Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


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

Welcome to Save the Eagles Day!

Today is for remembering eagles and working to save them from extinction. The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, was once on the endangered species list, being on it from 1967 until 1995, when it was then reclassified as being "threatened." It was subsequently removed from that list in 2007, and is now listed in the "least concern" category. The work of scientists, and good stewards of both public and private land helped to spur the recovery of bald eagles. The banning of DDT helped with the eagles' recovery, as did the Endangered Species Act, which protected nesting, feeding, and roosting sites of the eagles. Although the Endangered Species Act no longer applies to bald eagles, they are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.

SU News

Keeping Up With The 315 1-9-24 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian updates you on another recruiting win for Fran Brown and then talks about Syracuse’s chances of making the 12-team college football playoff next season, which includes him going down a rabbit hole of the 10-year history of the four-team playoff after its conclusion last night.

Syracuse Football: ‘Cuse a finalist for 4-star, top-20 national player & 3-star RB/DB (itlh; Adler)

Syracuse football has made list cuts for a pair of talented 2025 prospects from Virginia.

In recent days, 2025 three-star RB/DB Jeffrey Overton Jr. and 2025 four-star edge Ari Watford included the Orange in their top 10 and top six, respectively. Both list cuts were announced on X.

The 5-foot-10, 187-pound Overton is a junior at Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Va. His top 10 consist of Syracuse football, Duke, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Virginia, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Watford attends Maury High School in Norfolk, Va. His top six includes the ‘Cuse, South Carolina, Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

CO/25 4 ⭐️ DE Ari Watford ( @ari_watford ) has cut his list down to 6️⃣‼️
Watford is a 6’5 ( 234 LBS ) DE out of Norfolk, VA. He ranks 131 NATL., 2nd in VA and the 8th ranked DE in the nation according to rivals.
Let him know what’s the move?! ⬇️
— Steezo (@SteezoDsgn) January 8, 2024

Syracuse football remains in the running for two top-flight recruits from Virginia.

The former Orange coaching staff offered a scholarship to Overton in March of last year. The new ‘Cuse coaching staff, led by head coach Fran Brown, re-offered Overton on December 23, 2023.

After a great conversation with @CoachDRedd i’m blessed to be re-offered by @CuseFootball @CoachOvertonJ @OvertonDarryl
— Jeffrey Overton Jr (@JeffreyOverton1) December 23, 2023

OVERTIME: SU football makes a NATIONAL SPLASH with latest commit (youtube; podcast; Orange Zone)

In the latest episode of Orange Zone Overtime, Tommy Sladek, Samantha Croston and Ashley Wenskoski discuss the All-American Bowl commitment from top-ranked '24 CB Marcellus Barnes Jr.

Fizz Five 1/9: Marcellus Barnes Commits, Big Week of Basketball, and a Hoops Recruiting Update (; podcast; Frank)

Liam Griffin and Ethan Frank are back together for another edition of Fizz Five to discuss the biggest stories in Central New York:

1. Marcellus Barnes Jr. Commits to Syracuse Football (1:10)
2. Syracuse Men’s Basketball Week Preview (7:45)
3. Syracuse Women’s Basketball Week Preview (14:55)
4. Syracuse Football 2024 Schedule Analysis (21:25)
5. Syracuse Basketball 2025 Recruiting Update (27:10)

Syracuse football: JUCO DT Michael Nwokocha transfers to Orange )TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

Fran Brown is taking the saying “you can never have too much depth” very seriously.

Defensive Tackle Michael Nwokocha, who spent the past two seasons with Tyler Junior College in Texas, became the 31st new player to commit to the Syracuse Orange for the 2024 season. On3 rated him the No. 1 JUCO tackle in this cycle.

Let’s Work! @Coach_E_Rob @coachfranbrown @CoachNickWill #DART
— Michael Nwokocha (@MichaelKocha1) January 8, 2024
"I believe in what the coaching staff is trying to do here," Nwokocha told SI's Mike McAllister. "I believe we're going to win a lot next year."

Mississippi State was the other major player for Michael, who has two years of eligibility remaining. He also received interest from Arizona State, Georgia, Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Purdue, TCU, Tennessee, and West Virginia.


Matt Zollers in action against Coatesville in December.Josh Verlin / CoBL

D-I football prospect Matt Zollers’ toughness contributing to Spring-Ford’s success on the court (; Arkans)

Junior Matt Zollers has received quite the load of attention at Spring-Ford High School.

That’s what happens when Zollers, a quarterback, who had a school-record 2,917 yards and 37 touchdowns this past season, leads his team to a 9-3 record and District 1 Class 6A quarterfinals apperance.

And eight Division I football programs, including the likes of Penn State, have taken interest.

The four-star prospect has also received scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Temple, Old Dominion, East Carolina, and South Florida. However, any decision he is going to make about his football future will have to wait until the spring.

For now, his focus is on on the basketball court, where the Rams (11-3) could have another special season after winning a league title and making a historic run to the District 1-6A championship and state semifinals last year.

“It’s a nice break from having all eyes on you,” Zollers said. “It’s nice to stay back and play just for fun.”

Syracuse goes above and beyond in transfer portal (; video; Finneral)

247Sports' James Finneral discusses Syracuse's success in the transfer portal.

Douglas Named Passing Game Coordinator/WR Coach - Syracuse University Athletics (

Ross Douglas, a rising star in coaching who most recently served as a wide receivers coach with the New England Patriots, has joined Fran Brown's staff as the Passing Game Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach.

"I'm excited for this opportunity. I believe wholeheartedly in what Coach Fran stands for as a man," Douglas said. "I believe he'll take Syracuse to new heights and I want to help him do that. I'm forever thankful to Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick and the Patriots organization for a great three years, where I grew tremendously, not only as a football coach, but as a man."

Douglas spent three seasons in New England in various roles after a brief stint at Richmond and three years on Rutgers' staff, where he first worked with Fran Brown.

"Ross is one of the young bright minds in football," Brown said. "He'll be a great head coach one day. I'm happy we got him, of the people we looked at, he was the best fit. He has it all. He understands and knows football. He's worked with arguably the best coach in football and Coach Belichick said nothing but great things about him. To be able to get someone to our staff from Bill Belichick's staff alone is something I'm excited about."
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Douglas joined the Patriots prior to the 2021 season, working as a defensive assistant. In 2022, he was promoted to wide receivers coach, becoming the youngest position coach in the NFL at the time. Under his guidance in 2022, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers set new career highs in receiving yards (804) and receiving touchdowns (6), tripling his previous season high.

Prior to the 2022 season, Douglas served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the West team in the East-West Shrine Bowl, helping his team to a 12-3 victory. In his first season in New England, the Patriots reached the postseason after earning a wild card spot.

Former Syracuse O-line coach to serve in same role at Louisiana (report) (PS; $; Leiker)

Former Syracuse football offensive line coach Steve Farmer is being hired for the same role at Louisiana, according to a report by ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Thamel cited anonymous sources in his report.

Farmer spent one season with the Orange after being hired by ex-head coach Dino Babers to replace Mike Schmidt in January 2023.

He’s worked previously at Tulsa, Texas Tech and Louisiana Monroe among other programs and is entering his 26th season of coaching.

SU’s offense finished No. 47 in rushing and No. 114 in passing in the country this season as it struggled to produce in conference play, hindered by injuries that included starting quarterback Garrett Shrader’s torn shoulder and several along the O-line.

Syracuse Football: Former 4-star Alabama DL, who just visited, transfers to Missouri (itlh; Adler)

Isaiah Hastings, a former top-55 national prospect in the 2022 class who took an official visit to Syracuse football this past weekend, is staying in the Southeastern Conference.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman, who was a freshman at SEC powerhouse Alabama, is transferring to fellow SEC school Missouri, according to a post on X from On3 national recruiting expert Hayes Fawcett.

BREAKING: Former Alabama DL Isaiah Hastings has Committed to Missouri, he tells @on3sports

The 6’4 280 DL was ranked as a Top 55 Recruit in the ‘22 Class (per On300)

Will have 3 years of eligibility remaining Former Alabama DL Isaiah Hastings commits to Missouri
— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) January 9, 2024
Hastings, who has three years of collegiate eligibility left, said via his X page on December 7 that he would enter the transfer portal.

While it’s a bummer that Hastings isn’t headed to the ‘Cuse, he is moving on to excellent program. In the recently completed 2023 season, Missouri went 11-2 and finished ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press top-25 poll.

Syracuse football has secured commitments from several defensive linemen this cycle.

Hastings, who is from Toronto, attended the Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Fla., before joining the Crimson Tide.


Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley of the band play their instruments. Dust from the dirt floor of the arena created a cloud over the concert. Courtesy of Grant GouldonCourtesy of Grant Gouldon

Broken glass, dust and heartache: The untold story of the Allman Bros’ SU show (PS; $; Baker)

Some people remember the dust. Some remember the shattered glass. But what most people remember from the Allman Brothers Band’s 1972 show in Syracuse is the music, and the soul of a band reeling from tragedy.

The Allman Brothers visited SU’s Manley Field House on April 7 that year, just months after Duane Allman’s untimely death.

The show was a dustbowl, thanks to the dirt floors at Manley Field House. Fans shattered trophy cases and glass doors in the concourse in the fervor before the arena opened. But the band delivered an emotional, pivotal performance as part of a stretch of shows that would come to define the perseverance and longevity of one of Southern Rock’s most stories groups.

In a recent interview with Goldmine Magazine, band historian John Lynskey described the Syracuse show as one of the most pivotal points for a band still stunned by the loss of a founding brother.

“If the five-man band hadn’t pulled off what they did from November of 1971 through August of 1972, the ABB would have disintegrated,” he told journalist Ray Chelstowski. “The tremendous loss of Duane could have made things go either way. They could have folded, but instead, the guys rallied together and I think, in some ways, it was the most unified period the survivors ever had.”

Fans have circulated bootlegs from the Manley Field House show for years. A few years ago, band manager Bert Holman had the idea to release it as an album. Jeff Chard, the concert organizer from SU, had kept the masters for nearly 50 years.

This Friday, Jan. 12, the band will release a two-disc recording of that show. spoke with fans and concert organizers who were at the show to piece together what happened that memorable night in Syracuse.

ACC News

College Football Playoff bracket, predictions: Early picks as format expands to 12 teams in 2024 season (; Sallee)

The four-team College Football Playoff era came to an end Monday night when No. 1 Michigan polished off its undefeated season with a 34-13 win over No. 2 Washington in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Houston. The win bookended the era with Big Ten teams winning national titles; Ohio State won the first edition of the four-team event following the 2014 season. Now, though, we look ahead to the future.

The recent wave of conference realignment included the destruction of the Pac-12, which has thrown the format of the 12-team playoff into flux. The current idea is for the top six conference champions to get in along with six at-large teams. The top four teams in the final CFP Rankings, all of which will receive first-round byes, must consist of conference champions.

However, that format might go the way of the dinosaur in the coming weeks as there has been a push to eliminate one of those automatic bids for a conference champion since Washington State and Oregon State are the only two teams left in the Pac-12.
... (; Bodkin)

Former Utah football wide receiver Mikey Matthews has found a new home in the future ACC conference.

The talented pass catcher spent one season with the Utes before entering his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Now, Matthews who will be a sophomore in 2024 will be starting a new adventure with the Cal Golden Bears as they move from the now defunct Pac-12 to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ironically, Cal was a career-best game for Matthews as a Ute in 2023.

BREAKING: Former #Utah WR Mikey Matthews has committed to #Cal and breaks down why he chose the #Bears Former Utah WR Mikey Matthews commits to Cal, breaks down decision
— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) January 9, 2024

More About Mikey Matthews

Matthews proved to be an electric force early on in the Utes’ 2023 season, but his production tapered off later on in the year.

Still, Matthews has all the tools to be a successful wideout in college which makes this transfer sting a little for the Utes. However, when all is said and done, Utah will likely be just fine.

Matthews played in all 12 of Utah’s 2023 regular season games with six starts.

Matthews hauled in 29 catches for 261 yards, rushed once for four yards, 15 kick returns for 309 yards and 17 punt returns for 75 yards. The freshman did not record a touchdown in his debut college season.

The latest on Florida State, ACC dueling lawsuits (; Baker)

The dueling lawsuits between Florida State and the ACC are playing out in courts: Florida State University Board of Trustees vs. Atlantic Coast Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference vs. Board of Trustees of Florida State University.

We’re using this as a landing spot for the latest updates with FSU’s case (filed in Leon County) and the ACC’s case (filed in Mecklenburg County, N.C.) as the Seminoles pursue a potential exit from the league — a move that could trigger another round of conference realignment.

The latest (Jan. 9, 2024): The ACC served FSU its complaint within minutes of the school approving its own case against the conference, according to newly public North Carolina court records.

A Tallahassee official gave a copy of the ACC’s suit to FSU’s vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, Carolyn Egan, at 10:59 a.m. on Dec. 22. That’s about six minutes after FSU’s emergency board of trustees meeting ended and less than 20 minutes after trustees unanimously approved its own case. Those details come from an ACC legal filing dated Friday and processed by the court system this week.

Florida State’s suit was submitted at 11:26 that morning, according to Leon County court records. The ACC filed its case the day before.

The ACC also served copies of the suit to Jack Campbell — the State Attorney for the Tallahassee area — on Dec. 27 and to the state’s attorney general, Ashley Moody, on Jan. 3. A day later, Moody sent her own request to the ACC, asking for “financial, business and membership records” related to FSU along with some of the ACC’s communications and contracts with ESPN.

Could FSU get out for $200M or so? (RX; HM)

Could FSU get out for $200M or so?

There are just three more years until the original ACC contract ends (2024-25, 2025-26, 2026-27). We had been told that this contract had been extended to 2035-36 (or 2036-37?), but now it appears that was just an ESPN option which they have not yet exercised.
If someone were to buy out their media rights today, based on the contract ending in 2027, the cost would be approximately

ESPN T1: $26M/year X 3 years = $78M
ACCN (est): $10M/year X 3 yrs = $30M

But wait: if FSU doesn't leave until 2025, that means they wouldn't even owe the buyout for the 2024-25 media rights. So the new total would be

ESPN T1: $26M/year X 2 years = $52M
ACCN (est): $10M/year X 2 yrs = $20M

Add to that the Exit fee, which is based on 3 years worth of ACC distributions (which, honestly, could go up between now and then, so this may be too low):

ACC Exit Fee: 3 X $43M/yr (est) = $129M
That leaves us with a new estimate for the minimum FSU total cost to exit the ACC and buy back its media rights:
$52M + $20M + $129M = $201M.

Top 35 Xfer QBs for 2024 (RX; HM)

Top 35 Xfer QBs for 2024

Who's gobbling up the best transfer QBs?

Props to Pervis Griffith for finding this and posting it on CSNBBS [here]:

CFN ranks QB's in the portal -- several ACC schools mentioned

An interesting ranking of QB's in the transfer portal ... top 35.
From the OP:

Here are the 35 most important quarterback transfers and where they're going.

#22 - Hank Bachmeier - WAKE FOREST, from Louisiana Tech.
#17 - Max Johnson - UNC, from Texas A&M (LSU before that).
#11 - Malik Murphy - DUKE, from Texas
# 9 - Kyle McCord - SYRACUSE, from Ohio State
# 7 - Grayson McCall - NC STATE, from Coastal Carolina
# 6 - Riley Leonard - NOTRE DAME, from Duke
# 4 - Tyler Shough - LOUISVILLE, from Texas Tech (Oregon before that).
# 2 - DJ Uiagalelei - FLORIDA STATE, from Oregon State (Clemson before that).

ESPN Wants CFP12 TV Rights (RX; HM)

ESPN Wants CFP12 TV Rights

From ESPN [I've highlighted some points in bold - Hokie Mark]:

College Football Playoff, ESPN discuss [TV] rights contract

As reported by Heather Dinich and Pete Thamel last night (Jan 8, 2024),

The College Football Playoff and ESPN are in the midst of negotiations to maintain the network as the sole rights holder of the event for the next eight years... The deal would include the final two years on the current CFP contract plus a new six-year agreement for the next iteration of the playoff... it would be a significant change from what [CFP leaders] had originally wanted... multiple broadcast partners...
...nothing has been finalized and negotiations are ongoing... ESPN is considering paying approximately $1.3 billion for the rights to the new six-year deal starting in the 2026 season...

Final 2023-24 AP Poll (RX; HM)

Final 2023-24 AP Poll

Here's the final Top 25...

AP Top 25 (2024-01-01)
T6Florida State13-1
9Ole Miss11-2
10Ohio State11-2
13Penn State10-3
14Notre Dame10-3
16Oklahoma St10-4
18Kansas State9-4
21NC State9-4
Dropped from rankings: Oregon State 21, Tulane 23, James Madison 24


There are only four cases where a P5 team with more wins was ranked behind one or more P5 team s with fewer wins:
  • Texas (12) is ranked ahead of Georgia (13).
  • Texas and Alabama (12) are both ranked ahead of Florida State (13).
  • Tennessee (9) and Kansas State (9) are both ranked ahead of Louisville (10).
  • Those two, plus Clemson (9), NC State (9), and Kansas (9) are all ranked ahead of Iowa (10).

California lawmakers to consider ban on tackle football for kids under 12 (; Beam)

California lawmakers will debate on Wednesday whether to ban tackle football for children under 12, a move pushed by advocates seeking to protect kids from brain damage but opposed by coaches who warn it would cut off youths from an important source of physical activity.

The bill, authored by Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, is scheduled to have its first public hearing before a legislative committee and is still a long way from passing. Wednesday's hearing is crucial; the bill must clear the state Assembly by the end of January to have a chance of becoming law this year.

If passed, the bill would not take effect until 2026. Proposed amendments would gradually phase in implementation through 2029. The bill comes as flag football has been gaining popularity nationwide, especially for girls.

Research has shown tackle football causes brain damage, and the risk increases the longer people play football, said Chris Nowinski, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler. It can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which causes the death of nerve cells in the brain.

“I don't have a problem with NFL players, who are adults and understand the risk and are compensated, risking CTE,” Nowinski said. “I can't imagine a world in which we have children, who don't understand the risk, doing this for fun (and) taking the same risk with their brain.”

No state has banned tackle football for kids, but there have been attempts to do so. Similar bills that were introduced previously in California, New York and Illinois failed to pass.

California law already bans full-contact practices for high school and youth football teams during the offseason and limits them to two practices per week during the preseason and regular season. A law that took effect in 2021 also requires youth football officials complete concussion and head injury education in addition to other safeguards.

Steve Famiano, a former youth football coach who leads the Save Youth Football California coalition, said youth football leagues need more time to implement the 2021 law to see how effective it is. He said kids under 12 shouldn't be forced to play only flag football, which he said is a completely different sport from tackle football.



The Peter Luger pizza from Francesca's Pizzeria in Liverpool.(Charlie Miller |

CNY Pizza Tour, stop #1: Francesca’s in Liverpool marries world-class steakhouse with irresistible pizza (PS; $; Miller)

You’ll likely see this as pizza blasphemy. We’re talking super supreme desecration. I’d probably side with you had I not actually eaten what I’m about to present.

We’re starting this yearlong pizza-tasting tour at Francesca’s Pizza & Italian Kitchen with what pretty much amounts to a flat steak sandwich. But you know what? It’s one of the best damn steak sandwiches ever, regardless of its circular shape.

I’m leaving it up to the owners, employees or even customers to decide what I buy. I’m not here to evaluate 52 just-cheese pizzas. The people who spend a lot of time at these places know what they do best, so let’s see if they’re right.

Francesca’s, the classy Italian restaurant in Syracuse’s Little Italy neighborhood, opened this satellite office as a salute to Francesca, the grandmother who made two pizzas every Saturday. Word is, she made one for the family and one to share with friends. Judging by Thursday’s lunch crowd, Francesca has a lot of friends, so Vincenzo Randazzo, the pizzaiolo here, churned out a lot of pizzas.

Let’s grab a slice (or eight) ...

Address: 207 Oswego St., Liverpool

Do they deliver: Yes, and they have a large dining room.

What I ate: Peter Luger Steak & Cheese Pizza, a 16-inch “specialty pizza” named after the world-famous steakhouse in Brooklyn. $19.99 before tax and tip.

Why? Gabriella Vigliotti, the front-house manager, says this is her favorite pizza on the menu. It’s a classic hand-tossed white pizza with shaved ribeye steak, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Normally Vinnie tops this with mozzarella and American cheeses. It’s finished with stripes of the Peter Luger steak sauce, a pleasantly sweet and zesty drizzle.

But hold on, you put American cheese on a pizza? “Not today we’re not. Our pizzaiolos are the best, and they know what they’re doing. But we’re going to go without the American cheese because that’s how I like it,” Gabriella said. “Trust me, it’s better without it.”

Spectrum hikes prices for 2nd time in 6 months. Here’s how to avoid some of the increases (PS; Moariarty)

Spectrum is raising its prices for the second time in six months, but it’s also giving its TV customers Disney+ at no extra charge.

Cord Cutters reports that Spectrum, the nation’s second largest cable operator, has quietly notified some of its customers that it will raise the price of some of its services starting Jan. 31:

  • Spectrum’s mandatory broadcast TV surcharge, which went up $1 in July, will increase from $23.20 to $25.75 a month.
  • The monthly rental free for an HD Box will increase from $10.99 to $12.50.
  • The charge for Advanced WiFi will increase by $2 to $7 a month.
  • Entertainment View and Latino View packages will each rise by $3 to $15 a month.
  • Spectrum TV Essentials, its live streaming service that does not require a cable box, will increase by $5 to $29.99 a month.
  • Spectrum Internet Assist, the company’s low-income affordable internet program, will go up 25% to $24.99 a month.
Lara Pritchard, a spokesperson for Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, confirmed the price increases in a statement to | The Post-Standard on Monday.

“We have taken a stand for a new, customer-focused model that provides more value and choice for video entertainment when negotiating all of our programming agreements,” said the Charter spokesperson. “Despite these ongoing efforts, programmers continually raise fees for their content, which are passed through as increased fees to viewers and drive higher costs across the entire industry.”

There are ways to avoid some of the increases.

Customers can return their cable box and replace it with Spectrum’s recently introduced Xumo Stream Box, which costs $5 a month to rent or $60 to purchase. And they can avoid Spectrum’s WiFi fee altogether by buying their own router and plugging it into their Spectrum modem.

The increases come just six months after Spectrum raised a number of its monthly charges.

But the news is not all bad for Spectrum customers. Charter and The Walt Disney Co. announced last week that the ad-supported version of Disney+ is now available in all Spectrum TV Select packages nationwide at no additional cost.

Spectrum video customers can immediately begin streaming entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, including movies, TV shows and original programs through its Xumo Stream Box or any other Disney+ supported device.

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