Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: The Offense Will Be Better


Our 2011 Syracuse Football preview has looked at every unit on the team.  It's time to put it all together.  Let's look at the offense first.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Wide Receiver
Offensive Line

Syracuse stunned the Big East last year and won 8 games -- which was almost as many victories as Greg Robinson had in four destructive years on the hill.  The team did it by playing great defense and controlling the clock.  The team finished 97th in the country in total offense.  If we get the same performance this year, there's no way this team is winning eight games.

Luckily for the Orange, this year isn't last year.  I fully expect Ryan Nassib to be greatly improved, Antwon Bailey to be the dynamic threat out of the backfield we first saw in 2008 against Notre Dame, and a receiving and tight end corps to be more dynamic than either  have been in years.  The bedrock for this offensive performance will be an offensive line that has four starters back and the potential to be the best in the league.

Our prediction is an offense that delivers the big plays that have been missing for years and can still control the clock with an effective short passing and running game.  Look for close to 400 yards of offense and 28 points a game out of the 'cuse.

And for all the hub bub around town about the fans not supporting the team, a lot of that has had to do with 13 years of bad offense.  Paul Pasqualoni didn't get run out of town because he was 16-20 in his last three years.  He got run out of town because of some blowout losses and the fact that fans got bored.  If they had been winging the ball all over the field and losing games 45-42, fans would have stuck around a lot longer than they did. Rather, fans, and ultimately the administration, got tired of an option attack and the lack of a quarterback that could make big plays.  P didn't get fired because he didn't win enough games -- he got fired for an even worse sin -- his teams played boring football.

Then came the abyss that was Greggers. Doug Marrone has turned things around, but he's done it playing defense and running the ball.  We believe this year that's going to change -- but if you want another reason why a small, fickle fan base hasn't flocked to the Dome box office to gobble up every available ticket, it has something to do with the fact that the last truly dynamic offensive threat this program has had graduated in 1998.

This is the year that all changes.  If it does, you'll see a much fuller Carrier Dome.

2011 Syracuse Football: The Defense Has Something to Prove


Here's a recap of the our preview of the Syracuse defense.

Defensive Line
Linebackers
Secondary

There's no question that this year's Syracuse football program will finish 7th in the county in national defense.  The team lost talent and leadership along the defensive line and at linebacker.

However, there is talent on this side of the ball. Defensive ends Chandler Jones and Mikhail Marinovich are very, very good.  SU has a talented middle linebacker in Marquis Spruill and dynamic safeties in Shamarko and Phillip Thomas.  And since he showed up in Central New York, defensive coordinator Scott Shafer has been nothing short of brilliant.

Look for the defense to give up more yards and points this year, but also look for more sacks and turnovers to balance that out.  This unit is good enough to get the Orange back to a bowl for a second straight year.

Ebay Item of the Week: Proof Teddy Roosevelt Was A Syracuse Fan



You don't get your face on Mount Rushmore for nothing. You get it by using the Ebay Item of the Week to put a hurt on early 20th century Demon Deacons.

Let's go boys; beat the ACC! It's time to turn this mutha out:


Are You Ready for Some Syracuse Football

Our good friend Eric the Orange just made a video that is guaranteed to fire up every SU football fan anxiously awaiting tomorrow's kick off.  If you don't want to run through a brick wall after watching this you are either dead or you are a UConn fan -- which is the same thing as being dead.

GO TO THE DOME PEOPLE.  #BeatWake

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Wide Receivers

Alec Lemon and Van Chew look to kick it up a notch in 2011
Let's peel back the curtain and take a look at how things are done here at T3I.  I just finished previewing the Syracuse special teams and felt pretty good.  I thought I had covered every unit on the team and the preview was done. I had a little sense of accomplishment going on. I was feeling pretty satisfied with the amount of copy I'd banged out on this series.  Hell, I think it's halfway decent too -- and when you are as moronic as we were, halfway decent is almost unattainable.

So the plan was to put up a couple of quick posts on Wednesday tying everything together, get out of work early on Thursday to head out to Syracuse and catch the season opener.  But then, in the immortal words of Lee Corso - not so fast my friends.  In my haste I had completely forgotten the wide receivers.  It's almost inexcusable given the amount of gin/drug dealer jokes I could make about Marcus Sales alone.

So, with that extremely long and pointless explanation complete I'll stop rambling and start breaking down...

Wide Receivers

Position Overview

A position of weakness in recent years is now a position of strength.  The Syracuse Orange have a group that combines game experience with a lot of athletic potential.  At least theoretically SU will have the ability to stretch the field in ways that were not possible last year.  And all this is true even with the suspension of Marcus Sales, who would have been the number one receiver this year.  Marcus decided that a career in dumb-assery and pharmaceuticals suited him more than football, so we won't be seeing him on the field any time soon.  Or ever.

Alec Lemon and Van Chew will anchor a unit where as many as 6 guys will get reps. Dave Rahme favorite Jarrod West, Dorian Graham, former walk-on Michael Acchione and Adrian Fleming could all get snaps and talented freshman Jeremiah Kobena, Kyle Foster and Keenan Hale provide depth and hope for the future.

Depth Chart

"Z" Wide Receiver
  • Van Chew (Sr.)
  • Dorian Graham (Sr.) 
"X" WR
  • Alec Lemon (Jr.)
  • Jarrod West (Soph)
Potential Changes to the Depth Chart

Both Lemon and Chew began last year as the starters and came out strong, however thanks to injuries and the emergence of Marcus Sales, neither was on the field for the Pinstripe Bowl victory over Kansas State.  It's probably safe to assume the depth chart could be fluid this year as well. 

Synopsis

Alec Lemon looks the part.  He's started off and on for two years and he's got the body to be a very good wide receiver at this level.  However, he's been plagued by inconsistency and has simply dropped too many footballs up to this point in his career. Last year he played the second half of the year with a hand injury, which is obviously a big deal for a wide receiver -- but by all accounts he's healthy and had a good camp.  If Alec Lemon is going to "make the leap" this is the year he needs to do it.

Van Chew showed up as a freshman skinnier than a guy who was trapped in Carnie Wilson's house and had to survive on left-overs.  Like Lemon, he started fast but wore down as the season went on.  He's still thin, but it looks like he's added some muscle this year.  Chew's hands have always been solid, if he's healthy and is indeed stronger he could build on last year's output when he led the team in receptions and yards.

Dorian Graham and Jarrod West are great unknowns.  Graham is an athletic freak who reportedly has trouble from time to time hanging on to the ball.  Seems like that could be an issue since that's a key part of the job description.  West would have played as a true freshman last year, but an injury sidelined him early in camp.  He was good enough in high school that Jim Harbaugh wanted him at Stanford, so expectations are high for him......provided he doesn't get arrested for boozing again.

Best Case Scenario

Using technology, Lemon gets some invisible stick em, Lester Hayes style, and catches everything in sight.  Chew, West and Graham stretch the field and Michael Acchione becomes Syracuse's Wes Welker.

Worst Case Scenario

The unit plays like it did down the stretch last year.

Position Grade

A minus

Bonus Video

Did you know there's a comedian named Van Chew?  There is, and the nicest thing I can say about him is that he's comedically challenged - so that can't be the bonus video. Watch current wide receivers coach Rob Moore do great things for SU in 1987 instead.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Special Teams

Kathy Ireland is still the best looking kicker to ever grace a college  football field

As I sit here typing this we are exactly 48 hours from the opening kickoff of the Syracuse football season -- that means I have to hurry my ass up and get this preview series done.  Next up on the list:

Special Teams

Position Overview

Syracuse returns kicker Ross Krautman who was flat out amazing last year, missing only one field goal attempt all season as a true freshman.  Unfortunately, on the flip side, the Orange lose one of the best punters ever to suit up, cancer-survivor Rob Long.  If reports are to be believed, the battle to replace him was more like a pillow fight, with one-time place-kicker Shaun Raupers winning the battle.  The Orange also will be changing long and short snappers, a holder and a special teams coach, as Bob Casullo was sent packing before the 2010 season even ended.

Depth Chart

FG/PAT
  • Ross Krautman (So.)
  • Ryan Lichtenstein (Jr.)
Punter
  • Shane Raupers (Jr.)
  • Jonathan Fisher (6-1, 209, Fr.)
Kick Off Returner
  • Prince-Tyson Gulley (So.) OR Jeremiah Kobena (Fr.)
Punter Returner
  • Steven Rene (So.)
  • Prince-Tyson Gulley (So.)
Long Snapper
  • Sam Rodgers (Fr.)
  • Eric Morris (Jr.)
Short Snapper
  • Eric Morris ( Jr.)
  • Sam Rodgers (Fr.)
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart
 
It's special teams -- there are always changes to the depth  chart.  All it takes is a muffed punt, a couple of missed extra points, an inopportune fumble or a snap that sails right through the uprights and your butt is on the bench.  The guess here is if Raupers struggles, true freshman Jonathan Fisher will get a shot.  Lifewise, if Steve Rene botches some punts (or gets killed since he's 5'7" on a good day) look for Prince-Tyson Gulley to relieve him.
 
Synopsis
 
Like so many positions on this SU team, the special teams unit has some extremely bright spots and some huge question marks going into the season.  As noted above, Krautman was great last year and he's set the bar so high that people will be disappointed if he misses 2 field goals this year.  He'll need to get more height and length on his kickoffs, but the placekicking is in good hands with Ross.
 
The punting is another question.  The reports from camp indicate both punters are getting the ball off quickly, which is key to avoiding punt blocks, but if they are getting off low, short line drives that's a recipe for disaster.  Here's hoping both guys step up their games when the lights go on.  I've never seen either guy punt a ball, so I've got nothing for you on what we'll really see.  I'll be holding my breath with the other 27 people who show up in the Dome on Thursday.
 
John Anselmo takes over the special teams from Casullo, who left the program with a sidleline tantrum to success ratio of one million to one.  I for one won't miss his antics or the struggles of the kick coverage units.
 
Prince-Tyson Gulley will return kicks.  He gained valuable experience last year in this role and did fairly well, although he did have a killer fumble against Washington.  As long as he doesn't put the ball on the carpet, he should be a dangerous weapon for the Orange.
 
Steve Rene will handle punts, taking over for Mike Holmes.  It seems like its been years since the Orange had a legitimate threat returning punts.  Quinton Spotwood is the last guy I remember who you really seemed to have a chance to house at any given time -- and I'm guessing Mr. Spotwood at least 10 years into a career selling insurance by now.
 
In terms of the new long snappers -- like the punters I've never seen them and have no clue. And should either deliver a bad snap, I offer the same advice Lou Brown gave to Willie Mays Hayes after his basket catch - don't ever f*ckin' do it again.
 
Best Case Scenario
 
Krautman repeats 2010's performance, only with longer kickoffs.  Raupers is comfortable, confident and competent.  Gulley gets a couple return TDs and makes teams try and hit directional kickoffs (always a disaster in college) and Rene proves much like Joe Morris, good things come in really small packages.
 
Worst Case Scenario
 
Both punters crumble under pressure.  Krautman doesn't get the ball inside the 10 on kickoffs, both snappers choke and give away points due to bad snaps, forcing Macky MacPherson back into that role and the special teams in general are less fun to watch than ironing cargo shorts.  Seriously, have you ever ironed cargo shorts?  It's impossible and even when you're done, they still look like crap.  Ironing cargo shorts blows.
 
Position Grade

C + (only because of Krautman)
 
Bonus Video
 
Kevin Johnson takes the opening kickoff of the 1997 season back for a touchdown.  SU would go on to win 34-0.  The good stuff starts at the 1:05 mark.
 



2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Secondary

Can Shamarko Thomas be the next Donovin Darius?

Ahhh the secondary. The last line of defense. The men tasked with stopping diva wide receivers (and if you play in the B1G 10, tackling fulbacks) and making game changing interceptions. Syracuse has produced some fine corners and safeties over the years.  Guys like Donovin Darius, Markus Paul, Will Allen, Mike Holmes and a personal favorite of T3I - Phil Nash have all played very well for the Orange over the years.....and OK, Nash might not have been anything special but for some odd reason, we loved that guy.  Let's take a look at what the 2011 SU team will be working with back there.

Secondary

Position Overview

The Orange lose four-year starter Mike Holmes, Max 'the human missile" Suter and Da'mon Merkerson to graduation.  However, all is not lost.  At the safety spot Syracuse features two Thomases that are better than an English muffin slathered in butter after all night bender.  If they can stay healthy, Shamarko and Phillip might be the best safety combo in the league.  On the corners, the Orange will start the year with two guys who treat conventional name spellings like a baby treats a diaper in Kevyn Scott and Ri'Shard Anderson.

Behind those four are some athletic, inexperienced guys that will have to grow up in a hurry because defensive coordinator doesn't believe in giving his corners a lot of help.  There's too much blitzing to be done to worry about safety help over the top -- and frankly that's OK by me.

Depth Chart

CB
  • Kevyn Scott (R-Sr.)
  • Brandon Reddish (Fr.)
FS
  • Phillip Thomas (Jr.)
  • Jeremi Wilkes (So.)
SS
  • Shamarko Thomas (So.)
  • Olando Fisher (Sr.)
CB
  • Ri'Shard Anderson (Soph)
  • Keon Lyn (Soph)
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart

Kevyn Scott has fought injuries the last two years, so keeping him healthy all year is certainly not a given.  Keon Lyn started the pre-season as the starter but he's been sidelined with injuries and has slid down to number 2 on the chart.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him take a starting spot back if Anderson or Scott struggle.

Synopsis

Phillip Thomas and Shamarko Thomas are both very good.  Shamarko hits people with criminal intent and loves contact, whereas Phillip (no relation) is widely recognized as the leader of the defensive backfield.  The scary thing for SU fans is they both missed large portions of pre-season camp with injuries.  Phillip had a broken jaw and Shamarko had a concussion.  The broken jaw seems to be a fluke, but  I'm a little worried about Shamarko and the concussion.  For a guy that throws himself around with such reckless abandon, if he suffers another one, he could be gone for a long period of time.  He's not a player SU can afford to lose.

On the corners Kevyn Scott showed he could play in 2009, while Nico Scott was getting repeatedly torched on the other side of the field. As a senior in a younger secondary, his leadership will be just as important as his talent.  Anderson has also fought the injury bug since stepping on campus, but at 6'1" has nice size and could develop into a nice cover corner.

As far as reserves go, Dave Rahme has said a few times Keon Lyn is the team's most athletic corner (and also has the most baffling twitter feed) so I'd expect him to be on the field in nickel situations.  He's also the first guy off the bench should the injury bug strike.  Brandon Reddish is a true freshman and it will be hard for him to make much of an impact at a position as demanding as corner.  If all goes according to plan he can contribute on special teams and get some spot time in the secondary.

At safety Wilkes and Fisher have been in the program for a while and can contribute.  Wilkes has a nice nose for the ball and moved over to safety this past spring after having spent his freshman year at corner. He lacks ideal size but does give the team needed versatility.

As I noted above, Scott Shafer loves to blitz and that puts a lot of stress on a secondary.  This year, the Orange will be going against teams that run wide-open spread attacks in Cincinnati, Pitt, West Virginia, and to a lesser extent, USF.  In order to compete, these guys are going to have to play above their heads, as Chandler Jones won't be able to get to the QB every play.

Best Case Scenario

Everyone stays healthy.  Shamarko adds to his legend and officially drops "Thomas" from his last name by bowl season.  Phillip Thomas does a Markus Paul impersonation and picks off everything in site. Scott, Anderson and Lyn all develop quicker than projected and lock down opponents letting Jones and Marinovich get to the QB.

Worst Case Scenario

The injury bug hits. Every third play looks like a track meet - with SU a step behind as SU plays each game like last year's Pitt game.  Dana Holgerson's offense racks up 500 yards and he heads to Turning Stone at halftime.

Position Grade

B

Bonus Video

Here's 9 minutes of Shamarko Thomas highlights. Enjoy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Linebackers

Marquis Spruill will try and bring the pain this year
Photo from Frank Ordonez/Syracuse Post Standard
The Wake Forest game is just days away, which means it's time to hustle and get this preview series done.  Next up, the skakiest, most untested unit on the Syracuse football team -- the linebackers.  I'm not going to lie, this unit makes me more nervous than a maid who gets sent to Dominique Strauss-Kahn's room for turn-down service.

Linebackers

Position Overview

Converted running backs Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith anchored a strong unit that played a key role in Syracuse having the country's seventh best defense last year.  Both are gone and leaving the third starter Marquis Spruill all by himself.  This year he's moved from the strong side to the middle.  Spruill started all 13 games last year as a true freshman and demonstrated that he's a player with a bright future in the Big East.

Joining Spruill will be a group of guys cobbled together from the ranks of junior college, prep school, and high school.  None of them are particularly big, but if media reports are to be believed, they can all run to the ball.  The big question is can they shed enough blocks to actually get to ball carriers?  We'll see in a few days.

Depth Chart

Strongside LB
  • Dan Vaughan (Jr.)
  • Cameron Lynch (Fr.)
Middle LB
  • Marquis Spruill (So)
  • Siriki Diabate (Jr.)
Weakside LB
  • Dyshawn Davis (Fr.)
  • Dom Anene (Jr.)
Project Changes to the Depth Chart

Spruill, Davis and Vaughan have been the starting unit since the spring, so don't expect any changes here.  Behind them there could be some movement, as back ups Siriki Diabate, Cameron Lynch, and Dom Anene are a juco transfer, a true freshman, and a walk-on respectively.  Guys like Oliver Virgile and Lewellyn Coker could push for playing time.

Synopsis

The heaviest linebacker Syracuse has on it's roster in Anene at 224 pounds.  In fact that whole unit only has 2 guys who crack the 220 mark, so Syracuse is either the most honest school in the country when it comes to listing heights and weights, or this unit is very slim.  Now that's necessarily a terrible thing, as you don't want a bunch of young Levon Kirkland's out there either, especially given the fact that the conference's two best teams, West Virginia and Pitt, will run spread offenses.

However, when you have a unit that is this small AND this inexperienced, you'd be crazy not to be concerned.  Of the six guys on the two deep roster, only Spruill has played a meaningful Division I college football down.  Even with his move to the middle, I expect Marquis to have a very good year.  He proved last year he was physically ready to play and more than held his own. Another year of experience as well as moving back to his more natural MIKE spot sets the stage for him to really develop into a playmaker.

Dyshawn Davis drew rave reviews in Spring ball and he's got the frame to grow into an intimidating presence, but we'll have to see how he reacts when the lights go on.  After all, he was initially brought in as a wide receiver, so having him appear as a starting linebacker not long after his recruitment is not something you see every day.

I'll be interested to see how Dan Vaughan works out, because so far all I've read about him is how "smart" he is and how he "knows the defense" and has great "instincts."  I put all of the above in quotes because they are all code words for not being very athletic.  I hope I'm wrong and I haven't seen him play, so let's hope he's got enough ability to help set the edge and fight off blockers out there.  Vague code words are nice in the pre-season, but once the games start, you need guys that can pound opponents.

Behind the starting three, it's a bunch of guys with no experience.  No offense to Mr. Anene, but you never want to see a walk-on crack the two deep.  Cameron Lynch is a freshman who impressed many who saw him in high school, so it's possible he could get up to speed quickly and really contribute.

Best Case Scenario

Spruill takes to the middle like Skip Bayless does to attention and becomes Keith Bullock, Davis becomes the second coming of Doug Houge, and Vaughan actually does have great instincts -- and the ability to turn those instincts into results.  Like Dan Conley before the 27 knee surgeries.

Worst Case Scenario

Remember how teams spread the field and gouged Syracuse with the spread option attack when Greg Robinson was the coach?  Yeah, let's just move on.

Position Grade

Incomplete - we don't know what any of these guys can do

Bonus Video

Watch Doug Hogue wreck people one last time:

Pat Forde Picks Wake Forest

Contrary to the evidence provided in the picture, Pat Forde does not like the Syracuse Orange in week on
The Syracuse Orange football team certainly does not need any additional motivation going into its 2011 season opener Thursday night, but if by some chance they do, then its ESPN columnist Pat Forde to the rescue.

In his initial Forde Yard Dash column of the year, he predicts losses for Syracuse and Louisville on opening weekend:

But Syracuse will be taken down by visiting Wake Forest, and Louisville will be stunned by Murray State. The Orange and the Cardinals are both positioned to backslide a bit after significant improvements last season and look vulnerable in their openers.

Syracuse was fortunate in 2010 (few injuries, 4-0 in games decided by seven points or less) and has six new defensive starters who combined to do very little in 2010. They will be facing Jim Grobe's most experienced Wake team in several years.

Now, I'm not discounting Wake one bit.  They have a huge offensive line that could pose some serious problems for the Orange, but citing experience as a reason for the upset is pretty weak. Sure they are experienced, but the experience they gained last year was one that led to finishes near the bottom of the NCAA rankings in both offense and defense last season. Experience alone doesn't mean a whole lot - but then again, neither do pre-season predictions.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Defensive Line


Chandler Jones is ready to do some damage this year
Art via Mike Borkowski


Our 2011 Syracuse Orange football preview rolls on and today we switch over from the offensive side of the ball and start to take a look at the guys charged with stopping opponents.  As I type this it's still raining from Hurricane Irene and all this water has left me in an ornery mood, so let's get after it.

Defensive Line

Position Overview

The defensive line for the Orange is a lot like the beginning of  a Tale of Two Cities - it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.  On the best side, the defensive end position is absolutely stacked.  Chandler Jones and Mikhail Mustachovich are two of the best, most experienced defensive ends on the conference.  Both are poised  for break-out seasons.  Behind them are Brandon Sharpe and Torey Ball, both who have significant experience.  In Sharpe's case, he's had some really nice moments in his two years wearing Orange and seems to have a knack for getting in the backfield.

On the inside, it's a different story.  While it's not exactly the worst of times, the team lacks size and experience at the defensive tackle positions. There is a lot of promise, but until the games start, we won't really know what we've got inside. 

Depth Chart

DE

  • Mikhail Marinovich (sr)
  • Brandon Sharpe (jr)
NT
  • Deon Goggins (jr)
  • Eric Crume (fr)
  • Ollie Haney (sr)
  • Robert Welsh (soph)
DT
  • Jay Bromley (soph)
  • Cory Boatman (jr)
DE
  • Chandler Jones (jr)
  • Torrey Ball  (sr)
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart
 
Since this is now the depth chart for week one, I wouldn't expect any changes immediately. At DE, Jones and Marinovich are entrenched as starters, but youngsters Micah Robinson and Donnie Simmons could push for back up spots down the stretch.
 
Inside, true freshman Eric Crume is already looking at playing time, should things go horribly wrong, look for guys like Robert Welsh -- all 260 pounds of him -- to get a shot.
 
Synopsis
 
The team's success on defensive side of the ball may very well may rest with how well the inside guys play.  Lacking any true 300 pound space eaters (except for true freshman Crume) they will have to be technically proficient to make up for their lack of size.  If the unit plays poorly, opponents will be able to easily get get offensive lineman and fullbacks to the second level, where they can wipe out SU's equally undersized linebackers. Poor play will also allow teams to double the defensive ends and neutralize a position of strength.


And while the Orange are strong on the edges, Marinovich and Jones haven't put up great numbers as starters.  That needs to change this year.  With young inexperienced linebackers, SU will need to get more pressure with their front four, because Scott Shafer is going to bring to pressure come hell or high water.  For that to happen, the defensive tackles need to hold their own.  They don't have to be great, just good.  Jason Bromley saw some action last year and did some good things, and while the jury is still out on Deon Goggins, most people seem to agree he has a ton of potential.
 
Best Case Scenario
 
Chandler Jones gets his 30 sacks, Mikhail Marinovich gets 15 more and as his mustache evolves into this.  Jason Bromley and Deon Goggins become the masters of shooting gaps and become snowballs that catch fire and Eric Crume, while only a freshman, does indeed blot out the sun.
 
Worst Case Scenario
 
The small, light defensive tackles get manhandled, Jones and Marinovich get double teamed and the defense plays every game like Rutgers played against Cincinnati last year.
 
Prediction
 
Jones realizes his potential and wreaks havoc off the edge, Marinovich continues to be serviceable but doesn't put up huge numbers and the bevy of defensive tackles play juuuuuuust well enough to get the job done most of the time.
 
Position Grade
 
B minus
 
Bonus Video
 
Chandler Jones wiping himself off - sure.
 



Bonus Mustache Update

Mikhail's lip warmer gets more and more fantastic every day:

Keeping it classy syracuse... #mustachmulisha on Twitpic

Via - Mustachavich54

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ebay Item of the Week: GRob, We Can't Quit You

This gorgeous unsigned 8x10 of Greg Robinson is available for $4.75. Autographed versions are going for 27 cents....Canadian.

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Offensive Line

Offensive line fundamentals have much in common with potty training. Image courtesy of Syracuse.com

Our preview of the 2011 Syracuse Orange football team rolls on. It seems hard to believe that the season opener is a little over a week away.  Today we will examine the prospects for the offensive line.  But before we do, let me remind all of you to like Three Idiots on Sports on Facebook.  After all, when the State Fair starts selling bacon wrapped, deep-fried Snickers bars, you'll want to know about it as soon as possible. You can follow us on Twitter as well.

Offensive Line

Position Overview

The Orange return 4 of 5 starters from last year's unit, with the only departure being starting center Ryan Bartholomew, who is now trying to earn a spot with the Baltimore Ravens.  He'll be replaced by sophomore Mackey MacPherson, who lacks ideal size but is drawing praise for his speed, technical skills and knowledge of the offense.  Right now, that's the equivalent of saying he's got a "nice personality."  Behind those five, it seems everyone one else on the unit has suffered some sort of injury in camp, however players are starting to get healthy.  Should the any of the starters go down, depth is certainly a concern.

Pre-season Depth Chart (year listed by football eligibility)

LT - Justin Pugh (soph), Andrew Phillips (soph)
LG - Zack Chibane (junior), Lou Alexander (junior)
C - Mackey MacPherson (soph), Ian Allport (sr)
RG - Andrew Tiller (sr), Nick Lepak (sr)
RG - Michael Hay (sr) Sean Hickey (rf) Nick Robinson (rf)

Projected Changes to the Depth Chart

For the starters, don't expect many changes, unless Lou Alexander can somehow unseat Michael Hay.  As for the second string, expect the unexpected.  Hickey has already been lost for the season, Robinson has been injured, as has Ian Allport.  Expect Nick Lepak and Lou Alexander to fill in at multiple spots if the need arises.

Synopsis

I'm not going to lie to you -- I haven't seen the team practice, I don't have access to game tape and it's been a 100 years since I was a bad JV football tight end, so there's no way to intelligently break down this unit from 150 miles away.  Here's what I know - they should be pretty good based on the following factors:

  • Almost the entire group, that was decent to pretty good last year, returns. Continuity matters.
  • Doug Marrone and Greg Adkins understand the intricacies of line play better than anyone.
  • Being able to use the shotgun can mask some problems.

Last year I thought Tiller struggled in pass protection at times, but was becoming a very good run blocker. Of all the guys coming back, I was the least impressed with Hay.  Speed rushers gave him problems, he took some dumb penalties and he didn't look comfortable at times.  The staff was very high on Hickey before he suffered his season-ending injury and he could have pushed Hay.  Hopefully another year in the program and some more tutelage will allow him to raise his game.

The big question with this line is can MacPherson handle the center duties?  He looked awfully small last year and he's generously listed at 6'2" 265.  The good news is that in the Big East he's not going to be facing Wisconsin-sized monsters week in and week out, but all eyes will be on Dick MacPherson's grandson.  If he can't handle it, expect Lepak to get a shot.  He has the opposite problem, the dude looks like he ate a couple of walk-ons.

Prediction

Last year the line was decent.  This year the unit evolves to one of the best in the Big East, which is kind of like being the skinniest kid at fat camp, but still...More weapons give Nassib options to get the ball out quicker, MacPherson uses all the guile in the world to get by and Justin Pugh and Zack Chibane become monsters.  Look for the Orange to run left a lot this year.

Best Case Scenario

The five guys listed above start every game in 2011.

Worst Case Scenario

MacPherson gets man handled, Andrew Tiller decides to give his teammates a tour of Turning Stone at 5 am, Michael Hay doesn't get any better and Antwon Bailey gets killed constantly picking up blitzes the guys up front missed.

Position Grade

B (would be higher but the depth is questionable at best right now)

Bonus Video

All the motivation this unit needs is in this video.  May this never happen again. By the way, I had Iowa fans sitting next to me at this game, the dudes looked like meth addicts.



The 2011 Preview to Date:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jay Wright, Snappy Dresser, Jazzy Dancer

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright is known for a few things:
  • Being an impeccable dresser
  • Being an very good basketball coach
  • Being generally regarded as one of the all-around good guys in college basketball.
Well now, thanks to Deadspin, he'll be known for something else as well -- a dancer in a flash mob set to to  Katy Perry song.  Jay appears at the 2:15 mark and really busts a move.



At least we Syracuse fans don't have to worry about Jim Boeheim pulling a stunt like that. And since you suffered through that, here's a random shot of Katy Perry.



Things That Make My Pants Feel Tighter

Bacon wrapped, deep-fried Snickers.

I love bacon. I love deep-fried. I love Snickers. I'm just not sure about combining all three.

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Tight Ends

No tight end will ever match Chris Cooley's accomplishment - convincing this woman  to marry him

Our 2011 Syracuse Football Preview rolls on with a look at the tight end position.  But before we go forward, it always makes sense to take a look back.  So if you've missed either of the first two installments, fear not, we will help you catch up.  So far we've covered:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs

Now that you're caught up, let's talk tight ends.....there had to be a better way to say that.

Tight Ends

Position Overview

Back in the late 80s through the 1990s, Syracuse produced some damn fine tight ends.  The late, great Pat Kelly was a frequent target of Don McPherson and ended up playing four seasons in the NFL. Chris Gedney was probably the best passing catching tight end of recent vintage and holds SU records for receptions in a season and career.  A stomach ailment prevented him from reaching his full potential in the NFL, but he still had a nice career.  Stephen Brominski caught this pass:



And even Roland Williams, who had a nice career on the hill, went on to play 8 seasons in the NFL.  We also can't forget that SU produced one of the best tight ends in football history in John Mackey. He revolutionized the position and has a an award named after him.

So to say the men who have played the position for the Orange recently lacked that type of skill and production as their predecessors is an understatement of epic proportions. No offense to guys like Mike Owen, J.J. Neiswhat and Jose Cruz, but teams weren't gearing their game plans to stop these guys.

This year the Orange look to turn that around, as senior Nick Provo is ready for a break out year. To do so, he'll have to avoid  the the injury bug that's plagued him most of his career. Behind him Becket Wales, David Stevens, and Louie Addazio will fight it out to provide depth, and hope for the future.

Pre-season Depth Chart (class by football eligibility)
  • Nick Provo (Sr)
  • David Stevens (Jr)
  • Becket Wales (Soph)
  • Thomas Trendowski (Sr)
  • Louis Addazio (Fr)
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart

Provo is the top dog, that's not changing.  Wales is a bigger guy and more of a blocking tight end, so functionally he's your number 2 TE, regardless of where he is on the "official" chart. According to the Post Standard, Stevens has been catching everything in sight and I'd look for him more in the H-back spot, when SU pulls Adam Harris off the field.  Trendowski is a former walk-on and Addazio is a true freshman.  If those guys are getting a lot of snaps, there's a terrible sign.

As a sign Marrone is concerned about depth at the spot, Max Beaulieu, a highly touted recruit who was brought here to play defense, was recently switched this week to tight end.  I can't imagine he'll make much of an impact this year.  It appears to be a move for the future.

Synopsis

Since stepping on campus Provo has had the ability to catch the ball and be a threat up the seam.  However, over the course of that career he's also had quite a few injuries.  Last year he was relatively healthy, but he was victimized by the fact that SU didn't have any true deep threats to open up the middle of the field for him.  Even given all that, he managed to catch 33 balls last year, which is the second most anSU tight end has ever caught in a season.  Doug Marrone is looking to use the tight end in the passing game even more this year -- and Provo has been named to the Mackey Award watch list - given to the nation's best tight end.

Becket Wales missed spring practice dealing with some personal issues, but he's back and he's added 20 pounds of needed muscle to his frame.  I really liked what I saw out of him in limited action last year and I think he'll be able to help both as a blocker and a second receiver.  Plus, as we've noted, Provo has been hurt more than you'd like, there's a good chance Wales will have to step up at some point this year.

Behind those two are a group of players that have not yet distinguished themselves.  Stevens is too undersized to be an every down tight end.  Addazio is a true freshman and ideally you'd  like to give him a year to gain weight and learn the system.  Trendowski is a former walk on and a week ago Beaulieu was tackling people.  In a nutshell, the team is scary thin at this spot.

Prediction

Ryan Nassib and Nick Provo have been playing together for a long time now.  Both are reportedly better. Doug Marrone wants to use his tight ends more as a weapon in the passing game.  This adds up to a big year for Provo. He's supposedly in fantastic shape.

Beyond that, I think Wales moves into the number two spot, and while he won't make a huge impact in terms of receiving numbers, a year of playing time and being groomed for the starter's spot will pay off big time in 2012.  While I'm rooting for David Stevens, I'm predicting he gets the award of the guy who gets written about most in pre-season camp that doesn't really make an impact once the season begins. 

Best Case Scenario

Provo stays heathy, catches 50 balls and goes out of SU as it's all time receiving tight end.  Wales' blocking improves and Stevens actually makes a big impact out of the H-back spot and makes me look dumber than I already am (not a difficult feat).

Worst Case Scenario

The injury bug bites Provo, the dropsies infect Wales and David Stevens, Louis Addazio and Max Beaulieu take turns becoming human speed bumps for defensive ends.  Ryan Nassib ends up calling the domestic abuse hotline as a result of the pain this group inflicts on him.

Position Grade

C+ - Provo is poised to break out, the rest need to show us what they can do.

Bonus Video

Mark Bavaro, whose brother David played lb at SU, shows people how a tight end can move a pile.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Z is for Csonka

We know...we know... we're taking the easy way out with the letter "Z."

In any language, Larry is a superstar:

2011 Syracuse Football Preview: Running Backs

Antwon Bailey  Super Back

Welcome to part 2 of our series previewing the 2011 Syracuse Orange football team.  We kicked things off last week with the Quarterbacks, today we'll examine the Running Backs.  Before we do that, allow me a little rant (or don't and just skip ahead).

The wife and I are in the process of selling the townhouse we currently own and purchasing a larger domicile.  We've been at it a couple of months and let me assure you, it's nothing like that garbage you see on HGTV. It's actually a giant f*cking pain in the ass.  If it was as simple as seeing three houses and picking one, life would be a big fat bowl of cherries. Au contraire my friends, what those shysters on TV don't show is that it's one big negotiation.  You've got to negotiate your listing price, negotiate with potential buyers, negotiate on price reductions, negotiate with your significant other on important facts you won't think of -- like if you buy a certain house where will you put the Christmas tree? (seriously) 

And then the coup de grace is you've got to negotiate with all the realtors that populate the industry.  Half of these people make Lane Kiffin look ethical, the other half make Greg Robinson  look like a MENSA member.  And when you get done with that, make sure you don't make a bad choice, since you're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a place your children are going to inevitably destroy.  It's a blast, I tell ya, I blast.  I'd rather funnel bleach and snort Ajax than look at another house or talk to another realtor.

With that out of the way, let's look at SU's Running Backs.

Position Overview

The departure of 1,000 yard rusher Delone Carter to the Syracuse Indianapolis Colts leaves a gaping hole at the position Doug Marrone initially called the "Super Back."  While thankfully that term quickly disappeared, for the Orange, even with Carter gone, the talent they have at that position is still there. Senior Antwon Bailey will anchor a unit that's largely unproven, but dripping with potential.  Sophomore Prince-Tyson Gulley, RF Jerome Smith, and true freshman and hearty eater Adonis Ameen-Moore bring a nice variety of running and body styles to throw at opponents.

At the fullback spot, former walk-on Adam Harris has locked down the starting spot (and a team captaincy) and he's backed up by senior bowling ball Tombe Kose.

Pre-season Depth Chart (year listed by football eligibility)

Halfback
  • Antwon Bailey (Sr)
  • Prince-Tyson Gulley (Soph)
  • Jerome Smith (RF)
  • Adonis Ameen-Moore (Frosh)
  • Steven Rene (RF)
Fullback
  • Adam Harris
  • Tombe Kose
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart

Barring injury, Bailey will be the man this year. He's certainly not going to get beat out and lose his spot.  However, he'll be spelled by a number of the players behind him and how that shakes out will most likely depend on the position on the field, down and distance, and which players emerge when given the opportunity.

Fullback appears set in the order listed above.

Synopsis

You heard a frequent refrain from us after games last year -- give Bailey more touches.  We weren't alone, as our good buddy Brent Axe also called for Ant to get the rock more.  However, Delone Carter was a beast and SU won 8 games, so who are we to argue?

While Bailey hasn't been a starter since he's been on campus, he's played extensively for three years, starting as a freshman when he almost beat Notre Dame all by himself.  He's proven to be dynamic in open space, has excellent hands and isn't afraid to put his head down and run hard between the tackles. He runs with a determination and resolve that would have made Smedley Butler proud. The concern has been that given his diminutive size he doesn't have the frame to take a full season of pounding. 

Behind Bailey things get interesting.  Gulley played sparingly last year and missed the first portion of camp because he was stabbed.  Reports indicate Jerome Smith showed excellent signs last year before getting injured, and has looked sharp so far.  The most intriguing potential contributor  is true freshman Adonis Amen Moore, who at 5'10" and almost 250 has drawn comparisons to Jerome Bettis -- so much so that he's wearing 36.

On the fullback side, Harris has proven he's a strong leader -- he'll need to improve his blocking and clear space for Bailey to have the best year he's capable of having. For an excellent report on how the running backs looked this spring, check out this post from Dan Lyons.

Prediction

While there are size concerns with Bailey, this is college football. It's a place where small backs have thrived.  Bailey hasn't been injury prone since he's been here. I'm looking for a big year out of him.  I think Gulley is the main back up, getting 5-10 touches a game, and I have no knowledge of this, but based on reports coming from the SU beat writers, I think Ameen-Moore works his way into the rotation as the short yardage back by mid-season.

Look for Bailey to have a big year for the following reasons:
  • He will be running behind an experienced offensive line.
  • He will benefit from utilization of the shotgun formation, which will allow coaches to use his quickness better and get him the ball in space more quickly.
  • He's small enough to get lost behind a tall offensive line -- he won't be easy to find.
The most interesting thing to watch will be whether Smith or Ameen-Moore gets on the field.  A lot of the answer will come down to who picks up the blocking schemes quicker.  Bailey has proven himself adept and fearless at picking up the blitz and I can't see Marrone putting Ryan Nassib's life on the line if he's afraid one of the younger backs will miss a double A gap blitz and send the QB to the hospital.

Best Case Scenario


Antwon Bailey has a year that makes everyone forget Carter. He racks up 1,000 yards on the ground and another 400 receiving.  Gulley spells him in spots and proves to be even quicker and more dynamic. Ameen-Moore compliments the duo and really does become a young Jerome Bettis, running over multiple defenders with ease.
 
Worst Case Scenario

Bailey gets injured, Gulley goes to more knife parties, Amen-Moore wins a lifetime free pass to the Old Country Buffet, leaving an often nicked up Smith and tiny Steve Rene to carry the load.  The Orange running game regresses to 2007 Greg Robinson levels - when Curtis Brinkley led the team with 371 yards rushing.
Position Grade

B- (would be higher but a lack of proven depth keeps it here).

Bonus Video

We told you Bailey could block:



Monday, August 22, 2011

The Tradition Continues...



Schroeder, George, Russell, and now Pryor!

As a Raiders fan, (no seriously stop laughing we really do exist) today's news that the Raiders picked up Ohio State tattoo aficionado Terrelle Pryor has me longing for the days of Vince Evans.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Y is for Yankee Stadium


Including last year's Pinstripe Bowl victory, the Orange are 6-1 all-time at Yankee Stadium.

Why Not Syracuse?

Plenty of seats available on the North Side

An article from today's Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle caught my eye. The D&C reported that the New York Yankees will be looking for a temporary home next year for their AAA affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, as PNC Field will undergo a year-long renovation.

Along with Rochester, the article states that the SWB Yanks could land in Lehigh Valley, Allentown, or Staten Island for the 2012 season. Which leads me to this--- why not a return to Syracuse? Without a doubt CNY is Yankees country, sorry for the reality check Mets and post-2004 Sox fans.

I got the chance to take my 4yo son to Alliance Bank Stadium last week. He thoroughly enjoyed the concessions while I enjoyed the dulcet tones of our buddy Axe on the PA system. I've ripped the Chiefs organization as much as anyone over the years, but this seems one seems like a no-brainer. I understand this is probably a long-shot, but if Rochester throws their hat into the ring, I at least hope the Chiefs take a swing at this one and avoid the "backwards K" that comes with going down looking.

After all, we're the #6 minor league sports city in America.

Let's fire up the T3I Hot Tub Time Machine and go back to 1991. Fast forward to the 2:50 mark where WSTM sports anchor Adam Benigni shares his thoughts on the Rochester-Syracuse rivalry. Bonus points for some fantastic highlights including Yankee legend Kevin Maas and a really fast Carl Lewis is some really short-shorts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

West Virginia's Drinking Rules

So by now I'm sure you've heard that West Virginia is going to be selling beer at football games, because nothing goes better with a slow-roasted couch than a nice luke warm Stroh's.  While we Syracuse fans are accustomed to having beer available, this is a very big thing down there.  They will be charging $7 to $9 for a cold one, which is approximately a year's salary for most WVA fans. Even at those prices, we're guessing they won't have any trouble selling some beer.

However, to safely introduce this new product line, it makes sense to implement some rules so that the game-day experience at Milan Puskar Stadium is a warm, safe, friendly one.  Just ask Marvin Graves, he'll tell you all about how nice it is.  That atmosphere cannot be spoiled.  I mean these people have been drinking moonshine in the parking lot before games for the last 40 years.  Clearly a Coors Light is something they will not be able to process.

So, via the Kegs and Eggs Blog, we bring rule West Virginia's Gameday Drinking Rules.


If we had to hazard a guess, numbers 1 and 4 seem are the run away winners for the "most violated" award.  Stay thirsty my friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's Go China! Clap, Clap, Clap Clap Clap!


X is for Xtra Point Streak

It started in 1979 with Gary Anderson. 262 consecutive made extra points later, Syracuse University kickers set an NCAA record.

We couldn't find much footage out there of Orange greats Anderson, Tim Vessling or John Biskup. So we're going to offer up some kicking time killers for you on a Friday at work:

First up, the crazy Bears fan:


Next up, Doug Flutie shows how to dropkick a PAT:



Not to be outdone, Ochocinco shows off some decent form here:



Ndamukong Suh, the baddest kicker on the planet:



That Wes Welker can do it all:



Warrior Rob Long sends one in deep:



Fake field goals are fun. They're even better when they beat ND:



How not to run the "Les Miles over-the-shoulder-fake":



I love the Raiders' play-calling. Let's try a 76 yard FG into the wind. Go get 'em Seabass:




Ebay Item of the Week: Another Version of Otto

We pay close attention to the various incarnations of our boy Otto that appear on fan "gear." This crummy series of posts featured a look back at how he's evolved through the years including his (alleged) relationship with a Care Bear. Well, we thought we saw it all until this week's Ebay Item of the Week.

We're calling this one "Too Many Mimosas Before a Noon Kickoff Otto."

The 2011 Syracuse Football Season Preview - T3I Style

Breaking News - Nassib Featured in Idiotic Football Preview

We are just about two weeks away from the Syracuse Orange kicking off their 2011 season against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons under the great teflon bubble known as the Carrier (for life) Dome.  Putting aside our feelings on the plethora of weeknight home games this year (hint - we like these as much as Ron Paul likes the Federal Reserve) we are excited about the fact that the season is almost here.

To get ready, over the coming  two weeks we'll be doing a series of posts previewing the team, on a unit by unit basis. Well, actually I will, since I haven't even run this idea by Champ and just decided to start writing tonight.  Look at the bright side, even though I'm making this crap up on the fly,  if it sucks it's not like we've got a NY Times paywall that charges you to read site.

So, without further adieu, let's kick off The 3 Idiots official football preview looking at:

Quarterbacks

Position Overview:

Led by junior starter Ryan Nassib, the Orange return 3 guys who were in the program last year (good luck at a JUCO Johnny Miller) and athletic freshman Terrel Hunt.  The unit has adequate depth, but no real experience should Nassib go down.

Pre-Season Depth Chart (year listed by eligibility)
  • Ryan Nassib (Jr)
  • Charley Loeb (Soph)
  • Jonathan Kinder (RF)
  • Terrel Hunt (F)
Projected Changes to the Depth Chart

Most likely none, although you get the feeling that Kinder has an outside shot a supplanting Loeb, especially if Nassib goes down for any extended period of time.

Synopsis

In his first year as a starter, Ryan Nassib had a solid season in 2010, marked by a late-season swoon that had as much to do with shaky pass protection and a lack of receiving threats as his own struggles.  He rebounded nicely to play an excellent game in the Pinstripe Bowl.  While he struggled at times with accuracy and did show some happy feet in the pocket, overall he did a better job than he generally gets credit for.

We don't much about Loeb, other than a few end of the game hand offs, but right now the best case scenario for him is the Todd Philcox career plan - stay in the system for 4 years, win the spot as a 5th year senior and try and take advantage of it.

Reports indicate Kinder and Hunt are athletic mobile quarterbacks who are still learning.  It will be interesting to see how they develop over the course of their careers. Hopefully we don't see either this year, unless its in some type of gimmicky package.

Prediction

This year I think Nassib has a break-out season.  He's got two years of game action experience under his belt and he's starting his 4th year in the program.  Dave Rahme reports his accuracy has improved, which is the number one thing he needed to work on.  He's a big kid with deceptive speed and a strong arm.  Physically he's got the tools to be very successful and he's shown me enough (G-Rob term alert warning) flashes for me to believe this year is it.

This season he'll have an offensive line that's better, a center that will allow the team to use the shotgun and an array of receivers that will be better than last year (even given the fact that Marcus Sales got arrested playing drug dealer a few weeks ago.)  Nassib's been tested, and he's passed.  This is the year we find out whether he's a honor student or a career B minus type of guy.  I'm going with honors student.

Best Case Scenario

Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett open up the offense and Nassib responds.  He breaks the season record for TD passes (an attainable 22), brings his completion percentage up to 64%, and throws for more than 2,000 yards.  After being carried by the defense last year, the Orange offense, led by Nassib, finally lets SU outscore opponents.

Worst Case Scenario

Nassib's struggles of last year reappear -- he misses too many short crossing routes, he gets happy feet in the pocket and he doesn't push the ball down the field.  Then he goes down to an injury and Loeb and Kinder prove they aren't ready.  By week 10 fans are calling for Terrel Hunt to play or they are trying to see if Nevin Shapiro can somehow sneak Ashton Broyld into school.

Position Grade

B

Bonus Video

Here's Nassib working out this past spring.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miami: The Most Obvious Criminal Program Ever


So, as you may have heard, the Miami Athletic Department has run into a little bit of trouble. Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson has an amazingly thorough and detailed report that makes every Robert Caro book look light on facts.

What makes the story all the more fun is that all the allegations occured under the watch of Paul Dee -- the guy who happens to be the current chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Look, the hypocrisy and rampant corruption that's going on in college football is well known, so we're not going to spend time tilting at windmills.  This is an institution that fails to recognize that a playoff is the way to determine a champion, so we're not expecting change from that noble body.

Let's get to the real crux of the issue -- we're talking about Miami here.  A program that has long celebrated it's outlaw image.  You'd think the adults in charge of the situation, people like Paul Dee, would want to take a little extra care to make sure they did things the right way -- since you know, it's kind of obvious they aren't exactly saints down there.  Call me crazy, but it stands to reason that if you are going to celebrate a rebel image, you might want to do everything in your power to make sure it's just that -- an image.

As Lost Letterman point out, there's no shortage of examples of bad and embarrassing behavior at "the U."  So allowing blatant, obvious rule breaking to continue unabated for 10 years -- while the program is already on probation in mind-blowingly stupid.  It's like being on probabation for drugs, then getting arrested for selling weed to your probation officer -- only to have the cops show up at your house and find out you're Tony Montana.

In Syracuse parlance, it would be like Jim Boeheim not being able to crack an opponents 2-3 zone or Doug Marrone thinking confusing salami with bologna.  It's so stupid it couldn't possibly have happened.

When something is this dumb, in a perverse way makes it oddly more believable.  If the Darwin Awards existed for college programs, Miami would be hands down winner, every damn year.

One thing is clear -- Nevin Shapiro is no "Uncle Luke Campbell." Luther paid for championships, whereas the 5'5" "Little Luke" paid for losses in the Emerald Bowl, which is sort of like paying $142,000 for a Kia.  Not exactly the return on investment you're looking for there.  Then again, he's in jail for running a ponzi scheme, so long-term finance wasn't something Nevin specialized in.

So while we all shake our head and wonder how human behavior could reach a new lows the stupidity department (even Marcus Sales thinks Miami's dumb), let's enjoy a few fun reactions from the world of Twitter -- because 140 character jokes make the the world go around.

Mark Wahlberg, always a solid casting choice.


Something that we all know is absolutely true.


And hands down, the best tweet of the night.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

W is for West Virginia 2 Point Conversion



1987, helluva year.

We Have Nothing To Worry About


Is all this expansion talk getting you nervous? Well no fear Orange fans. Today's reassuring news that the Big East's fearless leader is reaching out to the most famous used-car salesman in the South, the ACC's John Swofford, has us sleeping a lot easier.

We imagine the conversation going a little something like this:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

U is for Upset of #1 Nebraska


Photo: Post-Standard

In 1983 Syracuse traveled to Lincoln, NE and got blasted 63-7. I distinctively remember that score flashing across the CBS Scoreboard during halftime of another game a much younger Champ was watching.

One year later, the #1 ranked Cornhuskers would fall to the good guys 17-9 in one of the biggest upsets in Syracuse sports history. Just look at Doug Marrone (#78) in the above photo searching for a Cornhusker to pancake.

Dedicated to our good buddy the Axeman, let's take a musical look back at the top Billboard hits of 1984:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

T is for Tim Green

Photo: Kevin Rivoli, AP

As much as we love and appreciate all that Tim Green has done on the field for Syracuse University, we at T3I can not thank him enough for his instrumental role in the hiring of savior Doug Marrone.

Karate Tim Green vs. Karate Kramer, who do you like?





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

S is for Schwartzwalder

Photo: syr.edu

Not a bad resume here:
  • 152 wins at Syracuse
  • national championship
  • coached a Heisman Trophy winner
  • decorated WWII veteran
  • member of the College Football Hall of Fame
  • inspiration for the WVU-Syracuse rivalry trophy

Ebay Item of the Week: Something for the Orange Lady in Your Life

In an effort to reach out to our female demographic, T3I turns our attention to all the lady Orange fans out there. Wondering what to wear to the next cocktail party at Daryl Gross's pad? Our Ebay Item of the Week has you covered. After all, every lady in CNY needs an SU-themed little black dress.

Speaking of the Doctor, don't knock his cocktail parties. The man can really cut a rug:

Monday, August 8, 2011

R is for Robinson

Perhaps no one had a bigger impact (albeit a negative one) on the history of Syracuse football than Mr. Robinson; a 10-37 record will do that.

Courtesy of the folks at Citrus TV, here's a little look back at the Little Engine Who Couldn't:


There's a reason that November 16th is a sacred day here at T3I.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Q is for Qadry

Let's be honest, Qadry didn't have much competition in securing the letter "Q" all to himself. Great job by this card manufacturer in spelling his name wrong.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Marinovich-ing the Syracuse Football Team

Syracuse defensive end Mikhail Marinovich made a huge splash at Big East Media Day when he appeared with a mustache that is beyond awesome.

The glorious facial hair of Mikhail Marinovich
But simply growing the 'stache hasn't been enough for Mr. Marinovich.  He's embraced the mustache lifestyle and never misses an opportunity to discuss the present and future plans for that glorious lip warmer of his.  This is evidenced by him telling the Syracuse.com yesterday that the mustache wasn't in prime form just yet -- but he did term it "a recent accomplishment."  That is just perfect.  It's so perfect that we here at T3I think more SU leaders should adopt the mustache lifestyle.

Using our mad photoshop (cough - MS Paint) skills, we've decided to take Mikhail's "recent accomplishment" and see how some other football types would look with it.

Head Coach Doug Marrone


Doug doesn't look half bad with the Mikhail stache.  It helps that it has an orange-ish red tint to it
 Quartberback Ryan Nassib


With the 'stache Nassib has more of a riverboat gambler look to him.  I bet if he had this he'd be forcing the ball into coverage more.

Defensive End Chandler Jones

Chandler already embraces facial hair
But it's definitely kicked up a notch when you Marinovich it.

He should probably stick with what he's got, this isn't working
Running Back Antwon Bailey

Much like drugs, Antwon should just say no to old-time mustaches
Former Coach Paul Pasqualoni

Coach P never would have been fired if he manned up and rocked this look
All the orignal photos come from Syracuse.com