Monday, November 2, 2009

The Best Receiver in the Big East is Gone

That's right folks, the statistical leader in the Big East, Mike Williams, has left the Orange. If I were a coach, I'd avoid wide receivers named Mike Williams like the plague. Williams has had a crazy run at Syracuse.

2 years ago, Mike Williams showed that he was probably the best player on the worst team in the Big East under then Greg Robinson's Syracuse squad. He followed up that hot start by getting in some academic trouble and then missing the entire 2008 season.

This season he was playing well. Despite being suspended for the Akron game, he was still leading the Big East in receiving. That is quite impressive considering that he does have some stiff competition in the league for that spot.

What we have now is a team without a great player. It is a shame for Syracuse too because they seemed to be finally making some strides after firing the worst coach in the Big East. Williams had even stated that he planned on returning for his Senior year which would have been nothing but positive for the Orange.

This move may actually be a positive for former Pitt recruit Marcus Sales. Once considered a Pitt lean, Sales headed for the Cuse once Pitt pulled in a trio of talented wide receivers. It was around the same time when Averin Collier, Pitt's Kevan Collier's brother, decided going to Syracuse would be better as well.

Sales has gotten some meaningful playing time as of late and will now be needed even more to pick up the slack from where Williams left off. It will all depend on if Greg Paulus can get him the ball.

Speaking of the former Duke hoopster, Syracuse is having their own Boogate as well. In his press conference today Doug Marrone was whining to the media about how the fans were booing after Paulus threw one of his 9 million interceptions when Syracuse was in the red zone last week. I'm so sick of this. If you're a college athlete you better get used to some booing from time to time. College sports is becoming such a big time money product, that the fans are starting to react to it like professional sports. They demand perfection from the players like they are being paid to play. Now I'm not going to get into the argument over whether or not booing is ok, I'm getting into the issue of the coach bringing it up.

Here is my idea, if you don't want it to become a bigger deal, then don't mention it. Paulus will now have to play under more scrutiny now because of Marrone deciding to talk about the booing. It is a great way to alienate your fans. Just take a look at Pitt. After the Sun Bowl we all had a bad taste in our mouths. We come out in the 2009 season starting off looking much like we had finished 2008 and the fans let the team (specifically Bill Stull) hear about it. This was fueled by an off season of reporting that Stull was being out performed in camp (which he was). It was fueled even further by the coaches and media bringing it up.

If you want it to go away, then don't talk about it, don't even hint at it. If you ignore it and your player performs, it will go away. Just ask Ricky Stanzi after last week's 1st half performance against Indiana.


rkohberger said...

You may be the only fan I've heard say that we "came out in the 2009 season starting off looking much like we had finished 2008"...

...considering we were shut out in the Sun Bowl you referenced and then we started the season at 3-0 with our offense clicking at a 40 ppg rate - 119 ppg vs 44 ppg.

DPJ said...

Our running game was strong in the 1st half against YSU just as it was strong at the end of the 2008 season.

Bill Stull only had 44 yards passing in the 1st half against YSU, much like his end of year performance against Oregon State.

Seems pretty familiar to me.

Kyle said... interview with Wanny.

Mentions possible mustard+script throwback uniforms for 102nd backyard brawl and renewing the Penn State rivalry.

Kyle said...

oops, here's the link:

Tony77019 said...

I think the booing Stull received was, finally, the trigger that fired the shot of awareness into Wanny's butt. The recipient of fan criticism throughout his pro coaching career, Wannstedt has learned to block it all out, even when it was justified. But to see Stull, a young man he obviously cares about, be the butt of the fans ire, coming on the heels of Cavanaugh's forced dismissal, finally woke him up. I don't buy all this pseudo-sympathy for Stull. Sometimes reality bites.