We'll all miss the obnoxiousness, the "New York's College Team" boast, the police blotter moments, Jim Boeheim's flagrant nose-picking, the 2-3 matchup zone, and that way-too-large football dome that is cordoned off for basketball in the winter.
Yes, the orange-dipped Big East founding member and the Big East have announced the agreement we all knew was coming - the Syracuse Orange will leave for the Carolina-centered Atlantic Coast Conference, effective July 1st, 2013. Syracuse will pay the Big East $7.5 million along with "other considerations" to get out of their deal with the league a full year early.
Syracuse's Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross said in the statement, "we look forward to the new academic and athletic partnerships and the extraordinary competitive opportunities that membership in the ACC offers. We are excited about both our final season in the Big East and our long-term future with the ACC."
Yes, the Orange get better football... slightly. But the Syracuse Orange aren't particularly good at football. But in realignment, being competitive takes a back seat to being closer to the big-money payouts.
St. John's gets to face Syracuse one more time this winter, in the Carrier Dome (see all St. John's conference pairings), and possibly once again in the Big East Tournament at home in Madison Square Garden.
Which means there are at best only two more opportunities to beat the Orange and throw the "New York's College Team" tagline back in their faces. And that St. John's may not have a chance to finally make the Garden sound like a home game for the team in red and white, instead of a home game for the interlopers in Orange.
It is sad to see a(nother) founding member of the Big East go. And Syracuse fans, like Boston College fans, will miss coming to New York City for games. But so goes realignment.
Pittsburgh is also looking for an exit strategy, but reportedly does not want to pay more than $5 million to leave the Big East. Stay tuned; but expect the Panthers to come to an agreement as well.