Posted on: November 10, 2009 12:00 am

Bench Greg Paulus. Period.

I took a little field trip this weekend to the Syracuse football game against 14 Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Before I even get to the game, let me tell you that it was a fantastic trip, even though we got blown out of the water. Heinz Field is a neat place. I mean, they have their Lombardi trophies on display out in the concourse. How cool is that? Either way, it was a great trip and I'd definitely do it again.

Now for the game.

The first half opened up great for the Orange. Carter had a pretty nice run that got into the Panthers' red zone, but they couldn't find a reciever in the end zone and had to settle for a field goal. Syracuse gave up 2 field goals, so with about 2:00 left in the first half, the score is 6-3 Pitt which is probably about 17 points closer than we were anticipating. It was a very defensive game in the first half. So here we are with about 1:30 left in the first half, and Syracuse is driving. If we could just hold on to the ball at worst we could go into half 6-3, still very much in the game. That couldn't have possibly happened? No, Greg Paulus decides to throw almost over his reciever's head on a WR screen pass and it tips right into the hands of the Pitt defenseman who proceeded to run it into the endzone, making the score going into half 13-3 for Pittsburgh. I know it's only one half, but there's the game right there.

Paulus, once again, throws a pick at a crucial point in the game. We can look all the way back to game number one where he threw an interception in OT against Minnesota, allowing Minnesota to just take their time and set up the game-winning FG in the first OT. Time and time again, Paulus has proven that his decision making abilities are non-existent. He looks like he is just incapable of making those split-second decisions that great quarterbacks can make. He isn't all that elusive in the pocket, and doesn't know when to step up and deliver the ball. And even then, he doesn't have that great of an arm so defenses don't have to worry about the long ball threat.

Ryan Nassib, the backup quarterback, has shown glimpses of promise for Syracuse. He didn't perform all that well this past weekend, but his only INT this week was on a deep pass that hit of the Syracuse reciever, a pass that should have been caught. Nassib shows that he can run with the ball, and can throw it deep. He still has some learning and growing to do, but I think Syracuse is much better off with Nassib in there full time. I know that it is Paulus's only year of eligibility, but at this point as a coach you need to think about what is best for the team, and not what is best for the washed-up hometown hero who literally throws away football games.

On a side note, one of the Syracuse fans came up with a hilarious little equation to make ourselves feel better. I like to call it the "Transitive Property of Idiocy." Here's how it works:

Syracuse beat/is better than Northwestern
Northwestern beat/is better than 8 Iowa
8 Iowa beat/is better than 19 Penn State
19 Penn State beat/is better than Syracuse

So even though Syracuse lost to 19 Penn State earlier this year, by the Transitive Property of Idiocy Syracuse is better than 19 Penn State.

Posted on: November 4, 2009 5:02 pm

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, college basketball is right around the corner, and with that I'm back for another great season. I've been without cable for the past few months, so with my cable back in action I can finally be back in the loop. Not that I don't read articles or anything it's just much easier for a college student to get a 1-hour summary of everything that went on in a day of sports via SportsCenter than reading every headline from every game that was played.

So for the upcoming season, there are three things you need to know about me:
1. I love college basketball and attend Syracuse University, so I will do my best to leave my bias away from this blog. I will, however, be more informed on the Big East from being at a lot of the games, so expect a lot of Big East discussion.

2. My opinion usually tends to differ from that of the main media outlets when it comes to rankings and strength of teams. The funny part is that come March, I tend to be right most of the time. Funny coincidence, right?

3. I hate uninformed people commenting to me about college hoops. I'm not always 100% informed on what's going on, but I am for sure 100% informed on how the game works, and generally have a good ideas when it comes to game strategy and clock management and other coaching aspects of the game. You'll see why later in this post.

I was planning on keeping this one short, but can I please say how painful it was to watch Syracuse get handled by LeMoyne (Division II) last night? The final was 82-79 and it really looked like the only player on the Orange that came to play was Wes Johnson. The offense pretty much went through him, and as a result he ended up with 34 points. Okuaku didn't show up, and even airballed a free throw. At this level, you have to be sinking your free throws. Just ask Memphis the year they blew the National Championship to Kansas.

The good news about all of this is that it should be a wake-up call to the young Syracuse lineup. They need to be more mentally tough and need to take these types of opponents more seriously. You can't take anything away from LeMoyne because they totally outplayed the Orange last night, but on a good day, Syracuse beats them by at least 20 points, no question.

So my story about uninformed fans. I am sitting there at the game last night and there is 1:30 left to play in the 2nd half, the Orange down by 3, which means it is a one possession game. This guy next to me is frantically screaming at the players to foul. Absolutely screaming at the top of his lungs. He had been bugging me most of the game just because of some other stupid comments, such as a wide-open 3-pointer which hit off the rim and missed elicited an "Oh come on, you gotta sit him for that." If you know anything about college basketball you know that fouling in a one-possession game only happens when you're down with around 35 seconds or less left to go, which just so happens to be the time on a shot clock. There were essentially three possessions left in the game, so in a one possession game why could you possibly think it is a good idea to foul? The Orange, being well coached, did not foul in that situation. I explained this situation to a non-college basketball watcher and they replied, "Yeah, that's dumb, why would you give them free points, there's so much time left."

I rest my case.

Posted on: March 4, 2009 12:23 pm

Syracuse vs. Rutgers

So in my previous post, I outlined the fact that Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Syracuse need to get off their slides, Georgetown more than any of those teams, but only one team has proven that they deserve to be in the tournament and that is Syracuse. Granted, the schedule has been a little lackluster, but their three consecutive blowout wins are exactly what the Orange needed to do to solidify a spot in March.

The game last night was particularly impressive for Syracuse, if you erase the fact that the first half actually existed. The Syracuse defense was lackluster, they weren't getting the rotation in the zone that they needed, and Rutgers started the game up 14-6. It looked like the Orange's offense was very still, and their drives to the hoop were getting rejected by the big men. The defense started to clamp down at about the 10:00 mark, allowing only 6 points the rest of the half. Cuse went into halftime down 20-19.

Boeheim must have said something at halftime, because Syracuse came out in the second half and outscored Rutgers 51-20 in the second. Paul Harris had a game high 18 points, with about four really nice slams and moves that would make the highlight reel. Senior Kristof Onganeat really stepped up his game and scored in double digits for the first time in a long time. The crowd has been recently rallying behind him ever since he got ejected from the game against Georgetown. The walk-ons came in at about the 4:00 mark left in the game, and all of the seniors on the team scored.

Rutgers looks so bad right now. They can't play a full 40 minutes, they have no offense, and they barely have a defense. The program isn't looking real good right now.

My favorite moment of the game was when the starters were all on the bench. They took their shoes off, signed them, and then started chucking them into the stands. It was quite dangerous, but the guy in front of me got one of Arinze Onuaku's shoes. It was pretty awesome.

Syracuse 22-8 (10-7) has put themselves into good position to lock up anywhere from a 5-7 seed in the tournament. Georgetown has absolutely no shot after losing to St. John's and Notre Dame has an outside chance of making it in. If the committee puts Notre Dame in the tournament and leaves Providence out, I will probably riot. And if anyone tells me that Georgetown deserves to be even in the discussion come to New York so that I can slap you in the face, please.



Posted on: February 24, 2009 3:49 pm


The conference tournaments are a few weeks away, leaving teams about 4-5 games each left to help or hurt their seedings for the conference tourney. I'll be closely following the Big East tournament, as that I am currently in the heart of Big East country. Oh, and I go to Syracuse. That too.

Speaking of the suprising and absolutely terrifying Big East Conference, three teams stand out to me as the teams who could play their way out of the tournament easier than the rest.

1. Georgetown Hoyas 14-12 (5-10)
          The Hoyas, in my opinion, are already out of the tournament, pending that they don't win the Big East tournament, and I don't see how that could happen. They've gone from 12-3, nationally ranked in the top 10 to an abysmal 5-10 conference record, including a season sweep by the Cincinnati Bearcats. Some nights they come to play, but most nights they don't play the full 40 minutes. The Hoyas are probably the biggest suprise in the Big East this year, and if they get into the tournament it would be nothing short of miraculous.

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 15-11 (6-8)
The Irish have shown that they are capable of beating good teams, none more impressive than their absolute beatdown of Louisville not so long ago, but their terrible 7-game losing streak, in my opinion has them out of the tournament. The only way I see them getting an at-large bid would be by beating either UConn or Nova, AND making it to at least the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. That's probably a stretch.

3. Syracuse Orange 19-8 (7-7)
          Syracuse is a really interesting case. They played extremely well in their non-conference schedule, and the fact that Memphis and Kansas keep winning is really going to help them on Selection Sunday. In conference play, the Orange have looked as average as their record looks. The team has been mostly healthy, it's just a question of which Syracuse team will show up. Will the team that beat Memphis and Kansas come to play, or is this the team that showed up for the Cleveland State loss take the court. That being said, barring any major mistakes (like losing to Rutgers) I have Syracuse in the tournament. Seed will be interesting.


I'm going to be paying attention to the Big Ten tournament, because my good friend (Cyclops007) goes to school there. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend either of those conference tournaments this year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com