Orange Nation was slightly peeved not only because Tobias Harris signed with UT Thursday, but he also did it in SU’s backyard of Manhattan. Uncool.
However, ladies and gentlemen, we here at The Fizz are ready to qualify this as the best sports stretch since the legendary Big East tournament. SU almost seemed fueled by a desire to protect a home-field advantage that one 17-year old may have inadvertently stepped on.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Syracuse basketball put an absolute beating on UNC in the Garden. How important is that? Aside from the fact that SU now has a legitimate case for a Top-10 ranking, defending the other “homecourt” against one of the other big boy recruiters (Roy Williams) was imperative.
Boeheim, Hopkins, and Murphy all have a stronger recruiting grip on the northeast, having beaten one of the premier programs in the country at a venue top recruits could watch from (or from their couch on ESPN).
And damn, did it feel good.
As for football, this is an easy one. Rutgers slaughtered the Orange the last time they came to the Dome, and Greg Schiano made a point to go and rile up a very large road red crowd that came to support his team, on a weekend when recruits were bound to be there.
This weekend was no different. There were plenty of high schoolers on the sideline during pregame, many of them undoubtedly looking at both the Orange and Rutgers. Plus, there was swaths of Scarlet in the northwest corner of the Dome.
But there was one big difference (well, 6 1/2 differences if you count all of Doug Hogue’s tackles for loss) in the 31-13 win over Rutgers: an SU victory. Still want to play in Piscataway, kids? Doug Marrone outcoached Schiano, and even the Scarlet Knight head master admitted it.
Syracuse lost a five-star at the ESPN Zone, but the corresponding defense of the front and backyard made for a great weekend, and an even greater statement: New York is ours, and don’t you forget it.