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We Should Do This More Often

Is it a coincidence that after I wrote this horribly formatted column about Syracuse developing stronger rivalries with specific schools and only two years later some of them seem to coming to fruition?

Well, yes, it's almost assuredly is a coincidence based on logic and timing.

But seriously though, it's a good thing that we're playing Penn State again and that we're putting Boston College back on the schedule in a few years. These are non-conference games you can get excited about because there's something there already...maybe it's bad blood, maybe it's fun rivalry, but it's something that makes you care about the game just a little bit more than if it were Washington or Iowa.

I also had Maryland on that list and I still stand firm on that. Syracuse and Maryland should absolutely be playing each other on a consistent basis in basketball, football and lacrosse.

First off, there's the program statuses (statusi?) In each of the three "money" sports, SU and Maryland are on very even playing fields. In lacrosse, they're both juggernauts. In basketball, they're both proud programs who have eerily mirrored each other's in terms of their rise and fall in the last ten years. In football, neither program has much recent success to cling to but both have a few instances they can point to as positives. If we started playing each other consistently in any of those three sports, you probably wouldn't give one program a major edge over the other, except maybe in football, and even then it's not that big of an edge.

As I stated when discussing why Penn State-SU is such a good relationship, if you live in the Pennsylvania/NY/NJ area, I guarantee that you know someone who went to both schools. And that's double if you're Jewish. Tri-State Jews really only have about six choices when it comes to college: If you don't care about sports you go to Delaware. If you live in Long Island you go to Hofstra. If you're smart you go to NYU. If you're not you go to Arizona State. And the rest of us battle it out between Maryland and Syracuse. There's a lot of ties there and there's no better way to build a rivalry then within your own family and friends. (Okay, I guess you gentiles know what I mean as well...)

Third, throw in the assured recruiting overlap that takes place in the Northeast between the two. SU has strong connections in nearby Baltimore and I'm sure they've crossed streams with Maryland once or twice over a recruit. As for lacrosse, forget it, it's an ongoing recruiting war between the two.

Then you've got the intangibles. Big East vs. ACC. Boeheim vs. Williams. Memories of the "
Greatest Cherry Bowl Ever Played." The list goes on and on.

So enjoy tonight's match-up between the two schools. It's only the seventh-ever meeting between the two basketball programs and that just crazy to me. This will be the second-straight time the two teams play each other in the post-season so perhaps it will click for somebody upstairs that this is something worth doing more often. I'm all for long as we win most of the time of course.