Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
Staff member
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to National Fig Newton Day!

Fig Newtons are cookies filled with fig paste or jam, which are a trademarked variation of the fig roll; they are manufactured by Nabisco, a company owned by Mondelez International. As Nabisco now uses different flavored jams in the cookies besides figs, including berries and apples, the brand is no longer called "Fig Newtons," but simply ""Newtons." Nonetheless, today celebrates the fig variety of the Newton.

Figs originated in Asia Minor and fig rolls were created in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. Figs were introduced to the Western Hemisphere by the Spaniards, who brought them to Hispaniola in 1520. Two men are credited with the invention of what would become the Fig Newton. John Henry Mitchell developed a machine in 1892 that put a jam filling in a hollow cookie crust. He brought the machine to the Kennedy Biscuit Works—also known as the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery—in Cambridgeport, a neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company tried out the machine and named the creation "Newton's cakes," after the nearby Boston suburb of Newton. In 1898, Kennedy Biscuit Works combined with other companies to form the National Biscuit Country, which began being known as Nabisco a few years later. Charles Roser is also credited in having a hand in creating would would become the Fig Newton; he may have created the recipe that was sold to the Kennedy Biscuit Works. There is some uncertainty about Roser's role, but the bakery likely combined Roser's recipe with Mitchell's machine to create the Fig Newton.

SU News

SU football's new OC: a Briles protégé with so much Texas in him (PS; Mink)

When Dino Babers became a head coach in 2012, he knew he wanted to emulate the style that turned Baylor football into a national brand.

When assembling his first staff, Babers called Art Briles, whose uptempo spread system gave Baylor its championship-winning identity, and sought his opinion on coaches well-versed in the offense.
Briles led him to a little-known coach making a name for himself in the ultra-competitive Texas high school football circuit, a crafty ex-Division II quarterback who impressed Briles as a graduate assistant during his tenure at Houston the previous decade.

Sterlin Gilbert, Syracuse football’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, is coming north to reunite with Babers after five years and lend his touch to turning the Orange offense into the consistent force Babers envisioned when he came here.

The 41-year-old Gilbert brings a distinct Texas flavor to Upstate New York. He’ll need to store a pair of snow boots next to his cowboy boots in the closet. He’ll smoke his legendary brisket in his own pit with his father’s famous rub, perhaps testing the loyalty of any Dinosaur Bar-B-Que zealots in Manley Field House.
More pressing, he comes here with a job to do: Recapture the offensive mojo, and train quarterback Tommy DeVito to be a game-wrecker, just as Gilbert and Babers did with Jimmy Garoppolo at Eastern Illinois.
The West Texas native will bring intimate knowledge gained over 15 years of implementing offenses rooted in the genealogy of the system that turned Briles into a star before he was jettisoned in the wake of a widespread s e xual assault scandal at Baylor.

Briles, who returned to the Texas high school coaching scene last fall, said Gilbert did not consult with him before taking the Syracuse job, as he had done before making other moves.

Still, it’s a no-brainer Gilbert chose to come here.

"There are no question marks,” Briles told Post-Standard. “He’s been with Dino before. He’s been in the Power Five before, and I think it’s a really, really good move for him. He’ll do a good job.

Syracuse Football: Josh Black could excel in new role for the Orange (itlh; Esden Jr)

Syracuse football defensive lineman Josh Black could excel in his new role in the 3-3-5 defense. Here are all the details and how he fits in.

Ever since Syracuse football announced the hiring of new defensive coordinator Zach Arnett formerly of San Diego State, everyone’s been scrambling for information on this “3-3-5 defense.”

What kind of defense is this? Who could possibly benefit on the 2020 Syracuse roster?

After speaking with Stephen Bailey of one of the top breakout candidates is Syracuse defensive lineman Josh Black:

“With McKinley Williams set to return, he’ll likely be the perfect guy to plug in the middle of the 3-3-5 defense. He’s Syracuse’s best run defender and McKinley seems to be a good fit there.

Which will allow Josh Black to slide out and be one of the outside linemen in the 3-3-5. Rather than going up against guards and centers he’ll be going up against opposing tackles. While he’s put on some weight since moving inside he’s not quite where McKinley Williams is.

Last year Josh was one of the guys who was asked to stop the run. It was a tall task, especially with McKinley out, and Josh and KJ Ruff gave a lot of effort. I think Josh is really in a position to succeed as a faster defensive end or whatever you want to call it in the 3-3-5 defense. He’s someone who can really benefit.”

Grading every ACC football team after 2019 season (; James)

"Clemson is the only reason the ACC ranks above the American," Hummer wrote. "Seriously. The AAC was that bad in 2019. The Big 12 and Pac-12 didn’t exactly kill FBS competition, but those leagues finished with a winning record in non-conference play. The ACC couldn’t even do that!"
That aside, units on individual teams deserve credit for the job they did in 2019, even if the final results did not always indicate that. Scroll up to see our final grades for each ACC team's offense, defense and coaching during the 2019 season.

GEORGIA TECH (3-9, 2-6 ACC) | NC STATE (4-8, 1-7)
It was always going to be a tough road for Georgia Tech in the first season under new coach Geoff Collins. The coach was tasked with a roster transitioning from a long tenure under Paul Johnson's triple-option based offense. As such, Georgia Tech had the fewest yards per game in the ACC. The defense wasn't elite (11th in ACC in yards per play), but it did keep the Yellow Jackets close in some games that you would not have expected, including a 33-28 loss to eventual Coastal Division champion Virginia.
Georgia Tech
Offense: D
Defense: C
Coaching: C
The Wolfpack regressed to 4-8 after back-to-back 9-4 seasons under head coach Dave Doeren. The team struggled without veteran quarterback and multi-year starter Ryan Finley in the fold. Doeren fired his longtime defensive coordinator after the season, while one of his co-offensive coordinators was let go and another reassigned. NC State ended the season with six straight losses and zero notable wins to speak of.
NC State
Offense: D-
Defense: D-
Coaching: D-

DUKE (5-7, 3-5) | SYRACUSE (5-7, 2-6)

The Blue Devils were 4-2 through six games, including a loss to then-No. 2 Alabama and a three-point defeat to Pittsburgh, but a five-game losing streak tanked their chances to become bowl eligible. Duke was last in the ACC in yards per play (4.53) on offense, while the defense actually ranked 39th out of 130 FBS teams in SP+ efficiency. Still, it wasn't quite enough.
Offense: D
Defense: C
Coaching: C-
Some ugly defensive performances stand out as the prominent points of a 5-7 season for the Orange. Syracuse allowed 63 points in a loss to Maryland, 58 to Boston College and 56 to Louisville, and those teams weren't exactly offensive juggernauts.
Offense: C-
Defense: D-
Coaching: C-

ACC Video: ACC Football's Way Too Early Top 5 (; video; Johns)

Justin Fuente’s dalliance with Baylor ill-timed for Hokies (; Teel)

Justin Fuente, Baylor and Big 12 football are a natural fit. Fuente grew up in the conference’s footprint, played for its dominant program at Oklahoma and still has family in his native Tulsa.

So when the NFL’s Carolina Panthers hired Baylor coach Matt Rhule last week, I thought of Fuente, who just completed his fourth year at Virginia Tech. But I quickly dismissed the notion, for two reasons.

First, during a lengthy, wide-ranging conversation in his office last April, Fuente told me how much he, his wife, Jenny, and their three daughters enjoy Blacksburg’s small-town vibe and the privacy folks afford his family. His remarks were unprompted and appeared beyond genuine.

“This is really in my wheelhouse, so to speak,” Fuente said that morning, “in terms of, I get to coach at a great place that’s easy to sell, and I get to lead a fairly normal life. That’s valuable to me. … For us, at this point of our lives, this is perfect.”

But there was more current logic in shelving the Fuente-to-Baylor idea. Fuente overhauled his Hokies staff this offseason, a process he completed Tuesday by hiring James Madison assistant Ryan Smith to coach Tech’s cornerbacks. But mere hours after that announcement, complete with a glowing quote from Fuente, Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel tweeted that Fuente had emerged as Baylor’s primary target.

Pitt Panthers Football Safety Damar Hamlin Granted 5th Year Of Eligibility (

After a bit of uncertainty, safety Damar Hamlin will be back with the Panthers in 2020.
The team posted the news to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
“Opposing offenses, you’ve been warned. #H2P”

Opposing offenses, you've been warned.#H2P
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) January 15, 2020

The safety will return to the defensive backfield after being granted a 5th year of eligibility. He will join Paris Ford, who announced he would be back to Pitt instead of leaving for the NFL Draft at the end of December.

Way-Too-Early Top 25 College Football Rankings for 2020 (; Lassan)

Here is Athlon’s way-too-early look at the top 25 teams in college football for 2020, followed by other teams to watch this offseason: (originally posted on Jan. 9 and updated on Jan. 15)

Way-Too-Early Top 25 College Football Rankings for 2020

1. Clemson
Coach Dabo Swinney’s team fell short in the national championship game against LSU, but this team should start at the top of the list for 2020 contenders. The Tigers will have holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but quarterback Trevor Lawrence is back, and the roster will be restocked with elite talent. In addition to co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott, Lawrence’s supporting cast could lose running back Travis Etienne and receiver Tee Higgins early to the NFL. Lyn-J Dixon would fill the void at running back if Etienne departs, with Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers, Joseph Ngata, and Frank Ladson forming one of the nation’s top receiving corps. The biggest concern on offense has to be the line. Left tackle Jackson Carman will be the only returning starter next fall. Clemson’s defense is going to lose a handful of key players (Chad Smith, K’Von Wallace and Tanner Muse), and linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback A.J. Terrell both could depart for the NFL. But as usual, coordinator Brent Venables will keep his defense performing at a high level. Tyler Davis anchors the trenches and should challenge for All-America honors after a breakout freshman year. The schedule also is very manageable. The Tigers should be favored in all 12 regular-season matchups, with a Nov. 7 game at Notre Dame the toughest on the 2020 slate.

2. Ohio State
The Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat in the coaching transition from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day and were a couple of plays away from a shot at the national championship. Ohio State will be back in the mix once again in 2020, as quarterback Justin Fields directs one of the nation’s top offenses after throwing for 3,273 yards and 41 scores to just three picks and running for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first year in Columbus. Fields won’t have J.K. Dobbins (2,003 rushing yards), but Master Teague (789), Marcus Crowley (237), and Steele Chambers (135) will keep the ground game performing at a high level. Binjimen Victor and K.J. Hill depart the receiving corps, but there are plenty of targets in place thanks the emergence of Chris Olave (12 TDs) and Garrett Wilson (30 catches) in 2019. The Buckeyes will have a strong foundation in the trenches thanks to the return of left tackle Thayer Munford, center Josh Myers and guard Wyatt Davis. Day has to replace co-coordinator Jeff Hafley, and a defense that limited teams to just 13.7 points a game loses end Chase Young, tackles Jashon Cornell, Robert Landers and DaVon Hamilton, along with linebacker Malik Harrison and standout defensive backs Jeff Okudah (CB), Damon Arnette (CB), and Jordan Fuller (safety). While those losses are hefty, Ohio State still has a ton of talent on that side of the ball to lean on, including breakout candidates in defensive end Zach Harrison and cornerback Shaun Wade. A Sept. 12 showdown at Oregon and an Oct. 24 game at Penn State highlight the 2020 schedule for the Buckeyes.

3. Alabama

Rx: How To Fix College Football (ASD/me) (RX; HM)

Rx: How To Fix College Football (ASD/me)

From AllSportsDiscussion: College Football is Broken. Here's My Way of Fixing It - along with my comments (in maroon):

1. "reduce the number of scholarships per team from 85 to 80... better distribute the talent across more schools."
I totally agree, but... I think 80 is still too high! I'd suggest 65 players is plenty - and would really help to flatten the talent across the P5s.

2. "limit each recruiting class to 20 players each year."
Another good idea - it would help to prevent oversigning (but again, maybe 20 is still too many).

3. "get rid of the blue shirt and grey shirt rules."
Should've never been allowed in the first place - just an excuse to let football factories stockpile talent.

4. "enact the NIL rule as quickly as possible."
This is good for 2 reasons: (a) it helps the players with some money, and (b) it could help flatten talent by letting small schools go after players who might be 2nd string at a football factory.

Effect of Players skipping bowls (RX; HM)

Effect of Players skipping bowls

Here's a look at the NFL prospects who skipped 2018-19 bowl games:

  • N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State - LOST to Fresno State - 1st round, 32nd overall
  • Ed Oliver, DL, Houston - LOST to Army - 1st round, 9th overall
  • Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston - LOST to Army - 4th round, 129th overall
  • Noah Fant, TE, Iowa - BEAT Miss. State - 1st round, 20th overall
  • Greedy Williams, CB, LSU - BEAT UCF - 2nd round, 46th overall
  • Devin Bush, LB, Michigan - LOST to Florida - 1st round, 10th overall
  • Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan - LOST to Florida - 1st round, 12th overall
  • Karan Higdon, RB, Michigan - LOST to Florida - Undrafted
  • Donnell Greene, OT, Minnesota - BEAT Georgia Tech - Undrafted
7000th Post! (RX; HM)

7000th Post!

Welcome to ACC Football Rx post number...

To celebrate, here are my picks for best ACCFootballRx posts of 2019:

Just for Fun
Because pretty much all fan bases are the same...
College Sports Mad-Libs

ACC TriviaGenator #2

Conference Realignment Stuff
Besides Texas, Oklahoma and Notre Dame...
Does ACC Expansion Make $ense?

Best case Big XII to ACC

Why Texas might join the ACC someday...

Justin Fuente, Baylor, and VT (RX; HM)

Justin Fuente, Baylor, and VT

Well, the big - and surprising! - news today: Baylor is going after Justin Fuente of Virginia Tech to replace Matt Rhule as their head football coach.

If you want to know whether Fuente would realistically consider such a job offer, I point you to this article on [LINK].

As to who the Hokies might hire to replace Fuente should he leave, I present you with this list...

FBS Head FB Coaches who were paid less than VT paid Fuente (as of the beginning of the 2019 season, per USA Today)

RkCoachTotal PaySchoolConfBuyout
31Justin Fuente$4,000,000Virginia TechACC$15,000,000
32Jeremy Pruitt$3,846,000TennesseeSEC$9,500,000
33Mike Leach--hired by Miss. St.$4,900,000
34Bronco Mendenhall$3,700,000VirginiaACC$18,962,500
35Dana Holgorsen$3,700,000HoustonAAC$13,208,333
36Matt Campbell$3,600,000Iowa StateBig 12$19,800,000
37P.J. Fleck$3,600,000MinnesotaBig Ten$9,291,667
38Chip Kelly$3,500,000UCLAPac-12$9,000,000
39Mack Brown$3,500,000North CarolinaACC$3,093,750
40Derek Mason$3,368,244VanderbiltSEC--
41Scott Satterfield$3,250,000LouisvilleACC$12,390,625
42Dave Doeren$3,250,000NC StateACC$6,635,417
43Clay Helton$3,218,935Southern Cal.Pac-12--
44Pat Narduzzi$3,213,953PittACC--
45Matt Lukenewfired by Ole MissSEC--
46Neal Brown$3,055,000West VirginiaBig 12$16,254,167
47Barry Odom$3,050,000MissouriSEC$2,362,500
48Joe Moorhead--fired by Miss. St.SEC--
49Geoff Collins$3,000,000Georgia TechACC$20,350,000
50Justin Wilcox$2,854,000CaliforniaPac-12$13,608,334
51Matt Wells$2,808,300Texas TechBig 12$11,363,333
52Les Miles$2,775,000KansasBig 12$11,331,250
53David Cutcliffe$2,669,345DukeACC--
54Mike Norvell--hired by Florida St$6,748,000
55Steve Addazio--fired by BC----
56Mario Cristobal$2,600,000OregonPac-12$7,035,000
57Mike Locksley$2,500,000MarylandBig Ten$7,502,084
58Mel Tucker$2,400,000ColoradoPac-12$9,800,000
59Herm Edwards$2,380,000Arizona StatePac-12$6,937,500
60Ken Niumatalolo$2,316,000NavyAAC--
61Chris Ash$2,300,000RutgersBig Ten--
62Chris Klieman$2,300,000Kansas StateBig 12$6,000,000
63Luke Fickell$2,300,000CincinnatiAAC$4,800,000
64Josh Heupel$2,300,000Central FloridaAAC$4,862,500
65Dino Babers$2,268,825SyracuseACC--
66Dave Clawson$2,189,063Wake ForestACC--

Links, news and rumors - 1/16/20 (RX; HM)

Links, news and rumors - 1/16/20

...and boy, do we have some doozies!

First, LSU/Clemson championship game drew huge viewership numbers:

College Football Playoff National Championship Scores More than 25.5 Million Viewers!

Audience is Up from Last Year's CFP National Championship

Cable’s Best Audience in More than Two Years

and more: College Football Playoff National Championship Scores More than 25.5 Million Viewers, Up from Last Year - ESPN Press Room U.S.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) January 14, 2020
The fact that it had more viewers than "all other cable programming since January of 2018" is impressive because that's not just the most-watched college football game, it's the most-watched show across ALL cable channels, ALL programs "since the Alabama-Georgia College Football Playoff National Championship (Jan. 8, 2018)." Wow.

Tech Announces Football Series with Alabama, Georgia State (

Georgia Tech has agreed to future home-and-home football series with Alabama and Georgia State, director of athletics Todd Stansbury announced on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets will renew their rivalry with Alabama on Aug. 31, 2030 in Atlanta and Aug. 30, 2031 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Jackets will face nearby Georgia State for the first time on Aug. 31, 2024 at Bobby Dodd Stadium before making the short trip to Georgia State Stadium on Sept. 19, 2026.


CNY under winter weather alert for snow, high winds (PS; Coin)

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Central New York for Thursday.

The National Weather Service said 3 to 6 inches of snow could fall starting early Thursday morning and be blown around by winds up to 40 mph.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” the advisory said. “Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.”

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