Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jones and Marinovich Hold the Keys to the SU D

Photos: Syracuse.com

As the season opener vs. Akron creeps ever closer, I grow more excited by the moment. It is clear Syracuse football is on the right track under second year head coach Doug Marrone, and while there's a lot of work left to be done, there's hope that is the year the program begins to really turn the corner.

A big reason for this hope is the defense. It was a unit that was vastly improved last year -- and finished among the national leaders against the run. In 2010, nine starters return and key reserves like Shamarko Thomas and Brandon Sharpe return with valuable game experience under their respective belts.

While most fans are rightly concerned about the secondary, which definitely struggled last year, it's not an area I'm overly concerned with. The real key to whether this defense can make the leap from what was ultimately a middle of the road unit to an elite one lies in the hands of defensive ends Chandler Jones and Mikhail 'no more hookah' Marinovich.

Last year, while both guys played a ton of snaps and played very well at times, neither was successful at getting opposing quarterbacks on the ground. Like most defensive coaches, Syracuse Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer puts a premium on pressuring the opposing quarterback, and Shafer will use whatever means are necessary to get there. Often times that means blitzing a variety of players from different angles, leaving the corners exposed in man to man situations.

Last year the team's two leading sackers were linebackers Doug Houge and Derrell Smith, who had 9.5 and 6 sacks respectively. While the linebackers actually got after the quarterback, it was a different story in terms of the defensive line. The leading sacker among guys who started the play with their hand on the ground was freshman Brandon Sharpe who had 3.5 sacks. Following him was Marinovich with three.

It's clear that right now what the defense is missing down lineman that can get to the QB without the help of someone else. The last time SU had a truly dominate defensive lineman who was a threat to get to opposing QBs it was 2001 and Dwight Freeney was playing in Central New York and not Indiana.. Freeney was so dominate that his 17.5 sacks that year carried an average team to a 10 win season.

It seems simple, but if the Orange can get pressure on the QB using 4 down lineman, it frees up the back seven to drop into coverage and take some pressure off the secondary. It also means the o-line is tied up doubling linemen, or using backs and tight ends to chip - which leaves open lanes for lightning fast blitzers like Houge and Smith to get to the quarterback and wreak the havoc that's necessary to have a dominant defense.

If you can't get pressure on the opposing QB, it doesn't matter if you have Champ Bailey and Darrell Revis in your secondary, guys are going to get open. So while Chandler Jones and Mikhail Marinovich don't have to be Freeney, those two, and their respective line mates, need to be a bigger threat to knock down some quarterbacks. If they can do this -- and of course stay healthy -- the Orange defense can make the leap that will turn them into a mauling, dominate defense that can control games.

If they can't their secondary mates could be in for a tough year, and the defense won't be as good as its going to need to be in order for the Orange to go bowling.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Akron Game Week - Random Thoughts

The 2010 college football season is finally here. It's game week for the Syracuse season opener versus the artist known as the Akron Zips. We will have more on the game and the upcoming season throughout the week, in the mean time, here are a few random thoughts and links running through my head.

- First and foremost, every Syracuse fan on twitter needs to read the Hoya Suxa #BeatAkron tutorial - and then read the entire series. You'll be smarter - and more prepared to lob insults at the fan bases who dare to dream of victory over the men of Marrone.

- I know the results in his only year at Michigan were not good, but how in God's name did Rich Rodriguez ever think it was a good idea to fire Scott Shafer and replace him with Greg Robinson? It doesn't make any sense. It's akin to replacing Michael Corleone with Fredo or hiring Paris Hilton as a drug counselor. Even Mel Gibson thinks it's crazy. The fact that we're getting requests to bring back the Greg Robinson Farewell Tour shirts speaks for itself.

- Speaking of shirts, we had a little copyright issue with the Heckling Guide shirt, a new one will be up this week.

- An official prediction will also be coming later this week, but I can't see Akron sticking with Syracuse. They've got an untested coach, new systems on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and a dearth of talent. It may be close early, but I think the Orange defense plays down hill all game and wins it for SU, regardless of what the offense does.

- Here's what I took from the Sunday story on Doug Marrone -- the man is old school, but if you do what he says and trust what he's teaching, things will be just fine. Look at it like school -- Doug is hard ass teacher. He's the department head, he's stern but he pushes you to get the best out of you. Greg Robinson was a substitute teacher -- who happened to be in class every day for 4 years.

- All due respect to the Axeman and Sean, but I could care less which numbers hang from the rafters. It makes no difference to me at all. Just win some damn games baby.

- If you're going to do game by game predictions, doing it as a haiku is pretty sweet.

- I will be back on Matt Mc's Sports Fix this week to preview the Orange. Other guys like Brian Harrison at Orange44 will be giving their takes on the season as well. Should be fun, I've got a face made for radio.

In the words of the world's biggest douche Terrell Owens, getcha popcorn ready, football is back and it's going to be a wild ride.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This Week in Unfortunate Web Advertising

This morning I fired up the NY Post web site to see what is going on in the world -- and see some outrageous Sunday headlines -- and was met with the top story of Clubbed to Death. The story focuses on a pretty young girl who died after being out illegally at a club in the meat packing district.

The story itself, while obviously tragic, is fine, what isn't so fine is the pop up ad readers are greeted with when logging on. Check it out for yourself.

Ah the unfortunate side effects of not checking with the on-line ad guys before running with the headline......

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Captain's Fantasy

With football that counts right around the corner that means only one thing - fantasy football is back. With that we turn to our resident fantasy expert (and master of all recreational games) the Captain, who will once again be dispensing valuable fantasy advise throughout the season. Since I am the editor of this fine blog I may interrupt said advice from time to time, but with that being said, welcome back to another year of the Captain's Fantasy. As Drew from Deadspin would say, off we go.

Hello again to the dozens and dozens (actually 7) of the loyal readers of this blog. It's the Captain, and I'm back for yet another season of the Captain's Fantasy.

For those who know me best, I am a man of simple tastes, I enjoy booze (all forms), meat (all forms)and sports (most forms....). There is however one time of the year that I enjoy the most, and that is football season.... fantasy football season more specifically. The editors of this fine blog and I have long proposed a fantasy radio show, I don't think I would last long, the FCC would have a field day with fines.

So, enough about me, here's stuff you can use to help you through your draft and upcoming fantasy season:

* DO YOUR HOMEWORK - Seems simple enough, but every year someone just wings it going into their draft. You will waste picks on people who have been injured, suspended, etc. Someone, who shall remain nameless, wasted an 8th round pick on Vincent Jackson. Yup, the guy who is unsigned and going to be suspended for quite a few games when he does sign. The pick after Jackson was the MIN D. It is one of the elite defense in the league. Also knowing the key additions and subtractions for the teams are a must -- anyone else notice Larry Fitz's value slipping without Warner at the helm?

* CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK - NFL Teams have already done that. If you were playing fantasy football in 1994 your first 4 rounds would look like this - RB RB RB WR. 10years ago, there was a dominant RB for almost every team, with only a spattering of RBBC (running backs by committee). Out side of the top 5-7 RBs, it really gets testy. The NFL is obviously a pass happy league now. There were no less than 10 QBs last year with 4000+ yds passing. (actually the top 17 passed for 3500 yds +) and all of those 4k passers had 25+ tds as well. It is common these days to see QBs and WR going off the boards in mid to late 1st rounds.

* LEAVE YOUR LOYALTIES AT HOME - Don't be that guy who doesn't pick someone because they are on a team you dislike. I hate the Cowboys, I have 2 on my team (Austin/Witten). [RUSH NOTE - F that, I will never draft a Cowboy, Jerry Jones can go choke on Mamma Cass' used ham sandwich]. As much as I like to see the 'boys lose, I like to see me win.

Best of luck in your upcoming drafts.

The Captain

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiki Barber - Worse Than We Thought

It takes a special kind of man to leave your pregnant wife -- who was carrying twins -- for another woman, but former NY Giant Tiki Barber managed to pull that one off. Hey, what can you say - the man spent a decade evading 300 pound defenders in the NFL, it was obviously good training. After that, getting away from one small woman and a few of your own children is a walk in the park.

Now Tiki is with a younger woman and the couple obviously hired a PR person to help rehabilitate their images. The good news, the PR person succeeded in planting a story in Page 6. The bad news, the story tells the world Tiki is guilty of a crime FAR GREATER than leaving his wife and kids. The happy couple claims they like to "sit at home and watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." Seriously, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. They claim to watch this crap voluntarily --

Let this be a lesson to you kids - you haven't hit rock bottom until you think telling people you watch Dr. Quinn makes you more likeable. For shame - for shame.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greg Robinson Weekly: Chins up Wolverine Fans

Greg knows yodeling.

"No One Wants to Play Defense for Greg Robinson" ~ Black Shoe Diaries

"Can Michigan’s defense stop anyone? Former Syracuse flameout Greg Robinson was brought in last season to coach up the defense and Michigan held one D-I team outside the Mitten under 30 points. The post-adjustment second halves were atrocious." ~The Big Lead

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said Sunday he believes the Wolverines' tackling issues are correctable. Without naming names, Robinson said some players are in position to make plays, but just don't carry out their jobs.

"It's about a team tackling concept that you have to have enough people that even if you miss a tackle, it's minimized because others are there are to compensate." ~Ann Arbor.com

Ebay Item of the Week: Brown, Davis, Little, McNabb....Kilgore

Thanks to the Russianator for lending a hand last week as I was away with the family. We're right back at it with this week's Ebay Item of the Week. Fans of former Orangemen Emerson Kilgore are in luck with this game used jersey.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Official Big East Heckling Guide T-Shirt

As is tradition around here, at the start of every football season the Idiots put our heads together and try and come up with some T-shirts that celebrate the season - or at least help us cope with a looming disaster.

A couple of years ago, we had some fun at the expense of hapless coach Greg Robinson and made a shirt celebrating his farewell tour. Orange fans were so sick of Greg and the incompetent product he put out on the field, the shirt actually sold. In fact, it sold so well some students ripped off the idea and started selling their own. We'd like to politely ask you to refrain from doing this, as it's a douchey thing to do.

Last year we celebrated the arrival of Doug Marrone with a series of shirts that made it clear in our minds he was the opposite of Robinson. One year later we haven't changed our minds.

This year we turn our focus and vitriol where it should rightly be focused -- on Syracuse's Big East opponents. The conference is wide-open this year, so it made sense to put every one of the Orange's not so magnificent conference mates in the cross hairs. For sale exclusively at the Three Idiots Store, we present you with the official Big East Heckling Guide T-Shirt. Here's the front.

The back.

It is also available in Orange.

And here's what it would look like in blue.

Don't like those colors? Then click on any product and then hit the "customize it" button and you can put this design on almost anything you want. While we are here, a quick word about the price - it's not something we control and trust me when we tell you, we aren't getting rich selling these things or writing in this space. But that's not why we make this shirts or write this blog - we do it as a hobby and outlet to discuss our passion for sports and in particular, the Syracuse Orange.

Plus, insulting your rivals is fun. So get out there and have some fun people - and if you don't want one, think about buying one for someone else. We all know people who could use a shirt.

Jimmy Brumbaugh - Syracuse's Terry Tate

Syracuse.com informs us that new Syracuse defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh was doing some hitting in practice yesterday. After two weeks of reading the Post Standard's practice reports, it's safe to say that Brumbaugh is either an outstanding young football coach with a bright future or the owner of some severely incriminating photos of Dave Rahme and Nolan Weidner. For now, I'm going to believe the former -- if the D-line under performs this year, I think we'll know it was the latter, sorry fellas.

Back to the matter at hand, the image of Brumbaugh launching himself into a tackling dummy conjures up images of another unexpected big hitter - office linebacker Terry Tate. Let's check out some of Terry's biggest hits:

So - Brumbaugh v. Tate - who ya got?

Social Media - Not Your Most Accurate Source of Player Information

According to his twitter page, on Sunday Syracuse defensive back Keon Lyn got some good news from the doctor. With a thin secondary that struggled last year, his possible return was certainly good news.

However, today Dave Rahme clears up the fact that while his recovery from mono -- a quick aside here, seriously who gets mono anymore? Next thing you'll tell me bed bugs are back -- is going well, it's still going to be a while before the talented freshman gets back on the field. While that's a bummer - we here at T3I hope Keon's recovery continues to accelerate faster than tailback through a Greg Robinson coached defense.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ESPN Big East Preview

In the video below, Brent Musburger (the dude is ageless) and Kirk Herbstreit preview the upcoming Big East season.

The highlights:

- Kirk likes Cincinnati as the team to do the best with a new coach. I agree -- Butch Jones is essentially Brian Kelly 2.0 and Zach Collaros is going to kill people this year.

- They like Pittsburgh, but Herbie notes they need to replace Bill Stull. In my opinion Pitt is going to run it down your throat and play defense, so they just need Tino Sunseri to manage the game. What might be more than Pitt can handle is a schedule that starts with a tough game at Utah and concludes with 3 of 4 on the road, against some tough competition.

- They note that Bill Stewart might be facing the most pressure -- unlike those jokers at SI who think Doug Marrone might be under the gun.

- Kirk gives a lukewarm endorsement of Rutgers saying, "I think Rutgers can win some games." Way to go out on a limb Herbie.

- The most shocking part of the video is when Herbstreit picks UConn to win the whole thing. Now the Big East is wide open this year, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.....but it's also possible Dave Wannestedt and Keith Hernandez will shave their porn-staches and do an anti-facial hair PSA. Possible, but not likely.

- For Syracuse fans, there's no mention of the Orange - but that's what happens after five rough years. Better days are ahead.

SU Secondary Returning to Health

I don't have to tell you that the Syracuse secondary has been banged up. Combined with an overall lack of depth, Scott Shafer's aggressive defensive schemes which leave corners out an island, and last year's rough performance, the area is certainly one of concern.

Well we begin this rainy Monday with some tidbits of good news -- injured defensive backs Shamarko Thomas and Kevyn Scott return to practice today, and now it looks another member of the secondary, freshman Keon Lyn who has been sidelined with mononucleosis, might not be far behind. Nothing official has been announced from the team, it's just a social media post from Keon, but it's certainly promising. If 2010 is going to be a success, this team is going to need every available player to be as healthy as possible and as such, this is certainly welcome news -- for Syracuse anyway. For Akron, not so much.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doug Marrone on Coldest Hot Seat Ever

Quick question for you. What do you get when in your first year as coach you improve your team's win total, beat two teams that went to bowl games, and improve your team in almost every statistical category -- all while turning over a roster and changing the culture of a program? Well, according to Sports Illustrated, if you're Doug Marrone, you get a spot on the hot seat.

In the Sports Illustrated Big East Conference Report, the once proud magazine looks into its crystal ball and makes predictions on the upcoming season. They offer opinions on things like which team will win the conference, how each team will finish, and who will be the offensive and defensive MVPs. They also have a "hot seat" category and stuck SU coach Doug Marrone there - although they admit Marrone is "probably safe."

Look, the fact of the matter is that NO coach in the Big East is on the hot seat right now. In fact, 5 of the 8 coaches in the conference have been on the job for 2 years or less. The other three, Greg Schiano, Randy Edsall, and Dave Wannstedt have all enjoyed enough success to ensure their jobs are safe -- at least for the next couple of years.

The report should have noted this and proclaimed no coaches are in jeopardy this year (the horror!), but I guess it was easier to just pull a name from a hat and plunk it down there. It's another residual price the program is paying for being so bad for so long. Call it yet another parting gift from Greg Robinson.

So, while SI proclaims Doug a man on the hot seat, in reality the the only way he's getting fired during or after this season is if he decides to go a strip club bender with Mike Price after stealing Daryl Gross' credit card....in other words, his job is pretty safe for now.

H/T - Nunesmagician

eBay Item of the Week - Finding Kenny a New Hat

Kenny's 2 Pennies Season 3 Teaser from FingerLakes1.com on Vimeo.

Champ is currently on vacation with the family, which means I had to delve into the murky world of on-line sports memorabilia for our eBay item of the week. Coincidentally, Syracuse super fan (and owner of two pennies) Kenny Haas has recently announced he will return for a third season of Syracuse commentary on August 31.

Readers of this blog know we love us some Kenny, however, there's one thing that's always bugged me personally about the lovable grouch -- I hate the awful corduroy hat he's always wearing. It's time for us to help the K-man with a new look. Luckily for us, eBay has plenty of choices. Let's get to it:

Choice number one - Syracuse Orange Foamhead Hat

This sweet piece is available for $29.95 and according to the seller is brand-new, unused, unopened, and undamaged. Plus Kenny could wear it over the corduroy hat and have the best of both worlds.

Choice number two - Syracuse University Scrub Hat

Available for $12.95 I think wearing this would give Kenny a little gravitas that he might be missing.

Choice number three - Syracuse Collegiate Hard Hat

The hard hat is a symbol of working men everywhere, and I think we can all agree Kenny represents the working man. For $26.99 someone can help make this happen.

Choice number four - Syracuse Zubaz Hat

Kenny is a retro guy -- and there's nothing more retro than Zubaz. For a mere $59.99, Kenny can represent the 90s - and SU, in style.

So that leaves us with two questions - 1) Which hat is right for Kenny 2) Who is going to step up and help the guy with a new look?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Brett Favre Returns? Norm Peterson Reacts

So it appears Brett Favre is once again returning to the NFL. This has sent the sports-media into another Farve-frenzy that even they appear to be tired of. At this point the news that he's returning has less drama than Norm Peterson ordering another beer at Cheers. What's funny is you can actually, you can insert Favre into any famous Norm quote and it works perfectly. Check it out.

"What's shaking Norm?"
"All four cheeks & a Favre."

"What's new Normie?"
"Terrorists, Sam. They've taken over my TV & they're demanding Brett Favre."

"What'd you like Normie?"
"A reason to live. Give me another year of Favre."

"What'll you have Normie?"
"Well, I'm in a gambling mood Sammy. I'll take whatever QB plays for the Vikings this year"
"Looks like Favre, Norm."
"Call me Mister Lucky."

"Hey Norm, how's Favre been treating you?"
"Like a baby treats a diaper."

"What's the story Mr. Peterson?"
"Favre returns to the Vikings. Let's cut to the season-ending interception."

"Favre, Norm?"
"Have I gotten that predictable? Good."

"What's going on Mr. Peterson?"
"A flashing sign in my TV that says, 'Insert Favre news here."

"Whatcha up to Norm?"
"My ideal amount of Favre news, if I was 100 years old."

"How's Favre treating you Norm?"
"Like he caught me sending Jenn Sterger pictures of my junk."

"Favre. Can't live with him....pass the beer nuts."

"How's it going Mr. Peterson?"
"It's a Favre eat Favre world, Woody & I'm wearing Packers underwear."

"What's the story Norm?"
"Favre meets media attention. Favre drinks up attention. Favre meets more attention."

"Can I pour you some Favre news Mr. Peterson?"
"A little early isn't it, Woody?"
"For Favre news?"
"No, for stupid questions."

"How's a Favre sound, Norm?"
"I dunno. He usually makes another comeback before we can finish him."

"What'd you say, Norm?"
"Any cheap, tawdry thing that will get me Favre."

Take it away Normie --

Monday, August 16, 2010

August - Where Hope Springs Eternal

Welcome to the middle of August, a time when every college football team is undefeated and the upcoming season is surely the one when your favorite team makes a triumphant breakthrough. Whether it's a national title, winning the conference, making a bowl game, or just "sucking a little less" there's reason for optimism from every fan base in the country.

As Syracuse fans, we enter year two of the Doug Marrone era with a feeling that while there's a long way to go, the Orange train is finally headed down the right track. Fans are generally optimistic and there's good reason to be.

The offensive line, while paper thin, will be better. Delone Carter and Antown Bailey are experienced, talented backs. Ryan Nassib has a valuable year of experience under his belt and the physical tools to be a good quarterback. There are questions about the receivers, but also opportunities for guys to step up as well. We're talking to you Marcus Sales and Van Chew.

Defensively the front seven are better than people realize -- and experienced to boot. There are certainly questions in the secondary, but Mike Holmes should help solidify the cornerback slot and Shamarko Thomas and Max Suter have the potential to be a very good safety combination.

However, until the games start, all of the above is meaningless speculation, and that's OK. August is a time for dreamers; a time for hope. It's a time when fans believe and dream of footballs flying through the air, last second touchdowns and devastating sacks.

The stories we all read in the mainstream media just fuel this hope. Today Syracuse fans get an AP story that says Syracuse's goal for the season is to "keep improving" -- as if any team not coached by Greg Robinson sets a goal of getting worse every day.

In fairness to the press, if they wrote stories about how teams were going to be terrible before a single down was played, we'd kill them. Fans want to believe and fans want to read about things that play into that hope. This isn't unique to SU, but rather it goes for every team in the country. And we mean EVERY TEAM. Even the teams we all know are going to be terrible.

Paul Myerberg, the creator of Pre-Snap Read (the content of which is also appears on the NY Times college sports blog) ranked all 120 Division I teams this summer. If we use his rankings as a guide -- and Myerberg is very good -- the 120th best team in the country is North Texas.

In his preview of the Mean Green Myerberg wrote:

"Todd Dodge was a wonderful high school football coach — one might even say a legend in the competitive Texas ranks — who in the course of 36 months has shown himself to be the most overmatched coach in major college football. Year three of the Dodge era at North Texas was eerily similar to the first two: 2-10, 1-7 in Sun Belt play, and well short of competitive more often than not."

However, it's a new year in North Texas -- or it could be if we are to believe some of the recent stories about the team. Stories such as:

Dodge sees potential breakout season

UNT Offense has a new look during scrimmage

The number 119 team in the countdown is the Eastern Michigan Eagles. A team that went 0-12 last year and whose coach Ron English didn't exactly endear himself to single mothers recently. Of the Eagles prospects for the year, Myerberg writes:

"But Eastern Michigan still lacks the horses, and even if English can get this team to exceed its potential I doubt the Eagles are better than a four-win team."

However, stories in the local media see it a little differently. English is building:

Eastern Michigan football coach Ron English tears his team down to properly rebuild his program

And better things are ahead - Eastern Michigan puts winless season in the past

The team coming in at 118 is the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers - a team that also notched exactly zero wins last year. Mr. Myerberg doesn't see a great improvement this year either, and who can blame him. He offers this:

"In a nutshell The schedule is again beastly, so dismiss any ideas you might have of W.K.U. making a rapid turnaround — in the win column — in Taggart’s first season. Wins many come eventually, but they are certainly not coming in 2010."

However, the local media sees some bright spots -- in fact:

Optimism high for WKU at media day

Likewise - Taggert's tops are showing plenty of juice

So while hope is a grand thing -- and something that adds to the anticipation of the coming season, it's also in great supply this time of year. The fact that people can find positive stories about two teams that went a combined 0-24 last year more than proves the point. Once the games begin, we'll know if our hope was just what we wanted to believe, or if it's a reality -- and I for one can't wait.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Greg Robinson Weekly

Who's in the mood for a good interview transcript with former Syracuse legend Greg Robinson? Courtesy of the Michigan Scout.com board, here are some more tenets of wisdom from the man who will surely run the Wolverine defense into the ground:

Master of the English language GRob gives us a lesson on the meaning of hybrid: " When you use that term hybrid position, it is…you are a little bit of a couple of things"

Huh? "I had to take on terminology, but you know what, I’m more experienced as far as years are concerned so being able to adapt to terminology, I’ve done quite a bit of it over years that you know what I can do that. I figure it is better for me to do that so that everybody else."

And one time at band camp: "I remember one time I went from being a defensive coach at UCLA to becoming the offensive coordinator and I had to learn a full offense and all the terminology in a matter of about six weeks. I’ve found myself under the gun in a scenario like that and there has been other instances where it has been similar."

Enjoy the read kids, it's well worth it.

In other GRob news:

"Greg Robinson is taking a more hands on approach with his defense, attempting to rebound from the atrocity that was 33.3 ppg in the Big 10. " ~Bleacher Report

"On Wednesday, coordinator Greg Robinson said he is not yet ready to evaluate Michigan's defensive speed ." ~Detroitnews.com

"After Michigan finished 5-7 last year, falling apart on offense and defense during the Big Ten season, Robinson and Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez had a discussion. English was the primary language.

The result: Robinson scrapped his terms in favor of the West Virginia-based language.

Implemented in the spring, questions no longer revolve around, “What the heck are you talking about?”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ebay Item of the Week: Cuse Going Bowling in 2010

No we're not talking about the New Era Pinstripe Bowl....we're talking T3I's Ebay Item of the Week. When Doug Marrone goes keggling, he breaks out the Syracuse Orangemen Bowling Ball, available now for $144.99.

Fellow members of Idiot Nation who grew up in CNY will remember local channel WSTM's coverage of the hot Syracuse bowling scene. Here current SU staffer, and former WSTM sportscaster, Roger Springfield invites us to join in on the fun of "Syracuse Bowls."

Meanwhile, former WSTMers Steve Schnall and Marty Piraino brace us for the excitement that was "Challenge Bowling."

What the heck, since we're talkilng bowling we won't pass up an opportunity to throw up a Kingpin clip. Big Ernie McCracken knows the importance of giving back:

Delone Carter Still Has the Pipes

Delone Carter returned to practice Tuesday and as you can see from the screen capture below, the dude still has bowling balls for biceps - it's good to see he took care of himself during his 4 month absence from school.

Dave Rahme has the full story in the video below.

SU Football: Delone Carter Back in Orange

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friar Tuck Nassib

Tim Tebow made news recently when, as part of rookie hazing, his Denver Bronco teammates gave him a Friar Tuck haircut, which has now been fixed.

So naturally, my warped brain began wondering what SU's own Ryan Nassib -- he of the unusually large helmet -- would look like with a similar cut. The results are below -- for those of you with actual photoshop skills, I'd love to see what you can do, since I have none and did a crude cut and paste job in MS Paint.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Separated at Birth?

Syracuse officially unveiled another new uniform design at media day today. Yesterday, the Illinois Fighting Illini had their media day - as you can see, Nike didn't exactly kill themselves trying to give each school a unique look.

Hey, at least both schools get to wear as many Nike swooshes as they do logos from their actual universities. Give them credit, no one does branding quite like those folks from Oregon.

Photos: Syracuse Post Standard and the Chicago Tribune.

What Delone Carter Means to the SU Offense

SU Football Media Day 2010

As you can see from the clip above, Delone Carter is back in the fold at Syracuse, and he won't miss any games stemming from his altercation with another student this past winter. Syracuse fans everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. While running back was once a position of strength and depth, the position was up in the air for the last few weeks, as Carter's status was unknown and Averin Collier has apparently been lost for the year due to academics. That left Antwon Bailey as the only back on the team with any meaningful game experience.

However, even if Collier can't make it back in the fold, Syracuse now opens camp with two healthy, experienced running backs manning the position. While Doug Marrone has only been the coach for one year, and this year he will utilize a different offiense, last year's division of carries indicates that the Orange now have both guys back who will get the majority of the work in the backfield. Of course it goes without saying that Carter and Bailey need to avoid injury and disciplinary issues all season long.

However, if they do, they will be the guys carrying the ball. Consider that last year Syracuse running backs had 382 carries from scrimmage. Carter and Bailey had 303 of those, or 79 percent of the work. Mike Jones and Collier combined for 20 carries, which can easily go to whichever player earns the third spot on the depth chart. It's a perfect position to groom a young player for the future.

While Syracuse will have a new, more vertical pro-style offense this year, you have to figure Marrone is going to stick to a similar ratio unless circumstances dictate the need to get other guys some touches.

To extrapolate our limited data a little further, in SU's last two games v. Rutgers and UConn, when it is widely speculated that Marrone was running the offense, Orange running backs had 76 carries, with Carter and Bailey tallying 69 of those. It's clear the coach is comfortable with these two guys, and having Carter back in the fold is a huge boost to what will again be a thin team.

Having Delone Carter and his bowling ball biceps in the backfield gives the offense what it will need as a young quarterback develops - two experienced runners with different styles and abilities. Without them, the prospects for the season were a little scary.

I'm Back Baby!

Like a Phoenix rising from Arizona - I'm back baby. As some of you know, a few weeks ago I went off and got married, and I've spent the past two weeks on a honeymoon. We spent a couple of days in Las Vegas before heading to Hawaii, where we spent time in Oahu and Maui. To say Hawaii is spectacular is like saying Greg Robinson is incompetent -- it doesn't even begin describe it. Here was the view from our balcony in Maui:

With the football season primed to get underway, I'm more excited than a fat kid at at a make your own sundae party. I spent half the flight back reading Phil Steele's college football preview and snuck peeks at Twitter while the wife was in the shower to see who else magically disappeared from the SU football team. However, I've got a lot of catching up to do -- so while I do that, let me offer you a few Hawaii observations as we get this blog ramped back up.

-- The Hawaiian people are an unbelievably friendly group of people. On one hand it makes sense, due to the fact that they live in paradise -- however these are people that have to pay $4 for a gallon of gas and $15 for an appetizer, all while dealing with tourists -- so my hat is off to the Hawaiian people. Mahalo for your friendliness.

-- NFL games start at 7 am out there -- college games kick off at 6 am. There are a ton of football fans out there, and almost none of them seem to mind. That's hard to wrap the old brain around.

-- It is IMPOSSIBLE to put a contact back in your eye while sitting on a jet-ski in the Pacific Ocent. Trust me, I tried.

-- Little kids, no matter what gender, race or age, NEVER watch where they are walking. They are going from point A to point B and if you are in the way, that's too bad.

-- Being in a state where there is no helmet law is always a little disconcerting. It doesn't take much to splat your brains all over the road. Ask Ben Rothelisberger -- provided you're not in a bathroom with him.

-- Hawaii is the doppelganger capital of the world - we saw at least 5 people that were dead ringers for our friends over there.

-- I was in two different Hawaiian airports - neither had been updated since at least the 70s. I'm talking wood paneling, old two color arrival and departure monitors, the whole nine yards. That seems odd for a state that you need to take a plane to reach and relies on tourism....then again, the scenery is so amazing it would take more than bad airports to keep people out. Here's Waikiki beach from the top of Diamond Head Crater:

-- I've never done crack, but it can't be better than fresh Hawaiian pineapple. It's simply not possible.

-- If you are on a snorkeling trip and feel sea-sick on the boat, please, please, please puke OVER THE SIDE of the vessel, rather than all over my seat. The guy next to me didn't get this memo. Luckily he didn't get any on me.

-- And no matter where you are, there are true 'Mericans who love them some USA - like this guy who I spotted in the Maui airport.

I didn't want to leave Hawaii, but it's good to be back - expect a lot more idiocy around these parts soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Greg Robinson Weekly: Summer Edition

Greg Robinson, 2010 National Tire Salesman of the Year

We're closing in on the 30 day mark until Syracuse kicks things off versus the Zips of Akron. We know you've been spending your summer nights wondering what our boy GRob has been up to. Never fear, T3I is presenting a special summer edition of our ESPY Award winning feature, GRob Weekly.

"This is going to be an important camp for (Greg) Robinson..." ~Toledoblade.com

"More importantly, Rodriguez is excited about DC Greg Robinson taking over the LB position because that was the position he's had the most experience with. When you think about Robinson's success as a DC and as a position coach, it's hard not to share that enthusiasm. " ~Maizenbrew.com (It's not often you see Greg Robinson and 'success' used in the same sentence.)

Question: Has there been a change in their attitude since Greg Robinson took over as their coach?

Troy Woolfolk: “I think naturally that is just always how it would be with the new coach, because you build an alliance with a coach when they leave. You just build that alliance great because he has to build it up again. I think we are all bought in and all in for Greg Robinson. We believe in him. I think everybody will have a ______ and try to win this year.”

Question: What is it about Greg that makes you guys buy in and go all in?

Troy Woolfolk: “Personally for me, I just know him and I believe in him because he has played at a higher level before. He has been a coach in the NFL before and it just makes me believe what he has to ."
~Michicagn Scout.com