Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Football


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to International Retainer Day!

Have you ever heard of International Retainer Day which falls on July 19 every year? This day challenges you to commit to your beautiful smile by keeping your retainer on after dental treatment. International Retainer Day recognizes the value of retainers, which help users to maintain a straight and beautiful smile years after undergoing orthodontic treatments.

In the early 1900s, retainers were introduced to prevent teeth from slipping sideways. The smile remained straight as a result of this. If you don’t use your retainer following orthodontic treatment, your teeth may shift or revert to their prior incorrect positions. So, if you’ve been slacking on your retainer, now is the time to get back on track.

SU News


Mark Bradwick "Orange Nation" 7-18 (ESPN; radio; TexanMark & Orange Nation)

Veteran tailgater Mark Bradwick A.K.A. TexanMark joins Orange Nation to break down his ranking of road trips for this season’s Syracuse football road games and share what he’s looking forward to for the upcoming campaign.

Syracuse football will 'get it done this year' with a bowl game, says Carney - The Juice Online (the juice; Cheng)

We are 46 days away from Syracuse football’s 2022 opener against Louisville, and we caught up with former Syracuse great Brendan Carney to get his take on the upcoming season.

The former Syracuse captain said that he’s confident that this will be a good year for the Orange on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by

“I think they get it done this year,” Carney says. “And come December, hopefully January, we will be having some fun in the sun and celebrating a bowl win.”

Carney points to several different reasons for SU to improve on its 5-7 record from 2021. For starters, the Orange has picked up several new assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck.

“This is probably the best offensive tandem in the ACC and top 10 in the country,” Carney says. “I expect them to completely shake things up this season. I’m looking forward to them throwing the ball all over the field, especially to our tight ends who have been underutilized in the past. That’s going to allow things to open up for the O-line Sean Tucker to continue their great play from last year.”

Carney, a three-time All-Big East punter who set the Syracuse record for punting yards in a career (11,534) and in a season (3,491), also points to special teams as another factor for SU’s resurgence.

The Orange was one of the best special teams units under former special teams coordinator Justin Lustig. But he left for Vanderbilt following the 2020 season, and Syracuse didn’t have a coordinator last year.

Training Camp Position Preview: Running Back (SI; Gross)

Heisman Candidate

Sean Tucker (RB1): In 2020, Tucker averaged 69.9 yards per game. With 739 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns, Tucker’s impressive freshman season paled in comparison to his stunning sophomore year, racking up over a dozen awards and nominations. In 2021, his 1,496 rushing yards, nine 100-yard rushing games, and seven consecutive 100-yard games, all became program records. Through the first nine games of the season, Tucker led all of college football in rushing yards and may have been on track for a Heisman if it were not for the end of the season roadblock. With LT Matthew Bergeron retaining his spot on the offensive line, Tucker should still have the best chance to out-rush 99% of college football for a second straight season. The accolades did not end last season as being named Second Team All-American by Sporting News could be the first of many this year. It is probably safe to say Tucker is RB1 for Syracuse on September 3rd when Louisville comes to town.

Everyone Else

Since no back on the team carried for more than 79 yards other than Tucker, there really is no battle for the starting job. There are two newcomers, however, battling to earn carries behind Tucker to keep him fresh and then takeover once he departs (likely after this season).

Juwaun Price (RB2): The transfer from New Mexico State was the leader in yards for the Aggies last season. Price rushed for 692 yards on 135 carries and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. He also caught 26 passes for 181 yards (6.9 avg.) and returned 20 kicks for 358 yards (17.9 avg.), displaying his versatility. While Tucker is the sure starter, Price does have the talent to get some time to spell Tucker and still be a threat in the Syracuse offense.

LeQuint Allen (RB3): Allen comes to Syracuse out of Millville High School in New Jersey where he ran for 1,903 yards on 229 carries (8.3 avg.) and 26 touchdowns in 2021. Ranked as the no. 9 prospect in New Jersey last year, Allen brings some versatility in the air as well catching 17 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. The question of ‘Will his accolades from high school be enough to get him carries in year one?’ could be a moot point if he is quiet in training camp. But for now, Allen is the most qualified for the third back position. He was impressive during the spring and has a chance to earn carries with a strong camp.


The Rent East Hartford, CT

The 2022 Syracuse football road trip rankings (TNIAAM; Wall and TexanMark)

So what makes a great road trip for a Syracuse Orange football fan? Syracuse tailgating expert TexanMark gives us his rankings of the five road trips this year.

Factors considered:

  • Fun Stuff/Food in surrounding area
  • Weather (will I freeze my butt off for the date scheduled?)
  • Ease and cost of travel, lodging (varied choices and reasonable costs)
  • Parking ease and tailgate atmosphere (game day cash lots that have tailgating)
  • Desirability of rival (excitement of a win over them)
  • “Winnability” of game (Chance of a win this season)
  • Stadium amenities and atmosphere (On-campus is a huge plus)
  • Uniqueness (That once in a generation trip location is a plus)
What’s your top road trip pick? Read what TexanMark has to say and compare it to your rankings.

The 2021 season was so close to a winning record. The team had its’ chances. Syracuse couldn’t quite get through to earn a “coveted 6-6 bowl game” at some random eastern seaboard locale on a late December Tuesday afternoon. This road schedule isn’t nearly as good as the great 2017 for road trips, in fact this one is slightly below average. Looking ahead, I do predict the 2023 road schedule (FSU, GTech, Purdue, VTech, UNC) will rival 2017. So we have that to look forward to. However, this year offers a possibility of winning any game, yes even Clemson…well, ok maybe not. Starting in early September, if you think Elton John is washed up and overrated…then East Hartford beckons. We end the season in Boston College with a possible bowl game on the line in one of America’s historic cities and mass collector of Wegmans stores. This year as it stands Cuse will only be the favorite for the UConn road game. However, I expect the other contests will be in the 3 to 14 handicap point range (save for Clemson). I expect Dino will get us two road wins this year (he better). Ever an optimist I predict a 6 or 7 win regular season and a happy to be there bowl game this year. Please Tampa Gasparilla or whatever you are called this year…be our date.

Part III: Syracuse Football is Successful If… Secondary Stars Show Out – Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage (; Frank)

It’s the third of a multi-part installment into what will make Syracuse football have a successful 2022 season, after disappointing years the last three. Since winning double-digit games in 2018, Dino Babers’ program has won only 11 games in the past three seasons combined. That is not anywhere close to good enough.

But, that is no fault of the defense, specifically the secondary, which has been terrific. With recent draft picks Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu, and potentially more coming down the pipe, the secondary has shown out the last couple of years under Tony White.

Now, after Garrett Williams broke out as a star in 2020, and Duce Chestnut started on the outside as a true freshman in 2021, that duo is ready to take the next step and lead the Orange defense in 2022.

Williams has been labeled as a possible first-round pick next April if he has a great season, and even though his 2021 was not as good as his superb 2020, a good season this year will wash away all those doubts.

Chestnut burst onto the scene with an interception in week one, and other memorable moments throughout the season for SU, and when both of those guys were healthy, teams could not have as much success on the outside.

Syracuse football’s Sean Tucker named to first award watch list of 2022 (PS; Leiker)

Sean Tucker has been named to his first — but likely not his last — award watch list ahead of the upcoming season.

The preseason watch list for the 2022 Maxwell Award was released Monday. Tucker is one of 85 players to be named. The award, named for Swarthmore College great Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding football player.

Last year, Tucker was added to the award’s watch list midseason after putting up 638 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns through SU’s first five games of the season. The running back finished as one of 15 semifinalists for the award, which went to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

Discover Fun Videos Related to Syracuse Football on Tik Tok.

You are being redirected... (; podcast)

A firefighter knows that it only takes an ember to rekindle a raging forest fire. The embers of college athletics realignment are still lurking. There is every bit of a chance that the once out of control burn of just a few weeks ago may reignite. The latest news has the Big 12 stepping away from the Pac-12 with the configurations that were discussed. The SEC’s commissioner made the comment at their conference football media event that there was no more change on the table.

That leaves the Big Ten lurking in the shadows, Notre Dame sitting pretty and unlikely to make a quick decision and the ACC wrapped up in a nice little cocoon that may only provide a sense of security.

What’s next? Will the Big Ten swoop in and gather up the remaining (or a portion thereof) Pac-12 schools? Will the ACC, Pac-12 and ESPN hash out a new contract that puts more money on the plate for teams, gives the western teams a network and stabilizes the recent mad dash for cash?

Realignment is the main course on this episode of ACC Nation as we get serious about where things stand and what may happen next.


Might there be some surprise announcements in store during the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte? What better venue to unfurl a new ‘conference’ configuration and maybe even announce the new location of the ACC headquarters.

Will and Jim take a look at the ACC players drafted by Major League Baseball. Both Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech scored two players apiece in the opening rounds.

ACC+1 Football Previews start up again on our next episode. Subscribe to the podcast, YouTube or listen to ACC Nation Radio.

How much is the ACC Network worth to ESPN? (; Fann)

On July 4th, I wrote that if you believe ESPN and FOX are driving conference expansion that ESPN has several reasons to keep the ACC viable. I estimated that the ACC Network was making ESPN quite the profit.

ESPN is making in the neighborhood of $75 Million – $100 Million at least, and that is sure to go up now that Comcast has signed up.

It appears I may have underestimated that in light of new information that was released this week.

Paid subscribers (via earnings reports/S&P Kagan):
78m – TNT/USA
75.7m – ESPN
75.6 – ESPN2
74.58m – Netflix(US/Can)
72.2 – FS1
62.6m – CBSSN
54.9m — ESPNU
51.2m — SECN
50.7m — FS2
48.1m — BTN
42m — ACCN
22.3m — ESPN+
9m — Peacock
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) July 15, 2022

Many notable graphics, but this is a genre favorite.
Though it doesn’t list the # of subscribers per channel (important b/c for example, NFL Network is in millions fewer homes than TNT) shutting down NBCSN and moving a lot of sports to USA looks like a good strategy.
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) July 15, 2022

This allows us to make a reasonable estimation of the value of the ACC Network. I’ve seen estimates that conference networks operating costs are ~$100 Million so we’ll use that.

(42 Million Subscribers * .73 subscriber monthly rate * 12 months) – $100 Million Operating Costs = $268 Million.

Divide that into a 50/50 split between the ACC and ESPN, and ESPN just made $134 Million off the ACC Network, and even including Notre Dame as a 15th school. If you noticed as well, nearly every channel showed at least .08 subscriber rate growth in the last 5 years. So if the ACC just goes to .83 in 5 years, the number increases to $318 Million give or take some minor fluctuations, or close to $150 Million coming to ESPN

This may not include all the Comcast numbers either that are barely 6 months old.

So rather than my original estimate of $75-100 Million for ESPN from the ACC Network, let me revise that to $120 – $140 Million.

You do the math. If ESPN is helping drive expansion, 2 ACC teams to the SEC would have to move the future $100 Million per team average or be revenue neutral. Adding 2 ACC Teams to the SEC contract would have to raise the SEC’s deal.

That would cost ESPN an additional $290 Million (2 more teams, at 105 Million a year, worth $90 Million to raise the per-team average by 5 million).

Then the likely dissolution of the ACC Network would add a $120-$140 million loss and ESPN now just took a $400 million bottom line hit to increase the size of the SEC. A diminished ACC would still have a TV rights deal as well.

The numbers simply don’t work in ESPN’s favor to push SEC expansion further – at least in the short term (next 5 years).

Rather ESPN would be more well suited to simply restructure the ACC’s deal.

How this could look either by further expansion or a tv merger with say the Pac 12, or just a new deal is anyone’s guess right now.

Of course, FOX and the Big 10 are wildcards, but the more the numbers become available – the more I believe an attempt at a restructured deal by ESPN is on the horizon as
alluded to by the UNC Chancellor recently.

How much can ACC revenue grow (short-term)? (RX; HM)

I would be shocked if that 42M number includes Comcast. Comcast was the only reason the ACCN had less subscribers than SECN and adding it gave ACCN significantly more subscribers than BTN.

How much can ACC revenue grow (short-term)?

According to Kagan, a media research group, here are the average* monthly fees collected for each of the major conference networks:

SECN $0.93/month
ACCN $0.72/month

Bryan Fischer reported the number of subscribers (also from Kagan):

SECN 51.2 million
ACCN 42.0 million

note: it's unclear if the ACCN number includes Comcast.
Armed with those numbers, we can compute the estimated gross revenue from the ACCN:
42 million X $0.72/month X 12 months/year = $362.88 million/year. ESPN gets half of that, or $181.44 million/year. That leaves the other half for the ACC, which is then divided 15 ways (Notre Dame gets a full share of this money), which translates into about $12.1 million/year per school. That's a nice chunk of change from the network, but there's more...
If Comcast is NOT included in the 42 million subscribers, then the new number would be something like 51 million (same as the SECN). That would bump the annual revenue up to $220 million for ESPN, $14.7 million each for the 15 ACC member schools.
Now, let's go one more step and assume this ACC/Pac-12 partnership we've heard about comes to fruition. The remaining 10 schools of the "Pac-12" have approximately 12 million tv households. If at least half of those get the new ACC Network, that bumps up the number of subscribers to either 48 or 57 million, depending on what you believe about Comcast. That's another $26 million for ESPN, $1.7 million more per school, per year. That could mean a new ACCN revenue total of as much as $16.4 million per school, $246 million for ESPN. These are not insignificant numbers.
Oh, and we haven't even discussed the possibility of an ACC Champ vs. Pac-12 Champ postseason match-up. I have to think such a game is worth at least $30 million/year. If the ACC got half of that, it's another $1 million per school.
All told, I could see an ACC/Pac-12 partnership raising ACC payouts by nearly $3 million per school - and that's on top of the estimated max of $14.7 million the ACCN is already going to bring in. That means we can expect ACC payouts to grow from $38.6 million (2020-21) to as much as $44 million in the next 2 years, and at least $57 to $62 million by 2035-36. Just as important, it could guarantee the ACC and Pac-12 a spot in the College Football Playoffs.
That's about the best the ACC can do without renegotiating its T1 contract - and that would require a significant change in the composition of the league. Since no single school or even pair would move the needle enough, you're probably talking about an expansion of at least 4 and possibly as many as 10 teams to get an extra, say, $10 million per year. Add that to the $5.5 million boost we think the ACCN can deliver and now you're flirting with $54 million short term and $72 million by 2036 - assuming the length of the contract isn't increased yet again (ugh!).

Expansion value, ranked (RX; HM)

Expansion value, ranked

If you could draft expansion teams from the ACC/BigXII/Pac-12, which teams would get picked first? which would be chosen last? Here's one person's list, from CSNBBS (ACC teams in bold):

Rank the attractiveness of non B1G and SEC schools in the P5:

39. Wake Forest
38. Washington State
37. Boston College
36. Houston
35. Baylor
34. Oregon State
33. Duke
32. Cincinnati
31. UCF
30. Louisville
29. West Virginia
28. Kansas St
27. Texas Tech
26. Iowa St
25. Pitt
24. Syracuse
23. Oklahoma State
22. TCU
21. BYU
20. Georgia Tech
19. Virginia Tech
18. Miami
17. NC State
16. Arizona State
15. Stanford
14. Utah
13. Kansas
12. Arizona
11. Cal
10. Colorado
9. Washington
7. Oregon
6. Virginia
5. UNC
4. Clemson
3. Florida State
2. USC
1. Notre Dame

There's No Defense for These Teams! (RX; HM)

There's No Defense for These Teams!

I wouldn't have believed this was even possible...

P5 teams to avg 6.5+ yards/play and finish w/losing record, playoff era:

Florida, 2021
Lville, 2020 & 2021
Miami, 2014
Ole Miss, 2018
Oregon, 2016
UNC, 2021
Texas Tech, 2014 & 2016
TCU, 2021
VT, 2020
Wazzu, 2019
— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 18, 2022


  • Two SEC teams (2021 Florida and 2018 Ole Miss)
  • Two Pac-12 teams (2016 Oregon and 2019 Wazzu)
  • A pair of Big XII teams covering three seasons (2014 Texas Tech, then an encore in 1016; TCU in 2021)
  • No Big Ten teams, but...
Best ACC Bowl Wins, 2012-16 (RX; HM)

Best ACC Bowl Wins, 2012-16

What constitutes a "great" bowl victory? Ending a losing streak, breaking someone else's winning streak, beating a ranked opponent, or reaching some milestone all factor into these...

Great Bowl Wins, 2012-16


#14 Clemson over #8 LSU, Chick-fil-A Bowl
The pace game, where LSU dominated early only to see their famous defense wear down as Clemson ran a hundred plays on offense
#12 Florida State over #15 NIU, Orange Bowl
Important for one reason: it got the ACC back on the winning side in its Contract Bowl.
Georgia Tech over USC, Sun Bowl
Another bowl where the ACC representative had been on a losing streak, combined with a GT team which themselves struggled in any bowl, and it looked like a sure victory for the Trojans- until it wasn't.
BONUS: Syracuse over West Virginia, Pinstripe Bowl
Mountaineer fans were very vocal around this time, so it was good to have Syracuse shut them up for awhile.
BONUS: #21 Louisville over #3 Florida, Sugar Bowl
Technically, the Cards were still a couple of years away from joining the ACC. Emotionally, it felt good to see the whip the Gators like they did!

Here's how much Notre Dame is reportedly willing to sacrifice to remain independent (; Barnett)

Independence in and of itself has long been an institutional priority for Notre Dame, and we have an idea how much the university is willing to leave on the table to maintain that priority.

On Monday, Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported Notre Dame would like to earn $75 million a year from its next football TV contract, which means the Irish are willing to pay $25 million a year or so to keep their independence.

It's an open secret that Notre Dame has a standing offer to join the Big Ten -- has always had one, really -- which would pay the Irish at least $100 million per year in total media rights.

In March, the firm Navigate Research released projections that show the Big Ten's upcoming media rights deals, which could be announced before the 2022 football season kicks off, which showed Big Ten schools nearing $100 million per year by the end of the decade. Those projections were done before USC and UCLA came aboard, which is anticipated to boost the value of the deal by approximately 15 percent. Notre Dame could be worth another 15 percent boost on its own, meaning Notre Dame could be leaving even more than $25 million a year by choosing not to join the Big Ten.

Key ACC Kickoff storylines to watch, from realignment to title favorites (; $; Bitter)

Only a day had passed since commissioner Jim Phillips made his first address at the ACC Kickoff last July, in which he emphasized the league’s commitment to football, when he got a reminder about just how much the other conferences care too.

News that the SEC was expected to add Oklahoma and Texas to its already impressive football roster broke as Phillips did breakout interview sessions, abruptly ending any kind of honeymoon period the new commish planned to enjoy.

Realignment is no less an issue this go-round, with USC and UCLA’s announced move to the Big Ten rattling college football’s foundations a few weeks ago and putting the ACC’s future squarely in the crosshairs.

It’s with that backdrop that the ACC’s media days begin Wednesday in Charlotte. Here are some storylines to watch:

Realignment response

Last year’s State of the ACC address by Phillips focused on vaccination policies, the Comcast TV deal, the growing NIL market, NCAA governance and, as an annual rite, Notre Dame’s one-foot-in, one-foot-out status in football. Not once in the nearly 6,500 words Phillips spoke to the assembled ACC media did “realignment” come up.

Safe to say that won’t be the case this year.

The league’s members and fans will have a high interest in hearing the commissioner’s thoughts on all the recent moving pieces in college football and how the conference plans to try to keep up with what’s becoming a Big Ten- and SEC-centric universe in media rights that threatens to leave the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 in the dust.

Conference realignment talk will take center stage at ACC Kickoff (; Thompson)

The 2022 ACC football kickoff event this week in Charlotte will offer much more than just the usual hype.

There are serious questions about the future of the ACC that must be answered, putting second-year commissioner Jim Phillips on the hot seat when he takes the stage Wednesday morning in front of hundreds of hungry media members who will not be quelled by a free breakfast

The two-day event will feature every football team from the conference, including head coaches and three players that will answer questions about the upcoming season and the expectations that come with it.

Here are a few storylines to watch during the ACC Kickoff

Conference realignment takes center stage

Phillips has had his plate full since taking over in February of 2021 for longtime commissioner John Swofford.

During last year's ACC Kickoff, Phillips spoke for nearly an hour, answering tough questions about COVID-19 vaccination mandates and new name, image and likeness rules while making it clear that he wanted Notre Dame to join the ACC as a full-time football member.

5 storylines to keep an eye on ahead of ACC media days (; McGonigal)

On Wednesday, the ACC Football Kickoff will get underway in Charlotte.

Pat Narduzzi and three Pitt players — linebacker SirVocea Dennis, defensive end Deslin Alexandre and offensive tackle Carter Warren — won’t join the media day festivities until the Coastal teams participate on Thursday. But Wednesday will be eventful, too, with commissioner Jim Phillips taking the podium at 9:30 a.m.

Amid everything going on in college football — there’s a lot — it ought to be quite the scene at The Westin Charlotte. We’ll be there providing on-site coverage this week, but here’s a primer on what you should be looking out for as the ACC Kickoff gets underway.

Conference realignment

Last year, news of Texas and Oklahoma’s move to the SEC broke hours after Phillips left the podium at ACC media days. Now, he’ll try to explain where the ACC fits in the realignment aftermath of USC and UCLA going to the Big Ten.

As it stands, the ACC’s grant of rights agreement is staving off any potential mass exodus. The TV rights agreement runs through 2036, and it would be costly — think nine figures — for an ACC school to break that and join a different conference.

But what is the ACC’s future beyond that looming expiration date? And what if programs like Clemson, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia — schools rumored to be coveted elsewhere — decide to bite that financial bullet with a long-term view at the Big Ten and SEC’s overwhelming TV money?

Andy Bitter of The Athletic Talks VT and ACC Football. – 105.9 WLNI-FM (; podcast; Rich and Dennis)

Andy Bitter of The Athletic Talks VT and ACC Football.

Andy Bitter of the Athletic joins Rich and Dennis to talk about how the dominoes could fall in College Football Realignment. Bitter talks about how VT getting into the ACC was at its’ apex as a football program in the last decade. Bitter also weighs in on where first-year head coach Brent Pry has this program going into the season.

Is there more to Pac-12, ACC talk? Expansion chatter continues (; Harmon)

Conference realignment is like forecasting the weather or flights on Delta. It can change quickly.

That’s why in writing about it, it’s good practice to avoid making predictions. You can quickly get bitten in the derriere.

That’s what happened to me 12 years ago when I projected BYU would be invited to the Big 12, going off a conversation that seemed solid but turned a little sour. I was guilty as charged and deserved the heat, which I swallowed with a Diet Coke and a big dose of humility.

It matters not that last September that Big 12 invite finally came. At the time, in real-time, the opinion was premature and wrong.

It is with this backdrop that my bosses asked that I chime in on all this conference shuffling, although the process is far from over as conference commissioners, presidents, chancellors and athletic directors are going into executive sessions to discuss their athletic futures.

Since the bombshell dropped earlier this month that USC and UCLA would jump the Pac-12 and go to the Big Ten, speculation has run rampant across the land.

One of the points Greg Sankey clearly wanted to make today is that the SEC is *already* a superconference.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel)July 18, 2022

In Pac-12 territory, there are several media voices that frequently surface with “sources” and updates. The first is Jon Wilner, who broke the story and is a dependable Pac-12 media veteran. He is lucky enough to have an open text line to high-ranking folks at either Cal or Stanford — or both. The second is John Canzano of the Pacific Northwest, a columnist who writes the “Bald Faced Truth” newsletter out of Oregon.

Did the ACC miss an opportunity with Notre Dame in 2020? - (; Geisinger)

With realignment rumors swirling and conferences shifting, it’s important to understand the outsized importance of Notre Dame. This is one of the premier athletic departments in the country: a massive fan base, strong brand recognition and widespread television interest. Like or dislike Notre Dame, there’s a good chance people will tune in to watch them succeed or fail.

Notre Dame checks all the boxes. This is a wildly popular program — in the eyes of old, wealthy people; young recruits and, obviously, television executives. Notre Dame is a goldmine, which has little to do with the color of the helmets, although that’s certainly part of its brand, too.

Add it up, Notre Dame wields a considerable amount of leverage over the ACC, its part-time partner for nearly a decade that’s now under existential threat. The Big Ten looms as a dangerous potential poacher. The league is flushed with cash and plenty of natural rivals for Notre Dame. (Also: blah, blah, blah, academics. Blah, blah, blah.)

As much as Notre Dame covets its Independent status is football, it will, at some point, need to join a conference. That’s the reality: the money is just too good. When that time comes, though, it will of course not mark Notre Dame’s first foray into a conference schedule. In fact, not too long ago — in a time of need — Notre Dame found shelter and success within the confines of the ACC.

Now, looking back, it’s worth wondering: was that the sign of things to come or a missed opportunity for a league that’s fighting for its existence.

Reset The Scenario

After a decade of partial membership, former commissioner John Swofford and the ACC had a chance to put Notre Dame in a tough spot ahead of the 2020 season. As the sport stumbled awkwardly and dangerously towards the start of the 2020 season — in the middle of a global pandemic — many leagues adopted new scheduling models. For the ACC, this meant a “10 + 1” operation: 10 conference games — five home, five away — and one non-conference game.
Notre Dame loves to flaunt its Independent status; however, this approach temporarily left the Irish (and NBC) without a home for the 2020 season. That’s a lot media content just floating in the ether, plus a trip to the CFP at stake. Simply put: a great deal of money was in jeopardy.

The ACC, Notre Dame’s partner, arrived and offered temporary membership for the football program: one year, no strings attached. Notre Dame did, however, share home game rights on NBC with the rest of the ACC.

In the only season of conference play in its storied history, Notre Dame went 10-0 in the regular season and made it to the ACC Championship game. Clemson curb-stomped Notre Dame in the title game, 34-10, behind a superb performance from quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, Notre Dame got to play a full schedule and a second postseason game — losing to Alabama in the 2020 Rose Bowl.

After that, things returned to normal; Notre Dame continues to play five ACC opponents in each season as non-conference foes.

(; podcast; Locked on the ACC)

NC State Football and the Miami Hurricanes are the talk of the town heading into ACC Kickoff (Media Days) but what about the defending conference champions Pitt and the Atlantic Division Champs, Wake Forest? Have the Wolfpack proved themselves worthy of the hype? Can Mario Cristobal deliver for Canes fans in his first season as Head Coach? Kenton Gibbs of @Locked On Wolfpack joins today's show.

Greg Sankey says SEC isn't too eager to expand more. Here's why I believe him | Toppmeyer (; Toppmeyer)

New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark became a human directional during his conference’s media days last week. Yormack spun a metaphorical arrow pointing at his storefront and reminded schools shopping for a new conference that the Big 12 is “open for business.”

I don’t blame Yormark. In this conference-eat-conference world, he doesn’t want the Big 12 to be the little fish.

But SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey doesn’t need to twirl SEC signage or flap his arms to attract customers. Everyone knows about your business when you’re the industry behemoth, and as Sankey not-so-subtly reminded us Monday, plenty of schools would covet the chance to sip from the SEC’s cup.

The question is whether the SEC is interested in suitors. To hear Sankey tell it, the answer is: Not particularly.

The SEC, Sankey said, will not expand just to expand, is unperturbed by the Big Ten adding Southern Cal and UCLA and will not betray the conference’s footprint and identity.

College sports leaders might lose to politicians, lawyers and cheating spouses in a truthfulness contest, but in this case, I believe Sankey, for this reason – few expansion choices sit at the SEC’s fingertips that are ripe for the taking and would enhance the league’s value and brand.

Oregon and Washington may eye the escape hatch from the teetering Pac-12, but the Big Ten is the conference that ignores geography, not the SEC. Past SEC expansions forged into neighboring terrain.

From a geography, identity and football culture standpoint, Clemson and Florida State profile as obvious SEC targets. But they’re bound by the ACC’s grant of rights deal that runs through 2036, a hurdle that could throw a several-hundred-million exit fee in the path of ACC schools desiring an exit.

“We’re not going to get in the middle of those (grant of rights) issues. They've got to figure out their futures,” Sankey told the SEC Network before his address at media days in Atlanta.



The former site of The Blue Tusk bar in Syracuse's Center Armory will soon be home to the Taphouse on Walton. It's one of several vacant storefronts in Syracuse's Armory Square that are now under development. (Don Cazentre)

Empty storefronts, for lease signs and new blood: Inside the reshaping of Armory Square (PS; $; Cazentre)

For the better part of three decades, Empire Brewing Co. served beer, food and live music from its basement location at 120 Walton St. It was one of the many destination places that helped turn Armory Square into Syracuse’s most vibrant nightlife district.

Since October 2019, when the brewpub closed, the steps leading to the underground entrance have been blocked off with a metal padlock.

It’s become an all-too familiar sight: Vacant storefronts stand out in some of Armory Square’s most prominent locations. At the same time, there are signs that business may be starting to pick up.

A recent survey of about 40 street-level storefront spaces, mostly in or around the two blocks of Walton Street, showed nine empty with no activity except “for lease” signs. Another six or so had signs indicating they were in development or recently leased.

The former Eureka Crafts, a long-time retailer in the 200 block of Walton, has been empty since January 2019. The Hurbson Building in the middle of the 100 block of Walton has for lease signs on both its Walton and West Fayette street (rear) entrances.

The Syracuse Suds Factory in the big Neal & Hyde building at the corner of Walton and South Clinton has been closed for two years, though its signs and furnishings are still on display and the owner says he is working on plans to reopen.

At Center Armory, the multi-unit development that opened in the early 1990s and has been the heart of the district, storefronts that have been empty for months are starting to show signs of life. And the developer of the Bentley-Settle Building, where the Empire was located, said he’s fielding inquiries for that space and developing luxury apartments upstairs.

It was a year ago that the Blue Tusk craft beer bar, one of Center Armory’s earliest and best known tenants, announced it was closing, sending a shockwave through the area.
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