Since we last saw the Syracuse basketball team getting ousted by Marquette in the NCAA Tournament, a few things have taken place. Rival UConn took home the NCAA Championship. Syracuse football is inching closer to another bowl berth. And, oh yeah…something about an upcoming move for Orange athletics, leaving behind the Big East for the ACC.
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.
Give credit to the players. They’re the ones that pulled off the comeback. But, everything about this team reflects back on Doug Marrone. You felt he had things going in the right direction when he got the team to 4-8 after his first year. You felt the program was making strides after an 8-5 season last year, complete with a bowl victory over Kansas State. After one game in 2011, Marrone has instilled a “never say die” attitude in this team and it manifested itself Thursday night. That bodes well going forward this season and beyond.