Syracuse Football: Missed call, confusing “well-wishes,” and a big ask

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to put my thoughts on the Syracuse football team in writing. Lots of things have happened in the interim. So rather than focus on one…let’s take a quick journey around some of the key topics of the week.

We all like to bemoan the officiating. Every fan base argues that the officials are singularly out “to get them”. The Rutgers game a few weeks ago was a perfect example. The officiating that game was terrible. And it did seem to be slanted against us.

Now, did it cost us the game? Maybe…but probably not. However, there was no single blown call in that game that cost us nearly as dearly as the failure of the officials to call that blatant hold right at the point of attack at the end of that Florida State game.

It was an egregious error considering that multiple sets of zebra eyes were staring right at that part of the field. Everyone…everyone... knows that in order for a player to successfully turn the corner the blocking on the edge has to be perfect, and holding is super common there, and that’s why officials are supposed to specifically look for it.

Even the ACC Network announcers, never known to be cheerleaders for the Conference’s northern schools, made the call in real-time and were stunned that it was ignored.

I’m glad that head coach Dino Babers said that Syracuse University is asking that the call be reviewed by the ACC. However, I don’t expect anything significant to come from it.

I wish that we weren’t so financially dependent on this Conference. I am tired of feeling like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole, and of the league and its striped shirted envoys treating us like the Conference’s red-headed step-children.

My thoughts on Syracuse football, Taj Harris and the Orange fan base.

I will never wish ill-will on a young man who makes the decision to move on for whatever reason. I find those sour grapes to be immature and frankly, just not cool. But I also am not prone to be effusive in warm feelings of a bright and glorious future to a player who just up and leaves.

So it just plain confuses me that so many Syracuse football fans are all about showering guys who leave the program (Taj Harris being the most recent), or commits who back out on their commitments, with these “well wishes.”

Look, there are thousands of Division 1 college football players scattered over more than 100 programs. Do you know many I care to spend the time or energy wishing well to? The 85 or so who suit up each weekend for the Syracuse football team.

That’s it. I don’t care one way or another about the 3rd string cornerback from Ohio State, or the punter for Hawaii. And I don’t care one way or another about a guy who has walked away from his team mid-season, leaving them on the field of battle to try to compete with a diminished roster.

Taj Harris has his reasons, and he doesn’t owe fans and alumni anything. Not a thing. And I completely get that. But we as fans don’t owe him anything either. Nothing.

And that, nothing, is what I feel for him moving forward. He’s just another guy who isn’t Orange.

Syracuse football has played 5 games so far this season. And in each of their 2 losses, they were in position to win those games. Whether they came up a couple of plays short, or the officials blew one or more key calls, the fact is, Syracuse football has been competitive in every single game this year, and I expect that trend to continue this week against Wake Forest.

Now, Wake Forest is a good team. But are they a great team? No. Their wins are over Old Dominion, Norfolk State, the same lousy Florida State team we should have beaten, and wins over middle-tier league programs of Louisville and Virginia. Right now they are the best team in the Conference by default, nothing more.

This Syracuse football team absolutely can beat Wake Forest this week if the team plays at the same level that it did this past week against Florida State. So I ask Orange fans to do this one thing … Fill The Dome. It’s become pretty apparent based on the games played in the building so far this season that the new roof helps amplify the crowd that much more.

The Loud House is back. And if this past week’s charade was any indication, the ACC officials are going to do everything they can to ensure one of their top bowl contenders this year gets the win. So our Syracuse Orange needs every edge it can get.

Even crowds of only 20-25K have the ability to be deafening and have caused more than one penalty so far this season. Can you imagine what 35K could do? Or 40K?

Let’s find out.