November 16, 2008
Let the Randy Edsall rumors intensify in earnest: Greg Robinson is officially done at Syracuse, ending the most obvious and prolonged bedside watch in coaching history. Every photograph of Robinson for the last three years has depicted a man in the throes of an anguished death rattle. At last, the pennies can go over the eyes. He'll finish a pair of road games at Notre Dame and Cincinnati and probably look for a resurrection in the NFL when assistant jobs start opening up next month.
The timing is strange, since this conclusion was all but sealed two years ago, but whatever kind of man/molder of men Robinson may be behind the scenes, his record on the field is by far the worst of the modern era compared to his school's historical norm. With Miami and Virginia Tech gone to the ACC, Syracuse had every expectation of continuing to challenge for the Big East championship on an annual basis; the Orange(men) hadn't endured four straight losing seasons since the late forties, didn't come close to dipping below .500 throughout the nineties and fired Paul Pasqualoni for descending to mediocrity.
But oh, how 'Cuse would relish mediocrity today. Robinson is 9-36, and a truly shocking 3-24 in the Big East. A proud program has been easily lapped by the league's tradition-poor Conference USA contingent (Louisville, South Florida, Cincinnati) and UConn, which was still a I-AA outfit as recently as the heyday of Donovan McNabb. This is the worst major conference program in the country since 2005, and other than Duke, it's really not even that close.