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Syracuse Dome Upgrades–Nearby Football Stadiums & Capacity

With Syracuse University pondering renovations to the Dome that may or may not involve a season of sports requiring relocation, it is interesting to consider the closest football venues and capacity.  As someone who attended a “home game” off-campus (Ithaca against Boston College) while the Dome was being constructed, it is certainly possible for CNYers to attend such games.  In any event, here are the capacities/distances of the nearby stadiums in New York:

  • Ralph Wilson Stadium–the Buffalo Bills’ stadium in Orchard Park seats approximately 72,000 (71,870)–2.5 hours from Syracuse;
  • Yankee Stadium–the New York Yankees’ baseball field in the Bronx converts to football and seats approximately 50,000–4.1 hours from Syracuse;
  • Mitchie Stadium–Army’s stadium at West Point seats 40,000–3.5 hours from Syracuse
  • UB Stadium–Buffalo’s stadium in Amherst, NY seats approximately 30,000 (29,031)–2.3 hours from Syracuse
  • Schoellkopf Field–Cornell’s stadium in Ithaca, NY seats approximately 25,000 (25,597)–1.1 hours from Syracuse

Given Syracuse’s attendance issues, it would not be ridiculous to think that Schoellkopf field would be appropriate for home games involving an FCS opponent and an OOC opponent from the MAC.

Mitchie Field is seldom discussed because it is farther away than the Buffalo area, but it is closer to New York City, without actually having to get into the city.  Playing Wake Forest or a lesser tier OOC school might be a good way to get exposure to Syracuse fans living in the corridor from Albany down.

There is no real reason to use UB’s stadium, other than just having no choice.  For an extra 4,000 seats, doubling the distance from CNY negates same.

The pro stadiums have a lot of intrigue relative to big-name opponents.  While some talk of Syracuse playing Pitt in Buffalo, that would essentially invite Panthers’ fans to attend.  It is unclear why such a Pitt-friendly venue would be chosen.  Better to play Pitt at Yankee Stadium and Boston College in Ralph Wilson stadium to allow Syracuse to have the maximum edge.  Unless the pro stadiums will charge less for fans in the stadium, providing a financial incentive, these “home games” could quickly become “road games.”

One other option, of course, is to do a traveling season that includes exposure outside of New York and hits recruiting areas.  If Jim Harbaugh can set up spring break practices in Florida, is there any reason why Syracuse could not play a “home game” in the Beltway to get some exposure there?  Or even in the Carolinas?  If New Jersey can be a site for a “home game” against Notre Dame, it is not much more of a leap to have a few home games through the ACC’s borders to get further exposure.  Syracuse versus Wake Forest in Jacksonville in front of 15,000 fans might have more value than having 18,000 people show up at a New York stadium.  Heck, given some attendance at Miami games, the Hurricanes would probably be jealous to see Syracuse-Wake Forest pull in 15,000 fans… ha ha ha.

The Confidential would do something like this for 2017 (which has a trip to LSU and a home game against CMU, as well as home games against Wake Forest, BC, Clemson, and Pitt):

  • FCS opponent–Schoellkopf Field
  • MAC opponent: Central Michigan–Schoellkopf Field
  • Wake Forest: Florida venue–Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, or Miami
  • BC: Schoellkopf Field (need to exorcise the demons of that last loss in Ithaca)
  • Clemson–Ralph Wilson Stadium
  • Pitt–Yankee Stadium

It probably makes sense to use the construction year to schedule a road OOC game with the home game to follow.  For example, a road game against Army or U.B. in 2017, with a home game to follow in some other year would allow another New York game.  Games against Temple (Pennsylvania), Ohio MAC schools (Ohio), Florida G5 schools (Florida), and other G5 schools could provide exposure elsewhere in exchange for a future home game in the newly renovated Dome.

In any event, there are lot of options.  What would be your ideal blend of six home games if the Dome was shut down for a year for renovations?

 

 

The Top 44 Football Players in Syracuse Football History

The legend of the number 44 and Syracuse is well-known to any fan that watches an ESPN game featuring Syracuse.  If you need more, see here.  In any event, with 44 such a crucial number for Orange fans, it only stands to reason that all lists involving Syracuse should be the “Top 44.”  And so it is.  Here are the top 44 Syracuse Orange football players–based on their college, rather than professional, accomplishments:

  1. Ernie Davis–the sole Heisman Trophy winner at Syracuse and the first African-American to win the award, as well as the second legendary #44.  Oh, and he was part of the 1959 National Championship team.
  2. Jim Brown–almost a #1 based on his dominance and status as the first legendary #44.
  3. Floyd Little–the third of the trio of #44 backs that dominated the 1950’s and 1960’s, Floyd Little cements his status by being a constant contributor to the program decades later.
  4. Don McPherson–of all the QBs in Syracuse history, McPherson was the one that went 11-0-1 and had Syracuse finish in the top 5.  That had not happened since the top 3 were on the field and has not happened since (1987 to present).
  5. Tim Green–this local phenom helped restore Syracuse by deciding to stay home and wear the Orange.  The Syracuse defense under Coach Dick MacPherson was stout and it began with Green and company.  45.5 sacks is still atop the Syracuse list.
  6. Donovan McNabb–two BCS bowl appearances and four years at starting QB have McNabb way up the list.  Next to McPherson, Syracuse accomplished much under McNabb, including some HUGE wins.
  7. Joe Morris–the Syracuse leaderboard still has Joe Morris at #1…. above all the legendary #44’s and others.
  8. Marvin Graves–2nd in all-time passing yardage and led Syracuse to consecutive 10-2 seasons.  A very, very good QB that gets overshadowed by McPherson and McNabb.
  9. Marvin Harrison–while Art Monk had a notable pro career rivaling Harrison and played in less pass-happy times, one cannot deny Harrison’s numbers atop of the Syracuse record charts.
  10. Dwight Freeney–while Green was tough, Freeney’s speed is unlike anything ever seen before or after.  He could dominate games and did.
  11. Walter Reyes
  12. Larry Czonka
  13. Art Monk
  14. Markus Paul
  15. Dan Conley
  16. Ted Gregory
  17. Ryan Nassib
  18. Donovin Darius
  19. Darryl Johnston
  20. Kevin Abrams
  21. Bill Hurley
  22. Jim Collins
  23. Anthony Smith
  24. Alec Lemon
  25. Tommy Myers
  26. Arthur Jones
  27. Chandler Jones
  28. Rob Moore
  29. Shelby Hill
  30. Qadry Ismail
  31. Quinton Spotwood
  32. Jim Ridlon
  33. Keith Bullock
  34. John Mackey
  35. Scott Schewedes
  36. David Bavaro
  37. Rob Drummond
  38. Kevin Mitchell
  39. Tony Romano
  40. Jim Ringo
  41. Terry Wooden
  42. Kevin Johnson
  43. Joe Alexander
  44. Vic Hanson

Obviously, there are more than one way to list 44 players…. so what do you think?  Did we miss anyone deserving–especially old and recent… seemed like a bias towards the early Carrier Dome era (1980-2000)?  Could have spent additional hours on this–making sure nobody was missed.  How about the rankings?   Is your top 10 different?

 

Kudos to Syracuse Alums Helping Flint’s Water Crisis

Eric Devendorf had some great on-the-court moments as a Syracuse Orange, as well as some questionable off-the-court moments.  Most Syracuse fans “liked” Eric, but most opponents certainly did not.  There was nothing about Devendorf’s on-the-court persona that endeared himself to others.  But, Syracuse fan or otherwise, one has to be proud of what he (and other Syracuse alums) are doing to help Flint, Michigan, with its water crisis.

Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf is one of many former college basketball players to lend their names to a charity game to support Flint, Michigan.

Look, there is nothing particularly notable about playing in a basketball game.  That is what basketball players do.  But Devendorf is also promoting the game–making stops on sports radio and promoting the gofundme page.  For a guy with a questionable reputation, good for him.

Kudos to Mookie Jones for also agreeing to participate.  Frankly, kudos to ALL the former players who are donating their time and name (with ranges of value) to the cause.  Mateen Cleaves and the other Michigan “Flint-stones” will certainly be a big draw too.  Even Derrick Coleman and Mark Ingram (NFLer) will be participating.  Let’s hope that the event is a success.

Naturally, if you want to help or donate, the above gofundme page is a good start.

 

 

Roundtable of the Confidential’s ACC Correspondents: Week 12/13

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (Week 12) and the Week that will be (Week 13) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Tell us what you think below.

1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 12?

  • HHuntley (NC State): State put together an adequate performance this weekend. Not great, but not bad.
  • Kevin (Louisville): Most notable for UofL was holding PITT to only 3 second half points after helplessly coughing up 35 in the first half.
  • Alwin (North Carolina): The resiliency and clutch performance in OT, even though it was brought on by not taking care of the ball. Oh, and the defense seemingly carried the offense until the end there. That was new. 
  • Lenville (Louisville): The Cards experienced a complete breakdown in the 2nd quarter at Pittsburgh. That was easily the ugliest quarter that I ever remember them playing as the Panthers were overwhelmingly dominant, putting 35 points on the scoreboard. The Cards needed a QB change & a 49 yard TD bomb to pull back within 42-24 at the half.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): In a game that could have saved his job, Scott Shafer continued to be unduly risk averse, choosing a FG rather than going for the score on 4th and goal from the 1.  Later, down 21-3, he would go for a two-point conversion.  Not to be a hypocrite, but you have to know your football situation.  Why eschew an easy 1 point to take an offensive play from the 3 yard line (net possible gain of 1 point), when you did not try to get extra points on an offensive play from the 1 yard line (net possible gain of 4).  Plus, even if you fail on the 4th and 1, the other team STILL has to start from the line of scrimmage.  Instead, he again showed that he lacked confidence in his offense to score from the 1 and in his defense to take advantage of an opponent starting at the 1.  And in the end, the A.D. and fans lacked confidence in Shafer (who was fired).

2. What are you looking to see out of your school in Week 13?
  • HHuntley (NC State): This is the big one. A chance to spoil a nearly spotless season for the rival…doesn’t get much better than this. It would be typical NC State to win this game when it makes no sense at all.
  • Kevin (Louisville): This week I need to see a UofL team that can avoid long mental lapses and an offensive line that can create some resemblance of an average running game. Last, I want to see defensive backs who can prove they can actually tackle in space as they will get opportunities against Boom Williams and JoJo Kemp.
  • Alwin (North Carolina): I’m really looking for a complete effort in enemy territory. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be insane, and it’s going to be intense. We need to play our best game of the season Saturday for many reasons. 
  • Lenville (Louisville): Good effort & focus from start to finish. It’s the last game of the regular season & the Cards are still looking for a QB to step up & claim the position of full time starter. To prevent our in state rival from getting to 6 wins & bowl eligibility for the second straight year.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): As bad a head coach as Shafer turned out to be, he was still a very good defensive coordinator and helped bring Syracuse back to respectability.  He is also, by all accounts, a good man.  I hope that he has a nice send off at the Dome this week with a supportive crowd and a victory.

3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 12?

  • HHuntley (NC State): Boston College sure gave Notre Dame a scare. That’s the second time this season they’ve done this. If they were bowl eligible, they’d be scary.
  • Kevin (Louisville): I was most impressed this week by North Carolina. They held off a very stingy VA Tech team in their house who had nothing to lose and looking for an upset.
  • Alwin (North Carolina): Virginia Tech. I know that may be biased considering they pushed us to the brink in the beginning of the game it looked as if the emotion had been spent sending Coach Beamer off, but they never gave up. 
  • Lenville (Louisville):Pitts 2nd quarter performance against the Cardinals. The secondary was no match for Boyd & they took full advantage of it. The Cards were able to make some halftime adjustments & were able to make a comeback just to come up short.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Miami keeps on winning.  Is there any chance that their interim coach gets retained by the new staff?  Recall that Urban Meyer kept Luke Fickell at Ohio State.  It would not be unprecedented.

4. If the playoffs started today, who would you vote in?  Who do you think will be there at season’s end?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Clemson, Alabama, B1G champion, and Big 12 champion. Sorry Notre Dame, but getting a week off is going to cost you.
  • Kevin (Louisville):I think the following will be in……Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
  • Alwin (North Carolina): Clemson, Alabama, Iowa, and Oklahoma (for now)
  • Lenville (Louisville):Today I would have 1 Clemson, 2 Alabama, 3 Iowa & 4 Notre Dame. My prediction for the final rankings are 1 Clemson, 2 Alabama, 3 Oklahoma & 4 Michigan State. Notre Dame could still be a factor in the final poll with a victory over Stanford.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Season ends today & season’s end: 1. Clemson, 2. Alabama, 3. Notre Dame; 4. Iowa.  By season’s end: 1. Alabama; 2. Clemson, 3. B1G Champion; 4. Notre Dame.  If so, the Big XII would be left out again.  Maybe time to go to 12 teams???

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 10/11

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (Week 19) and the Week that will be (Week 11) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Tell us what you think below.

1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 10?

  • HHuntley (NC State): This was really an encouraging win. It was the first game without either of the top 2 running backs, and the running game survived. Defense rebounded nicely from the week before.11
  • Lenville (Louisville): The Cards turned in their first complete game & got above .500 for the first time this season. The offense racked over 500 yards through the air & on the ground while the defense held Syracuse to 17 points. The Cards opponents have now committed over 50 turnovers in the last 22 games.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): That the Syracuse defense continues to be unable to do ANYTHING well.  It is like a chess game between a grand master and a novice.  Another QB coming off the bench to have a career day. 

2. What are you looking to see out of your school in Week 11?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Oh boy, not really for this one. NC State hasn’t had great luck playing in Tallahassee recently, and FSU is going to be coming off a tough loss against Clemson. I guess I’m looking to keep it close…
  • Lenville (Louisville): Will Bolin remain as the starter at quarterback & can the Cards put together another complete game. The Cardinals lost at Virginia last season & will look to get their first victory against their cross division rival to become bowl eligible.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): This week’s game will have little to do with Scott Shafer’s tenure.   If he wins the last two games, he will likely be back in 2016.  However, will the team respond with the type of performance that they had against LSU?   Will Shafer play to win, rather than his usual “play not to lose”?  I thought he turned the corner with the LSU game and had finally realized this.  Instead, he has regressed miserably.  If the game is still a game after halftime, that will be a baby step.

3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 10?

  • HHuntley (NC State): UNC looked better than ever in a dominant win over Duke. Does this say more about UNC or Duke? I’m temped to say it’s how good UNC can be, but both teams have had a rollercoaster of a year.
  • Lenville (Louisville): North Carolina is looking good & put together another dominant performance. FSU also gave Clemson a better game than what I was expecting.
  • Commander (Syracuse): How about Miami getting to bowl eligibility?  The ACC could benefit with UNC beating Miami this week, but Miami could win out and have a 10-3 season with a bowl victory.  The loss to Cincinnati stings more than the loss to Clemson.  That is the type of game that Miami HAS TO win 100% of the time.  In any event, if Miami can finish by winning 2 of its last 3, that would make it an 8-4 team heading into the bowls.

4. If the playoffs started today, who would you vote in?  Who do you think will be there at season’s end?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Chaos reigned supreme this week atop the polls, so my vote right now would be: Clemson, Ohio State, the Big 12 winner, and Notre Dame. I would choose Notre Dame over Alabama because Notre Dame has a better loss right now than Alabama.
  • Lenville (Louisville): 1 Clemson 2 Ohio St 3 Alabama 4 Oklahoma St. The Buckeyes have a chance to jump Clemson for the top spot with Michigan St & other quality opponents coming up on their schedule, including a possibly undefeated Iowa team in the B1G championship game. Oklahoma St should be in after their dominating performance against TCU. Alabama is looking like the best team in the country since their loss but they shouldn’t be any higher than #3, they have quality wins that other undefeated teams just don’t have. I would put Notre Dame, Baylor & Stanford as the next three.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Season ends today & season’s end: 1. Clemson, 2. Ohio State, 3. LSU, and 4. Baylor.   Alabama, Notre Dame, and Stanford are all in mix obviously.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 9/10

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (Week 9) and the Week that will be (Week 10) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Tell us what you think below.

1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 9?

  • HHuntley (NC State): All in all, I think NC State played well against Clemson. Without Matt Dayes in the second half, I think losing was inevitable. I’m proud of the effort and not really upset with the result.
  • Lenville (Louisville):The Cards won the turnover battle with 4 interceptions. The secondary displayed poor tackling technique but the front 7 played strong throughout the game. Young has emerged as a threat from this group. The offense found some success through the air while the ground game sputtered along.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): Florida State sat Cook and Golson, yet turned in one of their better performances offensively against an ACC foe.  What is notable is that Syracuse continues to be outmatched by ranked opponents under Scott Shafer.  Moreover, when the wheels fall off, they rarely get put back on.  That being said, there were a few Syracuse players that, despite their youth, belonged on that field with FSU.  The problem is that FSU’ young defense will mature along with Syracuse’s young offense.  Until Syracuse can field a FBS-level defense, Syracuse will not be able to win consistently.

2. What are you looking to see out of your school in Week 10?
  • HHuntley (NC State): NC State has never won when playing at Boston College. That’s a really bad streak that needs to be broken. Also, being bowl eligible wouldn’t hurt.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Still waiting for the offense to come alive. Can the defense contain Dungey? It will be nice to see Syracuse back in Papa Johns Cardinals Stadium.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): Louisville has struggled offensively, but will they find a way to dominate a Syracuse defense that has not stopped anyone other than Rhode Island?   Probably.  Will the Syracuse offense do more against a Louisville defense than other foes have?  Probably not.  But that is why they play the games.

3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 9?

  • HHuntley (NC State): In all the Miami/Duke chaos, I think Virginia’s win over GT was a big story. UVA really needed that win, but Georgia Tech couldn’t capitalize on the momentum.
  • Lenville (Louisville): There was plenty of controversy surrounding the finish of the Duke v Miami game but I was more surprised by Virginia getting the win over Georgia Tech. Beamer announcing his retirement at the end of the season also caught me by surprise. He is a living legend & among the all time greats, while it will be sad to see him go I believe it is time. Hopefully VT can find someone who will continue his legacy of excellence.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Jimbo Fisher.  Is there a coach at any elite-level program that carries himself with more class?  He sat Winston before the Clemson game last year.  Urban Meyer would have buried his head in the sand for a week.  Against Syracuse, Fisher played without Golson or Cook, but just went with it in stride.  The offense sputtered for two series, but then went to Plan B–attacking a weak Syracuse secondary.  Many coaching staffs would spend an entire half trying to establish the run or whatever their Plan A was.  Fisher and his staff adjusted quickly and dominated.  Then, after passing for 300 yards in the first half, Fisher took the air out of the ball to coach to a victory.  Despite losing to Georgia Tech, he did not run up the score.  When he went to his 3rd string QB for some first-game action, he allowed a few screen passes to let the kid get some passing experience… without running up the score.  Just a good, smart coach.

4. If the playoffs started today, who would you vote in?  Who do you think will be there at season’s end?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Ohio State, Baylor, Clemson, and LSU. I actually feel somewhat confident saying this could be my first accurate prediction.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Clemson, LSU, Michigan St & Baylor. Ohio St & TCU are right at the doorstep. Not much changed this week but next weekend will showcase some CFP showdowns like Clemson v FSU & LSU v Alabama. The committee will finally let their voices be heard starting this Tuesday.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Season ends today & season’s end: 1. LSU, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. TCU.  LSU and Clemson get tough matchups–lose and drop out–perhaps permanently.  Unfortunately for the ACC, a 12-1 FSU might be on the outside as well–a loss to Georgia Tech will do that.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 8/9

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (Week 8) and the Week that will be (Week 9) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Tell us what you think below.

1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 8?

  • HHuntley (NC State): Well we finally broke the streak of losing at Wake Forest. Moreover, it was refreshing to win a game like that. The past two weeks haven’t been great, but this one was nice.
  • Lenville (Louisville):Louisville fumbled twice setting up a BC TD & threw 2 interceptions, one in the end zone. BC also blocked a punt & returned it for a TD. The Cards lost the turnover battle 4-1, not including the blocked kick, & had only one offensive TD & yet still won 17-14. How? The Cards defense held BC to -14 yards rushing & just 79 total yards for the game. DT Rankins also returned the lone BC turnover, a fumble by the BC QB, 46 yards for a TD while hurdling a fallen OL along the way. BC picked up only 4 first downs for the game. It was a defensive slugfest in the rain at Papa Johns Cardinals Stadium.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): The Syracuse defense once again failing to stop an opponent from driving nearly the full length of the field.  The defense is bend and break right now, especially in crunch time.  It may be time to mix up the schemes somehow.   Syracuse demoted an Offensive Coordinator for less last year.

2. What are you looking to see out of your school in Week 9?
  • HHuntley (NC State): It’s a nationally televised game against a top 10 ACC team. That has all the makings of a improbable NC State upset. Really, there’s no bad outcome of this game. Either theyll lost really bad like they’re supposed to, or they’ll pull an amazing upset and become bowl eligible.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Improvement & some consistency from the Cards offense as they travel to Wake Forest this Friday night. Can the Cards defense smother WF like they did BC & keep up that intensity level?
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): FSU should win easily.  But don’t sleep on Syracuse and Shafer making a game out of it… or FSU may, like LSU, allow Syracuse to make a game out of it.  In the end, no matter the result, it will be interesting to see if Syracuse’s offense can move the ball against the superior athletes on FSU’s defense (who are similarly inexperienced).  If Syracuse can put up 20 or so points, then perhaps Syracuse will be able to move the ball against FSU as both units grow in experience over the next few years.

3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 7?

  • HHuntley (NC State): I think the Virginia schools showed us how competitive the Coastal really is. Two of the worst teams staying close with two of the best makes for a really fun year in the ACC.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Clemson destroying Miami on their field, giving the Canes their worst loss in their history while sealing Golden fate.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Florida State losing to Georgia Tech.  The Seminoles have flirted with upset defeats all too often during the past two years and it finally caught up.  Georgia Tech is reeling this year.  FSU was undefeated.  This is not the end of the world for FSU, but it does show a vulnerability that may turn the season into a single-digit win total.

4. If the playoffs started today, who would you vote in?  Who do you think will be there at season’s end?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Down goes Utah, and that makes the picture a little clearer. Give me the AP top 4 as it stands today: Ohio State, Baylor, Clemson, and LSU.
  • Lenville (Louisville): 1 Clemson 2 LSU 3 Michigan St 4 Baylor 5 Ohio St 6 TCU. In my opinion these are the best & most deserving teams today. With Utah loss the PAC should be on the outside looking in. There are some 1 loss powers waiting on the sideline (Alabama, Notre Dame & Stanford to name a few) should chaos rain supreme down the stretch. Should Clemson stumble I would put Notre Dame in at this point. My pick for the ACC CCG is Clemson vs North Carolina. The Heels are putting things together since their season opening loss to the Gamecocks.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Season ends today: 1. Ohio State; 2. Baylor; 3. Clemson; 4. LSU.  By season’s end, do not be surprised to see TCU beat Baylor at home and leapfrog them.  Meanwhile, one of Ohio State and Michigan State WILL lose when they play and Michigan/OSU should be interesting.  This may cost the Big 10 a spot ultimately.  If so, perhaps 2 Big XII or 2 SEC schools slide into the playoffs to fill the void.  The Pac-12 is in the worst position right now of the P5 conferences.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 7/8

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (Week 7) and the Week that will be (Week 8) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Tell us what you think below.

1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 7?

  • HHuntley (NC State): Bye Week…NC State didn’t lose, but teams above them did. It was a good week.
  • Lenville (Louisville):The passing game improved even against a good FSU defense. Jackson found Quick for 3 TD’s passes. Unfortunately the run game disappeared. This loss was on the D as they continuesly shot themselves in the foot with penalties & poor tackling which led to multiple big plays. 
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): The continuing narrative of Scott Shafer’s lack of courage, especially for a so-called “hard-nosed” coach.  Given the chance to go for 2 in the second overtime to win the game, he chose to kick the XP and force a third overtime even though: (1) his defense had not stopped Virginia in four consecutive drives, including two length of the field drives in regulation and a 40-yard drive in OT; (2) his offense had performed well in overtime; (3) his team would go first in OT3; (4) the opposing defense had a key LB–an already thin position–ejected for targeting, and gave up a TD in one play; (5) in light of #4 above, an option would have had more chance of success with an inexperienced LB substitution; and (6) in OT3, Syracuse would have HAD TO go for 2 on a TD anyway.  A complete lack of courage that, to me, is inexcusable.  3 years of playing not to lose has, well, led to losses.  Even if you fail, show your team that you have confidence in them and that you will take the responsibility for a loss (and off their shoulders).  

2. What are you looking to see out of your school in Week 8?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Quite simply…not to loose. NC State hasn’t won @ Wake Forest since 2001 and it would be great to break that streak.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Continued improvement. BC has a tough defense & their offense showed signs of life this past weekend. I want to see the Cards put a full game together, with rushing & passing from the offense & a full game from the defense. With their marquee games behind them they can grow their youth, try to make a bowl & build on next season.
  • Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): With FSU, Clemson, and Louisville looming, this is a must-win game for bowl-eligibility.  While not impossible to beat Louisville, NC State, and Boston College (who are 1-8 in conference play so far)… it is also very unlikely.  Frankly, it is just as likely that the team would lose to all three.  A win over a ranked Pitt would be the signature win for Scott Shafer at Syracuse (second only to perhaps Minnesota) and start to win back some of the fan base.  

3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 7?

  • HHuntley (NC State): Not sure what’s going on with Pitt, but they looked great this week in their win over Miami. Imagine the #CoastalChaos that would arise if they made it to Charlotte.
  • Lenville (Louisville): North Carolina beating Wake Forest 50-14. They are a team showing improvement every week & putting 50 up against a good WF D is a tough task. The Coastal maybe the toughest division in the ACC from top to bottom, take away FSU & Clemson and it is without a doubt.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Pitt, Duke, and UNC are two basketball schools and a school that has had more hoops success than football success recently.  But there they sit, undefeated in the Coastal.  Not Virginia Tech.  Not Georgia Tech.  Not Miami.  But a trio of essentially basketball schools.  Props to those athletic departments (well, except for UNC’s NCAA issues, of course).

4. If the playoffs started today, who would you vote in?  Who do you think will be there at season’s end?
  • HHuntley (NC State): Ohio State, Baylor, Utah, and Clemson. All the conference champions sans the SEC. LSU has a tough schedule ahead and might need to run the table to make the playoffs.
  • Lenville (Louisville): Today it would be 1 Utah, 2 LSU, 3 Clemson & 4 Michigan St. with Baylor, Ohio St, TCU & FSU in order. Alabama & Notre Dame are strong contenders among those with a loss. Ole Miss, who beat Bama, loss to Memphis may hold Bama back in the eyes of the CFP committee.
  • Commander (Syracuse): Right now?  Chalk–Ohio State, Baylor, LSU, and Utah.  By season’s end?  Baylor, Michigan State, LSU, and Clemson.  I like Baylor over  TCU and the field.  I also think that Utah is not quite ready to join the playoff mix.  MSU over Ohio State.  LSU over the SEC field.  And then Clemson getting the nod by beating a wounded South Carolina, a not-quite 2013 FSU, and the Coastal offering in the ACC Championship Game.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

Soft-Nosed Scott Shafer

MCaffrey summed it up… Scott Shafer is on the hot seat.  But that does not even do justice to the ineptitude that he is currently bringing to the Syracuse program.  Let’s just consider some of the ways–both with a focus on the Virginia debacle, the 2015 season, and his entire tenure.

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The Confidential’s Take on Syracuse’s Loss to USF

If you are a Syracuse fan, you know that Syracuse lost to South Florida yesterday, 45-24.  If you are not a Syracuse fan, you will look at the score, smirk, and realize that Syracuse is a long way from being nationally relevant.  This is not a knock on Syracuse necessarily, as Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and other decent programs are in the same boat this year.  Frankly, Miami has been in the same boat as long as Syracuse.  But, for Syracuse, the loss shows that it may be premature to ask for time off for a bowl game this year.  And here are the Confidential’s other thoughts on the game.

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