Using success in the NFL is not necessarily the best gauge of where your college program is at. Trent Richardson is a complete bust, Dee Milliner hasn’t become the next Darrelle Revis, and A.J. McCarron is not a starting NFL quarterback, but the Alabama squads those guys were on are arguably some of the greatest of all-time. (Also doesn’t hurt when you churn out pro studs like Julio Jones, Donta Hightower, and HaHa Clinton-Dix.)
And then extrapolating that to the success of the NFL franchise itself is even harder. So much depends on factors outside the individual. But it’s interesting that of the final two games of the NFL season, Syracuse has only one representative. Patriots DE Chandler Jones is the only Orange player in Sunday’s Super Bowl (which is always the most bet on event of the year at places like Gamblingsites.org). And neither squad in the Pro Bowl had a representative from Syracuse.
This is not all that surprising for a program that has fallen into mediocrity. Even taking out of the equation last season’s debacle, the Orange haven’t exactly crushed it on the field in winning a pair of Pinstripe Bowls and a Texas Bowl recently. Plus, SU is still trying to get its recruiting strength up after the loss of Doug Marrone two years ago, so there aren’t surefire NFL players coming through the Carrier Dome turnstiles (although hope always springs eternal with the upcoming National Signing Day).
But Orange fans with a decent memory can remember the days there was always Syracuse players repping the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl – like Art Monk, Joe Morris, Rob Moore, Moose Johnston, Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeny, and Donovan McNabb. Today is a different reality for the Orange program. No players in the Pro Bowl. Only one in the Super Bowl. Let’s hope we get back to once again having familiar faces in the final two games of the season.