The last five years have been “detached neutral observer status” toward the rest of the Big East. What did we care who beat who? All we knew was, that team beat us.
Last night, we finally had rooting interest in a Big East game and the outcome was applause-worthy. South Florida came back from a 27-22 deficit in the 4th quarter to win 28-27 and unmask Greg Schiano’s “night of a thousand faces.”
It’s time to start rooting for the programs Syracuse has already beaten (i.e. USF, West Virginia), to help out strength of schedule and clear a path to the top of the league standings. But the story of the night was Schiano’s bizarre faces. Did you see some of the contortions his grill was pulling off inside that huddle? It looked like silly putty dripping off a bowling ball. Was that anger? Excitement? Batsh*t insanity?
Schiano’s not on the hot seat, although a pinch of desperation set in last night considering this season has not gone as planned. A program that was supposed to (is always supposed to) compete for the Big East title has fallen to 4-4, and just 1-2 in the Big East (including the embarrassing loss at home to Tulane).
After the Orange knock off Lousiville this weekend, it’s a trip to Piscataway. SU is 3-0 on the road in the conference. Syracuse is winning recruiting battles over RU. The Orange thumped Rutgers at the Dome last year. And Marrone is beginning to grab those Schiano-esque headlines as a disciplined, demanding, young head coach bringing a Big East program back from the dead. Maybe Greg’s bug eyes suggest paranoia: That SU is closing quick.