Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
- Aug 15, 2011
Meal Monday (also known as Oatmeal Monday) was a traditional holiday observed by the ancient universities of Scotland on the second Monday of February.
During the 17th century, Scottish university students lived in very basic accommodation and were required to bring their own fuel, firewood or peat, to maintain a fire. Their diet was meagre too, largely consisting of oatmeal, which they would make into porridge. This lifestyle would remain typical until the late 19th century. Rev. James Sharp noted that as a student at the University of Edinburgh, "the liberal arts, sciences and theology were cultivated on oatmeal, with an occasional glass of beer on a Saturday night."
As the students' country homes or farms were some distance from the city universities, an occasional long weekend was scheduled to permit them to replenish their supplies. Originally, and until as recently as 1885, these Meal Mondays would occur regularly; the University of Edinburgh had one on the first Monday of every month. However, by 1896 Edinburgh established just one official holiday, on the second Monday in February.
Re-evaluating Syracuse football's 2015 recruiting class (PS; Mink)
Signing day is in the rearview mirror, but Syracuse football is not done recruiting for its roster ahead of the 2019 season.
Syracuse has more scholarships available to use after signing 21 players since the end of the season, and they will likely be used on transfers that can come in not needing much physical development.
“We want to get starters,” coach Dino Babers said.
Linebacker, offensive line, tight end and safety are positions being targeted.
“We don’t have enough scholarships to fill all those spots,” he said, “but we’re going to be looking for the best player possible at those positions.”
Syracuse’s 2019 recruiting class is rated similarly to last year’s class, and it is rated a tick better than the class that just filtered out of the program on the heels of a 10-win season, showing that a dreary recruiting ranking shouldn’t assume poor results on the field in the coming years.
Syracuse’s average player rating in the 2019 class is 84.83, which ranks 13th out of 14 ACC teams but falls within two points of eight of the teams ranked ahead of the Orange. This is nothing new for this program, which has never finished higher than 10th in the conference using the average recruit rating on 247Sports.com.
“It’s probably a higher-rated class than we’ve had in a long time based on how we see it,” Babers said. “I know the experts may see it a different way.”
Syracuse Recruiting 2019 Final Thoughts: Dino Not Hitting His Stride Just Yet (CFN; Fiutak)
Considering all of the fun and all of the recent success, you’d have thought this would’ve been a stronger recruiting season. Expect that to come next year.
Remember, there were a whole lot of rumors about head man Dino Babers possibly leaving for another job after his successful 2018. It’s taking a while to build up the recruiting base that’s been relatively dormant for so long.
It’s an improvement of a class over last year’s, though. It might not end up ranking all that well, but it’s got a while lot of nice parts to it. So far, Babers has been able to build the program back up without the five-star types, but he could use a few more mid-range talents.
LB Lee Kpogba was the best get of the bunch. Babers was able to steal him away from West Virginia, but there’s going to be some bulking up to do first. With his speed and burst, he’s a perfect fit for the attacking Syracuse defensive style.
The stars of the class are at linebacker. Kpogba is the main man, but he’s hardly alone. Mikel Jones out of Florida is equally dangerous as a future disruptive force, but like Kpogba, he has to pack on the weight. If all goes according to plan, these two are about to become killers on the outside.
The offense is lacking after going big last year. The 2018 class of receivers was massive, and there isn’t much in the way of pass catchers in this year’s haul. David Summers is an okay quarterback prospect for depth, but be stunned if any of the skill guys in this class do anything special.
Next year, Babers has to find at least one superstar skill guy who could potentially turn into a gamebreaker who can become a signature star for the attack. The offensive line could use some reinforcements, too.
Babers kept pushing after the early signing period. Getting DE Steven Linton out of Georgia – and away from Arizona State and Missouri – was a nice move. Babers kept working, but there’s one problem with this class …
Where are the local guys? Syracuse isn’t dominating New York, with just three in-state guys signing on last year and none this season. Syracuse might be able to recruit nationally – to a point – but to be New York’s big college football program, to get shut out in the state isn’t okay.
ACC Recruiting Rankings, Stars, 3 Other Things That Matter From 2019 National Signing Day (CFN; Fiutak)
5. Florida State didn’t have the season it needed, but …
It’s still fantastic.
However, it’s all relative.
For just about everyone in the ACC, this would be a fantastic class to do cartwheels over. But for a program that’s supposed to compete for a national championship every year, and is used to being a fixture in the top five in the national recruiting rankings, this isn’t quite good enough.
Head coach Willie Taggart had a rough first season.
He has never won a conference championship in his eight years as a head man. He has never won a bowl game, and he has never stayed around long enough at a play to enjoy the payoff of the work he’s been able to do.
The biggest problem was his first year. It’s one thing to have to rework things a bit, but to come up with a losing season at Florida State and miss out on a bowl game for the first time since the 1980s is really, really not okay.
To be fair, there was work to be done at the end of the Jimbo Fisher era. The offensive line needed a rebuild, a slew of key parts had to be replaced, and the quarterback situation wasn’t as solid as it should’ve been.
Sure enough, the offensive line needs time and bodies, and Taggart only signed two linemen after signing three last season.
The quarterback situation is a hot mess, with everyone of note transferring before Deondre Francois was kicked off the team. Now James Blackman is back, but where’s the star playmaker to fire everyone up? With no big-name grad transfer signing on – at least not yet – not bringing about someone to developed seemed strange.
Two recruiting seasons, no quarterbacks signed.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t help that Fisher is off crushing it at Texas A&M.
But as the FSU message board world melts down, remember, it’s a really, really, really good recruiting class. However, if you’re Taggart and you land a consensus top five-caliber class, everything is pointed in the right direction.
Even if 2019 isn’t amazing on the field, at least there’s hope that the young guys are in place to build things back up.
Syracuse Football: Lanky 3-star DL Steven Linton spurns big offers for SU (itlh.com; Carey)
The Syracuse football squad got some additional help on the defensive line on National Signing Day. Here’s the tale of the tape on Steven Linton.
Syracuse football has picked up more help along the defensive line. On Wednesday, National Signing Day in college football, Steven Linton announced his verbal commitment to play for the Orange.
It is their fifth defensive lineman commit, along with Cooper Dawson who could wind up on the offensive or defensive lines. Other defensive ends in the class include, Andrew Tuazama and Ishmael Goulbourne. Joe Rondi and Jason Munoz round out the defensive line haul, projecting as defensive tackles.
Linton had a slew of other good offers to choose from. In addition to Syracuse, Linton had offers from the likes of Missouri, Arizona State, USF, and Louisville.
At 6-foot-5 inches Linton has ideal size to add weight to his frame and become a terror on the defensive line. Currently, 247sports.com lists Linton at 215-pounds. They also Composite-grade Linton as the 903rd best player in the class of 2019, the 60th best Weak Side DE, and 89th best player in Georgia.
The Dublin, Georgia native officially visited the Syracuse Campus in January and has been a priority target for the Orange in this cycle.
Linton is a physical specimen. He plays basketball like many of the players on the Syracuse roster and his wing-span of 82 inches is ideal for a defensive lineman.
Syracuse Football: Tale of the tape on Orange RB Garrison Johnson (itlh.com; Carey)
The Syracuse football depth chart just got a lot deeper with the addition of Garrison Johnson. Here’s the tale of the tape on this talented running back.
In addition to the Steve Linton commitment, Syracuse also received an a Letter of Intent from Garrison Johnson. The Manvel, Texas native, just South of Houston played for Syracuse QB’s coach Kirk Martin just a few years ago.
Johnson is a big running back at 5-foot-11 and 210-pounds. Based on recent pictures of him on his official visit at Syracuse I would say he is even bigger than 210. Johnson took his official visit to Syracuse the weekend of January 25th.
A former North Texas commit, the Texas native also had offers from the likes of Indiana, Nebraska, and Virginia. According to 247sport.com, Johnson is a 3-star prospect and the 86th best running back in the class of 2019.
Johnson joins a Syracuse backfield that returns leading rusher Moe Neal from the 2018 season, who is now a senior. Abdul Adams, a junior transfer from Oklahoma figures to see a large workload in the 2019 season. Rising sophomore Jarveon Howard will also see red zone touches after seven TD’s during his freshman campaign. Johnson and Jawhar Jordan, who grey-shirted this past season, are the two new-comers in the Orange running back room.
As a senior, Johnson ran for 870 yards and scored 22 touchdowns at Manvel. He announced his commitment via twitter:
ACC Football Rx: ACC Blue Chips 2019 (HX; HM)
ACC Football Rx: Links - Rivals edition - 2/11/19 (RX; HM)
Five programs that declined the most from 2018 to 2019
Decline: -57 (No. 31 to No. 88, Rivals team ranking)
The skinny: Coaching changes can give a program a much needed boost, but since it usually happens close to National Signing Day they can also cause recruiting chaos. That was the case with Louisville, who until Wednesday was outside the top 100 and even with a few additions finished below programs like Arkansas State, FIU, Ohio and Middle Tennessee State. It also didn’t help the Cardinals' ranking that they signed a very small class (14). They added their highest ranked player on Wednesday, three-star defensive end Zach Edwards, and picked up some much-needed depth at linebacker, offensive line and running back, but Scott Satterfield will need a big 2020 class to get the Cardinals back on the right track.
Farrell’s take: This was obviously a class they didn’t want to fill too much and they will add numbers to 2020 and beyond. It’s an ugly class overall but I don’t think it’s a reflection of future recruiting. They will be much better than this moving forward.
Decline: -29 (No. 6 to No. 35)
The skinny: This was a somewhat unique situation, as after Miami collected numerous impressive early commitments for this class, that group gradually fell apart over the last six months. A lackluster season was partially to blame for this, which was then followed by the sudden retirement of Mark Richt. New coach Manny Diaz should bring some much needed energy back into the program, but with only about a month to gather a class together, the Hurricanes were bound to struggle. Finishing at No. 35 isn’t catastrophic for most programs, but for Miami, who finished at No. 6 last season and looked to have found its recruiting groove back, it’s definitely a setback. Look for a rebound class in 2020, but how much of a rebound will be interesting to see.
Farrell’s take: Manny Diaz couldn’t make up for the lack of recruiting of Mark Richt who was clearly done with college football. Miami will have a much better 2020 and they have done well in the transfer portal. But dropping from a top-10 class to this is tough.
ACC Football Rx: Updated ACC Factoids - 2/9/19 (RX; HM)
Updated ACC Factoids - 2/9/19
The ACC has released its latest sports factoids, and apparently they are seasonal to some extent because football rolled off the list while softball rotated on and baseball coverage was expanded since the last factoids [LINK]
• The ACC has won the most national titles of any conference (six) in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball since 2015. The next closest is the SEC with four. The ACC is the only conference to win each of the four titles over that stretch.
• In addition, the ACC's six major national titles have come from five different programs – Clemson football (2016, 2018), Notre Dame women’s basketball (2018), North Carolina men’s basketball (2017), Duke men’s basketball (2015), Virginia baseball (2015).
• The ACC has won more football national titles than any other conference since 2013 (three of the last six) and more men’s basketball national championships than any other league since 2015 (two of the last four).
• In the fall standings of the Learfield Directors’ Cup, the ACC leads all conferences with four teams in the top 10, and eight teams in the top 20. Wake Forest leads the way at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Duke, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 NC State, No. 14 Virginia, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 17 Florida State and No. 19 Syracuse.
ACC Football Rx: 2019 Turf Wars - the Ugly Truth (RX; HM)
If you want to know why they picked the champ of each state, click the link above. I'm not trying to steal their thunder. I have a different goal here: how does this relate to ACC football?
ACC Footprint States
State 2018 2019
Massachusetts BC Michigan
New York Ohio St Miami
Pennsylvania Penn St Penn St
Virginia Penn St Penn St
Kentucky Purdue Kentucky
N Carolina NC State Tennessee
S Carolina Clemson S Carolina
Georgia Georgia Georgia
Florida Miami Alabama
Kind of tells a story, doesn't it? In 2018, ACC teams were recruiting champs of 4 of the 9 ACC footprint states. That's unacceptable, but it gets worse - in 2019 it was just one state (and not a particularly rich one - New York).
The galling thing: it's bad enough losing the recruiting battle to your in-state P5 rival (Pennsylvania, Kentucky, S. Carolina and Georgia), but four ACC states were conquered by out-of-state P5s:
Massachusetts was raided by the Michigan Wolverines
Virginia was invaded by Nittany Lions from Penn State
N. Carolina was robbed by the Tennessee Volunteers (despite 4 ACC teams!)
Florida has an SEC home team, but the Alabama Crimson Tide walked away with the prize.
BOTTOM LINE: ACC teams did a miserable job defending the home turf. I can deal with losing half of the battleground states, and some of the Northern states don't have a lot of recruits anyway - but to lose in 8 out of 9 states? TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!!
Winter storm warnings issued for Upstate NY for snow, ice (PS; Coin)
Get ready for some rough driving on Tuesday in Central New York.
A sloppy winter storm is likely to bring heavy snow and then freezing rain, which could create a thin but slippery layer of ice. Driving could be treacherous, especially Tuesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for Central New York and the North Country starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
“Heavy mixed precipitation is expected,” the warning for Central New York reads. “Total snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches and ice accumulations of one to two tenths of an inch expected.”
Heavy snow and ice are expected in Upstate New York Tuesday and Wednesday, with the highest totals in Central New York and the North Country.
Heavy snow and ice are expected in Upstate New York Tuesday and Wednesday, with the highest totals in Central New York and the North Country. National Weather Service
Tug Hill could see 14 to 18 inches of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice.
Winds gusts of up to 30 mph will make it even harder to see.
“Travel could be very difficult,” the warning said. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute and definitely the evening commute Tuesday.”
The weather service says snow starts to fall before dawn on Tuesday, moving in from the southwest. In Western New York, as temperatures rise into the afternoon, snow changes over to rain by early afternoon. Snow and sleet fall throughout the day in Syracuse, with the change to rain happening after dark. That could make for a very difficult evening commute.