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Random Topic Thursday

Jasper Howard 1989-2009
It’s time once again for a blog post in which I recount several things related to chronicling the daily disaster that is Syracuse University Athletics, as well as other related matters. I failed to submit a BlogPoll ballot this week, but rest assured I will next week, in case you got all panicked about it. Instead, we focus on what is going on lately.

Midnight Madness
As I said on Twitter earlier this week, I find the entire Midnight Madness thing stupid and pointless. Not the idea per say (although it is very pointless), but I find the overall execution pretty dumb. Especially at Syracuse, as per the mission statement. Similar to what I said to Matt on his radio show about “Ernie Davis Legends Field”, it’s a nice idea and poor execution. This year’s Midnight Madness (which I also hate because it isn’t actually at midnight or even at like 11pm) was a lot of filler, and little substance. The opposite of a Hoffman hotdog really. About the only cool thing was the fact that GMac hit a half court show. The “practice” element really does nothing, nor do you really get to see anything worthwhile as a fan. Frankly, I think it would be more advantageous to just have an open practice some day, instead of having this entire affair, and then have the team sign autographs afterwards. Also, shame on SU Athletics for giving away a ton of tickets and saying the event was sold out. Yet another half assed marketing ploy from a half witted marketing department. The basketball team is beloved and talented. It sells itself folks.

UConn
I was sad to hear over the weekend that University of Connecticut starting corner back Jasper Howard was fatally stabbed outside of the UConn Student Union on Saturday night. This is really the saddest story for college football this season as by all accounts Jasper Howard was a good person who looked at UConn as an opportunity for him and his family. The first person in his family to go to college, he was hoping to use school and football as a change to lift his family up. The State Police investigative unit is gathering evidence and arrests have been made and more will be forth coming. Either way, for as much shit as I give Connecticut, this is a huge tragedy and Orange::44 sends our thoughts out to the friends and family of Howard and the entire Connecticut football team. No college student should have to experience a tragedy like this. We’ll keep you up to date as much as possible on the forthcoming prosecutions.

Starting QB
Greg Paulus will get the nod this week, but the leash is clearly becoming shorter for Paulus. Frankly, it should not be that hard to move the ball on Akron, but if it becomes so, look for Ryan Nassib to come in again off the bench and hook up with Mike Williams. For now, Paulus is the starting QB, but if he has another game like he did against West Virginia he won’t be for long.

Halfway Report
While Syracuse is a disappointing 2-4 (0-2), we are exactly where I predicted the team to be. The only difference between what has actually happened and what I predicted is that we lost the Minnesota game but won the Northwestern game. Even though the last two games have been disappointing, moral of the story is that the team is right where they probably should be in terms of wins and losses. The team underachieved against West Virginia, but Syracuse should bounce back with two solid weeks of practice and a fairly easy game against Akron. I still predict wins coming against Louisville and Rutgers, so look for the team to perform well in those games. Probably not as well in the rest against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut.

Big East Standings
After the big Thursday night tilt against South Florida, Cincinnati is still undefeated and the team to beat in the Big East. Pittsburgh and West Virginia are next in line, both undefeated in the conference. USF and Connecticut are both 1-1 in the league, and Syracuse, Rutgers, and Louisville round out the bottom three. Either way, this league is turning out right about as expected as well. Cincinnati is still the surprise of the league, and probably the nation, and they are a damn good football team and seem almost unstoppable in earning their second straight league championship and BCS berth. If they keep winning and other teams such as Texas, Florida, or Boise State get a loss, there is no way that Cincinnati should be kept out of the title game, as they currently are fifth in the BCS standings.

My Weekend
This has nothing to do with Syracuse but is an interesting sports story. As some of you loyal readers know I was in Boston this past weekend helping with a friend’s charity poker tournament to raise money for juvenile diabetes. It was a nice event and I dealt cards for the tournament, which was enjoyable. The interesting part was that the hotel where it stayed was the Tennessee Titan’s hotel as they were in town to play the Patriots the next day. Had a brief conversation with the injured Jevon Kearse, saw Chris Johnson with his pants way down come in and pop a balloon, and saw them generally up past their curfew. Sadly no sighting of Keith Bulluck, the Titan’s only player from Syracuse on the roster. In case you missed it, the Titans were destroyed the next day. If you’d like to help fight juvenile diabetes, check out JDRF.

I’ll be blogging on the regular again, including my usual predictions tomorrow, BlogPoll ballot and report card next week. Until then, remember to not miss curfew.

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