The Confidential

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Syracuse is a “Football Factory”?

One of the Confidential’s favorite reads is the Tuesday Morning Quarterback by Gregg Easterbrook on  Although harping on the same issues week after week can get tedious (we get it–coaches should not punt, blitz, pass, or switch jobs), there are usually some good nuggets scattered within the articles.  Interestingly, his post-draft article almost suggested that Syracuse is a “football factory.”

His specific quote was as follows:

The Bills’ new head coach, Doug Marrone, is coming from NCAA football to the NFL. He had a college-style draft — using his picks on a quarterback, two wide receivers, a speed linebacker, two defensive backs, a tight end. Marrone didn’t draft any linemen on either side of the ball, using all ammo for flashy guys. At a time when speed dominates Division I football, a head coach coming over from a football factory may obsess about getting flashy guys, while taking the line for granted. Taking the line for granted is a fatal error in the NFL.

It is certainly plausible that the sentence describing head coaches and flashy guys was not directly addressed to Marrone and Syracuse.  Still, it is kind of nice to even have some confusion as to whether someone meant that Syracuse was a football factory!

Although Syracuse had dark times during the G-Rob era (and by dark, we mean “bubonic plague” dark), Syracuse is a program that was above average from 1987 to 2001.  Well above average, actually.  Many players went from Syracuse to stardom in the NFL, including Rob Moore, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, and Dwight Freeney.  It would have been a plausible argument during the 2002 NFL Draft.

2013?  Not so much.  But it is nice to have the discussion.

What do you think?  Was Syracuse a football factory?  Ever?  Circa 2000?  Or does one have to go back to the 1960s to make that argument?  More importantly, what does the future hold for the Orange?


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5 thoughts on “Syracuse is a “Football Factory”?

  1. Sure ‘Cuse is a football factory. Va Tech is a basketball factory, too.

  2. I think the Bills are in need of some flash. Those are some nice names coming from Syracuse, not sure of “factory” though.

  3. M. Caffrey on said:

    Yes, Syracuse is definitely a football factory; or at the very least, is on the cusp of becoming a football factory.

    But, not in the typical context of a “football factory” – being a school that routinely puts players in the NFL… but instead, in more of the literal sense of a football “factory”.

    Consider this: the purpose of a factory is to take raw materials and systematically convert them into a finished product.

    I would argue that schools like Alabama, LSU, and to a lesser extent FSU, while they deserve all the credit for placing players in the NFL the question is what did they start with? I imagine that if not for the NFL’s rules about taking underclassmen, given the chance, a fair number of those players would have been close-to NFL ready coming out of High School.

    As result, these school are less “football factories” and more “football wharehouses”… a place to store players until they are ready to be accepted to the next level.

    By contrast, the players that chose Syracuse 4 or 5 years ago were largely overlooked by the bigger schools and required a lot more development before they could be considered draftable. Give a ton of credit to the players for making the commitment to improve themselves, but also give a ton of credit to the coaches who developed them.

    • Interesting take.

      Basketball front–

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