ESPN is reporting that Lane Kiffin was fired this morning upon the team’s arrival back in LA after the loss to Arizona State last night. While I tend to be sympathetic to anyone losing a job, Kiffin is not one to feel sorry for. This guy has no credibility from his demeanor and disastrous stints with the Raiders and the Vols. It is obvious that the scholarship reductions hurt him, but his attitude probably did him in. He milked his father’s connections and people were foolish enough to buy his sales pitches. This will obviously be a sought after job as Kiffin winds up being a QB coach on an NFL staff next year. While Bill O’Brien has been the role model at Penn St. for how to handle these situations, Kiffin has been the antithesis. ESPN called Kiffin the Miley Cyrus of coaching – great line.
On another front, Syracuse gets their first official ACC game on Saturday against Clemson – rough way to be welcomed into the conference – but great to start the schedule.
Today’s Syracuse-Penn State game is a huge transition game for the Syracuse program. Moving from Doug Marrone to Scott Shafer will hopefully signal moving forward and not backward. Since the game is being played in North Jersey it could have a major impact on both schools getting back into a key recruiting area. Penn State always had this area before Greg Schiano and Syracuse thrived in this area during the Paul Pasqualoni era. With Don Bosco Prep, Paramus Catholic, St Peter’s Prep, Bergen Catholic, and St Joseph Regional, just to name a few, all being within a 30 minute drive of MetLife Stadium a Syracuse win could help their recruiting profile in an area loaded with Division 1 players and just 4 hours from their campus. I think most assume Drew Allen will be named the starter just before game time. Syraucse fans should just hope the coach picks the guy who gives the team the best chance to win the game today. While I admit having an Oklahoma transfer QB gives the national media a reason to talk about the program, just getting the win with whoever is actually better will carry more clout in the long run. This is technically a Syracuse home game, but its going to be hard to out number the Penn State contingent in this area.
The muddled Syracuse QB race is down to Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen and redshirt sophomore Terrel Hunt. Fifth Year Senior Charley Loeb has been relegated to the third spot now. Almost all fans expect Drew Allen to win the job but all accounts are that Hunt has been impressive. As fans, we can only want the better QB to actually win the job, but with the excitement of the move to the ACC, having an Oklahoma transfer become the starting QB would add some excitement to the program. With only 20 days to go before the Syracuse opener against Penn State, fans are anxiously awaiting a decision.
One minor news note that may evolve into something down the road is the transfer of QB Troy Green from UCF. Green is the son of Syracuse legend Tim Green. Green said his son will have more opportunity down the road at Syracuse to play than at UCF. Could be interesting next year.
Syracuse has received a verbal commitment from 4-star WR recruit KJ Williams according to Syracuse.com http://www.syracuse.com/orangefootball/index.ssf/2013/07/syracuse_football_recruiting_o_9.html
While a 4-star recruit may not be big news for most of the ACC, this certainly is a good sign for the Orange. Now I’m just hoping the verbal stays solid through signing day!
The new birthday of Syracuse Athletics has arrived! After a decade of uncertainty today is the day all Orange fans have been waiting for. It started out over a decade ago when the Orange were passed over for Virginia Tech. Today all is finally stable for Syracuse from a conference perspective for the first time since the first Swofford raid of the Big East. I always thought Syracuse was a perfect fit for the ACC and all Orange fans are thrilled to see this day arrive. Coming off a great overall athletic year, the Orange is ready for even better overall competition in all sports. Time to start scheduling road trips to new venues with old college friends and the kids. Today is truly a new beginning for Syracuse sports fans and current and future athletes.
I realize track/cross country are not on the radar sports for most but track is a sport that makes the ACC as strong as it is. It looks like Duke will have a chance to pick up some Capital One points next year in Women’s Track & Field. This year Duke finished tied for 4th at the ACC Championship meet and didn’t make much noise at the NCAA Championships. Yet it seems that Duke was the leading pick for the top high school distance runners in the country this year. Three of the top four girls in the country have elected to attend Duke. The Meier sisters from Michigan, Hannah and Haley, and Wesley Frazier of North Carolina. This weekend at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals held at NC A&T Wesley Frazier won three national championships (5K, 1 mile, and 2 mile). These three recruits alone could push Duke to great success in the next four years. Maybe even compete with Oregon at the distance events.
Trying to catch up on a few things after the fine Syracuse run through the NCAA lax tournament. Getting crushed at the faceoff x was bound to catch up. This Syracuse team overachieved all season and almost pulled off another National Championship.
As much as I fear the worst for the Orange come the NCAA hoops tournament, the opposite is true for lacrosse. For the first time since 2009 Syracuse returns to the Final Four on Memorial Day weekend. This holiday has essentially been a Syracuse holiday. With the growth of lacrosse across the country and schools adding it, the Orange can’t expect to dominate like it used to, so it’s nice to still be at the front of the pack. The Orange advanced with another one goal victory over Yale yesterday to save the senior class from not having been to a Final Four.
It doesn’t quite have the same following as the basketball tournament, but for diehards of lacrosse, this is just as important. Here is the bracket from Inside Lacrosse: http://insidelacrosse.com/sites/default/files/2013_DI_Bracket.pdf.
Five future or current ACC teams made the 16 team tournament with future members Syracuse and Notre Dame # 1 and # 2 respectively. Syracues has had an outstanding week and a half with two defeats of former # 1 Notre Dame and then avenged an earlier loss to Villanova to win the Big East title in their last year in the conference.
The big news was Johns Hopkins missing the tournament for the first time in ages. The ESPNU hosts noted that there are several teams that can win this tournament. Although the Orange are hot, it is not a typical dominating Orange team and the tournament is literally up for grabs. Syracuse opens with 8-10 Bryant who happens to dominate at the x, which has been a Syracuse weak spot most of the season. Notre Dame should not have a problem with Detroit, but the other games involving ACC teams should all be great games. ESPNU or ESPN2 will cover all the games. The higher seed is hosting the first round games with the Quarterfinals at either Maryland or Indianapolis the week of the following weekend. The Final Four is in Philadelphia Memorial Day weekend. Having almost 1/3 of the teams in the tournament bodes well for the future of ACC lacrosse.
The fall of Ryan Nassib is quite surprising based on all the post season hype and Doug Marrone’s departure to Buffalo. I think most Orange followers, if asked where you think Nassib might go during the season, would have probably said somewhere in the middle rounds. It wasn’t until afterwards that his stock shot up, mostly due to the intangibiles. It seemed almost too obvious that Dougie would pick the QB that got him the Bills job. This is just another reminder about things being strictly business. Marrone showed business first acument when ditching his dream job at his alma mater. Skipping the QB who helped him seems like a locial next step for Marrone. I think Nassib will be better off somewhere where he is not directly linked to Marrone anyway and it will be better for him in the long run. Here’s hoping he gets the call early this morning from KC, Philly, or Jax – all places he will have a chance to compete right away.
I will be at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium (Giants Stadium). Cornell and Princeton face off first and then future ACC opponents #1 Notre Dame vs. #7 Syracuse at 6:30 p.m. The Orange have had multiple close games all season and the outcome will have an impact on the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. Obviously more at stake today for the Orange and the hope is the goaltending situation stabilizes as the postseason begins. Should be a great evening of lacrosse capped by a great Big East/future ACC matchup.