For anyone who believes in karma, conference realignment has finally gotten the better of the Syracuse Orange. News came down today that West Virginia will be off to the Big 12 by June with Syracuse and Pitt left in the Big East for now.
As I wrote last week, the departure of West Virginia opens the door for a Syracuse-Pitt departure as well. As of now, Big East commissioner John Marinatto "might be open to discussion" on the matter, but not until 2013. Unless Pitt and Syracuse are able to find $20 million or more under the mattress, it looks as if the ACC move is still put on hold.
This news is good, seeing that now the discussion will open about an ACC move rather than Marinatto's former zero-negotiation stance he held since the move was announced.
This move does leave Syracuse with a slight problem: The Orange now have two slots they must fill on the schedule. TCU and West Virginia were both on the 2012 conference schedule and their departure now means that every Big East team is facing this predicament.
Matt's College Sports Media Blog did the legwork and determined all NCAA teams in need of a spot (the link has the full list). For the Orange, bowl eligibility must be a driving factor in scheduling. There is already one FCS opponent on the schedule (Stony Brook) and the other already scheduled games are Minnesota, Northwestern and USC.
The Orange could play Rutgers twice as previously reported, leaving just one open spot on the schedule. With all Big East teams scrambling for another opponent, the Orange need to work fast to grab someone from the list, preferable a winnable game such as UAB or North Texas.
However, we will have to wait and see what unfolds as the Big East prepares for a season without West Virginia.