ACC Expansion: Lacrosse Fattens Up and Actually Becomes Supermodel Sexy

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Remember that time that Syracuse left the Big East for the ACC and turned the ACC's lacrosse league into DEATH BLOW: PART FOREVER? 

Do you?  Good, because that time is right now and you're showing solid reading comprehension, which is an important life skill that shouldn't be undervalued.

Do you also remember that time that Syracuse left the Big East for the ACC and potentially turned the Big East's lacrosse league into BIG PILE OF MEH: PART MAYBE FOREVER?

Do you?  Maybe?  Well, let's get you all caught up on important facts and stuff so that you can sound super intelligent about this while making small talk with your dopey friends.  Here's the basics, homeslice:

Pittsburgh and Syracuse are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC announced Sunday that its council of presidents unanimously voted to accept the two schools from the Big East. The move increases the ACC's membership to 14 and sends the Big East scrambling to replace two of its cornerstone programs.

The ACC's invitations to Syracuse and Pittsburgh followed the submission of letters of application from both universities.

The timeline on Syracuse's departure from the Big East is in flux currently -- there's apparently a 27-month notice period that is supposed to hold water, but money tends to make 27 months disappear rather quickly -- but there are a few important knowns (some assumed) and unknowns that are starting to emerge.

IMPORTANT KNOWNS

  • The ACC is about to become the craziest five-team coalition of the killing ever assembled.  With Syracuse, the conference is straight funky cold medina.  This, of course, assumes that Syracuse will participate in the ACC's lacrosse league, which wouldn't be shocking.
  • The ACC will still be short one member for an automatic tournament bid.  Not like this should matter much as everyone in the league is usually sitting at the table anyway.  It does, however, raise some important unknowns . . .

IMPORTANT UNKNOWNS

  • . . . lacrosse obviously isn't driving the realignment bus (I'M SHOCKED!  SHOCKED!), but with rumors about Rutgers potentially joining the ACC in a second round of expansion to get the league to 16 members, that would get the ACC to an auto-bid satisfying six members.
  • Even if Rutgers doesn't join the ACC, would Syracuse's participation in the league provide the tipping point for another ACC program -- N.C. State? Boston College? -- to elevate to Division I status?  Sure, they'd take some lumps, but they'd be guaranteed pearls on the schedule every season.  It's hard not to argue that the Big East's membership has benefitted from having Syracuse on the schedule every season; the same principle, you'd think, would apply to young ACC programs.
  • With Syracuse's departure from the Big East, the league would still remain at seven teams (six remaining plus the addition of Marquette).  If Rutgers leaves the league, that drops the Big East to six participating teams, which is still enough for an automatic bid.  If Rutgers leaves, however, there's no guarantee that the remaining Big East schools even try and stay together.  So, there could be a lot of Big East lacrosse teams scrapping for a league in the not-too-distant future.

That's what's kicking around in my skull this morning.  What else do you have?

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