The holiday season kicks off this week and along with a triple-header of NFL action on Thursday, the college football ranks often shine with storied rivalries. Those of us old enough to remember Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" touchdown pass to propel Boston College over defending National Champion Miami, recall the magic happened on that Friday after Thanksgiving. Even the casual college football fan will enjoy some of the classic match-ups this weekend.
What a difference a year makes. Carmelo Anthony played for one season at Syracuse University. In that 2002-03 season, Melo averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds, leading head coach Jim Boeheim's team to their third National Championship. Melo left a few months later in the NBA draft as the 3rd overall pick of the Denver Nuggets. However, Anthony will always be on the Mount Rushmore of Syracuse basketball. Now his son may continue that Orange legacy.
The names on the front of the jerseys will be the same but almost everything about this year's Albany Cup between Siena and UAlbany in men's basketball will be different. Since 2001, the two institutions of higher learning, separated by about 5 miles, battled 17 straight years in men's hoops. 16 times the game has been played in downtown Albany, in what is now the MVP Arena, Siena's home court during the season. In 2016, the game was played the only time at the SEFCU Arena, on the campus of UAlbany.
104.5 'The Team' ESPN Radio, UAlbany Athletics and City Line Bar & Grill announced year two of 'Drive the Lane' with UAlbany Hoops' is set to take off. The weekly radio hour features UAlbany head basketball coaches Dwayne Killings and Colleen Mullen, along with select student-athletes. The show is hosted by 104.5 ESPN Radio's Charlie Voelker and Dan Bahl. 'Drive the Lane' will be broadcast live on Mondays from City Line Bar & Grill on Western Ave across the street from UAlbany's campus.
Central New York is once again becoming a hot-bed of college football excitement, as #16 Syracuse continues to play great football under head coach Dino Babers. The success of Syracuse football has not gone unnoticed in the community and now fans are coming from near and far to the JMA Wireless Dome. This Saturday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their traveling fanbase come to campus.
ESPN's "College Game Day" has been a Saturday morning staple for millions of collegiate football fans for 35 years. The campus spirited show, that debuted in 1987, has not been broadcast live from a location in New York State north of the United State Military Academy in West Point. Well, if things go well on Saturday, one campus northwest of there may get their first visit from the popular ESPN show.
There is a big football game on Saturday at noon on ABC-TV. It features #14 Syracuse taking on #5 Clemson. This is the best Syracuse Orange football team in at least the last 4 years and maybe in decades. Clemson football star head coach, Dabo Swinney, may have summed it up best on Tuesday, “Dino’s got ‘em going, man. He’s got an offense that can score. He’s got a scheme that creates challenges.” Handsome praise from a coach that has enjoyed the highest pinnacle in college football.
In the course of coaching a premier college basketball program for nearly five decades, it would be easy to assume that one would get pretty good at assessing their team's chances from one year to the next. On Wednesday at the ACC Men's Basketball Media Day, Boeheim told several reporters that this year's squad of Orange will go to the Big Dance in March. After suffering his first losing season since taking up the profession at Syracuse, the 77 year-old coach is ready to get his team back to playing tournament basketball.
It was a long road just to choose a destination for Dior Johnson and his on-court talents. ESPN ranked him amongst the best 40 freshman college basketball players in the nation coming into the season. Four high schools and three college commitments may have been a troublesome sign for some programs. However, University of Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel was confident that his team was a good fit for Johnson. Now, that all could be in jeopardy for the one-time Syracuse University commit.