Northwestern blitzed Syracuse 48-27 on Saturday. The Wildcats (2-0) scored the games first 20 points and racked up 581 yards in all. They also intercepted Syracuse's Drew Allen four times on the way to an easy victory.
Syracuse, coming off a game they could have won to Penn State, never had a chance in this one. The Orange remained winless under new coach Scott Shafer and received another shaky outing from Allen. The Orange will now try to pick themselves up against Wagner and Tulane before beginning Atlantic Coast Conference play against Clemson.
The Syracuse Orange -- who lost their head coach and starting quarterback to the NFL will be looking to establish an identity in their first year in the ACC. This will definitely be a step-up in competition for the Orange as the ACC year-in-year-out field a few teams that frequent the Top 20 NCAA football Polls.
Conference realignment over the last few years has changed the landscape of college athletics. Though driven by football, I believe that the ACC as a basketball conference will have the most dramatic facelift of them all.
Although Maryland will be leaving the conference for the Big Ten in 2014 – the 2013-14 season will boast:
1. Boston college
4. Florida State
5. Georgia Tech
9. NC State
10. North Carolina
11. Notre Dame
15. Virginia Tech
Currently eight of these teams are in the NCAA Tournament and I think Duke, Louisville, Syracuse and Miami all have a legitimate shot at the Final Four and one of them winning the National Championship, and that's not including a Roy Williams North Carolina team that has to be in the conversation if they are in the draw.
I have to admit that I was not a proponent of adding the additional teams to the conference, but think about it – in just a few months, as a basketball league We'll be talking about Mob Bosses AKA “Hall of Famers”; Krzyzewski, Boeheim,Williams and Rick Patino battling it out for ACC supremacy. The 13-14 pre-season basketball meetings are going to be more like a crime syndicate quorum with coaches Dixon, Larranaga, Gottfried and Brey struggling to become made men; the other coaches as low level runners – retired Gary Williams sitting in as and impartial arbiter.
Considering the pedigree of the programs entering the league next season the 2014 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is going to have a hard time taking eight teams from the conference even though there will definitely be, minimum eight teams deserving of making the Big Dance.
With Spring football games right around the corner, it's going to be weird and interesting to see Pitt and Syracuse as full members of the ACC.
Though I was not a proponent of the Panthers and the Orange joining the league, I think they will benefit the conference and its football brand in the long run.
Both of these schools have long standing traditions that I believe will make for great future rivalries. I don't know how much noise they will make in the 2013 football season as both have been mediocre in what was perceived to be a weak Big East -- not worthy of being a BCS conference.
One thing I do know, is when basketball season rolls around both of these teams will be formidable opponents for years to come. The Orange, which is a ridiculus name, BTW, LOL will compete for conference championships. That first matchup between Coach K's and the Blue Devils against Jim Boeheim in Cameron Indoor will be epic. The Tarheels rolling into the Carrier Dome will be instant rivalry.