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 International Receptionists' Day!

A receptionist is often the first person a client or customer will meet when they arrive at a company, and they are the ones who have the task of making a positive first impression on whoever walks through the doors. Taking place on the second Wednesday in May, the purpose of International Receptionists' Day is to "foster a recognition of the importance of a receptionist's role," "promote pride and professionalism amongst receptionists for the important role they play within an organization," "give receptionists an opportunity to share stories and link up with other colleagues around the world," and "give employers an opportunity to shine a light on their receptionists and celebrate their achievements across their businesses."

The day started out as Receptionists' Day, being created by Jennifer Alexander of the National Receptionists Association, "to recognize the special role that receptionists play and to distinguish their skills from the admin or secretary." It was first observed in 1991, exclusively in the United States. In 2012, Rapport, a provider of reception services in the United Kingdom, brought the holiday to that country. It became International Receptionists' Day in 2016, after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia joined together to mark the day. Canada, Ireland, and other European countries have since joined in observation of the day.

SU News

Amari Colon commits to Syracuse football, discusses decision (247sports.coim; McAllister)

Class of 2025 defensive back Amari Colon has committed to Syracuse football, he announced on social media Tuesday afternoon. Colon committed the same day he picked up an offer from the Orange. Colon is listed at 6-1, 180 pounds. He played running back and wide receiver James Monroe High School in Rochester. However, he is being recruited to Syracuse as a safety. Originally part of the 2024 recruiting class, Colon is reclassifying to 2025 and going the prep school route next season. He will attend Trinity-Pawling for his prep year and plans to enroll at Syracuse next spring.

"It all happened because of CTC (Changing the Community program which helps student-athletes in Western New York) and them showing the head coach, coach Brown, my film," Colon said. "I had literally talked to him for like three days and after that he offered me a full ride. I picked them because of that reason. It was shocking at first because of how confident he was in me and how fast it all happened. Overall, I was excited because I knew this was huge for me and my career."

Beyond being able to play at a power conference school, Colon is also excited about being close to home.

"It's perfect for me because everyone that supports me is still able to," Colon said.

Per his Twitter bio, Colon runs a 4.43 40-yard dash. Yet another player with tremendous speed that Syracuse is recruiting in the 2025 class.

Syracuse gets verbal commitment from Rochester product in Class of 2025 (PS; $; Carlson)

Amari Colon, a football player for James Monroe High School in Rochester, has verbally committed to the Syracuse football team.

Colon announced his commitment on X (previously Twitter). He lists himself at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds and a member of the Class of 2025.

According to his X, Colon also had offers from Eastern Illinois, Central Connecticut State and Maine. His announcement says he is coming to Syracuse on scholarship.

First I want to say that I’m extremely blessed & after a great conversation with coach @FranBrownCuse I am blessed to recieve a scholarship and Commit to Syracuse university, AGTG! @CuseFootball @AlexKellyCuse @CTC4CHANGE @GregCTC585 @RoeFootball_
— Amari Colon (@theamaricolon) May 7, 2024

The major recruiting websites do not currently have biographical information or provide recruiting rankings for Colon. His X account lists his position as an athlete and says that he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. He played wide receiver and defensive back last year at James Monroe.

He helped the program to an 11-1 record last season and a trip to the Class B state semifinals, where it lost its first game of the season against Maine-Endwell.

Louisville transfer Marcus Washington commits to Syracuse football (; McAllister)

Syracuse football has landed another former four star recruit as a transfer. Louisville transfer cornerback Marcus Washington has committed to the Orange following an official visit over the weekend. Washington is a 6-1, 185 pound cornerback who started his career at Georgia. He then transferred to Louisville last offseason. Washington played sparingly during his two seasons in college thus far, playing primarily special teams and in a reserve role defensively. However, he was a highly touted four star recruit out of high school and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Washington signed with Georgia as part of the Bulldogs 2022 recruiting class with Syracuse head coach Fran Brown as his primary recruiter at the time. He was rated a four star prospect, ranked 155 overall by 247Sports and 147 overall by the 247Sports Composite. He was ranked as the 21st best cornerback by 247Sports and the 18th best cornerback recruit by the composite. Washington signed with Georgia over offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, NC State, Oregon, West Virginia and others. He was considered the 17th best player in the state of Georgia by 247Sports and the 16th best by the composite.

Washington entered the transfer portal in late April.

"First and foremost, I'd like to thank Card Nation for welcoming me with open arms, and I would also like to give thanks to the University of Louisville staff for everything they have taught me during my time here," Washington wrote in a social media post when he entered the transfer portal. "My time here in the Ville has been very intriguing and insightful, however after speaking with my family and deep consideration I have decided to enter the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining. Thanks again Card Nation!"

Syracuse adds transfer DB from Louisville who began career playing for Fran Brown at Georgia (PS; $; Carlson)
Former Louisville cornerback Marcus Washington Jr. announced Tuesday that he will transfer to Syracuse and play for Fran Brown, the coach who initially recruited him to Georgia.

Washington posted his commitment on Instagram.

Washington spent one year at Georgia before transferring to Louisville, where he also spent one season. He did not record any counting stats last year and had one tackle at Georgia during his true freshman season.

Former Louisville cornerback Marcus Washington transfers to Syracuse (DO; Girshon)

Former Louisville cornerback Marcus Washington announced his transfer to Syracuse on social media Tuesday. Washington spent his freshman campaign at Georgia before transferring to Louisville in 2023.

Across his first two collegiate seasons, Washington played sparingly, but was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports. Throughout his recruitment process, new SU head coach Fran Brown was his primary recruiter at Georgia.

In his time at UGA, Washington made one tackle before entering the transfer portal. Then at Louisville, he primarily played special teams before entering the transfer portal for a second straight year on April 25.

Washington joins a Syracuse defensive backs group that includes Duce Chestnut, Jayden Bellamy, Devin Grant, Jalil Martin and Greg Delaine. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Syracuse football: Orange tight ends ranked top 5 in the country (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange will head into the 2024 season with the potential for a much improved offense.

One of the reasons for optimism is the talent and depth they are building among the tight end group. On3’s Jesse Simonton ranks the Orange tight end group 4th in the country behind Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina.

Here’s what Simonton had to say about

The Orange have assembled one of the more uniquely talented tight end rooms in 2024. Oronde Gadsden II is back after getting bit by the injury bug last season (just two games played). In 2022, Gadsden — a 6-6, 220-pound hybrid slot-tight end — had 61 catches and six scores at 15.9 per reception. Syracuse also returns former Michigan transfer quarterback turned tight end Dan Villari, who did a little bit of everything for a beat-up Orange offense last year.
‘Thunder Dan’ had 20 catches and three scores, but Villari also served as a pounding Wildcat quarterback late in the season (55 carries for 326 yards and two scores). He made some huge plays — as a runner and passer — to help Syracuse upset Pitt and Wake Forest. The Orange inked 4-star freshman Jamie Tremble in the 2024 class, and he will vie for the No. 3 spot this fall.

In addition to these three, Syracuse brings back an experienced blocker in Max Mang and David Clement, who could surprise as a 6’7” red zone weapon.

(youtube; podcast; Axe)

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports, Brent Axe chats with Bowl Season Director Nick Carparelli on some of the biggest issues affecting college football in 2024 including NIL, the transfer portal, paying athletes as employees and the college football playoff.Carparelli tells Axe some of the highlights of a recent conversation with NCAA President Charlie Baker on how schools will beed to bring name, image and likeness right "in-house" and handle payouts to athletes. Brent and Nick also talk about the college football playoff and how many teams is ideal, what changes need to be made in the college sports calendar in terms of when the transfer portal should be open and when it shouldn't.Axe and Carparelli also discuss his time working at the Big East, his early impressions of how Fran Brown is changing the culture of Syracuse football and his experience recruiting Donovan McNabb while a SU football assistant under Paul Pasqualoni.

Upcoming Changes to Syracuse Football's Defense (youtube; podcast; No Destination)

Syracuse Football linebacker Marlowe Wax gives a few updates on what changes Orange fans can expect when it comes to Syracuse's defense this season

Kyle McCord Or Nothing: Syracuse's QB Conundrum (; Horning)

With all of the Syracuse football hype surrounding first-year head coach Fran Brown, and Ohio State transfer quarterback Kyle McCord, what about the others?

Yes, there’s been a ton of transfers in multiple positions and areas, and this team should look and feel vastly different come fall. But if one position is in jeopardy, it has to be the quarterback depth behind McCord, right?

This ongoing trend has been experienced by SU fans in recent years with Garrett Shrader. If he was injured or out of the game, the offense didn’t have that same feel that it did when he was playing.

The point being, the Orange need to bring in other quarterbacks who they believe can fit into their system if McCord goes down.

There is plenty of improvement among multiple positions on Brown’s team, but it’s becoming a ride-or-die situation with McCord at the QB spot.

Keeping Up With The 315 5-7-24 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian gets things rolling with Portal Watch Day 51, where he talks about all portal related news. Next, Brian discussed some local renovations that will be effecting Syracuse’s ability to host future NCAA events. Finally, Brian wraps the podcast up with some recruiting news out of the football team, and more!
Syracuse athletics: movement towards direct player compensation grows closer (TNIAAM; Wall)
For the last decade the NCAA has fought to keep athlete compensation out of college athletics. That fight could be nearing an end and it could be the thing which keeps the Syracuse Orange competing at the highest level.

Reports from ESPN and Yahoo Sports indicate that NCAA President Charlie Baker, conference commissioners and of course lawyers, are meeting to discuss settlement of the House vs NCAA lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to court in January.

The 10-year settlement agreement could cost each power school as much as $300 million over the decade, or $30 million a year. That figure assumes a school meets what is believed to be: (1) a $17-22 million revenue distribution cap for athletes; (2) at least $2 million in withheld NCAA distribution for back damages; and (3) as much as $10 million in additional scholarship costs related to an expansion of sport-specific roster sizes — a concept previously unpublicized.

There’s still a lot to be agreed upon, but it’s progress and the notion of a revenue cap could help level the playing field a bit in football. Will the SEC and B10 play nice with the other leagues? We won’t hold our breath there, but when schools start sharing the revenue they will have to make tougher decisions like new Texas A&M AD Trev Alberts did when he chose to terminate senior level staff because “schools could be adding $15 million to $20 million to their budgets annually for what he termed a “new expense category” in college athletics.”

Visit Syracuse predicts millions in losses without Crowne Plaza (; Wight)
Construction could begin next month to convert the Crowne Plaza in downtown Syracuse into an apartment complex. The prospect of new housing is exciting, but officials are bracing to take a hit when it comes to sales tax, a critical source of revenue for local government.

"Sales tax drives the region, when you lose hotels its a challenge," Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, "we're going to have some short term pain for sure."

Beyond just sales tax, Visit Syracuse, the city's primary tourism organizer, is projecting tens of millions of dollars of potential losses without the Crowne Plaza. CEO Danny Liedka said that based on current contracts to hose conventions in the City of Syracuse, there is a possible economic impact loss of $47.5 million from 2024 through 2027. Liedka stressed that this is a worst case scenario, as some contracts could be resolved by providing transportation to and from hotels that are further from the OnCenter, the city's convention site.

The Crowne Plaza is necessary to make conventions possible, working in tandem with the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. He said that without proximity to the OnCenter, other cities automatically become more attractive to those planning for conventions. On top of that, he anticipates rates at the Marriott to skyrocket given the monopoly they'll hold on the downtown Syracuse area with both the Crowne Plaza and the Sheraton on the Syracuse University hill set to close as hotels.

The double closures - with the Crowne Plaza and the Sheraton set to start new lives as an apartment building and an SU dormitory, respectively - translates to a loss of about 477 hotel rooms in Syracuse. McMahon said that the clock is ticking; tax breaks and other incentives will be critical to bringing in other hotels to the area. He said even with the current hotel stock, Syracuse lost out on hosting NCAA events thanks to a lack of hotel space.

"We're going to have to incentivize it, that's the reality," McMahon said, "we can't wait five years to get more hotels here."

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said that the opportunity for new housing is critical. The owners plans, approved by the Syracuse Planning Commission on Monday night, call for 287 fully furnished studio apartments. The outside of the building will take an entirely new look as well, revealing a sleek black design to replace the current grey that has dominated this area of the Syracuse skyline for years. The new apartments are in prime position along the planned Community Grid, with opportunities for more residential and commercial space once the I-81 viaduct is removed.

ACC News

ACC post-spring power rankings: Florida State edges Clemson for No. 1, Miami in position to contend (; Patterson)

The 2024 ACC season will be one unlike any in the league's history as the conference balloons to 17 football members with the additions of Cal, Stanford and SMU. The coast-to-coast approach to ACC football will be new for coaches, players and fans alike as the newcomers find their spots in the pecking order of a conference that's hungry to take steps forward on the field.

The coaching turnover in the ACC provides a base level for intrigue in how things shake out. Duke, Syracuse and Boston College all have new head coaches, while the Louisville, Georgia Tech and Stanford bosses are only in the second year of their tenures. At this point, even reigning ACC Coach of the Year Mike Norvell, preparing for his fifth season as Florida State's head coach, seems like a mainstay with all the moving pieces across the conference.

When it comes to ranking these teams ahead of the 2024 season, there is definitely a "what's old is new" feeling as the debate for No. 1 centers around Florida State and Clemson. We see this as somewhat of a 1A/1B conversation, and the oddsmakers have agreed as well with each team having +290 odds to win the conference. Sorting through power rankings in May requires a tiered approach, and those two teams are alone on the top tier.

Behind the two programs with the most ACC football titles is a tier of intriguing contenders who all have the combination of talent and schedule to be in the championship race over the final weeks of the season. Those four or five teams all seem to sit a step above the next two groups, which is occupied by nine or 10 teams destined to play coin-flip style games against each other this fall. The half that wins more than they lose will make bowl games, while the ones who come up short more often than not will spend the holidays at home.

Enough about tiers, though, because we know the people want to see decisiveness. Let's shake it all out with the first 2024 ACC power rankings now that spring practice and the spring transfer portal window is in the books.

ACC post-spring power rankings


Florida State
Mike Norvell's use of the transfer portal to roll off 23 wins across the last two seasons makes it easy to give Florida State the benefit of the doubt as the Seminoles welcome in yet another loaded class of instant-impact additions. While DJ Uiagalelei will demand a lot of the attention from that class, we're more invested in Mavin Jones Jr. and a defense that has a lot to replace but boasts high-level playmakers on the edge and in the secondary.

As mentioned earlier, there is definitely a 1A/1B conversation to the ACC title race. Florida State has the crown for now, and has done enough work in the offseason to retool the roster for another run at a championship. Clemson, meanwhile, is mostly looking for player development to pay off in flipping some of those close losses from 2023 to wins. Clearly it has to start with a step forward for Cade Klubnik, and while that's not a big ask given his talent, tools and the coaching of Garrett Riley, we need to see it before bumping the Tigers into the top spot.

Miami (Fla.)
Ah yes, the age-old rivalry between Miami football and ACC title expectations. The Hurricanes were picked to win the Coastal five times between 2013-2022 yet pulled it off just once. After a busy offseason of portal work, we're looking to Mario Cristobal's group as the next-best option between conference heavyweights Florida State and Clemson. Make no mistake, Miami has the offensive firepower to do it as they just brought in Damien Martinez from the transfer portal to bolster the running back position and add strength to the Cam Ward-led offense. Tightening things up on defense is the burning question, especially after some key losses in the secondary from last season's unit.

NC State
You can usually tell when a team is all in based on their portal activity, and it sure likes like NC State believes it has a group to make a run at the crown with the way it has both restocked and retained talent during the offseason. Key defensive players like Davin Vann and Aydan White are back in the fold, emerging star wide receiver KC Concepcion was retained and the rest of the offense got a influx of portal talent including former Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall, who at his best can be one of the most efficient passers in the country. I really like this blend of talent that's been developed along with the new additions with experience, setting up for a season with real expectations in Raleigh.

Virginia Tech
Brent Pry seems to have done this rebuild the "right way," and Year 3 is when we get to see the payoff from early recruiting classes that have rounded into form and smart portal additions from last offseason settling in for Year 2 with the Hokies. Kyron Drones was one of those players who arrived in Blacksburg last year, and the steps he took in the fall have many eyeing him as one of the top quarterbacks in the league for 2024. There's a ton of returning starters on both sides of the ball from last year's seven-win team, giving the Hokies the best combination of depth and continuity that they've had in years.

If Norvell is going to get the benefit of the doubt for being able to flip a roster through the portal and deliver results in the fall, I suppose we need to extend the same to Jeff Brohm, who quickly had the Cardinals in the ACC title game in Year 1. Well, he has retooled the depth chart again heading into 2024. The appearance of a revolving door roster may be overblown, but seeing potential impact players like running back Peny Boone and edge rusher Tyler Baron commit to the Cardinals and then re-enter the portal in the spring is a bit disconcerting. Even still, this is the No. 2 portal class in the ACC -- ranked 11th nationally, according to 247Sports -- so we're counting on Brohm to put it all together in the fall.

Rhett Lashlee and SMU just won the AAC on their way out of the conference and return a starting quarterback in Preston Stone who ranked in the top 15 nationally in passer rating (14th), passing touchdowns (12th) and yards per attempt (10th). The success of last year's 11-win campaign is baked into a strong rating heading into the season, but we do need to adjust expectations based on what is definitely a step up in competition going to the ACC. Lashlee himself seems to have identified the need to bulk up with the move, bringing in multiple big-bodied defensive linemen from power conferences to bolster the Mustangs defense up front.

While SMU is slotted one spot ahead, there should be a lot of buzz about Cal exceeding expectations in their first year of ACC play. Getting Jadyn Ott back in the fold gives the Bears one of the top running backs in the country, and the portal has provided some high-end skill talent as they brought in Mikey Matthews from Utah and Tobias Merriweather from Notre Dame. Cal's portal class as a whole ranks 4th in the ACC, according to 247Sports, and Justin Wilcox believes he's got a group with good experience and improved team speed ready to hit the ground running in their new conference.

Georgia Tech
I really like Georgia Tech's offense heading into 2024. Haynes King is back in his second season as the Yellow Jackets' starter, and he's joined by 1,000-yard rusher Jamal Haynes and three of the top four receivers from last year. King needs to get better about avoiding the costly errors after leading the ACC in both touchdowns (27) and interceptions (16), but it's a group that could be very prolific. But we're not power ranking offenses here, and the Yellow Jackets were last in the ACC last season in both yards per game allowed and yards per play allowed. If Georgia Tech wants to improve on last year's seven-win season, there are obvious spots to start with limiting mistakes and getting stops.

My Cover 3 Podcast colleague Tom Fornelli was all in early on the idea that Kyle McCord was getting a raw deal in terms of public perception, and deeper analysis revealed he's still very much the blue-chip prospect that can be a game-changer at the power-conference level. While there's no Marvin Harrison Jr. on the roster at Syracuse, he does have one of the most versatile tight end-hybrid weapons around in Oronde Gadsden II and the offense brings back 1,000-yard rusher LeQuint Allen. Fran Brown and his staff have been able to raise the talent level with a few portal additions, but it's very much a Year 1 roster that can flash promise but may lack the consistency needed to compete with the top teams in the league.

North Carolina
After flipping Sam Howell and making a bowl game in his first year back, Mack Brown has mostly been leading North Carolina teams into the fall with expectations of competing for a title. From 2020-23, the Tar Heels were picked in the top three of the ACC preseason media poll three times -- interestingly enough, recording their best finish (2nd in 2022) in the year they were picked 7th -- and twice boasting the Preseason All-ACC pick at quarterback. Now, quarterback is a huge question mark, the wide receiver position has lost key contributors and the defense is looking to finally take a step forward under new coordinator Geoff Collins. North Carolina may have one of the top running backs with Omarion Hampton back, but this is about as much uncertainty has the Tar Heels have had regarding both the ceiling and floor for expectations heading into the season

Friedlander: Ranking the 5 easiest ACC nonconference football schedules in 2024 - Saturday Road (; Friedlander)

Nonconfence schedules are tricky.

For one thing, they’re put together seasons in advance. So there are no guarantees that the cupcake you thought you’d be opening your season against will still be a cupcake by the time the game is played.

Then you have to weigh your own set of circumstances.

If you’re a championship contender like Florida State or Clemson, maybe you want to challenge yourself with a high-profile (and high-revenue) made-for-TV matchup against LSU, Georgia or someone of equal stature. (We ranked the ACC’s 5 most difficult nonconference schedules on Monday.)

On the flip side, teams in the middle or at the bottom of the standings hoping to find enough wins to become bowl eligible can enhance their chances by scheduling a game against traditional doormat UConn – as Duke, Syracuse and Wake Forest have – or someone from the ranks of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Of those ACC teams, these 5 have done the best job of softening up their nonconference schedules for 2024:

5. Miami

  • Florida
  • Florida A&M
  • Ball State
  • South Florida
There’s always a lot of buzz surrounding the Hurricanes heading into every football season. This year there’s even more than usual, thanks to the arrival of transfer quarterback Cam Ward from Washington State and a manageable nonconference schedule.

How long the hype lasts could depend on the outcome of the opening game against in-state rival Florida. It’s an incredibly important matchup for both teams and their coaches – especially Miami’s Mario Cristobal, whose recruiting victories have yet to produce an abundance of victories on the field.

Win or lose, the rest of the Hurricanes’ nonconference schedule is much less taxing.

Florida A&M did go 12-1 and win the Celebration Bowl last year. But all of its wins came against FCS competition. Ball State went 4-8 with lopsided losses in its only 2 games against power conference opponents. And while South Florida did put a 45-0 hurting on a demoralized Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl, the Bulls were only a .500 team heading into the postseason.

As soft as the schedule looks, the Hurricanes’ history of playing down to the competition and Cristobal’s suspect game management skills make every game a potential disaster.

4. Pitt

  • Kent State
  • At Cincinnati
  • West Virginia
  • Youngstown State
Coach Pat Narduzzi’s future with the Panthers could very well depend on his team’s ability to bounce back from last season’s 3-9 disappointment. If that’s the case, this year’s nonconference schedule will give him a realistic shot at accomplishing the goal.

It’s not a total cakewalk. Not only is the Sept. 14 Backyard Brawl against West Virginia an emotionally charged rivalry game, but it’s also against an opponent that won 9 times and finished in the top half of the Big 12 standings a year ago.

Other than that, however, it’s not out of the question for Pitt to equal its entire 2023 win total before it opens conference play on Oct. 5.

Opening week opponent Kent State won just once in 2023, against Central Connecticut State, and should provide the Panthers with an opportunity to get off to a winning start. Week 2 opponent Cincinnati struggled with its transition into the Big 12 in the debut season under coach Scott Satterfield, and Youngstown State is an FCS opponent.

3 North Carolina

  • At Minnesota
  • Charlotte
  • NC Central
  • James Madison
For the 2nd straight year, the Tar Heels begin their season away from home against a power conference opponent.

Playing a true road game at Minnesota will be a challenge. And yet, the degree of difficulty is still lower than it was for last year’s opener against South Carolina in Charlotte, Especially given the circumstance of playing for the 1st time without 1st-round NFL Draft pick Drake Maye at quarterback and with new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins installing a new scheme.

The nonconference schedule lightens up considerably after returning home from Minnesota.

There are 2 in-state opponents in Charlotte, which is coming off a 2-9 season, and FCS foe NC Central. Both in Chapel Hill. And even though James Madison was one of college football’s feel-good stories last year by going 11-2 in just its 2nd season as an FBS program, the Dukes head into the new season amid uncertainty after the loss of coach Curt Cignetti to Indiana.

2. Syracuse

  • Ohio
  • Holy Cross
  • At UNLV
  • UConn
New coach Fran Brown has a lot going for him heading into his rookie season with the Orange.

He has brought in an elite transfer quarterback in Ohio State’s Kyle McCord. Tight end Oronde Gadsden III and linebacker Marlowe Wax, the program’s best 2 veteran players, are back. And he’s inherited an incredibly favorable nonconference schedule.

The most challenging test is the first one, an opening week home game against Ohio. The Bobcats are a Mid-American Conference opponent that won 10 games and went to the Myrtle Beach Bowl last year. But they’re still a Mid-American Conference team that an ACC team should beat at home.

Even though UNLV also went to a bowl in 2023, the odds should still be in Syracuse’s favor when it visits Vegas on Oct. 5.

The Orange went unbeaten against nonconference competition last season. It was the first time since joining a conference in 1991 that they’ve done so. With Holy Cross and UConn filling out this year’s schedule, they have a good chance at repeating the accomplishment. If it happens, Brown can only hope that it works out better for him than his predecessor Dino Babers, who won only 2 more games the rest of the way and ended up getting fired.

Best Case Scenario for ACC 2024 May 7th (RX; HM)

Best Case Scenario for ACC 2024 May 7th

As I sit here on May 7th, I'm bombarded constantly with worst-case scenarios for the ACC in general and certain teams in particular. These propagandists claim that multiple teams will break the Grant of Rights contract, creating a "jail break" situation where teams with an invitation will jump to either the Big Ten or the SEC. They claim that will lead to ESPN no exercising their option to extend the ACC contract beyond 2027, but rather, offering a significantly lower-value contract. With no other television suitors (the claim goes), the ACC will be relegated to distant 4th among FBS conferences, prompting some schools to jump to the Big XII... at least, that's how the worst-case scenario usually seems to play out.

No one seems to consider the best-case (or, at least, good-case) scenario, though! What if the GoR really does prove to be "ironclad", and the exit fee is validated? What if ESPN not only renews the ACC tv contract, but works with the league on another "look-in" opportunity, perhaps involving direct-to-consumer streaming or sub-licensing a big chunk of ACC media rights to another television network (like CW)? What if the conference pulls so far ahead of the Big XII that some of its schools approach the ACC about joining?
Could these things happen? Let's consider them one at a time...

Will Grant of Rights and exit fee hold up?

Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. On the surface, I see no legal reason why this contract shouldn't hold up - but politics have entered the equation, as we all know that justice and politics don't always mix! A Seminole fan recently pointed out a couple of things from the ACC GoR and/or leaked infor about the ACC/ESPN tv contract that clarify some things for me: (1) the ACC contract with ESPN apparently doesn't specify which schools' rights are included, as long as there are at least 15 schools, and (2) the ACC retains rights to FSU and Clemson broadcasts in the event either of them were to leave the conference (i.e. ESPN would not hold their rights as I previously thought). Of course, this information is from the internet, which is not always the most reliable source!

Viewership Without Top 4 Opponents (RX; HM)

Viewership Without Top 4 Opponents

Tony's at it again - this time, it's total viewers over 8 years, minus the top 4 opponents each year:

TV VIEWERSHIP... Without Top 4 Opponents
2016-23 Power Confs

Here's a unique and fascinating look for y'all:

We talk a lot about how opponents often drive TV viewership data, so this TAKES OUT the TOP 4 opponents from each team, to see how they do against the REST of their…
— Tony Altimore (@TJAltimore) May 7, 2024
Tony has access to viewership for more networks than most of us, which helps with things like ACCN and SECN viewers. However, he didn't make any attempt to normalize the data for the TV network impact (which he admitted previously appears to be the dominant factor) because, in his words, "If you can't get picked up over the course of 8 years, then it's not the network's fault...". There's a lot of truth to that, but it's also not that simple (there are network restrictions and guarantees, and game dates are fixed ahead of time, so it's not truly a "free" market). Still, this is an insightful set of data.
But I still can't leave well enough alone, so I took Tony's data for ACC and Big XII teams, combined them, and sorted by viewers so we can do some head-to-head comparisons:

ND229.6ACCTop 4 ACC
Loui46.8ACCnext 3 ACC
ISU39.8XIInext 3 XII
Stan35.4ACC1 ACC
Bayl31.7XII2 XII
Pitt31.5ACC3 ACC
Cal23.3ACC1 ACC
Kans21.9XII2 XII
Syr15.9ACC5 ACC
When realignment leaves a school behind: 10 teams and how they fared (ESPN; Connelly)
Over the first quarter of the 21st century, Washington State and Oregon State combined for five AP top-10 finishes and shares of two conference titles -- modest totals, sure, but superior to those of Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Colorado combined. Over the past six seasons, Wazzu's average SP+ rating ranked fifth in the Pac-12, Oregon State's seventh. They have been solid mid-tier, power-conference programs in recent times, and their highs have been higher than those of many of their peers.

None of this matters, of course. In last summer's depressing conference realignment free-for-all, the Pac-12's leaders failed to come up with a sufficient television deal, and, with furrowed brows and great displays of consternation, eight programs made moves they said they preferred not to make: Oregon and Washington followed USC and UCLA to the Big Ten with diminished media rights shares; Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah left for the Big 12; and Cal and Stanford left for a conference with "Atlantic" in its title (ACC).

Meanwhile, the programs in faraway Corvallis, Oregon, and Pullman, Washington, were left without a home. OSU and Wazzu have maintained the rights to the Pac-12 brand while forming short-term scheduling coalitions with the Mountain West (in football) and West Coast Conference (in other sports). But the Pac-12 as we knew it no longer exists, there is no longer a power conference based in the Pacific time zone, and Oregon State and Washington State have been, for all intents and purposes, left behind.
Following all of these demoralizing developments, both programs began 2023 with a point to prove. Washington State beat two ranked teams (Wisconsin and Oregon State) and began October unbeaten and 13th in the AP poll. And despite the loss to the Cougars, Oregon State spent the entire regular season ranked and rose as high as 10th heading into the back half of November. But Wazzu lost seven of its final eight games to finish 5-7, and after an 8-2 start, Oregon State first suffered a narrow loss to unbeaten Washington, then lost to Oregon and Notre Dame by a combined 71-15.

The Real Reason Why FSU Is Borrowing $327 Million | Under The Radar Recruiting From THIS Coach (youtube; podcast; locked on ACC)
Florida State University is looking to raise nearly $327 million for their football program by offering revenue bonds. This has led many college football fans to circulate rumors about FSU being “broke” or trying to raise these funds in order to buy their way out of the ACC. So, what’s the truth? Florida State will plan to use these funds for a football only facility and for providing renovations to Doak Campbell Stadium. Hosts Alex Donno and Kenton Gibbs get the scoop from Locked On Seminoles host Brian Smith. Donno theorizes that Florida State will look to use private donations for boosting their NIL pockets while turning to these bonds for facilities. Smith offers the latest on FSU’s legal fights with the ACC and how long it might take to leave the conference. Brian discusses the reasons why Syracuse head coach Fran Brown is quietly winning unexpected battles on the recruiting trail. Donno and Gibbs wonder how ESPN+ losing $65 million last quarter might affect the ACC in future negotiations.

Interview – Matthew Reviews and Previews ACC Football (; podcast; Bull City)
Our old friend Matthew from All Sports Discussion stopped by to recap the 2023 ACC football season and give his thoughts on the upcoming season. During our 50 plus minute talk, we cover the disappointments of 2023 (beyond The Snub, we mention UNC and Miami), the bright side of last season (looking at you, Virginia Tech) and what to expect from our beloved conference this year. While the Hoos could be looking at hiring a new coach if things don’t go well in Charlottesville, the Hokies look primed to be this year’s Louisville as a result of winning the schedule lottery. All things considered, this could be a fun year for The ACC (while it still exists).

Oh, and we talk Conference Restructuring for a little bit because of course we did. Also, my audio was a little off. I got a new set of headphones and apparently didn’t select the input properly. It happens.

The Big 12 Mafia Show: How Much Does ACC Survival Cost? (youtube; podcast; The College Football Mafia)
The College Football Mafia presents...The Big 12 Mafia Show: How Much Does ACC Survival Cost?WildUte has crunched the numbers and offers a special presentation. Exactly how much does the #ACC need in settlement money to continue to exist beyond the potential losses of #floridastatefootball, #clemson, #miamihurricanes and #unc ? It will be a fascinating look at why the ACC is fighting so hard to maximize their settlement.



CNY Pizza Tour, stop #18: We found the perfect crust at this western suburbs pizzeria (PS; Miller)

Walking into Johnny Mac’s Pizzeria & Deli in Lakeland during the lunch rush can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been here before.

The line forms at the counter shortly after owner John McIlroy unlocks the door at 11 a.m. The customers all know John and his employees by their first name, and they already know what they’re ordering. They place their order quickly to move the line along. Some guy from from the G&C Food Distributors warehouse asks for a slice of pepperoni and a slice of chicken, bacon & ranch. The dude behind him wearing a W.B. Mason shirt gets the special (two slices of cheese pizza with a soda for $7.40).

This is where the line gets slightly uncomfortable. I’m the newbie who doesn’t know what to order, but I don’t want to interrupt everyone else’s lunch break. I ask John to whip me up whatever he would have for lunch, just as I’ve done on the previous 17 stops of my CNY Pizza Tour.

Food Truck Battle at the State Fairgrounds. (Charlie Miller |
Central NY’s largest food truck gathering expands to a 2-day weekend festival (PS; Miller)
The largest Central New York food truck gathering of the year has been so popular that organizers are expanding it to two days.

The 2024 Food Truck Battle will take over Chevy Court at the New York State Fairgrounds from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Sixty food trucks from Syracuse, Rochester, Utica and Buffalo will be selling samples for $3 to $5 in addition to their regular menu.

The event also includes live music, craft beer and wine slushie stands. An Artisan Village inside the Center of Progress will feature more than 50 local artists and crafters, a Kids Zone with face painting other activities.

Guests are invited to vote for their favorite food truck, and a panel of judges will pick their top choices.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance online. Music Lovers VIP tickets are $40.

Here’s the expected lineup of food trucks and their featured samples:

Ali Baba Food Truck: Chicken Rice Bowl & Falafel
Angry Pig BBQ: Chopped Brisket or Pulled Pork Cheddar Tots
Anthony’s 19th Hole: Beef on Weck
Bacon Bomb: Pulled Pork Sandwich
Baga Bowls On The Go: Berry Bliss
Baja Cali Taco Co: Street Corn
Baked Potato Express: Buttered Corn on the Cob
Barlow’s Concessions: Orange Cream Smoothie
Birdsong Café: Smore Cocoa
Blueberries & Lace: Wildberry Vanilla Draft Latte
Bob Barkers: Southwest Tots
Bold Coast Lobster Co.: Shrimp Taco
Byblos Street Grill: Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
Calle Tropical: Chicken Bacon Ranch Empanada
Carvel DeWitt: The “Tockie” Sundae
Christiano’s Kitchen: Christiano’s Sirloin Beef Tips
Congo Box: Chicken
Cue-Dogs: Tender & Fries
D&G’s Mac and Cheese: Gold Standard
Dirty Bird Chicken N’ Waffles: Chicken N’ Waffle on a Stick
Elm Street Tacos: Flaming Hot Taco Bomb
Exhale Cafe & Bake Shop: 3 Layer Vanilla Bean Cake Cup (Taylor’s Version)
Fair Deli: Reuben Egg Roll
Funk ‘n Waffles: Bulgogi Waffle
Henry’s Hen House: Jerk Chicken

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