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Orangeyes Daily Articles for Friday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011
elcome to Christmas Lights Da

Christmas lights—lights that are hung up on Christmas trees inside, and outside on buildings, trees, and other things—are celebrated today. They were invented in the early 1880s by Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison. On December 22, 1882, he lit his Christmas tree with 80 incandescent light bulbs, at his home in New York City. Prior to this time, candles were the only way to illuminate trees, and it still took many years before electric lights became the main way trees were lit, and before outside Christmas lights became popular. Lights originally were put on trees by Christians, and they symbolized Christ as being the light of the world.

In 1895 the first electric Christmas tree was lit at the White House. By the early 20th century some publicly displayed Christmas trees began having electric lights, although this wasn't done on a large scale until the 1950s. Even the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree did not have electric lights until 1956. Some businesses began putting up lights in store windows in the early 20th Century, but most everyday people couldn't even afford lights for their own Christmas trees until around 1930. In the mid 20th century, lights separate from trees began appearing on public buildings and along streets, and individual homes began being decorated outside by owners on a large scale in the 1960s. Eventually other types of Christmas lights, besides the bulb type, began being displayed, which included whole yard displays with animatronics and statues. Light displays are now popular on other holidays besides Christmas, such as on Easter and Independence Day.

SU News

What type of job is Brown taking in Syracuse? ‘Not as bad a job as everybody makes it out’ (PS; $; Carlson)

Syracuse wasn’t going to have its pick of every college football coach in the country for its next head coach, but the job was still an attractive one, in large part because of its scarcity and a conference that has only a pair of true super-powers.

The Orange hired Fran Brown, an assistant coach at Georgia who is regarded as one of the best recruiters in the country. Brown arrives with no head-coaching experience and minimal experience as a coordinator, two things athletic director John Wildhack, at one point, said he hoped his next coach would have.

Brown’s hiring was a dramatic shift in approach from the previous hires Wildhack has made, skewing away from the traditional qualities you’d expect to find on a Power-Five head coach’s resume in favor of a belief that Brown is ready, and that his ability to connect with players can elevate recruiting and help the school retain more of its best players in the NIL era.

While the job of reenergizing Syracuse football is a difficult one, an array of experts within the coaching industry (agents, consultants and representatives from search firms) said the job’s reputation is likely worse than the reality.

Most requested to remain anonymous so that they didn’t endanger future business opportunities, and agreed so they could be candid. None had any direct connection to the Syracuse search.

“It’s not as bad of a job as everybody makes it out to be,” one source said.

“Syracuse is, by no means, the bottom of the barrel in the ACC,” another said.

Here’s a look at the positives and negatives that Brown inherits at Syracuse.

'NORTHEAST SWAGGER': Fran Brown's south Jersey recruiting success has prepared him for 1st head coaching job (DO; Miller)

It was a weekday like any other for the students of Cherry Hill West (NJ) High School, until they looked out the window.

Fran Brown had Cherry Hill’s Rodney Williams running through drills in the hallway, next to a classroom with a window for a wall. Brown, who was back in town as Temple’s new defensive backs coach in 2013, monitored Williams’ technique and skill, but also his demeanor and response to the pressure.

“We coach some high-level athletes and have had everyone in America in our buildings, and I had never seen that approach before,” said then-Cherry Hill West head coach Brian Wright. “That was certainly different and unique and I think it kind of encapsulates who Fran really is.”

Williams played at Syracuse for four years before transferring to Temple, where he finished his career under Brown. But that was just the start of his Cherry Hill recruiting successes. A few years later, Brown came back to speak with Harrison Hand, bringing then-head coach Matt Rhule with him. Wright and Hand met them at a local pizza joint, where Wright said Rhule took a backseat, and Brown ran the show.

“I walked away from that meeting and thought, ‘Matt Rhule trusts that guy with his life,’” Wright said. “A lot of the kids build those relationships where they feel that way about Franny. He even has relationships with the kids that don’t go where he wants them to go. To me, that’s the real test of the man he is and why people believe in Fran so much.”

Brown was named the 31st head football coach in Syracuse history Tuesday. He has no head coaching experience at the collegiate level, but was ranked the top recruiter for the 2024 class by 247Sports. Brown has developed deep recruiting ties in his home of south Jersey, one of Syracuse’s primary recruiting grounds. The 41-year-old from Camden has an “uncanny ability” to connect with a variety of people, Wright said, and can now bring a national recruiting base and rousing presence to SU.

Those familiar with Brown from south Jersey believe in him because he’s genuine. In two years at Rutgers, he flipped at least three players after they’d committed to other programs. According to Garrett Lucas, Rancocas Valley Regional High School head coach and a friend of Brown’s, Max Melton (Purdue), Chris Long (Temple) and Tyreem Powell (Virginia Tech) all abandoned their prior commitments to follow Brown to Rutgers.

“He actually cares to go get that extra step and make those legitimate connections,” Lucas said.

Rags to Riches, Camden, NJ Native New College Football Coach (; Hennig)

Everyone loves an inspirational "American Success Story", it gives us hope and motivation to never give up. This week, a graduate of Camden High School gets to add another chapter to his story of overcoming incredible adversity and working his way to becoming the Head Coach of a major College Football Program.

On Tuesday Night, Syracuse University announced they are hiring Fran Brown as the next Head Coach of their Football Program. Brown has been rising up the ladders of the College Football Coaching world for the last 12 years and most recently working as the Defensive Backs Coach for the Defending National Champion University of Georgia Football team.

Setting our players up for life.

New head coach @FranBrownUGA on his plans for ‘Cuse ⤵️
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 28, 2023

The 41-year-old Football Coach's story began with very humble beginnings when his mom had him when she was 13 years old and the two of them moved multiple times around Camden so Brown spent most of his childhood without a true home or a father. For Brown, Football became his outlet from the difficulties of his life, excelling on the field at Camden High School.

Kirby Smart on replacing Fran Brown, how long DBs coach may stay with Georgia football (; Weiszer)

Syracuse University will formally introduce Fran Brown as its 31st head football coach Monday at 10 a.m. at the program’s auditorium in the Lally Athletics Complex.

Brown is fulfilling his duties still this week as the Georgia football defensive backs coach after being named Monday to his new position.

Coach Kirby Smart on Thursday afternoon was asked if he plans to fill his staff opening before the start of the first signing period on De. 20 and how long Brown may continue to coach with the Bulldogs after Saturday’s SEC championship game against Alabama.

“We’ve been really focused on Alabama,” Smart said. “I mean, that’s all we’re really thinking about. Those decisions that you’re talking about, they’re not important, right? They have no relevance whatsoever to this game. Our focus and energy are on this game so I really don’t have to decide that right now and don’t even look to.”

He said what’s more important is that Brown, a New Jersey native who worked at Temple, Rutgers and TCU, landed a Power Five head coaching job in the ACC after two seasons at Georgia.

“What’s newsworthy is he got a hell of an opportunity and he’s done a tremendous job for us and we’re super happy for his family and for Syracuse to be getting someone for his character, but we’re not worried about anything past Alabama,” Smart said.

Georgia players earlier this week said they were thrilled to see Brown get an opportunity to become a head coach.

“They’re getting a tremendous coach, but more importantly a tremendous person,” safety Javon Bullard said. “He’s a great coach but I think what makes him special is the relationships he has with his players outside of football. We connect on a personal level; he’s been there with me giving spiritual advice. When I’m missing home or my family he’s always there. He’s a close friend outside of football who I can count on, if my car breaks down, I know I can call Coach Fran. The person he is to the core is what you’re getting, that’s what Syracuse is getting. We’re just so proud of him.”

Fresh Squeezed Sports podcast: SU football has a new coach (; podcast; Crawford & Ostrowski)

In this week’s episode of Fresh Squeezed Sports, The NewsHouse looks at SU football hiring Fran Brown as the 31st head coach in program history and successor to Dino Babers.

Hosts Mike Ostrowski and Josh Crawford talk about the future of the program with a new leader at the helm.

Is Brown the right pick? Are there any concerns for the first-time head coach? What can he bring long-term?

The hosts also go over the team’s win over Wake Forest and preview the potential bowl matchups the Orange can expect.

Then, the hosts share their takes on both the men’s and women’s basketball teams after the first month of games.

Check out Fresh Squeezed Sports every week for our team’s takes and updates on Syracuse Athletics and follow along with The NewsHouse for daily sports coverage. (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse football officially hired Fran Brown as its next head coach on Tuesday. One of the lingering questions following the move is who will Brown hire as assistant coaches. Here are some potential options that would make sense.

Will Muschamp - Defensive Coordinator: Muschamp is currently the co-defensive coordinator at Georgia, but Glenn Schumann has the defensive coordinator title without the "co" attached. Perhaps Muschamp would be open to being the solo defensive coordinator. The question is would Syracuse be able to match or increase his salary? And if so, would Muschamp want to leave a place like Georgia?

Elijah Robinson - Defensive Coordinator: Was the co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M under Jimbo Fisher before becoming interim head coach and is very close with Fran Brown. The two worked together at Temple and Baylor, he has ties to the Northeast (grew up in New Jersey, played at Penn State) and is considered an elite recruiter.

Sean Spencer - Defensive Line Coach and/or Defensive Coordinator: Spencer was recently let go by Florida where he was the co-defensive coordinator for the last two seasons. He also has extensive experience coaching in the Northeast at Penn State, UMass, Hofstra, Villanova and others. He is a Connecticut native that also comes with NFL coaching experience.

Jeff Nixon - Running Backs Coach and/or Offensive Coordinator: Nixon is the current running backs coach for the New York Giants. He has prior offensive coordinator experience from being co-offensive coordinator at Baylor from 2017 to 2019, overlapping with Fran Brown's time with the Bears, as well as interim offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers. Nixon has also coached at Penn State, Temple and other spots in the Northeast.

Tiquan Underwood - Wide Receivers Coach: Underwood is currently at Pitt in the same role. He coached at Rutgers in 2020 and 2021 when Fran Brown was there. Underwood is from New Jersey, played at Rutgers and has spent the last four seasons coaching in the Northeast.

Bobby Acosta - Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, or Quarterbacks Coach: Acosta coached at Syracuse previously under Scott Shafer. He has extensive ties to the Northeast, especially in New Jersey. He and Fran Brown know each other well, so there is a connection. Acosta was most recently the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the last two seasons, but parted ways with the school this offseason.

Ashley 'Smoke' Pierre: Smoke has been the head coach at Irvington High School in New Jersey since 2016 and is well known in the Garden State. What potential role he would fill at Syracuse remains to be seen but Rivals' Richard Schnyderite has already connected him to the Orange as a potential assistant.

Chris Partridge - Linebackers Coach: Partridge was recently let go from Michigan, with reports alleging he was either part of the sign stealing scandal and/or destroyed evidence. Partridge denies any knowledge of sign stealing as well as destroying evidence. He claims that was not why he was fired. Regardless, Partridge is from New Jersey and has recruited the state for the Wolverines since 2016, outside of a stint with Ole Miss (2020-22). He has coordinator experience with the Rebels as well and is considered an elite recruiter.

Keeping Up With The 315 11-30-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian Higgins begins the show analyzing Fran Brown’s biggest strength, and how he’ll be able to overcome Syracuse football’s biggest weakness. Then, Brian looks at some potential candidates to be an assistant coach on the Syracuse staff under Coach Brown. Later, a preview of Saturday’s SU-UVA game.

Syracuse bowl projections heading into conference championship weekend (; Finneral)

Between naming a new head coach and the beginning of the transfer portal window, it is an extremely busy time of the year for Syracuse football. However, the season is not quite over as the Orange prepare for a bowl game.

Where could the Orange go bowling this December? Here is a compilation of bowl projections for Syracuse heading into conference championship weekend.

• Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: Gasparilla Bowl, Syracuse vs. South Alabama (Dec. 22)

• Brad Crawford, 247Sports: Armed Forces Bowl, Syracuse vs. West Virginia (Dec. 23)

• Brett McMurphy, Action Network: Military Bowl, Syracuse vs. SMU (Dec. 27)

• Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: Armed Forces Bowl, Syracuse vs. Kansas (Dec. 23)

• Mark Schlabach, ESPN: First Responder Bowl, Syracuse vs. UCF (Dec. 26)

• Nick Bromberg, Yahoo! Sports: Armed Forces Bowl, Syracuse vs. West Virginia (Dec. 23)

• Stewart Mandel, The Athletic: Fenway Bowl, Syracuse vs. SMU (Dec. 28)

• Bleacher Report: Armed Forces Bowl, Syracuse vs. Kansas (Dec. 23)

• Bill Bender, Sporting News: Birmingham Bowl, Syracuse vs. Coastal Carolina (Dec. 23)

• Erick Smith, USA Today: Gasparilla Bowl, Syracuse vs. UCF (Dec. 22)

• Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports: Birmingham Bowl, Syracuse vs. South Alabama (Dec. 23)

Breakdown of Projections:

Bowl games with number of projections

Armed Forces Bowl (4)

Birmingham Bowl (2)

Gasparilla Bowl (2)

Fenway Bowl (1)

Military Bowl (1)

First Responder Bowl (1)

Opponents with number of projections

South Alabama (2)

West Virginia (2)

SMU (2)

Kansas (2)

UCF (2)

Coastal Carolina (1)

Syracuse will have to wait until this Sunday until the official bowl game and opponent is announced.

UCF bowl projections: War on I-4 revival? Miami, USC as possible opponents? (; Boyle)

UCF is heading to a bowl game for the eighth straight season; that much is certain, following Saturday's 27-13 victory against Houston. The Knights finished 6-6, including a 3-6 mark in its first run through the Big 12.

The location and date for that bowl, however, remains a mystery for another week. And based on the projections of several major media outlets, there is a wide range of potential outcomes.

UCF could gain an extra home game, or travel several hundred miles on either side of Christmas. Projected opponents include a blood rival, a top-25 relative FBS newcomer and a couple of Power Five bluebloods.

Let's examine the possibilities for UCF, based on projections published from USA Today, ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, 247Sports, Yahoo! Sports, Sporting News, the Action Network and Athlon Sports.

247Sports/Athlon Sports: Gasparilla Bowl vs. South Florida

Let's first address the elephant in the room.

With both UCF and USF achieving bowl eligibility Saturday, and with this making logistical and marketing sense, another War on I-4 could happen. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will at the end of the day.

It would be a role reversal for UCF compared to its 2021 Gasparilla Bowl trip, where it knocked off an in-state Power Five rival in Florida. South Florida made big strides under first-year coach Alex Golesh, a former Knights assistant under Josh Heupel, and dual-threat quarterback Byrum Brown posed huge problems for the Knights' defense last November as the Bulls climbed out of a 28-0 hole and took UCF to the wire.

Action Network: Gasparilla Bowl vs. James Madison

It's far more likely UCF will seek to play a bowl game in Tampa than it will to play USF — especially on the Bulls' home field. Tampa is a 90ish-minute drive and the Dec. 22 scheduling allows fans to attend and get home in plenty of time to celebrate Christmas.

James Madison was one of three benefactors with a shortage of six-win teams; the Dukes, in the second year of their FBS transition and thus not bowl eligible, had two prior appeals for bowl eligibility denied by the NCAA. But due to only 79 of the 82 slots being automatically filled by eligible teams that went 6-6 and better, James Madison and Jacksonville State will go bowling for the first time. At 5-7, Minnesota will fill the final spot.

The Dukes, representing the Sun Belt Conference, opened the season with 10 straight wins, peaked at the No. 18 spot in The Associated Press Top 25 and have the No. 1 run defense in college football, allowing just 61.5 yards per game.

USA Today: Gasparilla Bowl vs. Syracuse

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) is congratulated by LeQuint Allen Jr. (1) after scoring a touchdown against Purdue during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Continuing the UCF-to-Tampa trend, here's a matchup against a fellow 6-6 Power Five team, albeit one that recently fired its head coach.

Dino Babers lost his job with one game to go, but the Orange held on to beat Wake Forest on Saturday with a game-sealing interception at the goal line. Syracuse is bowl-eligible for the second straight season, a program first since 2012-13.

The Athletic reported Monday night that Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown is the favorite to land the Syracuse job. As for the current squad, LeQuint Allen is one of the Orange's top offensive weapons, totaling 1,062 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach: First Responder Bowl vs. Syracuse

UCF headed to Dallas — Arlington, technically — before the season for its first taste of the Big 12's media days and, in Schlabach's estimation, could wrap up 2023 there as well.

This game takes place the day after Christmas, never an ideal scenario for traveling fan support, on the campus of former American Athletic Conference rival SMU. West Virginia was the last Big 12 team to appear in this contest in 2017, then known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Syracuse football: third down and red zone efficiency vs. Georgia Tech (TNIAAM; Tomaiuolo)

(Ed. Note: My fault this didn’t get posted last week but we want to finish the series and do a year-long recap)

The Syracuse Orange football team couldn’t clinch a bowl game when they lost to Georgia Tech 31-22 last Saturday. Dan Villari and the “Thundercat” offense impressed at times but struggled to move the chains on third-and-long. After a great week in the Bronx, the Syracuse defense returned to performing poorly on third and short. Likewise, the last third down and red zone report under Dino Babers sums up a lackluster back half of the season.

Offensive success

Third down and 1-3 yards: 1-for-3

While this looks subpar on paper, the Orange converted both fourth down attempts after a failed third down. Combinations of Garrett Shrader, LeQuint Allen and Villari made up these rushes, with Allen scampering into the end zone on a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The trio will look to keep the momentum going against Wake Forest’s above-average run defense.

Third down and 4-6 yards: 1-for-2

Small sample here, but offensive coordinator Jason Beck clearly had no intent to pass. Instead, Villari ran twice, once for 21 yards and once for 3.

Third down and 7+ yards: 0-for-5

Villari did actually throw a pass for two yards on a third-and-9, but the rest were runs that came up short. It’s hard to critique such a one-sided offense. We just have to hope that the running lanes are there against Wake.

Defense success

Third down and 1-3 yards: 1-for-3

After stopping all three of Pittsburgh’s attempts last week, Syracuse managed just one stop in as many tries this week. On SU’s first attempt, GT quarterback Haynes King found receiver Dominick Blaylock wide-open on a slant for 14 yards. The Orange stopped King short on a third-and-1 on their second attempt, but a subsequent offside penalty on fourth down moved the chains.

Third down and 4-6 yards: 1-for-1

Caleb Okechukwu’s third sack of the season made this zone report short and sweet. The senior brought down King on a third-and-5 to force a Yellow Jackets’ punt.

Third down and 7+ yards: 4-for-5

The only blip here was when King found receiver Eric Singleton Jr. open on a curl route for 14 yards in the second quarter. The Orange looked stout on their other four attempts, highlighted by Alijah Clark blowing up a pass in the backfield for an 8-yard loss.

Red Zone Offense: 4 trips - 24 points

Despite the loss, Syracuse put together a strong showing inside the 20. Two penalties by Umari Hatcher limited the Orange to three on its first drives, but Villari and Allen combined for three rushing touchdowns on the following trips. Villari carried defenders with him on a 21-yard run to set up its second drive and took it himself on the next play into the end zone, getting SU within 14.

Dan Villari refuses to be stopped!

— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 19, 2023

Fran Brown’s Top Two Challenges to Overcome (; Aitken)

Fran Brown is an exciting hire in a lot of ways. He has regional connections, relationships to talented coaches, and a strong recruiting resume. However, there are some notable challenges he’ll face at Syracuse, due to both his experience and the situation he’s coming into.

In-Game Coaching Decisions

Playcalling. Substitutions. Clock management. These are all responsibilities that Brown likely hasn’t had much personal experience with. He’s never been a head coach. Aside from that, he spent three years as an assistant head coach at Temple and Baylor, as well as one season as a co-defensive coordinator. While we don’t know what Brown’s exact duties in each of those roles were, his experience with any in-game management is capped at a few years at most.

There are several ways Brown will have to overcome this. For one, it’ll likely be a rough start. It won’t be too surprising if he makes a mistake, like burning timeouts too early in a half. The important part is that he learns from these mistakes. If persistent in-game management issues continue past year one, then concerns will begin to grow.

Another factor in overcoming Brown’s lack of head coaching experience is hiring good coordinators. That’s much easier said than done, and he likely has his own styles of OCs and DCs that he’s looking for. However, something Brown should consider is hiring former head coaches in those positions. Having people around him are experienced in handling in-game management will be helpful, especially in his first season.

Handling the Transfer Portal

Former Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito is unexpected star in disappointing NY Giants season (PS; AP)

The New York Giants’ season began with high expectations, hopes of a second straight playoff trip and wild dreams of a fifth Super Bowl title.

So it’s appropriate they headed into their bye week with the focus being on the exploits of the suddenly well-known Tommy DeVito.

That’s the way the season has gone.

New York’s hope of closing the gap on the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East and the rest of the NFL’s elite were dashed early by a brutally tough schedule and injuries, especially on the offense line. The Giants won two of their first 10 games and the anticipated joy left the Meadowlands.

With five games left in the regular season, New York is 4-8 and still has two games with Philadelphia, which has a league-leading 10-1 record.

Out of the disappointment, a feel-good story is being written. It doesn’t feature Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, Dexter Lawrence or Kayvon Thibodeaux or any of the team’s more recognizable players.

It’s DeVito, the New Jersey-grown undrafted rookie free agent and former Syracuse Orange quarterback who was cut at the ending of training camp and signed to the Giants’ practice squad.

His job was to learn and be an extra arm for workouts and then drive 20 to 25 minutes home to his parents’ house in Cedar Grove, where he gets home-cooked meals and has his bed made every day.

He’s a fan favorite and a guy whose happy-go-lucky style is hard not to like. When he was introduced before Sunday’s 10-7 win over the Patriots as the Giants’ starting quarterback, the MetLife Stadium crowd greeted him with its biggest cheer.

Introducing 5G to the dome: Elevating fan experience at Syracuse University (; video; Leggard)

As orange fans head up to the dome to watch a game, many would lose hope in having any internet access but, now with the new 5G system in place, that won't be a problem anymore.

“It's really helpful being able to have the next-level connection,” said Kalia Bulter.

Orange fans with Verizon Wireless can now access the new state-of-the-art 5G system. The new system makes the JMA Dome the most connected collegiate stadium in the U.S. and will elevate the fan experience by providing high-speed network coverage everywhere from the court to the stands to the concourse.

But before we got to this point, there were challenges, says Syracuse University special advisor to the chancellor on digital transformation Jeff Rubin, like whether to implement a Wi-Fi system or a cellular solution.

When you think of 4G to 5G you really get about a decade in there before you see a significant shift into what will be 6G.

The announcement builds on a $118 million transformation of the Dome, which included a new fixed roof, a vertically hung scoreboard—the largest in college sports, the installation of air conditioning, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

After finally deciding on a 5G system, the process took time, which SU along with JMA knew but now, Verizon users have access to the 5g network, “This wasn't a few wires and hookups; this was massive and well over a year almost two years of work.”

Now, as fans pack the dome and cheer on the orange, they wouldn't even know hundreds of antennas are on the ceiling giving them access to the internet.

“It's just helpful to have access in general because as the game is going on you can look at different stats online too because people are curious for what’s going on in the game,” said Butler.

Sports games aren't the only events taking place at the dome. There are also concerts and commencements.

Rubin said people want to share these moments in real time and now, they can.

“45,000-plus fans could all be on at the same time streaming video,” said Rubin. “This network was designed for no matter where you are in the Dome, whether you're front and center for a concert or you're in the third tier for a football game you are going to have highspeed connectivity.”

Syracuse University is actively working with AT&T and T-Mobile to make 5G access available to their customers as soon as possible.

Users will simply just have to turn off the Wi-Fi feature on their phones for it to work.

ACC News (SI; McGavic)

The Louisville football program might have ended the regular season on a low note, but they have a chance to make history before their bowl game, as they are set to face Florida State in their first ever appearance in the ACC Championship Game.

Here are some of the more notable storylines heading into Saturday's game:

Louisville Using Kentucky Loss as Motivation Ahead of ACC Championship

While Louisville has a chance to make program history this Saturday, they're not heading into the matchup with as much momentum as they could be. In their regular season and home finale last Saturday, the Cardinals were unable to capture a victory against their in-state rivals, falling 38-31 to Kentucky for their fifth-straight Governor's Cup loss.

With as much of a gut punch as the loss was, Brohm wants the result to serve as a motivational tool for his players and coaches as they look to rebound and regroup ahead of their matchup with Florida State.

"Well, they're not happy," head coach Jeff Brohm said. "I'm probably as unhappy as any of us. I think that's why it's no fun. It's healthy to be angry and unhappy for at least 24 hours. We still want to let that sink in us a little bit, and sting us, and really digest the plays we ran and what we could have done better, and how and why. That is the focus throughout the rest of today. We're going to go through every detail, and nook and cranny of it."

Being able to lock back in following the emotional loss to Kentucky will be of utmost importance for Louisville, in part because of what it would mean for the program if they were able to pull off the upset against the Seminoles. Brohm says that the ACC Championship Game will be the latest, and biggest, opportunity for Louisville to "prove their value" to the college football world.

ACC Championship: Preview and 'Tale of the Tape' (

Our final conference title game preview features the Louisville Cardinals and Florida State Seminoles. The Cardinals were a pleasant surprise this season in year one of the Jeff Brohm era. The Noles have been on the rise since the beginning of last season, they are winners of 18 straight, and the last loss came against Clemson on Oct. 15, 2022.

The goal is simple for Florida State, win this game and you are likely a lock for the College Football Playoff. They have been among the top five in each of the reveals and now face a top-15 opponent in Louisville, who would love nothing more than to secure the ACC title and ruin the Noles’ postseason dreams.

This is the 24th meeting between the two schools, Florida State won last year’s meeting to snap Louisville’s two-game win streak against them. Overall, the Noles lead the all-time series 17-6. The two teams have split the last 10 games over the last two decades, 5-5.

Here’s when you should tune in to see the game:

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 2
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ABC (Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer, Katie George)
  • Live Stream: Fubo (watch for free)
As kickoff approaches, we preview this game with our "Tale of the Tape."

Quarterback Comparison

This isn’t the quarterback matchup that we expected to have just a few weeks ago. Due to an unfortunate injury, Florida State won’t have one of the ACC’s best quarterbacks this season. Tate Rodemaker will make his second start in Jordan Travis’ absence. He might rely heavily on the run game as he gets comfortable in the offense. For the Cardinals to pull off the upset, Jack Plummer needs to limit his turnovers.

66.2Comp %57.1

Running Back Comparison

Two of the most productive touchdown scorers at the running back position will be on the field this Saturday. Louisville’s Jawhar Jordan ranks No. 2 in rushing yards for the ACC and No. 3 in rushing touchdowns. He will be needed to step up once again against a stout FSU defensive front. The Noles counter with Trey Benson, who is No. 7 in yards and No. 2 in rushing touchdowns. Here is how they compare:


Mike Norvell Earns ACC Coach of the Year Honors (

After leading Florida State to a perfect regular season and a spot in the 2023 ACC Football Championship game, Mike Norvell has been named the ACC Coach of the Year for the 2023 season.

Before Norvell claimed the honor this season, Florida State had claimed the award twice, most recently in 1997. While leading the Seminoles, College Football Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden won the award in both 1993 and 1997.

Heading into the ACC Championship Game on Saturday, the Seminoles are 12-0 for the fourth time in program history. Under Norvell’s watch, Florida State also posted its 10th perfect conference season, going 8-0 in league play.

The Seminoles are on an 18-game winning streak dating back to last year, the longest active streak in the ACC and the third-longest active streak in the country. The winning streak is also the second-longest in program history and third-longest in ACC history.

During its 18-game winning streak, Florida State has outscored its opponents 718-310.

FSU is also on an 11-game conference winning streak, the fifth-longest in the nation, has won nine straight at home, also the fifth-best streak in the nation, and seven straight contests on the road, tied for the fifth-longest in the nation.

Florida State leads the conference in points per game (38.8), while also allowing the lowest scoring total (16.8/game) on the season, which both rank in the top 15 nationally. Defensively, the Seminoles have allowed the fewest touchdowns among ACC teams (20) and the third-fewest yards (3,786). To date, the Seminole defense ranks inside the top 10 nationally in several categories, including total sacks and third-down conversion defense.

The Florida State defense has not allowed 30 points in a game this season, one of just four teams to do that in all of FBS this year. The 12-game streak is the longest active in the ACC and third-longest in the country.

Following a win over fifth-ranked LSU, Norvell and company joined the AP Poll top-five in week two of the 2023 season. Since then, the Seminoles have held their spot among the top five for each of the last 13 weeks of the season.

This season, Norvell has been named to the watch list for the Bear Bryant Award, while also earning a spot on the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year midseason watch list. During the 2019 season, Norvell was a finalist for the Bear Bryant Award after leading Memphis to a 12-2 season and a trip to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Norvell is just the third coach in Florida State history to lead the Seminoles to multiple 10-win seasons while tallying the 25th and 26th double-digit win totals in program history.

In the past two seasons, Florida State has produced 40 All-ACC selections, including a school-record 25 honorees in 2023. The Seminoles saw a league-high eight first-team selections, highlighted by ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year Jordan Travis. FSU also led the ACC in second and third-team honors, with six and four, respectively.

A total of 19 of Norvell’s pupils have been selected in the last seven NFL Drafts, including first-round pick Jermaine Johnson II, who was selected 26th overall by the New York Jets in 2022.

The breakdown of the voting for the 2023 ACC Football Coach of the Year:

ACC Coach of the Year
Mike Norvell – Florida State (36)
Jeff Brohm – Louisville (16)
Dave Doeren – NC State (10)
Brent Key – Georgia Tech (2)

PSN/ACC Daily Portal Report: November 30 (; Campbell)

With the conclusion of the ACC regular season in college football, the opening of the NCAA Transfer Portal is coming soon.

Starting on Dec. 4, college coaches will have the opportunity to speak with players that have entered their name in the portal. This will serve as a stressful period for college teams and a wild couple of months for the sport of college football.

This is the new form of recruiting and is now crucial to every team, almost as much as high school recruiting itself. Pittsburgh Sports Now will start running an ACC Daily Portal Report, that will provide updates on all activity involving programs in the ACC.

ACC PORTAL NEWS / November 30

Florida State in for Transfer QB

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has Florida State amongst one of his transfer destinations, according to Pete Nakos of On3. Uiagalelei also has Oregon and potentially entering the 2024 NFL Draft as his options for next season.

Uiagalelei completed 180 of his 315 passes, 57.1%, for 2.638 yards and 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions in his only season as a Beaver.

He started the two previous seasons with Clemson. Uiagalelei struggled in his first seasons starting in 2021, completing 208 passes for 2,246 yards, but nine touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He would improve in 2022, completing 229 passes for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions, but Clemson chose to go with a different signal caller, Cade Klubnik, prompting Uiagalelei to leave.

Uiagalelei has one year left of eligibility.

NC State Quarterback Set to Transfer

NC State sophomore quarterback MJ Morris announced his decision to transfer on Thursday. Morris came into replace Virginia transfer quarterback Brennan Armstrong at the mid point of the season in Week 6. He started four games, with three wins at home over Marshall, Clemson and Miami, but chose to redshirt and sat out the rest of the season.

He played in five games in 2022, forcing him to make a decision to redshirt this season, giving him three more years of eligibility. He completed 115 of his 199 passes, threw for 1,367 yards and 14 touchdowns to six interceptions.

Two other Wolfpack players placed in the transfer portal — redshirt junior defensive lineman C.J. Clark and redshirt freshman linebacker Torren Wright.

Clark played in all 25 games the past two seasons, a mainstay at defensive tackle for NC State. He finished his five year career with the program, making 72 tackles, 20 solo, 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Wright redshirted in 2022 and played in seven games this season, making two tackles, one solo.

Clark has one year left of eligibility, while Wright has three.


Miami saw three players announce their decision to transfer in redshirt junior defensive lineman Chantz Williams, kicker Stone Springman and wide receiver Jason Campbell.

Williams played in 39 games over his four seasons with the Hurricanes making 40 tackles, 18 solo, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and four passes defended. He has two years left of eligibility with a COVID-19 year.

Campbell and Springman never played for the Hurricanes, with Campbell having three years left to eligibility and Campbell having four.

(youtube; video; WYFF)

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney announces staff changes

Van Dyke, Leonard, Morris Among Top ACC QBs To Hit Transfer Portal; ACC SEC Challenge Results (youtube; podcast; Locked on the ACC)

Top ACC names have hit the transfer portal. What has become of the state of college football play and do we ever see it changing? Candace & Kenton discuss on today's episode.

2023 ACC CG Coverage (RX; HM)

2023 ACC CG Coverage

From the ESPN Press Release of November 29, 2023: ACC Network to Offer Extensive Coverage of 2023 ACC Football Championship Game...

Fri, Dec. 13 p.m.ACC Huddle: Championship PreviewACCN
One-hour special [1]
Kelsey Riggs, Eric Mac Lain, EJ Manuel, Mark Richt, Eddie Royal, Andrea Adelson and David Hale
4 p.m.ACC PM: ACC Championship EditionACCN
Three-hour special, live from Romare Bearden Park.
Mark Packer, Taylor Tannebaum, Tim Hasselbeck, Royal, Mac Lain, Richt, Adelson and Hale
Sat, Dec. 28 a.m.SportsCenter(segment)ESPN
E. J. Manuel
2 & 4 p.m.ACC men’s basketball (halftime wraps)ACCN
*Live from Fan Fest/Romare Bearden Park
Tannebaum, Hasselbeck and Joel Berry
6 p.m.ACC HuddleACCN
Bank of America Stadium: Riggs, Mac Lain, Manuel, Richt and Royal; Fan Fest/Romare Bearden Park: Packer, Tannebaum and Hasselbeck
8 p.m.ACC Football Championship GameABC, ACCN
ESPN Radio
No. 14 Louisville vs No. 4 Florida State
ABC: Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer, Katie George
ACCN: Command Center presentation
ESPN Radio: Mark Kestecher, Kelly Stouffer, Ian Fitzsimmons
PostgameACC HuddleACCN
Bank of America Stadium: Riggs, Mac Lain, Manuel, Richt and Royal


Better 2023 Team: Alabama or Florida State? (RX; HM)

Better 2023 Team: Alabama or Florida State?

One team plays in the SEC, the other in the ACC. One wears crimson, the other, garnet. They recruit many of the same areas. Their schools are located just 306 miles apart. Both teams are playing in their respective conference championship games, and both claim to deserve a playoff bid. Which one is the better team?
Of course, I'm talking about Alabama and Florida State. Always aware of each other's presence, yet rarely meeting on the field, it's often a matter of spirited debate between fans, never more so than this season. True, the Noles have never officially beaten the Tide head-to-head (their 2007 win was later vacated), but then, they've only played four times (the most recent being in 2017).
Here are their 2023 resumes side-by-side:

2023 Alabama2023 Florida State
Mid Tenn.W 56-7vs #5 LSUW 45-24
#11 TexasL 34-24Southern MissW 66-13
at USF BullsW 17-3at B.C.W 31-29
#15 Ole MissW 24-10at ClemsonW 31-24(OT)
at Miss. St.W 40-17Virginia TechW 39-17
at Texas A&MW 26-20SyracuseW 41-3
ArkansasW 24-21#16 DukeW 38-20
#17 TennesseeW 34-20at Wake ForestW 41-16
#14 L.S.U.W 42-28at PittW 24-7
at KentuckyW 49-21Miami (FL)W 27-20
ChattanoogaW 66-10North AlabamaW 58-13
at AuburnW 27-24at FloridaW 24-15

Now, let me address some of the arguments that Alabama fans are making against Florida State...
BAMA CLAIM: Florida State hasn't beaten anybody.
FSU FACTS: At the time the games were played, two of the Seminoles opponents - LSU and Duke - were ranked. In addition, Clemson is ranked now, after FSU beat them. By comparison, Alabama played four teams that were ranked at the time they played. I'll concede a slight edge to Bama, but not to the extent they are claiming. Advantage: Alabama
BAMA CLAIM: FSU struggled to beat even the weaker teams on their schedule.
FSU FACTS: The Noles were in only 3 one-score games: at BC (2 points), at Clemson (TD in OT), and Miami (TD). All three of those teams are bowl-eligible, and Clemson is ranked by the CFP. How does Alabama compare? The Tide also had 3 one-score games: at Texas A&M (6 points), Arkansas (3 points), and at Auburn (3 points). So Bama barely beat 4-8 Arkansas, and should have lost to 6-6 Auburn if not for a very strange TD pass on 4th and 31. Oh, and let's not let them sweep one fact under the rug: FSU almost lost 3 games, but Alabama did lose one - and almost lost 3 more. Advantage: FSU

BAMA CLAIM: FSU is no longer deserving without Jordan Travis at QB.
FSU FACTS: Former Alabama Championship-winning QB Greg McElroy spoke out on X (fka twitter) stating that he believed FSU was deserving - and was immediately attacked by his own fans, who now claim the Tide won their title "in spite of" McElroy. His response to that:

You're mad because I think FSU should be in the CFP regardless of their QB Injury.

You suggest we won a Natty in 2009 "in spite of me" at QB.

So... do you need a QB to win a Natty?

If yes, then I must've helped in 2009.
If no, then FSU's QB Injury shouldn't matter.

— Greg McElroy (@GregMcElroy) November 29, 2023
Props to McElroy for telling the truth when so many around him are spreading lies! Advantage: FSU

SEC Dominance Exposed in 2023 (RX; HM)

SEC Dominance Exposed in 2023

ESPN's "talking heads" are already hyping up the winner of the SEC Championship in case Alabama upsets Georgia... Just say "No" to SEC hype!
It's an undisputable fact that the SEC was 5th out of 5 in terms of P5-vs-P5 non-conference records (For a deeper dive into those numbers, check out "2023 SEC Fan Boy Logic"). However, that's not all - there were also some G5 losses...

Yes, despite playing a bunch of cupcakes in Week 12, the SEC somehow managed to absorb another G5 non-conference loss that week when Auburn was defeated - at home - by New Mexico State. That leaves the SEC with a record of 24-2 versus G5 teams - with virtually all of those being home games.

Admittedly, the G5 Aggies sport a gaudy 9-3 record - but those 3 losses were to UMass, Liberty, and Hawaii. Hey, one of Auburn's wins is over UMass, so I guess those three (New Mexico St, UMass, and Auburn) are roughly equal?


2023 SEC Fan Boy "Logic" (RX; HM)

2023 SEC Fan Boy "Logic"

I was planning on writing about something else, but I can't take it any more -- all of the pure garbage coming from SEC fanboys (and sadly, this includes some famous tv sports commentators). What I'll present here is a list of some of the arguments being put forth, along with my counter arguments. We'll stay away from a direct comparison of Florida State versus Alabama because I plan a separate post just to address that...

FACT: The SEC has the worst record this year versus other P5 conferences, while the Pac-12 has the best and the ACC has the second best. Here's a table showing all P5-vs-P5 regular season records:

Pac-12ACCBig 12Big 10SEC
vs Pac-120-01-30-32-1
vs ACC0-02-03-44-6
vs Big 123-10-22-11-2
vs Big 103-04-31-20-0
vs SEC1-26-42-10-0
vs all P57-310-96-65-87-9
P5 win%0.7000.5260.5000.3850.438

CLAIM: "A bunch of top-half ACC teams beat a bunch of the worst teams in the SEC."
MY REPLY: LSU is one of the top teams in the SEC, and Florida State beat them soundly. Texas A&M and Florida were both assumed to be quality teams in the preseason, but they lost to ACC teams (Miami and FSU) as well.

CLAIM: Bad (non-bowl-eligible) SEC teams (Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt) account for four of the losses to the ACC.
MY REPLY: First, Florida and South Carolina were both getting AP votes before the season began; had they won their Week 1 P5 OOC games, they surely would have been ranked (they didn't; Florida lost to Utah, and South Carolina lost to UNC in what was hyped as a battle of top quarterbacks).
Second, it was losses to ACC teams that made Florida and South Carolina bowl-ineligible! Both of those teams were playing for a 6-6 record and a bowl bid - at home, no less - yet both were eliminated by their in-state rivals.
Third, if you're going to single out the SEC teams who lost to the ACC, you must do the same for ACC teams who lost to the SEC, namely Virginia (lost to Tennessee) and Georgia Tech (lost to Ole Miss and Georgia). SEC fans want to gleefully accept those mismatches, then whine about in-state rivalry losses and kickoff games that didn't go their way?



Chicken a l'orange over pommes puree with broccolini at The Krebs, Skaneateles, N.Y. (Jared Paventi |

Everything was just right at The Krebs in Skaneateles (Dining Out Review) (PS; $; Paventi)

Read the words “game hen” on a menu, as we did at The Krebs in Skaneateles, and you begin to wonder exactly what decade you are dining in. These classic miniature whole chickens were popular, elegant selections in the 1950s and 1960s, but rarer sights on today’s menus.

That’s where The Krebs steps in and achieves what it does best: putting modern twists on the classics. In the chicken a l’orange ($36), the broiled hen was glazed in a French-style orange sauce and served over garlic mashed potatoes with charred broccolini. This type of orange sauce is typically saved for duck but has the same effect on the chicken by imparting equal doses of acidity, sweetness and savory. Hints of garlic and orange were heightened by vinegar, basting the chicken and serving as a foil for the vegetables on the plate.

It was a strong representation of The Krebs’ holistic approach to food, beverages and aesthetics. The subtle modernization of traditional favorites is at the cornerstone of the historic restaurant in Skaneateles’ village. Opened as a restaurant in 1899, The Krebs operated without interruption until 2010, when owner Jan Loveless died. Adam and Kim Weitsman reopened the restaurant four years later after an extensive remodel of the dining room, bar and kitchen.

Since then, the restaurant has gone through several evolutions. First, it was upscale fine dining, as my former colleague Jane Marmaduke Woodman found in 2014. Prior to the pandemic, it pivoted to a high-end, family-friendly approach, including a children’s menu. As we found on our recent Saturday evening visit, it resides somewhere in between. There were families sprinkled throughout the quiet, dimly dining room, alongside groups of adults. The bar area was far more boisterous and crowded, and for good reason. The Krebs makes exceptional cocktails.

Syracuse private sector job count reaches post-Covid-19 pandemic high point (PS; $; Tampone)

The private sector job count in the Syracuse metro area in October reached its highest level since the Covid-19 pandemic first struck.

The Syracuse area had a total of 264,100 private sector jobs in October, up 4,600 jobs from October 2022, according to data from the state Labor Department. That’s an increase of 1.8%.

Numbers for November are not yet available.

The job total for October was the highest of any month since February 2020, the last full month before the Covid-19 pandemic hit and shut down the economy in New York and the rest of the nation for months.

The Syracuse area lost tens of thousands of jobs during the pandemic slowdown. The private sector job count reached a pandemic low point of 207,400 in April 2020.

The job total last month was also the highest of any October since 2018, when the Syracuse area had 264,800 private sector jobs.

The numbers are not seasonally adjusted and do not reflect the full effects of seasonal variations like holiday hiring spikes at retailers.

hree sectors in Syracuse — professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and accommodation and food services — added more jobs than any other sectors in the last year. All three added at least a thousand jobs in the 12 months between October 2022 and October 2023.

Note: Accommodation and food services is itself a part of the broader leisure and hospitality sector, but both saw growth.

The professional and business services sector added the most jobs of any in the Syracuse metro area during the period: about 2,700, according to the state Labor Department. That’s an increase of 7.4%.

Last edited:
Thanks for doing this every day. It would take me at least 8 hours and it would be less than 1/8 as good.

And chicken a l’orange is gross.

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