Monday, May 20, 2013
Wanted: Rival for Syracuse
By Heather Dinich
Pitt isn’t the only team in need of an ACC rival.
The good news in the ACC is that six teams -- Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Virginia and Virginia Tech already have rivalries in place should the ACC decide to reserve the final week of the regular season for rivalry games. North Carolina and NC State would also make sense, but there are still six teams in need of somebody to hate.
My take is don’t force it, because that’s the only option with Syracuse right now. Even Louisville, which will join the ACC in 2014, is already taken (Kentucky). Pitt? Well, it’s looking for a rival, too, but the Panthers have better options in the Coastal Division.
Let the rivalries emerge and develop on their own as the conference race plays out over the next few years with Syracuse and Pitt in the mix, and preserve the rivalries that are already in place. Syracuse fans probably couldn’t even tell you who their biggest rival is. Some would argue West Virginia. Others will tell you Penn State. Boston College? Meh.
Syracuse will close its first ACC season at home against former Big East teams Pittsburgh and Boston College, respectively. Those are the two most logical options for the Orange’s top rivals, and Pittsburgh has the second-longest series in Syracuse history with 67 games against the Orange. Boston College makes sense because it’s in the Northeast, fans of both schools can travel to the games, and the two programs played almost every season from 1961-2004. There’s just nothing about BC-Cuse football right now, though, that makes this series any more than two programs trying to step over each other in the Atlantic Division.
Syracuse fans should be thrilled Penn State is on the schedule this year as the opener at MetLife Stadium in The Meadowlands, but can it be a rivalry renewed? Might Syracuse have to look outside the ACC for its next true rival, or will a reunion with former Big East foes rekindle the hate?
Syracuse needs help. Cast your votes now.