The Atlantic Coast Conference announced this morning that the presidents of the ACC have unanimously voted to accept the Pittsburgh Panthers and Syracuse Orange as the newest members of the conference. This news comes after the New York Times' Pete Thamel reported just yesterday that these two Big East teams had submitted letters of applications to join the ACC.
Times, they are a changin'. According to reports, the Texas Longhorns will be meeting on Monday to determine whether to engage in talks with the ACC. But that's a story for another day.
Obviously, Pitt and ‘Cuse bring to the table strong basketball programs, which will no doubt help the ACC reclaim / solidify (depending on what you think of it right now) its role as the nation's premier and untouchable basketball conference. The Orange won the national title in 2003 and have four Final Four and seven Elite Eight appearances in the Tournament era. The Panthers have one Final Four and three Elite Eight appearances. Both teams have two pre-Tournament championships. Since 2000, Pitt and Syracuse have a combined seven Big East regular season championships (Pitt: '02, '03, '04, '11. Cuse: '00, '03, ‘10 (they shared the 2003 title)) and four Big East tournament titles (Pitt: '03, '08. Cuse: '05, '06). The titles alone probably do not even do enough justice to the rich history behind both of these institutions.
In football, the schools are less renowned and today are considered middling Big East teams. In the poll era, Pitt has once been chosen as the consensus national champions, after a 12-0 season in 1976 that resulted in a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. Syracuse has one consensus national championship, in 1959, after a Cotton Bowl win over Texas and an 11-0 final record.
That's nothing you can't find on Wikipedia. The better question for Virginia fans, is, what does this mean for the Hoos? For starters, it means that joining the Carolina blue bloods atop the conference as the basketball elite just got that much tougher. It also means that the ACC will be winning the men's lacrosse national championship for the next approximately five hundred years.
We'll take a closer look at the series record against each of these teams for every sport, following the jump.
Below breaks down the Cavaliers' series record against Pitt and ‘Cuse for most all of the sports. Not included are cross country, golf, rowing, swimming & diving, and track and field, since those sports don't readily translate into direct series records. Where the teams have last competed since 2000, I've included the result for that year.
|Basketball (W)||2-1||2006 (L)||3-0||1990|
|Field Hockey||- -||- -||1-0||1993|
|Football||2-3||2007 (W)||2-2||2005 (W)|
|Lacrosse (M)||- -||- -||14-13||2011 (L)|
|Lacrosse (W)||- -||- -||9-3||2010 (W)|
|Soccer (M)||5-0||2002 (W)||- -||- -|
|Soccer (W)||- -||- -||1-0||2006 (W)|
|Softball||4-0||2004 (W)||- -||- -|
|Tennis (M)||1-0||Pre-1997||- -||- -|
|Tennis (W)||- -||- -||5-1||Pre-1999|
|Wrestling||- -||- -||0-2||1990|
We'll be breaking this down more throughout the week. Note that Syracuse Baseball disbanded following the 1972 season (presumably as a direct result of Virginia's 2-0 win and the Orange's subsequent recognition that there can only be one blue and orange). There may be more disbanded teams.
I actually really like the addition of Pitt and ‘Cuse. Both of them fit academically into the ACC mold - Pitt is ranked No. 58 in the most recent U.S. News rankings, while Syracuse is No. 62. Syracuse finished the final Directors Cup standings at No. 61 (though unlike the other ACC teams, most of their points came in the Fall). Pitt, though, came in at a lowly 123rd.
I like the conference's solidification as the kings of basketball. I also like the addition of two new markets in Pittsburgh and New York City. Though St. John's plays right there in Madison Square Garden, Syracuse has dubbed themselves as New York City's home team, and for the most part, it's true - you'll see plenty more blue and orange than red and whatever other color St. John's is.
The worst part is that this is officially the death of any hope I had left of the return to a round-robin schedule in basketball.
Does the expansion stop at 14? Will we move onwards to 16? What are your thoughts, Hoos?