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

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football

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No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
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Welcome to D Day!

Beginning in the spring of 1940, in the midst of World War II, Nazi Germany started occupying the northern part of France. They gained complete control of the area in May, when the British evacuated Dunkirk, a coastal city, during the Battle of France. But the Allies always hoped to return. In 1942, the United States and Britain began thinking about an invasion across the English Channel. Hitler, anticipating an invasion somewhere—although he did not know exactly where—put Erwin Rommel in charge of defense of a large swath of coastal areas and in charge of the creation of an Atlantic Wall, which consisted of fortifications of bunkers, landmines, and other beach and water obstacles.

The Allies codenamed their amphibious invasion of Normandy "Operation Overlord," and placed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in charge of it in January 1944. The invasion became known as D-Day, and its implementation would prove to be the start of the end of the war. The more obvious choice for the invasion was Pas de Calais, the spot with the shortest distance between Britain and Continental Europe. In fact, a deception campaign prior to D-Day made the Germans think that Pas de Calais—as well as Norway and some other locations—would be areas of invasion. Deception tactics included the use of fake equipment, George S. Patton's phantom army—which was supposedly stationed across from Pas de Calais, fraudulent radio transmissions, and double agents. The beaches of Normandy were chosen instead because they were less heavily defended than Pas de Calais, but were still within air cover.

SU News

Axe Brent Anything! Listeners ask about SU football, favorite Orange athletes and CNY's best pizza (youtube; podcat; Syracuse Orange)


Syracuse Sports Insiders had questions about SU football road trips, favorite SU athletes ever, ACC realignment, CNY's best pizza and wings, what the ACC would do to replace Clemson and FSU, how Brent transitioned out of radio and more!

30 Minutes in Orange Nation 6-5-24 (ESPN; radio; Orange Nation)

Steve and Paulie discuss the addition of Lucas Taylor to the Syracuse Men’s Basketball team, played an Orange basketball edition of the match game, and create the perfect Syracuse football player using only $2 sample of Orange Legends.
Syracuse Football: ESPN's preseason power index ratings are unflattering toward 'Cuse (itlhl Adler)
ESPN recently published its preseason Football Power Index ("FPI") ratings ahead of the upcoming 2024 campaign, and these projections aren't super high on Syracuse football.

Naturally, head coach Fran Brown, his top-flight staff, and their intriguing 2024 roster will have every opportunity to prove the doubters and naysayers wrong later this year when the next term commences.

Still, I did find it somewhat surprising where the FPI has the Orange, particularly within the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason pecking order.

Of course, the FPI will ebb and flow throughout the course of the 2024 season, so I wouldn't get too hung up on where the 'Cuse resides at present.

Here is where Syracuse football stands in ESPN's preseason Football Power Index ratings.
For a bit of context, per the ESPN Web site, the FPI "is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team's performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is."

Nationally speaking, the Orange checks in via the FPI at No. 70 overall. Per the FPI, the team's projected regular-season win-loss total sits at 5.8-6.2. I'm an acknowledged homer, but given the 'Cuse roster and its relatively manageable schedule, I'm pretty confident that the Orange will secure at least six, and perhaps a minimum of seven, wins in 2024.

The FPI gives Syracuse football a 56.1 percent chance to attain at least a half-dozen victories in the upcoming season and reach bowl eligibility for the third campaign in a row. Per the FPI, the 'Cuse has a 0.6 percent chance to win the ACC championship and a 1.0 percent chance to make the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff.

The FPI currently places Syracuse football at No. 15 among the ACC's 17 members in 2024. The league has added, starting with this season, California, Stanford and SMU. Here's the full ACC order, according to the FPI:
Florida State
Clemson
Louisville
Miami
SMU
N.C. State
North Carolina
California
Virginia Tech
Duke
Pittsburgh
Georgia Tech
Boston College
Stanford
Syracuse
Wake Forest
Virginia

There's no surprise, from my perspective, about the Seminoles and the Tigers at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Candidly, I'm a least a little surprised that the Orange is near the basement.

I get that the 'Cuse is a combined 13-13 over the past two seasons, it has a significantly overhauled roster, and it has a first-year (and a first-time) head coach in Brown.

And, undeniably, these preseason prognostications are fun to debate but don't mean a whole lot otherwise. The Orange can show what it's got on the field beginning at the end of August when Syracuse football will host Ohio in the 2024 season opener.
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Fran Browns Mentality Off The Field Is Important (orangefizz.net; Gotkin)

In the seven months since Fran Brown’s hiring, everything seems to be going about as good as possible. The Orange have landed better recruits than ever before. The hype around the program is growing and the fanbase is excited. With an extremely favorable schedule next season, its hard to not be excited about everything going on. One thing that came out a few weeks ago could be one of the most important since Brown has taken over is the success of SU’s student-athletes off the field.

The Orange posted on social media last month that the team got its highest GPA in program history of a 3.05. Not just the highest in recent history, but again the highest in PROGRAM history. A 3.0 average is a B, meaning that the team is doing really well in school. While this may not seem like a big thing, it is actually massive. Most players, even on power conference FBS teams will never play professional football. Building these student-athletes into being good young men who can succeed in the world is such a huge part of a program. If Fran Brown can pitch Syracuse as a place that will help you succeed in your future even if things don’t go your way on the field then that elevates the program even more.
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Syracuse football scores top 8 of 4-star WR Daylyn Upshaw; FSU, Georgia among finalists (itlh; Adler)


Daylyn Upshaw, a four-star wide receiver and a nationally ranked prospect in the 2025 class, has named a top eight that includes Syracuse football.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Upshaw, a standout rising senior at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala., said in a post on X that his final eight features the Orange, Miami, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and Penn State.

In April, according to his X account, Upshaw took a visit to the Hill and also picked up a scholarship offer from the 'Cuse staff, led by head coach and ace recruiter Fran Brown.
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Get to Know Your Orange Man: #92, DL Rashard Perry (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

It’s time to start preparing for the 2024 Syracuse Orange football season. We’re going through the roster to take a look at each Syracuse player as we get to know a lot of new faces to kick off the Fran Brown Era.

Up next is…

Name: Rashard Perry

Position: Defensive Line

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 278 lbs.

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

High school: Bennett

2023 stats: Appeared in 10 games as a reserve DT and fullback in short yardage situations. Perry recorded his first career tackle at Florida State.

2024 projections: Perry has some fierce competition for a spot in the two-deep, as even with an extra starting job in the 4-3, there are guys with more experience he’d have to beat out. Still, it’s way too early to rule anything out.

How’d he get here?: Perry’s choice of FBS football was between Syracuse and Temple.

What’d recruiting sites say?: Consensus three-star rating, but one of the most highly ranked New York State prospects in the Class of 2023.

Social Media Info:

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Get to Know Your Orange Man: #89, TE Dan Villari (TNIAAM; Chiappone)
It’s time to start preparing for the 2024 Syracuse Orange football season. We’re going through the roster to take a look at each Syracuse player as we get to know a lot of new faces to kick off the Fran Brown Era.

Next up is...

Name: Dan Villari

Position: Tight End

Year: Redshirt Junior

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 235 lbs.

Hometown: Massapequa, N.Y.

High School/Previous College: Plainedge High School/Michigan Wolverines

2023 stats: In a multi-purpose role, Villari accounted for 683 yards and six total touchdowns. Most of that came as a tight end (where he caught 20 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns), but he also saw time as a quarterback (22/33, 177 yards and one touchdown) and in the backfield (55 rushes, 326 yards and two touchdowns).

2024 projections: Villari is part of what is considered a top-five returning tight end crop (per On3) and will enter the upcoming season as one of the best returning tight ends in the ACC. Whether lined up alongside Oronde Gadsden II as a pass catcher or in the backfield with LeQuint Allen, he’s going to remain an impact player on offense in some capacity.

How’d he get here?: Began by committing to Michigan in December 2019 as a quarterback. Entered the transfer portal and committed to the Orange in January 2022.

What’d recruiting sites say?: Three-star recruit according to ESPN, https://n./content/athletes/dan-villari-258717, 247Sports and On3.

Social Media Info:

Twitter: @dan2villari

Instagram: @danvillari_

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ACC News

https://mikefarrellsports.com/college/acc-watchlist-ward-and-uiagalelei-lead-quarterbacks-in-2024 (mikefarrellsports.com; Myers)


As the new college football season approaches, all eyes are on the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), where a fresh crop of quarterbacks is poised to make headlines. From seasoned veterans to rising stars, these athletes are ready to lead their teams to victory and etch their names in the annals of ACC history. Join as we break down the top quarterbacks to watch this season, their skills, their stories, and why they are set to dominate the gridiron. Get ready for an in-depth look at the dynamic leaders who will shape the narrative of ACC football this year.


QB Rankings:

1. Cameron Ward (Miami)

Stats:

66.6%, 3,735 pass yds, 25 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 144 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns

Overview:

Cameron Ward is an exciting quarterback prospect known for his dynamic playmaking ability and strong arm. Playing for Washington State after transferring from Incarnate Word, Ward has displayed significant potential and the skills needed to succeed at higher levels of competition.

Physical Attributes:

- Height: 6'2"

- Weight: 220 lbs

- Athleticism: Ward has a solid build for a quarterback, combining good size with impressive athleticism. His mobility allows him to extend plays and make throws on the run, adding a dual-threat element to his game.

Strengths:

Arm Talent: Ward has a strong arm capable of making all the necessary throws at the collegiate level. He can deliver deep balls with accuracy and velocity, effectively stretching defenses vertically.

Mobility: His ability to move within and outside the pocket is a key asset. Ward can evade pressure, extend plays with his legs, and execute designed runs, making him a constant threat to defenses.

Playmaking Ability: Ward excels in improvisational situations. He has a knack for creating big plays when the original plan breaks down, showcasing his creativity and football instincts.

Poise Under Pressure: Ward remains calm and composed when facing a pass rush, demonstrating the ability to make accurate throws even under duress. His poise allows him to perform well in high-pressure situations.



Leadership and Intangibles: Ward is known for his leadership qualities and competitive nature. He commands respect in the huddle and inspires confidence in his teammates with his play and demeanor.

Areas for Improvement:

Consistency: While Ward has shown flashes of brilliance, he needs to work on maintaining consistent performance throughout entire games and seasons. Developing a steady level of play will be crucial for his progression.

Decision Making: Ward can be prone to taking unnecessary risks, leading to turnovers. Improving his decision-making process, especially in reading defenses and making smarter choices, will enhance his efficiency.

Mechanics: Ward's throwing mechanics can be inconsistent, occasionally affecting his accuracy. Refining his footwork and ensuring a consistent throwing motion will help improve his overall accuracy and effectiveness.
Experience at Top Level: Coming from a smaller program before transferring to Washington State, Ward faces questions about his experience against top-tier competition. Continued exposure to high-level defenses will be important for his development.

Projection:

Cameron Ward projects as a high-upside quarterback with the potential to become a starting-caliber player in the NFL. His arm talent, mobility, and playmaking ability make him an intriguing prospect for teams looking for a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback. With improvements in consistency, decision-making, and mechanics, Ward has the potential to be a valuable asset at the next level. He is likely to be a mid-to-late round pick, with the opportunity to rise higher based on his performance and development leading up to the draft.

2. DJ Uiagalelei (Florida State)

Stats:

57.1%, 2,638 pass yds, 21 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 219 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns
...

ACC football schedules in 2024, ranked from easiest to toughest by Phil Steele (247sports.com; Hughes)
Strength of schedule is essential to making a run at the conference championship. While many metrics are used to determine strength of schedule, the NCAA bases SOS on the combined win percentage of that team's opponents from the previous season. Using that metric, industry veteran Phil Steele ranked all 17 ACC schedules for the 2024 season from easiest to toughest.

It will be a new-look ACC next season in more ways than one. A year after debuting a division-less format, the conference adds three new programs in Cal, Stanford and SMU, bringing the total number of member schools to 17. We've already taken a look at the toughest non-conference games for the new-look ACC this season.

Steele will include his own strength of schedules in his 2024 season preview magazine.The magazine is scheduled to ship in mid-June, and the digital version will be available June 19. It should hit the newsstands by July. Fans who pre-order the magazine get the digital version for free.

Here are the toughest schedules in the ACC next season using opponent winning percentage, ranked from easiest to most difficult:

17. NC STATE WOLFPACK

2024 Schedule: Western Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, at Clemson, Northern Illinois, Wake Forest, Syracuse, at California, Stanford, Duke, at Georgia Tech, at North Carolina
A strong offseason and easy 2024 slate give us confidence that NC State can secure back-to-back nine-win seasons for just the second time since the 1990s. The early tests against Tennessee and Clemson loom large early in the season, but the Wolfpack face just one team in the top eight of our ACC power rankings (UNC, No. 8) after their bout with the Tigers.

16. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

2024 Schedule:
at Vanderbilt, Marshall, at Old Dominion, Rutgers, at Miami, at Stanford, Boston College, Georgia Tech, at Syracuse, Clemson, at Duke, Virginia
We have the Hokies going 3-1 to start the season in our ACC projected order of finish, with their lone loss coming at home against Rutgers in Week 4. After that, tough ACC games against Miami and Clemson are balanced by matchups with several of the conference's bottom feeders, including Virginia, Boston College and Stanford.

15. NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

2024 Schedule:
at Minnesota, Charlotte, North Carolina Central, James Madison, at Duke, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, at Virginia, at Florida State, Wake Forest, at Boston College, North Carolina State
UNC had the toughest preseason ACC schedule last season but got a far better draw this year. Feisty App State gets replaced by a lesser in-state foe in Charlotte, which headlines a weak non-conference slate. Opening ACC play against rival Duke is no gimme, but the Tar Heels avoid Clemson and Miami.

14. SMU MUSTANGS

2024 Schedule: at Nevada, Houston Christian, BYU, TCU, Florida State, at Louisville, at Stanford, at Duke, Pittsburgh, Boston College, at Virginia, California
We expect SMU to have the best season of any ACC newcomer, and its debut schedule is a big reason why. We've got SMU winning at least three of its non-conference bouts and ACC matchups with Stanford, Cal, Virginia and Boston College. Florida State and Louisville are tough outs, but the Mustangs should go bowling with this schedule.

13. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS

2024 Schedule: Austin Peay, Jacksonville State, Georgia Tech, at Notre Dame, SMU, at Virginia, Miami, at Boston College, at Clemson, at Stanford, Pittsburgh, at Kentucky
The Cardinals won 10 games against a much harder schedule last season but won't have star quarterback Jack Plummer back in the fold. A pair of winnable non-conference matchups bleed into a tough run against Notre Dame and SMU. Easier matchups against Virginia, Boston College and Stanford are met with tough outs against Miami, Clemson and Kentucky.

12. WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS

2024 Schedule:
North Carolina A&T, Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, at North Carolina State, Clemson, at Connecticut, at Stanford, California, at North Carolina, at Miami, Duke
Wake Forest finished with the worst record in the conference last season (1-7) but is a threat for bowl eligibility thanks to winnable non-conference matchups against North Carolina A&T, UConn and Louisiana. However, don't expect much else with games against NC State, Clemson and Miami later in the season.

11. SYRACUSE ORANGE

2024 Schedule:
Ohio, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Holy Cross, at UNLV, at North Carolina State, at Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Boston College, California, Connecticut, Miami
We like Syracuse to win non-conference matchups against Ohio, Holy Cross and UConn, but the trip to UNLV on Oct. 5 could prove dicey. Fran Brown's Orange could hit the eight- or nine-win mark if it manages to win toss-up games against Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech as it enters ACC play.
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Why Notre Dame football and Big Ten are a threat to SEC (or maybe not) (tennessean.com; Toppmeyer & Adams)
The first 12-team College Football Playoff projects to be an SEC party – so long as Notre Dame and the Big Ten don't interfere.

Nine SEC teams profile as a playoff hopefuls. Not all of them can qualify.

Four playoff teams from the SEC seems reasonable. What about five? That’s a stretch, but doable if the SEC catches a few breaks.

On this edition of “SEC Football Unfiltered,” a podcast from the USA TODAY Network, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams unpack the SEC’s playoff outlook and handicap the hurdles standing in the way of the SEC qualifying as many as five teams.

Start with the Big Ten, which is the only other conference that could threaten to qualify as many teams as the SEC.

Then, what about Notre Dame? The Irish snagging an at-large bid hurts the SEC’s chances for five, but Texas A&M might wreck Notre Dame in Week 1.

The Big 12 and ACC are sleeper agents that could spoil the SEC’s five-qualifier quest.

Here's how we see it:

Could the Big Ten qualify five teams?

Adams: Not happening. More like three. Four is pushing it. Not five. The SEC can get five. The Big Ten won't. Who would even be the five? Ohio State and Oregon look good for the playoff. Maybe Penn State, too. Michigan and Southern Cal are contenders, but I'm not convinced either will qualify, considering their schedules.

Toppmeyer: No. I don't know if the SEC will qualify five, but it has a better chance to qualify five than the B1G. For starters, the SEC will have more playoff contenders. I count nine playoff hopefuls from the SEC: Georgia, Texas, Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Having nine contenders gives you a shot at qualifying five. Who projects as a contender from the B1G? Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Michigan and USC. And Michigan and USC will face brutal schedules. The Big Ten will qualify three or four. Not five.

Will Notre Dame claim a playoff spot?

Adams: I think Notre Dame will lose at Texas A&M in Week 1. And if that happens, the Irish aren't making any playoff.
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https://collegefootballnews.com/new...op-transfers-season-prediction-win-total-2024 (CFN; Fiutak)

Stanford Cardinal Preview 2024
It is possible to win football games at Stanford.

It seems like 92 years ago, but the program won nine games or more in every year but one from 2010 to 2018 and won eight or more ten seasons in a row. Since then, including the shortened 2020 season, Stanford has failed to win more than four games in each of the last five years and has gone 3-9 in the last three.

The narrative had to change. There needed to be a bit of a new focus, and the program just got it with the stunning move to the ACC.

It’s a good, strong conference - and great academically - but compared to the Pac-12 in 2023 life should be a whole lot easier.

Under second-year head man Troy Taylor - a good coach who should crank this back up with a little bit of time - Stanford was able to battle hard against Oregon State, stun Colorado, and come really, really close to beating Arizona.

And it lost to Sacramento State and got annihilated in five of the nine losses. Being more competitive is the first step, but the Cardinal might just be good enough to win a slew of games in the new league.

The distance will matter. There might be a few long trips early on to Syracuse and Clemson in back-to-back weeks, but Virginia Tech has to make the trip to Palo Alto. So does Wake Forest, and SMU, and Louisville.

It’s about to be a fun season with Stanford now becoming a coast-to-coast team. Don’t be shocked if the 2024 version becomes a winning one because …

Stanford Preview 2024: Offense

- Consistency was a massive problem, but Stanford has a few playmakers to rise up fast. Start with the pitch-and-catch combination of Ashton Daniels to Elic Ayomanor. Daniels got hot over the second half of the season, starting with the wild 396-yard day in the win over Colorado. 294 of those yards were to Ayomanor.

There’s a good young group of receivers around the No. 1. Tiger Bachmeier was second on the team with 409 yards, Sam Roush is a solid tight end, and while the group isn’t deep, it’ll produce. And now …

- The line has to be better. Long a hallmark of the Stanford attack, the problems over the last few years up front were part of the problems in the losing campaigns. The pass protection has to be far stronger and there needs to be more for the ground game than 119 yards an outing. All five starters are expected to be back.

- Can the running backs start to produce? Justin Lamson and Ashton Daniels are quarterbacks - they led the team in rushing. EJ Smith was the top back with just 218 yards - he’s at Texas A&M now - making Sedrick Irvin the likely main back. The O needs ore options, but the quarterbacks will still make most of the rushing noise.

Stanford Preview 2024: Defense

- The defense was a disaster. 129th in the nation in total defense and scoring D, it allowed 462 yards and 37 points per game with a minimal pass rush and not enough takeaways or third down stops.

Start with the secondary. It needs more help from the pass rush, but this should be a decent group with the corner combination of Collin Wright and Zahrain Manley back, and two of the top three safeties return led by 53-tackle junior Mitch Leigber.

- The linebackers might be the team’s biggest strength. This group has to do a little too much behind a leaky line, but the combination of Gaethan Bernadel and Tristan Sinclair should combine for close to 160 tackles again. David Bailey is a hybrid edge rusher who led the way with six sacks, but …

- The line has to be more disruptive. The edge rushers are deep - Bailey is part of a rotation with Tevarua Tafiti - and the tackles are back. The depth is a tad lacking, and they’re not huge, but Tobin Phillips and Anthony Franklin are veterans in the interior. They’re in the spotlight because …

Stanford Key To The Season

Stop the run.
The offense needs the line to be far stronger, and there has to be some sort of consistency to the attack, but at least last season, the difference between being competitive and getting walloped was the run defense.

The Cardinal were crushed in all five games they allowed 180 yards or more, went 3-1 when allowing fewer than 145, and were close in the the other three games when they got run on a bit. Stop the run, control the tempo.

Stanford Key Player

RB Sedrick Irvin, Soph.
Or SOME running back for the ground game.

Irvin - the son of former Michigan State star RB of the same name and cousin of Michael Irvin - was a nice get for Stanford last year. He got his feet wet with 26 carries for 113 yards and a score - he did the most work in the tough loss to Arizona - and now he’ll get the first look to handle the ground attack.

Stanford Top Transfer, Biggest Transfer Loss

Top Transfer In: LB Jahsiah Galvan, Soph.
The Stanford linebacking corps is already solid, but it’s getting a good tackler with range from Northern Iowa. He made 77 stops last year for the Panthers and should find a role somewhere in the rotation.

Top Transfer Out: TE Benjamin Yurosek
The Cardinal are okay with Sam Roush a decent tight end who stepped up last year when Yurosek was out, but he’s not the same talent. The 6-5, 235-pound Yurosek caught 108 passes in his three seasons with five scores, and now he’ll be a main main in the Georgia attack.

Stanford Key Game

at Syracuse, Sept. 20

Get off to a hot start. The Cardinal get two road games to start the season against TCU and Cal Poly, and then comes the opener in ACC play - 2,839 miles away. With at Clemson, Virginia Tech, and at Notre Dame up next, Stanford needs to pull off a win in the first ever meeting with the Orange.

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College Football Odds: Analyst Says Georgia Tech's 5.5 Projected Win Total Is Too High (SI; Caudell)


College Football season is getting closer everyone.

With the season getting closer, more and more people are taking a look at teams' projected win totals for the upcoming season, and one of the most interesting ones in the ACC is Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets face one of the toughest schedules in the country, but return the bulk of one of the best offenses in the ACC, including quarterback Haynes King. Most sportsbooks have the Yellow Jackets win total set at 5.5 and On3 Sports analyst Jesse Simonton thinks that 5.5 might be too high:

"The Yellow Jackets upset Miami and North Carolina last season to make the postseason for the first time since 2018, but the books see a slight regression season with maybe the most difficult schedule (non-conference included) in the ACC in 2024.

While Georgia Tech returns quarterback Haynes King (who led the league in touchdowns and interceptions last season), 1,000-yard rusher Jamal Haynes and infused a bad defense (worst in the ACC in 2023) with 11 newcomers via the portal, it has just five true home games on the slate this fall. The Yellow Jackets open against FSU in Ireland and end the season against top-ranked Georgia in Athens. In between, they play at Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia Tech and draw Notre Dame, Miami and NC State at home. That’s a gauntlet by ACC standards."


While the schedule is a gauntlet, there are not going to be many games where the Yellow Jackets are massive underdogs and Brent Key has shown the ability to be able to get his team to play at a high level to pull an upset ever since he was the interim head coach. They might be significant underdogs in games vs FSU, Notre Dame and Georgia, but the might not be a double-digit underdog in the rest of the games. Still, this team is going to have to work to make a bowl game and improve on last year's 7-6 mark.


I think that Georgia Tech is being undervalued around the country though.

Last season there were a number of first-year head coaches around the sport and despite leading his program to a bowl game for the first time since 2018 and a bowl win for the first time since 2016, Brent Key did not get the kind of attention that coaches like Deion Sanders did at Colorado and Matt Rhule did at Nebraska. They both fell short of a bowl game and did not have any notable wins to speak of. Key took down Miami, North Carolina, played Georgia tougher than almost anyone else did, and then beat UCF in the bowl game. He took over a program that had turned into an afterthought under former head coach Geoff Collins (now at North Carolina) and made them competitive during his first season. I would bet that most don't realize that if Georgia Tech had not blown a double-digit lead against Louisville in the season opener, the Yellow Jackets could have made the ACC Championship.

Yeah, that almost happened. The Yellow Jackets finished in 4th place in the ACC behind Florida State, Louisville, and NC State. A couple of games go the Yellow Jackets way and they would have faced the Seminoles in Charlotte for a shot at the ACC crown.
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Links, News and Rumors 2024 June 5th (RX; HM)


Links, News and Rumors 2024 June 5th

From FBSchedules: Pittsburgh adds Delaware to 2029 football schedule

Pitt will host Delaware at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2029. The game will mark the third overall meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.

The Panthers already had West Virginia and UCF on their 2029 non-conference schedule.
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I missed this last week, on USA Today:


NCAA to consider allowing sponsor logos on field in wake of proposed revenue sharing settlement
At present, the NCAA Division I Manual and the NCAA Football Rules have tight restrictions on the use of commercial logos. However, an association committee composed of representatives from all three competitive divisions has added to its agenda for a June 6 meeting a proposal that could change some of these restrictions, an NCAA spokesperson said late Wednesday afternoon. Schools could be allowed to have a corporate logo as part of the midfield decor, as is allowed for bowl games and neutral-site games with title sponsors.

Are you ready for "Welcome to Bojangles' Field"?
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From ACC Communications:

The 52nd ACC Football Kickoff event will be held over four days from Monday, July 22, through Thursday, July 25, at the Hilton Charlotte Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. The breakdown of schools participating in the ACC Kickoff event will be as follows:
Monday, July 22


  • Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D.
  • Florida State
  • Georgia Tech
  • SMU
Tuesday, July 23

  • Cal
  • Pitt
  • Stanford
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
Wednesday, July 24

  • Boston College
  • Duke
  • Louisville
  • Miami
  • Wake Forest
Thursday, July 25

  • Clemson
  • North Carolina
  • NC State
  • Syracuse
...

Most Recent Bowl Win, 2024 June 5 (RX; HM)

Most Recent Bowl Win, 2024 June 5

I posted an article like this back in June of 2021 called "Bowl Wins in the last 5 years (2016-20)" - it turned out that every single ACC school (at that time) had won a bowl between 2016 and 2020. It's three years later, so I thought it was a good time to update my list now, especially since 3 new schools are coming aboard...

Most Recent Bowl Victory, by ACC team:

ACC teamYearOpponentBowl Game
Boston College2023SMUFenway
Cal2019IllinoisRedbox
Clemson2023KentuckyGator
Duke2023TroyBirmingham
Florida St2022OklahomaCheez-It
Georgia Tech2023UCFGasparilla
Louisville2022CincinnatiFenway
Miami2016W.VirginiaRussell Athletic
UNC2019TempleMilitary
NC State2017Arizona StSun
Pitt2022UCLASun
SMU2012Fresno StHawaii
Stanford2018PittSun
Syracuse2018W.VirginiaCamping World
UVA2018S.CarolinaBelk
Virginia Tech2023TulaneMilitary
Wake Forest2022MissouriGasparilla
Good News: 9 of the 17 schools in the 2024 version of the ACC have won a bowl game in the last 2 seasons; 2 more schools won a bowl win in 2019.
Bad News: that still leaves 6 schools which have not won a bowl game in the last 5 years.

  • UVA, Syracuse, and Stanford all won their last bowl game in 2018.
  • NC State's last bowl victory was in 2017.
  • Miami hasn't won a bowl since 2016.
  • Poor old SMU hasn't won one since 2012.
Bottom Line: Several of these schools have played in - and lost - multiple bowl games since their last postseason victory. If you're going to accept an invitation to play in a bowl, might as well win it!
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2024 SportsMediaWatch TV Markets (RX; HM)

2024 SportsMediaWatch TV Markets


Special thanks to a reader who shared this 2024 SportsMediaWatch article, "Major pro and college sports teams ranked by market size". This table credits teams which have a significant portion of the local fanbase in every major U.S. city (ACC schools in light blue):

RankMarketHomes (000)NBANFLNCAA “Power” ConferencesMLBNHL
1New York City7,595Knicks, NetsGiants, JetsRutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse,
Seton Hall, UConn
Yankees, MetsRangers,
Devils, Islanders
2Los Angeles5,905Lakers, ClippersRams, ChargersUSC,
UCLA
Dodgers, AngelsKings,
Ducks
3Chicago3,649BullsBearsIllinois, DePaul, Northwestern,
Notre Dame
Cubs,
White Sox
Blackhawks
4Philadelphia3,17776ersEaglesPenn State,
Villanova
PhilliesFlyers
5Dallas
Ft. Worth
3,130MavericksCowboysSMU, TCU,
Texas
RangersStars
6Houston2,773RocketsTexansHoustonAstros
7Atlanta2,737HawksFalconsGeorgia,
Georgia Tech
Braves
8Boston2,606CelticsPatriotsBoston College,
UConn
Red SoxBruins
9Washington D.C.2,578WizardsCommandersVirginia, Va Tech, Maryland,
Georgetown
NationalsCapitals
10SF-Oakland
San Jose
2,520Warriors49ersStanford,
Cal
Giants, A’sSharks
11Phoenix2,174SunsCardinalsArizona,
Arizona St
D’Backs
12Tampa
St. Petersburg
2,143BuccaneersFloridaRaysLightning
13Seattle-Tacoma2,071SeahawksWashington,
Washington St
MarinersKraken
14Detroit1,930PistonsLionsMichigan,
Michigan State
TigersRed Wings
15Minneapolis
St. Paul
1,862T’WolvesVikingsMinnesotaTwinsWild
16Orlando
Daytona
1,840MagicUCF,
Florida
17Denver1,787NuggetsBroncosColoradoRockiesAvalanche
18Miami-Ft. Lauderdale1,737HeatDolphinsMiamiMarlinsPanthers
19Cleveland
Akron
1,553CavaliersBrownsOhio StateGuardians
20Sacramento Stockton
Modesto
1,526Kings
21Charlotte1,362HornetsPanthersACC HQ
22Raleigh
Durham
1,333NC State, Duke,
Wake Forest,
North Carolina
Hurricanes
23Portland1,315Trail BlazersOregon,
Oregon St
24St. Louis1,285MissouriCardinalsBlues
25Indianapolis1,206PacersColtsIndiana,
Butler
26Nashville1,192TitansVanderbiltPredators
27Salt Lake City1,174JazzUtah, BYUNHL team
28Pittsburgh1,165SteelersPittsburgh,
West Virginia
PiratesPenguins
29Baltimore1,162RavensMarylandOrioles
30San Diego1,123Padres
31San Antonio1,081SpursTexas
32Hartford
New Haven
1,034UConn
33Columbus1,020Ohio StateBlue
Jackets
34Kansas City1,019ChiefsKansas,
Kansas St,
Missouri
Royals
35Austin1,001Texas
36Greenville
Spartanburg
951Clemson,
South Carolina
37Cincinnati940BengalsCincinnati,
Xavier
Reds
38Milwaukee932BucksPackersWisconsin,
Marquette
Brewers
40Las Vegas889RaidersGolden
Knights
41Jacksonville799JaguarsFlorida, FSU
46Greensboro
High Point
Winston-Salem
756NC State, Duke,
Wake Forest,
North Carolina
46Birmingham
Anniston Tuscaloosa
756Alabama, Auburn
47Oklahoma City737ThunderOklahoma,
Oklahoma St
48Louisville708Louisville
50Memphis673GrizzliesMississippi
51New Orleans672PelicansSaintsLSU
53Providence648Providence
54Buffalo641BillsSabres
56Richmond-Petersburg611Virginia
59Little Rock
Pine Bluff
588Arkansas
61Knoxville579Tennessee
62Tulsa557Oklahoma State
63Lexington515Kentucky
64Spokane500Washington State
65Tuscon498Arizona
67Des Moines
Ames
482Iowa, Iowa State
69Green Bay-Appleton476Packers
70Roanoke
Lynchburg
458Virginia Tech
71Omaha456Nebraska,
Creighton
74Columbia, SC443South Carolina
77Madison434Wisconsin
79Charleston-Huntington427West Virginia
83Waco412Baylor
87Syracuse389Syracuse
91Champaign Springfield
Decatur
373Illinois
95Baton Rouge357LSU
100South Bend329Notre Dame

...

Could ACC Get a SHOCKING NEW ESPN Deal & Hurt the Big 12? (youtube; podcast; Couz's Corner)


In this college football video about conference realignment, Couz focuses on the situation in the ACC with Florida State & Clemson suing to get out of the league. He talks about a recent report from @CFBAddiction that explained how the Atlantic Coast Conference may not only survive the exits of the Seminoles and Tigers, but may actually pull teams away from the Big 12 Conference due to a loophole - or in this case - a renegotiated contract with ESPN that could put the ACC in a better position than the Big 12. Would this cause teams like the Utah Utes, the West Virginia Mountaineers, or the UCF Knights to actually leave the Big 12 for the ACC? Couz gives his thoughts in the episode.

Big 12 Schools Would Rather Be in the ACC? More Speculation from Reporters (youtube; podcast; Kurtz)

More speculation - this time from ACC country - that there are Big 12 teams who would prefer to be in the ACC. Seems crazy, but it happened again. North Carolina seems to foreshadow leaving the ACC.

Brian Murphy: There are Some Schools in the Big 12 That Would Prefer to Be in the ACC | CFB (youtube; podcast; 365 Sports)

Brian Murphy-WRAL TV North Carolina joins 365 Sports to discuss his thoughts on the potential bill in North Carolina that forces UNC and NC State to play in state schools, his thoughts on if this bill will pass, his thoughts on the future of the ACC, and more.

Other

HLWC3YQYGBENTGOE24Q6OB7MCU.jpg
Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach (right, with headband) sits with publicist Fred Sternburg after Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Pacquiao in their welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sternburg, a Syracuse University graduate, is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota as part of the Class of 2024. (John Gurzinski/AFP via Getty Images) AFP via Getty Images

One man’s road from Syracuse University to the Boxing Hall of Fame (PS; $; Izenberg)

(Editor’s note: Jerry Izenberg, a 2016 inductee into in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, wrote this piece on 2024 inductee Fred Sternburg. Sternburg is a 1981 graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in political science and advertising. Sternburg will be inducted into the IBHOF on Sunday at the Turning Stone Resort.)-----

He graduated with a double major at Syracuse, dropped out of law school and wound up trying to sell real estate. This was an exercise in futility. As a salesman, he might as well been trying to sell ice to Eskimos in the winter. He was trapped on a treadmill to nowhere.

Then along came a co-worker named Donna Taaffe, who was married to a Sports Illustrated columnist who covered the media.

“He’s bright. He’s got talent. He is wasting his time here,” she told her husband. “We’ve got to get him out of here.”

Which is how he got his introduction to Charlie Brotman, Washington, D.C.’s hottest public relations guy. The hook was Fred Sternburg’s love of sports. That was in 1985.

“I want this job,” Sternburg told him.

“You fit right into my budget,” Brotman replied. “You can be an intern with no salary.”

“Thirteen years later, when I left,” Sternburg recalls, “I was a vice president with no salary.”

But he had learned the business, and Brotman sent him off with the caution to be accurate, to always tell the truth and to find the perfect pitch tailored to his client’s needs.

The man and the business turned into the perfect marriage. Sternburg, the perfect trailblazer as a publicist, will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., on Sunday.

How good is he?

The first time I met him was shortly before David Tua, a Samoan, challenged Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title in 2000.

“What do you know about Tua?” Sternburg asked.

"I know he has the biggest arms I ever saw."

Sternburg went off and did his research, called me back and said, “I saw those arms. Can you believe a guy built like that writes poetry? Ask him about that when you meet him next week.”

I did, and the tip on his poetry encouraged him to reveal a David Tua few had ever seen. Score one for Fred. It was then I knew that Sternburg knew what his job was all about.

He never steered me to a story I could refuse. That was because he had learned how to fit the guys he was pitching into reporters’ and columnists’ individual writing styles.

Take, for instance, Winky Wright, a junior middleweight that few writers knew about. He was a master boxer. That, in itself, was enough to make him a column. But Fred figured out that I would want to write about how his skills were his own worst enemy.

He told me that Dan Birmingham was his trainer and manager from the day that Wright first walked into the gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. They were together from that day until he retired 22 years later. He explained to me that he could not get a great pay day or a title shot until 1994.
...


I45M2YK6MZGQPPSGEV2UZTXOP4.jpg

Blues rocker Gary Clark Jr. performs at Beak & Skiff in Lafayette, Tuesday, June 4, 2024.Patrick McCarthy

Austin axeman Gary Clark Jr. defies genres in bold Beak and Skiff show (review) (PS; $; McCarthy)


Gary Clark Jr. showcased his mind-bending, genre-blending style in a groovy 130-minute performance Tuesday night at Beak and Skiff in Lafayette, kicking off the orchard’s summer concert series.

After an opening set from supporting act Mal Devisa, Clark launched into his show with a rousing rendition of the galloping “Maktub,” the lead track of his newest album, JPEG RAW. "Maktub” is an Arabic word meaning “it is written,” and the song evokes that unique sound of Saharan rockers like Tinariwen and Mdou Moctar. It was a fitting lead-in to “When My Train Pulls In” – the massive hit Clark was fated to perform at some point in the show.

Clark finished the nearly 10-minute jam with a walloping wah-wah solo. Playing one of your best-loved tracks at the beginning of the show is a brave move, but after joking with his audience, Clark maintained the high bar that his first two scorching songs set.

“Lafayette, I didn’t know this was what y’all doing out here,” Clark said. “We might mess around and be neighbors.”
...

‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ buys contents of closed Red Lobster in Upstate NY (PS; TNS)
The Red Lobster in Kingston was one of many that shuttered abruptly last month amid mass closures nationwide following the seafood chain’s bankruptcy filing on May 19.

But unlike many of those Red Lobsters, the entire contents of this particular Red Lobster have found a new home, at least temporarily: The TV studio of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

Late-night show host Oliver dedicated the last segment of Sunday’s episode to Red Lobster’s bankruptcy. He noted that after Red Lobster’s parent company closed dozens of restaurants, it began auctioning off equipment, including from the Kingston location.

Oliver concluded the episode with a surprise announcement: The show had won the auction to buy all the items from the Kingston Red Lobster, which were used to re-create the restaurant inside the show’s studio at the CBS Broadcast Center in midtown Manhattan.

The equipment and furniture were sold off as part of “the largest restaurant equipment auction ever,” which included items from more than 50 Red Lobsters across the U.S. The auctions ended on May 16 and were winner-take-all, meaning the highest bidder would walk away with the entire contents of the Red Lobster location they bid on, according to the restaurant liquidator TAGeX Brands’ website, which held the auction.

“The frustrating thing is it seems just about any random idiot could run a Red Lobster better than these companies have done, but there’s really only one way to put that to the test,” Oliver said in the episode. “We did participate in one (auction) for the contents of this Red Lobster in Kingston, New York, and we --- won everything inside it. We have no prior restaurant experience — that doesn’t seem to be disqualifying.”

The audience cheered as Oliver then walked from his desk to the recreated Red Lobster restaurant featuring the name “Red Lobster with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” in bright red neon lights.

“It’s a new concept in casual dining where we’re not looking to get rich off this — we very much won’t do that. Instead, what we do want to do is give people the single item that they want most from a Red Lobster, and that is the biscuits. They are the only thing that this location will sell. We’ll still have the inexplicable nautical-themed artwork and the lobster tank, but those lobsters are really only there so that they can watch you eat biscuits.”
...

Taste of Syracuse coming to Clinton Square this weekend video; WSYR Syracuse)

Taste of Syracuse coming to Clinton Square this weekend
 

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