The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “Syracuse Orange”

Scott Shafer squarely on the Hot Seat

Halfway through a season that some called a “job saving” year for Shafer because of the advantageous scheduling, and following yet another disappointing loss to a team that had 1 win prior to their match-up against SU, Scott Shafer is deservedly sitting on the hot seat; something that I’m sure Bud Poliquin will soon be eagerly writing about (since he is the Tina Belcher of sports commentary and writing about butts is kind of his thing).

Yes, the officiating against UVA was abysmal (and may have set a precedent to redefine the term “forward pass”) but Shafer’s poor clock management down the stretch, Chuck Bullough’s bend-and-then-break Defense did everything to keep UVA in the game, and Lester’s questionable calls early in the game cost Syracuse a chance for victory in a “winnable” game and made the chances of going bowling much, much harder and the InstaSnapTwitBook folks are not happy.

With new AD Mark Coyle on the job and ostensibly evaluating everything, I can only imagine that Coyle is making contingency plans for a coaching replacement in December should the season fail to result in a Bowl game.  Read more…

Syracuse Football Attendance – Needs Moar Fan(nie)s

For now, the Syracuse Orange sits atop the ACC football standings (2-0 overall, 1-0 in conference play), but based on the attendance at the Dome during yesterday’s victory over Wake Forest you would think that the Greg Robinson and Frank Maloney teamed up to coach this year’s team. Not surprisingly, Bud Poliquin was quick to point out that there was “a lack of fannies in the seats” as a mere 26.5k fans trudged-up to the dome to watch the game. To put that in context, last January approximately 23.5k fans took over half of the dome to watch the Syracuse basketball team (sans McCullough) defeat Wake Forest – and that basketball attendance number was without the benefit of free tickets to the frosh students.  Read more…

Orange You Glad: Famous 44’s that (thankfully) never were

There has been a lot of chatter over the past few weeks about the grass roots efforts by Syracuse fans to “Restore 44” with the hope that a new AD may turn around what they view as the terrible decision to retire the famous jersey number.

Growing-up in Syracuse during the 80’s and 90’s, the son (and grandson) of die-hard Syracuse fans, I have a deep understanding and appreciation for what Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little did for the football program, and in the case of Brown and Davis, what they did to advance Civil Rights in this country. I also vividly recall the excitement over the local radio programs when NY product, Rob Konrad, chose Syracuse over Notre Dame, in large part because of his ability to wear #44. I also remember when Konrad’s bar, (44’s) opened on Marshall Street and quickly became infamous for underage drinking and rowdy crowds. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to associate with the legendary #44.

So, I had no issues when Dr. Gross became the new Athletic Director at Syracuse and decided to honor the history and legacy of the jersey, and those who wore it, by retiring it in perpetuity. In fact, I applaud the decision because of how much more respect players have for the number, and the preservation of its iconic status.

I’ve been on record many, many times over at the various blogs and message boards saying that the idea to unretire #44 is a very dangerous one, especially since they see it as a recruiting gimmick to land one player in particular.

However I am very much on board with the idea re-popularized by Brent Axe to return the number to the playing field only if there is a player that is absolutely worthy of wearing it, that has earned the respect of the coaches, administration, community, and has transcended college football. These are incredibly high expectations and large shoes to fill, but that would only make it that much more meaningful if/when a day comes that a player can earn the right to wear the number.

I have nothing against Robert Washington, a high profile recruit that has Syracuse as one of his top schools, and appreciate that he holds the Syracuse’s football history in such high regards (courtesy of the movie the Express). I hope that he comes to Syracuse, I hope that he is the player we all expect him to be, and I hope that one day he’ll be able to earn the number 44. But with all due respect to those who want to use this jersey number as a recruiting gimmick, we’ve seen this act before and the idea of handing over what has become an iconic number to an untested and (as of yet) undeserving recruit/player seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Imagine how the legacy of the #44 and those that wore it, could have been irreparably damaged if some of these former Syracuse athletes had worn the number 44: Read more…

Syracuse’s Chris McCullough Declares for the NBA: Twitter Reacts – UPDATED

Syracuse freshman Chris McCullough has announced his decision to declare for the draft. Five months ago that would not have surprised anyone, but given his season-ending ACL tear, many optimistic ‘Cuse fans thought that he would return for some Unfinished Business and help to anchor a formidable front-court.
McCullough certainly has the size/skillset that NBA teams value, but because of his injury and shortened-season at Syracuse (plus his limitations for when he could return in December) many see this decision as risky at best. His draft stock is projected anywhere in the late 1st round to early 2nd round, whereas staying in college for another year and improving his game could have him finish in the Lottery next year. Unfortunately for McCullough, the NCAA’s rules are prohibitive for allowing 18/19-year olds to make life-changing decisions, but that is an argument for another day.
There was much ado on the interwebs as people used this opportunity to voice their displeasure on Twitter, causing a mini-debate on whether this is acceptable behavior.

Read more…

Predicting the Orange

The football season will kick-off one week from today for the Syracuse Orange.  And that means that for beat writers and bloggers around the country, it’s PREDICTION TIME!  While there is reason for optimism in Syracuse (perhaps too much optimism among Syracuse fans/bloggers), the Confidential already analyzed Syracuse’s schedule, pointing out the likely wins, likely losses, and toss-ups and generally determined that this is a very unpredictable season. Syracuse’s floor is about 5 wins, while the ceiling is likely around 8 wins.

Here is what we know:  Read more…


It is only the 5th time in the 81 game history between Syracuse and Villanova that they will meet as non conference opponents. We all know the obvious storylines: Both teams are undefeated at 11-0. It is their 1st meeting in more 30 years that they both are not members of the Big East Conference. It is nationally televised on CBS at 2pm. It is the 3rd time in 5 seasons that both squads will meet when each is ranked in the top 10.
Here is what some of you may not know about the match up. Tyler Ennis will not be the only Ennis on the floor today. Villanova has an Ennis of their own. Dylan Ennis, the older brother of Tyler, is a member of the Villanova squad. A 6’2″, 192 lb. guard, Dylan is a transfer from Rice University. Although he is not the impact player that Tyler is, they both post surprisingly similar numbers:

FG%        3PT FG%       PTS./GAME         MIN./GAME
Tyler Ennis                                .421          .435                     12.1                         21.4
Dylan Ennis                               .405          .385                     9.1                          31.5

Let’s hope that this family rivalry will serve as motivation for Tyler. This is the 1st game in a week for the Orange and kicks off a span of 4 games in the next 11 days. Let’s not forget that last season Villanova won 75-71.Oh yeah,and what about the crowd? As of Friday at noon, ticket sales surpassed the 26,414 sold for the Indiana game, but had not reached 30,000 yet. If sales reach 30,000, it will mark the first 30,000 plus game in the months of November and December since 1990, when Syracuse was ranked #1 and they played Temple, who was ranked #16 at the time.

ACC Bowl Picture: A case for 11 teams

With 3 weeks remaining in the regular season, the ACC bowl picture is starting to take shape. Six teams have already secured their positions in post season (Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Georgia Tech).

Unfortunately for some, their hopes of post season play are gone (Virginia), while North Carolina St. and Wake Forest are not eliminated but have uphill challenges to get to eligibility.

For the rest of the conference however, there is still a lot of promise. In fact, depending on how things shake out down the stretch, the ACC could potentially send 11 teams Bowl Games.
Read more…

Crazy Court Designs

The rage in college sports lately has been the one-up-manship in ugly uniforms, fields, and courts. Attention-seeking Athletic Directors and corporations are more than willing to put their stamp on college athletics in order to drive more business or exposure for their respective products. The Confidential believes its only a matter of time before teams in the ACC get behind this trend as well, so here are some suggestions for ACC team home courts that we would like to see: Read more…

L-ACC-rosse: Duke Blue Devils 2013 Champions!

Duke After quickly trailing 5-0 and being held scoreless in the first quarter, the #7 Duke Blue Devils gave the ACC another championship in lacrosse by thoroughly dismantling the #1 seeded Syracuse Orange in a 16-10 romp on Memorial Day. It’s the Second Championship in Duke’s history and could be the first of many for years to come.

The game’s Most Outstanding Player was the ACC Defensive Player of the year, Brendon Fowler, who despite some early violations, dominated the face-offs all afternoon (20 face-off wins), and gave Duke a huge offensive advantage. Read more…

Syracuse Orange: Comeback Kids beat Denver, Duke awaits

Go ahead, call it a comeback. For the second consecutive week, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team needed last minute heroics to overcome certain defeat against Yale and Denver, respectively. With their 9-8 win over the Denver Pioneers, the Orange will square off against future conference-mate, Duke, in the NCAA Division I Championship game on Monday. Yet for over 55 minutes on Saturday, it seemed that Denver fans’ Rocky Mountain High would continue on, instead it all came crashing down. Read more…

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