We got our chance to talk about our future ACC rivals in the "Meet Your New Neighbors" series. Now those same folks that we lightly poked fun at get to offer up their own opinions of us! Each week, I'll be posting Q&A responses from one of the 12 current ACC schools, and I'll also be submitting to some questioning on their respective sites, too. It should be fun, and if we're lucky, people might get as angry as they did in the Virginia Tech profile comment thread.
This week, we get down to brass tacks with future rivals at NC State, courtesy of Backing the Pack's Akula Wolf. And of course, we kept the conversation as cordial as possible. It's the least we could do for the team that vanquished Georgetown in the second third round of last year's NCAA Tournament.
Also, see our conversation with the Seventh Floor last week.
Was Syracuse your first choice for ACC expansion?
Backing the Pack: I've always preferred that the ACC stick to the southeast when expanding, but I also realize that this would not necessarily the best move from a financial (or academic) perspective. Fortunately I don't have to worry about that stuff since I'm just this guy on the internet. If it were up to me, I'd have gone after West Virginia and Louisville years ago.
Were you impressed or perturbed by the Orange turnout in Raleigh last season?
BTP: I'd be lying if I said it wasn't annoying; it's also something I've accepted as inevitable when certain teams are in town. There are tons of transplants from the northeast living in the triangle and that Syracuse turnout was pretty much just like the turnout every time the Sabres, Rangers, Penguins, etc. are in town to play the Hurricanes. So we're used to it. Sabres fans are my favorite. By which I mean they're the worst people in the world.
On a slightly related note, do you see Jim Boeheim's anti-Greensboro comments and the fact that we'll be in the same football division sparking a nice rivalry between our two schools?
BTP: Nah, I don't think Boeheim's comments will have anything to do with it, if a rivalry does develop. Not being from Greensboro, I just thought that was funny. (I mean, he's not wrong.) I could see Boeheim expanding on those comments after a tour or two through Tobacco Road -- after experiencing, uh, certain inconsistencies -- and you never know where things might go from there.
The biggest factor might be the hordes of Syracuse fans that show up to basketball games every year. If we continue to improve, those tickets are going to be harder to come by, but still. That Syracuse presence is bound to create some friction.
Both SU and NC State come into the 2012-13 basketball season with some high expectations. Which team do you think will fare better come season's end?
BTP: I'll put my money on the hall of fame coach.
NC State football looks like a fringe top-25 team this season. Do you see them being better or worse than that projection?
BTP: I think fringe top 25 is a reasonable estimation at this point. This is a seven- or eight-win team that needs everything to break right in order to win the division and possibly reach 9-10 wins. The season-opener against Tennessee should tell us a lot.
Any tips for getting by in the ACC (dos, don'ts for fans)?
BTP: Do travel and tailgate as much as possible during football season. This part will be a lot more fun than it was in the Big East, I promise. Since you guys aren't much of a threat right now, everyone will be really nice! (I know this from firsthand experience.) Just don't go to Maryland. Well, unless you want to see the sadness generator that Randy Edsall has built.
We will humor your lacrosse discussions but please try to wrap things up before our eyes glaze over.
Be careful not to use the word "barbeque" as a verb when you're in the south. That may be an arrestable offense in some counties.
Thoughts on Syracuse overall? (both as an institution and an athletic program)?
BTP: Because of the presence of Syracuse fans in NC that we talked about earlier, the Orange could be a better fit in the ACC than some people think. Y'all could inject some much-needed life in the ACC Tournament, which has been damaged by the addition of a couple of schools (Miami and BC) that never bring anybody. So I look forward to that.
Thanks again to Akula Wolf for taking the time out to answer these questions!
John Cassillo authors Atlantic Coast Convos, which chronicles ACC (Plus Syracuse & Pittsburgh) football. Check out the blog, and follow him on Twitter: @JohnCassillo