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Meet Your New Neighbors: Virginia Cavaliers


This is the eighth installment in a new series about Syracuse's impending move to the ACC. Previous rival profiles: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Maryland.

Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.

In our latest profile, we get to go toe-to-toe with another team sporting orange and blue. And unlike us, they pull off orange football jerseys reasonably well. It's the Virginia Cavaliers.

School: The University of Virginia


Location: Charlottesville, Va.

Stadium:Scott Stadium (capacity: 61,500) | John Paul Jones Arena (capacity: 14,593)

Football & Basketball Titles: 0 (a little embarrassing, to say the least)

Notable Football Alums:Tiki Barber, Ronde Barber, Herman Moore, Chris Long, Matt Schaub

Notable Basketball Alums: Rick Carlisle, Ralph Sampson, Roger Mason

Virginia's one of several ACC schools with a pretty haughty academic profile, so excuse the lack of titles in football and basketball. It just comes with the territory (unless you're Duke or UNC?) Despite having three conference championships to their name since 1908 though, there's still plenty of history to go around down in Charlottesville. And if we're looking for a rival, well, it appears there's a line. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels annually play in the "South's Oldest Rivalry," which has been contested 116 times. They've also got the Commonwealth Cup (Virginia Tech) and Beltway Brawl (Maryland), which puts them at three nicknamed rivalry games. Sensing a crowd, we can move on to more natural foes, while also letting our hate for employing the same color scheme simmer. Historically, though, we've barely defended our colors, splitting our four previous matches at two apiece. Not surprisingly, we've lost the last two games (in '04 and '05).

As for basketball, you can probably gather how the two programs stack up based on the short list of alumni up top. All-time, they've had 16 20-win seasons (Jim Boeheim scoffs) and just 16 tourney appearances since 1905. Did you know they won the 2007 ACC regular season title? Chances are, neither did they! Despite all this, though, they made five Elite Eights from 1981-1995 (?!) and appeared in the 1981 and 1984 Final Fours. But most important here: Zero NCAA championships. Plus, we've won three of our four meetings against them.

What UVa lacks in football and basketball acumen, they do sort of possess in lacrosse, however. Since the NCAA started holding a tournament for these types of things, they've racked up five titles. It's an impressive number regardless of how many more (SIX) we happen to have (sorry, NCAA, the 1990 title is ours), considering it ranks fourth all-time.

So there you have it. The Cavaliers/Cavs/Wahoos/'Hoos (yes, those last two are actual nicknames) fall short in titles, yet beat us in the classroom. Overall, it seems like an even trade. Or it would be, if not for the orange-and-blue discrepancy. As the Syracuse orange-wash continues though, it may figure itself out on its own. A shame, too. Have yet to find another reason to hate this school.

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