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Chattin' With The Nunes

Remember when you were unhappy with this? You didn't know unhappy.
It’s Tuesday, which means it is again time for Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician to ask me questions and my turn to answer them. Today, I talk about the Pittsburgh v. Syracuse game and the fallout therein, the entire Lloyd Carr situation, a little basketball news, and those pesky UConn Huskies. Check out the article right here.

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Blogpoll Week 5

RankTeamDelta
1Oklahoma 2
2LSU 3
3Alabama 9
4Texas 2
5Missouri 2
6Texas Tech 2
7Brigham Young 3
8Penn State 3
9Southern Cal 8
10Georgia 8
11South Florida 2
12Auburn 3
13Florida 9
14Ohio State 3
15Oregon 5
16Utah 5
17Wisconsin 8
18Kansas 1
19Fresno State 4
20Illinois 2
21Vanderbilt 3
22Virginia Tech 4
23Boise State 3
24Oklahoma State 2
25Wake Forest 11

Dropped Out: East Carolina (#16), Clemson (#18), TCU (#25).
*East Carolina, Clemson, and TCU drop out after their losses. Wake Forrest fell quite a bit but I feel like they still belong on the poll.
*Connecticut is still not being included despite being 5-0. Beat someone impressive and you'll be put on. Maybe.
*New to my poll is Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Virginia Tech.
*Illinois actually jumps two spots in my poll despite losing to Penn State simply because I believe they are better than the teams below them, as well as playing the far superior Penn State in a very good game.
*I don't think anyone can dispute that Oklahoma, LSU, and Alabama belong in the top three in that order.
*Not so much related to the poll, but if USC wins out and plays in the National Championship, there is something seriously wrong with the process.

*While Penn State was impressive in their game, until BYU loses to someone, they will remain ahead of them.
What do you think?

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Now now, you guys know you still need to tackle right?
And I cant fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever.
~Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon


These games are the worst. Hope is a powerful thing. This team continues to make me believe they can turn the season around, only to make me believe even more that this team has earned its only victory of the season. While the team performed admirably for almost three full quarters, which is not the entirety of a game. A college football contest goes four quarters. Some day the coaching staff of Syracuse will understand this, but before then Syracuse lost to Pittsburgh 34 to 24. Now onto the grades.

Offense
B-
The offense did an excellent job of moving the ball and sustaining drives for the majority of the game. Cantley statistically had a nice game (9/17, 137yds, 2 TD, 0 INT), but not a great game. 137 yards is still not a spectacular game. Really, it was the rushing game that opened up some passing for Syracuse. Curtis Brinkley had 119 yards on 16 carries. Although he did not see the end zone, he definitely sustained several drives for the Orange. The offense once again did a fine job the majority of the game. Although the stats would show otherwise (3-9 on 3rd downs, 12 first downs, 263 total yards), I was actually impressed with the offense and the play calling this game. For me, this game is the clearest illustration of the offense doing their job for the majority of the game.

Defense
D+
When it comes to the defense, what can anyone say? Clearly this team’s defense quit after the third quarter. That is still unacceptable, and as I stated from the beginning of the season, it is glaringly apparent that the conditioning of this team is not up to snuff. Clearly this game is evidence that they cannot sustain the intensity of the defense the entire game, which is a huge problem. The team still cannot stop the pass well. They did limit LeSean McCoy to no touchdowns and seemed to stop him at opportune times. However, it was not enough late in the game to prevent them from tying the game and then taking the lead. It was a good effort, but failed to last.

Special Teams
A
How about a kick return touchdown. That right there earns you an A. Once again the special teams showed up and performed, this time beyond expectations. Mike Holmes returned seven kicks for a total of 207 yards, the longest of which was a 90 yard kick return for a touchdown. Max Suter returned one for 20 yards. Patrick “Sex Offender Mustache” Shadle hit one field goal 25 yards out, and hit his three extra point attempts. Rob Long punted four times for a total of 165 yards, two of which were within the 20 yard line. All and all a solid game.

Coaching
C-
I think it is completely unacceptable to allow your team to lose the intensity that it showed all game in the fourth quarter. 100% unacceptable. If Syracuse continued to make plays and sustain drives, as well as stopping Pittsburgh on key third downs, then Syracuse would have been victorious. Robinson just cannot find a way to win. Either way, it was completely ineffective coaching to allow this team to stop working so hard. That is on the coaches.

GPA
C+ (2.56)
While Syracuse played outstandingly the majority of the game, it was not enough for a win. Thus, the worst kind of Syracuse defeat happens. They had the game locked up, and the let the other team march right back into it. For shame.

Syracuse (I suppose luckily) is heading into a Bye Week, therefore the football team will not be in action until the 11th, so we get a reprieve from the misery for a little while. What we will not have a reprieve from is the guessing games that will not stop regarding the coaching change that may or may not happen before the end of the season. After all the hoopla I guess I started on Friday it should be an interesting off week for the ‘Cuse. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for all the MSM/Blogger drama you can stand. After all, we here at Orange::44 specialize in starting shit storms.

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An Open Letter To Donnie Web and Orange::44 Readers

Editor’s Note: This open letter is in response to this article published on Syracuse.com by Donnie Webb criticizing my article from Friday entitled Coaching Rumor of Interest.

Dear Mr. Webb and loyal readers of Orange::44:

First and foremost, thank you for reading Orange::44. I greatly appreciate you stopping by my corner of the internet. I do not think it necessary to mention, but in the interest of full disclosure I am not a professional journalist, beat writer, media man or anything of the kind. I am simply an alumnus of Syracuse and a third year law student with sports knowledge, an above average writing ability, and an undying love of all things Syracuse. I did not earn a journalism degree of any kind. Rather, I earned a degree in Political Science from an esteemed department in the Maxwell School. Now that that is out of the way, let’s address the current article in question.

Mr. Webb, just because I am not in Syracuse does not mean that Syracuse news I hear is not true. I received a message from an individual with media credentials on campus that was aware Lloyd Carr was on campus. This obviously made me very interested in the situation. I then talked to everyone I knew in a position of authority at Syracuse to either confirm or dispel, which resulted in two other sources who have said that they knew Lloyd Carr was on campus. One of these sources works for the University, close to the Athletic Department, and I consider very credible. It is then I posted my article.

Now, all the present evidence that Lloyd Carr was in fact on campus I felt needed to be reported. Thus I did so. I felt confident that there was enough evidence present, from sources I have traditionally found credible, to post that information. I still feel good about this, and continue to stand by the notion that he was present in Syracuse last weekend. The Athletic Department will most assuredly deny this fact, and that certainly does not prove he was not on campus.

Regardless, that is not the issue here. The real issue is Orange::44 getting called out for contributing to the rumors. This is simply not the case. Nowhere in my article did I make any representations about what Lloyd Carr was doing on campus, or the fact that he was going to replace Greg Robinson, or have any job in any capacity for Syracuse. As a matter of fact, I went out of my way to say more than once that I am making no representation of this at all. I said, “What is he there for? Who knows. My inside source with media credentials at Manley just knows he’s there, but not why or what is going on.” See, that is language where the plain text meaning would be that I am making no representations as to what Lloyd Carr is doing on campus, thus I am not starting or contributing to rumors.

Also, I have a problem with this entire thought process that people are not supposed to talk about if or who a new coach would be anyway. Last I checked there were no Internet Police. Besides, you are much too talented a beat writer and journalist to be caring about what the public is talking about. Just focus on reporting. I, also for the record, did not make any judgment to the truth about the story that Lloyd Carr was on the Quad with Dr. Gross, merely that people were talking about it, specifically on the CBS Message Board.

Either way, you were wrong to use my article to insinuate that I was contributing in any way to the coaching debate. The title of the article simply refers to the fact that Lloyd Carr is a coach, and there is a rumor that he was on campus. This rumor has been proven to my satisfaction, and thus the article was published. The content of the article was backed up by enough independent sources that it satisfied my threshold to publish. Brent Axe, a colleague of yours, also had enough independent sources to broadcast this fact on his radio show on Friday as well. I do not necessarily object to you saying that the rumor mongering needs to stop, but it was completely inappropriate to cite my article as the cause and contributor to such actions. Any plain reading of the article would clearly show that there were no representations made except the fact he was present on campus. While blogs traditionally lack journalistic integrity, at the very least this blog strives for simple integrity and then going above that for journalistic integrity. I believe we meet both on a consistent basis. Threatening that integrity will not come without a response.

Donny, I’m flattered you linked to my article. Although you may not realize it, you basically legitimized my blog by putting it on Syracuse.com. To be fair, I have been linked before, but never by you, and for that I thank you sir. You just should have taken the article for what it was, a simple statement about a presence on campus. Continue your good work, because yes you do good work and I check your column often. Just be sure to criticize things that deserve criticism, like the coaching staff of the football team, and not blogs and bloggers just because that is what they are.

Sincerely and best wishes,

Brian Harrison
Orange::44

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Cue The Crying Child

It was puppies and sunshine for three quarters. Then this happened.

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UConn Wastes No Time This Basketball Season

Yes ladies, I assume he's single and available.
When the football team does not give you much to work with, sometimes good fortune smiles as the UConn Basketball Team is back in action. By action, I mean breaking the law. And no one likes chronicling the legal issues of UConn and the Connvicts than Orange::44.

The Hartford Courant is reporting that Nate Miles, freshman on the basketball team, was charged with violating a restraining order and will appear Tuesday in Rockville Superior Court. Miles, who was served with a restraining order last Monday night at 8:00pm, proceeded to violate it a measly 16 minutes later by placing a call to the individual that filed the order. The protected party, a female student at the University of Connecticut, had been an “acquaintance” of Miles. Miles of course violated the standard “Respondent shall refrain from having any contact in any manner with the protected person” clause. Newsflash: Judges do not like it when you violate their orders. Miles apparently has quite the interesting background, having attended five different high schools before having his transcript certified by the NCAA. He was then academically cleared last June and enrolled in the summer session at UConn. Nothing like Calhoun going for the gold in terms of good students for his basketball squad.

Miles was released on a $2,500 personal surety and will continue the legal process on Tuesday as previously mentioned. UConn of course has no comment, consistent with their policy. Coach Jim Calhoun also did not comment. Miles was expected to start at small forward for the Huskies this season. Honestly, while I am the first to say “HAHA” in the general direction of UConn, I do feel sorry for this young man. He really has never had a good home situation, so I suppose let loose on his own at college he was not really set up for success. Either way, it is unsure his future on the basketball squad as he has not gone to court yet. Judging from the past though, it takes you stealing a laptop to get suspended for a year, but if you are good you only get a 6 month suspension. Thus, for this, he maybe will sit out a game or two. Once again UConn will uphold a tradition of giving preferential treatment to athletes, especially on the basketball team.

Amidst the hoopla that surrounds the Syracuse Football Team, it is nice to see UConn get back to their old tricks. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for all your UConn legal news. Hat tip to our good friend Sean at Nunes/Magician for the linkables as always.

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Coaching Rumor of Interest

Is this the next head coach of the Orange?
Hot off the Orange::44 tip line; Lloyd Carr is at Manley Field House right now. What is he there for? Who knows. My inside source with media credentials at Manley just knows he’s there, but not why or what is going on. It is certainly interesting. Stay tuned for updates as Brent Axe is now on the case. Unlike Axe, I don't have to wait to break a rumor.
UPDATE: I have confirmed through three separate and independent sources that Lloyd Carr was in Manley Field House today. Still no word on what was discussed. This is now confirmed in my mind. What is not confirmed is the rumor that Greg Robinson is “Dead Man Walking” on campus and that he will be fired after the Pittsburgh game win or lose. However, that does seem to be the prevailing feeling on campus. It is worth noting that Syracuse University Athletics is completely denying that Carr was there at all.
UPDATE #2: It is being discussed on CBS Sportsline threads here that people saw Carr and DOCTOR Gross on the Quad together. Buzz is building. Brent Axe also just announced On The Block that he has heard an awful lot of people say that he was on campus today. It is also the case that Axe reported that he was present at the Northeastern game last weekend. His Northeastern postgame article is here.

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Pittsburgh (Not So) Quick Predictions

It is pretty futile to say the old "S#!t On Pitt" at this point.
It is time for another quick prediction from your friends at Orange::44. Look, by now you know that this season is a wash. You also know that this team is probably not even as good as last season. You also know however, that the Big East as a whole is down from last season. Rutgers is even worse than us (if that is possible), and the world is topsy turvy with UConn again currently undefeated. Down is up, up is down, dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria. So I guess the real question is, at this point in the year, with the start of the Big East conference slate, does this game even matter anymore?

I myself was thinking of venturing again across I-90, the “Mass Pike” and the “New York State Thruway”, paying $7.70 mind you, and heading to this game in the Carrier Dome. While this blog likes to traditionally chronicle exercises in football futility, I could not bring myself, nor my wallet, any further heartbreak in person. Turning to the game itself, Pittsburgh’s stud is Running Back LeSean McCoy. In three games this season he has rushed 242 yards and earned five touchdowns. Keep in mind, our entire team has only rushed for 4 touchdowns in four games, one of which was against a 1-AA school. While Syracuse has dealt admirably with the rushing attacks of previous teams this season (yes they actually have the ability to stop the run usually), I feel like McCoy will be, much like the PSU running backs, too much to handle for Syracuse’s defense, who will most likely be on the field an awful lot.

You have to believe that Syracuse is a two touchdown dog in this contest. While there will be some buzz in the Dome related to playing a conference game, and a conference rival, not even a packed crowd would help elevate this team to anywhere they need to be. Look for ‘Cuse to do go down with the ship again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that we are at a crisis point. You have heard the DOCTOR, you have heard from many fans, and you have even heard from the former players of the Orange. I have revised my opinion and submit that the best way to deal with the current situation is not to allow Greg Robinson to give any more press conferences full of lies and unfounded optimism, and simply remove him immediately after this Pittsburgh game from his head coaching duties. There is enough negative sentiment present, and with essentially the support of the Athletic Director gone, what is there to hold on to. The team should simply install Mitch Browning as the Interim Head Coach, and send Greggers packing. This is the only logical solution at this juncture given the previous week of activity in the media.

I will be listening to the game my friends, but I of course will not like what I hear. To those brave souls heading to the Salt City I salute you. I consider myself to be a fan that can stomach almost anything, after all I sat through the entirety of the Penn State massacre. But this, my good friends, is something that I cannot, in these troubled times, justify economically in any sort of cost benefit analysis. I wish the Orange good luck as always, but know in my heart of hearts, that it is simply another exercise in football futility.

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Nunes::44 - 9/23/08

Troy could have beaten Northeastern with one arm by 3 TD's.

It's Tuesday, which means I ask some questions of my boy Sean at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. We wax poetic about the Northeastern game, the coach, and yes even some very early basketball talk. Enjoy!
1. Orange::44: Syracuse earned its first win. How impressive is it considering it was a 1-AA team?

Nunes: If it was possible for a win to still somehow feel like a loss, then this must be what it feels like. The reaction to that game was so depressing we might as well have lost. It was a 9-point win but it didn't even feel that big. The game pretty much came down to the last drive and if not for one mistake on Northeastern's part, we might have been looking at a game that was decided on an onside kick.

Northeastern's quarterback had a career day and I honestly don't think that can be stated more loudly. The quarterback of a 1-AA team that almost exclusively plays against 1-AA defenses had a CAREER DAY against our defense. That. Is. Awful.

2. Orange::44: Should we have won by more?

Nunes: Technically speaking we SHOULD have won by 40. But taking into account the situation, as bad as things have been, we should have won by at least two touchdowns. At the very least. Again, it very easily could have been a 2-point win as well. Or worse.

3. Orange::44: Is this team heading in the right direction?

Nunes: God no. The team is heading directly down the path of 1-11. It's a sign of how horrible things are that Syracuse fans don't even consider Rutgers a very winnable game at this point. And they're TURRRRIBLE.

We're a national joke. Our most famous alumni are publicly deriding the program and calling for a change. We have writers from around the country bashing our coach and our athletic director. It is officially a circus.

Probably the most depressing thing of all is the effect this is having on the historical reputation of Syracuse football. It was hard enough to convince national fans that Syracuse is a prominent program BEFORE the Greg Robinson Era. Try doing it now...it's next to impossible. As far as many young fans are concerned, Syracuse has always been horrible. They don't know any differently.

4. Orange::44: You know my thoughts on removing the head coach. What are yours?

Nunes: At this point, if Greg Robinson's track record wasn't enough to fire him over, the circus atmosphere that has officially taken over the football team should be the final decider. Between the College Gameday piece, Daryl Gross' ego-boosting plea to ESPN and all of the horrible national attention we're getting right now, every day you keep Robinson is another day the shame continues.

It's also another day that Robinson can embarrass us and himself further by pretending everything is okay and we're on the verge of greatness. He's either completely deluded or a fantastic bullshitter. Possibly a little of both.

You know why you should cut him loose right now? Because it honestly can't get any worse. So what do you have to lose?

If I were a betting man (for entertainment purposes, of course), assuming we lose to Pitt, I would put a lot of money on Greg Robinson being unemployed come this Sunday.

5. Orange::44: Turning to basketball, are you satisfied with our developing non-conference schedule?

Nunes: I really like the non-conference schedule. Amazing what a couple games against some top tier programs can do. All of a sudden, you can schedule all of the Cleveland States and Oakland Universitys you want. As long as you games against Florida, Memphis and possibly Kansas on the schedule, everything else is cool.

Best of all, no one can say anything about our non-conference scheduling anymore. And if they do, they reveal themselves as being out of touch and not really paying attention.

As for the conference schedule, I agree with you...not very appealing.

6. Orange::44: Finally, if you were in the Dome, would you have had a paper bag
over your head or something different?

Nunes: As much as I think those guys from the Akron game got a ton of mileage out of the paper bags, I'd go in a different direction. Something a little more "out of the box." Like say, spray-painting myself and an entire row of buddies silver so that we match the bench. Cause it'd be nice to be at a football game, but we want the people at home to think there isn't anyone there, hence speeding up the process for a coaching change. It's a win-win.

Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Usually every other Tuesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy Nunes/Magician articles and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

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Notre Dame Players Love Booze

Yeatman loves the sauce.
As you, the loyal Orange::44 reader knows, one of the secondary missions of this blog is to inform you of the legal transgressions and scuffles of various natures that are not exactly on the up and up. This Tuesday we have a double dip for you from the weekend.

First up, we have some booze news out of the University of Notre Dame. ESPN.com reports that several students were arrested this past weekend. I thought Catholics loved to drink? Anyway, among them were two members of the Notre Dame Football Team. 20 year old Right End Will Yeatman, and 18 year old Mike Golic, Jr., have been charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor, and Yeatman will face the additional charges of false informing and resisting arrest. The arrests came subsequent to an investigation targeting businesses selling to underage kids. Yeatman could be facing even more charges as previously he was charged with driving drunk on a campus sidewalk, and the charges were dismissed last February if he managed to stay out of trouble for a year. Obviously he has not. Golic, it should be noted, is the son of ESPN television and radio host Mike Golic of “Mike & Mike In The Morning”. Additionally, several unnamed players from the men’s lacrosse team at the university are also in trouble for similar offenses. The District Attorney is determining on how to proceed.

Second, out of New Jersey we have an incident from the Rutgers Football Team. ESPN.com reports that Quarterback Mike Teal, in the waning seconds of the Rutgers loss to Navy, threw a punch at fellow Scarlet Knight Glen Lee. No action will be taken against Teal, he has apologized, and Coach Greg Schiano calls the incident “over and done with”. I guess these kind of things happen when you go from being atop the Big East to being worse than Syracuse. At least things are correct in that regard. Now if only UConn would have an epic collapse and Syracuse would win some games, all would be right with the world.

While clearly the second incident has no legal ramifications really, it is still worth note. At least Syracuse players are not punching each other on the sideline. As for the drinking, clearly this happens all the time in college so I do not really fault Golic too much, especially when he has not played a game for ND yet. Yeatman, however, is not exactly new to the criminal justice system and seems to have an alcohol problem. After getting a huge break on his last legal incident he then does this. Sorry, that is unacceptable. Hopefully all these crazy kids will learn from their mistakes. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for all the legal analysis of rival players in trouble you can stand.

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Blogpoll Week 4

RankTeamDelta
1Southern Cal--
2Georgia--
3Oklahoma--
4Florida--
5LSU 2
6Texas--
7Missouri 2
8Texas Tech 1
9Wisconsin 1
10Brigham Young 4
11Penn State 4
12Alabama 1
13South Florida 3
14Wake Forest 3
15Auburn 2
16East Carolina 8
17Ohio State 2
18Clemson 2
19Kansas 1
20Oregon 8
21Utah--
22Illinois--
23Fresno State 2
24Vanderbilt 2
25TCU 1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#23), Florida State (#24).
*West Virginia and Florida State drop out after losing their games this week.
*Oregon drops eight spots by losing to unranked Boise State. The same goes for the East Carolina Pirates who lost to NC State.
*Auburn only drops two after a fantastic game with LSU. Conversely LSU jumps to five, and the next time someone holds up two fingers and asks you how many, you say Thursday.
*Missouri drops two spots even though they won because other teams I think are just better.
*BYU jumps four spots after another shutout victory. They certainly are impressive.
What do you think?

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