Has there been a better time in Syracuse sports in the past decade?
Throughout the past week, the football team captured its first bowl championship since the 2001 Insight Bowl, with a 36-34 win over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl.
And, what a game it was.
There were flea-flickers on both sides. The Wildcats’ running back threw to its quarterback. Syracuse ran the halfback option. The only thing that was missing was the Statute of Liberty play.
But what detracted from the game was what will be forever known as “The Bronx Salute.” When Kansas State receiver Adrian Hilburn scored with 1:24 left to slice the Orange lead to 36-34, Hilburn saluted to the crowd and was flagged for a penalty for excessive celebration.
Instead of trying for a 2-point conversion at the three yard line, the Wildcats were pushed out to the 18 and never stood a chance.
Does it cheapen the win? Slightly. But keep in mind that 2-point conversions are not givens, so it’s hard to just assume that Kansas State would’ve automatically tied the game.
That being said, it was one of the most exciting games of the season, and it’s a bonus for both the Yankees and Syracuse.
The Orange get essentially a home game in its recruiting wheelhouse. The Yankees get a full stadium packed with Orange fans.
If I’m Syracuse and I qualify for a bowl game and it’s not a BCS game, I take the Pinstripe Bowl every day of the week — twice on Sunday.
Here is the “Best of what’s around” if you’re still interested in some Monday night quarterbacking:
On the basketball front, the now-No. 4 Orange is playing its best basketball of the season. The Orange cruised past No. 15 Notre Dame, 70-58, on Saturday, with Rick Jackson leading the way.
Jackson shifted to the center position and absolutely changed the dynamic of the game. With Jackson shutting down the middle on defense, it allowed the Orange to do what it does best – get out in transition and score.
With Jackson playing that spot, it likely gives Syracuse its best lineup, with the emerging star James Southerland and current go-to-guy Kris Joseph on the wings.
And for those of you who can’t get enough Orange hoops:
Either way, it’s all smiles for the Orange as it is 15-0 in basketball and the football team is finally headed on the upswing.
I hope you all had a great New yYear’s. Let’s go Orange in 2011.
Editor in Chief