Syracuse Moving to the ACC Q&A: Boston College

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Boston College Eagles fans cheer on their team against the Weber State Wildcats on September 4 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

We got our chance to talk about our future ACC rivals in the "Meet Your New Neighbors" series. Now those same folks that we lightly poked fun at get to offer up their own opinions of us! Each week, I'll be posting Q&A responses from one of the 12 current ACC schools, and I'll also be submitting to some questioning on their respective sites, too. It should be fun, and if we're lucky, people might get as angry as they did in the Virginia Tech profile comment thread.

First up, we asked BC Interruption founder Brian Favat about the Boston College-Syracuse football rivalry and conference realignment, and we even (briefly) brought up our common enemy, Connecticut.

Was Syracuse your first choice for ACC expansion?

BC Interruption: Yes. Absolutely. Adding Syracuse along with BC (and Miami) was the original ACC expansion plan to begin with before some Virginia pols got in the way. It just makes too much sense. This gives Boston College a northern dancing partner, one which share a long history on both the gridiron and the hardwood. We're the only two Northeast private schools that play Division I-A college football and the program that BC has played the most this side of Worcester.

On a related note, do you wish we'd been come along with you guys in the first place?

BCI: It's a great question and one I hadn't though of until you asked. My gut tells me yes, if only because that would have meant that Virginia Tech wouldn't have come along with Miami and BC... opening up the possibility of BC winning the conference in either 2007 or 2008 (both years our Orange Bowl hopes were crushed by the Hokies after winning the first meeting during the regular season).

Syracuse probably would have been slotted into the Coastal Division along with Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia and likely would have been paired with BC as their cross-division rival. That seems a lot less forced that BC-Virginia Tech and the Eagles probably would have won more cross-divisional games in recent years. Just sayin'.

Overall thoughts on conference realignment?

BCI: Love, love, love the Syracuse add. When it happened, I wrote that BC was the biggest winner in this round of ACC expansion. Adding one of our historical rivals gives BC an intradivisional rival and in my mind validates the school's decision to leave the Big East for the ACC back in 2003.

The Pitt add is kinda like ... yeah, OK, cool. By my estimation, it's a better add than Rutgers or Connecticut from a combination of history & tradition, revenue sports, non-revs and academics. If academics wasn't a factor, which obviously it is, I would have also taken West Virginia. But short of landing Notre Dame or miraculously coaxing Vanderbilt out of the SEC, Pitt is as good as anyone else. It's all about even numbers.

Is the BC-SU rivalry one worth rekindling (in football, at least)?

BCI: No question, at least from Boston College's perspective. Once Holy Cross de-prioritized winning college sports, the Eagles have really been without a primary football rival. I suppose you could make the case that Notre Dame is BC's big R rival, but plenty of programs claim to be rivals with the Irish. I just think it makes too much sense to rekindle the Boston College-Syracuse series.

Ideally, I'd like to see the game played over Thanksgiving weekend while other ACC programs play rival programs (Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia, Clemson-South Carolina, Virginia Tech-Virginia, etc.). Hopefully there are some ACC Championship Game implications on the line in that one.

As an outsider looking in, I think this also makes a ton of sense for Syracuse. Unless you are really attached to calling the State University of New Jersey or the University of Connecticut your primary football rivals.(Ed Note: We're not)

What's your favorite BC-SU related memory?

BCI: Easy. Boston College basketball's 65-63 home victory over Syracuse my freshman year. That win really re-kindled interest in the hoops program and was a spring board to some really good seasons on the Heights in the early to mid-2000s. The win snapped a ridiculously long losing streak to the Orange and propelled BC to a 3 seed in the 2001 NCAAs (though we were bounced before the Sweet 16 by 6th-seeded USC).


Any tips for getting by in the ACC (dos, don'ts for fans)?

BCI: Do get to a Syracuse at Clemson football game every other year (basically, every chance you get). Best football atmosphere in the conference by far.

Don't compare the ACC Tournament to the Big East Tournament at the Garden. There's not much of a comparison (though the Big East Tournament did jump the shark when they started inviting the DePauls and South Floridas of the world). The dirty little secret of ACC expansion is that the Big East Tournament @ MSG is the only thing I miss about being a member of the Big East. Anyway, Duke or North Carolina always wins the thing anyway (yawn), so maybe you guys can do something about that...

Final thoughts on Syracuse overall? (both as an institution and an athletic program)

BCI: I'm told you guys also don't like UConn. Us too! But did you really fall behind them in the latest USN&WR rankings? Really?

Anyhow, overall, I really like the addition of Syracuse to the ACC. You'll probably hand us 2 losses a year in hoops and we'll return the favor in football. Though with the trajectory both our programs are on, that annual game might devolve into an ACC pillow fight a la Duke-Wake Forest.

You guys kill it in men's lacrosse. We crush it in ice hockey. I see a lot of BC in Syracuse. We're just two very similar schools and I'm glad we'll get to rekindle a football series and a lopsided basketball one ... soon. Say, 2013-14?

John Cassillo authors Atlantic Coast Convos, which chronicles ACC (Plus Syracuse & Pittsburgh) football. Check out the blog, and follow him on Twitter: @JohnCassillo

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