Here at the Fizz, we like to give the Syracuse Football program a lot of criticism based off of lofty expectations of the past. But, according to ESPN, coaching the SU football team is one of the worst jobs in the country.
ESPN’s Travis Haney and other reporters recently ranked the least desirable coaching jobs for power five conference teams, and Syracuse came in as the ninth-worst job in the country. Essentially, if all of college football’s coaches were fired, SU would be the ninth-hardest job to fill in the country.
Haney laid into the Carrier Dome and the school’s location the most in his assessment. The weather, the distance from other ACC schools, and the facilities were some of the biggest reasons for the Orange’s position on this list. He seems to forget that schools like Pittsburgh and Boston College are also very far from the heart of ACC country, and that conference realignment totally destroyed the geographic landscape of conferences (Maryland and Rutgers in the Big 10?)
While Haney’s concerns are very justifiable, he forgets some of the positives of the football program at SU. For example, the team just started its spring practices in its brand new Ensley Athletic Center. While the Carrier Dome may be outdated, it’s impossible to argue against the history and tradition that the Dome represents, as well as the coveted number 44. In addition, Haney fails to recognize that Syracuse has produced some pretty good NFL talent in the last couple years like Chandler Jones, Justin Pugh, and Shamarko Thomas, as well as other lesser players who were drafted. He also seems to forget about Doug Marrone, who found a lot of success coaching up in Central New York and eventually in the NFL shortly after arriving.
To make matters more personal, Syracuse’s coaching job was ranked worse than longtime rivals Boston College and Rutgers. SU did finish ahead of Wake Forest and Duke, two other ACC teams. The bottom 18 teams were actually littered with ACC schools, further proving the conference as a basketball one.
Sure, Syracuse’s job certainly isn’t close to the best in the country, but it definitely isn’t the ninth-worst. Scott Shafer and his coaching staff are clearly convincing young athletes that playing at SU is worthwhile, and its improved recruiting classes will continue to rebuild the program where Marrone left off. Having the brand of New York’s College Team carries some weight, and representing one of the most populated states in the country certainly deserves more credit.
Posted: Jason Weingold