Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Football


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

Welcome to Dinosaur Day!

Today we celebrate those large, extinct reptiles: dinosaurs. Scientists believe they first appeared about 245 million years ago, at the beginning of the Middle Triassic Epoch, and existed for about 180 million years, going extinct about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The period when they lived is called the Mesozoic Era. During this time they went through many changes, and various species of dinosaurs replaced other species. Some dinosaurs were bipedal, meaning they walked on two legs, and some were quadrupedal, meaning they walked on all fours. Some switched back and forth. Some were covered with feathers, while others had what was almost like body armor. Some ran fast, and others were slow; most were herbivores, but some were carnivores. There were at least 700 species of dinosaurs, and possibly more than 1,000.

SU News

(youtube; video; Syracuse Orange)

Playing for something bigger than himself.

Syracuse makes top five for 2025 DL Blake Belin (; McAllister)

Class of 2025 Bronx (NY) Cardinal Hayes defensive lineman Blake Belin is down to five schools, he announced on social media on Monday. The five schools are Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest. Belin, listed at 6-3, 280 pounds also held offers from Boston College, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia and others.

Syracuse football's 2025 recruiting class currently has 19 players in it. The class includes edge Sharlandiin Strange out of Cheltenham High in Pennsylvania, wide receiver, Darien Williams out of Christian Brothers Academy in New York, defensive back Javon Lawrence out of North Rockland High in New York, offensive lineman Byron Washington out of DeSoto High in Texas, defensive back Marcus Upton out of Winslow Township High in New Jersey, defensive back Jordan Gibbs out of Longwood High in New York, two-way lineman Jaylan Pray out of Brunswick School in Connecticut, quarterback Luke Carney out of Dallas Christian School in Texas, running back Bo MacCormack out of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Massachusetts, offensive lineman Matthew Hawn out of Christian Brothers Academy in New York, wide receiver Julian McFadden out of LeSalle College High in Pennsylvania, running back Malachi Coleman out of Fleming High in Virginia, offensive lineman Kardiear Shepherd out of Cicero North Syracuse High in New York, wide receiver Terrell Wilfong out of West Orange High in New Jersey, defensive lineman Haleem Muhammad out of Pennington School in New Jersey, athlete Ziyyon Bredell out of Lincoln High in Pennsylvania, wide receiver Daunte Bacheyie out of Christian Brothers Academy in New York, linebacker Antoine Deslauriers out of Nacoochee School in Georgia and defensive back Amari Colon out of Trinity-Pawling in New York.

Syracuse football's 2025 recruiting class is currently ranked 10th in the nation and second in the ACC with those 19 commitments. Of those 19, 15 are from the Northeast. They include seven from Syracuse's home state of New York, three from New Jersey, three from Pennsylvania, one from Connecticut and one from Massachusetts. The four players not from the Northeast include two from Texas, one from Georgia and one from Virginia. The Orange has offers out all across the country, however, as Fran Brown has taken a national approach to looking for talent while also focusing closely on keeping talent home.

Pride of the Orange! | NCAA FOOTBALL 10 PSP SYRACUSE ORANGE DYNASTY EP 01 (youtube; video; LagOnLock)


Syracuse featured in highly anticipated reveal trailer for EA Sports College Football 25 (TNIAAM; Chiappone)

Syracuse Orange fans received a nice and worthwhile surprise on Friday after seeing the Syracuse football team among the programs who earned cameos in the official reveal trailer for College Football 25.

Quarterback Kyle McCord and the iconic JMA Wireless Dome’s gameday atmosphere highlight Syracuse football’s appearance in the new trailer. With the highly awaited release day for College Football 25 (July 19) approaching and the general recent wave of optimism for Syracuse football overall, it was a great feeling to see the Orange featured.

To the tune of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle”, McCord makes his cameo first followed by named appearances of running back LeQuint Allen, wide receiver Yazeed Haynes and “Thunder Dan” Villari:

(Writer’s note: you can catch the full official trailer here. Syracuse’s cameo begins around the 1:04 marker in the video).

But, beyond a simple multi-second appearance, it looks like Syracuse football played a much larger role in the game’s development.

On the day the trailer released, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reported that Syracuse’s JMA Wireless Dome was “among the trickiest” stadiums to build within the game, due to its indoor and “cavernous” setting.

The Dome’s “unique architecture” allowed game developers to use it frequently to test performance frame rates, Rothstein reported.

Syracuse Orange 2024 football schedule preview and point spread prediction (QB Kyle McCord) (youtube; podcast; College Football with Jack)

Syracuse Orange 2024 football schedule preview and point spread prediction (QB Kyle McCord)

Disloyal Idiots: I for one welcome our new overlords EA (A Syracuse Orange Podcast) (youtube; podcast; Disloyal Idiots)

Keeping in brand, the Disloyal Idiots mostly talk about the upcoming EA College Football 25 video game (with a sprinkling of other Syracuse talk in between).

ACC News

Making sense of Dabo's strategy, early thoughts on Syracuse, UCLA: Recruiting mailbag (; $; Raynor)

Happy Tuesday and welcome to another edition of our recruiting mailbag. Top prospects are busy at camps, official visits are about to be in full swing and this time next year, we may be gearing up for a June signing period. It may be the offseason, but recruiting always keeps us on our toes.

Thank you as always for your questions.

Editor’s note: Questions have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Can you make Dabo’s anti-portal strategy make sense? — Evan W.

It had been a while since Dabo Swinney made headlines for his stance on the transfer portal, but Clemson’s head coach was back in the news last week.

In an interview with Sirius XM, Swinney ruffled feathers when he asserted that most of the players in the portal “aren’t good enough” to play for Clemson — a puzzling statement considering the Tigers opened the 2023 season 4-4 and won their fewest games since 2010. And it’s clear that several recent transfers have been plenty good enough to play at Clemson, including the ACC’s Keon Coleman, who caught Florida State’s game-winning touchdown against the Tigers in double-overtime at Death Valley.

Swinney also stirred the pot in an interview with the ACC Network when he said that “every player is technically a transfer” and that Clemson “just signed a whole class of guys transferring from high school.” He knew exactly what he was saying, but the internet bit anyway.

Clemson still hasn’t signed a starter since the transfer portal’s inception, and in a perfect world, there are several elements of Swinney’s stance that make sense.

• The Tigers have made it crystal clear to high-level high school recruits that they remain the No. 1 priority. It’s enticing for blue-chippers to know they can come in and compete without having to worry about the Tigers replacing them at any point with a ready-made portal player.

• Clemson isn’t routinely partaking in the often-exhausting transfer portal NIL bidding wars.

• As Swinney said in his interview, Clemson has very little room for transfers after 125 of 127 players stayed on the roster post-spring.

The problem? His stance is no longer realistic if Clemson wants to win national championships again.

The Tigers don’t need to overhaul their entire roster with portal players, but it’s been obvious to anyone who has watched them since their last Playoff appearance in 2020 that they’ve needed a spark at wide receiver and along the offensive line. Swinney’s unwavering loyalty to the high school model has afforded Clemson almost no margin for error when it comes to talent evaluation and development, and his aversion to the portal has given the Tigers no other options. Then there’s the perception around Clemson. Who wants to take the leap and be the first major transfer portal player when Swinney has made it clear how he feels?

Clemson's Dabo Swinney defends lack of transfer portal activity amid criticism: 'We've been very consistent' (; Marcello)

Dabo Swinney is acutely aware of the criticism and narratives swirling outside Clemson, and he's not exactly on board with either approach.

"We've been very consistent, even the last three years," Swinney told CBS Sports. "There's a perception, a narrative that gets drummed up that we stink, that we're no good because we haven't made a Final Four. We made it six years in a row. It's hard, you know? You gotta have a little luck along the way, and we've had some tough breaks, but in that three-year span, we won 30 games."

It was always going to be difficult for Swinney to quicken Clemson's sonic-speed momentum gathered in the mid-2010s, when only Alabama rivaled the Tigers' success rate. Clemson has won eight of 12 ACC championships while recording 13 straight seasons of nine wins or more, but the program's trajectory has stalled, if not dipped considerably, since the advent of the transfer portal.

Last year, Clemson failed to win 10 games for the first time in 13 years. While such a win-loss record is acceptable at most programs, it's a disappointment given Clemson's otherworldly run in recent times.

"Not every 9-4 is the same, right?" Swinney said.

Not after six straight appearances in the College Football Playoff that included two national titles in three years.

Times have changed, and the question is whether the blueprint for winning a national championship has changed as well. The portal, player pay for their name, image and likeness, and unlimited free agency has flipped the sport on its head. The sudden changes have led to massive shifts in recruiting philosophies at some schools, where adding 20 or more transfers each year is common. In January, the greatest coach of all time, Nick Saban, retired from Alabama, citing (at least partially) the seismic changes in player behavior.

Meanwhile, Clemson has been an island in the storm. Swinney rarely uses the portal to supplement his roster, even in the face of noticeable shortfalls, particularly at receiver in recent seasons. He's only added walk-ons, including a quarterback who left Clemson for Northwestern only to return to the ACC school. Only four universities did not add a transfer this year; Clemson was the only non-service academy among them.
... (; McKinnell)

Virginia Tech won seven games for the first time since 2019, defeating Tulane in the Military Bowl. It was a step in the right direction under head coach Brent Pry, as the Hokies entered the season with three consecutive losing seasons.

ESPN's Greg McElroy is confident that the Hokies are on the right path to becoming a contender in the ACC. He discussed Virginia Tech's chances to compete for the ACC Championship next on a recent episode of Always College Football.

“I actually put this at five (out of 10)," McElroy said. "Now, people are going to push back, and this is not at all disrespectful to Virginia Tech, at all. I love the returning production. I love the quality of play that they get at the quarterback spot with Kyron Drones. I love all the pieces back that are now in Year 3 in Brent Pry’s system. I believe that there’s going to be significant growth in their program’s future.

“The problem is, I look at the top end of the ACC, and I think it’s really, really talented and really, really good. Now, can they knock off the likes of Clemson, Miami and Florida State? Those would be the top three dogs in the ACC, in my eyes. Can they knock those teams off? Sure. But what’s the likelihood they do it multiple times this season?"

Ranking ACC 2024 football schedules by difficulty: How tough is Virginia Tech's? (; Roche)

We are just over three months away from the 2024 college football season kicking off and Virginia Tech will begin the season in Nashville, Tennessee against SEC foe Vanderbilt and will play their first four non-conference games before they start play in the new-look ACC.

This season, SMU, California, and Stanford join the conference and will look to battle with the top teams. Just how good the conference is going to be remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that with travel, things are going to look a lot different, as well as transfers that the conference got, mainly at quarterback. With that said, let's rank the schedules from least difficult to most difficult for the 2024 season.

17 Syracuse Orange

  • Syracuse 2024 schedule: vs. Ohio, vs. Georgia Tech, vs. Stanford, vs. Holy Cross, at UNLV, at North Carolina State, at Pittsburgh, vs. Virginia Tech, at Boston College, at California, vs. Connecticut, vs. Miami

This is a favorable schedule for the Orange with their first four games at home, and three of their four non-conference games at home, with their only trip being to UNLV, which will not be easy. The conference schedule toughest games against Virginia Tech and Miami being at home. Their toughest ACC game on the road is NC State. Again, this is a very favorable schedule in Year 1 of Fran Brown.

16 Pittsburgh Panthers

  • Pittsburgh 2024 schedule: vs. Kent State, at Cincinnati, vs. West Virginia, vs. Youngstown State, at North Carolina, vs. California, vs. Syracuse, at SMU, vs. Virginia, vs. Clemson, at Louisville, at Boston College
The Panthers are looking to bounce back in 2024 from a disappointing 2023 campaign on paper the schedule looks tough, but it sets up well for Pittsburgh. Their toughest home game will be Clemson and their toughest road game will be the following week at Louisville.
... (CFN; Fiutak)

LOL. News item Pete: Fran Brown accomplished more in his first 3 weeks at Syracuse than Tony Elliott has in 3 years as the UVa head coach.

2024 ACC Head Coach Rankings

How good are all the college football head coaches going into the 2024 season? What are their records? We rank the ones from the ACC schools based on our very, very loose criteria.

1. Resumé. How good is their track record? Have they proven themselves?

2. Who's Hot? Who are the innovative college football head coaches creating a buzz? And our offshoot of that ...

3. Who has the expectations to do something big? Who's a bit stagnant and which programs are rising? Basically, who are the big deals?

4. How good are they? It's hard to define, but it's our call - who do we want running our team?

One note, the brand new coaches with no experience are generally ranked at the bottom - we'll believe the production when we see it. One other thing, if a coach gets fired early or takes over as an interim, he'll get credit for a half a season depending on how many games he coached.

These will change wildly when we do this at the end of the season. For now, here's our ranking of the ACC college football head head coaches going into the 2024 season.

2024 CFN Coach Ranks By Conference
AAC | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | CUSA
IND | MAC | M-West | SEC | Sun Belt
- Top 10 Hot Seat Coaches

17 Fran Brown, Syracuse

Georgia secondary coach for the last two years
Wins as FBS Coach: 0
Career FBS Win %: 0
Winning FBS Seasons: 0
FBS Conference Championships: 0
Total FBS Seasons: 0
Average Wins Per Season: 0.00
% Seasons With Winning Record: 0.00%

16 Tony Elliott, Virginia

Guided Virginia through tragedy in the 2022 season
Wins as FBS Coach: 6
Career FBS Win %: 27.3
Winning FBS Seasons: 0
FBS Conference Championships: 0
Total FBS Seasons: 2
Average Wins Per Season: 3.00
% Seasons With Winning Record: 0.00%

15 Troy Taylor, Stanford

3 FCS Playoff appearances in 3 years at Sacramento State
Wins as FBS Coach: 3
Career FBS Win %: 25.0
Winning FBS Seasons: 0
FBS Conference Championships: 0
Total FBS Seasons: 1
Average Wins Per Season: 3.00
% Seasons With Winning Record: 0.00%

14 Justin Wilcox, Cal

Took Cal to bowls in 3 of last 6 seasons
Wins as FBS Coach: 36
Career FBS Win %: 45.6
Winning FBS Seasons: 2
FBS Conference Championships: 0
Total FBS Seasons: 7
Average Wins Per Season: 5.14
% Seasons With Winning Record: 28.57%

What if the ACC dissolves? (RX; HM)

What if the ACC dissolves?

What if our favorite conference cannot be saved? This is truly the worst case scenario, but a lot of outsiders think it will (want it to) happen, so I thought we should explore the possibility...

B1G SEC Bite

Let's assume the SEC and B1G absorb 6 or more ACC schools. Besides Clemson and Florida State, candidates might include UNC, UVA, Virginia Tech, NC State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Cal. I have no idea which or how many would be invited; anyone who says he does is probably lying!
It's possible that enough quality remains for the ACC to continue, but let's further assume that the remaining ACC is no longer viable. What happens to the rest of the members?

Big schools join the Big XII.

Candidates would include any of the above schools not taken, plus Louisville and Pitt, and possibly Syracuse. In particular, I'm sure they'd love to pair Pitt and Virginia Tech with West Virginia in order to bring those rivalry games in-house. Likewise, the Big XII would love to pair Louisville and Pitt with Cincinnati, and they'd be ecstatic to pair Miami with UCF - not to mention the value of the Miami brand in general. And no way would they pass on either NC State or Georgia Tech!
I don't think Boston College is a likely candidate simply because the Big XII would rather have UConn. Syracuse is a wildcard in my mind - I could see the Orange go with either the Big XI or...

Small schools join either the Big East or the American Athletic Conference.

Candidates here include BC, Duke, Wake Forest, and any others not yet taken. This could be as non-football members who may or may not continue to play football as independents, or there could be a resurgeance of the old Big East football wing, depending on how many members would want to participate. For SMU, this scenario probably results in a return to the American, though I wouldn't rule out the Mountain West - especially if that's where Washington State and Oregon State wind up. In fact, that's probably the last resort for Cal and Stanford as well (although I could see Stanford going the independent route if they had to).

What about Notre Dame?

The Irish wouldn't be keen to forfeit their hard-fought independence. I could see either the Big Ten, SEC, or Big XII giving them a non-football membership similar to what they have now, but if not, they could rejoin the Big East and cobble together a totally independent football schedule (though the quality might suffer in mid season).

Bottom Line

These are just my thoughts, given a scenario I still don't consider very likely at this time. I still believe that ESPN has too much invested in - and makes too much money from - the ACC to watch it just dissove like this. Of course, when the NCAA settlement is done and schools see how much it will cost to continue playing big time college football, some of them may decide that the "juice is no longer worth the squeeze" and opt out.

2022-23 EADA Revenue from FB, BB (RX; HM)

2022-23 EADA Revenue from FB, BB

How much money did each ACC school get from football? how about from basketball? Here are the numbers from the EADA 2022-23 report...

Football Revenue

Here's a look at football revenue by school:
NC State$60,724,710||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Notre Dame football generated $50,000 more than Florida State and $67,000 more than Miami or Clemson in the 2022-23 fiscal year. That's the kind of difference FSU and Clemson want to leave the ACC over! What did they accomplish with the extra money? The Irish finished 9-4, while Clemson, FSU, and Miami finished 11-3, 10-3, and 5-7, respectively. You might ask how did Notre Dame lose 4 games despite spending so much money, but you could just as well as ask how Miami lost 7 games. The Irish improved the next season - by one game (10-3), while FSU went 13-1 last season (13-0 in the regular season).
Note: SMU is likely to make a lot more money from football in the ACC than they did before.

basketball money

What about basketball?

Here are all realigned ACC schools sorted by basketball revenue.

NC State$19,757,125|||||||||||||||||||
Duke, Louisville, Syracuse and North Carolina are the big dogs when it comes to basketball revenue. Duke and UNC remain good at it, too; Louisville and Syracuse have fallen on hard times on the hard wood. Note that the top basketball revenue is still about 1/3rd what the top football school makes.

ESPN's Updated Top 25 as of 2024 May 20th (RX; HM)

ESPN's Updated Top 25 as of 2024 May 20th

Look who had something nice to say about ACC football!

From ESPN's "College football post-spring Top 25 rankings" by Mark Schlabach, here's the list with his reasonings for the ACC schools...

1. Georgia Bulldogs
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
3. Texas Longhorns
4. Oregon Ducks

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Spring update: The Fighting Irish have high hopes heading into coach Marcus Freeman's third season, and understandably so after they landed quarterback transfer Riley Leonard (Duke) and brought back former offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, the architect of LSU's high-flying offense the past two seasons. Leonard missed most of the spring camp after undergoing a follow-up surgery on his right ankle injury. He's expected to be ready for the start of fall practices. He'll benefit from having transfer receivers Beaux Collins (Clemson) and Kris Mitchell (Florida International).
The Irish have to replace bookend offensive tackles Joe Alt and Blake Fisher; Charles Jagusah and Tosh Baker were working on the left and right sides, respectively, during the spring. Perhaps the biggest reason for the optimism around the Irish is the defense. Howard Cross III and Rylie Mills lead a salty defensive line, and cornerback Benjamin Morrison and safety Xavier Watts are stars in the secondary. The Irish will play only three true road games at Texas A&M, Purdue and USC this season. They'll play Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Navy at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and Army at Yankee Stadium in New York.
6. Ole Miss Rebels
7. Alabama Crimson Tide
8. Missouri Tigers
9. Utah Utes
10. Michigan Wolverines

11. Florida State Seminoles

Spring update: Seminoles coach Mike Norvell has utilized the transfer portal as well as anyone in the FBS, and he once again turned over FSU's roster after it finished unbeaten and was left out of the CFP in 2023. Former Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei seemed to pick up the offense well in the spring. Transfer Malik Benson (Alabama) emerged as one of his favorite targets, and Lawrance Toafili and Roydell Williams (Alabama) led the running game. Norvell believes defensive end Patrick Payton will emerge as one of the top pass-rushers in the FBS, and he'll have help from transfers Marvin Jones Jr. (Georgia), Tomiwa Durojaiye (West Virginia) and Sione Lolohea (Oregon State). Miami transfer Darrell Jackson Jr. is back to anchor the interior defensive line; the NCAA denied his eligibility waiver last year, causing him to miss the regular season.
12. Penn State Nittany Lions

13. NC State Wolfpack

Spring update: Dave Doeren has quietly guided the Wolfpack to 34 wins the past four seasons, including a 9-4 mark last year, despite having a mess in the quarterback room. That position shouldn't be a problem with former Coastal Carolina star Grayson McCall taking over the offense. He threw for at least 2,400 yards with at least 24 touchdowns and fewer than three interceptions in each of three straight seasons from 2020 to 2022. McCall battled a head injury last season. He'll be surrounded by plenty of talent at NC State, including transfer receivers Noah Rogers (Ohio State) and Wesley Grimes (Wake Forest) and returning star KC Concepcion, the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2023. Tight end Justin Joly (UConn) and tailback Jordan Waters (Duke) were big additions as well. NC State faces September tests against Tennessee in Charlotte and Clemson on the road, but it doesn't play Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech or Miami -- four of the best teams in the ACC -- during the regular season.
14. LSU Tigers
15. Tennessee Volunteers

16. Clemson Tigers

Spring update: As my colleague David Hale pointed out, there were four FBS teams that didn't take a transfer from the portal this offseason: Air Force, Army, Navy and Clemson. Transferring into one of the service academies requires the intervention of a member of the U.S. Congress. For whatever reason, transferring to Clemson seems to be even more difficult these days. After the Tigers dropped four games for the first time since 2011 and finished 52nd in the FBS in scoring offense (29.8 points per game), it seemed like a good time to bring in experienced help. It didn't happen. There's no question Clemson's defense is going to be one of the best in the FBS with linemen Peter Woods and T.J. Parker leading the way. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is betting that quarterback Cade Klubnik is going to be much better in his second season under offensive coordinator Garrett Riley. Freshman receiver Bryant Wesco looked great in the spring, and four-star T.J. Moore joins the team later this month.
17. Kansas State Wildcats
18. Oklahoma Sooners
19. Oklahoma State Cowboys
20. Arizona Wildcats

21. Virginia Tech Hokies

Spring update: It has been quite a while since the Hokies were a legitimate contender in the ACC race, but that might change in coach Brent Pry's third season. ESPN colleague Bill Connelly ranks the Hokies No. 1 in his returning production percentages -- No. 1 on offense (95%) and No. 12 on defense (77%) -- and Pry and his staff have done a good job of using the transfer portal to plug holes. The Hokies averaged 43 points over their final four games of 2022, a stretch in which they went 3-1. Quarterback Kyron Drones passed for 22 touchdowns and three interceptions and ran for 818 yards with five scores. He's one of 11 starters coming back on offense. Pry shored up the defensive line by bringing in four transfers: Duke's Aeneas Peebles, Oklahoma's Kelvin Gilliam Jr., Alabama's Khurtiss Perry and Western Community College's Kemari Copeland. Virginia Tech's nonconference schedule is more than manageable (Vanderbilt, Marshall, Old Dominion and Rutgers) and it doesn't play Florida State, Louisville or NC State during the regular season.
22. Kansas Jayhawks
23. Iowa Hawkeyes

24. Miami Hurricanes

Spring update: There's no question that Mario Cristobal has been stockpiling talent -- both through traditional high school recruiting and via the transfer portal. After going 12-13 in his first two seasons, Cristobal needs to turn that talent into some victories. The Hurricanes have one 10-win campaign in the past two decades, and they've faced lofty expectations and fallen flat more times than most. But with transfer quarterback Cam Ward (Washington State) and tailback Damien Martinez (Oregon State) joining the Canes, there's reason for optimism. The offensive line should be good, and Miami added Houston's Sam Brown to a solid receiver corps. Cristobal bolstered the defensive line by adding four transfers (and counting): C.J. Clark (NC State), Marley Cook (Middle Tennessee), Elijah Alston (Marshall) and Simeon Barrow (Michigan State). Defensive end Rueben Bain Jr. was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year with 7½ sacks in 2023, and Akheem Mesidor is back after playing only three games last season because of injuries to both of his feet.
25. USC Trojans
New teams in: Virginia Tech, Iowa, USC
Dropped out: Louisville, Kentucky, Texas A&M
Just missed: Wisconsin, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Louisville, Kentucky, Washington, Boise State, Air Force, Liberty
That's an impressive five full-time ACC football teams, and a partial (I feel like I'm bidding in Spades), plus one more that "just missed out". As preseason hype goes, that ain't bad for the network which supposedly wants the ACC to disintegrate?

Why ACC FB was disrespected in 2023 (RX; HM)

Why ACC FB was disrespected in 2023

Let's face it, the ACC may have had a winning record against the SEC and the Big Ten, but it also had more than a few embarrassing losses...

In 2023, the ACC started out with a bunch of non-conference losses:

  • UVA lost to Tennessee by 36, then lost to James Madison, then to Maryland.
  • Boston College lost to NIU and barely beat Holy Cross.
  • NC State lost to Notre Dame by 21.
  • It took OT for UNC to beat App. State.
  • Virginia Tech lost to Purdue, then to Rutgers, then to Marshall.
  • Pitt lost to Cincinnati, then to West Virginia.
  • Georgia Tech lost to Ole Miss, then to Bowling Green.

Not only is that 12 non-conference losses, but 4 of them were to lower-level teams.
True, FSU beat LSU, UNC beat SC, and Miami beat Texas A&M, but that wasn't enough to overcome all those early losses.
True, Duke also beat Northwestern, and Louisville beat Indiana - but you don't get much credit for beating teams of that caliber.

By Week 4 of the 2023 season, there were already six ACC teams with at least 2 losses:

  1. UVA 0-4
  2. Clemson 2-2
  3. BC 1-3
  4. GT 2-2
  5. VT 1-3
  6. Pitt 1-3
True, there were also six unbeaten teams:
  1. Duke 4-0
  2. FSU 4-0
  3. Louisville 4-0
  4. Miami 4-0
  5. UNC 4-0
  6. Syracuse 4-0

Where ACC Students Come From (2023) (RX; HM)

Where ACC Students Come From (2023)

Where do ACC schools get their students?

Mostly In-State:

FSU 84.8%
UNC 83.4%
NC State 82.6%
Cal 77.7%
Louisville 72.7%
VT 63.9%
UVA 61.8%
GT 56.4%
Pitt 54.1%
Clemson 52.4%
The vast majority of the students at FSU, UNC, NC State and Cal are from in-state.
For GT, Pitt, and Clemson, it's slightly more than half.

Mostly Out-of-State:

Notre Dame 93.7%
Duke 88.4%
Wake 86.1%
BC 78.8%
Miami 76.5%
Syracuse 71.9%
Stanford 65.5%
SMU 61.8%
A mere 6.3% of Notre Dame's students come from Indiana. Wow! Duke and Wake are in the high 80% in terms of out-of-state students, too.

SOURCE: ACC Kicking Out Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse to Retain Clemson, Florida State, ESPN Possible (youtube; podcast; Locked on Big 12; premieres at 8 am today)

SOURCE: ACC Kicking Out Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse to Retain Clemson, Florida State, ESPN Possible


Expanding homegrown biotech company to make $2.8 million move back into city of Syracuse (PS; $; Racino)

A local biotech company that focuses on fighting age-related diseases is growing, moving from LaFayette to downtown Syracuse with the aid of roughly half a million dollars in New York state grants and tax credits.

Ichor Life Sciences began out of a Tipperary Hill apartment living room in 2013 and has since expanded to three locations in LaFayette and one in Potsdam, Ichor CEO Kelsey Moody said.

“I was always really interested in the idea of building drugs,” Moody said. “I raised about half a million dollars when I was in medical school and had a go at it.”

Today, Ichor both develops its own drugs and operates as a contract research organization, providing research and testing for other pharmaceutical companies. Over the years, it has acquired several companies, and it now employs almost 50 people, according to Moody.

The company is working on several breakthrough drugs, including a gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease (another vision condition), and a drug that would eliminate the need for reading glasses, Moody said.

In an effort to consolidate and expand, Ichor is investing $2.8 million into buying and renovating a building at 831 James St. in Syracuse.

New York’s Empire State Development has pledged a $200,000 grant to the company, in addition to a $250,000 Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit – describing the business as “a key component to the region’s innovation ecosystem.”


The 44th annual Greek Cultural Festival at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church, 325 Waring Rd, Syracuse, NY, featured Greek food, music, dance and more. June 11, 2017. Gary Walts | SYRGary Walts |

Syracuse festival guide 2024: How to enjoy all of CNY’s big summer events (PS; $; Baker)

It’s summer festival season in and around Syracuse, those magical five months where the sounds of live music and the scent of fresh cooking fill the streets and fields around Central New York.

We’ve put together a list of all the major festivals in the greater Syracuse area, from musical events to cultural festivals and even a big video game convention.

Know of something we missed? Email Chris Baker at

Oz-Stravaganza: May 31 - June 2

Where: All Things Oz Museum, 219 W. Genesee St., Chittenango

What to expect: A celebration of the iconic Wizard of Oz film, including shopping, games, rides and entertainment in the hometown of Oz author L. Frank Baum.

More info:


A limited-time only immersive Cheez-It experience is now open in the Catskills. The Cheez-In Diner is serving up a classic diner menu of favorites, all with a cheese-forward twist. Ryan Gregory | Motion BazaarRyan Gregory | Motion Bazaar

Cheez-It diner debuts in Upstate NY, with cheesy milkshakes, chicken tendies, more (PS; Hernandez)

Everyone say cheese!

Baked snack cracker behemoth Cheez-It has announced a first-of-its kind Cheez-It themed retro diner in Upstate New York.

Open for a limited time from May 20-26 at 261 Tinker St in Woodstock, the Cheez-In Diner will be serving up classic Americana dishes with a cheesy cracker twist.

A limited-time only immersive Cheez-It experience is now open in the Catskills. The Cheez-In Diner is serving up a classic diner menu of favorites, all with a cheese-forward twist. Ryan Gregory | Motion BazaarRyan Gregory | Motion Bazaar

The salty, cheese-forward menu is filled with items made to entice hungry Cheez-It superfans traveling through the Catskills for Memorial Day weekend.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Extra Cheezburger: A crispy-fried smashburger topped with pimento cheese, lettuce, pickles, and an Extra Big Cheez-It cracker, much like 2022′s Taco Bell Cheez-It tostado
  • Big Grilled Cheez: Texas toast filled with cheesy pimento goodness encased in a crunchy Cheez-It cracker crust
  • Cheezy Chicky Tendies: Breaded in Original Cheez-It crackers, these chicken tenders can also be made spicy and come served with hot honey or Hidden Valley Cheezy Ranch
  • Mac & Cheez-It: Pasta covered in White Cheddar Cheez-It sauce, topped with a cracker crumble
  • Cheez-It Fries: Dusted in your choice of Original, White Cheddar, or Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its, these fries can also come fully loaded with pimento cheese sauce
  • Cheez-It Biscu-it: Hearty “layers bursting with Cheez-It crackers,” this biscuit is ready be slathered in honey butter or hot honey drizzle or made into a sandwich with the chicken tenders

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