Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Taking place on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, Fat Thursday is a Christian feast that is primarily celebrated in European countries. It is similar to Fat Tuesday, which is celebrated the following week, but in many European countries, it is the more important holiday of the two. It also is associated with Carnival. As much fasting is done during Lent, Fat Thursday is a day for getting together and eating sweets and other foods that are eschewed during that season. Commonly eaten foods include pączki, berliners, and angel wings.
The holiday is given different names in various European countries, where distinct foods are associated with the day. The day appears to be most widely celebrated in Poland, where it is known as Tłusty Czwartek. Pastries and doughnuts from bakeries are eaten, especially pączki. The tradition of eating doughnuts on the day began in the seventeenth century. In parts of Germany, it is known as Weiberfastnacht. People wear costumes, and celebrations in the streets and in pubs begin at 11:11 a.m. It is known as the "women's carnival" and there is a tradition of women "taking over" town halls. In some parts of Germany, the holiday is also known as Fetter Donnerstag.
Rutgers Football: Way-too-early win-loss prediction for 2021 season (onthebanks.com; Patuto)
The 2020 season is in the books and we are officially onto 2021.
Greg Schiano led the Scarlet Knights to a 3-6 record in his first season back. This campaign gave fans some exciting moments and some hope for the future. Knowing this, Schiano wasted no time preparing for the upcoming season.
“We have a schedule but we’re ready to adjust it,” Schiano said during a news conference following the 2020 season. “First, God willing that we can have spring practice, but I don’t think we have to do anything (different) because it’s like a little more than bowl prep as you go through bowl prep, your bowl game, and then you go through spring practice. I’ve already put together a calendar that we’re set to go on as long as we are allowed to do that.”
The 2020 season saw Rutgers play nine Big Ten games over the span of nine weeks. The grueling task of playing a team in one of the most physical conferences in the country took a toll on the Scarlet Knights. In 2021, that will not be the case.
“Right now, scheduling is something I need to get with, with Pat (Hobbs) and Kevin McConnell and work through everything. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, so we will wait for the Big Ten first and then we will deal with that,” Schiano said.
Well, the Big Ten has spoken. On Friday, the conference released a revised football schedule for the 2021 season.
Scheduling is college football is extremely important. When and where you play a certain team is pivotal in determining how the season is going to go. For Rutgers, the opponents and matchups have not changed for the upcoming season. Despite that, the entire dynamic of the schedule is a bit different.
The Scarlet Knights are looking to take another step forward this season in the Big Ten. Here is a breakdown of the schedule as we make some way-too-early predictions on the season.
Sept. 4: vs. TempleA Week 1 game at SHI Stadium with potentially having fans back in the stands should have the Scarlet Knights salivating already. It makes it better that it is against the Owls. The days of winning 10 games with Matt Rhule are well in the rearview. Temple finished 1-6 in 2020 and seem to be trending down. Rod Carey has his work cut out for him moving forward, especially after losing some key players. This includes Ifeanyi Maijeh and David Nwaogwugwu, who will be in Piscataway this season. Off pure adrenaline alone, Rutgers has to pull this one out to get a season-opening victory for the second-straight season.
Result: W, 1-0
Sept. 11: at SyracuseLike the Owls, Syracuse is a team that is not trending in the right direction. Doesn’t it seem like a decade ago when Dino Babers led the Orange to 10 wins, including a Camping World Bowl victory? Well, that was only a couple years back in 2018. Syracuse has gone 6-17 over the last two seasons and 1-10 in 2020. Babers’ seat could catch on fire early on in 2021 if they get off to a rocky start and the Scarlet Knights have a chance to contribute to this. Home or away, the Scarlet Knights figure to be the better team once again this season.
With spring season in sights, UAlbany football not looking ahead to challenging fall (timesunion.com; Singelais)
In a normal year, the University at Albany could look forward to a fall schedule that includes a trip to North Dakota State, the best program in the Football Championship Subdivision, and the program’s first game against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.
Of course, this is no normal year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Great Danes open their first spring season in program history in little more than three weeks with a game at New Hampshire on March 5.
So when UAlbany announced its challenging fall 2021 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, offensive lineman Kobe Thomas made it clear he’s focused on the task immediately at hand with the Great Danes already in the middle of their February training camp.
“It’s definitely new for all of us, but I feel like we’ve got to focus on this season first,” Thomas said. “We can’t worry about those games in the fall. We have a lot of big games coming up, but right now, we’re worried about our first game we have in March. We’re worried about that and only that.”
After not playing a game since December 2019 because of the pandemic, the Great Danes will have to play two seasons in one calendar year. Their six-game spring regular season will end on April 10 against Villanova. If the Great Danes get into the 16-team NCAA playoffs, their season could extend all the way to the national championship game in mid-May.
For UAlbany football, focus is ‘100%’ on spring season despite ambitious fall schedule looming (dailygazette.com; Shinder)
His program’s ambitious fall schedule, including two of its highest-profile non-conference games in recent memory, was officially unveiled Wednesday morning, but UAlbany football head coach Greg Gattuso was relatively unconcerned with it.
After all, why be concerned about the fall season right now when there’s a whole spring season staring the Great Danes in the face?
“Right now,” Gattuso said during a teleconference with reporters, “I’m trying to figure out how to have summer camp in February in Albany. That’s been occupying my mind, 100%.”
He added: “We’re not real worried about fall 2021. We’ll start planning for that when the time comes.”
Gattuso spoke Wednesday as the Great Danes prepared for the team’s first time in full pads since its Dec. 7, 2019 second-round FCS playoff loss to Montana State. UAlbany initially planned to practice in full pads Tuesday, but that workout was postponed when snow couldn’t be cleared from the field in time for practice.
Dealing with the wintry elements will be a challenge during preseason camp — which normally takes place during the sweltering days of late summer — as UAlbany prepares to open its six-game spring season March 5 at New Hampshire.
However, it’s a challenge the Great Danes appear to be embracing wholeheartedly.
“It’s definitely been a change,” senior defensive back Tyler Carswell said. “But the biggest thing we’ve been stressing is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. The weather really shouldn’t bother what we’re going to do.”
“The weather’s just another factor,” redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tyler Oedekoven said, “and we don’t really factor it in. We’re just going to play our football, work our butt off. The weather doesn’t really impact us as much as who’s playing and how we’re playing.”
Having waited 14 months since their last game, the Great Danes are taking even the little signs that football is returning as a gift.
“The other day, when we saw shoulder pads in the locker room, it felt like Christmas morning,” Carswell said.
UAlbany’s fall 2021 schedule does include a pair of difficult early-season road games. The Great Danes will open the season Sept. 4 at North Dakota State — winner of eight of the last nine FCS national championships, including the last three — and head to the Carrier Dome two weeks later to face Syracuse on Sept. 18, with the home and league opener against Rhode Island sandwiched in between.
Officials in the UAlbany athletic department confirmed Wednesday that the Great Danes will receive a $250,000 guarantee for the North Dakota State game and a $360,000 guarantee for the Syracuse contest.
Liberty Football Schedule 2021, Analysis (CFN; Miron)
Liberty Football Schedule 2021
Sept. 4 Campbell
Sept. 11 at Troy
Sept. 18 Old Dominion
Sept. 24 at Syracuse
Oct. 2 at UAB
Oct. 9 Middle Tennessee
Oct. 16 at ULM
Oct. 23 at North Texas
Oct. 30 UMass
Nov. 6 at Ole Miss
Nov. 13 OPEN DATE
Nov. 20 Louisiana
Nov. 27 ArmyLiberty Flames Football Schedule Analysis: There are just two games against Power Five programs, but they’re awfully juicy. The first is a Friday night date at Syracuse with a shot at beating the ACC team in its own house for a second straight year, and the second is Hugh Freeze going back to Oxford to go against Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss.
Most of the remaining games are more than winnable, but going to UAB in early October isn’t easy and playing Louisiana and Army at the very end in Lynchburg will be a blast.
On the plus side, with those last two games, November 6th at Ole Miss is the last road game, but three road games in four and five in seven will be before the mid-November week off.
Penn State prospects contend for Mr. PA Football award (247sports.com; Donohue)
A trio of Penn State prospects, including an incoming freshman, are semifinalists to win the Mr. PA Football award for their 2020 season performances. Class of 2021 signee Lonnie White remains in contention for annual honors, along with 2022 Nittany Lions commits Mehki Flowers and Beau Pribula.
Pribula and White are among 10 semifinalists representing classes 4A-6A, while Flowers is one of 10 vying for top recognition in Classes 1A-3A. Last year, 2020 Penn State signee Nick Dawkins was named Class 4A-6A Mr. Pennsylvania Football Lineman of the Year.
Voting for these contenders ends Feb. 20, resulting in five finalists for Mr. PA Football in each class category. Winners will be determined for both on March 1.
White is one of three four-star receiver recruits, per 247Sports ratings, who signed with Penn State in December. The Malvern Prep standout committed to Clemson's baseball program as a sophomore but his notoriety in football expanded to attract an array of Power Five offers. The expectation is that he will pursue both sports at the collegiate level, or potentially seize an opportunity at pro baseball depending on the results of a July MLB draft.
"I think I called him our version of Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders," Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin said on Signing Day. "But it's challenging. From the very beginning, we talked about it. We talked about, at one point, he was leaning toward just playing football. And then what happens is, he goes and plays baseball, he has success in baseball, and as you guys have seen he's very highly thought of [as a baseball prospect]."
After White totaled nearly 2,000 yards of offense as a do-it-all playmaker in 2019, pandemic issues limited his senior season to only four games. During an abbreviated 2020 campaign, he turned 17 receptions into 369 yards (21.7 per catch) and four touchdowns, added 94 yards and two scores as a runner, and intercepted three passes. White soared from No. 311 overall to No. 73 in the 247Sports rankings in 2020, placing him fourth overall among Pennsylvania prospects. Watch his highlights HERE.
Pribula, a composite four-star quarterback prospect, lands on the same list as White after leading Central York High School to its first Class 6A state title game. He produced 2,140 passing yards, 403 rushing yards, and 46 touchdowns in 11 games. Watch his highlights HERE.
His style of play has drawn comparisons to former Penn State star Trace McSorley from Franklin and analysts here at 247Sports, though he is already two inches taller and nearly 20 pounds heavier than McSorley was upon 2014 university enrollment. Pribula transformed a childhood dream into reality upon committing to the program last summer, and he's now on tack to become PSU's first in-state QB signee since 2010.
"When I was evaluating other schools, I didn't want me and my family being fans of Penn State to impact where I would go to school," he told Lions247. "But, ultimately, when I did make that choice it was really cool to reflect back on that. It's special having this opportunity to actually put on the blue and white."
Competition within that Class 4A-6A category includes Ohio State signees Marvin Harrison Jr. and Kyle McCord of St. Joe's Prep (Philadelphia), who defeated Central York in that aforementioned Class 6A championship matchup. Derrick Davis (LSU), Donovan McMillon (Florida), and Nolan Rucci (Wisconsin) are other Power Five prospects in an impressive semifinalist collection.
Nittany Lions running back target Nicholas Singleton is also under consideration following his third consecutive 1,300-yard campaign at Governor Mifflin (Reading) High School. He and Pribula are the only juniors who warranted semifinalist status in Class 4A-6A.
Flowers is one of three juniors within the Class 1A-3A group, and one of three semifinalists set to partake in Power Five competition, along with 2021 recruits Josh Hough (Syracuse) and Stephon Hall (Pittsburgh).
Day after decommitting, WR Addison Copeland names leader (247sports.com; Dohn)
Addison Copeland announced his offer from Notre Dame late Tuesday afternoon, and announced his decomittment from Rutgers 28 minutes later.
BYU, Syracuse, Indiana, Buffalo and Pennsylvania also are in contact with the Buffalo Western New York Maritime Charter standout, but he said Wednesday one school topped his list.
When asked if Rutgers was under consideration, the 6-foot-2 190-pound Copeland was quick to answer.
"Highly," he said. "They are definitely No. 1 on my list. I just wanted to let everybody know I am still open 100 percent in my recruitment."
The decommitment came after Notre Dame offered, so opening up his recruitment was a way for Copeland to look at other schools in an honest fashion.
He added he was excited by the Irish offer.
"It's big time," Copeland said. "There are not a lot people from where I am from that get that opportunity. So I am really thankful for it.
Hall of Famer’s Son Taking 4-Star Talent to Ohio State Next Season (fanbuzz.com; Picaro)
With expectations to reach the College Football Playoff every season, the Ohio State Buckeyes look to maintain Big Ten supremacy with big-time recruiting classes. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. along with many other great prospects.
From St. Joseph’s Prep School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Harrison is one of the top pass catchers in the 2021 class. He is also the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison Sr., who became famous while catching touchdown passes with the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL.
The younger Harrison committed to the Ohio State and head coach Ryan Day in October 2019 and made it official on National Signing Day in 2020.
Marvin Harrison Jr. Recruiting
A four-star recruit, Marvin Harrison Jr. also fielded offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among others.
Harrison Jr. is ranked the No. 14 receiver and No. 97 overall player, according to the 247Sports Composite. He was the second receiver to commit to the Buckeyes in the class at the time and will join Jayden Ballard in Columbus next season.
Here's which large New York sports venues could allow fans at 10 percent capacity (D&C; Miller)
New Yorkers have something to cheer about. Later this month, they'll have somewhere to cheer.
The state will allow large sports stadiums, arenas and entertainment venues to operate at 10% capacity beginning Feb. 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Venues with 10,000 or higher capacity can submit a plan for reopening, which must be approved by the state Department of Health. Fans will undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing.
Bills Mafia is being hailed as a model for safety as Cuomo cites the "unparalleled success" of two Buffalo Bills games last month for the expansion of the policy across the state. The Bills allowed 7,000 fans to attend their home playoff games, with fans undergoing COVID tests in order to gain admittance.
Cuomo said the Barclays Center has been approved to begin using the model on Feb. 23 for the Brooklyn Nets game against the Sacramento Kings.
Spectators under the guidelines will be required to do the following:
- Receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event
- Wear face coverings, practice social distancing and undergo a temperature check
- Sit in mandatory assigned, socially distanced seating
Here are sports venues which are eligible under the 10,000 capacity minimum requirement to seek approval from the state:
Bills Stadium Location: Buffalo
Use: Buffalo Bills
Carrier DomeLocation: Syracuse
Use: Syracuse University
Capacity: 49,262 football; 33,000 basketball; 56,250 concerts
Next ACC First-time National Champ? (RX; HM)
The ACC is certainly well represented with two teams - #1 UNC and #4 Virginia Tech - in the top five.
Are there any more ACC teams which (a) have never won a national championship in football, and (b) have a realistic shot to be the next "first-time" winner?
That first list isn't nearly as long as you might think:
- N Carolina
- N C State
- Virginia Tech
- Wake Forest
So if the ACC is to ever have another "first-time" national champ, it has to come from the above list of seven teams.
Realistic TrajectoriesWhich of those ACC teams has any shot of reaching the top? Scratch both Duke and Wake Forest - their best days are likely long gone. Louisville, NC State and Virginia Tech are all hungry for it, but UVA and UNC have the resources, and of those two, UNC has the will...
Links, news and rumors - 2021-Feb-10 (RX; HM)
The University of Notre Dame and University of Florida football programs have announced a home-and-home series between the two teams, which will take place in 2031 and 2032.
Notre Dame will open the series by hosting the Gators for a matchup on Nov. 15, 2031. The next season, the Irish will visit UF on Sept. 11, 2032. The two programs have faced each other just once previously: on Jan. 1, 1992, in the Sugar Bowl (Notre Dame beat Florida 39-28).
The Irish are 29-20 all-time versus SEC teams, and they've never faced Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky or Mississippi State.
So, I know you weren't asking me, but I'll tell you my thoughts anyway... This is a shocking change for the Florida Gators, who haven't ventured north of Kentucky since they lost at Syracuse in 1991. If this game is ever played (not a sure thing at all, for a number of reasons), I like the Irish to win at home and possibly on the road as well.
Boston College: is 2021 their year? (RX; HM)
@BCFootball this season.
Skill players galore, led by Zay
ENTIRE OL BACK
Not to mention what that defense is going to looking like year two of the @CoachJeffHafley era. ALL ABOARDDDD Gramlich and Mac Lain: Episode 47: ACC Schedule Breakdown on Apple Podcasts pic.twitter.com/TZ5PerMmSk
Yes, BC is in a very good position for 2021-22. The Eagles have a proven quarterback, legitimate weapons for him to throw to, and solid offensive line for him to play behind. The Boston College defense was already comparable to NC State's last season (from a statistical point of view), then added former Florida State 4-star safety Jaiden Lars-Woodbey via the transfer portal.
Mac Lain isn't wrong to expect big things from that bunch, in my opinion.
Links, news and rumors - 2021 Feb 11th (RX; HM)
Looks like there was a major error compiling statistics here...
Which College Team Has The Biggest Online Following?
- Texas A&M
- Ohio St.
- Miami (FL)
- Mississippi St.
- West Virginia
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
- Florida State
- South Carolina
- Penn State
- North Carolina
‘Very encouraging’: Walsh pitches I-81 project to Buttigieg’s team (PS; $; Weaver)
‘Very encouraging’: Walsh pitches $2 billion I-81 project to Pete Buttigieg’s DOT team - syracuse.com
The state’s $2 billion plans to transform Interstate 81 could prove an archetypal example of how a federal highway project can both solve transportation problems and rebuild city neighborhoods that lost out when the massive roadways were built.
That’s the feeling that Mayor Ben Walsh said he had today after meeting for an hour with two members of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s staff.
“Overall it was very encouraging,” Walsh said this evening. “They see I-81 as a prime candidate for a demonstration on how to do federal transportation projects the right way.”
The meeting comes as Buttigieg, a former mayor, has said he wants to use infrastructure projects to help the people, businesses and communities -- often home to minorities -- who were displaced or disrupted when the federal highway system was built.
The I-81 project in Syracuse, like many other projects around the country, fits much of that description. The highway’s construction in the late 1950s and 1960s came during a time of so-called urban renewal, when projects took precedent over part of an African-American neighborhood.
Now the state is proposing to remove an aging 1.4-mile section of elevated highway that splits Syracuse from the University Hill and runs directly over one of the country’s oldest public housing complexes. The plan calls for rerouting highway traffic onto Interstate 481, which loops the city’s eastern side. Part of Interstate 690 near I-81 would also come down and be rebuilt to be straighter, with new exits to take people downtown and to Syracuse University and nearby hospitals.
Walsh said today’s discussion was about the project -- and also the people it could help.
“We talked about our priority to insure that those who live within the shadow of the project benefit from the project,” he said. The discussion also involved the push to hire local people to work on the project, which for now is projected to take five years.
The project plans aren’t final. The current proposal is at the Federal Highway Administration, which is reviewing the work done so far by the state’s Department of Transportation. When that review is done, a new version of the proposal will be public, which residents and business owners will have the ability to comment on.
Walsh said he also explained that two other options for the project, a tunnel or rebuilding the I-81 elevated highway, had been ruled out after years of study. Those options were also more expensive, Walsh noted.