Conference realignment’s been back in the news lately following UConn’s decision to head back to the Big East and basically provide a death sentence for their struggling football program. It wasn’t too long ago that new rumors were popping up every single day, and Syracuse Orange fans are probably happy to put that era behind them.
Importantly, SU wound up coming out of the realignment era (2010-19) as one of the bigger “winners,” something Pat Forde called out in his Wednesday piece assessing the best and worst outcomes of the shuffle over the last decade. While fans can bemoan the loss of some traditional basketball rivalries in the Big East, the Orange’s membership in the ACC has brought with it continued men’s hoops success, a football resurgence, non-revenue national titles and other Olympic sports growing by leaps and bounds from where they were.
And though we still don’t really know where we fall in terms of the “rivalry” conversation, that’s probably fine for now. Syracuse has increased conferece revenues by nearly 5x since 2012, and that number will only continue to grow as the ACC Network gets rolling. When you look at the alternative (what’s happened to UConn), it’s a no-brainer that the Orange come out a winner here; and arguably one of the biggest ones in the country, at least at a school level.
Also entertaining (and potentially true) in Forde’s piece is the characterization that Pitt road our coattails into the league. It’s not a narrative most talk about, but I’d argue it’s at least a little true when you compare the two full athletic departments side-by-side. Is that sort of language enough to get some actual animosity going between the two schools? Perhaps.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
Syracuse: Syracuse transitioned its heavyweight basketball program from one great league to another and experienced a football breakthrough in 2018. Life After Boeheim looms as an unsettling venture, but that would be the case in any league.
Assessing the threat: Clemson at Syracuse (Shakin’ the Southland)
Syracuse opens their season with two road games. They play Hugh Freeze’s Liberty Flames in Lynchburg, VA and then travel to Maryland to play the Terps. If they’re 2-0 and coming into their home opener against THE team to beat in the ACC, it’ll be a raucous atmosphere for what we would have to presume to be the Atlantic Division title game. As such, it would be the biggest game of the season for both teams.
After a banner season, how ACC hoops shapes up for 2020 (Raleigh News & Observer)
8. Syracuse: Syracuse joined the ACC in 2014 and promptly went 14-4 in league play and finished second. Since then, the Orange have gone 9-9 (seventh place), 9-9 (ninth), 10-8 (eighth), 8-10 (11th) and 10-8 (sixth). This is the new reality of Syracuse basketball in the ACC. They’re a Bon Jovi kind of team — they’re living on a prayer and hoping when they get into the NCAA tournament they’ll draw a team (or two) who can’t solve a zone.
29. Who is a sleeper player to watch this season?... “He is a very accomplished quarterback and made a lot of plays with his feet,” Shurmur said of Dungey. “He made some good throws out there as well. He is one of those guys we had our eyes on at the draft. We will see. I think he is a good football player. Usually there is a place on the field for good football players. We will see what happens.”
Andre Cisco, DB, Syracuse: Cisco became the first freshman to earn All-American honors at Syracuse after leading the nation with seven interceptions as a starter for the Orange. He finished second in the conference in passes defended (18) and passed defended per game (1.38).
For What It’s Worth: Defensive Edition (AZCardinals.com)