ROCKPORT — The Maine Principals’ Association’s proposal to add a fifth class to the state’s high school basketball ranks next season was approved Thursday morning.Membership voted in favor of the proposal 67-29.The change from the traditional four-class system is an effort to address a southward shift in the population that has contributed to declining school enrollments in northern Maine.A Class AA for the state’s largest basketball-playing schools is meant to reduce the gap between the largest and smallest schools within a class and create more balanced competition.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text
Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Daryl Gross has actively marketed Syracuse as ‘New York’s College Team’ since he began his tenure as athletic director seven years ago.Syracuse’s victory over Kansas State in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium last December was a milestone for Gross in achieving his ultimate goal of dominating New York’s collegiate landscape.With Syracuse set to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014, though, the program may not get a chance to play on that stage in the future. The Pinstripe Bowl is currently in the second year of a four-year contract with the Big East and Big 12. So when SU makes the move to the ACC in 2014, the Pinstripe Bowl’s contract will be open.And Gross would like nothing more than for the ACC to explore a contract with the Pinstripe Bowl when its current deal expires to maintain Syracuse’s influence in New York and potentially compete against former Big East rivals.‘Absolutely, absolutely. I would love that,’ Gross said. ‘I think that the Pinstripe Bowl folks would probably love to check out those types of relationships. There’s just good matchups. And heck, why can’t it be a Big East-ACC? Why can’t it be some of those types of things?’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOnce its current deal with the Big East and Big 12 expires, the bowl could be open to new options. That is when Gross hopes the ACC slides into the Big 12’s potentially vacated spot.Without the opportunity to play in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden every year once ACC play begins, Syracuse, which Gross called the ‘big boy’ in the state with potent football and basketball programs, will want to grasp onto any possible opportunities to compete in New York City.Though the Pinstripe Bowl isn’t a top-tier bowl game, it has value for Syracuse in the form of increased media exposure, as it is broadcasted on national television.But the ACC has not yet discussed its next bowl cycle, a conference official said. The conference is amid its October meetings, discussing topics such as when Syracuse and Pittsburgh will begin play in the ACC, what type of structure the conference will use — one division or two — and how its conference championships will be organized.When the time comes to potentially pursue a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl, the ACC will have to factor in the incentives of rekindling what soon may become dormant Big East rivalries. The ACC will explore bowls that receive a majority vote from the 14 athletic directors, the ACC official said.But that’s still three years away and the Pinstripe Bowl itself ultimately decides which conferences get bids.A Pinstripe Bowl official declined to comment on the ACC’s potential interest and said the organization is focused solely on its current contract.The Big East, however, is not necessarily buying into Gross’ vision of an ACC-Big East matchup in the Pinstripe Bowl.‘Our teams already play ACC opponents in the Champs Sports Bowl and the Belk Bowl, so I’m not sure it would be prudent to add to that,’ a Big East spokesman said in an email to The Daily Orange.With three years left on its existing bowl contracts, the spokesman said it’s ‘too early’ for the Big East to speculate about future bowl partners. But when the conference does look into future bowl games, the spokesman said the Big East will value ‘desirable destinations and top-level competition for our schools.’Until then, Syracuse, which has already secured half of the six wins necessary to qualify for a bowl, has two more potential opportunities to play in the Pinstripe Bowl.Playing in last year’s inaugural bowl game at Yankee Stadium held sentimental value for many of the players on the team.For former Syracuse safety George Mayes, it was an opportunity to play in front of family — something he and the other 34 Syracuse players from New York and New Jersey weren’t often able to do at home games in the Carrier Dome last season.In Mayes’ mind, the day that stands out isn’t Dec. 30, when the game was played. Rather, Mayes remembers four days earlier. If he could, Mayes would relive Dec. 26, 2010, every day.On that Sunday, he and his family drove from their home in Roselle, N.J., to the Grand Hyatt New York, where the SU football team stayed during the days leading up to the Pinstripe Bowl.Though it was only a half-hour drive, Mayes vividly remembers thinking back on memories at Syracuse with family and anticipating the culmination of his collegiate career in what would be his first and last bowl game. And there was no more fitting place to do so than close to home at Yankee Stadium.By the time he took the field Thursday, Mayes was ecstatic.‘It was unreal to be honest man,’ Mayes said. ‘ … It was probably one of the best days I’ve ever experienced in my life.’Now, Mayes sympathizes for the current and future SU players who may never have the chance to partake in the homecoming of sorts he did.Though he expects his alma mater to advance to Bowl Championship Series bowls in coming seasons, Mayes was looking forward to SU playing in the Pinstripe Bowl becoming a ‘big tradition’ for years to come.The one Pinstripe Bowl the Orange did play in was about more than just the football program. It was about elevating SU’s campaign as ‘New York’s College Team.’‘The fact that we’re New York’s College Team, I think it was big for the state,’ Mayes said. ‘I think it was big for the university for us to just represent and for the folks to remain loyal.’[email protected]—Sports Editor Michael Cohen and Asst. News Editor Jon Harris contributed reporting to this article. Published on October 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1
MORE: Which players are sitting out Week 17?Reminder: These rankings will be adjusted throughout week, so check back often for updates.WEEK 17 DFS:DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! GPP | FD Cash | ValuesWeek 17 Fantasy Defense RankingsRankTeam1New England Patriots vs. Dolphins2Baltimore Ravens vs. Steelers3Indianapolis Colts @ Jaguars4Denver Broncos vs. Raiders5Los Angeles Rams vs. Cardinals6Green Bay Packers @ Lions7Pittsburgh Steelers @ Ravens8San Francisco 49ers @ Seahawks9Cleveland Browns @ Bengals10Buffalo Bills vs. Jets11Houston Texans vs. Titans12Seattle Seahawks vs. 49ers13Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chargers14New Orleans Saints @ Panthers15Dallas Cowboys vs. Redskins16Atlanta Falcons @ Buccaneers17Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Colts18Philadelphia Eagles @ Giants19Cincinnati Bengals vs. Browns20Minnesota Vikings vs. Bears21Oakland Raiders @ Broncos22Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Falcons23New York Giants vs. Eagles24New York Jets @ Bills25Miami Dolphins @ Patriots26Carolina Panthers vs. Saints27Tennessee Titans @ Texans28Chicago Bears @ Vikings29Washington Redskins @ Cowboys30Los Angeles Chargers @ Chiefs31Arizona Cardinals @ Rams32Detroit Lions vs. Packers Week 17 fantasy defense rankings will have some unpredictability added to them by playoff seeding scenarios. Our top two D/STs for the week are slated to be the Patriots and Ravens. Baltimore has nothing to play for, while the Pats have been known to play it safe in Week 17, although they still have seeding to compete for. Most fantasy leagues that continue to the final regular season week think about players sitting out for how it affects offense, but with whole defensive units possibly impacted by single absences, there could be question marks on the defensive side of start ’em, sit ’em questions, too.Now in the cases of Baltimore and New England, you should probably be starting those D/STs anyway. The Patriots take on mistake-prone Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins, which should lead to fantasy goodness regardless of who’s on the field. We’d also feel great about the Ravens’ defense against either Mason Rudolph or Duck Hodges. Either way, there are turnovers waiting to happen. WEEK 17 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | KickerBeyond the top two, it’s about matchups as usual. The Colts (@ Jaguars), Broncos (vs. Raiders), Rams (vs. Cardinals) and Packers (@ Lions) all have great matchups that should be attacked this week. You can also feel good about San Francisco, which hasn’t been amazing of late but faces a Seattle offense that is reeling and now without Chris Carson (hip).If you’ve been streaming the Chargers lately, now is the time to drop them. A meeting with Patrick Mahomes in the season’s final week doesn’t bode well for L.A. You may also have streamed the Redskins against the Giants or the Jets against Pittsburgh. If so, look elsewhere this week.WEEK 17 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endThe final big question centers around Pittsburgh’s defense. Normally, you’d avoid a D/ST at all costs playing against Lamar Jackson. The thing is, the Ravens could sit Lamar. If that happens, everything changes. For now, the Steelers are ranked to reflect a matchup with Jackson. If he sits, vault Pittsburgh into the top 10 against Robert Griffin III and company. (Update: Jackson and Mark Ingram will sit out for the Ravens, and we’ve adjusted the Steelers D/ST accordingly).