With the news official that Syracuse is heading out of the Big East and to the ACC on July 1, 2013, many fans are already speculating what to expect for the final season in the Big East Conference for Syracuse. With rivalries dying, uninteresting football ending, and trips to Madison Square Garden limited, there are a few things that the Orange faithful can more than likely count on throughout this athletic season.
Don’t expect the final Syracuse-Georgetown game to be in the Carrier Dome- This is an obvious one for simple reasons. The Big East knows how important the Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry is not only in the conference, but in the nation as well. The rivalry has lost a little bit of it’s luster nationally in comparison to the days of John Thompson II with his towel over his shoulders getting ejected from the Dome, but it is still the premiere rivalry in the Big East. The last time these two teams match up in conference play is going to be something incredibly special, so expect the Big East to make the game in DC, rather than in Syracuse. Any way the Big East can try to stick it to Syracuse, you better believe it’s going to happen.
- Expect to hear fans complain about the number of Syracuse fans in the Garden ten fold this season- With it being the last season for Syracuse in the Big East Tournament, you better believe Syracuse is going to represent even more so this upcoming season in MSG. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a Big East Tournament, and although it absolutely is always pro-Syracuse, I believe the number of Orange supporters will absolutely blow the roof off the place for the Orange’s last hurrah.
- Expect the football team to be a despised conference opponent- While this hasn’t happened since the days of McNabb or Freeney, expect Syracuse to be the most hated team in the Big East Conference this season. Previous years the hatred would be directed towards mostly West Virginia, and with the Mountaineers gone fans are going to need a new team to hate. And although the hatred might not stem from conference success, it will still be there nonetheless. If the Orange can find success and win a good amount of conference games, that hate will only grow stronger.
- Expect 32,000+ on a regular basis in the Dome come winter time- In the previous few years this was a regularity as well, but basketball games will be an even hotter ticket come this winter. Although the team is supposed to be just as good (if not better) than last season, home games against teams that have the potential to have “down” years like Villanova will still pack the Dome because of the opponent and it being the last time they play as conference foes. It is disappointing that Connecticut will not come to the Dome ever again as a conference opponent, but games like Notre Dame, Louisville, Georgetown, Villanova, and even Cincinnati and St. Johns might yield some pretty loud and large Syracuse crowds.
Expect a bowl birth from the football team this season- Although the Big East isn’t the football conference that it once was, it is still the Orange’s final rodeo. If you think Doug Marrone won’t use that as motivation, you are crazy. Marrone is a proud Syracuse alumni that understands the school and the situation, and the team will without a doubt want to leave the Big East making some noise heading in to the new conference. Are they going to win a Big East Championship? That might be a stretch of a prediction to make in the preseason like this. But a 7-5 team is absolutely something that the fans can set the bar at, even with the difficult schedule.
The final season in the Big East is going to be a special one for Syracuse fans, and I for one can’t wait to enjoy the ride. I have been a huge advocate for getting out of this vindictive conference as soon as possible following the announcement that Syracuse was leaving, but now that all the nonsense is settled I can’t wait to enjoy what will be an incredibly special final season in the Big East.