No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Senior Citizens Day!
Older people in our communities—senior citizens—have contributed so much to the success of the United States throughout their entire lives, and they continue to do so as they grow old. As time goes on, in part because of advances in healthcare, people are living longer lives and staying productive longer. Many senior citizens continue to work or volunteer well into old age. Today we honor them, and we show them gratitude by making sure our communities are places they can thrive as they reach their sunset years.
In 1988, House Joint Resolution 138 designated August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day. It authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation for the day. Accordingly, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5847. The original legislation called for those over the age of 55 to be honored. There continues to be a debate over at what age one becomes a senior citizen. Some say 55, while others say 62, 65, or 67. On National Senior Citizens Day, it seems appropriate that anyone who wishes to identify as a senior citizen and is over the age of 55 should be able to be honored.
Camp confidential: As Syracuse football’s fall camp winds down, here’s what we’ve learned (PS; $; Leiker)
Syracuse football is less than two weeks out from its season opener against Colgate.
The Orange has entered its final week of fall training camp and will begin normal game-week preparations next week.
Here’s some of what we’ve learned through eight of the 10 fall camp media viewing periods.
Babers still wants a definitive No. 2 target for Shrader
SU coach Dino Babers wants there to be a clear hierarchy in his receiving room.
Babers said Tuesday that, like last year, he is looking for definitive No. 1 and 2 receivers for quarterback Garrett Shrader to target. If a top two can be established early, he’d like to expand it to a top 4.
Oronde Gadsden II factors to be the top target again this season, even with double- and triple-teams likely awaiting him from opposing defenses. Both Gadsden and Shrader have spoken this fall about how their chemistry both on and off the field has continued to strengthen.
Who will come in behind the preseason All-ACC selection is really narrowed down to two players: Damien Alford and Isaiah Jones.
Alford ended up with the third-most receiving yards for Syracuse last season behind Gadsden and Devaughn Cooper. Most of his 429 yards came in the final five games of the year, when he posted a combined 13 catches for 268 yards.
https://www.si.com/college/syracuse/football/syracuse-linebackers-looking-better-health-2023 (SI; Supple)
When it comes to the 3-3-5, it is considered a high risk, high reward defense. A defense that thrives when you have a room full of athletic defenders. No one is better to lead the defense than the man who has been coaching it for over four decades, Rocky Long.
“I think we will develop the hardest playing defense in the country,” said Rocky Long, defensive coordinator.
One of the key components of that defense is the linebackers. Syracuse's linebacker unit is coming off of an impressive season where they finished 21st nationally in yards allowed per game. From that core group Marlowe Wax will return and fill the large shoes left in the middle of the defense where Mikel Jones played last season.
Stefon Thompson, who burst on the scene as a true freshman in 2020 and again as a starter in 2021. While he started every game in 2021 and finishing second on the team with tackles, he missed the 2022 season after a lower body injury in the season opener. Thompson’s return will look to greatly impact the defensive line as another key tackler as he slides down to passer.
As for another impact player who may only be a red-shirt sophomore but now has nine games of experience and eight starts after filling in for Thompson last season will slide into the third linebacker position in Derek McDonald. Thompson's replacement missed the final stretch of the season due to his own injury. Despite those injuries, along with one to cornerback Garrett Williams, Syracuse still finished 14th nationally in passing defense (184.8) and 21st in total defense (328.6). The Orange believes it can improve upon those rankings, especially if they can stay healthy.
Syracuse Football: There are several key rule changes in the 2023 season (itlh; Adler)
The Syracuse football 2023 season is only about two weeks away, and I can’t freaking wait.
The Orange will kick off the upcoming campaign at home on Saturday, Sept. 2, when the ‘Cuse hosts fellow Central New York foe Colgate beginning at 4 pm inside the JMA Wireless Dome.
Projections for the ‘Cuse in 2023 appear mixed, as I’ve noted a couple of times lately. The Orange will face several teams that are ranked in preseason top-25 polls, and Syracuse football will have to endure a brutal stretch of games from late September through late October.
As the ‘Cuse prepares for its 2023 season, there are some important rule changes in college football that I wanted to pass along to my fellow Orange fans.
Let’s review various rule changes affecting Syracuse football and its peers in 2023.
A recent press release from the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, in partnership with College Football Officiating LLC, sheds light on what the main rule changes are for the upcoming term.
It looks like a lot of these rule changes, which come from the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel, center on timing and clock issues. Per the media statement I came across, the NCAA panel made some rule changes that focus on the pace of play, the number of plays transpiring in each game, and ensuring consistency in managing the game clock.
Inside Virginia Tech's post-Frank Beamer struggles -- and how the Hokies are trying to recover (ESPN; Adelson)
Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry inherited a program in 2022 that had lost its way, more than a decade removed from its last conference championship.
Though Pry had zero head-coaching experience, he had spent the previous eight years at Penn State, coaching and recruiting in the Big Ten. Perhaps most importantly, he was the candidate with the most extensive ties to Blacksburg and legendary coach Frank Beamer. When Pry was introduced as head coach, athletic director Whit Babcock proclaimed, "It's nice to see this place reunited."
Then Pry went 3-8, giving Virginia Tech its worst season in 30 years. Though Pry remains optimistic about the future -- "I'm the right guy for this place, and this place is right for me" -- one major question persists:
Can Virginia Tech still compete at the highest level of college football?
Beamer took Virginia Tech to unprecedented heights -- six BCS games, including one national championship game appearance, and a string of eight consecutive 10-win seasons from 2004 to 2011. His successor, Justin Fuente, won 10 games in his first year, then went 33-27 over the next five amid what sources described as a "dysfunctional" relationship with the administration.
Now it is up to Pry, a former assistant under Beamer in the 1990s, to return the program to relevance. Virginia Tech has spent more than $100 million to improve its facilities and resources, but is that enough for the Hokies to compete with the ACC's top teams or the charged-up Big Ten and SEC?
Answering that question requires a deeper examination of how Virginia Tech fell so far in the first place. ESPN spoke to more than 30 former and current coaches, players, administrators and staff at Virginia Tech to see how things unraveled in the post-Beamer era. What emerged was a portrait of a department in disarray, from the top of the administration down, as the football program grappled with its storied past and a future that required far more investment and forward-thinking than ever before.
Following the latest round of realignment, the Atlantic Coast Conference discussed the additions of Stanford, California and SMU. The initiative failed bec...
Following the latest round of realignment, the Atlantic Coast Conference discussed the additions of Stanford, California and SMU. The initiative failed because enough members, including Clemson Football, had the votes to stop it.
The initiative was thought dead by most, however some out there have not let go of the idea so easily.
There are posts and articles suggesting that the candidate schools haven’t given up on ACC membership yet, and some might be bringing out influencers to help their cause.
There are rumors that well-known politicians are assisting. Condaleeza Rice has supposedly been stumping for Stanford. SMU has former president George W. Bush on their side.
Limbo continues for Stanford and Cal … and thus for WSU and OSUStanford and Cal still in limbo: Five thoughts as they desperately seek ACC or Big Ten invites
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) August 16, 2023
The reason why some are continuing to lobby for expansion is simple. The ACC needs 12 of their 15 voting members to approve expansion. Currently, they have 11 schools voting in favor of adding at least two candidates, possibly all three.
The four schools against expansion are Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State. If one of those schools change their mind, then expansion will be approved.
It seems unlikely that Clemson or Florida State would change their mind. While UNC and NC State had opposed the addition of schools originally, we can’t rule out that circumstances might change.
There are posts that Stanford might be willing to take a greatly reduced payout, perhaps no media payout.
Solvay to Syracuse: Elijah Wright's patient journey to the playing field (cnycentral.com; Sladek)
Elijah "Bubba" Wright's journey from his hometown of Solvay to the grand stage of Syracuse University's football team encapsulates the essence of hard work, patience, and the belief that dreams do come true.
Back in 2020, a pivotal decision altered the course of Wright's life. Faced with offers from smaller schools, the Solvay High School graduate chose to turn them down for the opportunity to be a preferred walk-on to Dino Babers' Orange football team. For the past three years, Bubba found himself on the sidelines, back on the depth chart for the defensive line. But the recent off-season brought a change in perspective. The coaching staff recognized Bubba's potential to have an immediate impact on the field, in a different position – as a fullback on offense.
Babers explains, "We want to give him an opportunity to try to pop the starting lineup because we think he was buried a bit in the position he was at."
"You talk about a guy who's just a hard worker doing an incredible job, it's absolutely him," said quarterback Garrett Shrader. "Being a walk-on, defensive lineman coming over to offense, we give him a shot to just go around and hit some guys. Next thing you know I think it was the spring we had a play for him and we were 100% on short yardage. He definitely earned a spot."
TNIAAM Reacts: predicting some Syracuse football leaders (TNIAAM; Wall)
We are getting ready for the final week of Syracuse Orange preseason camp and we wanted to get your thoughts on the upcoming season.
It was a close call, but you think the Orange will lean on Garrett Shrader’s legs around the goal line. LeQuint Allen was close behind, but we still don’t know if Dino Babers will have a different running back in when Syracuse is in short yardage.
Caleb Okechukwu led the Orange with seven sacks last season and most of you feel he’ll repeat in 2023. Even though he hasn’t been cleared yet, a good percentage of fans feel confident he’ll be able to regain his 2021 form, when he totaled six sacks.
It was a tale of two seasons last year for Syracuse. They started the year 6-0, and went to Clemson in a top-15 matchup that ended up the highest-rated game in college football that weekend. Then the wheels came off in a 1-6 finish. Dino Babers has been at Syracuse for seven years, with a lot of mediocrity and that one magical season 10-win season in 2018. Babers is a fine coach, but the Syracuse program is treading water. It really feels like Syracuse needs at minimum a bowl season, and probably at least a 7 or 8-win season for Babers to remain as Syracuse head coach. His seat could be the warmest in the ACC.
Will Go 8-4 (4-4) if:
The OC coordinator changes can upgrade the offense. Last season Syracuse ranked 76th in the country in total offense and lost 4 games where they scored 21 or fewer points. Jason Beck takes over at OC, and there is a major turnover to deal with including the loss of star RB Sean Tucker. The good news is the experience and ability of QB Garret Shrader and one of the ACC’s best offensive players receiver Oronde Gadson II. The schedule is favorable early with Colgate, Western Michigan, at Purdue, and Army. Purdue will be a test, but get that game and Syracuse can open the 4-0. A finish with games at Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh, at Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest is tough, but not impossible. The defense needs to stay in stay top 30 caliber from last year.
Will Go 4-8 (1-7) if:
Syracuse can’t replace top contributors last year. Syracuse lost RB Sean Tucker, defensive stars like CB Garrett Williams and LB Mikel Jones among others. Syracuse is going to be dealing with a lot of turnover from players to coaches. The mid-season stretch could really do Syracuse in. From September 30 through October, Syracuse plays Clemson, at North Carolina, at Florida State, and after a BYE week at Virginia Tech. Once you get past Colgate and Western Michigan, the schedule gets challenging. Boston College could be the only ACC team that Syracuse is favored against… and even that is a maybe.
Axe: Why SU football doesn’t need No. 44, and what belongs on Mt. Rushmore of CNY food? (PS; $; Axe)
Axe me your questions and I’ll tell you no lies.
The mailbag was overflowing with inquiries on the famous No. 44 for Syracuse football, SU training camp, superconferences in college sports and the Mt. Rushmore of CNY cuisine.
Let’s get to answering them.
If you want to send an internet correspondence, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org @brentaxemedia on Twitter/X or @brent_axe on Threads.
From Matt in Minoa on Twitter/X: I think the university has botched the usage of the 44. It has become a dusty trophy on a shelf and not an active tradition.
Matt and I had an exchange on Twitter/X about the eternal topic of the No. 44 being on the field or retired after former Syracuse RB Sean Tucker opted to wear the number for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Matt, it takes two to tango. The 44 is a great tradition at Syracuse, but you can’t shove it down a player’s throat. I’ve found that they want to establish their own identity in 2023 more than carry on a tradition, so I say we let them do that.
The compromise that has always made sense is if a player earns the No. 44 and, important point here, wants the No. 44, then we can talk about its return to the field.
From Stu on Twitter/X: How has Rashard Perry looked so far? What kind of playing time do you think he might be in line for as a freshman ?
Stu, I turned to my syracuse.com colleague Emily Leiker to answer your question on Perry, the SU football freshman defensive lineman from Buffalo. Here’s what she said:
“He’s looked solid, but it’s rare for a true freshman lineman to see playing time. Obviously, there were a few D-linemen who did last year, but the group has more depth and experience this year because of that. He might get in late in one of the early nonconference games, but he certainly won’t be on the two-deep.”
Syracuse's Defensive Line Gelling Late in Camp (yardbarkert.com; Della Penna)
As week three of Syracuse Football training camp comes to a close the defensive line is seeing significant strides as a unit. A group that came into the season with some question marks is determined to prove doubters wrong that they can be the anchor of a talented SU defense.
Caleb Okechukwu and Kevon Darton have taken the reigns as leaders for the d-line, with a combined 68 games played under their belts. Both players are also coming off their best seasons at Syracuse, earning accolades that made it a seamless transition into their leadership roles.
Okechukwu racked up a team-high seven sacks starting in all 13 games for the Orange, making him the Tim Green Award recipient for the program’s top defensive lineman. Darton had 11 starts at nose tackle, picking up 54 tackles in the trenches to become the defense’s most improved player.
Defensive coordinator Rocky Long’s 3-3-5 scheme is dependent on controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game and pressuring the quarterback in passing situations. Okechukwu and Darton like where the d-line is at for Syracuse to return as a top-25 defense in the nation.
“I'm definitely pleased. A lot of young guys are stepping up and learning the playbook fast. That's really good because at the end of the day, we can't play the whole game, and we're gonna need them to come in and sit back and take snaps towards the back end of games,” Okechukwu said.
“I think we’re where we want to be right now. We're playing physical with the best effort every day,” Darton said.
With many new additions to the defensive line, Okechukwu and Darton understand that there are growing pains for freshmen and transfers. Players like Alabama transfer Braylen Ingraham, along with first-year guys Ty Gordon and Rashard Perry, have developed nicely over the last few weeks.
30 Minutes in Orange Nation (ESPN; radio; Orange Nation)
Steve and Paulie start the show discussing some hypothetical season-long player prop bets for Syracuse football before safety Jason Simmons Jr. joins the show. Then, the guys continue the discussion wondering what it would mean for the Orange if Oronde Gadsden II had an even better season that he did last year.
Syracuse Football: Taking a Taylor Swift song and giving it a ‘Cuse spin (itlh; Fiello)
I’ve decided to try my hand at doing a couple of “hype songs” to lead us up to the Syracuse football 2023 season opener. I’ll try to do a few different genres of music to make more people happy and make them about opponents or whatever the best theme is for the song.
But I’m starting with a Taylor Swift classic because when I first thought of the idea, I had the chorus to this stuck in my head so I’m using it as my first one and I hope you enjoy it.
The original song was called “Our Song” but that made me think of Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers and his “Whose house? Our House!” postgame speech, so I went with that. Here is “Our House.”
A Syracuse football hype song, with an ode to Taylor Swift.
I was scrollin’ Twitter waiting on dinner
In a front booth of a Tully’s
I’ve got a lot of SU tweets of big guys in cleats
And the tweet from @imissericdungey
I look around, she’s counting down
It says “only 26 days left”
I say, “I’m freaking. Was just thinking about that time Coach said “Whose House!”
And I said
Our house is the JMA Wireless Dome
Syracuse Football: Need more reasons to believe in Cuse? “Watch” this. (itlh; Fiello)
Previously, I wrote why I think head Syracuse football coach Dino Babers is the right guy for the job, not on the hot seat and someone you can believe in. And I believe every word of it.
What if I told you I had more reasons to believe in the Orange? Well, it looks like several Syracuse football players are making preseason national award watch lists.
I shared a story about Syracuse football players Garrett Shrader and Oronde Gadsden II making the Maxwell Award list, which is for the best offensive player in college football. My Loud House brother, Neil Adler, has shared some information on others making lists as well.
The list is growing so let’s take a look at that for a bit. As of right now, Syracuse football has multiple players being honored already. Here is the list of players honored so far as of this writing (I tried to wait as long as I could to make sure as many lists were released).
Let’s review Syracuse football players on preseason national watch lists.
Danny Wuerffel Award (community service)
Davey O’Brien Award (quarterbacks)
Manning Award (quarterbacks, including bowl performances)
Polling The Fizz: 2023 Syracuse Football Offensive Predictions (orangefizz.net; Griffin)
Two weeks separate us from Syracuse v. Colgate, and with that we continue our Polling The Fizz series to get you ready. Last week, we took a look at what the ACC as a whole will look like, today we’ll start to dive deeper into this year’s Orange squad. We start today with the offensive side of the football.
BREAKOUT PLAYERIsaiah Jones- 3 votes
Kendall Long- 1 vote
Dan Villari- 1 vote
Adam: There’s so much talk of who will be the number two receiving option for Garrett Shrader. All the focus is on the WR depth. But why not take a look at the other tight ends behind Oronde Gadsden. Dan Villari is an incredible athlete who spent last year transitioning from Quarterback to Tight End. Now that he has experience, we’ll start to see Villaris athleticism and football IQ. He breaks out to be one of the teams best receivers.
DISAPPOINTMENTDamien Alford- 3 votes
Tyler: Damien Alford has all the tools to be a phenomenal wide receiver. He’s listed at 6’6”, flashes solid speed, and has shown a knack for making big plays. However, Alford has never been consistent. His career high of 429 yards is less than impressive, and he’s never caught more than four passes in a game. Alford will likely make a nice touchdown grab or two over the course of this year. However, don’t be surprised if this time next year, SU fans are asking “Is this going to be Damien Alford’s breakout season?” for the third time.
LeQuint Allen- 1 vote
Ethan: The expectations and comparisons to Sean Tucker will be too much for Allen to accomplish in his first year as the starting running back. Combine that with the controversy he endured over the entirety of the Spring and Summer, and he’s bound for some sort of a letdown. At the least, he will not match Tucker’s production, which Syracuse fans have come to expect over the past couple of seasons.
Garrett Shrader- 1 vote
Syracuse football: roundtable thoughts on the projected Orange depth chart (TNIAAM; Staff)
Syracuse Orange football season is fast approaching and once again information is extremely limited. Syracuse.com beat reporter Emily Leiker shared her thoughts on the projected depth chart based on practice observations.
Now it’s our turn to respond to projections from these observations.
Which player are you surprised to see listed on the offense?
Andy: Donovan Brown was not a name I expected to see on the two deep at wideout, considering that the team kept him mostly on special teams in just four games, preserving his redshirt status. With Oronde Gadsden lining up primarily inside, I’m curious what the more traditional slot receiver combo of Trebor Pena and Donovan Brown are asked to do in the offense.
Steve: Not a surprise so much and clarification but David Wohlabaugh making the start at right tackle. That spot was a big question. It was also a big question as to whether Wohlabaugh would fit in at tackle or center. This one seems to answer both questions. Joe More, Jakob Bradford and Joe Cruz were all in that conversation but looks like Wohlabaugh impressed.
Kevin: Isaiah Jones not only stays listed as a starter, but he’s been touted by players and coaches as being a difference-maker. If Syracuse runs a starting group of Gadsden, Jones and Damien Alford, that is a giant group of receivers for opponents to contend with on the outside.
Mike: Kalan Ellis with the twos is a shock to me. He and Chris Bleich are the only returning starters from last season and while I’m happy to see some of the transfers doing well immediately, it seems odd that he would’ve fallen off that much from the spring, when he seemingly had Left Guard locked down.
Which player are you surprised to see listed on the defense?
Andy: I’ve been high on Dennis Jaquez Jr. since his commitment to the Orange as the defensive lineman equivalent to what the staff did with the likes of Andre Cisco and Mikel Jones: upper percentile athlete with weird size that meant Syracuse could offer playing time if the player bulked up. Jaquez Jr. being a clear starter feels like a great sign that he’s ready to be a key starter for at least the next two seasons.
Sean Tucker Impresses in Buccaneers Preseason Game (orangefizz.net; Gotkin)
In a school that is known for its historically great running backs, Sean Tucker was one of the most special halfbacks Syracuse has ever seen. Tucker was an all-American and broke countless records for the Orange. Yet, he went undrafted after being flagged with a congenital heart defect at the NFL combine. Tucker wasn’t cleared to play football until just days before training camp. The Buccaneers took the risk and believed in the Maryland native’s abilities. Tucker has proven himself through the first couple of preseason games.
Last night against the New York Jets, Tucker got seven rushing attempts and went for 37 yards. In addition, he caught three passes for eighteen yards. In the first preseason game, Tucker ran for a 12-yard touchdown before it was taken back by a holding call.
After wearing the number 34 in college, Tucker has honored the Syracuse legacy at the next level, wearing 44. Whether or not he would wear the iconic number in college was a conversation for years. But now he finally does have it on his back. Tucker also has continued his post-game tweets, and changed his signature hashtag from #PL34SED to #PL44SED.
Tucker has an opportunity to get a ton of action this year if he makes the team even though he was undrafted. The Buccaneers have one of the thinnest running back rooms in all of the NFL. Tucker has one more preseason game to try and prove himself to second-year head coach Todd Bowles.
Trevor Lawrence recalls 'blur' of freshman season at Clemson (on3.com; Graham)
Trevor Lawrence’s path to becoming Clemson’s starting quarterback in Week 5 of the 2018 season ahead of a game against Syracuse started back in spring of that year. Coming in as a true freshman, Lawrence felt the freedom to just cut it loose.
But when you’re one of the highest rated high school quarterback prospects ever, coaches and teammates start to take notice pretty quick. From there, it was off to the races on a whirlwind, undefeated national championship season.
“It was crazy, it really was. My whole freshman year was a blur,” Lawrence said on a recent episode of “The Pivot” podcast.
Entering a quarterback room with returning starter Kelly Bryant and two other solid quarterbacks in Hunter Johnson and Chase Brice, Lawrence knew he’d start out in the mix but lower down the depth chart.
In a way, it was freeing to know there was no weight of expectations on him that spring.
“The odds are kind of stacked against me at that point,” Lawrence said, “but I’m just trying to come in and that point you can kind of play free because I’m the freshman that’s here early in spring ball. So I’m just ripping it. And then that kind of obviously caught some eyes of the different, some of the receivers, the coaches, all those guys.”
His strong play carried into fall camp and the gap to Bryant continued to close and close. Eventually, it got to the point where the pair were neck-and-neck as Clemson closed in on Week 1.
Bryant was named the Week 1 starter by head coach Dabo Swinney. Lawrence, ultimately, understands he didn’t do enough to come out of camp the starter as a true freshman. It might not have really been possible.
I’m like, ‘I’m kind of closing the gap, now.’ And then he was still the starter, though. It was too tight, really. It wasn’t like they were going to let the freshman just it off of camp. So, going into the season all that happens and then — so I came in the Georgia Tech game and I think threw three or four touchdowns, we ended up beating them pretty good,” Lawrence said of a 49-21 thrashing of the Yellowjackets.
That performance earned Lawrence the starting nod ahead of a Week 5 game against Syracuse, who would travel to Clemson a year removed from upsetting the Tigers in the Carrier Dome.
Bryant, to preserve his final year of eligibility, left the team and transferred having appeared in just four games.
Thus, when Lawrence was knocked out early against Syracuse when safety Evan Foster delivered a shoulder to his head, it fell to Brice — and star running back Travis Etienne — to claw back a 27-23 victory.
Report: Stanford, Cal Unlikely to Join ACC amid Realignment Rumors; 1 Vote Short (BR; Stumbaugh)
Stanford and Cal are one vote short of approval for ACC membership, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Richard Johnson reported.
Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and NC State oppose the proposed expansion, per Forde and Johnson.
Without one of those schools changing their stance, the two Pac-12 members will be unable to join the ACC. The admission of new ACC members requires approval from 12 of the conference's 15 president and chancellors, per ESPN.
Without 12 yes votes on the table, the ACC is unlikely to hold a formal expansion vote, according to Forde and Johnson.
After the Pac-12 collapsed to four members last week, it is likely Stanford and Cal will join a new conference when the conference's rights deal expires in 2024, even if that conference is not the ACC. Other potential options include the Mountain West Conference and the American Athletic Conference.
The Mountain West confirmed Wednesday that it is considering expansion, but commissioner Gloria Nevarez told Front Office Sports' Amanda Christovich that ACC deliberation "needs to happen first before anything would get serious with us."
The news of internal dispute over the potential expansion to 17 schools comes at a tense time for the ACC. Next Tuesday is the last day members can notify the ACC if they plan to change conferences for the 2024 season, per ESPN's Pete Thamel and Andrea Adelson.
All four schools reportedly opposing the expansion met earlier this year to consider options other than staying in the ACC, according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. (The other schools involved in the meetings were Miami, Virginia and Virginia Tech.)
Florida State in particular has expressed public displeasure with ACC membership. Adelson reported last Wednesday that university president Richard McCullough said Florida State would "very seriously" consider leaving the ACC without a change to how the conference distributes media revenue.
On the other side of the expansion vote are Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Louisville, the schools Forde and Johnson describe as "most vocal" in supporting the additions of Stanford and Cal.
Thamel and Adelson similarly reported Notre Dame being a vocal supporter of the potential additions, but noted that "multiple athletic directors have questioned why anyone in the league would listen to Notre Dame because the Irish remain so steadfast in remaining independent" in football.
Realignment Rumors 2023 Aug 21 (RX; HM)
Realignment Rumors 2023 Aug 21
BearGreg posted this on the BearInsider (Cal website):
Tuesday the 22nd looms as the day when the ACC may make an official vote
The economics are continuing to be negotiated. However, the Tweets and rumors that Stanford or anyone else will be taking no revenue are patently false. That's not to say that Cal and Stanford will get an equal share in year one as the discussion of what that number will be is likely what's holding up the proceedings at this point. When that is finalized, expect to it be far closer to an equal share than zero. And very likely a plan to get to equality in the not-too-distant future (similar to the UCLA, USC, UW, and OU deals with the B10).
Meanwhile, Cal will continue to have internal discussions about its forward-looking budget which at this point almost certainly requires material cuts to the existing supported sports programs.
Cal Athletics like all FBS schools utilizes football revenue (which for many years now has predominately come from media rights) to support a rich and diverse set of sports. Football is also the lynchpin of broader alumni outreach and academic donor support. In a potential future inside the ACC, it becomes imperative IMO for the University to ensure that Cal Football is well funded in order to be competitive such that it can continue to be the cash cow that supports the rest of the Athletic department. That funding is going to have to come from the University, the UCLA stipend, as well as donors.
So, like "all" other realignment decisions, it will be announced on Tuesday (if it happens at all). I'd add that IF Cal and Stanford are added to the ACC, don't be surprised if the league also goes after Utah and Arizona State to pull them from the Big XII, too.
Joel Klatt on the ACC: “Clemson runs the conference” (yahoo.com; Turri)
The ACC in 2023 will be one of the most exciting conferences in college football as Clemson and Florida State are expected to battle for the conference and compete for a college football playoff appearance.
Throughout this offseason, the Seminoles have arguably been the most hyped team in all of college football. It has been one of the top discussion points heading into the season, and that hype train has not slowed down. However, not everyone believes the ACC will be run by FSU.
Joel Klatt, FOX Sports’ lead college football analyst, recently discussed the ACC and the hype around the Seminoles.
“Am I buying the Florida State hype? That’s the question, because there’s a lot of hype out there about Florida State,” Klatt said. “And listen, I get it, and they’re likely going to win a lot of games this season. They’ve got a talented roster, they did really well in the transfer portal, they’ve recruited well and in an ACC that isn’t particularly strong top to bottom, are they ready? Yeah, they’re ready.
B1G Future? (RX; HM)
Could this be the future for Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech?
If so, is that the future they would want? Consider these things...
Instead of trips to Boston, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, they would be replacing them with trips to Piscataway NJ, College Park MD, Happy Valley PA... plus Ohio, Michigan (2X), Indiana (2X), Illinois (2X), Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Instead of the one trip every other year to California that was opposed by FSU and Clemson, they would get that plus 2 more West Coast trips.
Instead of recruiting players to play an all Eastern Time Zone schedule where 10 of 12 games are in the South, they would have to convince those players that it's better to spend at least half their weekends outside the South.
All of this, while possibly losing either your in-state rivalries, your 7th home game, or both.
Be careful what you wish for!
Weekend Links 2023 Aug 19 (RX; HM)
Weekend Links 2023 Aug 19
How beneficial is it to change conferences? Oh, sure, no one moves unless the money is good, but according to USA Today, the price of college football realignment is often losing seasons and stiffer competition:
Since 2004, 15 football programs in the current Power 5 conferences have realigned to join new leagues, often doing so by adding travel costs and sacrificing a history of success and cherished rivalries in their old leagues. Those teams then went on to play a combined 183 individual seasons since they changed conferences...
Yes, VT owns half of all conference championships won by expansion teams since 2004. For fans who just can't wait for your favorite team to leave the ACC for the Big Ten or the SEC, let those numbers sink in......those teams finished with a winning record in league play only 37% of the time out of those 183 chances, slightly lower than the Power 5 average of 41% in recent seasons excluding the 2020 pandemic year. Only eight of those of 183 chances have resulted in league championships, including four by Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference after leaving the Big East in 2004 and two by Utah in the Pac-12 after moving from the Mountain West in 2011.
"But we'll sell more tickets, and the atmosphere will be great!" some say. Consider the example of Maryland:
Of the top 33 biggest home crowds in Maryland history, only four have come since 2014, when the Terrapins moved to the Big Ten from the ACC... Of the top 33 home crowds at Maryland, 22 came... from 2001-2010.
Lesson: playing a bunch of big name visiting teams rarely makes up for losing more games. Fans show up when they think their team has a realistic shot to win the championship.
2023 Top 100 Players (ESPN, Preseason) (RX; HM)
2023 Top 100 Players (ESPN, Preseason)
According to ESPN, these are College football's top 100 players for 2023:
1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
3. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
4. Harold Perkins Jr., LB, LSU
5. Drake Maye, QB, N. Carolina
6. Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
7. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
8. Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State
9. Jared Verse, DL, Florida State
10. Mykel Williams, DE/Edge, Georgia
11. Joe Alt, OL, Notre Dame
12. Kool-Aid McKinstry, DB, Alabama
13. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
14. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
15. Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
16. Olu Fashanu, OL, Penn State
17. Donovan Edwards, RB, Michigan
18. Raheim Sanders, RB, Arkansas
19. Zak Zinter, OL, Michigan
20. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
21. Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson
22. Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss
23. Cameron Rising, QB, Utah
24. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, LB, Georgia
25. Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame
Top Academic Schools (RX; HM)
Top Academic Schools
Which colleges are the best at the four most sought-after majors: business, law, medicine, and engineering? Here are the lists compiled by Tony Altimore...
These charts really explain just how good Stanford and Cal academics realy are...TOP 15 BUSINESS, LAW, MED, & ENGINEERING GRAD SCHOOLS:
Check out the latest U.S. News rankings for the 15 best schools in each of the four big specialties below:
Some interesting things stand out, including how academically dominant the @IvyLeague remains and the new @BigTen… pic.twitter.com/GNZtS87z94
— Tony Altimore (@TJAltimore) August 19, 2023
Best Business Schools#6(tie) - Stanford
#11(tie) - Duke
#14 - Virginia
Best Law Schools#1 - Stanford
#5(tie) - Duke
#8(tie) - Virginia
#10(tie) - Cal
Best Medical Schools#5(tie) - Stanford, Duke
#13(tie) - Pitt
Best Engineering Schools#2 - Stanford
#3 - Cal
#5 - Georgia Tech
SummaryDuke appears on three of the four lists here. Virginia appears on two of them. Pitt and Georgia Tech are also on these lists, once each.
College football realignment: Could Big Ten force Notre Dame to join conference? (fansided.com; Buhler)
If the Big Ten were to go to 10 conference games, that might set in motion nationally-independent Notre Dame to finally join a league in football.
Manny Navarro of The Athletic brought up a very interesting thought in his Oddly specific predictions for every Top 25 college football team: What if the Big Ten forces Notre Dame to join a conference?
We have already seen the Fighting Irish jump into a lifeboat during COVID to be a super-special, one-time season member of the ACC during the pandemic. Notre Dame plays in the ACC in pretty much all of its other sports. Although they are geographically isolated from pretty much the rest of the league in Northern Indiana, they might actually be the perfect fit in an 20-team Big Ten league.
Navarro argued that by 2025, the Big Ten will adopt a 10-game conference schedule, making it incredibly difficult for the Irish to schedule enough Power Five games to round out its 12-game annual slate. While they do play between five and six ACC games annually due to their loose affiliation, who is to say the ACC will still be anything close to thriving in the next few seasons?
Let’s discuss if the Big Ten is capable of not only killing the Pac-12, but forcing what was once thought impossible: Getting Notre Dame to give up its national independent status in football.
Could Big Ten force Notre Dame’s hand into joining a conference in 2025?Look. I don’t think there is any reason for the Big Ten to go to 10 conference games. Yes, they could command more money in negotiating a new TV deal, but 10 conference games is a great way for high-quality teams in a league to drop one more than they ever have to. College Football Playoff expansion could afford some three-loss teams opportunities to get in, but why push it?
The only way the Big Ten goes to 10 games are if it can take away the NBC deal from Notre Dame, or if we somehow stopped having donkey brains and implemented a football czar of sorts to run this sport. The former could make Notre Dame sweat. If they cannot have all of their home games shown on NBC in the 1:30 p.m. ET window, then the Fighting Irish might have to reevaluate things.
The latter might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in beating Notre Dame into submission to finally join a conference in football. Should the football czar demand each power league to play 10 conference games, one game out of conference on a similar level, and one other game of their choosing, it may make it rather hard for the Fighting Irish athletic department to schedule games.
(youtube.com; podcast; The College Football Experience)
The College Football Experience (@TCEonSGPN) on the Sports Gambling Podcast Network continues its 133 college football team preview series with the Syracuse Orangemen 2023 season preview. Pick Dundee aka (@TheColbyD) & Patty C (@PattyC831) break down every single game on the 2023 Syracuse Orangemen football schedule and key in on what the biggest games are and how the season should go. The guys break down the offense, defense, special teams and grade how Syracuse did in the transfer portal during the offseason. Will Syracuse benefit from the fact there is no more ACC divisions? Could Dino Babers and Syracuse be a player in the ACC Conference race this season? Did Syracuse hit a home run when they landed legendary defensive coordinator Rocky Long? Plus, Michael Barker aka (@CFBcampustour) hops on the show to talk about his experiences at Syracuse games in Syracuse, New York.
Who Are Syracuse Football's Breakout Candidates In 2023 + Monroe Madness Gripes (youtube.com; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)
On your Locked On Syracuse Friday episode, Owen Valentine hits on a handful of new topics heading into the weekend. A look at Syracuse Football's roster for three candidates for breakout seasons, frustrations with Syracuse Basketball's Monroe Madness, plus a few shoutouts to wrap up the week.
2023 Syracuse Orange Football Season Preview w/ Emily Leiker (youtube.com; podcast; Basketball Conference)
Our season previews continue with a trip to Upstate New York, where Emily Leiker (@emleiker) of Syracuse.com joins to talk about the Orange in 2023, INCLUDING: Is the pressure finally mounting on Dino Babers to build more consistent success, and how did the win-loss pattern of 2022 impact things? Garrett Shrader is back, but this time without Sean Tucker by his side. Can he continue his string of success if the run game takes a step back? This Syracuse season will heavily depend on the team's health in the trenches. Things could go in several different ways in September...and that's the biggest key to the Orange making (or missing) a bowl game. All of this, plus record predictions and much more!
https://www.si.com/college/fsu/foot...u-football-could-serve-formal-notice-for-2025 (SI; Kimble)
Florida State is ready to make their move from the ACC. That's no secret. There are barriers and hurdles in the program's way, however, making things hard for the school to easily pick their next conference and make the move.
A move out of the ACC would be an intricate plan and devising it is going to take time.
There is no deal currently on the table and no solution at this time, sources tell Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde.
"They would not be shocked if the Seminoles serve formal notice of a 2025 move in a matter of days or weeks," Forde writes.
If FSU can find an avenue out of the conference that makes sense financially, it's hard to imagine they don't make the jump as soon as they can. They missed the window to make the move for the 2024 season, so the next window of opportunity for Florida State is the 2025 season.
Earlier this month, Florida State president Richard McCullough said the school would "seriously consider leaving the ACC unless there was a radical change to the revenue distribution."
Despite the top football schools in the conference -- Florida State and Clemson -- carrying the load in bringing numbers to ESPN during football season, the revenue is distributed evenly throughout the conference.
FSU Football’s EXCITING Updates on Recruiting & ACC News (youtube.com; podcast; Double Fries)
FSU Recruiting Updates, Conference Realignment with ACC Vote, Fall Camp updates, and a LSU preview.
A brewing debate: Who’s going to control land freed up after I-81 comes down in Syracuse? (PS; Breidenbach)
When New York tears down the 1.4-mile elevated Interstate 81 in Syracuse, it will leave behind at least 10 acres of vacant land that could become anything – housing, storefronts, parks or a grand welcome-to-Syracuse entrance.
City officials, neighborhood activists, housing advocates and union officials for the first time are publicizing their priorities, exploring ideas and revealing their differences about how that land should be controlled and developed.
It could forever change the landscape in downtown Syracuse and in the residential neighborhood south of downtown.
Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration sees the vacant land as an opportunity to build desperately needed affordable housing.
City officials are strongly considering a new concept that essentially puts the government back in the business of building and operating public housing. This time, however, it relies on a financial model that attracts both low-income and high-income tenants and does not rely so much on government funding.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and other neighborhood activists, however, want to remove the city from decision-making. They are asking the state Department of Transportation to sell the land directly to developers, leaving the city in a position to bid on it like anyone else.
For now, the state owns the land. State officials say they cannot talk about what happens with it until lawsuits over rebuilding I-81 have ended. They previously said they intend to create a working group that would include the city, the NYCLU and others.
Joe Driscoll, who oversees the I-81 project for Walsh, said the city has been “slow cooking” the idea of using government as the lead developer on the vacant land. They have been consulting for about six months with Paul Williams, director of the Center for Public Enterprise in New York, a new think tank interested in energy and housing.
The sausage sandwich at Santillo's has large slices of onions and bell peppers.Charlie Miller | email@example.com
NYS Fair Food Hall of Fame #2: A sure-fire vote getter and a crowd favorite (PS; Cazentre)
You can argue over whether Basilio’s is better than Gianelli’s, or vice versa, but you can’t argue with this:
The Italian sausage sandwich is one of the most iconic foods to be found at the New York State Fair. Just ask anyone running for political office. (More on that below).
The sausage, typically smothered in onions and peppers (or even the Basilio’s option of a “naked” sandwich), comes in at No. 2 in our New York State Fair Food Hall of Fame.
It’s the essence of the state fair wrapped in a long bun.
“I feel like this has to make my number one just because of the symbolism,” said Amy Robbins, a hall of fame voter and long-time radio host who joins with co-host Ted Long to provide the voice-over announcements on the fairgrounds. “Love them or hate them, the sausage sandwich is definitely one of the main representations of all things GREAT New York State Fair.”
One sign of the hold that the sausage has on fairgoers is the shock and despair that so many have had since the big Gianelli / Dinosaur Bar-B-Que stand near Chevy Court pulled out of the fair in 2021. No, it’s not coming back this year.
But sausage can still be found across the fairgrounds. Gianelli still supplies its Syracuse-made sausage to several stands, like Jimmy B’s and JJ’s. Basilio’s has its own stand on Restaurant Row. And others, like Santillo’s just outside the Dairy Building, make their own. You’ll also find sausage at stands like the Big Kahuna, the Butcher Boys and Lumpy’s Sandwich (formerly Mangia Bene) in The Eatery.
While Gianelli may be better known, Basilio’s was likely the first to serve a sausage sandwich on the fairgrounds. The stand was opened by Paul Basilio and his family in 1958. That was two years after the family founded Basilio Sausage in Syracuse. It later moved to Canastota. (Paul, by the way, was the brother of Hall of Fame boxing champion Carmen Basilio).
When he died in 2020, Paul Basilio held the record as the longest-tenured vendor at the fairgrounds. The family business, now called Basilio-Buda, still makes sausage in Canastota and runs the fair stand.
“Gianelli’s has the name and money,” syracuse.com restaurant critic and hall of fame voter Jared Paventi said. “But true players know who makes the best sausage.”
LM Social opens in its new location on Monday, Aug. 21. Owner Becca Ewald (center with scissors) cut the ribbon at a private celebration last week. (Charlie Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Year-old Syracuse restaurant known for ‘vibe dining’ set to open at former Lemon Grass spot (PS; $; Miller)
The biggest problem Le Melange faced when it opened a year ago was that it wasn’t big enough. The Armory Square restaurant known for its bright and not-so-quiet “vibe dining” could handle 150 people at once, including staff.
Owner Becca Ewald solved that issue in February when she signed a lease to take over the space at 238 W. Jefferson St., the former home to Lemon Grass before it moved around the corner to Walton Street. She immediately gained 5,000 square feet and a much larger kitchen.
After months of demolition, rebuilding and a name change, Ewald’s new restaurant is ready. LM Social is set to open at 3 p.m. Monday.
“The old space was a hypothesis. I wanted to see if Syracuse would want something like this, and the answer was yes,” she said. “So we’re bringing the 90s back. We’re business in the front and a party in the back.”