At 12:01 a.m. early Monday morning, the landscape of the Atlantic Coast Conference officially changed forever. The Pittsburgh Panthers, Syracuse Orange and and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (in every sport except their dearly beloved football) became card-carrying members of the ACC.
It’s a move that many considered a long time coming before intentions of this move were actually announced, especially considering the obvious dissolution of what was once known as the Big East, the conference from which our new ACC friends are coming from. Sadly, as well as ironically, also at 12:01 a.m., as the ACC was having new life breathed into it, what we knew as the Big East was breathing its last. The American Athletic Conference is now here in its place, whether we traditionalists like it or not.
Now because of the northern location of these schools, this integration has been dubbed a take over of New York City. Because, in actuality, that is exactly what Commissioner John Swofford was eyeing when he was able to snag these marquee programs–plastering his beloved conference all over the most marketable city in the entire world.
So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that today’s marriage was officially celebrated by, what else, a day spent in the Big Apple.
Commissioner Swofford, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim and every single ACC mascot dressed in full garb as they toured the city were just a few who attended the day’s events.
However, I’m not sure there’s truth to the rumor that Pitt was represented by former star wideout, and NFL All-Pro, Larry Fitzgerald because everyone else has transferred, but hey, you never know.
All kidding aside, today was a giant step in a positive direction for the conference. With the Louisville Cardinals joining next year at this time, the ACC literally does have a strong contingent of schools up and down the Atlantic coast. The move is beneficial to not just football, but all sports. The creation of some fresh rivalries coupled with whispers going around about the possible inception of an ACC Network makes it a win for all involved.
So I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new ACC members, every last one of you. Yes, even you Jim Boeheim, you snarky getting-more-bitter-by-the-year man, you!
I thoroughly look forward to covering your inaugural football seasons this upcoming year, as well as consistently reminding you to “calm down, this is normal” whenever head football referee Ron Cherry calls your team for holding, when it is clearly evident there was no such infraction whatsoever.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS