Pinstripe Bowl Notebook: Will Syracuse coach Doug Marrone bolt to NFL?

Is Marrone leaving for the NFL?

NEW YORK – Will he stay or will he go?

That’s the question: It’s understandable that the last item on Doug Marrone’s mind after guiding the Orange to two bowl wins in three years and an eight-victory season by winning six of the final seven games, is his immediate future employment opportunities.

Marrone’s name has come up time and again since November as a candidate to fill NFL head coaching vacancies this off-season, his job performance praised in turning around the Orange program, combined with his offensive coordinator experience with the New Orleans Saints.

Is Marrone leaving for the NFL?

We asked the fourth-year SU boss afterwards about his name being linked to expected openings and his smile quickly disappeared.

“I just want to enjoy this victory,” he said before departing back inside the victorious ‘Cuse locker room.

» Related: Syracuse defeats West Virginia in Pinstripe Bowl

The Orange was blue away from home

The Big East was the home team in alternating years with the Big XIII, so Syracuse wore its home blue jersey in the Pinstripe Bowl win against West Virginia.

It was the second time this season (USC loss at MetLife Stadium in a SU home game) that the Orange wore blue outside of the Dome, and it’s the first season since the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl in 2010 when the ‘Cuse edged Kansas State wearing blue.

In the Carrier Dome era Syracuse has rarely worn blue outside of the Teflon Top; only five other times:

  • 1988-Hall of Fame Bowl vs. LSU at Tampa (W)
  • 1990-Kickoff Classic vs. USC at N.J. Meadowlands (L)
  • 1996-Liberty Bowl vs. Houston at Memphis (W)
  • 1999-Orange Bowl vs. Florida at Miami (L)
  • 2001-Kickoff Classic vs. Georgia Tech at N.J. Meadowlands (L)

Record in blue including the WVU bowl game is now 4-4.

Speaking of uniforms, word is Syracuse will have an alternate look(s) to choose from designer Nike for next season’s ACC debut, beginning with the ’13 season opener Aug. 31 at MetLife Stadium against Penn State.

This is a three-game series; home (2021), away (2020), neutral site (2013). For next season’s neutral site matchup, don’t be surprised to see the Orange in orange tops and the Nittany Lions in blue jerseys.

» Related: Mountaineers said traveling was a factor in new conference

Cantor gives high marks to Gross, Marrone

The chancellor likes what she sees with Orange athletics: As she watched athletic director Daryl Gross and his WVU counterpart Oliver Luck (father of Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew) along with Yankee executives Randy Levine and Lon Trost meet the media prior to the game, Nancy Cantor couldn’t help but exude Orange spirit.

The New York native in her second-to-last year guiding the university, Cantor marveled at the turnaround of the football program under Doug Marrone, but more important to her is the 12th place standing of all of the university’s programs in the latest ranking of the Capital One Cup.

“You know what’s been so wonderful to watch is how across the board (Daryl) has hired extraordinary coaches and it’s really made a difference,” Cantor said approvingly. It really feels good to see a whole program rise in the Capital One Cup that way, it’s amazing.”

Syracuse finished with its highest ever point total in the Capital One Cup for the fall, finishing 12th nationally, and that will rise a little bit with the bowl win over West Virginia.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.