Fizz Five: Syracuse in Texas Bowl Has Long-Term Benefits for Recruiting, Alumni

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via Syracuse Media

The wait is over.

The Orange learned Sunday evening it’s headed to bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998 and 1999.  Syracuse will take on Minnesota December 27th in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium  with hopes of continuing to build the program back to college football prominence.

Scott Shafer and the rest of the coaching staff led SU to a 6 – 6 mark in the team’s inaugural seasons as a member of the ACC.The Fizz did all its homework to calculate the possibilities as to where Syracuse would end up in the postseason. With speculation of playing an average school in a non-BCS conference and potentially missing a bowl game altogether, Shafer is thrilled for the chance to battle the Golden Gophers, especially for his veterans. Per SU Athletics:

“It is great to see an ACC-Big Ten matchup in a terrific bowl game. I couldn’t be happier for our senior class to have the opportunity to go to Texas and play a Big Ten school. One of the things I have enjoyed the most about this season is our seniors. They are tough kids who never give in. This is a perfect way for them to end their season and their Syracuse career – playing in their final game in an SU uniform in the Texas Bowl.”

The last time SU went bowling in the Lone Star State was way back in 1960, when the program won its first national championship. Shafer is spot on when he says it’s a great opportunity for the Orange. Athletic director Darryl Gross is just as excited:

“We are thrilled and honored to be selected for the Texas Bowl. This reward for Coach Shafer, his staff and the hard-working student-athletes was earned through desire and dedication in the building of our football program. We look forward to the great experience that awaits all in the Syracuse family in Houston.”

Seems the entire football program is in unison when it comments on this year’s bowl selection. We dive inside the Fizz Five to explain why the Texas Bowl ensures a bright future for Syracuse football.


All-access recruiting in state of Texas

The Orange has just one player on its current roster from the Lone Star State. Fifth-year transfer Drew Allen didn’t pan out so well. The point is SU can showcase itself to a football state that produces top-tier talent year in and year out. Recall last year when Syracuse grabbed just its second commit from Texas in six years, thanks to Zach Allen. We know the TCU quarterback flipped his commitment to eventually sign and join the Horned Frogs. SU has had limited access to the talent. Hopefully a bowl appearance draws local high school players who can recognize the Orange is no longer a laughingstock. Although most fans that can make it to the game will probably have affiliations with the Orange, recruits enjoy heading to any type of college game. In the Texas Bowl’s seven-year tenure, it’s never had less than 50,000 in attendance.


SU-Minn won’t be overshadowed by other bowls

There are only two other bowl games going on December 27th. The Orange and Golden Gophers feature the day’s second matchup, which is sandwiched between the early game, the Military Bowl, and the night cap, the Fight Hunger Bowl. No top-notch, standout BCS teams play on that Friday, as Maryland and Marshall play in Military, while BYU and Washington feature in Fight Hunger. The report of Syracuse playing on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl did sound intriguing, but playing on a national holiday could go unnoticed. The timing of the Texas Bowl gives both teams an edge. Just three games going on and SU is slotted for a 6 p.m. EST start. Not too shabby.


ESPN, Friday night primetime

Working off the timing element of the bowl, Syracuse is once again exposed to national television. It’s a pitch players of last year’s recruiting class were pumped about. The Orange faced ACC powerhouses this season in no. 12 Clemson and no. 1 Florida State on ESPN networks. The ACC’s dominance overall helps big-time this year, with 11 squads going bowling. Even though Syracuse isn’t one of those top teams, it was competitive enough in its new conference to stay relevant and keep top programs in the spotlight.


Re-engage with alumni bases

This game allows Doc Gross to get his wish of traveling and for the program to reconnect with alumni. The Texas Bowl allows program coordinators to work with alumni to make the bowl a great success. Although Gross is all about branding SU as New York’s College Team, you have to credit him for being excited about traveling outside of the Northeast. The Orange has the opportunity to showcase its talent and poise in front of a solid alumni base.


Minnesota is a marquee opponent

The 8 – 4 Golden Gophers are no joke in 2013. The Big 10 program operates similarly to the Orange. It’s committed to gritty defense and a solid running game. Junior RB and Texas native David Cobb rushed for over 1,000 yards on just above five yards per carry. QB Philip Nelson was solid with 1,200 yards passing and nine passing TDs. Shafer would much rather have his battle-tested defense go up against a worthy Big 10 school as opposed to middling, non-BCS schools. Rumored teams SU could have seen in other bowls include Bowling Green (Little Cesar’s Bowl), North Texas, Florida Atlantic (Beef O’Brady’s Bowl), and Western Kentucky. Syracuse looks for revenge on Minnesota, as it dropped to the Gophers in horrid fashion in 2012The hoops squad did the job to beat Minnesota in the Maui Invitational, too. The guys on the gridiron, especially the seniors, would love to knock of the Gophers in response to last season.

Shafer’s work has been nothing short of impressive in SU’s first year in the highly-competitive ACC, which again features the top-ranked team in the country, two BCS Bowl-bound squads and 11 total bowl-eligible teams. The Texas Bowl has a lot on its plate for Syracuse to succeed. The task is to simply capitalize on these opportunities.

Posted by: Brendan Glasheen

Filed Under: FeaturedFootball


RSSComments (42)

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  1. Ron says:

    Congratulations to Coach Shafer and his staff for leading Syracuse to a Bowl game in his first year as head coach of the Orangemen. And a thank you goes to the football team for facing/and beating back adversity by not giving up on the 2013 season. GREAT JOB GUYS,great job.

    One other thing that I’ve noticed,I didn’t see where Penn State or Northwestern made a bowl game,did you?

  2. vineyardjohn says:

    This is a nice reward for a team that seems to work hard. I think it clearly points to a team that has clearly shifted to the next level. We were bottom feeders when Malone came in and from his first FULL recruiting class they went to 3 bowls in four years. Not a power house but getting to be a solid team. The stink of the dark years is being blown away. I feel good that in the next four years we may be able to go to the next level. As far as the game, the good news is the have Min. has almost no passing attack. I think our D can stop their run. We have a good chance to win this ( especially with Hunt finding his game) Syracuse 21- 17

  3. chris says:

    =Speculation for rerouting Texas is at very best premature and optimistic Getting players out of Texas as we saw with Allen isn’t easy. As soon as a big time program from the state shows interest any thoughts about crossing the state border vanish. Its still a big deal for the team going there and play a Big10 team as opposed to an easy program that promises a win for the program.
    Its great of everyone in the program and staf

  4. Terry says:

    I’m Back!! My 94 yr old MOM died and my dau-in-law had major surgery on the same day. We had all the grandkids for 10 days straight(my ears are still ringing)-lol. So I’m behind. Honestly I thought of all of you dudes and dudettes(if your there) during this time. Missed ya-REALLY!!

    While all this was happening the family strongly suggested I and the boys see the BC/SU game some where. Staff sent us to a sports bar with front seats. It helped greatly to forget for a change if you know what I mean. Great game and great time for the circumstances. So don’t tell me college football is just a sport. It was solid counselling for our family and it will not be forgotten. The kids were really excited!!

    RON/RUSS North East CFB is probably one of the weakest spots for football for all football(HS and College) and I don’t see that changing. BB,Lax and Soccer will effect that more than anything. SORRY!!

    Thank god NO MORE SNOW BOWLS. I don’t blame ND wanting not to go to the SNOW BOWL. At ND their smarter heads said NYC is great marketing so thats why they are there. Now I hate both ND and RUTGIRLS so it hard to watch this game anyway!!

    Minnesota is no joke. They a good team and far better team than last years team!! And I feel they should be in a better bowl than the TEXAS BOWL!! Don’t you???? Big Ten politics worked its ugly head here!! I feel that it will make them play with a chip on their shoulder and I can’t blame them!! So SU looked out for those rabid Gophers!!

    Finally!! I kinda take pride in my reseach of SUFB and SUBB!! So I re-signed up for CUSE CONFIDENTIAL. Its alot to do with SU and national recuiting!! To cut to the short they BLACKLISTED me during these trying times(what else is coming). Yes, I called the solid dougie fans out these “meatheads” and I let my feelings out about how a moron dougie is/was. No swearing at all!! Bingo=Blasklisted. Even though others there(still on site) called me dumbbo?? LOL!! What ever is a site adminstrator???? I tried to find out why this is blacklistable or how can I get a % of my $$$ back I resigned with them in October!! I did talk to a human being from billing but they said there is nothing they can help me with. After things calmed down if they ever will-lol, I tried everything and it seems that my $$$ is history and still CAN NOT get a link to send them a e-mail to why this is so. So think twice before signing up with!! Great site but poor attitude. Kinda reminds me of fraud with no % of $$$$$$ back. Cavat Emportor or how ever you spell it???

    DA I might disagree with your methods sometimes, but you let us be us at times. And free too!! May SANTA put an extra gift under your tree this year!! Thank You!!

    Please do not forget the kids of PSABUSERU!! THE NCAA did!!!

  5. Ron says:


    I’m sorry to hear about you moms passing. At the age of 94 Terry,she had a full and I’m sure a happy life. God Bless,I’m sure she’s in a more beautiful place now. I hope everything turns out alright with your daughter-in-law’s surgery.

    You got blacklisted from rivals? My-my,there is a Santa Claus after all. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    And yes Terry I agree that this website is one of if not the best there is. Guy’s like you,Russell,Malone,Carlton,mademan and others are what makes this page so special.

  6. Malone says:

    Vinyard John, I believe you meant Marrone, but I am flattered. lol. I think this is not an easy game, but the right game for us. We need a quality opponent to gauge how far we’ve come. being in Texas is not the most favorable (Florida would be best, Detroit might have been good for recruiting to, but the opponents would not have helped us. Maybe they push on Divine Ozigbo now.He is a ’15 RB that has shown a lot of interest in SU and from what I understand, the interest has not been reciprocated. Rumor is he is a big time talent with family in Connecticut and a neighbor who is a relocated native of Syracuse.

  7. Ron says:


    I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t tell the rest of us that you’ve switched your profession and have gone into coaching college football. What’s up with that? hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    When I passed Manley Field House on my way to work today,I did notice 3 men out there working doing something at the site of the new IPF. Looked promising and shows progress is being made.

  8. Terry says:

    Ron PSABUSERU can not go to a bowl game this year and next I think or hope. At one time they had lesser amount of schollies too, but the Alums/past players whine loudly to get them back. And that worked!!!! But that didn’t work for SMU/USC and others-did it. Child rape is worse than taking $$$$$$$$$$ from program supporters or buy your parents a house, both are wrong- but rape is rape. All but the NCAA doesn’t see it that way I guess.

    dougies record at SU is .500(under .500 if you call the Toledo game a win-I do but god works in funny ways). I see dougies work as neutral at best in the program development. His record shows that and his leaving in the middle of the night shows that. Don’t blacklist me DA!! HCSS had a far better record, his 1st year, after dougie dumped SU. dougies 1st year at SU was terrible-REMEMBER dougieites!! Great job HCSS. But HCSS still needs to adjust to modern college football!! I still can’t fathom how fans put dougie on a pedestal???

    The Texas Bowl game is make or brake for HUNT!! Minnesota is no BC/NCS or WF!! They are a good team and their record shows that. SU fans would droll over their record. Look they are a good team-better than Michigan, they should be at a better bowl than TEXAS BOWL and they actually do run threw walls for their Coach Kills. They love/believe in him and their record shows that!! SU has to be the dog here by 14 to 17 points. HUNT better have better than 250 yds and a couple of passing TDs!! But I don’t see that against the mighty GOPHERS and their sharp teeth!! IF HUNT does have those numbers(he has to have those numbers) SU is in it. If HUNT does a HUNT its going to be a wipe-out by the GOPHERS. If so I really hope HCSS give the 4 new untested QBs a shot. I really think and so do you any of those 4 could get SU to 6-6 like HUNT did this year maybe better. Whats the difference???? Those 4 will improve. HUNT’s improvement has been painful!! RIGHT!! His passing is like High School and he lumbers when he runs!! HCSS please think about the 4 young QBs if your man HUNT fails miserably at the Texas Bowl!!!!

  9. Ron says:


    I thought the NCAA dropped everything against Penn State when they restored the amount of scholarships the school could offer. I think that once the 4-6 super conferences are formed and conference realignment is finished everything will settle down and the NCAA will fade away.

    I thought Terry one of the biggest mistakes they ever made/inforced was giving SMU the “DEATH PENALITY” and the second was letting Penn State off the hook for allowing the rape of innocent children to happen within the confines of their sports complex.

    I believe that AJ Hunt and Alin Edouard get redshirted in 2014 and the winner for the QB spot will be Austin Wilson. From what I’m hearing everyone is saying that he has the strongest arm of all the current QB’s. I just don’t see Terrell Hunt winning it. I’m sorry if that makes people angry,but that’s how I see things shaping up,and PLEASE no more one year wonder’s/transfers coming in here for more “class room” experiments.

  10. Terry says:

    God Ron you scare me!! I agree with you!! LOL!! Your boys Mavety

  11. Terry says:

    OOPPPPSSS!!! Brain gas!! Hit the submit button at wrong time!!

    Meant to say to Ron his guys Mavety and Holly are totally history now. Just played the game they wanted to play on recruiting. That’s ok we’ll see how they do behind as good as talent they are going to. Don’t get me wrong they would be welcomed at SU only if they WANT TO BE AT SU!! BYE!!

    Another stupid act by two of this years most disappointing players. Broyld and Smith. You would think that Broyld would of had a decent year for a Soph( maybe around 600/700 yards/6 or 7 tds) well not that good. But his QB sucks so how can you blame him, but still he has not lived up to mine or others expectations!! There’s still time for him!! Smith he did have SOME good times out there, but the media and fans mentioned the super sub RBs more than him. He still tries to bump outside and his speed is way to slow for that. Well these two did that stupid thing to get that attention thing and now they might have a NCAA violation??? Broyld has had issues like this in the past, but Smith really surprises me!! Thanks guys!!

  12. Terry 1st of all sorry to hear about the loss of your mom..mine is 82 and I make sure I talk to her daily! No one will ever love someone like a mother does. @About Fizz’s article,Bowling Green is no slouch and probably could beat Minny?Did’nt they take our ACC’s UVa to the woodshed?Did’nt WF hire their coach? I was impressed with there decimation of BCS buster NIU in the great MAC championship game keeping NIU from a big payday AGAIN!! Dave Letterman must be proud!!@Ron,did St Joes” Montvale lose to Bosco?Wow,there back!!!

  13. Malone says:

    Russ, first, I think Letterman went to Ball State, but I may be wrong. St. Joe’s did lose to Bosco. Both are power schools. Bosco’s record was not good, especially for them, but they were close in every game. I am not sure they ever lost by more than 3 except against Miami Central. As long as Toal is there, they will only re-load. We need in with the NJ Catholics.

  14. Terry says:

    DA please put up currant SUFB photos please!!! That’s a 2012 photo of the “SHARK” and his team mates!!

  15. Terry says:

    Thank You RON/RUSS for your support!!

  16. Ron says:


    There’s certain things in life that people shouldn’t make fun of or make stupid remarks about someone who has lost a loved one.

    I know exactly what your going thru Terry. I’ve been there plenty of times and all that I can say is that it doesn’t get any better. I wish you and your family the very best in your time of need.

    PS; when the time is right you know both you and I will probably get into some good and maybe heated discussions about football. Until then Terry,I wish the best of luck to you.

  17. Ron says:

    I thought Rivals website had Florida,Alabama and Ohio State as Chad Mavetys top three choices with Ohio State being the favorite to land him.

    I just read that he committed to Florida State. It’s pretty damn hard to figure these kids out now days.

  18. Van111 says:

    What goes around, comes around they say Mr. Zach Allen. Since TCU isn’t bowling, maybe you have time to come down with the family (the one I am sure talked you out of the Orange!) during Christmas break and watch the team you might have been starting for. Just a thought here. Our biggest supporter of last year’s class might love to see the players and program he helped bring in and visualize what could have been.

  19. Ron says:


    GrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaTTTTTTTTTTTTTE POST.

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