It’s now August.
Football season is soon approaching and it has been over a month since Syracuse officially started spelling their conference pride A-C-C.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve clicked on “Big East” or “American Athletic” to check out the football conference preview for Syracuse just out of habit. I’ve seen “ACC preview” scroll across the bottom of my television and thought to myself, “Heck, I don’t have to pay attention to that.” The whole concept is still in its infancy stage with me.
But here we are. There’s no going back.
While the first football game of the season against Penn State will speak nothing of a new frontier, it will prove that even as the Orange move forward into the ACC, Syracuse University still has an identity in the northeast and that not all the history in the region will be lost with the changing of conferences.
And as I long for the tradition of yesteryear, there is a promise of fresh, new adventures on the horizon that have made me take in a deep breath of this new fresh air.
What a sight it will be in the Carrier Dome in early October when Syracuse fans clad in orange blend in with Clemson fans clad in, well, orange to create a sea of our favorite hue. Not to mention the intensity there will be for the first in-conference title contender to set foot in the Salt City since the days when Miami used to strut into town.
Familiarity will ring true at the conclusion of the football schedule when fellow ACC newbie Pittsburgh strolls into the Dome for the first Syracuse-Pitt ACC matchup. Then, to close out the season, a conference matchup is rekindled when the Orange host Boston College in a reunion of sorts.
And that’s just football season. Look at what basketball season has in store.
Home games against both North Carolina and Duke in the inaugural ACC season. Talks of them putting the court in the center of the Dome for the Duke contest have certainly let Cuse fans’ minds wander at the anticipation of such an event.
And that’s what we look for as fans. An event. We want something to anticipate, to focus on. Something that will consume our thoughts up until the very moment we get to experience it…and then for decades after it’s over.
We can sit here and dwell on the fact that things will never be the same. And they won’t. But it doesn’t mean things still can’t be great. Let’s be honest…certainly in football, the caliber of opponents in the Big East the past few seasons was not particularly daunting. In basketball, the gauntlet of the Big East schedule was bar none. But, the Orange had acquitted themselves very well as of late.
In the ACC, the Orange should be able to hang with most football opponents, but will also find themselves up against one or two BCS title contenders on a yearly basis. And in hoops, well…the Orange will go from the best conference from top to bottom and will enter a conference that they will help make stacked at the top and ridiculously solid throughout.
The more Syracuse wears its new ACC threads, the more comfortable I am with that new outfit. And honestly, the better the Orange start to look in their new ACC outfits.
Here’s to honoring old tradition while, at the same time, creating new memories to last a lifetime. ACC games are almost here for Syracuse University…Matt Dagostino