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Year-in-review: John’s favorite TNIAAM articles (that he wrote) in 2018

I wrote some things this year. Perhaps you read them.

NCAA Football: Camping World Bowl-West Virginia vs Syracuse Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It shouldn’t surprise that I write a lot of what appears on the webpages of TNIAAM, but some of those articles are certainly better than others. What’s captured below are probably the ones that are better — in my opinion, anyway.

In case you wanted to revisit some of the year’s more enjoyable articles, I pulled together a list of the ones that most resonated with me below. These are just the ones I wrote, however. If you’d rather read the great things the rest of the TNIAAM staff wrote, there’s a separate article for that as well.

These are in chronological order, so don’t imply anything from the order. Also, there are 13 of them. Nothing to surmise from that specific number. It’s just where I happened to land.

Syracuse basketball: They are who we thought they were

Spoiler alert: They were more than that. But this line of thinking should inform the current struggles now until proven otherwise.

What’s a college basketball ‘blueblood’ anyway?

Villanova fans did not appreciate this take, and I still couldn’t care less. “Blueblood” is a subjective term to begin with, and the list of who qualifies remains very short compared to the list of who doesn’t. It’s an interesting debate, however.

Don’t lose realism with Tyus Battle’s return to Syracuse

Again, looks like a buzzkill post, but is more just bringing up some of the things we should’ve probably seen coming this season. Battle’s a great offensive player who’s improved his efficiency in 2018-19. At the same, without progress from the team’s other players, there’s a distinct ceiling for this group that could fall short of the NCAAs.

For now, I’ll concede defeat on the NBA vs. college basketball debate

I’m glad I was sort of wrong here, at least with regard to the concept that the Warriors would be an indestructible force all year. Granted, DeMarcus Cousins is still out, but Golden State has looked rather pedestrian since the NBA’s 2018-19 season tipped off. They’re 24-13, have struggled at times from three and have also looked unimpressive against some of the league’s other top teams. They may still win it all next spring. It may also be a more interesting path to get to that result, though.

For the ACC Network to succeed, it needs unique content (not overflow)

My primary job involves writing about TV and TV-adjacent advertising, so this piece was right in that wheelhouse. Once the ACC Network launches, it needs to give people a reason to watch (even more so now after a lackluster football season aside from Clemson and Syracuse’s surprising resurgence). Unique programming is a big part of gaining a following early.

We don’t know what Syracuse football’s season brings, but this feels different

FSU ended up having a poor season in the end, but the win over the ‘Noles still gave hints about what was to come for the Orange. In leaning on an aggressive defense to beat Florida State, Syracuse showed us they’d find a variety of ways to win in 2018. Back then, I said it was great to be excited about the win, but that we also had to avoid the urge to skip ahead. Well, now at the end, we can bask a little bit more in every win we got to enjoy. The turn toward something special probably started here after week three.

Syracuse can’t miss its chance to make the jump this time

That “don’t skip ahead” mantra lasted about a week, until we were 4-0 and staring out at a very promising season. They’d end up making the proverbial jump, I think, by the end of the year.

Syracuse football: We’re all QB1 at some point, until we’re not anymore

The COLDEST of takes, especially given the article at the end of this list. After Eric Dungey was replaced by Tommy DeVito in a comeback win over UNC, I (and many others) jumped the gun on turning the page to the next era of Syracuse football. Dungey would prove the doubters wrong repeatedly in 2018 and ultimately guide the Orange to a 10-win season. The sentiment about how everyone’s eventually replaced holds true, however.

#NARRATIVE gets early start against Syracuse basketball in 2018-19

ESPN gets lazy with its reporting at times, and we were happy to call out one of them. Oh, and we beat Ohio State in that “mandatory” (read: not at all mandatory) game in Columbus.

Stars are aligning for Syracuse football; can they take advantage this time?

Syracuse was experiencing “it,” as I wrote at the time. And after a 10-3 finish, it remained true and will be the undisputed sentiment when we look back on this season in the years to come. Despite the Notre Dame loss, I’d argue they very much took advantage of their chance to make this season special for every Orange fan and player.

Is this the peak or the way up? Syracuse football is about to find out

I revisited the concept above just a couple weeks later. It ends up it was the peak after the aforementioned loss to the Irish. That’s just fine. Was still fun to entertain the idea of being in the Peach Bowl conversation, though.

We have to talk about the alt-universe Syracuse Orange in Japan


Fittingly, it’s Eric Dungey who leads Syracuse to Camping World Bowl win

Late entry, but among my favorites to have written. Immediately after Friday night’s victory, i just seemed apropos that the senior was the one who turned it on in the second half and ultimately brought the Orange the win over West Virginia. You could see how much this program means to Dungey in the post-game presser (and really, you should’ve known beforehand too). He’ll be remembered for giving it all for Syracuse, and finally (thankfully) getting the ultimate reward.


Hopefully you got as much out of reading all of these articles as I did writing them. I think year two of the “new” TNIAAM went a bit smoother, but am always open to feedback as you’d like to offer it. Thanks for being the guiding force behind this place for the past 12 (going on 13!) years now. And as always, #CancelCassillo.