Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big win means 'Cuse in good shape to go bowling

After being bowled over last week by Pitt at the Carrier Dome, some people were griping that Syracuse University football under Doug Marrone wasn’t much better than Syracuse University football had been under his predecessor, Greg Robinson.
Well, I wonder what those negative nabobs have to say the day after the Orange men manhandled 20th-ranked West Virginia, 19-14, to spoil the Mountaineers’ homecoming.
Yes, the Big East is more like the Big Least this season, but this was the marquee win, in a hostile environment, that the rebounding SU program needed.
Does this mean the Orange men have officially turned the corner? No, but it does mean that with a 5-2 record for the first time in a decade the talk of a bowl game is no longer a pipe dream. And that was the goal in year two of the Marrone reconstruction program – seven wins and a bowl invitation.
There might be some more missteps along the way, but SU clearly is moving in the right direction and, we, might add, a lot more rapidly than most expected. The West Virginia win is further proof that Marrone’s plan is working.
After a road game in Cincinnati next Saturday, the Orange returns home to host Louisville. It’s about time fickle Syracuse fans pack the Carrier Dome and start backing Doug’s rebuilding efforts. Anything less than a fullhouse on Nov. 6 would be a disgrace.

I'd like to see Syracuse play in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl game at Yankee Stadium. SU has been re-establishing itself as a presence in the Big Apple and that certainly would help with recruiting. And I'm sure it would be a pretty emotional moment for Marrone, who was born and bred in the Bronx and grew up a huge Yankees fan.

While Syracuse makes strides, the Bills continue to slide deeper into the abyss. And there’s no reason to believe Buffalo will snap out of it today in Baltimore against a Ravens team that’s sure to be ornery a week after squandering a double-digit lead in losing to the Patriots in New England. I think Ray Lewis & Co. will beat up on the punch-less Bills, 34-9. Please check out my post-game column at and watch my analysis on FOX Channel 7 at 10 and WROC TV-8 during the 11 o’clock news.

Few people are more knowledgeable about baseball - and a lot of other things, for that matter - than my good friend and former colleague Frank Bilovsky. While chatting with him a few weeks ago, he told me to keep an eye on the San Francisco Giants, and he was right.

With Cliff Lee pitching like Whitey Ford, I like the Texas Rangers to beat the Giants in seven games in the World Series.

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