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Realignment lesson: Don’t get comfortable
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 30, 2013 @ 8:23 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by George Schroeder, USA TODAY Sports
Officials at Syracuse have been participating in Atlantic Coast Conference meetings for a long while now. So internally, at least, the idea that they’re a part of a new league has long since taken hold. But when Daryl Gross considered the import Monday holds — accompanied by glitzy festivities in New York, the school will officially become an ACC member — he liked the feeling.
“It’s like a surprise birthday where you already know they’re throwing the surprise birthday party,” the Syracuse athletics director said.
If we’ve grown used to all these schools trading places in giant game of realignment that has been played across the college football landscape over the last few years, for the winners such as Syracuse, it’s still a pretty cool moment when they actually arrive.
For some, that is. Other schools didn’t win. For still others, it’s too early to tally the score. Regardless, change has come and keeps coming. Monday’s event, as Syracuse and Pittsburgh officially join the ACC (and Notre Dame begins an affiliation just short of full membership), is just another in a string of welcoming ceremonies with more to come.
Maybe no one is really surprised anymore. But go back a few years. If someone had predicted Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, or Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference, or TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12, or Louisville to the ACC, or Colorado and Utah to the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) — well, who’d have believed it?
A year from now, after another ceremony or two, it will all have officially happened. It’s like returning to a favorite place, years later, to find the familiar landmarks gone. Or at least, that many have been rearranged. Gross likens it to “continental drift,” saying schools have mostly found their correct fit, by geography or academic/athletic identity or otherwise. Some of Syracuse’s former Big East rivals probably would disagree. Taken as a whole, it feels less drift than dramatic upheaval.
And while it seems as though realignment has paused — most of the significant players are bound now to their leagues by grants of … [For more on Realignment lesson: Don't get comfortable, click here.]
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