Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC (at this point, sadly a few seasons away in all likelihood) of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our third profile, we get a little more familiar with a team most Syracuse fans (like the rest of the country) have a healthy disdain for: the Duke Blue Devils.
School: Duke University
Nickname: Blue Devils
Location: Durham, N.C.
Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium (capacity: 33,941) | Cameron Indoor Stadium (capacity: 9,314)
Football & Basketball Titles: 4 (all basketball: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010)
Notable Football Alums: Sonny Jurgensen, Clarkston Hines, Ace Parker
Notable Basketball Alums: Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Jason Williams, J.J. Reddick
Were you previously unaware that Duke University fielded a FBS team? So were the students at Duke! Take a look at those notable alums above. Not to sully their accomplishments at all, but how many readers were truly familiar with Hines or Parker's body of work, or that they attended Duke prior to this article? As one may guess by the tone we're going with here, Duke's football program is less of a factor than even Syracuse's has been this past decade (or more specifically, ever). They have played in just eight bowl games since 1895 (and none since 1994), Additional fun facts: of the Blue Devils' 17 conference titles during their history, 10 were won in the Southern Conference and six were won prior to 1962. Duke has not appeared in a final regular season poll since 1962, and has been M.I.A. in every poll since 1994. In a puzzling turn of events, however, Syracuse lost both meetings with Duke all-time -- a 33-6 ransacking in 1938, followed by a 21-0 rout in 1939. We still hold a grudge, I assume.
The Duke basketball team, on the other hand, needs no introduction. Since head coach Mike Krzyzewski showed up in 1980, it has grown into a national powerhouse with four NCAA titles and 11 Final Four berths in that time span. Among the "royalty" of college basketball, they're regularly afforded breaks plebeians such as ourselves are not -- like dropping just two spots after losing to a un-ranked team AT HOME.
Speaking of home games, Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the most raucous environments in college basketball, in spite of its seemingly small capacity. By ascending to the heights this program has, however, they've earned a place of disdain from fans nationwide, and rightfully so. Names like Reddick, Hill, Singler, and especially Laettner bring cringes to our faces, and part of it's from jealousy (read: I am not a Duke sympathizer. On the contrary, I hate them).
Duke's four titles tie them for fifth all-time and they also possess the best NCAA Tournament winning percentage in history. Historically, Duke and Syracuse are tied at two wins apiece, though both of Duke's came in the NCAAs (1998 Sweet 16 and a second round win over Jim Boeheim as a player in 1966).
As for smack talk, understand that we're probably losing on the basketball front, in spite of both programs' respective prestige. Feel free to chat away, however, as you'll be more knowledgeable than your cohort, who'll likely know very little about any team but the Blue Devils. In football, the gap may be so large that it's not even worth bragging about. Still, take some time once or twice a season to knock Duke fans down to size if they dare utter a thought that our hard times are even comparable to theirs. I mean, they have kept a coach around because he "succeeded" in going 15-33 over four seasons.