Marrone Leaves SU

So this is what it's like to have a good football team? No matter what level or conference your team is in, there's a price to be paid for success. Oregon has been in the BCS every year since Chip Kelly's arrival and now, for the second time in as many years he looks gone to the NFL. A team like Alabama pays in a different way. While Nick Saban swears he's not going anywhere, many if his players are. Syracuse has started to feel that pain too with Chandler Jones and Justin Pugh leaving in back to back seasons.

The price of success is real and in sports this is no surprise. Athletes and coaches, many of whom including Doug Marrone are former players, are as competitive as any group of people on earth. Part of being a competitor is wanting to test yourself against the best and this, above all, is the reason Doug Marrone left for the NFL.

Yes the money is better, but if money was equal, he'd still be gone. Some coaches like the college lifestyle better, but we know Marrone's a grinder and that's what it takes to succeed in the NFL. I know, I know - "but Syracuse was his dream job!"  Right. It was. Was is past tense.

When you achieve your goals in life, do you stop? Do you cease to exist? Of course not. You create new goals. Certainly Doug Marrone could have set his eyes on making Syracuse a national powerhouse and make that the long term goal, but Marrone played and coached in the NFL so it's not far fetched that that became his new goal.

Marrone was the ideal NFL coaching candidate because he has both NFL and head coaching experience. The counter argument is he was only 25-25 in his four seasons on the hill. The counter argument to that counter argument (have I lost you yet?) is that he saved and resuscitated a program from the Groobers dumpster fire. He also was relatively competitive or won his biggest games - 3 straight against ranked WVU games, 2-0 in bowl games and respectable losses considering the talent disparity versus USC. Yes there was the collapse last year, but we later found out that team was as injury riddled as any in recent memory.

NFL teams clearly were able to look past that as the Bills were far from the only team after HCDM's services. In fact, Marrone had more teams after him than any other coach on the market. He also beat out Lovie Smith for the Bills job who went 10-6 last season with the Bears and only missed the playoffs because Christian Ponder had the game of his life.

In the end, we should all be sad Doug Marrone is leaving but glad he was here. Was his job done? Depends on who you ask. Of course we would have loved to see what he could have done with Zach Allen in the ACC. We would have loved to see him land that big recruit he was oh so close to with Ebenezer Ogundeko. However our beloved program is no longer a flaming sack of $#*% and we have Doug Marrone to thank for that.

Or, as my friend and fellow SU alum Chris Velardi tweeted:

Thanks Doug, good luck and here's to hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't turn your NFL dream into an interception filled nightmare.