Syracuse Orange

2005 Stats

Straight up

1-10 overall, 0-7 conference, 8th Big East

Against the spread

4-7 (2-4 home, 2-3 away, 2-3 grass)


3-8 (2-4 home, 2-3 away, 2-3 grass)

Offensive Rank


Defensive Rank


Turnover Margin

-.36 per game

2005 Season Summary

The Syracuse Orange were coming off a bowl, or perhaps “bull” season in 2004 as they finished 6-5 in the regular season, which caused long time athletic director Jake Crouthamel to announce that head coach Paul Pasqualoni would be retained, despite calls for his head by the majority of fed-up fans and alumni. This announcement took place as Crouthamel walked into retirement in place of Daryl Gross, who arrived from football powerhouse USC full of youthful drive and ambition.

New AD found excuse to whack Pasqualoni

When Pasqualoni was bombed out 14-51 in his bowl game against Georgia Tech, that was all the excuse that Gross needed to whack the coach and bring in his own man, who turned out to be Greg Robinson, who served as a long time defensive coordinator in the NFL before taking over as the DC at Texas for Mack Brown in 2004.

High expectations

The Syracuse community was thrilled with Gross' decisive action as they program grew stale and stagnant under Pasqualoni's watch. The hiring of Robinson created excitement but also high expectations that proved to be unrealistic.

An alarming debut

The Robinson era began with much fanfare and hoopla as the Orange took the field resplendent in classic looking throwback type uniforms that brought back images and memories of such star players of yesteryear like Jim Brown and Floyd Little. The game itself, on national television, against West Virginia , turned out to be an alarming debut for the Gross/Robinson regime. The Orange were installed as 3-point chalks against the Mountaineers, who were rebuilding after being decimated by graduation. Despite being highly touted that weekend, Syracuse lost 7-15 as the general public was burned yet again.

A decent value

Syracuse , with much of their luster and respect gone with that balloon popping loss to West Virginia , next hosted Buffalo as a quiet 24-point chalk and got the cash in a 31-0 win. They proved to be a decent value in their next game as 7-point dogs against overrated Virginia , losing a tight 24-27 game to fall to 1-2 straight up but 2-1 against the spread.

Syracuse hit the road and the skids

Although they were not exactly going gangbusters, the Orange had been competitive to this point in the season as they prepared for back-to-back away games. As it was to turn out, this was the point in which Syracuse hit the road and the skids as well.

The Orange was exposed badly as 22.5-point dogs in a 14-38 loss to a Florida State team that was down a notch from its reputation. This was followed by a more devastating 7-26 loss at Connecticut as 5.5-point dogs. UConn was rebuilding and struggling, and to lose by such a margin was quite revealing.

From bad to worse

Next came a home game against Rutgers and for some reason Syracuse was installed as a 2.5-point chalk, losing 9-31. Next at Pitt against Dave Wannstedt's struggling Panthers, who defeated the Orange 34-17 as 11-point chalks. Things went from bad to worse as the Orange hosted reeling Cincinnati , who seemed out of their league as a new member of the Big East. Syracuse was a 5.5-point chalk, which even considering the circumstances seemed like a bargain, and yet was upset 16-22. Senior Day was a debacle as the Orange was shutout 0-27 as 6.5-point home dogs to South Florida .

A bargain dog

With six straight losses against the betting boards, Syracuse was completely deserted by the general betting public and on the “go against” list of many gamblers, which turned them into a bargain dog. As whopping 22.5-point dogs at “name brand” Notre Dame, the Orange easily got the cash in a 10-34 loss. They repeated with another bargain cover in a 17-41 loss at Louisville as 37-point dogs in another great lesson on unwanted value for gamblers.