This is the 11th installment in a new series about Syracuse's impending move to the ACC. Previous rival profiles: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Maryland, Virginia, Florida State, North Carolina.
Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC 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 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our latest profile, we say hello to a school that's probably still a bit bitter about what happened in the Carrier Dome last September. Yup, it's the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
School:Wake Forest University
Nickname: Demon Deacons
Stadium: BB&T Field (capacity: 31,500) | Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (capacity: 14,665)
Football & Basketball Titles: 0 (no comment.)
Notable Football Alums: Aaron Curry, Calvin Pace, Ricky Proehl, Brian Piccolo, Norm Snead
Notable Basketball Alums: Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, Chris Paul, Mugsy Bogues, Jeff Teague
Did you take a look at that list of football players directly above the jump? I mean, wow. Even Duke had more recognizable gridiron alums than Wake Forest. The main reason for this? Over the course of their 110 seasons as a football team, the Demon Deacons have lost nearly 200 more games than they've won. The best coaches in their history: current head man Jim Grobe, who's just one game over .500, and a guy whose nickname was "Peahead" back in the 1930s and 40s. All-time, they've been to just 10 bowl games and own two conference championships (1970 and 2010). At that rate, their next shot at the ACC title's coming in 2050. Oddly enough though, our institutions have only met twice on the football field -- 2006 and 2011. And we all remember how the 2011 matchup ended. If you don't. Well it ended well. For us.
Wake Forest basketball, on the other hand, is a pretty successful bunch, albeit inconsistent too. As part of the Tobacco Road "Big Four," they're automatically steeped in tradition as a cornerstone of a perennially strong hoops league. And most of that praise is well-warranted. They've been to the tournament 22 times -- a respectable amount -- and have played in six Elite Eights; two less than the Orange (if you count this season). On the other hand, they've won just five conference tournaments (despite having some sort of affiliation since 1936) and have played in just one Final Four (1962). Even during their winningest seasons ('94 & '95), they still only won 26 games, though their best stretch from 1993-1997 did propel Tim Duncan to NBA superstardom soon after. Like football, we have a very brief history with the Deacs in basketball as well; we're 1-0, with our only win coming in '01-'02.
I'd mock Wake for not being as successful as we are, but they've never really hurt anyone, so it kind of feels wrong. In many regards, we're brothers in arms with NC State and Wake Forest -- attempting to wrestle control of the ACC out of Duke and UNC's hands. So until we join the league, or we're irreparably wronged by the Demon Deacons, maybe we keep the smug comments to ourselves. Or not.
As you were, Syracuse fans.