet ya if you and your old lady got crazy a time or two the crowd woulkd love ya!! Try it!! Great therophy!! Yes foul language has no place in certain places, but wild and crazy sporting events will never be clean of bad words. If you got a bunch of A-Holes around you then call security, but otherwords after a CUSE fumble anyone has the right to say what the —- are you doing!! And its ok. Live with it. Grow with it!! Or stay home and watch it on TV!! Stop being a lump!!

    I see this week that ESPNU is showing the 25 top games of 2013. That’s how important CFB is to this nation. By far CFB is the nations best sport behind the NFL!! Got to love that and SU’s move to ACC!!

  13. Jon W.

    As bgogo said, Shafer and McDonald have both indicated that they want an uptempo, spread offense. Therefore, while I agree that Syracuse has too often not used the Dome to their advantage, the days of a slow pace offense seem to have gone by the way side. This article seems about two years too late.

  14. Terry,Terry,Terry, your morals(if you have any)are twisted,being civil to people in public was the number one thing parents taught their children years ago. I guess you didn’t learn that lesson growing up. You have no commen sense Terry,none.

    All the comments you made about me enjoying a game home or away,couldn’t be futher from the truth and shows me that you really don’t know what the hell your talking about. Me,a person that doesn’t root for the orangemen,really!!!!!! Is that the best you got??? I don’t know where you set, but if you look at the end of the dome where the team comes out of the tunnel and you look up your going to see my sons and I because we wear ORANGE tee shirts that have large C-U-S-E on them. One letter for one shirt. It’s real easy to locate us.

    I’m going to tell you again just where my sons and friends have tailgated over the last 8-10 years. If you look at the new IPF for football we’re right in front of that big “S” that’s going to on the new building,we’re in that upper right hand corner of the parking lot.

    If at any time you want to get up close and argue any point about Syracuse Football,your invited to the party. If you drink,bring your own. At times we have between 10-15 people there,that would probably disagree with a lot of your opinions.

  15. Ron
    Surely you realize there is low life everywhere. Some people just have no breeding because they either had parents who were low life and did not know better, or they refused to listen to their parents. If swearing with foul language is the mark of Mr Terry, then he is who he is with limited capability to communicate without using 4 letter words. Bless his heart.

  16. OOOOO!! Ron is losing it. Look old timer your out of touch. If someone blars out the f-bomb or what ever that happens. But at least they are up and yelling not sitting and reading their bible!! Sorry heathen in me I guess!! I don’t expect popes like your self to understand that. I really don’t get what your talking about not being a SU fan. You always supportede SU in a wierd way, but thats ok too!! See some counseling please your losing it and your blood pressure might rise. As for your friends/family who cares. There are thousands of these kind groups at a SU game. Your problem is your old fashioned and have a limited idea of what SUFB is ACTUALLY about. Hoping for this and that is nothing but high school. We don’t always agree but get you facts straight. And also if you were invited to my “group” the drinks are always on me/us. CHEAPO/Bogart!!!! Calm down!!

  17. Hey Ron/Russ/others if you don’t have this its ACC Digital Network!!


    Also heard maybe more committments coming shortly.

  18. @Terry;

    If your telling me Terry that all your friends talk like that in front of your friend wives and children while tipping a few and your trying to tell me that it’s natural to use the F bomb during your discussions. It’s you and your friends “old boy” that needs counseling,not mine. Your the one Terry that’s lost his direction in life,not me. I think you ought to heed your own advice,to set down and start reading the Bible. You might learn something before old age gets the best of you.

    I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in the last 45 years Terry and even if I was still tipping a few now and then,it wouldn’t be wise for me to attend your tailgating party.

  19. @WsaltineW;

    Great post,appreciated the kind words. terry has to be one of LOW INFORMATION VOTERS. The reason I’m saying that is because he shows us all just how stupid he really is.

  20. RON=Like talking to a wall!! That’s it!! Go back to Sesame Street and talk to your characters!! They’ll listen to you!!

  21. @Terry;

    The people I call friends/characters all have something that you don’t. They have intregity and morals,common sense and still shows respect for todays woman,rather she ask for it or not. My friends/characters still holds open a door for the elderly(man or woman)and helps a person in need who are physically disabled and in a wheelchair.

    I’ll take my friends/characters over anything Terry that you have to offer.

    Now why don’t you start talking some football,instead of throwing insults to others who enjoy this website?

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