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Gary Danielson & Mike Francesa Discuss Syracuse to Big 10 Before Pinstripe

An intriguing conversation took place on the eve of today’s Pinstripe Bowl on WFAN.

SB Nation

On the morning of the Pinstripe Bowl, at what looks to be a snow swept Yankee Stadium, two heavyweights of the sports media discussed Syracuse’s New York support intriguing the Big 10. CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson joined Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York yesterday afternoon and had a interesting exchange about SU.

Mike Francesa: They’ve already sold almost 40,000 tickets for that game. They’re gonna have a very big crowd for what looks like in the snow for West Virginia-Syracuse. Those two teams are going to draw at Yankee Stadium which is a good thing for Yankee Stadium and for college football tomorrow at the Pinstripe Bowl. 

Gary Danielson: What yelled out for me on this is Syracuse was actually positioning themselves as the New York team. I thought that’s why they were going to be very attractive as teams looked around and flirted with different conferences. I always thought… (the Big 10) grabbed Rutgers. I always thought Syracuse would be one of the teams the Big 10 would look at, to tell you the truth. 

MF: I always thought they would go to the Big 10. 

GD: I did. I actually did. It still remains. They’re a very interesting player in the continuation of college football as everybody makes these grabs for footprints. Because you can see… Syracuse is a team that draws. They’ve got a good name and they’re strong in New York and they’ll still be and interesting team to watch. 

Sports talk is the domain of wild conjecture, off the cuff analysis and arm-chair predictions (if anyone knows it’s me). So it’s not as though Orange Nation should be anxiously awaiting word from the B1G offices by the end of the game today. But Danielson is one of the highest profile college football analysts in the country. He’s on site for the biggest SEC games every weekend, and obviously is around the decision-makers and power brokers of the sport. For him unprovoked to connect Syracuse with the Big 10 is interesting.

Now that the Orange has begun preparation for joining the ACC, and the B1G plucked Rutgers, it’s  unrealistic to believe SU will play in a different conference for a very long time. Had Syracuse been given the choice of the Big 10 or the ACC, SU would’ve undoubtedly picked the Big 10, if for no other reason than the bigger football payday and exposure through the Big 10 Network. But if the ACC remains one of the power conferences in college athletics, Syracuse will have no regrets of moving there. The basketball product is far superior, it connects SU to growing population areas in the south, and links back to regional rivals like Boston College, Pitt and Virginia Tech.

The biggest takeaway from the chatter on WFAN is that Syracuse fans did their part to once again stamp the Orange as the most influential college team in New York City. Notre Dame still carries the most football weight in the Big Apple. Rutgers has a ton of alumni. But in terms of regular attendance at basketball and football events in the tri-state area, Syracuse is there often, and always jams the joint.

Plenty of today’s ticket holders will be West Virginia fans, but SU’s relevance in the Big Apple is undeniable. Orange Nation packs MSG, pours into MetLife, and scoops up tickets to the Pinstripe. While there’s always some griping about football attendance at the Dome, or how SU gridiron fans travel for bowl games or roadies, Orange Nation’s passion in NYC has been noticed by college football world. It’ll always make Syracuse a valuable commodity in the college athletics landscape.

Well done, everyone. Now let’s go hang 60 on the Mountaineers.

Posted: D.A.

14 Comments on this Post

  1. KevMonstah

    DA – Interesting post, but I don’t feel the Big Ten is a good fit at all for SU. Aside from Northwestern, every other school there is a public, state supported school, with a huge student population. Syracuse is not. I read a little of the academic stuff about SU not being in “the club” that all the Big Ten schools are, but it seemed SU voluntarily withdrew from that. Whatever. Syracuse is not a fan fit in the midwest either; they fit along the east coast. Syracuse as a football program is years from being more than the #7-8 team in the conference. SU’s recruiting base is the east coast, not the midwest, aside from Tyrone Wheatley’s know how. And I know hoops is secondary in this, but the SU fan interest is not towards the Big Ten. SU currently doesn’t pack the Dome for SHU, Rutgers, Providence, DEPAUL, but at least they are geographic rivals and you can get interested in those games. (The lack of interest in a midwest school like Depaul should also indicate something) While SU will probably have the same issue with teams like Wake, GaTech, Clemson, at least those schools are familiar to hoops fans, whereas you’re going to be looking at a home sched with NW, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Purdue, and think anyone cares? Wisconsin is a good hoops school; you will not get 25,000 to watch a 48-47 game with them, but 30K+ would fill out SU-Gtown with the same score due to the history and location of the fanbase.

    I know SU would jump in a second, and sure, I’m just old-fashioned enough of a fan to wish for the Big East pre-2003, but college sports are going to align themselves in such a way that the only people happy are going to be the football boosters, and not the alumni fanbase. I am an SU fan living in Boston, who used to enjoy watching BC play their football games, as it was something to do – the only big time D1 football program in the area. I’m not a true fan of them, but I can say I haven’t attended one game since they went to the ACC because I don’t care to see Clemson, Wake Forest, GaTech, Duke and UNC (football games). Those games mean nothing to fans here. The games against Miami, FSU, VaTech, well, BC loses them. I expect SU will do better, as they are a more competitive program, but you’re still going to see a chunk of fans say “why do I care about those teams?” And that’s what realignment is doing.

    Kev

  2. SYRACUSE COMPETING WITH gigantic state schools doesn’t make sense.Local fans traveling to away games becomes far too expensive At least the ACC teams are driveable allowing for a few stops and an overnighter.What Syracuse receives in revenue in exchange is queationably sufficient. Dr Gross will be looking at that fact first ans most importantly.

  3. Mitch in Michigan

    One of at least three qualifications for an invitation to the B1G Conference is membership in the organization of leading U. S. academic and research institutions known as the AAU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Universities). Syracuse was a member of this organization since 1966 but voluntarily withdrew in 2011. It is thought by many that the only non AAU University the B1G would invite would be Notre Dame, but even that seems unlikely since they have intentions of staying independent.

  4. SU’s move to the ACC or other conferences is not about BB its about Football. Get over it!! Its about Football and the $$$$$$$$$$$ it brings in. BB is not close to FB in $$$$$. No one cares about College BB until March. Every game counts in College football. Tailgates are bigger and better too at Football games. Game day traditions are fewer in BB. Football has many more game traditions than BB. As a whole the national championship game of both sports football is bigger. The only thing football can’t beat is the bracket games for the NCAA’s of BB!!
    Great win for the CUSE today!!!! It looked like WV just didn’t want to be there. The announcers almost admitted to that too!!

  5. i personnally will never watch a rutgers or a big10 football game unless syracuse is in the game. i personnally feel syracuse owns and i mean owns rutgers in football. yeah syracuse was in a big slump when we hired greg robinson,but syracuse almost always beat rutgers in football. you look at the history and you will see for yourself. i credit greg schiano for building rutgers football. you look at football history and records,bowl games, etc syracuse completely outweighs rutgers.

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