You all remember that "STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK" re-brand Buffalo tried to undergo over the summer. Started with the basketball court, then they threw it all over the uniforms, and then the vocal section of the Bulls' fan base started talking about it on a pretty regular basis. These were all cute shots at Syracuse and DOCTOR Daryl Gross's "New York's College Team" marketing campaign, but for the most part, we could carry on ignoring SUNY-Buffalo and its sports program, just like the majority of their fan base does.
And then this appeared on Buffalo Business First (the city's business journal) today:
... the EFF?
Now of course, we can (and should) take a look at this question objectively. And let's also define "preeminent."
What makes a sports program "preeminent?" Usually success in football and basketball. Also being in a major conference and winning head-to-head matchups.
A look at recent history between the two schools in both football and basketball:
2007: Syracuse 20, Buffalo 12
2005: Syracuse 31, Buffalo 0
2004: Syracuse 37, Buffalo 17
2000: Syracuse 63, Buffalo 7
(Last Buffalo win: 16-0 in 1899)
2001: Syracuse 83, Buffalo 62
1997: Syracuse 82, Buffalo 70
1996: Syracuse 79, Buffalo 45
(Syracuse leads all-time series, 27-5)
The results seem to speak for themselves, no? Look, I don't mind Buffalo. They can go do their thing, try and re-brand to make themselves more attractive compared to other SUNY schools, etc. All that works, and should make them a more successful athletic program in the long run. But let's take this one step at a time. Before folks start throwing around claims like "preeminent college sports program," maybe win something. Anything, really.
Also, we're not rivals, and never will be. In football, we have a rival already (for the last time, it's Boston College). And in basketball, we're also covered. We can all coexist. Proximity doesn't equal rivalry. Just ask Rutgers, who's been trying this same game with us for the past decade and now appears to be bottoming out right on schedule with their move to the Big Ten. Buffalo, friends don't let friends be Rutgers. We're trying to help you. Really.