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Syracuse Moving to the ACC Q&A: Virginia

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March 1, 2012; Charlottesville, VA USA; Virginia Cavaliers fans cheer against the Florida State Seminoles in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Seminoles won 63-60. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
March 1, 2012; Charlottesville, VA USA; Virginia Cavaliers fans cheer against the Florida State Seminoles in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Seminoles won 63-60. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

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 to talk about football, basketball and even lacrosse with Streaking the Lawn's Brian J. Leung. While we found common ground in our love of a certain "bro sport" and hatred for Duke, we nearly came to blows about our similar color schemes and Syracuse's geographic location.

Also, see our previous round of questioning with Carolina March.

Was Syracuse your first choice for ACC expansion?

Streaking the Lawn: To be completely honest, no. I've always been uneasy about the ACC expanding upwards, first with Boston College and now with the additions of Syracuse and Pitt. For me, and I suspect for most people, the mid-Atlantic has always been the heart of ACC country, so if I were the commissioner, I probably wouldn't have gone with Syracuse.

But I don't want to get off on the wrong foot with you guys. After all, you add another blue and orange squad to mix. Oh, and by the way, screw you guys for adding another blue and orange squad to the mix.

I kid (sort of). My top pick for ACC expansion was Vanderbilt, which I recognize is not actually on the Atlantic coast.

Do you think there's any shot Virginia leaves the ACC, or are they tethered to the conference, similar to UNC and Duke?

STL: I think we're tethered to the conference. Really, I don't think anyone is leaving the ACC. But similar to UNC and Duke, you can't get us without getting Virginia Tech, and I think that goes vice versa. There was supposedly a great deal of political capital that was spent in the initial ACC expansion to bring Tech into the same conference as UVA, and I'm not sure that, as of right now, UVA and VT would both be attractive to another conference (the Hokies have obviously been stronger in football, while Virginia has been stronger in every other sport and also life itself).

Any lacrosse traditions in the ACC we should be made aware of? And which school do you think will elevate their lax program to D-1 and give us an even six schools?

STL: As strong as the four ACC schools are in lacrosse, there really aren't any traditions to speak of. Treat lacrosse like you do football. Root hard. Win national championships. That's the ACC tradition right there. In terms of which ACC schools may elevate their lacrosse programs to D-1 status, I'm looking at Virginia Tech, who regularly has one of the strongest club teams in the ACC (and indeed, the country) and could be competitive right out of the gates.

Whose football future looks brighter, Syracuse's or Virginia's? Do you think Mike London will stick around for the long haul?

STL: Admittedly, I haven't done my homework on Syracuse football yet. But Virginia's football future is looking remarkably bright. This year will be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Hoos, who lost most of an above-average defense, but the talent that we have coming into this freshman class and the recruits we have teed up are legitimate reasons for Wahoos to get excited about the future of Cavalier Football. By all accounts, it really does seem like this is a "final stop" for Mike London - he is doing great things in Charlottesville, and is doing them the right way. He came in and cleaned up everyone's acts, making sure they're going to class and making the grade before they step foot onto the field. That, coupled with adding a couple extra wins each year, is how you get the UVA donor fanbase excited and trigger-happy.

Please explain this video.

STL: I stand by it. Actually, our basketball videos are weaker than the football ones, but every game, Cartoon Cav Man (which, as silly as it sounds, is better than this) takes on Cartoon Opponent. It's typically pretty fun to watch, gets the students riled up, and ensures us at least some sort of victory that game. When the going gets tough, we make cartoons.

Any tips for getting by in the ACC (dos, don'ts for fans)?

STL: Do: Hate Duke. Eat Bojangles. Eat Chick-Fil-A.
Don't: Root for Duke.

Thoughts on Syracuse overall? (both as an institution and an athletic program)?

STL: Good enough on both counts. The basketball tradition is rich, and football seems to regularly be on the cusp of relevancy again (I mean that as least offensively as possible). It's obviously great to have the added lacrosse powerhouse to the conference. The Orange came in (a program-best, I believe) 50th in the Director's Cup this year, and hopefully that'll improve in the years to come. I think UVA, UNC, Duke and FSU fans in particular pay attention to the Director's Cup standings, since we typically perform very well in it. Not sure the other schools care as much. All in all, welcome to the ACC, but do you guys really have to be in upstate New York? Geez.

Thanks again to Brian for taking the time out to answer these questions!

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