I moved to Carolina a few years back, regrettably leaving New York in my rear view mirror. Since then I’ve learned to love life below the Mason-Dixon line.
Now I come to find that AD Darryl Gross and the Syracuse athletic program will be joining me. I loved the rivalries the Big East had to offer. I was there for the final game in Manley Field House. The fact is, I have what can only be described as a venomous hatred for John Thompson and the Hoyas, and no school can ever displace them.
But the thought of being able to attend SU games on a semi-regular basis…well, that’s just too good to resist.
A comedian friend of mine has a story he tells as part of his stand-up act. I think it best summarizes my feelings on the subject of SU’s move to the ACC.
“I had sex in the bushes near a busy highway and I loved it, even though the woman I had sex with just lied there. I think she was paralyzed from when the car hit her….I am nothing if not opportunistic.” – Lord Carrett
I, too, am opportunistic, even if it’s not under the best of circumstances. And so, in an effort to plan out my football road trips when the ACC schedule starts in 2013, I’ve put together some fancy, schmancy maps.
Problem is, which division will the Orange end up in, Coastal or Atlantic? We’ll know soon as the game of divisional musical chairs will end soon. The word is that the “music” stops mid-week when the ACC and John Swofford will announce their decision, placing SU in one division and Pittsburgh in the other. From the way I understand things, you play each member once (in football) each season and then you play your designated “rival” in the other conference. One can only assume SU and Pitt will be “rivals”. Pitt ain’t G-Town, but they’ll have to do.
The conference maps included within contain each ACC team and their location, indicated by their respective logos. In an effort to get this rivalry rolling, I’ve designated the Pitt location with a twinkie (in the interest of consistency, that would make the Pitt women’s team Ho-Ho’s).
Syracuse is indicated with an orange icon, of course. I’m the Bozo. That came out wrong.
The shaded circle has a radius of roughly 200 miles, a diameter of 400. I chose this size circle because it represents a maximum, reasonable travel distance by car. Roughly two hours each way. I can do that on any given Saturday.
Let’s have a look at the Atlantic Division (pictured above).
The first thing that stands out to me is that there are only three schools within the designated “reasonable” travel distance. The closest school? Wake Forest, only 30 miles away. Having been to the Wake Forest / Vandy game this past fall, I can tell you. It’s a great (albeit small) stadium and has a great lawn section in the end zone. The farthest trip? That would be Boston College at 730 miles.
If you’re traveling from Syracuse, the closest school is BC at 312 miles, beating out Maryland by a hair (or hare, if you’re into obscure references). The fartherst is Florida State at over 1200 miles.
And the Coastal Division….
For those of us in the Carolinas, this seems to be the preferred scenerio. There are four teams within driving distance and Georgia Tech, while outside our designated radius, is still only 330 miles away. About a five hour trip. The farthest school is University of Miami at 700 mi, the closest the Tar Heels at a miniscule 50 mi. With UNC and the Dukies (or is that Dookies?), that would be one helluva basketball division.
If you’re coming from the Syracuse area, the closest school is Charlottesville at 493 miles, the Hurricanes a whopping 1453 miles away.
I’m rooting for Coastal. For basketball, this would clearly be the highest caliber division in the country, not to mention that I’ll be able to attend four or five games a year. And I am nothing if not an opportunist.