Syracuse Football ACC Outlook: Are the Orange Coastal or Atlantic?

Andrew PreglerContributor IIIDecember 27, 2011

SU AP Database
SU AP Database

The Syracuse Orange are currently held under contract with the Big East through the 2013 season, but that has not slowed down the ACC hype.

Several recruits have already said that the ACC move has swayed their decision while West Virginia is working hard to set the precedent to escape the long wait to switch conferences. 

All the while, basketball may dominate the ACC move discussion but the reality is the move was made for the increased football exposure and revenue. So then, Orange fans must ask: Who will Syracuse be playing in the ACC? 

Because of the expanded format of the ACC, this is largely going to be based upon which division the Orange get thrown into. 

It is fairly safe to say that the Orange and Pitt Panthers, also making an ACC move, will be split in order to keep the divisions even and not force a huge conference realignment. 

As of now, the Atlantic has Clemson, Florida State, Wake Forrest, NC State, Boston College and Maryland. The Coastal has Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, Miami and Duke. 

After looking at the current set up, it would make most sense to send Syracuse to the Atlantic and Pitt to the Coastal. In the Atlantic, Syracuse would be able to renew the football rivalry with Boston College, start a potential rivalry with Maryland, and play Pitt as their cross-division rival. 

Pitt would also win this scenario as they would be able to restore old rivalries with Virginia Tech and Miami, making for an old Big East reunion of sorts. 

From a "homer" point of view, the Atlantic also will benefit Syracuse on the field as well. There is no doubt the Orange will struggle more in the ACC as compared to the Big East, at least that is how it appears on paper. 

The Atlantic does have powers such as Clemson and Florida State, but the rest of the division looks to be in the same talent level as the Orange. In fact, Syracuse defeated Wake Forrest in their season opener and the Demon Deacons finished third in the Atlantic this season. 

Meanwhile over in the Coastal, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami all look as if they would be able to handle the Orange and have much stronger recent histories as compared to Doug Marrone's squad. 

In the Coastal, it is safe to say Syracuse could be duking it out with Duke and Virginia for fifth place year after year unless recruiting significantly picked up.

Overall, the Orange are best suited to join the Atlantic division. However, when they join the ACC has still yet to be decided.