Opponent: Central Michigan Chippewas (2-0)
Location: Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Ed note: After last week's surprising and soul-crushing loss, I am executing the "if you can't beat them, join them" penalty clause in the #FakeNunes bylaws and am forcing our beloved Orange to adopt the directional moniker of last week's opponent. Congratulations MTSU! This week, the Syracuse Orange will be known as the Central New York Orange.
Central New York > Central Michigan
Look, I'm not here to start a fight with people from Central Michigan. Honestly, between our loss to Middle Tennessee State, and your comprehensive victory over another P5 team (side note: @JohnCassillo, when is our next opening for a home-and-home against Kansas? Asking for a friend.) I don't think anyone here is taking this game for granted.
On the field, Central Michigan has an offense that has outperformed Central New York up to this point in the season -- led by a QB in Shane Morris that absolutely torched the Kansas Jayhawks last weekend. And overall, it appears CMU is balanced and well positioned to do some damage in the MAC Conference. Well done, you!!!
It's just that, well, how can I say this? Off the field, Central Michigan is, well, about as uninteresting a place as one could possibly imagine.
I get it. I mean Michigan is famously like a mitten, and Central Michigan is unsurprisingly smack dab in the middle of the mitten. And unlike the thumb-y area (Detroit) and the finger-y area (beautiful lake counties), it is stuck in the part of the mitten that is only used to pack snowballs... and wipe snot.
That's not much to go on. And in a state that has all kinds of natural beauty, and perhaps more fun quirky things to see and do than any other state — this particular part of Michigan is bland and largely devoid of the rolling hills, state parks, and waterways that make Central New York so beautiful. And it's 350 miles from the closest Wegmans!!! Dear God.
So, regardless of the outcome Saturday, I think all Central New York fans can feel safe knowing that we live in a comparatively beautiful, diverse, Weggies-fueld wonderland. It will certainly take the edge off yet another unexpected loss during what was is clearly the easiest part of our 2017 schedule.
LOL. Who am I kidding? If we lose this game, we're totally screwed...
Coach's Film Study
Today's Film: Semi-Pro
What do you get when you bring together a cast of stars with little plan other than to try to execute the same old crap that worked a few years ago, but is starting to feel a little tired?
In college football, you apparently get the 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes. In film, you get 'Semi-Pro'!
Set in Flint, Mich. in 1976, 'Semi-Pro' tells the comedic story of Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell), a 70s one-hit wonder who used the money from his only hit to purchase, coach and play in his own failing ABA basketball team. Facing the termination of his basement-dwelling Flint Tropics due to the ABA/NBA merger, Moon and his underdog team use every plot point in the sports-dramedy arc to finish in the ABA top-4 and guarantee a spot in the NBA.
For fans of Will Ferrell, you get an all-star game of lewd jokes and gags that will remind you of what would happen if 'Talladega Nights', 'Anchorman', 'Blades of Glory' and 'The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh' had an afro-haired orgy-baby. Farrell has plenty of four- and five-star talent joining him in the fun including Woody Harrelson, Will Arnett, Andy Daly, Any Richter, and Andre 3000. But it's an All-Star game at its core: it's fun to see the stars on the screen and think about all those great things they've done in the recent past. But in the end, the action itself is predictable and ultimately unmemorable, thereby leaving you wanting something fresh and new from someone far more capable.
The #FakeNunes Statistical Index (#FNSI)
F&B: (Food and Beverage). When IHOP is sitting at #4 on your best restaurants list, you know you are in some trouble. Heck, even Bennigan's is sitting in at #6. That is a distinctively DIII food scene right there. ADVANTAGE: CNY
Tailgate Efficiency: Central Michigan's overall tailgate scene is nothing too impressive or unique. But then again, they can actually party en-masse near Kelly Short Stadium. ADVANTAGE: CMU
Adj. Uniform Coolness: There's something about burgundy and yellow on a football field. It's simple yet bold, it's manly, and it's impossible for Nike to screw up. Granted, Orange is the greatest color on earth, but it needs to be featured more. ADVANTAGE: CMU
4th String F.I.: (4th String Familiarity Index) Central New York fans may start looking to the future of The Orange's roster already should the team fail to get the job done. ADVANTAGE: CNY
Hot Seat: The loss to NTSU didn't put Dino Babers on the hot seat, but it did take a little gleam off the rose. Another loss may start seeding some serious doubt. ADVANTAGE: CNY
FACEPALM: I can't even. ADVANTAGE: CNY
Grandpa Edgar: "The Great Tom Osborne once said: 'Friends are like elevator buttons, they either take you up or they take you down'. Well, your lousy friends just pressed a big old letter "B" last week. Figure yourselves out, and wake me up when Nebraska starts their afternoon game." ADVANTAGE: CMU
Swift/Perry Index: We're approaching the end of another run-of-the-mill 3-game home-away-home MAC tilt. Does anyone remember anything about the first two? ADVANTAGE: Even
Iso #DISRESPEKT: Central Michigan is sitting pretty with a 2-0 record including an away win against an FBS foe. And THEY are the 11-point underdog? ADVANTAGE: CMU
Narcissism+: Do you have to actually think you are really great to have narcissism? ADVANTAGE: CNY
EDSBS IJ Factor: (Every Day Should Be Saturday Inside Joke Factor). Central New York's advantage will be nullified should they lose again on Saturday... there will be nothing "inside" about the jokes... ADVANTAGE: CNY
East Coast Bias +/-: Central New York only has an advantage in that East Coast Media can generally find Central New York on a map. ADVANTAGE: CNY
Tradition/Culture Index: The Orange hold a big advantage in terms of program history, silverware, and alumni greats. CMU does allow their ROTC to fire a cannon whenever the Chippewas take or build-on a lead. That's a HUGE upgrade over the Central New York Touchdown Kazoo or whatever has replaced the Central New York Express Horn. ADVANTAGE: CNY (but I want a Cannon)
With a modest advantage in several key non-statistical indicators, The Orange will save themselves further embarrassment, and come away with a comfortable victory. Central New York 41, Central Michigan 27