Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Buttered Corn Day!
There are six different kinds of maize, or corn, and one of them is sweet corn, the kind that is most often celebrated on National Buttered Corn Day. Corn was first domesticated by Indigenous peoples in southern Mexico thousands of years ago, and more corn is now produced around the world than wheat or rice, although not all of it is used for human consumption. Sweet corn is picked when the kernels are still soft, and it is cooked in many different ways. Most commonly it is boiled or steamed on a stove, roasted or grilled on a grill or in an oven, or microwaved. Many times skewers are put on both ends of the cob after the husk is removed so it can can more easily be held, and butter, salt, and pepper are common seasonings used on the corn. It also can be cut off the cob and eaten with a fork. It can be a pretty healthy snack if it is not overloaded with butter and salt, as an ear of corn usually isn't much more than 100 calories, and is high in fiber. But, being that today is National Buttered Corn Day, you probably shouldn't worry too much about your health just this once.
Syracuse football players from left Kingsley Jonathan, Josh Black, Chris Elmore, Airon Servais, and Cody Roscoe. Dennis Nett | email@example.com
The pandemic ripped SU football apart. 6 seniors wouldn’t walk away after a season of turmoil (PS; $; Mink)
Airon Servais and a few teammates took a walk around the Carrier Dome field after the final home game of perhaps the most difficult football season of their lives.
The end of a 1-10 season drew near. The players, outmatched in most losses, were moments removed from a particularly cruel defeat in which a rare shot at victory dramatically ended on a fourth-down spike.
Seniors had taken the same walk the previous three years. The tradition, started by Dino Babers in the coach’s second season, is meant to give them a final moment to reflect on their time in the program and embrace the fans who supported them.
This walk was different. There were no pictures for which to pose, no mini helmets or T-shirts to sign. The coronavirus, like it did all season, kept the seats empty.
“It was like a ghost town out there,” Servais told syracuse.com. “It didn’t feel right.”
“I thought I was done with Syracuse football,” said another senior, Kingsley Jonathan.
“I hated taking that walk.”
Nothing about last year felt right.
The pandemic and racial reckoning last summer ripped the team apart before it ever stepped on the practice field.
Players coped with unique factors not experienced by any previous team: weekly testing mandates, small, isolated groups for training and dining and a gameday environment without family members.
In most years, seniors with something to prove to pro scouts knew the opportunities that awaited. Last year, a disjointed predraft process raised questions over whether they could improve their standing.
Given a rare chance by the NCAA to play one more season, six seniors off last year’s team — Josh Black, Kingsley Jonathan, McKinley Williams, Cody Roscoe, Chris Elmore and Servais — decided to return to author a different ending to their college careers.
Axe: Dino Babers has an important task in 2021 (and winning is only part of it) (PS; $; Axe)
Syracuse football coach Dino Babers has to win football games in 2021.
I know it. You know it. He knows it.
A Buddhist monk with no contact with the outside world for the last 20 years is chanting about it on top of a mountain somewhere as we speak.
That’s the mark Syracuse football dropping 15 of its last 18 games, a combined record of 6-17 in 2019 and 2020 and a total of four losing seasons in five years under Babers puts on the doorstep.
How many games does Babers have to win to save his job and be ensured a seventh year of duty as Orange head coach in 2022 and beyond?
Four? Five? Six? Bowl game or bust?
Go beyond the numbers.
This isn’t just about how many games Babers and the Orange win in 2021.
It’s simply the how.
Syracuse Football Opens Up As Betting Underdog vs. Ohio – Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage (orangefizz.net; May)
We all know that Vegas is not too keen on Syracuse Football this year. Depending on the sports book you look at, the odds makers believe the Orange will only win three or four games. That is even with a schedule that is on the easier side of the strength of schedule metrics.
With Ohio being one of the easier opponents for Syracuse, you would think the Orange would be favored in Week 1. However, you would be wrong. Most sports books are beginning to release their opening lines for the first week, and most have Ohio as one point favorites. Some have the game as a pick ‘em, meaning it is too close to favor one team, so you can pick whoever you want without a spread.
One point is nothing crazy, but it does show just how little Zegas and the public are expecting from Syracuse. Sure, Ohio has a fantastic running back in De’Montre Tuggle that could pick apart SU’s linebackers, one of the bigger issues from a year ago. Sure, the Bobcats are returning plenty of players on the defensive side. However, their longtime head coach, Frank Solich, retired just about a month ago.
Ohio is a solid team and will be on its home turf on September 4th, however, this opening line says more about the Orange than it does about the Bobcats. If Vegas is making Syracuse the underdog to Ohio, get ready for a season with very few spreads in favor of SU.
Syracuse football holds second preseason scrimmage (informnny.com)
The Syracuse Orange wrapping up another week of preseason camp on Saturday. SU held its second intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday morning.
One of the keys to success this season will be the play of the offensive line. Mike Schmidt takes over as the O-Line coach, coming over from San Diego State.
He’ll look to rebuild a unit that gave up 38 sacks a year ago, which was the third highest in the country.
Syracuse opens the season two weeks from Saturday, on September 4th at Ohio.
Weekend Links - 2021 Aug 22nd (RX; HM)
Weekend Links - 2021 Aug 22ndFrom ESPN+: College football's top 10 potential breakout players for 2021
Georgia Tech running back Jhamyr Gibbs
Stat comparison: Gibbs forced a missed tackle every 1.8 carries last season, tops in the country, while averaging 3.7 yards per carry after first contact. The only other running back in the country to approach those marks was North Carolina's Javonte Williams, who was selected 35th in this year's NFL draft.
Why he's poised for a breakout: An ESPN 300 recruit, Gibbs looked terrific as a freshman in 2020, but injuries and a shaky offensive line limited his impact. He missed three contests but still finished with 763 scrimmage yards in seven games. With the ball in his hands, he was electric, averaging an explosive play (12-yard run, 16-yard catch) on 18% of his plays, trailing only Texas' Bijan Robinson among returning running backs with at least 100 touches. More impressively, Gibbs did it all while sharing a backfield with a true freshman quarterback (Jeff Sims) and behind an offensive line that struggled badly. Gibbs averaged just 1.5 yards before contact per rush, 130th among backs with 75 or more carries. But Gibbs is now healthy, Sims has a year of experience under his belt, and the Yellow Jackets have added serious heft to their line, including Vanderbilt transfer Devin Cochran. There may not be a more dynamic runner in the country than Gibbs, and if the supporting cast takes a step forward, too, this season could be something special for the Yellow Jackets sophomore.
Weekend Links - 2021 Aug 22nd (RX; HM)
Most ACC-Like Expansion OptionsA user on CSNBBS who goes by "Statefan" made what I thought was a very interesting comment about potential ACC expansion candidates:
Here's what he came up with (I've highlighted the actual ACC teams in light blue and realistic expansion teams in bold):
School Admission Rate ARWU Rank Plays Good Football? Duke 8 19 No Navy 9 NR Maybe N'Western 9 17 Sometimes Vanderbilt 9 33 No Army 10 NR Not usually Notre Dame 16 95-114 Yes! Michigan 23 17 Sometimes UNC 23 24 Sometimes UVa 24 42-56 Sometimes BC 27 134-155 Sometimes Miami 27 66-94 (Still Draws) WF 30 115-133 Maybe FSU 36 66-94 (Still Draws) Syracuse 44 155-175 Maybe NC State 45 66-94 Sometimes TCU 47 NR Yes USF 48 66-94 Maybe Clemson 51 134-155 Yes
This is the sixth simulation of the 2021 Syracuse Football Simulation hosted by Orange Fizz. 'Cuse opened the season with an impressive 29-0 win on the road at Ohio. Dino Babers and Company dropped the Dome Opener to Rutgers 57-40 in a shootout. SU responded with a 30-7 win over in-state foe UAlbany. The monentum gained from that victory was halted just one week later when Syracuse fell to Liberty 34-28. The loss to the Flames marked the end of non-conference play and unfortunately things didn't get off to a good start in ACC play. Syracuse was stagnant in a 23-13 loss against Florida State. Perhaps another quarterback change can jumpstart the offense? SU needs a win badly, we'll see if they can get it against a tough and experienced Wake Forest team.
Syracuse 2022 Football Prospects in Kansas (247sports.com)
Kenrick Osei-Bonsu Olathe North (Olathe, KS) CB 6'3 190
Just got word from a buddy that tuning to 1322 on Comcast is now the ACC Network. Heard that a deal was close. Looks like the holiday season came early. Worked for me. About time. Go Canes!
ACC Network availability? (NOW ON COMCAST)
What to Expect from the ACC-B1G-Pac Alliance (RX; HM)
What to Expect from the ACC-B1G-Pac AllianceThe Athletic put out this teaser:
Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC alliance expected to be formally announced soon: Sources
By Nicole Auerbach
The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC are expected to make a formal announcement about their alignment soon, perhaps as early as next week, multiple sources told The Athletic. It's not yet clear how specific the announcement will be because there are so many details to iron out, although administrators in all three leagues have stressed in recent conversations that issues of governance can and should be front and center.
Schools within the three conferences believe they are like-minded, that they want to continue to prioritize broad-based sports offerings and that the academic profile of their institutions matters — as does graduating athletes. For example, Big Ten schools sponsor an average of 24.8 sports per campus, with the ACC (23.8) and Pac-12 (22.9) not far behind. SEC schools offer an average of 19.9 sports.
To read any more, you need a subscription. However, we're going to take a stab at it for free!
1. Scheduling Alliance
As long as they can get more TV money this way, I'm 90%+ confident they will announce some kind of P5 scheduling agreement, featuing made-for-TV match-ups. Think Pitt-Penn State, VT-Michigan, UVA-Maryland, UNC-Wisconsin, Syracuse-Northwestern, and Clemson-Ohio State to name a few.
2. CFP Expansion Vote
They will vote to expand the playoffs, but they may not accept the committee's recommendation word-for-word. In particular, the Pac-12 is pushing for auto-bids for the power conferences (probably not including the Big XII after Texas and Oklahoma depart). They may reduce the total number from 12 to 8 as a nod to "student athletes" (more on that later), and to limit SEC dominance just a tad...
More Links - 2021 Aug 20th (RX; HM)
More Links - 2021 Aug 20thFrom CBS Sports: Georgia's Darnell Washington, Tykee Smith out with injuries as Dawgs suffer setback ahead of Clemson opener
__________With No. 5 Georgia's season-opening showdown against No. 3 Clemson less than three weeks away, the hits keep coming for the Bulldogs. Dawgs247 reported Wednesday that tight end Darnell Washington and defensive back Tykee Smith are expected to be out "at least three weeks" due to foot injuries sustained in Tuesday's practice. That timeline would leave UGA without both players for the Clemson game on Sept. 4 as absences continue to mount in preseason practice for coach Kirby Smart's squad.
...the absence of Washington leaves quarterback JT Daniels down yet another target as the Bulldogs prepare for the season. LSU transfer receiver Arik Gilbert is away from the team for personal reasons, and returning receivers George Pickens, Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock have been limited or out during preseason practice due to injury.
From SouthernPigskin: 2021 ACC - Most Underrated Teams
NC State and Virginia Tech aren't getting the love they deserve.
Links, news, and rumors - 2021 Aug 20th (Rx; HM)
Links, news, and rumors - 2021 Aug 20th
From AP: Virginia Tech Looks For Success And A Return To Normalcy
Few Power Five programs struggled through the pandemic more than Virginia Tech...
Over the course of a 5-6 season, the Hokies... lost more than half their team — and defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton — for a period of time because of COVID-19 infections or quarantining...
This season, with a new quarterback in Braxton Burmeister, a group of running backs trying to replace Khalil Herbert and a defense that gained valuable experience over the past two seasons, there’s hope...
Hokies are just ready to get that nasty 2020 taste out of their collective mouths...
Also from AP: Back To Normal Not Good Enough For Boston College, Hafley
...Normal for the Eagles — at least under predecessor Steve Addazio — has meant seven wins and a .500 record (at best) in the Atlantic Coast Conference...
College football 2020: Return to normal wrapped in change (AP; Russo)
The 2021 college football season holds the promise of a return to normal after a pandemic-wrecked fall led to cancellations, postponements and headache after headache.
The games are on. Fans are getting ready to head back into the stadiums. College sports is entering a new era, with less-restrictive transfer rules and players who are permitted for the first time to be paid endorsers.
And the pandemic is not over. While there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that this season won't be the struggle 2020 was, there is still more than a little uncertainty about how this all plays out — on the field and off as No. 1 Alabama tries to win a second consecutive national title against a host of challengers.
“It's an interesting time,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said.
Is it ever.
The season is a go, unaltered at this point, with all the conferences onboard —- unlike last year at this time. Vaccination rates among college football teams appear to be significantly ahead of the general adult population.
Last season, 118 Bowl Subdivision games were either canceled or postponed as teams battled COVID-19. There will be no rescheduling of games in 2021. Conferences have said teams will be forced to forfeit if they can't field a team because of COVID-19 issues.
Health and safety protocols are still not uniform across all of major college football, but the common ground is this: Unlike last year when everyone was being tested frequently for the virus, only unvaccinated players and team personnel will be subject to routine surveillance testing. Only unvaccinated individuals will be automatically be quarantined if they come into contact with someone infected with the virus.
"That gives us a competitive advantage in my mind, as we should not miss any time as a football team due to COVID,” new Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said before the school proudly tweeted the team had reached 100% vaccination status.
Many coaches have been publicly encouraging vaccination.
“I think it’s irresponsible to not to get the vaccine," said Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, whose team also is 100% vaccinated.
Not every coach is taking this approach. Washington State's Nick Rolovich initially said he did not plan to be vaccinated on a campus where it is mandatory for all students and employees before saying he would comply.
Where the pandemic could have a deeper impact is with fans. The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths has been on the rise. But schools have been touting a return to full-capacity stadiums and tailgating after a season of playing in mostly empty buildings.
Day 4 at the NYS Fair: Today’s handpicked menu and schedule (PS; $; Miller)
Today is Fire & Rescue Day. All emergency services workers (current or retired) get in free. Just show a badge or department ID. Once you’re inside, it’s time to start eating. Let’s get at it.
Lunch and Dinner: Byblos Gyro Pizza from Toss & Fire Pizza on Restaurant Row ($15). I always finish my day at the Fair with a gyro from one of the myriad stands that serve this Greek dish made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. My go-to is either Kiki’s or King David’s. Nick Sanford and his staff at Toss came up with this State Fair-themed specialty pizza. It has a garlic base topped with mozzarella, gyro lamb, romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes and Byblos tzatziki sauce.
I was able to eat half of this at lunch and the other half for dinner on my way home for the night. Yum yum.
The Byblos Gyro Pizza from Toss & Fire Pizza at the State Fair.Charlie Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org
Drink: Cold brew coffee float from Recess Coffee near the entrance at Gate 1 ($6). It was hot and sticky this weekend, and I needed as much caffeine in me to jumpstart my enthusiasm. Recess pumps enough soft vanilla ice cream to fill the bottom third of the cup. They pour their medium roast cold-brew to the top. That’s it. Sweet and quite simple.
This did the trick. I pepped up and walked, ate and drank for eight straight hours (5.12 miles, according to my watch).