Syracuse Orange vs. Georgetown Hoyas, Phase II: 2014 - ???
Yes, the storied Big East rivalry between Syracuse and Georgetown is ending. A victim of conference realignment, like so many other traditional rivalry games based not on geography but pure, unadulterated hatred for one another.
With the prospect of playing schools like Georgia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest twice a season, it's hard to build up anything close to the same animosity. Hell, it's hard for the animosity with those schools to match what we have with Seton Hall.
Here's the thing, though, about the Syracuse - Georgetown rivalry. Just like Celine Dion's heart, it will go on. Maybe they'll be a hiccup for a year or two but they will keep playing one another. It just makes too much sense, however you look at it. The match-up fulfills the quotas of college administrators, no matter what school they come from:
Old School: SO. MUCH. TRADITION.
New School: SUCH. GREAT. TV/RECRUITING MARKETS.
All Schools: SO. MUCH. MONEY. TO. BE. MADE.
Sure, the schools will only play once a season but, that's not that much different from how it's been for more than a decade (THANKS, DEPAUL).
- SU played G'town once in 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2012
- SU played G'town twice in 1998, 2000*, 2001, 2002, 2006*, 2008, 2009, 2011 (*BET)
- SU played G'town thrice in 2003 and 2010
The point is, you're used to seeing Syracuse and Georgetown play once a season fairly often as it is. If not for two BET match-ups, it would have been 50% of the time since 1997.
Yes, it will be kinda weird seeing the two schools play in December, but not really. Sometimes they play in early January. It's the kind of hokey distinction that Dana O'Neil will clutch her pearls over but is essentially meaningless.
And in a strange way, it might even make the rivalry stronger. There is no conference standing to play for. There is no tournament seeding on the line. The only thing that matters is bragging rights. Who won. Who lost. That's it. It boils the rivalry down to its very essence.
So let everyone wax philosophical about the storied history of Syracuse and Georgetown. The game certainly warrants it and I won't begrudge them. But while on paper it seems like so much is being lost, at the end of the day, it's not.
Syracuse will still play Georgetown. Both schools will still hate one another. The world will go on. And so will the rivalry.