The Dag Bag – A sad day for Syracuse, Big East

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What are your thoughts on Syracuse moving to the ACC?

It’s a sad day for Syracuse University athletics.

Sure, there are a few positives to take from Syracuse joining the ranks of the ACC.

On a selfish note, living in the Atlanta area, I’ll be able to see a few Syracuse/Georgia Tech matchups from time to time now. But, on to reasons that matter to anyone else other than the author…

You can’t tell me some basketball games against the likes of Duke and North Carolina on a regular basis won’t be fun.

But, on the whole, it’s tough to get too excited about the conference move in the present.

Syracuse, one of the founding members of the Big East, will be jumping ship at a time when the conference needs strength the most. Gone will be the rivalries forged throughout the years, like the Georgetown, St. John’s, and UConn games on the hardwood (although UConn may soon follow Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC).

There will be no more Syracuse/West Virginia matchups on the gridiron. And, sure…there may be some non-conference matchups scheduled in the future to preserve some semblance of the rivalries. But, for the most part, Syracuse will be left to create new rivalries in a conference with very few natural options to choose from.

In terms of competition, the Syracuse basketball team will remain at the upper echelon of whatever conference they play in. They go from the best conference in the country and will help turn the ACC into just that once again. The Orange football team leaves the Big East at a time when they have begun to turn a corner towards becoming one of the better teams in a mediocre league.

Given a couple more years in the Big East, the Orange may have been in the running for a BCS bid year after year by winning the conference. Now, they are nothing more than a middle-of-the-road football team in a large conference.

But this move was never about facing stiffer competition, academic standards, or keeping traditions. In the world of college athletics where football is king, this move was made because of the almighty dollar. More specifically, this was a move made out of necessity.

Seeing the writing on the wall where a shift to four super-conferences seems inevitable, Syracuse and Pitt decided to be proactive and find a landing spot they were comfortable with instead of being left out in the cold, stuck in a crumbling Big East conference, and forced to go wherever they could find refuge.

This whole conference realignment is laced with greed. To have Syracuse involved in it any fashion doesn’t sit well with me.

I’ll look forward to new matchups and a fresh start. But, I’ll miss the tradition, the history, and the stories from my childhood. I’ll miss the Big East Tournament at The Garden. I’ll miss being able to build off the past.

The last chapter in Syracuse’s will soon be written. Closing that book, we as fans must start another. And, I’ll be honest… I’m not that much of a reader these days. One book was enough for this guy.

Change is hard enough to deal with sometimes. Change for the sake of change is even more puzzling. This change may be a positive thing down the road. But, for today, it’s turned this Orange fan’s world blue.

Matt Dagostino currently works as an on-air talent and producer for Turner Sports in Atlanta. Among his responsibilities are voicing over highlights for NCAA.com, NBA.com, WNBA.com, and PGA.com. He has also served as an associate producer for TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs and TBS’s coverage of the MLB Postseason. Matt also has experience as a minor league baseball play-by-play announcer and as a PA announcer in D-I college athletics.

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Matt Dagostino

About Matt Dagostino

Matt currently works as an on-air talent and producer for Turner Sports in Atlanta, where he is from. Among his responsibilities are voicing over highlights for NCAA.com, NBA.com, WNBA.com, and PGA.com. He has also served as an associate producer for TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs and TBS’s coverage of the MLB Postseason. Matt also has experience as a minor league baseball play-by-play announcer and as a PA announcer in D-I college athletics. Matt graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @MattDags28.
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