It has been a week since The New York Times first reported that Syracuse was leaving the Big East to join the ACC. Since then, fans have taken to Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, blogs and Bleacher Report to discuss and debate the fall out.
What is so interesting is that Syracuse, a founding member of the Big East, has made the right decision.
Syracuse abandoned a sinking ship that was the Big East and joined a conference that looks more like their vision of the original Big East (more than likely because a handful of teams were snagged from the Big East in 2003).
Back in that fateful year, Syracuse was this close to being in the ACC, with Boston College left behind in the Big East.
But now that is all past. Syracuse is a part of the ACC. And fans?
This is a great thing. Joining the ACC may be one of the best moves Syracuse could have made and here are five of the big reasons why.
This may come as a surprise to some, but this ACC move is a huge bonus for recruiting.
The reason this seems surprising is that everyone has this notion that the Orange will lose their NYC recruiting base.
Well, the biggest NYC stars to play for the Orange have been James Southerland and Louie McCroskey. Exactly.
Meanwhile, looking at the current roster, players are from established recruiting bases that Syracuse owns due to lack of competition (the rest of New York state and Pennsylvania).
An area the Orange want to go back to is Baltimore, where they nabbed some guy named Carmelo Anthony once upon a time. Playing Maryland, Duke and North Carolina will increase Syracuse’s presence and with a little help from 'Melo (something he has done before), Syracuse could have a new pipeline for stars.
One of the biggest balks about the Big East move is the idea that Syracuse will lose some of its biggest rivals in Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's and UConn.
What people seem to forget is that Syracuse has established rivalries with these schools as well as Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech in the old Big East.
The out-of-conference flexibility in basketball can allow for Syracuse to still play these teams once a year, something the Big East had planned anyway.
There is no way Syracuse will not play games in Madison Square Garden and having a rivals series there would draw fans and ratings (you can thank me later, Syracuse).
And by the way… isn’t there a certain Roy Williams who squared off with Jim Boeheim in a national championship? Isn’t there a Coach K who may be the only coach to match Boeheim’s loyalty and success at a single school?
Rivalries will not be lost; they will be created.
For being such a storied program and having a conference ESPN deal, Syracuse never seemed to be on ESPN as much as a Maryland or Virginia Tech throughout the basketball season.
That is because ESPN had/continues to invest heavily in ACC basketball and has enough connections with the ACC to essentially be the ACC Network.
Joining the ACC provides long-term TV stability (their deal with ESPN is currently for $155 million over 12 years) and their revenue sharing plan actually makes sense since all schools play two revenue sports.
There is no doubt that ACC is set for the future and will turn its football revenue into basketball profit, something Syracuse has tried to do for years.
As mentioned earlier, there is no way Syracuse will give up games in the Garden.
Already this is a huge plus for the schedule during the ACC era, especially when you remember Syracuse will now be a part of the ACC-Big Ten challenge.
Moving into conference play, the schedule will be much more appealing than a Big East schedule. Looking at the ACC matchups, battling basement dwellers Wake Forest and Georgia Tech just sounds far more appealing than DePaul or Southern Florida.
With 13 opponents (it sounds like the Notre Dame—UConn additions aren’t happening) Syracuse may get a normal schedule and play each conference team twice a season.
If not, it is still far more manageable of a matrix than what the Mega-Basketball Big East offered.
Over the last 21 seasons, eight of the national champions have been from the ACC (Duke (4), UNC (3), Maryland (1).
In comparison, the SEC has had five, the Big East has four, the Pac-12 has two and the Big 10 and Big 12 both have one apiece.
For college basketball, this is dominance coming from two schools within one conference, much like how the winner of the SEC has won the BCS.
This year with Duke and UNC returning almost full teams, the ACC has a great shot to add another championship to their trophy case.
Joining this kind of conference helps all of the above: recruiting, rivalries, scheduling and TV. Even better, unlike Colorado to the Pac-12 (sorry all you Buffalo alums), Syracuse is a team with the quality to add to this legacy.
So get ready Orange nation. The ACC (aka the promised land) awaits.