Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday - for Football | Syracusefan.com

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Football

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Welcome to Poinsettia Day!


Poinsettia Day celebrates the beautiful red flowering plant that has come to be associated with Christmas, the poinsettia. The plant is native to Mexico, where it was used by the Aztecs; its flowers were used to produce red dye, and its sap to treat fevers. Franciscan missionaries in Mexico used it in the 17th century as part of nativity processions, the first time it became associated with Christianity. A story has been passed down about a poor Mexican girl who didn't have anything to honor baby Jesus with at a procession. An angel told her any gift from the heart was a good gift, so she gathered weeds from the roadside. When she placed them around the manger they transformed into poinsettias. In Mexico the flowers are called La Flores de la Nochebuena, or the Flowers of the Holy Night, and are displayed on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This day marks the beginning of the Christmas season.

Poinsettias take their name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist and the first Minister to Mexico, who sent cuttings of the plant back to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1837, William Hickling Prescott, a gardener and historian, was asked to rename the plant and named it after Poinsett, because of his achievements in government and horticulture. By some odd coincidence, Poinsett died on December 12, the same day as the Day of the Virgin Guadalupe, and the same date that would become National Poinsettia Day.


SU News

Recruiting Roundup: A running list of Fran Brown's Class of 2024 recruits for SU football (cnycentral.com; Wenskoski)


If you bring in the man considered to be the best recruiter in the nation as your next head coach...well, your recruiting classes are going to improve. Syracuse football is reaping the benefits of hiring Fran Brown, even though he's not even two weeks into the job.

Brown has hit the recruiting trail running. The early NCAA signing period runs from December 20-22nd, and Brown appears determined to haul in as many recruits from the class of 2024 as he can before the new year. Last weekend, it appeared that Brown and his staff pulled out all the stops when they hosted potential players on their official visits to SU. Social media photos showed a hibachi dinner inside the Dome, uniform photos with a Ferrari Below, you'll find a comprehensive list of those who have officially pledged to the Orange, as well as other SU targets.

VERBAL COMMITS TO SU IN THE FRAN BROWN ERA:

- 3/4-star WR Jaylan Hornsby (NJ): Hornsby hails from Brown's hometown of Camden, New Jersey. The top-ranked wide receiver out of NJ in the class of 2024 was ranked as a four-star for much of the recruitment cycle before being moved to a three-star last week. But forget about stars- the other schools that Hornsby had offers from tell you all you need to know. He had offers from college football powerhouses Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State, among others. Hornsby posted to his personal X account on December 10th that he will flip his previous commitment to Texas A&M to join the Orange. Incoming SU defensive coordinator Elijah Robinson, previously a defensive assistant with Texas A&M, is said to have been Hornsby's primary recruiter with the Aggies.
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Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Syracuse football recruiting: Orange gain commitment from RB Yasin Willis (TNIAAM; Haller)

On the recruiting trail, Fran Brown continues to push the envelope as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. This weekend Syracuse hosted a number of high profile recruits and it seems a number were impressed with the staff and campus, enough to commit Sunday night. The first flip of the evening was WR Jaylan Hornsby, another New Jersey standout. It was followed a few hours later by the commitment from running back Yasin Willis, a former Pittsburgh commit who is now about to wear Orange.

100%COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/xbcOEcvtlu
— Yasin Willis (@willisyasin6) December 11, 2023

Willis is a 6-foot-1, 220lb running back from the Garden State. he’s rated as the top in his position coming out of New Jersey and is the No. 10 rated player overall according to 247Sports.com Composite Rankings. He’s also the third highest rated commit to the Orange this season, with holdover commit, TE Jaime Tremble and the aforementioned Hornsby the only players ahead of him in the class. With that ranking, he’s also a Top 500 national prospect, which is always a good range to be bringing kids in from, and one the Orange has been lacking in recent seasons, the last being Enrique Cruz in 2021.
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Syracuse football recruiting: Orange get commitment from DE/TE Jahide Lesaine, Jr (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange picked up a third commitment on Sunday night.

Defensive end/tight end Jahide Lesaine, Jr, a three-star from Sparta, NJ flipped his commitment from Kent State to Syracuse.


THANKYOU TO @CoachSmokeNJ AND @FranBrownCuse FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WILL BE COMMITTED TO @CuseFootball @SyracuseOn247 #CuseFamily #irvtuff4life pic.twitter.com/Gl2dz1w3U9
— 3⭐️ jahide lesaine jr (@jahide51543429) December 11, 2023
The 6’4” Lesaine had offers from Ole Miss and Pitt before he committed to Kent State. He’s listed as a three-star prospect across the board, and is currently projected to be used as an edge rusher for the Orange.

Lesaine is the 17th commitment right now for Syracuse’s 2024 class. We keep waiting to hear more about previous commits and potential flips. It does look as though TE Elijah Washington from Virginia reaffirmed his commitment after the weekend visit.


Syracuse official visit solidifies commitment for Orange TE pledge Elijah Washington (@777_ewashington) via @Sydney_Supple ⬇️ https://t.co/9oSL0VYF8k
— Mike McAllister (@McAllisterMike1) December 11, 2023

Stay tuned for more because it’s going to be a busy couple of weeks before early signing day.

soundcloud.com; radio; The 315)

rankings director Adam Friedman hops on to give his thoughts from a national perspective on what Syracuse football is doing in the recruiting world with Fran Brown. He brings up a couple names that could be the next commitments and chats about the chances the Orange get five-star safety K.J. Bolden to flip from FSU.

30 Minutes In Orange Nation 12-11-23 (ESPN; radio; Orange Nation)

Steve and Paulie start the show talking Syracuse-Georgetown and what they made of the big win. Then, the guys react to some comments from Coach Autry after the game. Later, a quick recap of Syracuse football’s big recruiting weekend and some predictions as to which positions will be addressed next.

Can Coach Fran Brown save Northern Football? #Syracuse #UGA #colorado #pennstate #NewYork (youtube; podcast; Big Tiger)

Can Coach Fran Brown save Northern Football?

https://www.si.com/college/syracuse/recruiting/matthew-stenbroten-decommits-from-syracuse (SI; McAllister)

Class of 2024 Lake Mills (WI) High linebacker Matthew Stenbroten has decommitted from Syracuse. The 6-4, 235 pounder originally chose the Orange over offers from Air Force, Ohio, North Dakota State, Wyoming and others. He announced the decision on social media.

"I want to start by thanking the Syracuse staff for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play college football," Stenbroten wrote in a social media post. "I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me. After further discussion with my family, I will be decommitting from Syracuse University. Please respect my decision."

Stenbroten is rated a three star prospect by all of the major recruiting services.

The news comes in the midst of a lot of activity on the recruiting front for Syracuse. Stenbroten originally committed to the Dino Babers staff over the summer. The Orange, however, made a coaching change as they moved on from coach Babers during the season. Fran Brown was hired as his replacement in the offseason.
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https://www.si.com/college/syracuse/football/terry-lockett-enters-transfer-portal (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse defensive lineman Terry Lockett has entered the transfer portal, according to multiple reports. Lockett started two games in 2022 before his season ended due to injury and was in the rotation this past year. During his three seasons at Syracuse, he recorded 45 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and three fumble recoveries.

Lockett signed with the Orange as part of the 2021 recruiting class out of Springfield Central in Massachusetts. He was rated a three star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. The 247Sports composted ranked him as the 133rd best defensive lineman in the cycle and seventh best player in his state.

He signed with Syracuse over offers from Buffalo, UMass and Michigan. UMass is the favorite to land him as a transfer.

The reason for Lockett's transfer is unknown, but could be related to the coaching change. Syracuse let Dino Babers go during the season, and hired Fran Brown as his replacement. It is possible Lockett elected to move on as he came to play for Babers. It could also be possible he did not see a fit with the new defensive system and elected to go somewhere he thought would be better for his career. Or some combination thereof.
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Syracuse defensive back Malcolm Folk transfers to Kent State (DO; O'Brien)

Syracuse defensive back Malcolm Folk announced through a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will transfer to Kent State. Folk is the second SU player to enter the portal and find a new school. The first was linebacker Leon Lowery, who transferred to Wisconsin last week.

Folk entered the portal on Nov. 27, two days after the Orange’s 35-31 win over Wake Forest to clinch a postseason berth. He was one of four players to announce his intentions to enter the portal on that day, per 247Sports. Folk, Lowery, Jakobie Seabourn and Aman Greenwood all entered the portal on that day.


100% Committed to Kent State University. Thank you to the entire coaching staff for this opportunity! @CoachKenniBurns @CoachKMorgs pic.twitter.com/0bkYD3Q5yO
— Malcolm Folk (@malcolmfolkk) December 10, 2023

Folk played in seven games this season but recorded no tackles or interceptions. In his redshirt freshman season last year, he tallied four tackles and 0.5 tackles for a loss in three contests.

247Sports rated Folk three stars and he was a top 30 prospect out of Pennsylvania.


Andre Cisco leaves Jaguars game with injury (Syracuse, CNY in NFL Week 14) (PS; Herbert)

Former Syracuse football player Andre Cisco left the Jacksonville Jaguars game with an injury on Sunday.

Cisco, a free safety for the Jags, recorded three solo tackles before exiting the field with a groin injury in the second half. He was listed as questionable, but did not return in the 27-31 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Cisco also briefly last last week’s game with a shoulder injury, but quickly returned to action against the Cincinnati Bengals on “Monday Night Football.” He also suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7 that caused him to miss a game, but has otherwise impressed in his second year as a starter.

Cisco, 23, was an ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year at Syracuse University and drafted by Jacksonville in the 2021 NFL Draft. He recorded 73 total tackles, three interceptions and a touchdown last year. So far this season, he has 56 total tackles and three interceptions (including one that prompted a celebration dance to Sisqo’s “Thong Song”).
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ACC News

Friedlander: Revisiting my preseason ACC football Crystal Ball predictions - Saturday Road (saturdayroad.com; Friedlander)


In baseball, you only get 3 strikes before getting called out and sent back to the dugout. When it comes to making preseason predictions, there’s no limit to how many times you can swing and miss.

And man, did I have my share of whiffs.

I did have a few hits along the way, including a home run or 2. But those aren’t the ones I’m usually reminded of by my “fans” on social media.

In case you’re not the type to have all my predictions bookmarked for future use, let me save you the trouble of going through them all to calculate my batting average with this rewind back to the start of the season (click on the team’s name to link to the original Crystal Ball story):

Boston College

Crystal Ball prediction: 6-6 (2-6)

Actual record: 6-6 (3-5)

Nailed it:
I hit the Eagles’ overall record. The combination of a favorable schedule, an improved running attack aided by the return of injured All-ACC guard Christian Mahogany and several important transfer additions led to a 3-win improvement over last year’s 3-9 record. The 6 wins earned them a trip to the Fenway Bowl — and helped me hit on another preseason prediction by saving coach Jeff Hafley’s job for at least another season.

Whiffed: While the result was spot on, the way it came about was anything but. The biggest difference was the leader who provided the spark for one of the most improved offenses in the ACC. All it took was a couple of possessions into the season opener against Northern Illinois for Hafley to replace incumbent starter Emmett Morehead – the quarterback he spent the entire offseason hyping – with Thomas Castellanos. The dual-threat UCF transfer rushed for over 900 yards and accounted for 26 touchdowns in adding a spark to the most improved offense in the ACC.

Notable: The Eagles were streaky. They bounced back from a 1-3 start by winning 5 straight only to finish the regular season with 3 straight losses. They still have a chance for their first 7-win season since 2018 with a win against SMU on Dec. 28. The key to BC’s turnaround was its offensive improvement. They raised their scoring average from from 17.6 points last year to 25.0 this year and after finishing last in the ACC at 63.3 yards per game on the ground in 2022, they’re now 3rd at 194.3

Quotable: “While the results weren’t there (in 2022), the development of young replacement players is now ahead of schedule because of the game reps they received.”

Clemson

Crystal Ball prediction: 11-1 (7-1)

Actual record: 8-4 (4-4)

Nailed it:
Welp, at least I got a couple of things right about the Tigers this season. They did avenge their disappointing 2022 losses to Notre Dame and arch-rival South Carolina while getting ambushed by NC State for their 2nd straight trip to Raleigh. But all my other predictions were as off-target as Clemson’s potential game-winning field goal against FSU.

Whiffed: Where to start? How about the positive influence new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley would have on young quarterback Cade Klubnik? Didn’t happen. Or the win against LSU that kept the Tigers’ ACC home winning streak at Death Valley going? Close, but no cigar. That’s more than can be said about my prediction of another ACC championship and a return to the College Football Playoff. Dabo Swinney’s team was virtually eliminated from both by Week 4, raising the panic level of Tyler from Spartanburg and the rest of those in orange to DEFCON 1 until a late surge that soothed at least some of the uncharacteristic disappointment.


Notable: Clemson’s 4 losses were their most in a season since 2011. The 8 wins were its fewest since going 6-7 in 2010, Swinney’s 2nd full season on the job. On the plus side, Swinney passed the legendary Frank Howard as the winningest coach in school history when the Tigers beat Notre Dame on Nov. 4. It took him only 16 seasons to earn his 166 victories. It took Howard 30 to amass his 165.

Quotable: “With all the love Florida State has been getting this offseason, the Tigers aren’t attracting as much attention as usual. And they seem more than happy to use it to their advantage.”


Duke

Crystal Ball prediction: 8-4 (5-3)

Actual record: 7-5 (4-4)

Nailed it:
Obviously, no one could have predicted the injury issues that sidelined star quarterback Riley Leonard and other key players and ultimately derailed what started as a promising season. But when it comes to the end result, I was nearly spot on, right down to my prediction that the Blue Devils “will be right there for 3 quarters” against Notre Dame before letting a statement win slip away late.

Whiffed: The most glaring miss was that opening game against Clemson. While I was right about Duke having the edge in experience and at quarterback, I didn’t give it enough credit for being able to turn the advantages into a win. I also missed badly on my prediction that the Blue Devils’ defense would be just as opportunistic in forcing turnovers because of the large number of returning starters on defense. Wrong. After ranking among the nation’s leaders with 26 takeaways and a plus-16 turnover margin this year’s team forced only 14 (5 fumble recoveries, 9 interceptions) while its turnover margin dropped to plus-1.

Notable: The Blue Devils went 4-0 record at Wallace Wade Stadium against ACC opponents, the first time since 1989 that they went undefeated at home against conference foes. Despite the rash of injuries that kept the Blue Devils from reaching their potential, they’ll still finish the season at the Birmingham Bowl. It’s the 16th bowl game in program history and the 2nd in as many years of Mike Elko’s short tenure in Durham.

Quotable: “There’s a very real possibility that the Blue Devils will be better than last season and still not have as many wins.”

Florida State

Crystal Ball prediction: 10-2 (7-1)

Actual record: 13-0 (8-0)

Nailed it:
It really was a big deal that Jordan Travis, Johnny Wilson, Jared Verse and a handful of others who could have gone on to the NFL decided to run it back and try to lead the Seminoles back to national prominence. And that transfer class Mike Norvell added to supplement all that returning talent turned out to be as good as predicted. And in some cases, most notably wide receiver Keon Coleman, even better. And yes, FSU played its way into the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2014.

Whiffed: I’m not one to get carried away by preseason hype, especially when it surrounds a team that hasn’t enjoyed a lot of success in the recent past. In this case, though, I should have jumped on the Seminoles’ bandwagon. But I didn’t. I predicted losses to LSU and Clemson before they got their act together and ran the table the rest of the way. To this point, though, their only setback has come at the hands of the College Football Playoff committee.

Notable: FSU led the ACC in scoring offense at 37 points per game and scoring defense at 15.9 points per game. The Seminoles’ ACC championship was their 16th, the most among conference programs since they joined the league in 1992. This is the 4th time in school history that they’ve finished a regular season undefeated with at least 12 wins. Sadly, FSU is the first undefeated Power 5 conference champion to be left out of the CFB Playoff field in the 10-year history of the current 4-team format.

Quotable: “The Seminoles might look a lot like the team that created so much offseason buzz by winning their final 6 games in 2022. And they should thanks to a nation’s best 87% of their offensive and defensive production. But there’s a different vibe about them as they prepare for their most anticipated season since Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M 6 years ago.”


Georgia Tech

Crystal Ball prediction: 5-7 (3-5)

Actual record: 6-6 (8-0)

Nailed it:
As predicted, the Yellow Jackets made visible progress during Brent Key’s first full season as coach. The hiring of Buster Faulkner as offensive coordinator also turned out well, both for his contribution to a unit that was vastly improved over last season and for the culture his experience with 2-time defending national champion Georgia helps bring to the program. Another hit is that Tech’s bowl hopes were determined by a matchup against Syracuse in the next-to-last week of the regular season.

Whiffed: While I got it right about the importance of that Syracuse game, my assumption that the Yellow Jackets would come up again short of bowl eligibility also came up short. Tech’s win against the Orange earned it bowl eligibility for the first time since 2018. I also whiffed on the Yellow Jackets’ quarterback situation. I figured that at least one of the Zachs – Pyron or Gibson – would eventually get a start. But once Haynes King won the starting job, he never let go on his way to leading the ACC with 26 touchdown passes.

Notable: Key’s influence as a former offensive line coach was evident in his Yellow Jackets’ performance in protecting their quarterback. They ranked among the nation’s top 20, allowing an average of only 1.25 sacks per game. Defensively, Tech ranked 10th among FBS schools and 3rd in the ACC by forcing 23 turnovers.

Quotable: “While there is room for improvement in the won-loss column – even with a difficult schedule, uncertainty at quarterback and with large holes to fill on defense – Key’s measure of success in his first full season is different from those looking at his program from the outside.”

Louisville

Crystal Ball prediction: 7-5 (5-3)

Actual record: 10-3 (7-1)

Nailed it:
I hardly went out on a limb by picking the Cardinals to have a successful Year 1 under Jeff Brohm. The combination of a strong returning core, some talented transfers and the excitement generated by the arrival of a popular alumnus with a record for success as a coach made it almost a no-brainer. Of course, few could have predicted the degree of success Louisville ultimately achieved. Individually, I hit a home run on the explosiveness transfer receiver Jamari Thrash would bring to Brohm’s offense. He ended up 3rd in the ACC in receiving yards with 858 while scoring 6 touchdowns.

Whiffed: To that last point, most of my whiffs came with individual game predictions, especially Notre Dame. I also had the Cardinals losing to NC State, Duke and (yikes) Pittsburgh.

Notable: Brohm is the first coach in school history to lead the Cardinals to 10 or more wins in his debut season and the first to take his team to a conference championship game. This is the 7th time in school history that Louisville has reached the 10-win mark.

Quotable: “Because of the talent on the roster and the anticipation surrounding his return to his alma mater, Brohm won’t have the luxury of an extended grace period. Expectations are high.”


Miami

Crystal Ball prediction: 7-5 (4-4)

Actual record: 7-5 (3-5)

Nailed it:
Predicting Miami football is like converting a short-yardage situation after the other team has already jumped offside. The Hurricanes always get more preseason love than they deserve. And they always end up falling short of expectations. To their credit, Mario Cristobal successfully laid the blame for last year’s 5-7 disappointment on his predecessor Manny Diaz by cleaning house and restocking his roster with a new group of his own players through the transfer portal and a top-5 recruiting class. He also hired 2 new coordinators. But as I correctly projected, while all those changes would produce improvement, it was still barely enough to get Miami back into a bowl.

Whiffed: I didn’t think All-American safety Kam Kinchens would come anywhere close to the 6 interceptions he had in leading the ACC last season. Not because he’s lost a step. But rather, because I figured quarterbacks would stop throwing in his direction. Wrong. Kinchens picked off 5 passes this year to tie Boston College’s Elijah Jones for the league lead. And he did it in only 10 games because of injuries. At the other end of the spectrum was my prediction that quarterback Tyler Van Dyke would have a bounce-back year. He got off to a good start. But after getting intercepted 11 times in a 5-game stretch, he was benched in favor of true freshman Emory Williams.

Notable: Miami’s defense was the best in the ACC against the run, allowing an average of only 97.1 yards per game. The Hurricanes were also good at protecting their quarterback, allowing only 1.17 sacks per game.

Quotable: “The offseason moves will undoubtedly feed into the annual narrative that The U is finally on the verge of returning to its past glory. And the Hurricanes will be better this year. But let’s not get carried away. At least not yet.”

North Carolina

Crystal Ball prediction: 9-3 (5-3)

Actual record: 8-4 (4-4)

Nailed it:
I predicted that the arrival of new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey would bring about a renewed emphasis on the running game and man, did it ever. Omarion Hampton led the ACC in rushing and earned first-team All-American honors with 1,442 yards and 15 touchdowns. I was also right about the Tar Heels only going as far as their rebuilt defense would take them.

Whiffed: Unfortunately for UNC, that was only about 6 games before the bottom dropped out. Beyond putting too much faith in Gene Chizik’s ability to improve the defense, I swung and missed just as badly on Drake Maye. It’s not as if he had a terrible year. He still led the ACC in passing yards and yards per completion while throwing for 24 touchdowns. That, however, wasn’t even close to being enough to hit on my prediction of a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Notable: The Tar Heels scored 30 points in all but 3 games this year. They lost all 3 in which they were held to fewer than 30. Their season-opening win against South Carolina was a historic one. It was Mack Brown’s 100th win at UNC. Combined with his 158 wins in 16 seasons at Texas, it made him the first coach in college football history to record more than 100 victories at 2 different schools.

Quotable: “If the Tar Heels can get off to a strong start and not slip up during the soft middle part of their schedule, they’ll at least be in a position to finish off another successful season.”


NC State

Crystal Ball prediction: 8-4 (5-3)

Actual record: 9-3 (6-2)

Nailed it:
The Law of the Wolf tells us that NC State always achieves the most when it’s expected to do the least. So maybe it wasn’t such a stretch to pick State to take down Clemson, something it had only done once in the previous 10 meetings between the former Atlantic Division rivals. But I’ll still take credit for it. Same goes for predicting that Dave Doeren would surpass Earle Edwards as the winningest coach in program history. Payton Wilson helped me make good on another prediction by staying healthy for the entire year. leading an elite defense and winning national awards as the best defender in college football.

Whiffed: The reunion between graduate transfer quarterback Brennan Armstrong and Robert Anae, his former offensive coordinator at Virginia, seemed like a guaranteed recipe for success. But it didn’t exactly turn out that way. Armstrong struggled through the first 5 games and was ultimately benched in favor of MJ Morris. It wasn’t until Morris helped kickstart the season by going 3-1 as a starter, then decided to shut things down to preserve his redshirt, that Armstrong finally began to rediscover his groove.

Notable: The Wolfpack finished the regular season on a 5-game winning streak. It was punctuated by a 3rd straight win against rival UNC in a game that saw them set a season-high with 504 yards of total offense. This is the 4th straight season State has won at least 8 games, the first time in school history that’s happened. It can reach the 10-win mark for only the 2nd time ever with a win against Kansas State in the Pop Tarts Bowl later this month.

Quotable: “Compared to last year when the Pack were ranked No. 13 in the preseason and considered a legitimate contender for their first conference championship 1979, their expectations are much more modest this time around. Given their history, that could turn out to be a blessing.”

Pittsburgh

Crystal Ball prediction: 9-3 (6-2)

Actual record: 3-9 (2-6)

Nailed it:
About the only thing I got right about the Panthers is that they would continue to be one of the ACC’s best at putting pressure on the quarterback. They finished with 31 sacks, which ranked 5th in the conference.

Whiffed: What didn’t I get wrong? Their record looks as if it’s a reflection of my prediction in the mirror. Transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec was such a spectacular bust that he began taking snaps at tight end. And those traditional Panther staples of defense and the running game also failed to live up to expectations. While some of the deficiencies can be traced to injuries on the offensive line, Pitt finished dead last in the ACC in rushing at only 101 yards per game after finishing near the top while 183 a year ago.

Notable: Pitt’s 3 wins were its fewest in a season since going 2-9 in 1998. One of those wins was an upset of Louisville, the Cardinals’ only ACC loss. Among the few bright spots this season was the play of cornerback M.J. Devonshire, whose 4 interceptions were the most by a Panthers defender since 2012.

Quotable: “Toughness, combined with a lot of skill, has produced a sustained success that has lifted Pitt into the top tier of ACC programs. It’s a pattern that despite the loss of key contributors on both sides of the ball shows no sign of changing anytime soon.”

Syracuse

Crystal Ball prediction: 6-6 (2-6)

Actual record: 6-6 (2-6)

Nailed it:
Not only did I hit the Orange’s record on the number, right down to the 4-0 nonconference start and the 2-6 ACC finish, I also correctly forecast that despite hiring 2 new coordinators and qualifying for a bowl, coach Dino Babers was still in danger of ending up back on the hot seat. Sure enough, Babers was fired after 8 seasons after a loss to Georgia Tech in Week 12.

Whiffed: Maybe star tight end Oronde Gadsden II would have broken his own school records for catches and receiving yards, set last season when he caught 61 balls for 969 yards, had he stayed healthy. But he didn’t. He went down with a season-ending injury early in Week 2, and Syracuse’s offense never completely recovered.

Notable: Thanks to the first 4-0 nonconference record in school history, Syracuse was still able to earn bowl eligibility for the 2nd straight year, the first time since 2012-13 it has been to the postseason in back-to-back years.

Quotable: “The good news for Syracuse is that the schedule once again lends itself to a fast start. Finishing, however, will once again be the challenge.”
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North Carolina QB Drake Maye headed to NFL, will miss bowl game :: WRALSportsFan.com (wralsportsfan.com)

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, widely expected to be a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, has played his last snap for the Tar Heels.

Maye will skip the Dec. 27 Duke' Mayo Bowl against West Virginia and begin preparation for his pro career, he announced Monday. Maye has been projected to be one of the top two quarterbacks selected in April's NFL Draft, along with Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams.

Maye, the 2022 ACC Player of the Year, finished the 2023 season with 3,608 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and a 149 quarterback rating. Maye threw for 8,018 yards and 63 touchdowns in his UNC career. He also rushed for 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns. Maye finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting in 2022.

Maye originally committed to Alabama, but ultimately chose UNC as a high school recruit out of Charlotte. He had lucrative opportunities to transfer after his breakout 2022 season, but remained with the Tar Heels.

Despite Maye's oft-terrific play, UNC went 17-9 with him as the starter. The Tar Heels dropped their final four games of the 2022 season and lost four of their final six in 2023. Maye joined the program in 2021.

Maye thanked the Tar Heel fans and coach Mack Brown for "the opportunity to live out my dream of playing quarterback in Carolina Blue." Maye's father played quarterback for UNC in th 1980s and his brother Luke was a standout on the UNC basketball team.

"Tar Heel Nation, the best fans out there, you have made my time at UNC truly special," Maye wrote.
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2023 ACC Bowlish Sausage (RX; HM)

2023 ACC Bowlish Sausage

How was this year's ACC Bowl "Sausage" made, you ask? It wasn't all pretty, I can tell you that much!

The Florida State snub had a trickle-down effect on other ACC bowl placements, according to an article posted on The Athletic [LINK]. When the Seminoles were shifted from the playoffs to the Orange Bowl, that bumped Louisville - and every other ACC team - down one spot, but that's not the only damage the CFP did. By ranking Georgia ahead of Ohio State, that also put the Bulldogs into the Orange Bowl instead of the Buckeyes, which in turn made the Reliaquest Bowl a Big Ten instead of ACC tie-in, thus bumping Notre Dame, too. Here's a table explaining that part of the chain-reaction:


BowlWhat everyone expectedWhat the CFP decided
PlayoffsFlorida StateAlabama
OrangeLouisvilleFlorida State
opponentOhio StateGeorgia
ReliaquestACC (Notre Dame)B1G (Wisconsin)


Now the Cardinals and the Irish had to be placed in "regular" bowls - and the ACC/Notre Dame selection rules would come into play...

First, by rule ACC runner-up Louisville had to go to one of the next tier bowls, either the Gator, Holiday, or Pop-Tarts Bowl. Also, by virtue of their tie-breakers, NC State had to be placed in one of those bowls as well. Then, because of some rule related to the ACC/Notre Dame bowl agreement (I'm unclear what the exact rule is), the Irish could not be taken in this tier - but they could select either Clemson or UNC.

We're not done yet, because there are two more rules for bowl selection:

  • avoid repeat visits
  • avoid regular-season rematches
NC State had just been to the Holiday Bowl 2 years ago, so that was out.
The SEC had already placed Kentucky in the Gator Bowl, so Louisville couldn't go there.
So these bowls chose...


BowlTeam selected
GatorClemson
HolidayLouisville
Pop-TartsNC State

That meant the next tier of bowls - Mayo, Pinstripe, and Sun - would select from Notre Dame, UNC, and Miami. There was a drawing to see which bowl would get the Irish, and the Sun Bowl won. The Mayo got UNC and the Pinstripe got Rutgers-vs-Miami:
BowlTeam selected
SunNotre Dame
MayoN. Carolina
PinstripeMiami


Duke had the next best record and, reportedly, would have played in the Gasparilla Bowl, but since UCF was going to be the opponent, they wanted to avoid a rematch of last year's Military Bowl, so Georgia Tech took that bowl instead, moving Duke to the Birmingham Bowl.

The Military Bowl picked Virginia Tech, and the Fenway Bowl took Boston College. That left Syracuse for the Boca Raton Bowl. Here's the tweet from ACC football showing all of the matchups (you may need to click on the image to see all of it):
...


Sue who? there might be a case. (RX; HM)

Sue who? there might be a case.

Some fans - especially Florida State Seminoles but also Clemson Tigers, Virginia Tech Hokies, and others - have suggested their school should file a lawsuit against the ACC for somehow failing to keep its end of the GoR contract. I submit to you that, if there is going to be a lawsuit, you have the wrong defendant. I asked a retired lawyer about this, and he gave me some free legal advice. Read on!

Q: if ESPN has exclusive rights to distribute ACC sports, but then uses their own advertising to systematically undermine the value of that product - have they violated the contract in any way?
A: implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing


Implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (often simplified to good faith) is a rule used by most courts in the United States that requires every party in a contract to implement the agreement as intended, not using means to undercut the purpose of the transaction. The rule applies in the performance of a contract, not to the negotiation of the contract, and the rule applies to generally any contract automatically without being stated in the agreement.
This rule is infamously hard to pin down as courts repeatedly alter its application and meaning because good faith and fair dealing depend heavily on the context of the agreement. Typically, courts find that a party breaches this rule when they act in ways that obviously undermine the benefits to the other party from the contract or if one party attempts to sabotage another in performing their end of the agreement. For example, if a famous athlete signs an agreement only allowing one company to use their image on products in exchange for a part of the profits, a court would likely find that the company must attempt to make and sell those products even if the contract did not explicitly say as much. This is because the athlete only makes profit if products are sold which naturally implies the company makes and sells the items.
The key part of this rule is fairness, and there are gray areas between what should be implied and what might actually be misunderstandings. Courts must decipher whether a party is attempting to skirt performance or the parties actually did not have a meeting of the minds. Given this difficult challenge and the case-by-case analysis, one must look at the laws and cases for the specific jurisdiction to determine how the court defines and applies the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

It wouldn't be a "slam dunk" - lawsuits rarely are - but if you can prove that ESPN has promoted the SEC at the expense of the ACC, there could be grounds to nullify the TV contract altogether. That, in my opinion, is even better than breaking the Grant of Rights, because it means that the media rights could be taken to the open market.
...


Coaching Carousel 2023 Dec 11 (RX; HM)

Coaching Carousel 2023 Dec 11

What the latest on the Coaching Carousel as it affects ACC teams? Here it is in one simple table...


CoachFrom schoolTo school
Mike Elko
Duke (HC)

Texas A&M (HC)
Fran Brown
Georgia (DBs)

Syracuse (HC)
Manny Diaz
Penn State (DC)

Duke (HC)


Basically, Duke had their coach "poached" by Texas A&M and replaced him with a Defensive Coordinator from Penn State who also happens to be a former ACC Head Coach (Miami). I feel like I've seen how this movie ends already.

Syracuse fired their former coach and replaced him with a position coach from Georgia who is also a great recruiter. I like what I'm seeing so far in Upsate New York.

Unless the NFL comes calling, that might be all of the coaching changes this offseason - time will tell.


2023 AP All-American Team (RX; HM)

2023 AP All-American Team

FIRST TEAM (offense)

Quarterback — Jayden Daniels, fifth-year, LSU.
Running backs — Ollie Gordon II, second-year, Oklahoma State; Cody Schrader, sixth-year, Missouri.
Tackles — Joe Alt, third-year, Notre Dame; Olu Fashanu, fourth-year, Penn State.
Guards — Cooper Beebe, fifth-year, Kansas State; Zak Zinter, fourth-year, Michigan.
Center — Jackson Powers-Johnson, third-year, Oregon.
Tight end — Brock Bowers, third-year, Georgia.
Wide receivers — Malik Nabers, third-year, LSU; Marvin Harrison Jr., third-year, Ohio State; Rome Odunze, fourth-year, Washington.
All-purpose player — Travis Hunter, second-year, Colorado.
Kicker — Graham Nicholson, third-year, Miami (Ohio).


FIRST TEAM (defense)

Edge rushers — Laiatu Latu, fifth-year, UCLA; Jalen Green, fifth-year, James Madison.
Interior linemen — T’Vondre Sweat, fifth-year, Texas; Jer’Zahn Newton, fourth-year, Illinois.
Linebackers — Payton Wilson, sixth-year, N C State; Edgerrin Cooper, fourth-year, Texas A&M; Dallas Turner, third-year, Alabama.
Cornerbacks — Cooper DeJean, third-year, Iowa; Kool-Aid McKinstry, third-year, Alabama.
Safeties — Malaki Starks, second-year, Georgia; Xavier Watts, fourth-year, Notre Dame.
Defensive back — Terrion Arnold, third-year, Alabama.
Punter — Tory Taylor, fourth-year, Iowa.


SECOND TEAM (offense)

Quarterback — Michael Penix Jr., sixth-year, Washington.
Running backs — Audric Estime, third-year, Notre Dame; Omarion Hampton, second-year, North Carolina.
Tackles — Taliese Fuaga, fourth-year, Oregon State; JC Latham, third-year, Alabama.
Guards — Tate Ratledge, fourth-year, Georgia; Clay Webb, fifth-year, Jacksonville State.
Center — Sedrick Van Pran, fourth-year, Georgia.
Tight ends — Dallin Holker, fifth-year, Colorado State.
Wide receivers — Troy Franklin, third-year, Oregon; Malik Washington, fifth-year, Virginia; Luther Burden III, second-year, Missouri.
All-purpose player — Ashton Jeanty, second-year, Boise State.
Kicker — Jose Pizano, third-year, UNLV.

SECOND TEAM (defense)

Edge rushers — Jonah Elliss, third-year, Utah; Jared Verse, fourth-year, Florida State.
Interior linemen — Byron Murphy II, third-year, Texas; Howard Cross III, fifth-year, Notre Dame.
Linebackers — Jeremiah Trotter Jr., third-year, Clemson; Jason Henderson, third-year, Old Dominion; Jay Higgins, fourth-year, Iowa.
Cornerbacks — Quinyon Mitchell, fourth-year, Toledo; Beanie Bishop Jr., sixth-year, West Virginia.
Safeties — Tyler Nubin, fifth-year, Minnesota; Caleb Downs, first-year, Alabama.
Defensive back — Kris Abrams-Draine, fourth-year, Missouri.
Punter — Matthew Hayball, sixth-year, Vanderbilt.
...


FSU football: Receipts expose hypocrisy of ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit (chopchat.com; Hunt)

It’s been over a week since an ACC champion, undefeated FSU football team got snubbed by the College Football Committee. However, the snub is not where this story begins.

It began weeks ago with talking heads like Kirk Herbstreit starting harping on scenarios of possibly leaving FSU out of the top four spots.

The narrative started before Jordan Travis got hurt against North Alabama. Why would anyone even suggest FSU get left out of the top four if they won all their games? It’s funny I ask that because that’s what Kirk Herbstreit said for an undefeated Cincinnati team two years ago.

An undefeated NON-P5 Cincinnati team who beat TWO ranked teams all year only needed to win the rest of their games, and he thought they would be in. He talks about beating a “decent” SMU team and Houston in their conference championship game like that was enough. FSU beat three ranked teams and EIGHT teams ranked in the top 50 F+ ratings. That’s the most among any team invited to the playoffs.

He didn’t say they needed to blow these teams out or to get style points even though they were not in a P5 conference.

He didn’t say anything about it was the College Football Playoff Committee’s job to get the four best teams in.

Check out this interview below from 2021:


“Who’s going to beat Cincinnati?” Kirk Herbstreit believes Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Cincinnati will make the College Football Playoff. @WLWT #Bearcats pic.twitter.com/7l75L7bUDE
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) November 5, 2021

However, when the talking heads realized it would be possible for an SEC team to get left out of the top four spots, that changed everything. The narrative changed to who they thought were the best teams.

pic.twitter.com/urvS9jnXtT
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) November 29, 2023
...

AP source: Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi departs to Michigan State for same job (cbsnews.com; AP)

Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi has accepted the same job at Michigan State under new coach Jonathan Smith, according to a person with knowledge of the move.

The person confirmed Rossi's departure to The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Michigan State had not yet announced the hire.

Rossi had been in the role at Minnesota for five-plus seasons. His salary in 2023 was $1.1 million in the first year of a three-year contract that included a $330,000 buyout Rossi will owe Minnesota for the early departure.

Michigan State (4-8) did not qualify for a bowl game this season. Minnesota (5-7) will play Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26, when co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Nick Monroe would be the natural promotion to fill Rossi's role. Monroe is in his first year with his home-state school after seven seasons as an assistant at Syracuse. Rossi's listing on the coaching roster on Minnesota's website had already been removed on Monday.

...


Other

Those 50,000 jobs Micron could create in New York? We dug into what that really means (PS; Coin)


Micron Technology and public officials have told us for more than a year that Micron’s planned semiconductor plant in Clay would create 50,000 jobs: 9,000 at the plant and 40,000 more in the community.

“Fifty thousand. Good-paying. New York jobs,” U.S. Sen Charles Schumer said at an October 2022 news conference, pausing between phrases for emphasis.

In Syracuse last week, Micron’s executive vice president of global operations, Manish Bhatia, said the plant “has the potential to create 50,000 high-paying jobs in Central New York.”

No doubt, thousands of jobs at Micron or directly related to the chip maker would pay $100,000 or more, according to Micron and an economic impact study done for the state. Overall, about half of the jobs in Central New York would come with average annual paychecks of $60,000 or higher, according to the state’s study.

But that 50,000 estimate also includes hotel workers and bus drivers, waiters and day care workers – the usual suspects promised in economic development multipliers. Those jobs wouldn’t all be good-paying or even necessarily full-time.

At times, Micron has given the impression that the 40,000 spinoff jobs would be directly connected to the fabrication plants, or fabs, it plans to build in Clay. In documents filed with government agencies, Micron said its huge development would create “over 40,000 additional jobs from suppliers, contractors and other businesses supporting the proposed chip manufacturing facility.”

But those characterizations of the job numbers don’t accurately reflect the economic impact report from which everyone is getting their numbers.

That report was commissioned last year by New York state and conducted by a Massachusetts consulting firm that specializes in economic impact studies. A careful reading of the report reveals that it doesn’t say all of those 40,000 spinoff jobs created across the state are in the supply chain, or that they’re all high-paying.

In fact, the biggest share of those spinoff jobs — just over 6,000 — would be state and local government employees, the report says. The Micron supply chain would account for another 6,000. That’s about the same number of jobs that would spring up in lower-paying, often part-time fields of tourism, dining and entertainment.

REMI consulting firm, of Amherst, Massachusetts, was paid about $50,000 to do the study for New York state’s Empire State Development department. That’s the principal state agency working on, and touting, the Micron project.

Micron says it will spend up to $100 billion to construct the fabs in Clay, and spend several billion a year in Central New York on operating expenses. That money is expected to send a cascade of spending down the line, from companies that sell to or work for Micron down to the companies those companies do business with, and so on.

The 50,000 jobs would be spread across the state, but more than 80% of them would be in Central New York.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, who helped land the Micron deal, said the jobs at Micron and at suppliers will largely pay $100,000 a year and up. He said the effects of the spending from those employees will ripple through the local economy.

“You’re going to be talking about more hotels, more restaurants, more financial service jobs, more medical jobs,” McMahon said. “I think it crosses every kind of category.”

Syracuse.com took a closer look at the projected 50,000 jobs. Here’s what we found:

  • Construction will be the first industry to boom as Micron starts building the first of four fabs, each covering 1.2 million square feet of land.
  • One of the biggest categories of new jobs is, surprisingly, government workers, according to the estimates. Local and state governments would employ as many people as Micron suppliers.
  • Thousands of the jobs will be at Micron and related high-tech industries, and they’ll pay well. It’s unclear how many of those jobs will go to local residents and how many to out-of-towners.
  • Job growth won’t happen all at once, and it will ebb and flow over time. Construction would tail off in the 2040s, when the complex would be fully built. Other job categories will rise and stay as the region’s population climbs.

What are all these jobs, anyway?

The report sorts jobs into a handful of broad categories. REMI provided a detailed spreadsheet to syracuse.com that tallies jobs by more than 60 categories used by the state Department of Labor.

That spreadsheet holds some surprises.

For example, the biggest category of newly created jobs isn’t even in the “computer and electronic manufacturing” category. It’s “state and local government,” at an average of 6,197 jobs each year. That’s calculated over the 30-year life of the study, from 2025 to 2055.

As the population grows, so will the need for more police officers, firefighters, teachers, snowplow drivers and other municipal employees.

Those are the average number of jobs that would exist over time compared to today. It’s important to note that the types of jobs would fluctuate dramatically during those 30 years.
...


JWJ3NY7W3FDCLIRQG5V3ONXSFE.jpg

Christopher Borst, an associate vice president at Albany Nanotech, looks at an extreme ultraviolet lithography made by just one company in the world, ASML, of the Netherlands. Micron Technology plans to use similar machines at its chip-making complex in Clay. Yellow filters on the lights of the cleanroom keep protect the silicon wafers from exposure. Glenn Coin | gcoin@syracuse.comGlenn Coin | gcoin@syracuse.com

$10 billion cutting-edge semiconductor research center coming to Albany (PS; Coin)

New York state today announced a $10 billion semiconductor research center in Albany that will conduct cutting-edge research using the most advanced chip-making machines in the world.

The partnership between the state, the nonprofit NY Creates, and several major semiconductor companies will boost the state’s profile in the global semiconductor market, create hundreds of jobs, and increase the state’s chances of becoming a federal semiconductor technology hub, state officials said.

Among the partners in the new center is Micron Technology, which says it will spend up to $100 billion on the country’s largest semiconductor manufacturing plant in the town of Clay.

“One of the key factors that made New York the ideal future home for our megafab was the state’s history of semiconductor development and manufacturing and the strong opportunities for R&D ecosystem collaboration,” Micron Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotra said in a prepared statement.

The center will consist of a new building with a 50,000-square-foot cleanroom and will feature the newest generation of extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV, machines, a bus-sized machine crucial to producing cutting-edge chips.

New York will invest $1 billion in the project, including the purchase of what’s called a High NA EUV machine, which will cost several hundred million dollars by itself. The machines imprint the initial patterns for the tiny chips on pizza-sized wafers of silica, and are manufactured by just one company, ASML, of the Netherlands.

ASML, IBM, Micron, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron and other major semiconductor industry companies will be partners in the Albany venture. The new center will be at the Albany Nanotech Complex, run by the nonprofit NY Creates.
...
 

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