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Dr. Saturday

Syracuse now left to scramble for a new coach after Doug Marrone goes to the NFL

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Syracuse fans must feel a bit ripped off.

When a coach is a hot name and moves on to a prime job, it almost always comes after some tremendous success. Think Dave Doeren leaving Northern Illinois for N.C. State. In the rare case a college coach has NFL teams tripping over themselves to steal him away, that comes after a run like Jimmy Johnson at Miami, Steve Spurrier at Florida or Pete Carroll at USC.

Doug Marrone went 25-25 with Syracuse. He went 8-5 this year with a win in the Pinstripe Bowl. And now he's gone to the NFL.

Multiple reports said the Buffalo Bills have hired Marrone away from Syracuse, after Marrone met with multiple pro teams. There aren't many coaches who have gone from college football to a head coaching job in the NFL after such little success. Which is why Orange fans have to be shaking their heads.

Not to say Marrone didn't do good things and wasn't a great fit for Syracuse, which he called his dream job when he was hired. He was digging out from the utter mess left by Greg Robinson, so 25-25 over four seasons was very good. Players were developing and Syracuse football as a whole was on the uptick.

Now what for Syracuse? Having a coach leave for a NFL job rather than a college job means it comes in January, not December when all the good coaching candidates are scattering around the country. Perhaps the Orange hires defensive coordinator Scott Shafer or offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, if they don't follow Marrone to Buffalo. Otherwise Syracuse might have to get creative to fill the spot.

This is certainly a blow to a Syracuse program that had been trying desperately to get back to relevancy. The Orange did take major strides under Marrone, even if they couldn't reach a major bowl before the NFL came calling for their coach.

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