Goodness me, I'm so behind on all this "Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers in the ACC" nonsense. Let me try to get up to speed here...
So the thing I've been wondering all day is, when will then be now? Not that soon, apparently.
The Big East's exit fee is $5 million, and schools wanting to leave must provide 27 months' notice.
So unless we want to either shovel out a boatload of money or make this into an ugly legal drama, we're still gonna be in the Big East for a while. And everyone's going to hate us the entire time, so that'll be fun.
Then again, perhaps not:
I would think that in the weeks ahead, everyone will be looking at the transition period and trying to determine whether the 27-month notice period really serves everyone’s best interests," Nordenberg said today.
The way everything's been moving, I wouldn't be surprised if we're gone after this season and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes the full 27 months.
It was a bit apropos that Syracuse traveled to Los Angeles to play the USC Trojans the same weekend this move was announced. It was even more apropos that Syracuse got beat pretty good by USC's more talented roster. DOC Gross sees this as the perfect jumping-off point for why SU needed to make this move:
"If you want to make Syracuse something that can compete with USC and you’re operating with less resources, that’s very hard to do," declared Gross before settling in to watch the rest of the mismatched Orange’s eventual 38-17 loss to the unbeaten Trojans. "So you have to figure out how you’re going to have sustainability. We have to do what’s best for this institution, whether it’s popular or unpopular or whatever. You have to put yourself in the best position."
"If Syracuse University is going to be a BCS, big-time football program you can’t just say, ‘Oh, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing, and we’ll be fine. And we’ll hope for the best because we’re Syracuse.’ You have to be able to brand yourself so you can recruit and be attractive to TV. All those things go into the pot and have to be considered."
Gross also said, "I don’t like those Pac-12 referees. I never liked them. I didn’t like them when I was here." Which is admittedly pretty awesome.
The first two Big East schools I thought of when this went down were UConn and Rutgers. I'm reasonably sure that West Virginia will land on its feet in the SEC. As for Cincy, Louisville and USF...they might be SOL (and they know it). But the Huskies and Knights are still prime candidates for a league like, say...The ACC. So its no surprise that UConn is going out guns blazing trying to join us.
If that's the case, the ACC will obviously need a 16th and since Notre Dame ain't coming and everyone should stop trying, that would make Rutgers the obvious choice. And just like that, the ACC would own the entire Eastern seaboard, including Boston, NYC, DC, Baltimore, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami and all those fat, juicy markets in between.
The ACC is "comfortable" with 14 teams but "not philosophically opposed" to 16. In other words, they're gonna go 16 as soon as they can.
How are the other Big East schools reacting? By following suit and thinking solely about themselves, like they should be. West Virginia's Oliver Luck doesn't even mention the Big East in his statement. South Florida keeps its options open. Same goes for Louisville.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, thinks "The Big East is a viable organization. I think they can survive." And that's why they're Cincinnati.
Could the ACC Tournament end up in Madison Square Garden, even if on a rotational basis? Talk about the ultimate kiss-off to the Big East. I'm guessing that for every trip to MSG, Duke/UNC are going to require one in Charlotte or Raleigh, so, keep that in mind.
As for basketball, obviously it's a shame that the days of playing Villanova, UConn, Georgetown, St. John's and the rest of them twice a season are over. That said, don't kid yourself and think we'll stop playing these guys altogether. Georgetown isn't dumb, they know how much money is on the table every time they play Syracuse. Same goes for Nova as well as St. John's, who will continue to pay rent on our home in Manhattan. Besides, we might still be seeing UConn often.
Expect to see Big East schools pepper our non-conference schedules from now until the ACC folds in 2037 and we join the Big North America Conference.
The one ACC school who has to be the happiest to see us is Boston College. Diamond Ferri memories aside, all of a sudden the Eagles are no longer this island all the way up the coast. They now have Northeastern bros and, even better, they're bros that bring rivalry and history with them.
A big criticism of Boston College's move to the ACC back in 2004 was that the school and the program abandoned longstanding rivalries with Syracuse (in particular) and Pittsburgh. Looks like the old gang is back together again. BC and Syracuse have met on the gridiron 46 times previously, with the Orange owning a 28-18 edge in the all-time series. The only program we've played more frequently is Holy Cross. Pittsburgh and BC have met 29 times, with the Panthers having a slight 16-13 edge in the all-time series. Football games in Syracuse and Pittsburgh are easy trips for Superfans from Boston and add to the already solid list of college football destinations on Saturdays.
You can probably bet that we'll close the football season against BC more often than not. (And hey, Virginia's excited too).
Speaking of Virginia, I can't say enough about excited I am for ACC Lacrosse, which sounds crazy. After bashing this shady four-team cartel for years, it's now a five-team super-cartel that we're a part of. I have to imagine someone else is going to come along with a new lax program just to get in on the action (FSU? BC?). College Crosse has more.
23 National Titles, including eight of the last ten. Countless Final Fours, All-Americans and everything else. The idea of an All-ACC Top Five in the polls or an All-ACC Final Four is not unlikely at all.
Well, at least the Big East protected DePaul's interests. And really, isn't that what it's all about.
Go get up to speed on everything else at SB Nation NY and then get ready for the next round of shocking news that should come any minute now...