On this Veterans Day in the waters off of Coronado, Calif., just a hop, skip, and a jump from downtown San Diego, pre-season top-ranked North Carolina and Michigan State make history by playing their season opener on an aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, and thus the game’s name: The Carrier Classic.
As most Orange hoops fans got their first glimpse of Jim Boeheim’s 36th edition this past Tuesday night in a 30-point exhibition game win over Div. II Cal-State Los Angeles, the buzz all fall has been about the vast amount of talent on hand that has the ability to propel the ‘Cuse to its fifth Final Four in school history.
It may be the newly-named Mercedes-Benz Superdome where the SU football team won its fourth game of the season as the clock struck zero last Saturday night against Tulane, but to most ‘Cuse fans it will always be the Louisiana Superdome, or simply the Superdome, a venue that’s second to none when it comes to naming the site that has hosted the most number of meaningful SU football and basketball games played outside the city of Syracuse.
Trivia Time: Who’s the only Big East team in history to go undefeated in all 18 men’s and women’s sponsored sports? Why, of course, it’s TCU, the trick answer to the trick question, that now has truly made the future of the Big East football conference, at least as a BCS member down the road, well… tricky.
With an ACC future (and figure that with upcoming conference reconfiguration developments combined with lawyers on both sides, SU will be competing in the ACC before 2014) now reality following as seismic a week as one could ever imagine in Orange Nation, a several day stretch that athletic director Daryl Gross forecast will be remembered by generations of Orange fans for decades to come, the focus is back on the field and the pivotal home game Saturday as a slight favorite over dangerous Toledo (1-2).
The members of the SU football traveling contingent awoke in their hotel in the Southland Friday morning, the vast area of Southern California covering nine counties and home to the nation’s second largest metropolitan area with some 17 million residents, and certainly a long way from central New York both geographically, culturally, and meteorologically.