Top Syracuse Storylines for 2013-14: No. 5 Dr. Gross and the Future of Syracuse Athletics

USA TODAY Sports

With the Orange's kickoff versus Penn State coming right around the corner, it's time for the 2013-14 athletic season to begin. Syracuse had an eventful 2012-13 season with multiple Final Fours and success on all fields. Coupled with plenty of off the field noise, it was a year hard to forget. With all of that and a conference change, what are the biggest storylines for the Syracuse? The TNIAAM crew is breaking it down all this week.

..There's got to be something bigger. And nobody dreams bigger than the DOC. -Sean Keeley

Leave it to Sean to have the summation of an idea in less than 15 words. Syracuse is coming off a superb athletic season. Not only did the three "revenue" sports perform beyond expectations (Bowl win, two Final Fours) but all other sports saw record years.

Men's soccer had their best season ever. Field hockey, tennis, women's lacrosse and crew are all experiencing highs not experienced ever or in a very long time. All of this can be traced back to DOCTOR Daryl Gross putting in the time to find quality coaches who would be able to recruit to the standards required of a private school in Central New York.

But why is this a huge storyline to watch in 2013 specifically? Sean, take it away.

ACC play. Center court in the Dome. Football games at MetLife. An athletics program performing as well as it ever has on the whole. What else does DOC Gross have planned as the next evolution of Syracuse athletics. The stage will be big and the lights will be bright. SU is due for some new uniforms, in many sports. But there's got to be something bigger. And nobody dreams bigger than the DOC.

That's about right. Throw in the Carrier Dome controversy, new athletic facility and potentially adding new sports to create a summer that's been filled with rumors of change around Syracuse. There's no doubt that if something big were to happen, it's going to happen under Gross and it's not going to be done without a bit of flash to it.

That being said, there is one interesting dynamic that must be considered: the new chancellor. Chancy Nancy has left for who-must-not-be-named in New Jersey, a peculiar move but it happened. Currently, there is still an extensive review taking place for who will ultiamtely be Dr. Gross' boss. I don't think a major move (new stadium for example) without the new chancellor being announced and ready to go.

But what do I know? Moral of the story: Nike hasn't flashed it's muscle outside of platinum jerseys and a mascot's hat around, Dr. Gross isn't shy about building a new state of the art venue if possible and now is as good a time as ever for big changes as Syracuse transitions into a new conference.

Tomorrow: No. 4 on our countdown...

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