Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Mulligan Day!

Mulligan Day is a day when people redo something that didn't turn out the first time. It is a day when people give themselves or others a second chance. Mulligan is a term used in golf when someone who shoots a bad shot is given a do-over. It is only used in informal games, and usually only one extra shot is given per 18 holes, although sometimes a mulligan is given every 9 holes. The term can be applied to other games such as darts as well. The word likely came from David Mulligan, a Canadian golfer prominent in the 1920's, who either hit a poor tee shot, was jumpy and shaky after a shot, or overslept and was late for a shot. Another theory is that John A. "Buddy" Mulligan, a locker room attendant from New Jersey, played golf with a sports writer who started using the term after Mulligan needed a redo after his first shot. The writer, Des Sullivan, used the term in his golf articles for the Newark Evening News. Regardless of which of these stories is true, the term has stuck, and this day is dedicated to it.

SU News

Film Review: LeQuint Allen Jr.'s physicality carried SU's offense against FSU (DO; Alandt)

Head coach Dino Babers said Syracuse’s offense hasn’t had success over the last three games because opposing defenses are full of future NFL talent. There’s no way to successfully gameplan for players like No. 4 Florida State’s Jared Verse or Shyheim Brown. But a week after the Orange tried and failed to implement a run-heavy offense against North Carolina, LeQuint Allen Jr. established himself as a viable running back on all facets of the game.

The Orange installed more jumbo formations and off-tackle runs that Babers hoped would help SU win the line of scrimmage and put together long drives. It ended with more time of possession than Florida State, but Syracuse was still handed its worst loss of the season. Allen Jr. showed his ability to seek contact and gain notable yards after contact, while taking the top off the defense in open space.

Here’s what led to Allen Jr. rushing for 110 yards in Syracuse’s (4-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) 41-3 loss to No. 4 Florida State (6-0, 4-0 ACC):

More bodies means more yards

The throwback jumbo formation that Syracuse first flaunted against Western Michigan has helped it convert third downs and continue drives. With just under 8:00 left in the first quarter, Syracuse found itself in a third-and-1 situation down 7-0.

The Orange essentially told the Seminoles they were running the ball. Max Mang was positioned on the right side as an extra blocker and Dan Villari was in a three-point stance next to Allen Jr. in the backfield. Five Florida State linemen were matched up with seven SU blockers, with Villari acting as the eighth. Four defensive backs stood over top, three of which shot the gap toward the right tackle when Garrett Shrader handed the ball off. Kalen DeLoach slapped Verse on the left hip, telling him to cut to his left.

But for the first time Saturday, Syracuse pushed back against a top defensive line in the country. Allen Jr. was set up one-on-one with a linebacker, who he shoved off, allowing him to easily take off for the first down and more yards in space for a gain of eight.

A hammer finding a nail

This third-and-5 play early in the second quarter showed Syracuse still has some sign of an offensive identity, despite scoring just 24 points in the last three weeks. Offensive coordinator Jason Beck has utilized pre-snap motions to confuse opposing secondaries and open up a receiver for a short yardage pass. Umari Hatcher sprinted up from the outside, and upon the snap, executed a mesh route that drew the Mike linebacker to the other side of the field with him.

Damien Alford took off on a go-route that drew the cornerback covering the left side of the field onto him. Executed perfectly, no one was on Allen Jr., who leaked out from the backfield. Allen Jr. caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage and had a safety bearing down on him just a yard after the catch. He easily stiff-armed him away and bullied his way through two defenders trying to wrap him up.

Allen Jr. looked up and saw another safety crouched at the 44-yard line. He lowered his right shoulder into Brown and barreled over him to gain three extra yards. What could have been a 1-yard gain, stalling out the Orange at midfield, became an 18-yard gain that silenced Florida State and led to SU’s only points Saturday.

Allen Jr. shows physicality even on bad plays



Jason Simmon Jr (6) Joe Zhao | Assistant Photo Editor

Jason Simmons Jr. grew up in the Green Bay Packers’ locker room (DO; Miller)

Whenever Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander catches up with his old position coach, Jason Simmons Sr., he asks how “Little J” is doing. Now 6 feet tall and 200 lbs, Jason Simmons Jr. is not so little anymore, manning the top of Syracuse’s secondary as the starting free safety.

Four years after retiring from the NFL, Simmons Sr. became the Packers’ secondary coach, moving his family from Houston, Texas, to Wisconsin. Then-head coach Mike McCarthy welcomed kids into the facility, giving Simmons Jr. an inside look of an NFL team from the first time he put on a helmet.

“He was able to sit in the back of meetings early on, and I think that was really good for him to see those guys as people and not superstars or NFL players,” Simmons Sr. said. “He just got a chance to be with the guys… and see their strengths and weaknesses.”

Alexander, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Damarious Randall and Tramon Williams all impacted Simmons Jr. His mother, Tiffany Simmons, said the Packers’ secondary was a close-knit group who embraced their family, coming out to support Simmons Jr. and his sister Jaddan Simmons at their sporting events.

“That is when I saw him really respecting certain players and modeling his game after certain players,” Tiffany said.

Newhouse after Noon 10-16-23 (ESPN; radio; Newhouse at Night)

Newhouse was live today from the ESPN studio! Jacob Charnow & Shane Holcombe started things off discussing this past weekend’s NFL games. In the second segment Jacob Kaye & Michael Ostrowski ended things with an interview with’s Mike Waters.

Keeping Up With The 315 10-16-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian Higgins opens the show diving into why these next five games are some of the most important games for the direction of the SU football program in 20 years. Then, a caller chimes in with his take on the FSU game and Brian reacts to some of Dino Babers’ postgame comments about the offense. Finally, he compares where the Orange football program ranks compared to some peers like Pittsburgh.

Adam Terry "The 315" 10-16-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Syracuse radio color analyst Adam Terry joins Brian Higgins, as he does every Monday following an SU game, to react to the tough loss at Florida State and assess where the Orange stand with five games remaining on the regular season schedule. (SI; podcast; The Bleav)

Bleav in Syracuse podcast episode 83, presented by Bet Online, Hofmann Sausage Company and Purple Banana, is out! We discuss silver linings in Syracuse football's 41-3 loss at Florida State, predict the Orange's final record with what we know now and more. You can subscribe and listen on your favorite podcasting platforms as linked below.

Syracuse football: first down offense vs Florida State (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange offense failed to score a touchdown for the first time in 2023. It’s hard to find many positives from the game and once again the problems start right from the get go.

Syracuse tried to come out and throw right away and it ended up in a sack. For most the half the Orange went back to the run again and LeQuint Allen was heavily featured. Dan Villari had a nice pick-up and there was one trick play where Donovan Brown threw a pass back to Garrett Shrader. Those two plays were the highlight. Shrader fumble was the lowlight.

First down offense vs FSU

Pass (Sack)-5Run (Allen)5
Run (Allen)2Run (Allen)2
Run (Allen)3Pass (Incomplete)0
Run (Allen)6Run (Allen)0
Pass (Villari)11Pass (Alford)15
Run (Allen)5Run (Allen)1
Pass (Shrader)9Run (Allen)25
Run (Shrader)4Pass (Incomplete)0
Pass (Sack)-9 FumbleRun (Price)0
Run (Allen)3Run (Price)3
Run (Allen)1Run (Price)5
Pass (Allen)2Run (Price)2
Pass (Incomplete)0
1st HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
2nd HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
Game TotalPlaysYardsAvg yards per play

The second half was more of the same. Syracuse had two effective plays, but struggled. After the bye, the Orange need to find a way to get the short passing game going. Early in the season, those opportunities created tempo which kept opponents off-balance and should open more space for Allen to do what he does.

Syracuse Football: Struggling Orange plummets in ESPN’s power index (itlh; Adler)

Syracuse football, as a result of its current three-game losing streak, continues to slide in ESPN’s football power index (“FPI”).

Most recently, last Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla., the Orange’s offense continued to struggle, and the ‘Cuse got smoked by top-five Florida State, 41-3.

The ‘Cuse (4-3, 0-3 in the ACC) has now gotten decisively beat in three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference affairs, first at home to Clemson, and then on the road to highly rated North Carolina and FSU.

As such, Syracuse football dropped eight spots, to No. 36 overall, in the FPI, which is “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season,” according to ESPN’s Web site.

Residing in the top 40 overall of the FPI is okay, but it’s a far cry from where the Orange sat last month, when the ‘Cuse was No. 18 after a 2-0 start and No. 20 overall when Syracuse football sported a 4-0 mark at the conclusion of its 2023 non-conference calendar.

Ha! Ex-Syracuse football star returns to NFL ‘straight off the couch’ (SU, CNY in Week 6) (PS; Herbert)

Two former Syracuse football players were elevated to the active roster on the New York Giants, and one of them got to make a funny introduction on “Sunday Night Football.”

“Justin Pugh... straight off the couch,” joked offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who returned to NFL action for the first time this season.

Normally players say what school they went to during TV intros, but we’ll forgive him for not saying Syracuse University (this time).

Justin Pugh keeping it real in his first game back @JustinPugh

: #NYGvsBUF on NBC
: Stream on #NFLPlus NFL+ | Live games and more, on the go.
— NFL (@NFL) October 16, 2023

Pugh, who last played a full year ago, was on the field for 100% of the Giants’ offensive snaps in the New York’s 14-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Pugh and the offensive line protected quarterback Tyrod Taylor well, allowing just three sacks, though Pugh was called for two false start penalties in the first half.

“Obviously, I made mistakes,” Pugh said. “I was having issues with the cadence. It wasn’t even my physical issues; it was just getting the cadence dialed in. I wish I could get those plays back.”

He was also forced to shift positions to left tackle due to a depleted lineup for New York, but told media he felt good despite having little time to get back in playing shape.

Pugh, 33, played four years at SU and was a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, spending five seasons with the New York Giants and five with the Arizona Cardinals. He started 119 of 120 career games before tearing his ACL with Arizona last fall; he underwent knee surgery and hadn’t signed with a team this season until joining the Giants’ practice squad earlier this month.

Syair Torrence: Does Syracuse Have Another Chance? (; Aitken)

Three-star Christian Brothers Academy football player Syair Torrence just decommitted from his second school, Michigan State. This comes just months after decommitting from SU in May. Do the Orange have a shot at keeping Torrence in Syracuse? The answer is complicated.

Torrence’s timeline started last November, when he originally stated he was going to SU. But in May, he decommitted after receiving an offer from Michigan State. In June, Torrence said he would become a Spartan. But yesterday, after MSU head coach Mel Tucker was fired amid sexual harassment allegations, the high school senior is looking for his collegiate home for a third time.

Torrence is certainly a valuable player tha teams will be going after. He’s a three-star recruit according to 247 Sports, as well as the fifth-best player in the entire state of New York. Torrence is also a versatile player, who’s been recruited as both a wide receiver and a cornerback.

Other teams that have given offers to Torrence include Boston College, Rutgers, and even Michigan, the in-state rival of Michigan State.

The offer from the Wolverines came in August, after Torrence had already committed to the Spartans, so clearly Michigan has been confident in its recruiting chances for a while.

BC also has an inside track. A few weeks ago, the Eagles hosted Torrence on a visit during their Red Bandana Game against Florida State. The fact that Boston College got him to campus when he was already committed to another school is a good sign for that program.

Syracuse’s relationship with Torrence is complicated. His older brother, Symir, used to play basketball for SU, but transferred downstate to Binghamton. While that direct connection to the Orange is gone, Torrence plays at CBA, just three miles away from campus. Plus, given his former commitment to Syracuse, the recruit already has a connection to head coach Dino Babers.

So can the Orange entice Syair Torrence to come back home? Only time will tell, but it’s another chance for Babers to improve on a solid class in 2024.

Garrett Shrader Update: Pulled In Week 7, Will He Return? (CFN; Mellor)

The Syracuse Orange and star QB Garrett Shrader have had a difficult road through the waning stages of September and into October. Truth be told, their Week 8 bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.

Following a trio of losses that culminated with Shrader being pulled from the game against Florida State, when will the ‘Cuse QB make his return?

A ‘Too Weak’ Garrett Shrader Pulled From FSU Game

Though largely ineffective against the Seminoles, Shrader still presents a unique challenge for opponents. His dual-threat ability is documented and he’s been known to give defense fits with his ability to buy time in the pocket and outside of the structure of the offense and dominate with his off-script downfield passing.

Against FSU, however, that was hardly the case.

Shrader was bottled up and threw for just 99 yards with three sacks and -10 rushing yards. Ultimately, he was removed from the game in the second half and did not return.

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers explained his removal from the lineup following the 41-3 loss to FSU. Babers mentioned that Shrader got food poisoning from dinner the night before the game, and the plan was to keep him hydrated and play through the effects.

“It was one of those things where we were trying to keep him going,” Babers said during the postgame press conference. “It just came to a point where he was just getting too weak in the game, and we just needed to make a change.”

Carlos Del Rio-Wilson entered the game for Shrader and didn’t fare any better.

Collectively, the Syracuse QBs threw for just 137 yards and an interception, while FSU held the Orange to just 261 yards of total offense.

2023 Cinematic Recap: vs. Syracuse (youtube; video; FSU)

No. 4 Florida State defeated Syracuse 41-3 in front of a sold-out Doak Campbell Stadium and ABC national audience, improving to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC. Led by Heisman Trophy contender Jordan Travis, who threw a touchdown pass in his 18th consecutive game and accounted for multiple touchdowns for the 13th game in a row, FSU's offense scored at least 30 points for the 12th straight game and pushed his winning streak to 12. Keon Coleman joined Peter Warrick as the only players in program history with at least 100 receiving yards (140) and 100 punt return yards (107) in the same game. The defense was led by Shyheim Brown's team-best seven tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks, and forced a takeaway for the 11th straight game when Joshua Farmer forced a fumble in the second quarter recovered by Jared Verse and Greedy Vance Jr. added an interception in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles held Syracuse to three points for the second straight year, marking only the sixth time in program history Florida State held an ACC opponent to three points or fewer in back-to-back matchups.

ACC News

Why the FSU football roster is a melting pot under Mike Norvell (; Baker)

Watch Florida State’s highlights from last week’s lopsided win over Syracuse, and the No. 4 Seminoles’ adroit use of the transfer portal is clear.

There’s Keon Coleman (Michigan State) making one-handed catches while joining Peter Warrick as the only FSU players with 100 receiving yards and 100 punt return yards in the same game.

There’s quarterback Jordan Travis (Louisville) accounting for three touchdowns and tying Christian Ponder for the most wins ever by an FSU starting quarterback (23). There’s future first-round pick Jared Verse (Albany) recovering a fumble and Jaheim Bell (South Carolina) making a big third-down catch.

But their successes overshadow the foundation Mike Norvell is building. FSU isn’t entering Saturday’s marquee game against No. 16 Duke as a College Football Playoff contender because of the portal alone. The Seminoles are in the championship hunt because Norvell has maximized a uniquely blended roster.

Look no further than the tone-setting, three-and-out defensive series that started the game. On the first play, Shyheim Brown and Kalen DeLoach converged for a sack. Fentrell Cypress broke up a pass on the next play, then pushed a receiver out of bounds to end the drive.

WR Johnny Wilson, QB Jordan Travis good to go as No. 4 FSU prepares for 16th-ranked Duke (; Ferrante)

No. 4 Florida State should be close to full strength offensively for its matchup against 16th-ranked Duke on Saturday.

Receiver Johnny Wilson and quarterback Jordan Travis are good to go this week in practice, coach Mike Norvell said Monday, and offensive tackle Bless Harris is set to return after missing the last two games.

Wilson, a 6-foot-7 junior who sat out the team’s 41-3 victory over Syracuse because of an undisclosed injury, “progressed really well over the weekend,” Norvell said.

“I feel very good about Johnny,” Norvell said. “Plan on having him rolling throughout the week.”

Wilson left FSU’s game against Virginia Tech on Oct. 7 after he was sandwiched by two defenders. Wilson has 20 receptions for 357 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came against the Hokies.

Travis injured his left hand just before halftime Saturday, but returned to play in the second half. Norvell said Travis, who has a program-best 87 offensive touchdowns, also should be fine against the Blue Devils.

Those are significant positives for Florida State (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which has scored 30 or more points in 12 straight games and is seeking a 13th consecutive victory. Duke (5-1, 2-0) has injury questions of its own, most notably the status of quarterback Riley Leonard (ankle).

ACC football grades: Florida State's hot start earns 'A,' Clemson gets 'C+' as 2023 season nears halfway point (; Patterson)

The college football schedule is nearing the midway point, and for many ACC teams the 2023 season has already been quite a rollercoaster. The conference boasted early-season success against the SEC in nonconference play but also suffered losses at the hands of Northern Illinois, Bowling Green and Marshall in the first half of the season.
Despite some bad losses, there are five ACC teams in the AP Top 25, including three that are off to undefeated starts: No. 4 Florida State, No. 12 North Carolina and No. 14 Louisville. And while those three teams are not scheduled play each other in the regular season -- a storyline that has sent us all scrambling to research the tiebreakers for a new division-less ACC -- the fact that there are three top-15 teams without a loss at this point has provided some strength to offset some of the league's more disappointing starts.

With the midseason point on the horizon, let's hand out grades for all 14 teams in the ACC. Keep in mind there's still enough time left to change the final grade but also plenty of chances to lose all of the credit earned to this point.

ACC report card


Boston College
In a make-or-break season, the Eagles are only about one game off pace in the win-loss column from preseason expectations. With winnable games left on the schedule, a bowl is definitely still in play. But while the 3-3 record checks out on the surface, the narrow margins along the way are worth some penalty on the midterm grade. Boston College has won its three games against Holy Cross, Virginia and Army by exactly three points each, riding the dual-threat capabilities of quarterback Thomas Castellanos to come up with just enough plays to finish on the winning side of these close games. Grade: C

Graded against the rest of the ACC, Clemson is firmly in the top half among its peers and boasts one of the best defenses in the country alongside an offense that seemed to find a groove by the end of September. Grading Clemson by its own standard and the preseason expectations of ACC championship contention is a different story. The offense that seemed to be surging hit a bit of a rut against Wake Forest last week with its worst yards-per-play performance of the season. Another 10-win season is an attainable goal, but with a 2-2 ACC record to this point, another conference crown seems like a long shot. Grade: C+

The preseason narrative around Duke was that it could be better than the nine-win team from a season ago but still face an uphill battle to reach a bowl game because of its schedule. That perspective was erased with a season-opening statement win against Clemson. Now, the conversation — even in the wake of quarterback Riley Leonard's injury — is not Duke's path to a bowl, but rather its path to an ACC Championship Game appearance. A fourth-and-16 stop against Notre Dame makes this an A+, but instead we're just a half-grade off the league's undefeated teams. Grade: A-

Florida State
Now that Florida State has entered October with its College Football Playoff contender status certified, there has been some nitpicking. Still, a big-picture view of where the Seminoles stand, especially in the context of the ACC, demands the highest of grades. Coach Mike Norvell led this group back from halftime deficits against LSU in Orlando and Clemson in Death Valley, with the latter being arguably the most impressive conference win of the season. Sitting at 5-0 with a top-four AP poll ranking, the path is clear for FSU as long as it can continue its winning ways. Grade: A

Georgia Tech
The real pain of a Week 4 loss to Bowling Green, which saw the Yellow Jackets give up 438 yards of offense and sparked a defensive change by coach Brent Key, won't be felt as much here in our grades as it will at the end of the season if Georgia Tech winds up at 5-7. There is an undeniable boost in the grade for capitalizing on Miami's mistakes and bouncing back with a ranked win against the Hurricanes; however, games against Boston College, Virginia and Syracuse are must-win status for a group that was competitive in losses to Louisville and Ole Miss but needs to find more wins to make the postseason. Grade: C

It's one thing to recognize a favorable schedule, as many did in the preseason, but it takes actual quality to go and capitalize the way the Cardinals have in their 6-0 start. With no true road games until Week 5, it took some time for everyone to catch on to Jawhar Jordan's stellar start -- he's top five nationally at 147.3 all-purpose yards per game -- and a Cardinals defense that has answered the call in wins against NC State and Notre Dame. There's no hiding anymore for coach Jeff Brohm, who in his first year at his alma mater has become one of the biggest stories in the conference for 2023. Grade: A

Miami (Fla.)
Our voters dropped Miami out of the top 25 of the CBS Sports 133 after the crushing loss to Georgia Tech, and the AP voters nearly did as well. I understand the instant reaction in the polls and rankings, but if we're grading the season as a whole, we cannot erase the credit awarded to a team that blitzed past Texas A&M in Week 2 and carried an undefeated record into the month of October; however, the strength of those other wins are not enough to outweigh the penalty for the Georgia Tech loss. While a lot of things seemed to be going well, we've hit a midseason crossroads for a team that has goals of competing for an ACC championship. The opportunities are there with games against UNC, Clemson, Florida State and Louisville left on the schedule. Grade: B

North Carolina
While the Tar Heels don't have a ranked win on the schedule, they have beaten four power-conference opponents in their 5-0 start by at least 14 points, most recently throttling a 4-2 Syracuse team by 33 in Chapel Hill. Quarterback Drake Maye has shaken off a rocky start to play some of his best football of the season, with seven total touchdowns (four passing, three rushing) and zero interceptions in the last two games. Maye's ceiling is UNC's ceiling. As he's found his form, the Tar Heels have found different ways to win different styles of games. Grade: A

NC State
The consternation around a team that has won four of its first six games -- with the only losses coming to top-25 teams -- may be surprising, but when the offense struggles the way it has you're going to hear some grumbling. NC State ranks No. 13 in the ACC and No. 108 nationally at 5.11 yards per play on offense. The early-season struggles prompted coach Dave Doeren to make a quarterback change from Virginia transfer Brennan Armstrong to MJ Morris. The Wolfpack responded to the spark with 48 points against Marshall, but it was — like all of the other wins against FBS opponents this year — another close game. In its five games against FBS opponents (3-2), NC State has just a -4 point differential. Grade: C

No team in the ACC has performed further from preseason expectations than Pitt. Picked tied for sixth place in the preseason media poll with an oddsmakers win total of 7.0 wins, the Panthers are entering the second weekend of October and have yet to record a win against an FBS opponent. A 17-point loss at Virginia Tech back in Week 5 might have been a bottoming out moment that coach Pat Narduzzi can use to rally the group coming out of the off week. Still, Pitt has been one of the most ineffective offensive teams not just in the ACC, but in the country. Grade: D

It's important to note that we are grading what has happened so far and not projecting what's to come in the second half of the season. We mention that here because Syracuse, after a 4-0 start, has lost two straight games by a combined 71-21 score and just lost its fourth major contributor for the season due to injury. Seeing the depth chart thin out as conference competition ramps up is less than ideal, but our goal here is to grade what's already been accomplished, which includes four wins in six games with a road victory at Purdue. Grade: B-

Like Pitt, Virginia has not yet defeated an FBS opponent. Unlike Pitt, the Wahoos were not expected to be among the top half of the conference heading into the year. It's a results business an we're grading it as such, but under the hood there are signs that this group continues to compete despite the growing pile of defeats. Virginia's losses to James Madison, NC State and Boston College came by a combined margin of seven points, leaving knowledge that they are just a few plays away from a much better record than 1-5 through six games. Grade: C-

Virginia Tech
After a painfully rocky start that included injury issues at the skill positions and a quarterback change, Virginia Tech may have found its level in recent weeks. The Hokies have an uphill battle to be bowl eligible after a 2-4 start, but they've been running the football better and showed some spunk in a 10-0 second quarter at Florida State last week. Still, the record and the season-long stats are among the worst in the ACC, and showing spunk for 15 minutes isn't enough override the rest of the résumé. Grade: C-

Wake Forest
After 19 combined wins and an Atlantic Division title across the last two seasons, there has been a recalibration of expectations for the Demon Deacons. The passing attack has gone from one of the best in the conference to middling, at best, as new starting quarterback Mitch Griffis has nine touchdowns and five interceptions through the first five games of the year. At 3-2 overall, the season's only true misstep was a 14-point home loss to Georgia Tech. That loss could be costly as the Demon Deacons face a challenging conclusion to the season to reach bowl eligibility. Grade: C
... (; Keepfer)
Another week, another ACC team falling by the wayside.
Louisville became the latest league team to drop from the ranks of the undefeated, and the Cardinals accomplished the feat in convincing fashion with a 38-21 loss at Pitt.
That defeat against a Pitt team that entered the game with only one victory this season left Florida State and North Carolina as the ACC’s lone unbeatens and on a collision course for the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 2.
The Seminoles, at No. 4, and the Tar Heels, at No. 10, lead four ACC teams ranked in the latest US LBM Coaches Poll. Duke checks in at No. 17 while Louisville comes in at No. 21 after dropping six spots.

The two games worth watching in the ACC this week? Try Duke at Florida State and Clemson at Miami in a couple of prime time games on ABC and the ACC Network, respectively.
Here’s an updated look at where ACC teams stack up:

1. Florida State (6-0, 4-0)

Last week: 1

This week: vs. Duke

What to know: The Seminoles have scored 30 or more points in 12 consecutive games. Can they make it 13 against the ACC’s top scoring defense?

2. North Carolina (6-0, 3-0)

Last week: 2

This week: vs. Virginia

What to know: The Tar Heels are shooting for their first 7-0 start in 26 years. They’ll get it with plenty of points to spare.

3. Duke (5-1, 2-0)

Last week: 4

This week: at Florida State

What to know: Is Duke officially a football school? Let’s not go that far, but the Blue Devils have won 14 of 19 games since Mike Elko took the reins in 2022.

4. Louisville (6-1, 3-1)

Last week: 3

This week: Open

What to know: The Cardinals may be poised for a big rebound what with four of their final five games at home.

5. Clemson (4-2, 2-2)

Last week: 5

This week: at Miami

What to know: The last time Clemson played at Miami, the Tigers won 58-0 and the Hurricanes fired coach Al Golden the next day. Mario Cristobal is a bit safer – at least for now.

6. Miami (4-2, 1-2)

Last week: 6

This week: vs. Clemson

What to know: Free advice: Mario, if your team is leading Clemson and has the ball in the final minute, take a knee.

7. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-1)

Last week: 8

This week: vs. Boston College

What to know: The Yellow Jackets lost at home to Bowling Green by 11, but won at Miami and Wake Forest. Make it make sense.

8. Virginia Tech (3-4, 2-1)

Last week: 12

This week: Open

What to know: The Hokies continue to show signs of life following a 1-3 start.

9. NC State (4-3, 1-2)

Last week: 7

This week: Open

What to know: No one needs an open date more than the Wolfpack. They need time to find an offense.

10. Pitt (2-4, 1-2)

Last week: 13

This week: vs. Wake Forest

11. Boston College (3-3, 1-3)

Last week: 11

This week: at Georgia Tech

What to know: This week’s game at Georgia Tech could prove the most interesting among the also-rans.

12. Wake Forest (3-3, 0-3)

Last week: 9

This week: vs. Pitt

What to know: Wake coach Dave Clawson summed up his team’s 17-point loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday rather succinctly: “Bad day at the office.” I’ll say.

13. Syracuse (4-3, 0-3)

Last week: 10

This week: Open

What to know: Given their upcoming schedule, I’m still giving the Orange a shot at bowl eligibility.

10 things I'm absolutely overreacting to after Week 7 in the ACC - Saturday Road (; Friedlander)

OK, I admit it. I got suckered in by Louisville just like everyone else.

The crazy thing is that the Cardinals’ upset of Notre Dame last week looks even better now after the Irish’s impressive bounce-back win against Southern Cal on Saturday.

Maybe Jeff Brohm’s team really is as good as we thought it was and the hangover that caused its meltdown against Pittsburgh could simply have been avoided by taking a hydration pack.

We’ll find out in the coming weeks. Until then, it’s more fun to overreact.

So here’s my take on the Cardinals and 9 other things I’m absolutely overreacting to after Week 7 in and around the ACC.

10. Who cares when basketball starts?

It’s about this time every year when the thoughts of ACC fans, especially those in North Carolina’s Triangle region, turn to basketball.

Practice is underway and there’s less than a month to go before the first games are played.

So what?

It’s still football season. And for the first time in recent memory, the best is still yet to come. The ACC has 4 ranked teams, including 2 in the top 10. There’s depth and quality throughout the league with an abundance of individual stars.

And not only is there a great chance of at least 1 ACC team making it into the College Football Playoff, it’s someone other than Clemson,

Hoops can wait.

9. Clawson should have brought in a transfer QB

Seven ACC coaches brought in veteran quarterbacks off the transfer portal last offseason. Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson wasn’t among them.

And it’s not because he wasn’t able to find one he liked. He was so confident in holdover Mitch Griffis’ ability to replace departing free agent Sam Hartman without much of a drop-off that he didn’t even try.

“When Sam left, which we knew he was, we didn’t even look at the transfer market,” he said back in July. “We didn’t even consider bringing a transfer in.”

Six games into the season, there’s a good chance Clawson is regretting that decision.

Griffis has struggled, especially with his penchant for holding onto the ball too long, taking sacks and turning the ball over. Wake’s once-potent slow mesh RPO offense that led the ACC in scoring last season is currently ranked 13th out of 14 teams. And its streak of 6 straight seasons averaging better than 30 points per game is in serious jeopardy.

Things have gotten so bad that Clawson lifted Griffis in favor of backup Michael Kern in Saturday’s loss to Virginia Tech. But even that didn’t help. The Deacons’ only touchdown came on a 96-yard kickoff return by Demond Claiborne. And to make matters worse, Kern went down with an injury late in the game.

With no other options and a tough remaining schedule that includes games against Florida State, Duke and Notre Dame, the Deacons will be hard-pressed to find the 3 more wins they need to gain bowl eligibility.

8. High-powered Drones

Of all the transfer quarterbacks that did come into the league this year, Virginia Tech’s Kyron Drones arrived with the lowest expectations. He was slated to serve as a backup to incumbent Grant Wells with most of his playing time coming as a change-of-pace guy because of his running ability.

That plan changed when Wells suffered a leg injury against Purdue in Week 2. It took awhile for coach Brent Pry and his offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen to figure out how best to use Drones. But once they did, the Baylor transfer has become one of the ACC’s most impactful veteran newcomers.

Drones threw for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns while also leading the Hokies in rushing in Saturday’s 30-13 win against Wake Forest. He’s led Tech to wins in 2 of its past 3 games to improve its record to 3-3 and put it into a realistic position to earn bowl eligibility for the first time since before the pandemic in 2019.

ACC Power Ranking: Only 2 undefeated teams remain after Pitt upsets Top-15 Louisville (PS; Leiker)

Pittsburgh pulled it off against No. 14 Louisville on Saturday evening.

The Panthers beat the Cardinals 38-21, shutting them out in the second half while running up the score with its revamped offense.

There are now just two undefeated teams in the ACC: No. 4 Florida State and No. 10 North Carolina. The two teams will not meet in the regular season and are the likely favorites for the ACC Championship game just past the midpoint of the season.

Here’s the full ACC power ranking entering Week 8.

1. Florida State (6-0, 4-0 ACC)

Last week: W 41-3 vs. Syracuse

This week: vs. No. 16 Duke; 7:30 p.m.; ABC

Florida State continued to prove its dominance in the conference, tacking 17 unanswered points on to its score in the final quarter against Syracuse for a 41-3 victory.

The Seminoles next play No. 16 Duke which may or may not be with starting QB Riley Leonard.

2. North Carolina (6-0, 3-0 ACC)

Last week: W 41-31 vs. No. 25 Miami

This week: vs. Virginia; 6:30 p.m.; The CW

UNC outscored Miami 21-0 in the third quarter after the Hurricanes took the lead prior to halftime, locking up the game early in the second half. The Tar Heels forced four turnovers against Miami’s offense.

3. Duke (5-1, 2-0 ACC) ↑1

Last week: W 24-3 vs. N.C. State

This week: at No. 4 Florida State; 7:30 p.m.; ABC

Duke played without quarterback Riley Leonard, who’s still recovering from an ankle injury in Week 5, and had to lean on its run game. But it quickly pulled out to a 17-3 lead against the Wolfpack by early in the second quarter.

Leonard was day-to-day ahead of the game. He’ll be three weeks removed from his injury when the Blue Devils travel to No. 4 FSU.

4. Louisville (6-1, 3-1 ACC) ↓1

Last week: L 38-21 at Pittsburgh

This week: BYE

Off its big win over Notre Dame, Louisville’s offense stumbled on the road at Pittsburgh. It lost running back Jawhar Jordan early to an injury, as well as two other players, and turned the ball over three times in the conference.

It gets a week off now to reset.

5. Miami (4-2, 0-2 ACC)

Last week: L 41-31 at No. 12 North Carolina

This week: vs. Clemson; 8 p.m.; ACC Network

Miami had four turnovers in the second half (two interceptions, a fumble and a turnover on downs), nixing any chance it had after leading 17-14 at halftime.

The Hurricanes are now 0-2 in ACC play and dropped out of the AP Top 25 rankings with the loss.

6. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-1 ACC)

Last week: BYE

This week: vs. Boston College; noon; ACC Network

The Yellow Jackets host Boston College out of their bye week. Georgia Tech is 1-1 at Bobby Dodd Stadium this season, beating South Carolina State early but then falling to Bowling Green a few weeks later.

7. Clemson (4-2, 2-2 ACC)

Last week: BYE

This week: at Miami; 8 p.m.; ACC Network

Clemson comes off bye to host a Miami team that’s looking to keep itself relevant after dropping two straight conference games.

The Tigers, though still from the dominant offense the conference is accustomed to them being, have looked solid since some shaky moments early in the season and have two conference wins under their belts.

8. N.C. State (4-3, 1-2 ACC)

Last week: L 24-3 at No. 17 Duke

This week: BYE

N.C. State couldn’t find momentum offensively in MJ Morris’ second start, even despite putting points on the board first in the contest after its defense picked off Henry Belin IV on Duke’s first drive.

9. Syracuse (4-3, 0-3 ACC)

Last week: L 41-3 at No. 4 Florida State

This week: BYE

Syracuse gets a week off before it’s tasked with proving three straight losses, two by 30-plus points, were the product of starting conference play against some of the ACC’s top talent and not internal problems, specifically surrounding the offense.

10. Virginia Tech (3-4, 2-1 ACC) ↑2

Last week: W 30-13 vs. Wake Forest

This week: BYE

Virginia Tech notched its second straight conference win with a solid defensive showing against Wake Forest, only allowing the Demon Deacons in the end zone on a kick return.

It goes on bye before hosting an SU team still searching for an ACC win in Week 9.
... (SI; McGavic)

We're now at the halfway mark of the 2023 college football season, and the battle for the Atlantic Coast Conference is starting to shape up.

Following Louisville's upset loss, we're now left with just two teams left in the league that are undefeated both overall and in conference play. The race to get to Charlotte is far from over, but Florida State and North Carolina now officially control their own destiny.

But don't others out. Even with a loss to Notre Dame, Duke is still undefeated in conference play. The Cardinals only have one loss in league play, and their game vs. the Blue Devils in two weeks could have lasting repercussions. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech also have just one ACC loss, as well.

So where do things currently stand in the conference following the first seven weeks of football? Check out our week eight ACC power rankings below:

1. Florida State Seminoles

Record: 6-0, 4-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 1
Week 7 Result: W, 41-3 vs. Syracuse

Florida State certainly looked the part of a national title contender against Syracuse. Three total touchdowns from QB Jordan Travis, a fantastic performance from WR Keon Coleman, and nearly 200 rushing yards. All the while holding the Orange to 261 yards and forcing a pair of turnovers. Off to their first 6-0 start in eight years, the Seminoles are rolling.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels

Record: 6-0, 3-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 2
Week 7 Result: W, 41-31 vs. Miami

As if the North Carolina offense wasn't potent enough, WR Tez Walker makes this unit operate at an even higher level. Walker and RB Omarion Hampton had a hand in all five of the Tar Heels' touchdowns, and are a deadly duo for an already elite QB in Drake Maye. Not to mention their defense also forced four turnovers.

3. Duke Blue Devils

Record: 5-1, 2-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 4
Week 7 Result: W, 24-3 vs. NC State

No Riley Leonard? No problem. QB Henry Belin IV might not have been perfect in place of the injured Leonard, but the Blue Devils offense was still able to move the ball when they had to. Plus their defense nearly pitched a shutout against an NC State offense that put up almost 50 points last week after making a QB change.

4. Louisville Cardinals

Record: 6-1, 3-1 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 3
Week 7 Result: L, 38-21 at Pitt

This had trap game written all over it, and Louisville fell right into it. It's hard to lose by three scores when you out-gain an opponent by almost 150 yards, but three turnovers inside the 25-yard line and getting out-scored 24-0 in the second half will certainly do that to you. A litany of injuries for the Cardinals didn't help, either

5. Clemson Tigers

Record: 4-2, 2-2 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 6
Week 7 Result: Bye Week

Clemson better be careful this upcoming weekend. Miami will be itching for a bounce back after dropping two in a row.

6. Miami Hurricanes

Record: 4-2, 0-2 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 5
Week 7 Result: L, 41-31 at North Carolina

Miami looked like they might be in line to pull off the road upset and redeem themselves for last week's snafu vs. Georgia Tech. A disastrous third quarter later, the Canes still don't have an ACC win. QB Tyler Van Dyke is starting to come back down to Earth, and the offense was absolutely gashed. Not a great stretch for Mario Cristobal and Co.

7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Record: 3-3, 2-1 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 8
Week 7 Result: Bye Week

Georgia Tech's final six games are an absolute roller coaster. Three very winnable games, and three games where a blowout could be waiting.

8. NC State Wolfpack

Record: 4-3, 1-2 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 7
Week 7 Result: L, 24-3 at Duke

Talk about a complete 180. A week removed from putting up almost 50 points against Marshall, QB M.J. Morris and the rest of NC State couldn't do much right offensively against Duke. The Wolfpack defense honestly did a good job against a backup QB, but the two explosive plays for touchdowns were back-breaking.

9. Virginia Tech Hokies

Record: 3-4, 2-1 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 11
Week 7 Result: W, 30-13 vs. Wake Forest

Watch out for Virginia Tech. Ever since QB Kyron Drones took over the reigns of the offense, the Hokies have been much more efficient on that side of the ball. Additionally, the defense posted their second game of allowing under 300 yards in three weeks. They could be someone to watch in the second half of the season.

10. Syracuse Orange

Record: 4-3, 0-3 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 9
Week 7 Result: L, 41-3 at Florida State

Things are starting to spiral out of control for Syracuse. Granted, playing in Tallahassee is extremely tough, and QB Garrett Shrader getting food poisoning certainly didn't help. But the fact of the matter is that the Orange have now dropped three straight after winning their first four. Fortunately, things do get easier from here.

Looking Ahead to 2023 Week 9 (RX; HM)

Looking Ahead to 2023 Week 9
From the official ACC release of Monday, Oct. 16, 2023...

ACC Announces Football Game Times & Networks for Week 9

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( – The Atlantic Coast Conference and its television partners announced the following football game times and networks for Week 9, Oct. 26-28.

Five ACC Football games slated for Saturday, Oct. 28, will be flexed as a six-day selection.

Thursday, Oct. 26

  • Syracuse at Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN – previously announced
Saturday, Oct. 28
  • UConn at Boston College, Noon ET on ACC Network
  • Pitt at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Peacock – previously announced
  • North Carolina at Georgia Tech – TBD
  • Duke at Louisville – TBD
  • Virginia at Miami – TBD
  • Clemson at NC State – TBD
  • Florida State at Wake Forest – TBD
If these games depend on the results of Week 8, which games are they waiting for? Here are the games involving "flexed" teams:
  • Boston College at Georgia Tech
  • Pitt at Wake Forest
  • Virginia at North Carolina
  • Duke at Florida State
  • Clemson at Miami
To be honest, two games will dictate the Week 9 TV schedule:
  • Duke at Florida State
  • Clemson at Miami

ACC QB Rankings 2023: Drake Maye Stays At the Top (CFN; Mellor)

The leaders of the pack have separated themselves as Jordan Travis and Drake Maye have led their teams to undefeated starts in 2023. Can anyone close in on the FSU and UNC stars or is the ACC QB Rankings set to be a two-horse race all year long?

Our weekly iteration of our 2023 ACC QB Rankings is here, taking a look at where they stack up through seven weeks of the season.

2023 ACC QB Rankings

As with all of our conference rankings and our national quarterback evaluations, the ACC QB rankings below consider everything involved with quarterbacking at the major college football level.

While statistics will be mentioned, they were not the lone deciding factor in ranking the athletes. The list below prefers programs with a solidified quarterback situation and one signal-caller who plays significant snaps against top-tier competition. Two-quarterback systems will always be looked down upon, especially in those cases where an answer has not yet been provided for the long term.

Other factors in these rankings include but are not limited to game film, injury history, play-calling, offensive system knowledge and continuity, general quarterbacking mechanics, level of competition, the elevation of supporting casts, and several other influential factors.

Reminder – we also released our Midseason All-ACC Team and Midseason All-Americans this past week.

Tier 1: The Elite ACC QBs

1) Drake Maye | North Carolina

Last Week’s Ranking: 1st (no change)
Yards: 1,902 | TDs: 12 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 68.9% | YPA: 9.0

The cream of the crop has risen above the rest and Drake Maye, paired with Jordan Travis, have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the ACC QBs. Maye is fresh off back-to-back multi-touchdown games, throwing seven touchdowns in his last two ACC starts.

He’s seeing the field brilliantly and distributing the ball effectively to all levels of the field. Scary enough as is, getting Devontez Walker in the lineup has helped his average depth of target and his overall ability, as he has a reliable No. 1 receiver who can create natural separation.

We don’t get a regular-season matchup between FSU and UNC, but the way things are heading right now, we’ll see these two play one another in the ACC Championship.

2) Jordan Travis | Florida State

Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd (no change)
Yards: 1,482 | TDs: 13 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 63.2% | YPA: 8.1

There isn’t much more to say about Jordan Travis at this point. He’s as gritty as they come, he wills this FSU team to victory after victory, and he’s a bonafide star. Travis once again battled through a rough hit that saw him visibly shaken up to 284 yards and three total touchdowns against Syracuse.

The best part about Travis’ performance in Week 7 was his poised presence in the pocket, reading his progressions, freezing safeties with his vision, and dropping accurate downfield passes almost at will. FSU has scored 31 points in every game this season and Travis is certainly the reason why.

Tier 2: Well-Above-Average ACC QBs

3 Tyler Van Dyke | Miami

Last Week’s Ranking: 4th (+1)
Yards: 1,721 | TDs: 16 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 70.5% | YPA: 9.4

There’s a certain gunslinger mentality, it appears, for Tyler Van Dyke over the past two weeks of action. He’s pushing the ball downfield, squeezing throws into tight windows like it was 2021 all over again, but he’s also misread some coverages and trusted his arm too much.

It’s led to five touchdowns and five interceptions over the past two games for Van Dyke and back-to-back losses (though, can we really count the loss to GATC against Van Dyke? The answer is no.). Still, Van Dyke must get back and stay in rhythm as the season progresses because it doesn’t get much easier down the stretch with Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville still left to play.

Tier 3: Above-Average ACC QBs

4) Riley Leonard | Duke

Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd (-1)
Yards: 912 | TDs: 3 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 62.7% | YPA: 7.2

The Duke Blue Devils didn’t need Henry Berlin IV to do much in Week 7, riding an impressive defensive performance to victory. And that was a good thing as he had just four completions (sure, they went for two touchdowns) and was largely inconsistent in doing so.

For the Blue Devils the rest of the way this season, they’ll need Riley Leonard to return, and return healthy, where he can use his legs and his processing ability. We’ll cautiously leave them here, at fourth in the ACC QB Rankings, as we wait and see what happens.

5) Cade Klubnik | Clemson

Last Week’s Ranking: 6th (+1)
Yards: 1,370 | TDs: 11 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 65.2% | YPA: 6.5

For all the talk about how talented the Clemson offense could be this season, they’ve really taken a step back, dropping two games and looking downright flat against Power Five competition. Yet, like his predecessor, there is no denying the talent that Cade Klubnik has.

When he gets a chance to open up the playbook, Klubnik has been sound. It’s just the middle of the field, short-area attack that needs some consistent work for him to be able to do so.

6) Jack Plummer | Louisville

Last Week’s Ranking: 5th (-1)
Yards: 1,901 | TDs: 13 | INT: 8 | Comp. %: 63.5% | YPA: 9.1

For most schools, there is no way to avoid a trap game and that’s exactly what happened to Louisville in Week 7. Jack Plummer struggled mightily against Pittsburgh, as did the whole team, and their undefeated season was washed away in the rain.

Plummer, though, had largely cut down on the mistakes and was seeing the field brilliantly. Getting back to what made this offense so successful in the early third of the season will be key. That was Plummer getting the ball out quickly and lulling the defenses to sleep before hitting his receivers on in-breaking routes for max yards after the catch.

7) Garrett Shrader | Syracuse

Last Week’s Ranking: 7th (no change)
Yards: 1,371 | TDs: 8 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 62.0% | YPA: 7.7

For Syracuse and Garrett Shrader, it’s safe to say the road doesn’t get any tougher than their last three-game stretch. With games at home versus Clemson and on the road in back-to-back weeks against UNC and FSU, Shrader has been bottled up and beat up.

Shrader exited the game against the Seminoles in favor of Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and the duo struggled, overall. It appears that Shrader will return after the team’s Week 8 bye week after he was removed from the lineup with food poisoning against FSU.

Clemson has Path to ACC Championship Game (; Vandervort)

Thanks to Louisville’s loss to Pittsburgh this past Saturday, the door opened for Clemson to possibly play in the ACC Championship Game in December, albeit a very tiny crack.

But hey! I am optimist, and any kind of opening is an opening. You might call me a sunshine pumper or a homer, that’s fine. Call me what you want, I don’t care.

The fact of the matter is, Clemson technically still has a shot at making the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers have not been officially eliminated from contention, though we all kind of wrote the Tigers off after their heartbreaking loss to Florida State on Sept. 23.

Technically, the Tigers are seventh in the ACC Standings heading into this weekend’s games, but let’s be honest, there are truly just three teams they have to be concerned about.

Right now, the Seminoles lead the conference with a 4-0 mark, followed by North Carolina (3-0), Duke (2-0), Louisville (3-1), Georgia Tech (2-1) and Virginia Tech (2-1).

The Hokies and Yellow Jackets are not Clemson’s concern. Virginia Tech will lose a few more league games before the season is done, while the Tigers can dispose of Georgia Tech themselves on Nov. 11 when the Yellow Jackets visit Memorial Stadium.

I think it safe to assume FSU will be one of the two teams to make it to Charlotte on Dec. 2. The Seminoles could lose one game, but it is hard to imagine them losing twice.

How can Clemson earn that final spot?

A lot has to happen.

First, the Tigers have to win out.

Clemson’s remaining conference schedule: at Miami (Oct. 21); at NC State (Oct. 28); vs. Georgia Tech (Nov. 11); vs. North Carolina (Nov. 18).

Lose another conference game, and it’s over. It’s unlikely to think Duke, North Carolina and Louisville are going to lose three or more games. I can almost bet they will not.

Why is it important that Clemson wins out?

If the Tigers win their four remaining conference games, that means they hand North Carolina one of the two losses they need from the Tar Heels and finish the ACC season 6-2.

They need UNC to lose to someone else, too.

North Carolina’s remaining conference schedule: vs. Virginia (Oct. 21); at Georgia Tech (Oct. 28); vs. Duke (Nov. 11); at Clemson (Nov. 18); at NC State (Nov. 25).

If the Tar Heels lose to Clemson, then it means the Tigers need them to lose to one other team for Clemson to own the head-to-hard tiebreaker. Best chances to lose are vs. Duke, at Clemson and at NC State.

They need Duke to lose three times:

Duke’s remaining conference schedule: at Florida State (Oct. 21); at Louisville (Oct. 28); vs. Wake Forest (Nov. 2); at North Carolina (Nov. 11); at Virginia (Nov. 18); vs. Pitt (Nov. 25).

The Tigers need Duke to lose three times. Thanks to their season-opening win over Clemson, the Blue Devils own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Duke’s best chances to lose are at FSU, at Louisville and at North Carolina.

They need Louisville to lose once:


Managing Trips to California (RX; HM)

Managing Trips to California

One goal of the ACC for scheduling football in 2024 and onward is to limit the number of trips to Californiato 3 trips every 7 years for each of the current 14 members, all of which reside in the Eastern Time Zone. Here is a quote from David Teel:

The ACC is drilling down on a seven-year, no-divisions rotation of opponents that will sustain an undetermined number of annual rivalries while limiting the 14 current members to three games each in California, preferably not in consecutive seasons.

How can this be achieved? The math actually works out nicely:

  • Each team will play 8 ACC games (4 at home, 4 on the road). That means for the two CA teams, they will need 4 home games each for a total of 8 per year. For a 7 year period, that's 8 x 7 = 56 games in CA.
  • 7 of those games are Cal/Stanford (1 per year)
  • 7 more games are SMU at either Cal or Stanford (with the other playing in Dallas)
  • So far tha's 56 - 14 = 42 games needing to be filled.
  • 42 games in CA spread across 14 ETZ teams is 42 /14 = 3 trips per 7 years for each team.
Perfect! That means that each team alternates 3 trips to CA with with home games against a CA team, plus one year out of 7 when there is no CA team on the schedule at all.

Next, we'll tackle protected rivalries...

Source: Teel: Which ACC football rivalries should be preserved in 7-year schedule rotation? posted on

Which annual rivals going forward? (RX; HM)

Which annual rivals going forward?

As we mentioned previously in "How will the ACC Schedule 17?", protecting important rivalries is extremely import - but increasingly difficult as the size of conferences continues to grow. How might and should the ACC address this in a sprawling new 17 team, coast-to-coast conference?

Important Rivalries

Which games "must" be played annually, which are "nice to have", and which are just filler? The ACC will need to get serious about making those kinds of distinctions now. There have been plenty of good series played in conference over the years, but that doesn't make them "must-see" match-ups. Which combinations do we think are just indispensible?
From the article mentioned above, we can be pretty confident that the ACC will protect games like Cal-Stanford, Florida State-Miami, NC State-UNC, and Virginia-Virginia Tech. We can also assume that fans and TV execs will probably demand that Clemson-Florida State continue to be played every year. There are also some old, regionally-important games like Boston College-Syracuse and UNC-Virginia which will probably make the cut.

How will the ACC Schedule 17? (RX. HM)

How will the ACC Schedule 17?

How Will the ACC Schedule 17 Football Teams?

That's a non-trivial question which will no doubt be on the minds of league officials as they meet this week for the ACC Fall Meetings. Certain to be on the agenda is a discussion of football scheduling for 2024 and onward now that the conference will have 17 football-playing members. The venerable David Teel tackled this in a recent article he wrote for the Richmond Times - which prompted us to take a look at it, too!

What are the goals of the scheduling process?

Protecting important rivalries is at the top of Mr. Teel's list, and rightly so. The ACC has gone down the road of ignoring these match-ups before, to the detriment of the conference. Hopefully they won't make that mistake again! No doubt the ACC will protect games like Cal-Stanford, Florida State-Miami, NC State-UNC, and Virginia-Virginia Tech, but what other games will the league want to have played every season? Fans of the schools (and TV execs) will probably demand that Clemson-Florida State be protected, and probably Boston College-Syracuse, too.
However, when you factor in a team in Texas and two in California, minimizing cross-country travel becomes important, too. Nobody on the East Coast wants to make annual trips to the Bay Area; in fact, limiting those trips to just 3 times in 7 years is a stated objective. That means SMU will almost certainly play Cal and Stanford every year.
Also, while it's not a huge problem with 8 conference games - thus guaranteeing an even number of total games every year - important since, you know, each game must have two teams - scheduling with an odd number of teams does mean that every week the ACC will need some odd number of teams to either play out of conference (ooc) or not play at all (bye week) to make things balance out. This may also call for another non-conference game during Rivalry Week - or else move one of the four existing games to a different weekend.
A final factor to consider are the ACC vs. Notre Dame games, which were previously scheduled out through 2037 - but, of course, did not include SMU, Cal, or Stanford (as an ACC team). Which games will be rescheduled so as to make room for the new members to play the Irish, and will the distribution of those games continue to be uniform or will there be an "unequal sharing"?

Can Louisville Football Still Make The ACC Championship? (BRL; Hall)

Can Louisville make the ACC Championship after losing to Pitt?

Louisville was eying the ACC Championship this year after a perfect 6-0 (3-0) start to season. However, last week’s conference loss to Pitt may have tarnished that hope.

As of right now the top 4 in the ACC stand like this:

Florida State: 4-0

North Carolina: 3-0

Duke: 2-0

Louisville: 2-1

The odd thing about this year’s ACC schedule is that North Carolina, Florida State, and Louisville will not play each other. Duke will play the rest of the top 4 including FSU this week and Louisville next week. For Louisville to make the ACC Championship game they would need to win out the rest of their conference schedule which includes: Duke, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and at Miami. Along with winning all of those games, they would also need Florida State or North Carolina to lose a game. If FSU or UNC lose to Duke and Louisville beats Duke then the Cardinals would an advantage over them.

The first overall tiebreaker would be head to head for the ACC standings but since FSU, UNC and Louisville won’t play it goes to win percentage over all common opponents.

Here are the ACC tiebreaker rules for the conference:

1: Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams.

2: Win-percentage against all common opponents

2: Win-percentage versus common opponents based on their order of finish

3: Combined win-percentage of conference opponents.

4: The tied team with the higher ranking by the team rating score metric by SportSource Analytics following the end of regular season games.

5: The representative shall be chosen by a draw as administered by the Commissioner

Bottom Line for the Cardinals:

The best way for the Cardinals to get to Charlotte in November is to win out their remaining ACC games and hope that either FSU or North Carolina lose to Duke or lose 2 ACC games in their final schedule slate.

The good news is that Louisville will have 3 of their last 4 ACC games at home and the Cardinals are on a 8 game home winning streak. If they can take care of business against Duke, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, and sneak out a road victory at Miami they will just need to hope for a few losses to some other ACC teams as well.


Monday Specials: LakeHouse Pub

Monday lunch at LakeHouse Pub in Skaneateles. (Charlie Miller |

Monday Menu: 6 deals (including a $6 hand-cut steak) on CNY’s most underappreciated dining day (PS; $; Miller)

Ugh, is it really Monday already? Here we are facing consecutive days of waking up while it’s still dark outside. We’re saying goodbye to 48 hours of fun and hello to five boring days of scheduled structure.

Our case of the Mondays is worsened when we realize Sunday Funday was spent doing everything except buying groceries for the week. Now, the last thing we want to do tonight after a day at the office or school is cook. Sadly, many restaurants are closed on Mondays, more since the Covid pandemic.

“It’s all about staffing,” said Bud Loura, a Central New York restaurant consultant. “Restaurants have been fighting to get employees, and they need to give them a day off after working all weekend to keep those employees. Mondays have traditionally been slow, so closing down that day makes sense.”

Some well-known local restaurants continue to take advantage of others closing for a day. Pastabilities, Dinosaur BBQ, The York, Prime Steakhouse and Lemon Grass will still do the cooking for you. If you look hard enough, though, you’ll find some spots that offer killer deals on this otherwise slow day.

Here are six spots that are open Mondays and serve up some good cheap eats:

LakeHouse Pub

Where: 6 W. Genesee St., Skaneateles. Open daily from noon until 2 a.m.

What’s the deal? $5.25 roast beef sandwich all day and night on Mondays

Within five minutes of unlocking the front door on any given Monday, nearly every bar stool or table chair inside and out becomes occupied. It’s been that way since Dennis Coleman opened the LakeHouse Pub in 2012. That was the birth of the half-price roast beef special.


A conceptual artist's rendering of the proposed senior apartments in the town of Manlius. (Photo courtesy of in-Architects)

80 apartments for seniors proposed next to assisted living center in eastern suburb (PS; $; Doran)

A developer is proposing to build 80 apartments for people 55 and older on Highbridge Road in the town of Manlius.

Garden Park Senior Apartments would be built on an eight-acre parcel of vacant land adjacent to Brookdale Alzheimer and Dementia Care building on Gramercy Circle. It would be constructed on a vacant parcel across Highbridge Street from the Wildwood Ridge apartment complex.

The apartments would be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments.

Turnwood Development needs a zone change to planned unit development in order for the project to move ahead. The town has held a public hearing on the zone change and will soon made a decision.

Chris Danaher, a lawyer representing the developer, recently spoke to the Manlius town board about the proposed project. Danaher said there is a need for senior housing in the area, and the new project will complement the existing Brookdale memory care center. He also said family members who have loved ones in Brookdale currently could live in the new apartments and be close to their loved ones.

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