As we continue with Rivalry Week(s), we have to share a harsh truth with fans of the Syracuse Orange. The rival many of you are seeking has been right in front of you all this time. It’s not the Duke Blue Devils or Clemson Tigers, it’s our old friends the Boston College Eagles.
I know that’s not the answer you want, but it’s the reality right now. When The OrangeEagle Trophy was introduced it seemed like a good way to rekindle a rivalry that was formed for convenience as much as feelings of hatred. The schools weren’t exactly rivals in the Big East, but now in the ACC they are forced into a situation where they are still sort-of outsiders, linked by geography and past conference affiliation (even though one school can actually win ACC titles)
These two private institutions in the Northeast have fought to stay relevant in football over the last decade. BC’s done a much better job of scheduling themselves to bowl games while Syracuse has the bigger upsets of top 25 teams (Hi Clemson). The programs have split the last eight games and it remains an important matchup for bowl positioning and recruiting purposes.
Each side can also relish in some satisfying moments on the gridiron in the rivalry. Last fall’s Dome drubbing should remain on the forefront of the minds of Eagles fans just like we Orange fans are quick to remind any BC alum about Diamond Ferri keeping them from winning a Big East title. (#SombreroSadness).
Basketball (men’s and women’s alike, really) has been the sport which has hindered this rivalry the most. Other than BC ending Syracuse’s unbeaten run in 2014 the Eagles have floundered since dismissing Al Skinner. With the teams playing twice a year, if the Eagles can rise back to a Virginia Tech level of success you’ll see a bit more hate emerge among the fanbases.
It’s not the most glamorous matchup, but until Syracuse can build up another rivalry (we see you Virginia) this is as good as we’ve got. Establishing dominance as the top P5 program in the Northeast can help the Orange football and basketball programs move themselves higher on the ACC pecking order so let’s not overlook our friends from not-really-in-Boston College.