Now that I've put your mind at ease, let me put the fear of God back into you and give you five good reasons the Orange are as good as gone from the Big East. Especially now that it's official that the Big Ten is on the prowl.
1. DOCTOR Gross
Someone joked that if it were up to DOC Gross, he would be petitioning Syracuse for membership in the Pac-10 if he could to be close to USC again. It's not far off. We know about Gross is always looking big picture, not only with Syracuse but with his own legacy. He wants his legacy to one day be The Architect of SU Athletics 2.0. Part of that means demystifying traditions that preceded him (#44) and creating new ones that he has a hand in. Moving the Orange to the Big Ten would accomplish this and then some. Considering it would most likely be a financially-successful move for SU, he'd be the guy responsible.
2. We Almost Jumped Once Already
If it were up to us, we'd be in the ACC right now. That is an undeniable fact. So for all the pro-Big East rah rah talk we've done since the Miami/VT/BC defection, we probably should keep our mouths shut (but we can't, obviously). And remember, this was even before Gross was here. Jake Crouthamel, who was one of the early adopters of the Big East, even thought it would have been a good idea to play elsewhere. Clearly, we're open to the idea.
3. Football Conferences Are Like Sharks, They Keep Moving Forward Or They Die
Yes, Big East football has improved over the last six seasons. The steady improvement of programs like Rutgers, UConn and USF has solidified the base and the success of Cincy, Pitt and West Virginia have kept the conference in the national limelight. But you and I know it's not enough. Our conference champ just went undefeated and got shut out of the national title game, and probably would have been passed over by a MWC team if the next domino fell. The conference is not on even ground with the rest of the BCS. And every year the Big East doesn't expand or explore it's options is another year the rest of the nation's conferences grow stronger around them. Some would argue the MWC is a better conference right now and even so they're trying to take steps to improve further. Not the Big East. It continues to twiddle it's thumbs and hope it all works out. There's only so long you can expect your partners to stick with you when you do that.
4. Mo Money, Less Problems
Nancy Cantor likes the chedda. The Big Ten has it's own network (a real network, not that thing the Big East pretends is a network). With another team it will have it's own championship game. It has better bowl affiliations. It has a much better reputation. Joining the Big Ten means more money for Syracuse, plain and simple. Sometimes, it's that easy.
5. We Kinda Do Make Sense
For all the reasons we don't make sense (small market, non-traditional rival, private university), we also make more sense than many of the other choices. Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati? Please, a handful of successful seasons does not a tradition make. Pitt? It'd nice but Penn State kinda already has Western PA covered. Missouri? Not so sure they have the academic reputation the Big Ten wants (commence firing statistics at me). Syracuse isn't as close to NYC as our AD likes to think but it does have a presence there, especially in basketball. And we do expand the reach of the conference in New York, NJ and New England in terms of alumni and awareness.