Five reasons to hate Syracuse

The Louisville Cardinals showed just how potent their offense could be when the football team dropped 70 on Charlotte in the opening game. They now travel to the Rust Belt to take on the Syracuse Orange . There are plenty of reasons to hate Syracuse and their football program, including:

orange–The Mascot is a color

I don’t know if it’s possible to be any less creative than revolving your entire school around a color. The Syracuse Orange. What does that even mean? The ACC has some pretty classic mascots: Cardinals, Hurricanes, Seminoles, Panthers, and Fighting Irish. You simply just can’t respect a program that worships the color orange.

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A Jim Boeheimian Rhapsody as Syracuse heads for ACC

Even if not enamored with Syracuse University, Unversity of Lousiville fans can identify with the school’s wanting to get out of the Big East or the American Athletic Conference to get to the Atlantic Coast Conference as soon as possible. A group of students at SU recently put together a Boehemian Rhapsody, a well-done take on the original music by Queen.

Conference Expansion Stampede May Have Begun

If there was ever any doubt that football reigns supreme in college sports, it should be crystal clear by now. Football is the only thing driving conference expansion decisions.

Unless some emphatic denials are issued soon, one can assume the conference dominoes have begun to fall. The lynch pin appears to have been an informal decision by the Nebraska board of regents to accept an invitation to the Big Ten Conference.

At least six Big 12 schools have been invited to join the PAC 10. This leads many to conclude that the Big 12 Conference is done. But Texas and Texas A&M are convening a meeting Friday to attempt to salvage things.

Then there are unconfirmed reports that Notre Dame, Maryland, Rutgers and possibly Syracuse have been invited to join the Big 10.

There goes Big East football if true. Should the Big East football schools immediately withdraw from the conference? If so, the best basketball conference in the country becomes history almost over night.

Rutgers can thank itself for all the TV sets in the region. Maybe watching a lot of TV has some positive educational benefits after all. But that’s probably sour grapes. Rutgers in the Big 10. Really?

If Maryland is gone from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pittsburgh is the first choice to replace the Terps. Never mind Pittsburgh’s long-standing rivalry with West Virginia or the fact that they have little in common with other ACC schools.

Some have suggested a merger between the Big 12 and the Big East football schools. Stranger things have happened and they probably will.

Many universities, including the University of Louisville, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities and Title IX to secure their future only to be faced with uncertainty. Don’t count on any members of Congress coming to the rescue. They’re too busy trying to save their own butts.

Conference expansion is about to wreak havoc on the college sports scene, and it could get ugly quickly. Many schools are going to be forced into some hasty, very bad decisions without any ability to redress their grievances.

Big East Split Inevitable Over Football

No surprise the Big East is again in the unenviable position of having members targeted by other conferences. The Big East leadership has done nothing to resolve the major issues in football scheduling, forcing member schools to fend for themselves.

The inability to recognize that football is the key to securing the future probably stems from its founding as a basketball conference in 1979. The conference didn’t even include football competition until 1992 when Rutgers, Miami, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Temple joined Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. UConn was in the process of moving up to Division 1A.

The biggest mistake was probably the rejection of Penn State in the early eighties when the conference picked Pittsburgh instead. Penn State football coach Joe Paterno would lobby hard for an eastern conference with many of the same members but he was rebuffed, ultimately joining the Big Ten.

Because of the Big East's inertia, there is no move the conference could make that would prevent any other BCS league from taking its lunch money.

While the lack of vision may have been a good thing for Louisville, making it possible to join the Big East, the failure to be proactive in resolving the football scheduling issues is not. The potential for football revenue (and losses) is much greater than for basketball. The revenue produced by the cellar-dwelling football teams in the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference is comparable to the top Big East teams in both football and basketball.

Because of the Big East’s inertia, there is no move the conference could make that would prevent any other BCS league from taking its lunch money. It’s as if the university presidents, who really make the decisions, are unable to grasp the significance of the issue, or they are so helpless and inept that they prefer to wait until another conference forces them to do something.

As a result, a conference split between the basketball and football schools appears inevitable. However, the lineup of members of the new football conference may not faintly resemble the current one.

Louisville Football Needs Bigger Big East

By Paul Sykes

Watch your back.

The Big Ten Conference is officially looking to expand again, with the aim of increasing its ranks to 12 schools. The reasons are obvious: An annual conference football championship game and more green for its already bloated coffers.

Missouri, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Rutgers are the schools most often mentioned as possibilities. Louisville has been included in the field by the Chicago Tribune. Even Cincinnati, with the most fickle fans in the nation, has been floated as a candidate.

Notre Dame is not in the picture this time, having consistently resisted conference overtures. The superiority complex doesn’t help either, nor does the fact that the football program is losing its luster. The Knute Rockne tradition can only get you so far when losing has become a habit. When their network deal isn’t renewed and they have to settle for a cable deal or what Directv offers, maybe they’ll change their position.

'The best argument for Louisville would be basketball where U of L is consistently ranked as the most profitable program in the nation.'

Great for Louisville to be mentioned among the possible candidates. But the odds of it happening are remote. U of L has it good right now in the strongest basketball conference in the country. On the football side, Big East teams have demonstrated they can hold their own and they have the poll recognition to prove it.

Can you imagine the good old boys at land grant schools like Michigan and Ohio State acknowledging U of L or Cincinnati as equals and welcoming a municipal university into their ranks? Without getting into the academic debate, the best argument for Louisville would be basketball where U of L is consistently ranked as the most profitable program in the nation. The expansion of Papa John’s would be a definite plus.

Perhaps the best thing about the Big Ten’s action is that it may force the Big East to finally become proactive in expanding the number of conference football teams in the conference. The scheduling issues have been ignored too long and are a threat to financial stability.

Schools like East Carolina, Memphis and Central Florida are viable candidates because they take their football seriously. Their fan bases are not insignificant and they would strongly support BCS-level football.