No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Good Friday is a solemn day commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. It takes place the day after Maundy Thursday and two days before Easter Sunday. It is believed to have been observed since around 100 CE.
There are a few theories as to why this Friday is called "Good." Some think the name comes from "God's Friday". Others think the "Good" stands for "holy." Still, others think the "Good" is referring to the belief that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for humankind's sins.
Former Millville head football coach Dennis Thomas has new gig (espn.com; Gill)
Former Millville high school head football coach Dennis Thomas is leaving Rutgers for Syracuse University.
Thomas stepped down as Millville head coach back in April of 2022, after leading the Thunderbolts for seven seasons.
He won a South Jersey Group IV title in 2021 with a team that was led by running back LeQuint Allen. Allen ran for 274 yards on 41 carries (6.6 avg.), caught 17 passes for 117 yards at Syracuse as a freshman in 2022. He also won a Group V title with Millville in 2016 and finished his Thunderbolts career with a 52-24 record.
The former Millville head coach was a part of the Rutgers football staff in 2022 as an offensive assistant and will now have the title of Director of high School Relations at Syracuse.
Welcome, Dennis Thomas! Syracuse hires Dennis Thomas as Director of High School Relations
— InsideTheLoudHouse (@LoudHouseFS) April 6, 2023
Thomas leaves Rutgers, where he was a four-year letter winner as a running back, racking up 3,245 all-purpose yards from 1998-200 for the Scarlet Knights.
Syracuse hires Dennis Thomas as Director of High School Relations (PS; Lieker)
Syracuse football has added Dennis Thomas, a former Rutgers offensive assistant, to staff as Director of High School Relations, per his Twitter account.
The SU athletic department has not formally announced the hire.
Thomas spent the 2022 season at Rutgers after seven seasons as head coach of Millville High School in New Jersey, where he coached current Orange running back LeQuint Allen. The Thunderbolts had a 52-24 record under Thomas, and in 2021 — Allen’s senior season — they finished 12-1 on the way to a South Jersey Group IV title.
Thomas replaces Khalil Ahmad, who’s now the Recruiting Coordinator for Personnel and Recruitment at Penn State. Ahmad left Syracuse in late January during the slew of staff departures.
Jon Germano - Football Coach - Syracuse University Athletics (cuse.com)
Germano joins the Orange after spending the past two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant at Nebraska.
Before working with the Cornhuskers, Germano spent time on staffs for both of his alma maters, Bergen Catholic and Johns Hopkins. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins in 2017. As a player from 2013 to 2016, he accounted for nearly 7,600 yards of total offense with 6,623 passing yards, 965 rushing yards and 80 total touchdowns. Germano was a two-time all-conference selection at Johns Hopkins, which went 43-4 during his career. He then spent the 2017 season on the Blue Jays’ coaching staff.
The 2012 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year, Germano played under current Orange tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile at Bergen Catholic. He returned to the school as a mathematics and physical education teacher in 2017, while also serving as the Crusaders’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, a position he held until joining the Nebraska staff for the 2021 season.
https://athlonsports.com/college-fo...-footballs-second-transfer-portal-window-2023 (athlonsports.com; Lassan)
College football's second transfer portal window officially opens on April 15 and runs through April 30. The first window brought a significant round of movement, and while this period probably won't have the same volume, expect plenty of players to be on the move as transfers. Also, all 133 teams will be looking to the portal to fill needs, especially with this window taking place at the end of spring practice. The spring workouts provide every coach with one more opportunity to evaluate their depth chart and needs for the upcoming year. The April portal window can help address some of those concerns and is the last chance to add to the roster before the '23 season gets underway.
Louisville led the ACC with 13 additions in the first portal window, with Georgia Tech (12), Florida State (11) and Miami (10) the only other programs to reel in double-digit hauls for '23.
Where could the ACC teams look for help when the second window officially opens on April 15? Here are the biggest needs, position groups and areas to watch for each of the 14 teams later this month:
ACC Football: Biggest Needs For College Football's Second Transfer Portal WindowBoston College: Offensive Line/Defensive Backs
Injuries and attrition took a toll on Boston College's offensive line last season, but the return of guard Christian Mahogany should boost this unit in '23. The Eagles have already added two linemen and three defensive backs in the first window, but either position could be targeted again this spring.
Clemson: Wide Receiver/Offensive Line
The Tigers will be very selective with any portal additions. But if coach Dabo Swinney wants to dip into the transfer market, wide receiver or offensive line would make the most sense.
Duke: Defensive Backs
With 17 returning starters, the Blue Devils don't have a ton of glaring needs for '23. However, after two starters departing in the secondary, perhaps another addition or two to go with Myles Jones (Texas A&M) and Al Blades Jr. (Miami) could be an option for coach Mike Elko.
Florida State: Safety
Coach Mike Norvell has thrived in the portal over the last couple of years and already has one of the nation's top hauls for '23. Considering the success in the first window, the Seminoles won't have a ton of glaring needs this time around. Targeting a safety to alleviate the loss of Jammie Robinson might be the most logical spot to look for an add.
Georgia Tech: Defensive Line/Edge
New coach Brent Key landed a solid transfer class in the first window, which met the bulk of the Yellow Jackets' needs for '23. Clemson transfer Etinosa Reuben helps the front, but Key could use another pass rusher or two to help replace Keion White (7.5 of the team's 28 sacks last year).
Louisville: Offensive Line/Linebacker
The Cardinals brought in one transfer to boost the line in the first window, but three starters from '22 must be replaced. The linebacker unit was decimated by losses from last year, as Monty Montgomery, Dorian Jones, and Momo Sanogo are all gone.
Miami: Wide Receiver/Running Back
The 'Canes could use another playmaker or two at receiver to help quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Also, with injuries taking a toll on backfield depth, coach Mario Cristobal could look to add a running back in the spring window.
North Carolina: Defensive Backs/Linebacker/Wide Receiver
The Tar Heels reeled in nine transfers in the first window, including two at receiver and four at defensive back. Although most of the needs were met already, coach Mack Brown could continue to look for help on defense or add another playmaker at receiver if one enters the portal.
NC State: Wide Receiver
Landing Dacari Collins (Clemson) in the first portal window certainly helps, but NC State should be looking for more additions here after the departures of Thayer Thomas and Devin Carter.
Pitt: Defensive Help/Running Back
The Panthers have a strong track record of finding the right answers on defense under coach Pat Narduzzi, but this unit loses a handful of key players, including linebackers SirVocea Dennis, tackle Calijah Kancey and defensive backs Brandon Hill and Erick Hallett II. Pitt also has very little in the way of proven returning depth behind running back Rodney Hammond Jr.
Syracuse: Offensive Line/Defensive Backs
Replacing three starters along the offensive line and restocking a secondary that lost cornerbacks Garrett Williams and Duce Chestnut and safety Ja'Had Carter tops the priority list for coach Dino Babers.
BC Eagles gearing up toward spring football game (bostonherald.com; Thompson)
Boston College has made the hard pivot in spring football from fundamentals and positional coaching towards scrimmages and situational game prep.
The Eagles have two sessions remaining to fine-tune the particulars in preparation for the annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Football game at 11 a.m. on April 15 at Alumni Stadium.
“All third down is in and we have started two minute and now we are just kind getting everybody on the field playing football,” said BC head coach Jeff Hafley.
“Every day now is more of a scrimmage than with coaches on the field telling guys where to line up and having a script. It is trying to make the coaches think down and distance so they have to call it and not plan it and it’s the same with the players.
“They are learning to play the game now. We will have two practices with a more scrimmage-like mentality and more physical before we taper off for the spring game a little bit.”
Hafley made a significant makeover of his coaching staff after the Eagles’ disastrous 3-9 campaign in 2022. Hafley hired new positional coaches and upgraded existing coaches to coordinators.
Coaching overhauls take time to implement, especially when the roster is in flux with freshmen recruits and portal transfers. But Hafley believes the combination of knowledgeable instructors with enough seasoned veteran players has fast-tracked the transition.
Hafley has not set his maroon and gold rosters or decided a game format, but wants to make the spring game a fun event and a fallback for when the team returns in August for training camp.
“Obviously we are not going to go out and run all our plays,” said Hafley. “No one has seen us play offense yet so we are certainly not going to show it on TV. So, we will dummy down the spring game and have fun with it.
“But the next two (practices) are going to be physical and more competitive with situational football to make the guys think before going into training camp. That is where we are at.”
Sean Duggan (linebackers) and Aazaar Abdul-Rahim (secondary) are two of the positional coaches that Hafley upgraded to co-defensive coordinators while retaining their old jobs. Duggan is a former Eagles’ inside linebacker who came to BC through the St. Xavier High School of Cincinnati pipeline that produced two time All-American Luke Kuechly and All-ACC first team selection Steven Daniels.
Hafley conceded that the defense is well ahead of the offense going into the spring game. Duggan likes working under the new arrangement and has enjoyed the competitive drive the players have shown in practice.
“We have been rotating guys a lot and I think competition brings out the best in everybody and the best part is nobody is comfortable,” said Duggan. “You cannot have an off day and it has been good, but the guys are still rooting for each other and they want to see them succeed.
“But the competition has been real good and we are going to play everybody that can help us win a football game. It has been a hard-hitting spring and I think the last two days will be very much of the same, really competitive between the offense and the defense.
“I think the spring game is more about having fun and letting our players go enjoy it. They put in 14 hard days of football and the spring game is more about them.”
Cousin VinnyInside linebacker Vinny DePalma from Wayne, N.J. is back for his sixth year and fifth season at The Heights. DePalma served as a team captain on the defense in 2022 and Duggan is counting on him to run the huddle and position the players in the proper sets.
(youtube; video; SG1 Sports)
Projected records for every ACC team for the upcoming 2023 college football season.
https://www.thestate.com/sports/college/acc/clemson-university/article273964230.html (thestate.com; Fowler)
Dating back to 1998, Clemson and Florida State have accounted for all eight of the ACC’s appearances in college football national championship games and all four of the wins.
Should that extended football success — and extended football investment — warrant the Tigers and the Seminoles more revenue than their conference counterparts?
Clemson athletic director Graham Neff and Florida State athletic director Michael Alford certainly think so. And their recent public comments in favor of the ACC adopting an “unequal revenue” distribution model have fueled another round of big-picture questions surrounding the conference’s viability in an evolving college sports world.
Alford made headlines Feb. 24 when he told FSU’s Board of Trustees that “something has to change” monetarily as the ACC plays continual catch-up to the Big Ten and the SEC, rival Power Five conferences whose flashy new TV contracts start in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
And Neff, Clemson’s second-year athletic director, has taken his most aggressive public stance on the matter yet as the Tigers and the rest of the ACC’s member schools face a looming revenue gap of $30 million to $40 million in comparison to Big Ten and SEC colleagues. For Clemson, unequal revenue distribution isn’t a want. “In all candor,” Neff told the (Charleston) Post & Courier, “I put it as a need.”
“We certainly recognize the investment that we’ve continued to make as an institution, in our community, in athletics, namely in football, which certainly drives a lot of value that is important from a television and revenue-generation standpoint,” Neff told the paper in February. “Is it time revenue distribution within conferences, or at least the ACC, is done differently? Yeah, I’ve been very active in those conversations within the league and continue to expect to take a leadership role in our desire for that to be a changed circumstance. Urgently.” A
CONFERENCE ‘ARMS RACE’
An unequal revenue distribution model — a performance-based system rewarding accolades such as College Football Playoff and major bowl appearances — is one of many improbabilities that now look like possibilities as the ACC tries to keep pace with the Big Ten and SEC amid what’s being branded, quite fairly, as an “arms race.”
The rich got richer when the Big Ten and the SEC, already beneficiaries of massive TV deals, added two iconic, name-brand member schools apiece. Texas and Oklahoma agreed to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in July 2021 (with a since-confirmed 2024 start date), and Southern Cal and UCLA agreed to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in July 2022 (also starting in 2024).
No, the ACC isn’t dissolving. But as things stand, it’s a 14-school league with no recent acquisitions locked into a decent TV contract. And soon enough, it’ll be competing against two 16-school leagues with high-profile acquisitions and glitzy, renegotiated television deals.
Is It Time for a Hostile ACC Takeover? (RX; HM)
Is It Time for a Hostile ACC Takeover?
The ACC is doing better than it ever has financially and in terms of football success, but many fans look at the SEC and the Big Ten and think that it's just not good enough. To remedy that situation, some changes need to be made - but you don't change if you keep doing things the same way. Is it time for hostile takeover of the ACC?
I don't mean a takeover from the outside; I'm talking about a power grab from within! It's well-documented that, in the past, the ACC has been ruled by the Duke/UNC/UVa power triangle (aka "Tobacco Road"). Those three could control the entire conference back when there were only 8 members, and they cleverly maintained a great deal of control when it grew to 9, then 11, then 12. Now the league has 15 voting members - is it time for a change in leadership? (Past time, even?)
Here's my attempt to categorize the member institutions of the ACC in terms of what's important to them:
Why did I do this? To illustrate a point: not every ACC school puts football first - or even second.
While I don't have a problem with that (every conference needs their basketball schools, baseball schools, etc.), those should not be the schools in charge of important football decisions. Unfortunately, that has been the case in the ACC.Football first: BC, Clemson, FSU, Miami, ND, Pitt, VT, Wake
Basketball first: Duke, UNC, NC State, Syracuse, UVa
The most prominent ACC schools in terms of conference leadership have been Duke, UNC, and UVa (aka "Tobacco Road"). NC State has gone along with them in large part because they had little choice. Here's the thing: in their heart of hearts, all of these are basketball-first schools.
Is a coup d'état possible?Let's say FSU and Clemson wanted to wrestle control of the ACC away from Tobacco Road. How many allies could they muster, and what would it take? First, they would need an issue. Revenue distribution seems ready-made. But how to win a majority of school presidents over with that issue? What is needed is an issue that puts Tobacco Road on one side and the majority of the other schools on the other side...
One such issue might be expansion - specifically, certain candidate schools. There are only a few schools not currently in the SEC or the Big Ten which would enhance ACC television revenue. Some are in the Pac-12 - 3 time zones away. Some are in the Big XII, but they may not have the commitment to academics that the Tobacco Road schools would like to associate themselves with (note: I didn't say they all had this level of academics, but that they want to associate with it!).
https://www.islandpacket.com/sports/college/acc/article274037110.html (islandpacket.com; Fowler)
Notable changes could be on the horizon for The Hill, one of the most recognizable features of Clemson football’s Memorial Stadium. Clemson is considering a construction project that would add amphitheater-style seating to The Hill ahead of the football team’s 2023 home opener. The change is for safety reasons, an athletic department spokesperson told The State on Thursday. As part of the university’s “Memorial Stadium, East End Hill, Stormwater and Safety Renovations” project, which is currently receiving bids, Clemson would add eight tiered levels of student seating on the left and right side of its iconic hill while maintaining the grass as well as the middle opening where the team runs down, according to project drawings released March 28.
The Delmonico ribeye steak at Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse, Syracuse, N.Y. (Jared Paventi | firstname.lastname@example.org)Jared Paventi | jaredpaventi@gma
https://www.syracuse.com/food/2023/...steakhouse-in-syracuse-dining-out-review.html (PS; $; Paventi)
There was a time when Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse on Erie Boulevard East was a regular stop for my wife and me when going out to dinner. The prices were reasonable, portions were large — important factors for two 20-somethings looking for an affordable sit-down dinner — and the service was always good.
That was two decades ago, and while our dining preferences have changed over the years, it was somewhat comforting to see that Delmonico’s hasn’t. The caricatures of famous Italian athletes and entertainers have been touched up here and there and the bar has since been relocated, but the menu is largely the same and still balanced to a price point where there is value to be found.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Delmonico’s opening in Syracuse; since its 1998 opening Delmonico’s has expanded to four other locations in upstate New York and one in Orlando. All have the same vibe, from the hostesses dressed in 1950s gangster attire with fedoras and pinstriped suits to the dark wooden furniture and finishes.
For old-time’s sake, we started with one of our favorites from the menu, the Bella Napoli ($12.99). Pasta dough is cut into squares and deep-fried until crispy, topped with sausage, diced tomatoes, onions, banana peppers and provolone, and finished with an asiago cheese sauce. Ideally, it’s all supposed to slide under a broiler to melt the provolone and render the toppings warm. In practice, our Bella Napoli was lukewarm with unmelted strands of provolone and pockets of cooked, but cold, sausage.
Matthew Gutchess (right) took over the reigns of the decades-old walleye derby on Oneida Lake, turning it into a three-day festival that runs May 5-7 and features live music, food, and vendors in addition to more than $9,000 in cash and prizes.
https://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/2...ment-now-includes-festival-kids-division.html (PS; $; Featherstone)
The annual Oneida Lake walleye fishing derby, a long-time Central New York tradition celebrating the opening of walleye season, is now under new management led by Matthew Gutchess, a former charter captain from Central Square.
In keeping with 43 years of tradition, the derby will run on the first weekend after opening day of walleye season, May 5-7. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began assigning hard dates to fishing seasons last year, with walleye season opening May 1.
Gutchess and his partners renamed the derby ‘WalleyeFest,’ which better describes changes they’ve made that combines the traditional fishing contest alongside a festival complete with live music, food, and vendors.
“Now we have a three-day festival and a two-day derby happening at the same time,” Gutchess said. “It’s really exciting.”
The festival kicks off Friday night at 5 p.m. at The Pier restaurant in Central Square and continues at Lighthouse Park in Central Square on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The derby starts Saturday morning May 6th at 12:01 a.m. and runs continuously until 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7th.
“We’re doing things a little differently,” Gutchess said. “The derby itself hasn’t changed, but we’ve modernized the whole thing with a really nice website.”
Gone are the stacks of paper tickets sitting on counters of area bait shops and businesses. Anglers must now register for WalleyeFest online. The entry fee is $25. The five buck increase over last year includes a commemorative pin that used to cost extra (check out this gallery of old walleye derby pins going back to 1984).