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The ACC Is Letting Syracuse Football Plot Its Own Destiny

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ACC folks seem to literally know nothing about Syracuse football. This is a good thing.

USA TODAY Sports

Absolutely no one should have been surprised today when the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Football Team was announced and nary a Syracuse Orange made it.

You shouldn't have been surprised for obvious reasons (we don't, in fact, have very many players who statistically measure up to the Clemson and Florida State folks). And you shouldn't have been surprised for a reason that only became abundantly clear this weekend during ACC Kickoff...

The ACC doesn't know anything about Syracuse Football and doesn't really care to do any research on it.

That's good news. Because it means Scott Shafer and the Orange are in a position to determine exactly how the rest of the league, its media and its fans will come to know us in the coming years.

Just look at some of the quotes and anecdotes to come out of ACC Kickoff...

A Greenville (Clemson) reporter during Scott Shafer's Q&A...

"Tell us a little bit about the Syracuse tradition...because, where I'm from, a lot of folks and fans, they've never even heard of Syracuse, or seen Syracuse on TV." {Ed. note: O RLY?]

Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney...

I'm looking forward to making my first trip up to Syracuse. I really don't know where it's at. I know it's in New York. But that's about as far as I can go from a geography standpoint. I gotta figure out where it is. Where is it? In the middle...okay, I've been to Buffalo, that's kinda at the top.

via Michael Cohen...

As the interview sessions in Greensboro progressed, it became clear that the rest of the ACC media has very little interest in, or knowledge of, Syracuse. On Sunday, when center Macky MacPherson and defensive tackle Jay Bromley fielded questions in the same round-table setting as Shafer, the cluster of reporters around them featured mostly Syracuse media. And the outsiders that did wander over asked almost exclusively generic inquiries about joining a new conference. Or Drew Allen. That's about it.

One media member -- he apologized for potential ignorance beforehand -- even asked MacPherson if he was related to the former SU head coach Dick MacPherson. The question elicited cackles from the two Syracuse athletic communications staffers sitting behind the table.

If disinterest and casual ignorance is going to be the order of the day, there are worse fates for Syracuse headed into its first ACC season. As many folks have mentioned in the comments and on Twitter, Syracuse has made a living the last three seasons off of being underestimated. It's a mentality that suits this #Hardnosed outfit just fine.

So let the ACC plead ignorance. It allows the Orange the opportunity to forge its own destiny. Like a kid transferring high schools or heading off to college, we get to leave one identity behind and create a new one. The only downside? If we end up creating exactly the kind of identity that everyone assumes we're going to create. But I'll put my faith in Shafer et. al to do otherwise.