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#FakeNunes: Syracuse vs. Clemson

If it's not fit to print, it's #FakeNunes!

Opponent: #2 Clemson Tigers (6-0)

Location: Clemson, S.C.

Students: 23,000

#FakeNunes Presents: The Greatest Upsets of All Time

A three-touchdown underdog, the Syracuse Orange are in the unenviable position of hosting an opponent that seems to have the advantage in every phase of the game. Without question, Clemson boasts an experienced roster loaded with four- and five-star talent, great balance, and the darling of American collegiate athletics coaches, "The Gentleman" Dabo Swinney.

Not many expect Syracuse to defeat The Tigers, but history has proven time and time again that upsets can happen! To celebrate these memorable victories, #Fake Nunes is proud to present the Top 10 Greatest Upsets of All Time:

These three-touchdown underdogs got the job done.

10. Urbania Giants over Urbania Cowboys (1994). Sure, obnoxious New England Patriots fans get all giddy when you mention the score 28-3. But nearly twenty years earlier, The Urbania Giants Pee Wee football team pulled off what many historians have called the greatest ever second half comeback in a crazy 27-21 victory over the far superior Cowboys. Down 21-0 at the half, The Giants mounted a ferocious comeback led by Becky "The Icebox" O'Shea, who came out of retirement early in the second half following a flagrant late hit on her love interest (QB Junior Floyd) by Spike Hammersmith. Tied at 21, the Giants stopped the Cowboys on a goal line stand, and with the last play of the game, ran "The Annexation of Puerto Rico" to the game winning score. Movie Magic!

9. Tony Bennett runs the Table (1995). No one will argue Bennett's "MTV Unplugged" album wasn't solid, but the platinum-throated crooner stunned the music world when he ran past a loaded field including Oasis ("Definitely Maybe"), Nine Inch Nails ("Downward Spiral"), Soundgarden ("Superunknown") and Pearl Jam ("Versus") to win the Grammy for Best Album at the height of the Grunge movement.

8. The Battle of Agincourt (1415). This famous battle was already covered by TNIAAM and is well-placed on this list. Outnumbered 3 to 1, King Henry V's English Army stunned the French heavy cavalry by introducing the equivalent of the spread vertical passing scheme to modern warfare. Indeed, the innovative use of the longbow along with favorable weather conditions allowed Henry to trounce the favored French and turned the tide of the Hundred Year's War. #LongbowWasTheNewFast

7. Sam and Frodo over Mordor (year unknown). No one in Vegas gave The Hobbits a chance to get to the BCS title game against Mordor, let alone take the whole program down faster than Baylor University. The Hobbits were handed no scheduling favors and had to play their entire slate of contests away from home, but they overcame an Orc army, a massive spider, a rogue Hobbit Booster that we think was Nevan Shapiro, and an enormous all-seeing eye to vanquish Mordor and take home the Middle Earth Conference Crown.

6. Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson (1990). Prior to the 1990 bout, Mike Tyson looked every bit the indestructible force that Clemson appears to be today. Having obliterated his prior 37 opponents on the way to unifying the Heavyweight Championship of the World, Tyson entered the ring a 42-1 favorite against the journeyman Douglas. Perhaps looking ahead to a fight against the No. 1 contender Evander Holyfield, Tyson appeared underprepared for Douglas' power, and succumbed to a TKO in the 10th Round. Douglas failed to defend his title in his next match and quickly faded from the boxing scene. Tyson too never regained his dominating form, ate Evander Holyfield's ear, and rapidly descended into the farcical character that we know today.

5. "Forrest Gump" over "Pulp Fiction" and "The Shawshank Redemption" (1995). Movie fans could argue that Kevin Costner's best director win over Martin Scorsese was the greatest upset of all time, but for me "Forrest Gump" being given the Oscar nod over two of the best films of the decade was akin to the BCS Selection committee picking Nebraska over Oregon in 2001.

4. Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown (2013). If only to post this gif:

3. Battle of Julu (207 BC). What do you do when you are outmanned 4 to 1 against a highly-favored opponent with pedigree and come out with the "W?”

a) You rush the field and tear down the goalposts

b) You plant your school flag over the opposing team's mid-field logo

c) You bury your opponents alive

If you are Chu State head coach Xiang Yu, you choose letter C! Indeed, Xiang was a leader in the mold of Woody Hayes. He led his 50,000 troops across the Yellow River in China to face a 200,000-strong Qin dynasty army, and in one of the more motivating speeches in history forced them to destroy their boats and all but three-days-worth of food. With their very survival based on defeating Qin State and capturing their supplies within three days, Chu State started aggressively and overpowered their opponents with lightening speed. Not wanting to share supplies with the 100,000+ Qin soldiers who surrendered, Xiang had them buried alive.

And people used to get pissed with Bob Stoops' running up the score...

2. USA over USSR (1980). Ahh, the Miracle on Ice. The well-documented stunning upset of the Soviet hockey team at the hands of a group of American amateurs will be the stuff of sporting legend until the end of time. An accomplishment only overshadowed by:

Syracuse celebrates Mike Siano's fourth quarter touchdown that sealed The Orangemen's 17-9 over #1 Nebraska in 1984
  1. Syracuse over #1 Nebraska (1984). Entering the Carrier Dome, Nebraska was deemed an unstoppable force. And following an embarrassing 63-7 in Lincoln the previous season, NO ONE gave Dick McPherson's 25 point underdog Orangemen a chance. But a stout Syracuse defense combined with timely plays by Tim Green, Mike Siano and Harold Gayden shocked the sporting world and planted the seeds of a new era of success on the Hill.

Hey, anything can happen...


Coach's Film Study

Today's Film: Fireball 500

Many of you may not know this, but man do I LOVE those beach party movies from the 60s! There's just something about a bunch of young adults playing in the sun of an endless summer with boards, bikes and bikinis everywhere. And no one owned this genre of films more than the Holy Trinity of beach party actors: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and Fabian!

But during the second half of the decade, America was moving from the idyllic and whitewashed era of pop culture to a darker, more rebellious era that was indicative of the emerging views of the Vietnam Era. Avalon, Funicello and Fabian saw the changing times and called an audible on the beach party film: moving from straight up fun in the sun, to incorporating car racing and alcohol bootlegging into the proceedings. It was the equivalent of moving from 3-yard bubble screens from a twins right formation to a no-huddle vertical passing attack. Beautiful!

"Fireball 500" was one of the first such films to introduce an edgier storyline into an Avalon/Funicello/Fabian film. Avalon plays the lead role of "Fireball" Owens, a Californian racer who travels out to Spartanburg, SC to challenge local champ Sonny Leander Fox in a race. After impressing wealthy local Martha Brian, Owens agrees to compete in a cross-country night race, but is unaware that the race is a ruse for Martha's illegal moonshine operations.

Dave gets in trouble with the law, gets in trouble with Leander (who has his own bootlegging operation), and gets in trouble with Martha and her partner Charlie Bigg. But Avalon charms his way out of the trouble altogether in a way that only Frankie Avalon can, and even drives off into the sunset with Martha the Moonshiner in his arms...

Like Syracuse football against a good opponent, it is the kind of film that starts slowly and awkwardly, builds up momentum and has you thinking it's going to kick ass, but doesn't end up with enough time left to really seal the deal. With that said, Fireball 500 does entertain, and leaves you longing for the good old days of classic 60s film.


The #FakeNunes Statistical Index (#FNSI)

F&B: (Food and Beverage). Clemson, S.C. is a quaint Southern college town where the focus is ON THE FOOTBALL! The food and beverage scene mirrors this prioritization with a range of options that suggests that food is nothing more than fuel to get you through the six empty days that separate Clemson football games during the Fall.

Clemson takes the "food as fuel" concept literally to the extreme as perhaps the town's most iconic gastronomic and drinking venue is in-fact a converted gas station called The Esso Club.

Clemson does offer a range of additional spots that are worth the visit if you are looking for a great plate of grits on a Sunday morning to help soak up the bourbon from the night before (Sunnyside Cafe), or impress one's date while waxing poetically about the greatness of Gentleman Dabo Swinney (Rick Erwin's Clemson). But you simply do not find the quantity or quality of options as in a larger college town such as Syracuse. ADVANTAGE: Syracuse

All hail the glory of the Southern tailgate!

Tailgate Efficiency: While we as Syracuse fans often rue our luck that we have had to enter the Atlantic Division at THE high water mark for our opponents, there has to be some comfort knowing that once every other year, we have the opportunity to travel down to one of the nation's top tailgating spots. The food may not quite meet the standard of week 4 opponent LSU, but the overall scene, the people and the pageantry are all among the best in the ACC if not the entire country ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Adj. Uniform Coolness: We both wear Orange, which is inarguably the greatest color ever.

But only one of us doesn't F#*k with it!!! ADVANTAGE: Clemson

4th String F.I.: Clemson football is a way of life for those who follow the team, and they take this crap seriously. I mean, like tattoo-your-baby's-arm-with-a-tiger-paw-at-birth seriously. If you DON'T KNOW the four-deep depth chart following the end of Spring Ball, you get your membership revoked and you are forced to root for some crap SEC team. ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Hot Seat: Let's be honest, neither Dino or Dabo is in any trouble regardless of the result of this game. But there's probably no coach in America safer in his job than Dabo. ADVANTAGE: Syracuse

FACEPALM: While Dabo remains ultra safe in his job, a loss to Syracuse would be a shocking and crushing defeat for the No. 2 team in the country and their fan base. The good times won't last forever, but clearly Tiger fans are thinking they'll last at least until Clemson/Bama III rolls around. ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Grandpa Edgar: "Back in my day, Clemson was guaranteed to give you a good game, but they were beatable if you pinned your ears back and ran between the tackles 100 times a game like those great Nebraska offenses of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Syracuse runs through the tackles like my bowls run after a meal without any fiber. They go nowhere." ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Swift/Perry Index: We do have this awkward internet rivalry, but there hasn't yet been a definitive contest that has led any Clemson fan to really fear or deeply respect Syracuse on the football field. And for that reason, we're probably the more angry of the two fan bases. EFF YOU DABO! ADVANTAGE: Syracuse

Iso #DISRESPEKT: In the beginning, God created man. He then proceeded to populate the earth with jerk Clemson fans who go on social media and rant and rave about every perceived slight that has ever been made about their “classy” program. Okay, that is not entirely true, but there is a general impression among college football fans everywhere that hell hath no fury like a Clemson fan scorned. ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Narcissism+: One team has been to two straight national Championship games. One team hasn't sniffed a National Championship in 30 years, and remains in the perpetual wash cycle of a middling football program. Better times are ahead, but let's not kid ourselves... ADVANTAGE: Clemson

EDSBS IJ Factor: (Every Day Should Be Saturday Inside Joke Factor). As one would expect with a Southern football power with a rabid and serious fan base, EDSBS spends plenty of time keeping tabs on the intricacies of Clemson football including the escapades of 8-Ball, facilities updates, and profiles on their more colorful fans. ADVANTAGE: Clemson

East Coast Bias +/-: Clemson has earned the respect of the East Coast media with three elite seasons on the trot. But The Tigers will be an afterthought still as long as the Baby Bombers in New York remain in the playoff chase. ADVANTAGE: Clemson (if Cleveland Wins)

Tradition/Culture Index: A modest segment of the Clemson fan base refers to the school as "the Harvard of The South,” but we all know that is sort of like calling Food Lion the "Wegmans of the South.”

With that said, Clemson fans do take themselves and their traditions seriously. And DON'T YOU EVER SAY THEY AREN'T CLASSY or James Slater will be on your ass! Tailgates nearly demand country club attire, and a respect of the past is on full display including the rubbing of Howard's Rock, the Alma Mater Salute, and the Tiger Rag. ADVANTAGE: Clemson

Prediction

Syracuse holds an advantage across a few #FNSI variables, but where Clemson holds the upper hand, it is by a wide margin. This is the best 'Cuse team since their entry into the ACC, but it's still too steep a hill to climb. Clemson 41, Syracuse 27.