Archive for the ‘Syracuse’ Category

The Syracuse Hangover

November 24, 2008
This will not be a long post. This will not contain a lot of insight or analysis of the game. (Not like these ever do anyways). Other people have done the work for me. The links are as follows:

As you can see, this week is not about the Syracuse game when it comes to the X’s and O’s. It isn’t about U$C- yet. It’s about Charlie Weis. The doubters are out and the haters are in an orgy of Weis slamming.

I’m fence sitting. Why? Because I will stick to my guns and state that Weis will be back in 2009. Do I think it’s the right decision. Not really, but Notre Dame has been handcuffed since Kevin White gave Weis that huge contract extension.

This season is tremendously close to resembling the 2004 season that buried Ty Willingham. In that season a sophomore Brady Quinn took the team to a 6-5 regular season and lost to Oregon State in the Insight Bowl. Remember what happened in 2005? Can the Fighting Irish get that fight back in them for two more games this season? Probably not. The team is emotionally flat, and after a loss like this, how do they combat the Trojans?

I have many opinions about Weis, this years team, and the future of the program. But those opinions are a smorgasbord of a fucked up mess in my head. I can’t explain it. I want to, but I just can’t do right now.

I’m not sure this is a hangover post, I sound like I’m still drunk. I’m good with lists. I’ll go make one and get back to you soon. (Jesus, this post was awful)

This guy just beat Notre Dame. Greggers.

Syracuse. November 22, 2008

November 21, 2008

Welcome to the Anti-Preview for Syracuse. The Fighting Irish are finally bowl eligible after surviving a 27-21 game against the Naval Academy. The Irish won the game, but paid a price as two key members of the team were injured and will not be able to play the last two games of the season. Of course, those two players are Brian Smith and Michael Floyd. They will be missed for sure, but hopefully their absence will allow a couple of other players to rise to the occasion and better prepare themselves for the 2009 season.

This will also be the last home game of the 2008 season. The Fighting Irish are looking to close it out with a bang and create some kind of momentum heading into the game at Southern Cal.

Syracuse. The Orange come to South Bend with a 2-8 record with wins over 1-AA Northeastern and Louisville. They are giving up 33.9 points a game and are allowing over 200 yards passing and over 200 yards rushing a game as well. On offense they are just as dreary. They are scoring 18.3 points a game and look awful doing it. Their lone bright spot on the offensive side has been the play of senior running back Curtis Brinkley who has 1060 yards and 6 touchdowns, and perhaps an even better stat than the 1000+ yards this season, is his 5.2 yards per carry.

It’s going to be hard to gauge the type of emotions that the Orange players will be having knowing that their Head Coach has already been fired, but I think it is safe to say that I expect them to come out as fired up and ready to play Notre Dame as most teams that come to South Bend are at any other point. Weis may be right. Syracuse will probably play very, very loose- but will it be enough to overcome the rest of their shortcomings?

What should you be drinking? In spirit of our opponent, I give you Blue Moon Pale Ale. I normally despise people putting fruit in their beer. I just don’t understand the meaning of putting a lime in a Corona, other than to hide the taste of an awful beer, and I suggest you try Tecate anyways. Lot’s better. But I digress. However, a slice of orange is not out of the question with a glass or bottle of Blue Moon. The peel may accentuate the already present orange spice found in this beer as noted by The Beer Snob:

Blue Moon is a Belgian-style white beer. The beer poured to a cloudy
orange-copper color. The cloudiness comes from the unfiltered nature of this
ale. The color can only be called extremely appropriate, as I smelled orange
before my nose even neared the glass.

If you are looking for another drink that isn’t classified as a beer, but want to keep your dignity as an alcoholic and are willing to keep the orange theme, I suggest you mix Sunkist with your favorite brand of gin. Might I recommend that you just use Tanqueray. The great thing about gin is its ability to knock you off your rocker while minimizing the effects of a hangover because of the detoxifying agents found in the liquor.

What should you be eating? This may take some time, but if you are an early riser on gameday- or if you have nothing to do on Friday, try roasting a hog. Seriously. This kind of keeps with the orange/Hawaiian theme that we have going into this game. Kind of, but honestly, pig is good. I’ll eat that hog from the rooter to the tooter. Some very easy steps to roasting a hog can be found here. However I am also supplying you with this video, and this video if you have a day and a half of nothing else to do:

What should you be wearing? Still keeping the spirit of a certain visitor to Notre Dame this weekend in mind, wear a freaking lei. In fact, if you have a Hawaiian shirt or even a grass skirt- wear those too. It takes a real man to wear a grass skirt in 30 degree weather. Maybe you’ll attract this kind girl…

What freshman will have the biggest impact? Robert Blanton. Why Blanton? Because he is going to start over 5th year senior Terrail Lambert. Lambert is hurt with a bad ankle that kept him out of the game against Navy and more than likely it will sideline him as well for Syracuse. Blanton has passed Gary Gray on the depth chart and if Lambert wasn’t a 5th year senior, Blanton would have been starting about 4 games ago. He plays with an absolute cockiness and swagger that is worthy of wearing the #12 jersey (Ricky Watters). He also has a throwback mentality to playing the game that is not seen in most players in college football, and almost zero when it comes to defensive backs and corners in general. Against a far inferior opponent, Blanton could have a great game with solid tackling and an INT or two. This kid is well on his way to becoming a difference maker for 2009.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Duval Kamara. With the loss of Michael Floyd and a certainty that Golden Tate will be double if not triple covered for most of the game, Duval Kamara has the chance to redeem himself for what has been a disappointing season in regards to his play, after a great season last year as a freshman. Kamara only has 15 receptions for 164 yards and 1 touchdown this year. With a great freshman class of WR’s coming in next year to go along with all of our current wide receivers minus David Grimes, Kamara has to prove that he is still a dynamic player if he wants to hold of guys like John Goodman, Deion Walker, Shaq Evans, and others for significant playing time in 2009. This is his time to shine. He will certainly get the chance this week and next week against U$C. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Kamara will get 50% of his production thus far this year on Saturday. 7 grabs for about 80 yards and a TD. Calling the bank shot here.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Maurice Crum. You thought I was going to go with Toryan Smith, didn’t you? Maybe next week. This week it is going to be all about the 5th year senior that has been a 4 year starter, two-time captain, and leader of a very improved defense. With every tackle, Crum is closing in on becoming one of the top tacklers in Notre Dame history. Crum is often criticized heavily by a lot of fans, but what some people fail to realize is that he has been playing out of position for three years. Crum has been, and still is, more of an outside linebacker in stature and in skill. But, he brings everything he has on gameday and it would be hard to find anyone on the team that plays as hard as what Mo Crum does. Going against a poor team that does one thing decent, in rushing the ball, I think Crum will have a tremendous game in terms of tackles and in terms of keeping the emotions pumping throughout the defense. Saturday will be an emotional day for Crum, and I think he, we, and the team needs and will get a great game from him.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Golden Tate. People are waiting. Waiting for Tate to have the type of game returning kicks that make good players, great players. The way to do that is easy, yet so very difficult. He has to take one to the house, and the the other returns have to look as though they will even if they only go 30 or 40 yards. I think Tate can do it, I’m just not sure if he will. He needs help and the blocking has been less than stellar and he should have one if it wasn’t for an error in judgement by Leonard Gordon against Boston College. Could this be the game that the Golden legend redefines itself? Could it?

For the final time. This will be the final home game for a number of seniors and 5th year seniors. Those players are:

  • David Grimes WR #11
  • Mike Turkovich LT #77
  • Justin Brown DE #94
  • Pat Kuntz DE/NT #96
  • Maurice Crum LB #40
  • Steve Quinn LB #48
  • Terrail Lambert CB #20
  • Ray Herring S #6
  • David Bruton S #27

It could also be the last game for a few seniors that have another year of eligibility left. A couple of these guys may return for a fifth year, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. At Notre Dame, a player that seeks a 5th year must have graduated and be accepted into a graduate program at Notre Dame. Those players are:

  • Kyle McCarthy S #28 (The most likely to return)
  • Kevin Washington LB #42
  • Scott Smith LB #41
  • Asaph Schwaap FB #44
  • Evan Sharpley QB #13

This will be an emotional game for ALL of these players and those senior walk-ons such as Mike “The Dictator” Anello. If you are going to the game, be sure to stick around for the final salute to these Loyal Sons of Notre Dame. They have ALL earned it from Notre Dame’s alumni, subway alumni, and students. Love Thee Notre Dame!

So who’s going to win? This could be a defining game for the Irish. It sounds funny, I know. But, with a lot of chatter on the message boards and the media about the shortcomings of this team when it comes to putting teams away, the Irish need to pound this Syracuse team into orange juice. Syracuse has been a little “pesky” (a term used well by Dome & Domer) for a few teams this season in the first half of the games. Notre Dame needs none of that, and won’t have it all. IRISH 48-13. Weis finally takes a team and has them destroy an opponent for 4 quarters, while allowing all the seniors to get some playing time at the end of the game.

(Irish Illustrated’s McStug)

Orange Journalism

November 19, 2008

Michael Rothstein is a Syracuse grad? Huh.

I saw that on TNIAAM, but the video wasn’t working.

Orange Magic, An Interview

November 19, 2008

Earlier this week, I was contacted by the dominant Syracuse blog “Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.” He was looking for a little Q&A, and I was more than willing to oblige. Here are my questions for Sean and the answers are provided as well. Cool how that works, huh.

I have always considered Sean to be an even minded individual and have enjoyed his posts. There is a couple of things that I find out about Sean in this interview that validate my opinions. Try and find out what those 2 things are.

You were hoping for an International Bowl bid earlier this year. What went wrong?

Greg Robinson happened.

I’ll be the first to admit my International Bowl hopes were facetious at best. I don’t think anyone was predicting this team would win more than three games. And it looks like we were right.

Forget about the fact that Greg Robinson has been prominently involved or that our defense has been instructed to tackle by using the “ole” technique. Look at our schedule. You’ve got Northwestern (8-3), Akron (5-5), Penn State (10-1), Northeastern (1-AA), Pitt (7-2), West Virginia (6-3), USF (6-4), Louisville (5-5), Rutgers (5-5), UConn (7-3). Not a losing record among them (aside from Northeastern, which doesn’t count). And now we get a 6-4 Notre Dame and then a 8-2 Cincy, both on the road. It’s not the hardest schedule in the country but it’s up there.

But believe me, that’s not the reason we’re terrible, that’s just part of the issue. Even a mediocre team could be 5-5 with that schedule. Hence, Greg Robinson is no more.

Who are your best offensive and defensive players? What/who should ND be afraid of?

If he’s firing on all cylinders, beware of Curtis Brinkley. The Orange started the season with a whole slew of running backs competing for the starting job. By the end of the first game it was clear Curtis was our guy and we’ve been riding him ever since (no homo). Curtis passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week, a season that includes six 100-yard games. He hasn’t broken that barrier in two games (94 last week) so he’s due.

Our passing attack has been abysmal the last few weeks so even though we have some talented receivers on the field, don’t worry about them. Greg Robinson is being coy about who he’s going to start at QB, last year’s starter Andrew Robinson or this year’s starter Cam Dantley. Neither have been particularly impressive lately so…whatever.

Defensively, DL Arthur Jones is the main man and his partner Nick Santiago is no slouch either. They have 5.5 of SU’s 9 sacks this season and you expect them to put pressure on Clausen all day.

How do you expect the team to react in terms of on-field performance after the news of Robinson being fired? Should he still be coaching these last two games or do you wish that they would have gone with an interim coach?

Regardless of the results, I’ve always been under the impression that the team likes Greggers. He is, if nothing else, a really nice guy. And what he lacks in coaching ability he makes up for in being a good person. And the players seem to appreciate that. I think they will keep the intensity level high and try to win one for Greg before he goes.

That said, they’re still the same team so…try as they might I don’t know if that’s possible.

I have no problem with him coaching the last two games at this point. What’s the harm? I would have rather they fired Robinson after the Pitt game. We had a bye week afterwards and it would have been perfect timing to install an interim coach (OC Mitch Browning probably) and try something different. It certainly couldn’t have ended up much worse and who knows, maybe Mitch could have found a formula that Robinson couldn’t. We’ll never know.

What is the biggest misconception of Syracuse football besides the fact that Ernie Davis never wore Nike’s?

That we’ve been bad for a really long time. I always get the sense that college football fans in general think that Syracuse has been a mediocre-to-bad program for a long, long time and that’s just not the case. We had a 10-win season as recently as 2001. We went to an Orange Bowl in ’98 and a Fiesta Bowl in ’96. We’ve had a ton of NFL talent walk through the doors in the last decade (Donovan McNabb, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Donovin Darius, Will Allen, David Tyree).

I also can’t stand it when people say that Syracuse will never be good again. How short-sighted and dumb do you have to be. I mean, have you followed college football at all in the last thirty years? Programs rise, programs fall, players come and go. Nothing is constant. Look at Northwestern. Look at Kansas. Look at Minnesota (1-11 last year, 7-4 this year). All any program needs is a good coach and a couple good recruiting classes and they can compete. It’s so much simpler than we make it out to be sometimes.

What are your personal feelings towards Notre Dame in terms of conference affiliation, scheduling, BCS deal, etc.?

I should probably note at this point that in a former life I was a Notre Dame fan. I grew up an extremely passionate Irish fan from the 1987 Tim Brown/Cotton Bowl season to around the end of the Lou Holtz Era. By the time I got to Syracuse I dropped the Irish and haven’t looked back since.

My claim to ND fame is that I attended the #1 FSU vs. #2 Notre Dame game in ’93. Still the best sporting event I’ve ever been to in my life. Went on the field after the game, walked out the tunnel as a sea of stone-faced Florida State fans sat in stunned silence. Amazing experience.

Do I think Notre Dame should just up and join a conference already? Absolutely. But I also understand why they don’t. And until the time comes when the NCAA, the BCS, NBC and everyone else doesn’t give them that special treatment, why should they change?

While at this point the Big East is a viable option based on the relationships with all the other sports, the Irish would be crazy not to join the Big Ten if they ever do make the move. Too much history with many of those programs, let alone the geographic ties.

My only real beef at this point is the SU/ND deal that was put into place that has us playing ten times in the near future, five in Notre Dame and five in Giants Stadium (or whatever it will be then). I feel like Syracuse pulled it’s pants down a little bit on that one. Our athletic director is desperate for any kind of NYC exposure so I see why he loved the idea. But I really think at least one of those games should be played at Syracuse. Or at least one of the ND home games should be in Chicago to give us some new exposure. The fact that SU doesn’t lose a home game for it eases the pain but I would have liked to have seen a little more give and take.

What are your dreams for the Syracuse program and can your dreams become a reality?

Here are my realistic expectations for Syracuse football.

8 out of every 10 years, we are in competition for the Big East title.
6 out of every 10 years, we finish the season ranked.
3 out of every 10 years, we win the Big East title.
1 out of every 10 years, we are in competition for the National Title.

This is pretty much how things were for SU between 1987 and 1997. I see no reason things have changed so drastically that we can’t do it again. Give me a good coach and a couple good recruiting classes and we can at least get back on track.

A friend and co-worker, who just so happens to be an Ohio State fan is a big reader and supporter of Subway Domer. His name is Trent (A.K.A. beanie4heisman) and I believe him to be one of the biggest fans of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. He reads your work and loves your site. I asked him to come up with a question for me to ask you, so here it is: 1. Who do you honestly believe to be the next Syracuse head coach and who is your dream guy? 2. Where does the website go from here? (Considering the amount of print regarding Greggers).

First up Trent, your check is in the mail.

As to my dream guy, I assume I’m not really allowed to say Urban Meyer will leave Florida for Syracuse, so let’s go with who is available. My dream coach would be someone who has proven they can not only win but that they can take a low level program and turn it into a winner relatively quickly. He has strong Northeastern recruiting ties and familiarity with the region. He’s not interested in running any cockamamie pro offenses and just wants to play some good old fashioned college football. And he’s an SU alum.

There’s only one person out there who fits that criteria. Randy Edsall. The bonus of taking Edsall would be that we make a rival, UConn, weaker. Edsall is now publicly saying he’s not interested, but who knows with coaches. I mean, would he really say otherwise right now?

I honestly believe the next coach of Syracuse football will be Buffalo’s Turner Gill. He’s turned the Bulls into a bowl team, he can recruit New York and the Northeast and had his team played SU this season I think we would have had a new New York’s College Team. I think all of those candidates are going to come and go, most of them looking to “better” opportunities and Gill will be there waiting for us in the end.

As for what we’re going to do for content now that Greggers is leaving…I’m not sure. He’s such a tough act to follow. Can I request that press conference stupidity be a requirement of the next coach?

You can see what the Orange are up to all week over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. Thanks to Sean for indulging in mine and Trent’s guilty pleasure that is TNIAAM.

If you want to know why Troy Nunes is so fucking dominant, watch the following video that was posted earlier this year.