After winning its second consecutive ACC men's lacrosse championship yesterday, the Syracuse Orange gave the athletic department its sixth conference title since joining its new league. While SU sports were very successful in football (for a time) and men's basketball, its abilities to take home league titles sort of ended with those two. As you'll recall, the Big East lacrosse league was only founded at the back end of our time in the conference. Otherwise, maybe we would've ended up taking home a lot more hardware.
In any case, that sixth championship is significant because it pulls the Orange even with fellow Big East defector Miami for 11th on the ACC's all-time list. Unfortunately, the next plateau is a bit distant: Virginia Tech, who's 10th with 18 in all sports. North Carolina leads the conference with 263.
So yes, in the big scheme of things, this largely lacks much significance. But on a small scale, it has... some for the long-term outlook of Syracuse sports in the ACC. Pittsburgh and Louisville still lack an ACC title, three and two years, respectively, into their league tenures. Boston College has one since arriving in 2005. Notre Dame's won four, but is largely considered an all-sports power. Miami is located in athlete-rich South Florida, and has been in the league since 2004.
The Orange have done this without its biggest money sports, men's basketball and football, winning any championships. It's done this without sponsoring as many sports as every other ACC school. It's also done it in just three years. They're averaging two per year -- quite a bit in a 15-team league, no?
We're not striving to mimic the likes of Virginia, who rides the success of non-revenue sports to high Director's Cup point totals despite the failures of football (and basketball until recently). But as mentioned here many times before, Syracuse IS entering a new era of wholistic athletic program success. Look at the current Director's Cup standings. No, we're not catching up to UNC's totals any time soon. Still, we are are showing everyone (and ourselves) that we have the wherewithal to compete across the board in the ACC -- even without the donors and state money that help out more than half of our league brethren.