Despite torn emotions over Syracuse leaving the only home its ever had, one thing is indisputable: Daryl Gross and Nancy Cantor pulled a major coup by doing it under a cloak of secrecy.
In an age of hyper-attention to conference realignment, internet speculation and instantaneous rumor-mongering via Twitter, it’s mind-blowing SU and Pitt could move conferences essentially overnight. Think about it: You likely finished your work week at 5p on Friday with no knowledge of a potential move. By the time you were back at the office today, SU had changes alliances.
Friday evening, we had the New York Times reports that the two schools could leave for the ACC. By Sunday morning, there was a conference call making it official. Think about the tug of war Texas has gone through about leaving the Big 12. Look at the daily speculation surrounding the next move by the Big 10. The future of the Big East is a source of constant debate.
And yet somehow SU and Putt achieved what no other schools seem to have been able to do: a clean, concise exit. This is not to suggest both programs will find it a smooth transition over the next two years. One would imagine ugly scenes at the sites of the schools left behind in the chaos (much the same way we treated those evil dissenters Miami, Va Tech and BC seven years ago).
But the powers at both Syracuse, Pitt and the ACC deserve credit for pulling off the impossible: switching BCS conferences over the course of a weekend. Clearly, the athletic departments at both schools quietly reached out to the ACC (or vice versa) and maneuvered in almost complete silence. If Doug Marrone and Jim Boeheim knew the details, kudos to both as well for keeping this so close to the vest. Because telling one wife, could lead to one neighbor, that ends up on Twitter, complicating the entire situation.
It’s an internally confusing time for every Orange fan. Is leaving behind the relationships of 30 years for the presumed stability of a new league the right move? Probably. One thing is as clear as a bright, frigid February morning in CNY: the seemingly overnight process was devastatingly efficient.