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Expansion Exhaustion

Posted: Ted Conroy

The Chicago Tribune became the victim of shooting the messenger, as the college sports landscape began sweating profusely upon hearing the Big 10 will accelerate it’s timetable on adding new schools.

Fizz Friend Pete Thamel (SU ’99) at the New York Times got a hold of foemer SU AD Jake Crouthamel. Grandpa Jake says the Big East has a dire future and new “superconferences” will be formed.

Me and the Axeman had Grandpa Jake on the radio show Tuesday, and he ruffled the feathers of The Fizz, starting with his talks with Doug Marrone.

“He has been concerned about this whole conference shakeup as well.”

Gulp. Marrone worried?

“It’s scary times, because, how do you recruit, what conference do you say these guys are gonna be in when they graduate?”

Ladies and gentlemen, the domino effect has begun. Things are changing, and they have an effect on the ‘Cuse no matter how it pans out.

If SU ends up in the Big 10, the basketball rivalries are gone – meaning no longer selling a recruit the ability to play UConn, Georgetown or at Madison Square Garden every March. In football, a power conference like the Big 10 could keep Syracuse down for a long time.

If the Orange doesn’t get chosen for expansion, Pitt, Rutgers, or Connecticut could jump ship, turning the Big East into Conference USA Light.

The next four months are going to determine a lot about how the class of 2011 sees the Orange. Either way, it’s a scary proposition for a team that is trying to right the ship and establish an identity as a contender.

Marrone should be worried. He faces a huge  power shift in college athletics, stepping into a conference sh*tstorm at the outset of his first head coaching job.

As for Crouthamel… well, seems like Jake is enjoying his retirement.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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