Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Hag Fish Day!

Hagfish are an eel-like fish that have no bones, jaws, or scales, and most people would agree they are quite ugly. Not only is their appearance unsightly, but they ooze out slime at a quick rate—being able to fill up a two gallon bucket within minutes, and they also often eat dead animals—doing so by crawling through a carcasses mouth, anus, or gills, and eating it from the inside out. Hagfish Day was created in 2009 by WhaleTimes to encourage children to examine all creatures in the food web, not just sightly looking ones. The day exists to show us that all animals in an ecosystem contribute to its well being, such as hagfish and many other often looked over creatures. We need to be made aware of hagfish and other lesser known creatures, because they are just as vulnerable as cute and elegant ones. In short, today is a day to "celebrate the beauty of ugly".

SU News


Indianapolis Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin (44) runs out on the field before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Franklin blossoming into an NFL star: ‘I wanted to be a guy that helped move the needle’ (PS; $; Carlson)

Of the 37 players picked along with Zaire Franklin in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 2018, the majority are out of the league.

It is a difficult position to be selected, one that creates career-long hurdles and leaves many athletes content to simply scratch out a living for as long as they can.

Only 13 of the 38 seventh-round selections from that season remain in the NFL. Six are starters. Two are kickers or punters. One’s a fullback.

Franklin, in his sixth NFL season, leads the league in tackles through six weeks. He set the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise single-season record for tackles last year.

The 27-year-old is a rarity, a player who has gone from special teams contributor to defensive starter to face of a franchise. A fringe player as a rookie, Franklin has become the standard-bearer for the Orange in the NFL, seems poised to make his first Pro Bowl and may have a major payday sitting on the horizon.

“The last two years he’s playing as well as any linebacker in football,” Matt Miller, an NFL analyst for ESPN, told

Ready for the rematch. #INDvsJAX
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 14, 2023

Overshadowed by the team’s poor performance last year, Franklin made 167 tackles. Six games into this season, he’s on pace to shatter that mark.

Franklin has 77 tackles (solo and assisted), putting him on pace for 218 over a 17-game season. The NFL record is 214, set by Hardy Nickerson in a 16-game season in 1993.

4-star TE who made official visit to Syracuse commits to Purdue (PS; Leiker)

A four-star tight end who took an official visit with Syracuse football this summer has committed elsewhere.

Tayvion Galloway announced his commitment to Purdue on Monday. He had over 30 offers from a variety of schools including Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.
— Tayvion Galloway (@TayvionGalloway) October 16, 2023

The Orange hosted Galloway the weekend of June 22, just two days after he’d received his offer. He also made visits to Purdue and UCF around the same time.

Galloway had committed to LSU the summer before his junior season. He decommitted this June after 11 months.

Galloway (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) is the No. 13 player in Ohio and the No. 22 tight end nationally according to the 247 Sports Composite. He transferred to Pickerington Central High School for his senior season.

Syracuse’s 2024 recruiting class currently has 18 members, including one four star in TE Jamie Tremble, and is ranked No. 53 in the country.

The early signing period for college football begins Dec. 20. National Signing Day is Feb. 7.

Bowl watch: ESPN metric says SU has easiest schedule in Power 5 to close season (PS; $; Carlson)

The Syracuse football team hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record this season. It might not face another the rest of the way.

Despite three straight ugly losses against three of the ACC’s best teams, ESPN’s Football Power Index ranking still gives Syracuse a 95.9% chance of finishing at least .500 and becoming bowl-eligible.

Syracuse’s projected win total has dropped substantially over its skid, from close to 9 to 7.5.

Still, the FPI metric views Syracuse as better than all five of its opponents to close out the season — Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. It ranks the Orange’s schedule as the easiest of any Power-Five team in the country to close the year. To this point, SU’s schedule has ranked as the eighth-most difficult.

Another ESPN metric (SP+) ranks only Pittsburgh as better than the Orange.

Based on those two rankings, Syracuse has lost to all the good teams it has played. The Orange has beaten all the average and below-average teams. The remaining schedule is full of average or worse.

Three of SU’s final five opponents sit right at .500, while both Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech currently have losing records.

After the Florida State game even Syracuse football coach Dino Babers pointed at the schedule as the biggest reason to be optimistic the Orange can turn things around.

“The thing that will improve for the offense is the defenses they are going against,” Babers said. “I’d be very surprised if the offense doesn’t go back to the way it looked previously.”

The end of Syracuse’s season will go a long way toward determining which ACC teams find themselves invited to bowls and which teams head home for the holidays.

Former Buffalo Bill Maurice Jackson takes on high school coaching (; Damiani)

Aquinas Institute’s football team has found a new inspiration for why they work hard and train harder.

“It’s very fun, you know, new environment, exciting. And just excited to get out there,” explained Lucas Leone, a junior at Aquinas. “He knows a lot about the game, so it gives us a different perspective on football.”

What You Need To Know

  • Maurice Jackson was born and raised in Rochester
  • His love for football started when he was 8 years old, and too small to play
  • Jackson went on to succeed, getting a scholarship to play at Syracuse University
  • Jackson also played for the Buffalo Bills for nearly two seasons, and continued his career in Canada

  • He wants to give back to the community by returning home to coach Aquinas Institute's varsity football team

The quarterback of their high school football team, Trent Buttles, agrees.

“He’s got a lot of knowledge to share with us. He knows a lot and he’s out here making us better every day,” Buttles said.

It’s the first impression of having a previous Buffalo Bill as the team's new varsity head coach.

“I hear the whispers… you can feel that they trust you and you can feel that they’re out there looking to impress you and do everything right, so It feels really good,” said former Bills wide receiver Maurice Jackson.

After a successful college career at Syracuse University, nearly two years with the Buffalo Bills, and three more years playing football in Canada, Jackson said it was time to return to Rochester which he calls home.

“I just felt like giving back to the community and I train a lot of the athletes in the area, a lot of football players and speedsters so I just felt like being here in Rochester is where I needed it to be based and get things going,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, football is the sport that saved his life.

“Oh man, football has taken me so far. If it wasn’t for the game of football, I literally don’t know where I would be right now," Jackson said. "Growing up in the city of Rochester, you have so many things that could help you fall through the cracks when you’re growing up in the area. But football took me away from all that.”

He says it’s for reasons like this that he’s able to connect so well with his new players.

“It’s a similar story for a lot of young guys that you know, grow up in the inner city or grew up in Rochester that want to make it to the next level," said Jackson.

KENNY'S 2 PENNIES: Syracuse Struggles, Bills' Woes, Local Football Highlights (podcast) | (; podcast; Russo)

In this episode, Kenny dissects Syracuse’s recent football loss to Florida State, delving into the team’s persistent offensive struggles. With an eye on the future, he discusses the prospects for head coach Dino Babers and expresses hope that the upcoming bye week can provide much-needed rest and strategic reevaluation for the team.

Shifting gears to the Buffalo Bills, Kenny reflects on their recent win while expressing concerns about the consistency of the team’s offense. Despite the victory, he discusses the need for improvement. Kenny anticipates a decisive performance as the Bills face the Patriots this upcoming weekend.

But the discussion doesn’t stop at the professional level. Kenny also dives into the local high school football scene. He highlights the standout moments and impressive performances from the past weekend’s games. (SI; Riera)

The fourth-ranked Seminoles returned home once again to play their second of a three-game homestretch on Saturday. It was a day of celebration in Doak Campbell Stadium with Florida State’s 1993 National Championship team in attendance to ring in their 30th anniversary of reaching the mountaintop. Meanwhile, the 2023 iteration of the football team — in the midst of its own national title run — was set to face off against the visiting Syracuse Orange in front of a sell-out home crowd. The worries of an upset bid would be quelled shortly after kickoff and the celebrations would ring throughout as the Seminoles put on a pretty display of football prowess.

Despite possessing the skill and scheme to give Florida State fits, the Orange could not muster up any answers for the Seminole attack. There was no trading of blows Saturday afternoon. This was not a fair fight. Rather, the matchup was more reminiscent of Ivan Drago landing blow after blow on an all-but-helpless Apollo Creed. FSU’s offense, behind the stellar play of wide receiver Keon Coleman, was flying around the field with relative ease, and the defense was imposing its will with little resistance from the Orange. The ‘Noles were far from perfect on the day, but it was still a dominant enough performance that would’ve had any Syracuse fan crying out, “Throw the damn towel!”

Keon Coleman and company kept the Marching Chiefs and Florida State cheerleaders busy with the fanfare of the fight song all game long. Mike Norvell’s squad climbed their way to a convincing 41-3 victory and moved to 6-0 (4-0 ACC) for the first time since 2015. The Seminoles will have to shorten any celebrations, however, because a date against the 16th-ranked Duke squad awaits them. Before we shift our focus to the challenge next week’s matchup presents, let’s take a look at some of the plays that fueled a highlight-filled day for the ‘Noles.

1. Keon Coleman soars through the air and makes an athletic one-handed grab

Words simply cannot do this play any justice.

After forcing Syracuse off of the field on the opening drive of the game, the Seminoles wheeled out the offense for the first time on Saturday. Quarterback Jordan Travis was a man on a mission as he led the charge downfield with completions to wide receiver Keon Coleman, tight end Jaheim Bell, and a few runs of his own. On 1st & 10 from around midfield, Travis dropped back in the pocket looking to pass. He aired the ball out deep over the middle in the direction of Keon Coleman, but the pass appeared to be well over the head of the intended receiver. Not to be denied, Coleman (draped by a Syracuse defender) leaped in the air, climbed the ladder, stretched out his right hand, and plucked the ball from the sky.

Syracuse football: What’s college football saying about the Orange after week 8? (TNIAAM; Wall)

Each week, we’ll take a look at what other college football media sites are saying about the Syracuse Orange as they prepare to face long-time rivals Bye Week University’s Fightin’ Byes.

The local writers keep Syracuse at 9th in their ACC Power Rankings. Syracuse slides in between NC State and Virginia Tech.


In this week’s SP+ rankings Syracuse moves down twelve spots to 50th with the offense th 68 while the defense ranks 41st. The Orange are ranked between Mississippi State and Fresno State. SP+ has Syracuse’s remaining opponents ranked as follows:

Virginia Tech- 63rd, Boston College- 89th, Georgia Tech- 70th, Pitt-44th, Wake Forest- 64th.

Syracuse drops eight spots in the Football Power Index to 36th between Florida and Auburn. FPI predicts the Orange for 7.5 wins now and gives them a 16% chance to win out and a 95.9% chance of making a bowl game. Here’s where the remaining opponents rank in FPI:

Virginia Tech- 69th, Boston College- 93rd, Georgia Tech- 55th, Pitt-49th, Wake Forest- 71st.

CBS Sports

In the CBS Sports power rankings Syracuse is down five to 47th this week between BYU and TCU. Bye U is 134th this week.

Syracuse football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter update (TNIAAM; Chiappone)

As expected, the Syracuse Orange football team capped off its most difficult stretch of the season this past weekend following a 41-3 road loss to the #4 Florida State Seminoles.

The three-game losing streak means Syracuse will have five chances to get at least two wins, and brings a level of uncertainty moving forward with how the rest of the season will play out and what comes next for head coach Dino Babers.

You know what’s also uncertain: the Orange’s bowl game destination, and that means it’s time to bring out the Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter once more.

The Orange should still have enough twang in the tank to get to six wins based on the numbers out there. Syracuse still possesses a 96% chance to reach at least six wins, according to ESPN’s College Football Power Index.

ACC News

ACC Power Rankings updated after Week 7 of college football (; Staff)

The top two teams in the ACC appear to be separating themselves from the pack after this past weekend’s games. Florida State and North Carolina were both impressive while earning key conference wins and seem to be the favorites to reach the ACC Championship Game at this point.

Louisville was in that top category heading into the weekend after a great win over Notre Dame. However, the Cardinals struggled at Pitt and dropped their first conference game of the year.

Duke does have the one loss to Notre Dame, but the Blue Devils remained unbeaten in the ACC with a dominant win over NC State on Saturday. Duke played well, despite being without star quarterback Riley Leonard. Here’s a full look at the ACC Power Rankings after Week 7 of college football:

1. Florida State (6-0)

Florida State was without one of its top playmakers in Johnny Wilson on Saturday against Syracuse but it didn’t matter. Fellow receiver Keon Coleman had a great game, catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, as FSU continued to roll with a 41-3 win.

The scary thing about Florida State is that the Seminoles blew out Syracuse, despite not playing close to their best. FSU was sloppy in the first half and allowed the Orange to hang around, before finally taking the game over.

2. North Carolina (6-0)

The addition of Tez Walker has taken the North Carolina offense to another level. The Kent State transfer, who was originally ruled ineligible by the NCAA, had six catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns over the weekend against Miami.

North Carolina put up 41 points and over 500 yards of offense against the Hurricanes. With a defense that continues to improve, UNC appears capable of competing with Florida State at the top of the ACC.

3. Duke (5-1) (+1)

No Riley Leonard, no problem for Duke against NC State. The Blue Devils dominated the Wolfpack without their star quarterback, despite completing only four passes.

The Duke defense continues to excel under Mike Elko. The three points scored by NC State were its fewest of the season.

Paul Finebaum sizes up North Carolina's ACC title chances: 'This looks legit' - Saturday Road (; Davis)

Paul Finebaum believes in North Carolina as a legitimate contender in the ACC this season.

The Tar Heels are off to a 6-0 start thanks to solid play on both sides of the ball. Drake Maye is continuing to establish himself as one of the top passers in the country and has elite playmakers like Tez Walker and Omarion Hampton at his disposal. Perhaps more importantly, UNC’s defense has been much-improved so far this season over what it produced a year ago.

“This looks legit,” Finebaum said Sunday morning after Carolina’s 41-31 win over Miami. “You combine a very good defense with one of the best quarterbacks in a league that is really upside down.”

Finebaum did say he still has Florida State as the favorite to win the ACC, but that Carolina could challenge the Noles down the stretch.

“I still think it’s all about Florida State, but Carolina will be around at the end I think and make a difference,” he added.

Florida State and North Carolina will not face each other during the regular season, which means they could battle as 12-0 teams in the ACC Championship Game. In that scenario, the ACC title game would almost certainly be for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

North Carolina will host Virginia in Week 8.

Grass or turf?: Virginia's college football teams don't share NFL concerns (; Barber)

Ricky Rahne can’t help but push back when he hears the safety concerns about playing football on modern-day artificial turf.

“I played at Franklin Field when the lines at Franklin Field were an inch and a half above the turf because they would literally repaint it with actual paint on it all the time,” Rahne, the Old Dominion football coach and a former Cornell quarterback said this week. “If you didn’t pay attention when you were taking a drop, you might trip over it. These fields now are significantly, in my opinion, safer than they used to be. All of football is safer than it used to be, besides the fact that the guys are bigger, faster, stronger. Everything else about it is safer.”

As the NFL Players Association pushes to get rid of artificial turf playing fields over fears that they’re responsible for lower leg injuries, college coaches don’t seem to share those concerns.

In Virginia, while the Commonwealth’s two ACC programs – Virginia and Virginia Tech – play their home games on natural grass surfaces, the three Group of Five schools – James Madison, Liberty and Old Dominion – all play and practice on artificial turf.

Nationwide, 94 schools playing FBS football use artificial surfaces while 39 play on grass, according to the Associated Press.

Kelly Gramlich and Eric Mac Lain talk ACC football - Gramlich and Mac Lain (M&G; podcast; M & G)

The Head Coach of the Florida State Seminoles joins us to help preview the massive showdown between #16 Duke & #4 FSU this weekend. Presented by Ingles Markets.

ACC teams on the 'bowl bubble' through seven games (; Haley)

There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the upcoming six weeks in the ACC. All signs seem to indicate that the conference champion won’t be Clemson for just the second time since 2014 after the Tigers took two early losses. Florida State and North Carolina are both still undefeated and seem to get more dominant each week, with both circling the conference championship game as a potential ticket to the playoffs.

But what about the middle of the conference pack? As the Seminoles and Tar Heels fight for a New Year’s Six bowl, who of their conference compatriots simply want to win a sixth game?

Here are four teams deep in the fight for eligibility over the next two months.

N.C. State Wolfpack

Record: 4-3
Remaining Schedule: vs Clemson, vs Miami, at Wake Forest, at Virginia Tech, vs North Carolina
FPI Estimation of Winning 6 Games: 54.2%
The Wolfpack’s 4-3 record looks a little better than it sounds upon closer examination, with a 3-point loss to Louisville and defeats at the hands of Notre Dame and Duke nothing to be ashamed of. They get to host Clemson and Miami at least, but those are two of the five best in the conference by pretty much every metric. Should they lose both those games, with the Tar Heels on the horizon to end the season, they’d need to sweep Wake Forest and Virginia Tech to make it to six wins. There’s a very real chance their showdown with the Hokies on Nov. 18th has eligibility on the line for both teams.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Record: 3-4
Remaining Schedule: vs Syracuse, at Louisville, at Boston College, vs N.C. State, at Virginia
FPI Estimation of Winning 6 Games: 45.7%
As I said above, there’s a plausible chance the Hokies’ season comes down to their penultimate game against the Wolfpack. 3-4 doesn’t quite tell the whole story about how the Hokies got here. They struggled out of the gates, with a win over Old Dominion before three consecutive losses in which they scored 17 or fewer points. Sophomore Kyron Drones took over at quarterback in the middle of that losing streak, however, and ever since he’s gotten some action under his belt, the Hokies have become a different team. Drones has five passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and no interceptions over the past three games, including wins over Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. Their schedule has a handful of formidable peers ahead, but no true giants, and they have two losses to burn. I think Drones takes the Hokies bowling at the end of the season.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Record: 3-3
Remaining Schedule: vs Boston College, vs North Carolina, at Virginia, at Clemson, vs Syracuse, vs Georgia
FPI Estimation of Winning 6 Games: 39.3%
The Yellow Jackets seemed to be diving headfirst into irrelevancy with 37 seconds left against Miami. They were 2-3, trailing 20-17, out of timeouts, and on defense. The Hurricanes ran instead of kneeling out the clock, fumbled, and Haynes King marched the Yellow Jackets down the field to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The remaining schedule is total feast or famine. Three of the remaining six teams they play have a national champion head coach, and the other three are 1-7 in conference play. Syracuse has gotten the bad luck of playing three of the best teams in the conference off the bat, so that record probably isn’t indicative of their talent, but trends are trends. If Georgia Tech loses to the Orange, Boston College, or Virginia, they’ll need to beat either Clemson or a playoff hopeful to make up the sixth win.

Boston College Eagles

Record: 3-3
Remaining Schedule: at Georgia Tech, vs Connecticut, at Syracuse, vs Virginia Tech, at Pittsburgh, vs Miami
FPI Estimation of Winning 6 Games: 29.8%
Boston College came within 2 points of glory a month ago, losing 31-29 to Florida State on the road. With one of the weaker remaining strengths of schedule in the conference, the Eagles currently don’t have another ranked team on their schedule. They do play two of the three teams listed above, however, so they’ll have a lot of potential bowl battles on the way in. With the 1-5 Huskies and a 2-4 Pittsburgh squad on the future slate, their game against Georgia Tech this coming weekend could set them ahead of schedule. The Yellow Jackets are the third-best chance the rest of the way, however. It’s not quite crunch time yet, but it’s going to start getting late early for the loser of that game. (CFN; Fiutak)


Syracuse Football Schedule

Current Record: 4-3
Projected Conference Finish: 2-6
2023 Predicted Finish: 6-6

Oct 26 at Virginia Tech L
Nov 4 Boston College W
Nov 11 Pitt (in The Bronx) L
Nov 18 at Georgia Tech L
Nov 25 Wake Forest W


2023 TV Exposure (so far) (RX; HM)

2023 TV Exposure (so far)

How Much TV Exposure has the ACC gotten this year?

2023 ACC Football on ABC (so far)

  • S. Carolina vs. N. Carolina 9/2 7:30 PM
  • LSU vs. Florida State (Sunday) 9/3 7:30 PM
  • Notre Dame at NC State 9/9 12:00 PM
  • Texas A&M at Miami 9/9 3:30 PM
  • Florida State at Boston College 9/16 12:00 PM
  • Florida State at Clemson 9/23 12:00 PM
  • Clemson at Syracuse 9/30 12:00 PM
  • Notre Dame at Duke 9/30 7:30 PM
  • Virginia Tech at Florida State 10/7 3:30 PM
  • Notre Dame at Louisville 10/7 7:30 PM
  • Syracuse at Florida State 10/14 12:00 PM
  • Miami at North Carolina 10/14 7:30 PM
  • Duke at Florida State 10/21 7:30 PM
  • Notre Dame at Clemson 11/4 TBA
  • Miami at Boston College (Friday) 11/24 12:00 PM
This weekend, the Duke vs FSU game will be the 13th ACC football game to be shown on ABC, with at least three more to come (counting the ACC Championship Game). It's also worth noting that six of those games have been in "prime time" (with one time still TBA).
How does that break down by team?
ABC appearances by school (3 or more):

  • 6 Florida State
  • 4 Notre Dame
  • 3 Clemson
  • 3 Miami
The Seminoles have been vocal about ACC revenue, but they've certainly benefited from ACC television exposure! Compare their situation to the top SEC teams...

2023 SEC Football on CBS (so far)

  • South Carolina at Georgia 9/16 3:30 PM
  • Ole Miss at Alabama 9/23 3:30 PM
  • Georgia at Auburn 9/30 3:30 PM
  • Alabama at Texas A&M 10/7 3:30 PM
  • Georgia at Vanderbilt 10/14 12:00 PM
  • Texas A&M at Tennessee 10/14 3:30 PM
  • Tennessee at Alabama 10/21 3:30 PM
  • Georgia vs. Florida 10/28 3:30 PM
  • Missouri at Arkansas (Friday) 11/24 4:00 PM
It's also worth noting that none of those games have been in "prime time". Of course, that's in the CBS contract - "SEC on CBS" games are to be shown at 3:30 pm.
CBS appearances by school (3 or more):

  • 4 Georgia
  • 3 Alabama

TV, Radio, and Announcers 2023 Week 8 (RX; HM)

TV, Radio, and Announcers 2023 Week 8

From the official ACC release of Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023...

Upcoming ACC Football Schedule

SATURDAY, OCT. 21 Time, TV SiriusXM App/Web

Boston College at Georgia Tech Noon, ACCN

Radio: 109, 121, 193, 194 955 or 956
Series: Georgia Tech leads series, 7-4; Last meeting: Boston College, 41-30 (2021)
ACCN: Chris Cotter (play-by-play), Mark Herzlich (analyst), Sherree Burruss (sideline)

Pitt at Wake Forest 3:30 p.m., ACCN

Radio: 109, 193, or 380 955 or 970
Series: Pitt leads series, 2-0; Last meeting: Pitt, 45-21 (2021)
ACCN: Jorge Sedano (play-by-play), Orlando Franklin (analyst), Marilyn Payne (sideline)

Virginia at No. 10 North Carolina 6:30 p.m., The CW

Radio: 121, 194, or 383 956 or 973
Series: North Carolina leads series, 66-58-4; Last meeting: North Carolina, 31-28 (2022)
The CW Network: Tom Werme (play-by-play), James Bates (analyst), Treavor Scales (sideline)

No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State 7:30 p.m., ABC

Radio: 82 or 83 83 or MadDogSports
Series: Florida State leads series, 21-0; Last meeting: Florida State, 56-35 (2020)
ABC: Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analyst), Holly Rowe (sideline)

2023 Teams Stuck in Mediocrity (SI) (RX; HM)

2023 Teams Stuck in Mediocrity (SI)

Some CFB teams just can't seem to get out of the mediocrity rut. The ACC is soon to have four such teams, according to SI. Check out this snippet, with comments on ACC teams (click the link to read about the rest):

10 College Football Teams Running on a Wheel of Mediocrity

Do they need a coaching change or just a bit more patience?
Texas A&M (21)
N.C. State (22). By and large, Dave Doeren has done a fine job as coach of the Wolfpack. His record is 76–57 in his 11th season, a .571 winning percentage that also hits above the program’s historic level of .514. He’s had eight winning seasons in the last nine.
The only drawback has been a chronic inability to hit the high notes. He’s maxed out at nine wins, which is good, but 10 ACC programs have hit double-digit win totals at least once during Doeren’s tenure. Louisville, which won in Raleigh a couple of weeks ago, has a chance to be the 11th.
The current Wolfpack are 4–3 and coming off a dispiriting 21-point loss to Duke. (The resurgence of the Blue Devils under Mike Elko isn’t helping Doeren from a compare/contrast standpoint in the Research Triangle.) Duke won that game with a backup quarterback who completed four passes, producing the big plays that NC State could not.
After an open date this week, NC State closes with Clemson, Miami, at Wake Forest, at Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Bowl eligibility is no cinch.
Doeren got a one-year contract extension in February, through 2027. Some staff changes were made in the offseason that haven’t exactly worked wonders, so more tinkering may be in order. But Doeren should get a 12th year.
California (23). Justin Wilcox is in his seventh season, has respect in the coaching industry and has been willing to invest himself in a difficult job. And the Pac-12 is suddenly bonkers-tough. But still, the trend line is bad.
Cal is 3–4 with a tough schedule ahead, seemingly ticketed for a fourth straight losing season. Under Wilcox, Cal has been a sturdy defensive program with absolutely no explosiveness on offense. This year the Golden Bears can move the ball, averaging their most points per game under Wilcox at 29.9, but they’re also giving up their most points per game under Wilcox at 31.1. Utah, Oregon State and Washington have all rung up their highest point totals against Power 5 competition against the Bears.
Even if Cal wanted to move on from Wilcox, could it afford to? The athletic department has no money and is taking a vow of media-rights poverty entering the ACC next year. And, besides, this is a Serious Academic School with its eyes on outer space, which might be a more appropriate expenditure.
Maryland (24).
Syracuse (26) is in Year 8 under Dino Babers, with two winning seasons. As with Maryland, the Orange have developed a fast start/quick fade dynamic. They were 6–0 last year and finished 7–6; this year the start was 4–0, and the current record is 4–3.

SI Ranks Unbeatens 2023 Oct 17 (RX; HM)

SI Ranks Unbeatens 2023 Oct 17

Eleven teams are undefeated, but unbeaten teams are not all created equal, so here's how SI ranks them (with their comments for the two ACC teams; click the link for the rest):

The Remaining Unbeatens, Ranked
We are down to a final 11 undefeated teams, but for purposes of this exercise we are calling it 10 because James Madison is ineligible for the Sun Belt Conference title as a transitioning program from FCS. (Sorry, Dukes, The Dash doesn’t make the rules.) So let’s rank them based on what we’ve seen so far...
Florida State (1). Record: 6–0. FBS opponents’ record: 20–19.
Beating LSU and Clemson aren’t the landmark achievements they looked like before the season started—but they’re both big victories. Neither was at home, and none of the other unbeaten teams has more than one big skin on the wall. The Seminoles have two.
Florida State flexed on Syracuse Saturday, routing the Orange 41–3 in what was their best defensive performance of the season to date. As for offense: Only Michael Penix Jr. is ahead of FSU quarterback Jordan Travis in the Heisman Trophy race, but the highlight reel continues to belong to receiver/punt returner Keon Coleman. “God was showing off when he made him,” declared Syracuse coach Dino Babers after Coleman had 107 yards in punt returns and 140 yards receiving, including one preposterous first-quarter snag.
Washington (2). Record: 6–0. FBS opponents’ record: 20–19.
Oklahoma (3). Record: 6–0. FBS opponents’ record: 21–16.
Ohio State (4). Record: 6–0. FBS opponents’ record: 19–15.

Big Ten Wish List for 2024 (RX; HM)

Big Ten Wish List for 2024

Got a big appetite at lunch time? It's probably not as big as the Big Ten's!

The Big Ten is set to add, not one or two, but FOUR teams next season - all from the Pac-12. In fact, you can make the argument that it was this poaching by the B1G predator that destabilized the Pac-12 so much that 4 more teams sought refuge in the Big XII and another two in the ACC because, well, their home was crumbling around them!
Now that the Big Ten has destroyed the Pac-12, who do they have their sights set on next?
From "Inside Oregon and Washington's Jump to the Big Ten", posted on Yahoo! Sports...

Within the Big Ten office last summer, then-commissioner Kevin Warren led an expansion exploration that spanned more than a dozen schools... Conference office administrators created a list of desired programs thought to be attainable, according to multiple sources who have seen the list.
They included Notre Dame, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Pitt, Kansas, Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Virginia and, of course, Oregon and Washington.

On the other hand, Brett McMurphy turned up a slightly different list in his research which he posted in "Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren: Possible Expansion...":

Is it Time to Change QB? (RX; HM)

Is it Time to Change QB?

When a team is struggling on offense, what's the first things fans want the team to do?

That's right -- replace the quarterback!
Of course, the success of failure of a football offense doesn't depend solely on the QB, but that is usually the most important and impactful position. So, it's not surprising that so many fans want their team to bring in the backup QB after a few losses.

The Pitt Panthers started the 2023 season 1-4, with the only win coming against an FCS team. The offense was anemic during that losing streak, scoring just 21, 6, 24, and 21 in the four losses. Something had to be done! So, during the bye week, the coaches made a change at quarterback...

Pitt (2023)

with Phil Jurkovec at QB

  • beat Wofford (FCS) by 38
  • lost to Cincinnati by 6
  • lost at West Virginia by 11
  • lost to North Carolina by 17
  • lost at Virginia Tech by 17

with Christian Veilleux at QB

  • beat Louisville by 17
It's only one game, of course, but the early returns look promising. The real test comes this weekend at Wake Forest (a good defensive team this year). Now that there exists video of the new quarterback, how will he perform against a well-prepared defense who can scheme specifically for him?
The Virginia Tech Hokies were in a similar situation. Grant Wells played in the first two games, and while he looked good in the opener against Old Dominion, he looked bad against Purdue, so the Hokies coaching staff made the change to Kyron Drones for Week #3...

Virginia Tech (2023)

with Grant Wells at QB

  • beat Old Dominion by 19
  • lost to Purdue by 7

with Kyron Drones at QB

  • lost at Rutgers by 19
  • lost at Marshall by 7
  • beat Pittsburgh by 17
  • lost at Florida St by 22
  • beat Wake Forest by 17
The QB Effect wasn't as quick for Virginia Tech as Drones struggled through his first two games before finally having a breakthrough (ironically, against Pitt). Even though he lost to FSU (as expected), Drones now has the Hokies on a trajectory to possibly make it to a bowl game.


It could cost $625 million to bring water from Lake Ontario to Micron. It’s not clear who’s paying (PS; $; Coin)

Micron Technology’s massive semiconductor plant in the town of Clay is expected to use more water every day than the entire city of Syracuse.

The cost of expanding the region’s water system to meet Micron’s needs could cost the Onondaga County Water Authority $625 million. If OCWA users had to bear the entire cost, the authority said, the typical homeowner’s bill would skyrocket by 60%.

County and water authority leaders cautioned that passing the entire cost onto individual users is unlikely. But users in the authority’s five counties will also benefit from the improvements and will pay for an undetermined portion of them, according to OCWA.

Who will pay for the expanded water system – and how much — remains an open question a year after Micron announced it would build a $100 billion chip-making complex in Clay. The initial agreement between Micron and New York state spelled out the billions of dollars in tax breaks Micron could get and what the company had to invest to get them.

But the agreement was silent on other big-ticket expenses, like who foots the bill for building new infrastructure needed for the Micron project. At the same time, Micron’s estimates about how much water it will require have more than doubled.

A year ago, Micron estimated it would need 20 million gallons of water a day. OCWA said then it could provide that much without needing to build a new pipeline from Lake Ontario. But Micron now says it will need 48 million gallons a day when its four chip fabrication plants, or fabs, are completed in 2043. That’s more than all the water OCWA now delivers to its current 105,000 customers combined.


Flagstar Bank is foreclosing on the owner of Equitable Towers, the twin office towers that have been a fixture of the downtown Syracuse skyline for more than 50 years. (Rick Moriarty |

A bank is foreclosing on downtown Syracuse’s iconic office towers (PS; $; Moriarty)

A bank is foreclosing on downtown Syracuse’s iconic twin office towers after their owner defaulted on a $28 million mortgage.

Flagstar Bank, of Hicksville, filed a foreclosure action Sept. 26 in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County against Equitable Towers owner Towers Realty LR Ltd.

Flagstar said the owner stopped making its monthly mortgage payments on the towers, Syracuse’s largest office complex, in May. It is seeking to take possession of the 19-story, 635,000-square-foot towers.

The loan, taken out in 2012, was originally $33.2 million. It was modified to $28.8 million in 2019. The balance stood at $28.4 million in 2020, according to court documents.

The loan was due to be paid in full on July 1, 2024. But when Towers Realty stopped making its monthly payments, the bank demanded immediate payment of the balance of the loan in July. | The Post-Standard has reached out to AmTrust Realty, the New York City real estate firm that operates the complex for Towers Realty, for comment and will update this story if it receives a response.

As the towers’ biggest tenant, Equitable life insurance company holds the naming rights to the complex, but it has no ownership in the property.

The towers have experience high vacancy rates in recent years. That was made worse Equitable announced in August 2022 it was cutting its office space in half at the towers that bear its name.

In response to Equitable’s move, AmTrust Realty President Jonathan Bennett said the company was talking to multiple potential tenants about filling the building’s vacant space.

“The building has long been one of the most sought-after corporate locations in downtown Syracuse, and we just unveiled a new, state-of-the-art fitness center to increase its attraction to new and existing tenants,” Bennett said at the time.

Built in the 100 block of Madison Street, the towers have been a fixture of the downtown Syracuse skyline for more than half a century. The west building, known as Tower I, was completed in 1966 as MONY Tower. The east tower, known as Tower II, was built as Carrier Tower in 1971.


Sun Country Airlines will begin offering seasonal nonstop flights from Syracuse Hancock International Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 6, 2024. The route will be served by the airline’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft featuring 186 seats. (Sun Country Airlines)Sun Country Airlines

New airline coming to Syracuse (PS; $; Moriarty)

A new airline will begin seasonal nonstop service from Syracuse to Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2024.

Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines, which describes itself as an “ultra-low-cost” carrier, will begin its first ever regularly scheduled flights at Syracuse Hancock International Airport next summer, the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority said Tuesday.

Sun Country will launch twice weekly service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on June 6, 2024.

The Sunday and Thursday service is currently scheduled as seasonal, running through Sept. 1, 2024. The nonstop flights are expected to depart midday so they can tie in with late afternoon connecting flights to major West Coast markets, including Los Angeles and Seattle.

The route will be served by the airline’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft featuring 186 seats.

Syracuse will be Sun Country’s third New York destination, along with Buffalo and New York City.

“It will provide travelers with access to all Upstate New York has to offer, including the Finger Lakes Wine Region and the Adirondack Mountains,” Grant Whitney, senior vice president and chief revenue officer of Sun Country Airlines, said in a statement.

The airline did not say what the fares will be on the new route.

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