Friday, October 24, 2008

Get Off the Express

Perhaps you have heard of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award in which the winning college football coach receives $70,000 to donate to charity and the school’s alumni association. Perhaps not. Regardless, I want to write about one person who definitely does not deserve the award: Greg Robinson of Syracuse University.

During the mid-1990s, I attended college in central New York about an hour away from Syracuse. I was surrounded by Syracuse University sports fans who always thought that this would be the year where they would win the national title. However, each year, it seemed like Syracuse would be ranked highly, lose a few games early to knock them out of national championship contention and then finish strong, so that they would be ranked highly again the next season. Although they never made it to the “next level,” the team was always competitive and won bowl games and/or Big East titles regularly.

The mid-90s teams featured future NFL superstars Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison. Looking back further in Syracuse’s football history, you see legendary names like Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Joe Morris, John Mackey, Art Monk and former Steeler Gary Anderson.

So what happened at Syracuse? I haven’t followed them enough to know. I do know that Greg Robinson has not done very well. In his first year as head coach (2005), Syracuse finished 1-10. In 2006, the team was 4-8 followed by a 2-10 record in 2007. As I am typing this, Syracuse is 1-6 so far this season. Robinson may be a great person, a wonderful teacher and someone helping his players become excellent citizens, role models and college graduates. However, an 8-34 record is not very good, particularly at a school with the football history of Syracuse. Actually, that’s not a very good record for a team consisting of me and the writers of all the blogs listed in the links section!

Finally, you know things aren’t going well when the New York Times reports that the school has hired a search firm for a new coach even though the current coach is still there and has one more year remaining on his contract.

Therefore, I encourage you to vote for anyone for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award; except for Greg Robinson.

In case you were wondering, the slogan for the 2008 Syracuse football team is Get on the Express hence the title. Yes, I wrote hence!

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