Before Daryl Gross resigned, this upcoming season for Syracuse football was not necessarily a make or break year for Scott Shafer. Obviously 3-9 would not have been acceptable again, but even if the Orange did lose nine games Gross most likely would not have fired his man just three years into the process.
With a new athletic director on the way, Shafer’s time could be running out; he’s on the hot seat. Even another 6-6 season might not be enough to save his job if the new AD comes in already wanting to rebuild the program with someone he hand picks.
Shafer definitely brings positives to the table that the new athletic director will evaluate. He is an excellent defensive coach; SU ranked 26th in the nation in total defense last year. He also clearly cares about the program; he’s passionate. After Syracuse fell 27-10 at home to Duke last year Shafer pounded the press conference podium with his fist calling the season a disappointment.
That probably isn’t enough to impress the new man though. For as good as the defense has been, the offense has been horrendous. Injuries have had an effect, but there is no excuse for averaging only 17 points per game, as the Orange did last season. Shafer’s passion is definitely admirable, but every coach must be like that. They just don’t always show it like Shafer does.
Of course, Shafer’s team could come out guns blazing this season and he could retain the job. Honestly though, what are the chances of that? Almost negligible. Syracuse will spank Rhode Island but then get run over by LSU three games later. It’s tough to find anyone who thinks otherwise.
There’s very good reason to believe that Shafer will have a short leash with the new athletic director. He will need to have a very successful season to stick around. With the way this year’s team is shaping up, the odds are against him.
Posted: Connor Morrissette