Be merciful, Syracuse: Gong G-rob

By Darrell Laurant  |   Friday, October 31, 2008  |  Comments( 1 )

Syracuse Orange
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Should Syracuse pull the plug on Greg Robinson at this point in the season, with five games left to play?

In many respects, it would be the best thing for all concerned.

It's not as if Robinson hasn't been given a chance -- this is his fourth season, and the Orange is a collective 8-35, with two of those victories coming over Buffalo and another against 1-AA Northeastern.

Nor would this mean that G-rob, as he has become known in Upstate New York, would have to get a job delivering pizzas. He has a lot of contacts in the coaching fraternity, was a successful defensive coordinator at Texas, and should land on somebody's staff for 2009 if he has time to shop his resume around.

But what if Syracuse were to run the table from here on out?

Well, the last five games are against Louisville, Rutgers, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Cincinnati. Beating any of those teams would be a major upset for Syracuse. Winning all five would be like the Libertarian candidate upsetting McCain and Obama on Election Day.

With the pressure to save Robinson's job lifted, however, the Orange might still play better. At least they wouldn't have to feel so guilty every week.

One argument against firing a coach in mid-stream is that it might hurt recruiting, but the Orange recruiting is already mortally wounded. There are only four commitments, probably because Robinson has been walking the sidelines with an ax over his head.

Meanwhile, everyone concerned has been playing that "my people will contact your people" game. If everything is done by back channels, a coach with another team can honestly say, "I don't know anything about it. Nobody's talked to me."

I'm not quite sure why this should be such a problem, anyway. Nobody would think twice about the owner of a car dealership going after the successful salesperson up the street, or a restaurant luring away the hot chef in town. Even churches approach ministers who are pastoring elsewhere.

Obviously, it wouldn't make sense to tell Robinson to pack up his office and be escorted out of the Carrier Dome. Let him finish out the season, but end the suspense. A loss to Louisville will mathematically eliminate SU from bowl contention. Do it then.

Right now, it is reminiscent of the way Chuck Barris of the "Gong Show" used to hover by the gong, an evil gleam in his eye, as an inept performer dug himself a deeper and deeper hole.

Oh yeah -- and while they're at it, Syracuse officials might consider changing the team name back to Orangemen. Who wants to play for a team where the mascot is a citrus fruit?

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