They say all good things must come to and end. Whoever “they” is, can go pound sand.
I say this because with the introduction of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame into the ACC, the Maryland Terrapins are going to lose out on something very good: the two games a year they get to play against Duke in Cameron Indoor and the Comcast Center.
It’s something that Terrapin fans live for. It’s one of the better rivalries in college basketball, and one that will be sorely missed when the ACC decides to only have Maryland and Duke play once a year. Instead, the Terrapins are going to have two “primary partners” that they will be going up against twice a year. Those two teams? Pittsburgh and Virginia.
Here’s a list of the teams and their primary partners for each school before I go on a diatribe:
Boston College – Notre Dame and Syracuse
Clemson – Florida State and Georgia Tech
Duke – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Florida State – Clemson and Miami
Georgia Tech – Clemson and Notre Dame
Maryland – Pittsburgh and Virginia
Miami – Florida State and Virginia Tech
North Carolina – Duke and NC State
NC State – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Notre Dame – Boston College and Georgia Tech
Pitt – Maryland and Syracuse
Syracuse – Boston College and Pitt
Virginia – Maryland and Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech – Miami and Virginia
Wake Forest – Duke and NC State
WHAT THE HELL!? Yes, I knew the writing was on the wall when the ACC gained Pitt and Syracuse (as I alluded to here). Then, when Notre Dame came I assumed it was going to happen much, much, sooner rather than later. But to not have Duke? That’s a freaking joke. How can you deprive the Terrapins (and the ACC altogether) of such a good rivalry? For Duke, it was a hate-filled series which always made them a little wary because no matter how bad Maryland was, they always got a good match.
For Maryland fans, it’s just a slap in the face. We riot when we beat Duke. We create chants and posters specifically to denigrate any and all of their accomplishments. Go up with a camera to any Maryland student wearing a Terrapins shirt on campus and ask him to turn around, because the back will likely say “Suck it, Duke!” (and that’s putting it lightly). I cannot stand Duke, and will never cheer for them for the rest of my lifetime. When we beat them in the past and rioted, who do you think the kid was in the khakis in this now infamous video? Hint: It was me. That’s how deep the passion runs for this series. And now it’s gone…..for Pittsburgh and Virginia.
We’ll start with the lesser of two evils in Pitt. We do not like Pittsburgh anything. Redskins fans don’t like Pittsburgh; Ravens fans HATE Pittsburgh. They both recruit from similar areas, but have no ties other than that and the two cities (or at least the Baltimore area) wants nothing to do with one another. In that sense, there is definitely some potential for a budding rivalry. Pittsburgh is talented (arguably more so than Maryland nowadays), and beating up on them would put Maryland up a notch in terms of respectability. So yes, there could be some fun with this, but everyone remains cautiously optimistic and still doesn’t want Pitt around.
But Virginia? When will the ACC get it through their skulls that this isn’t a rivalry. We generally do not care about one another in the least bit.
(As a side note, since I live closer to the Northern Virginia area, I love this. I went to high school in Virginia, and take great pleasure watching them lose in football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, or anything else they compete in. I think it’s a huge rivalry because I despise UVa and everything about it. But again, I am in the minority here.)
The ACC needs to stop force-feeding this garbage down our throats. No one wants it to become a rivalry, and yet we have to play them twice a year. It sucks and we got hosed.
Which is why losing Duke twice a year sucks. We get only one chance to beat them, and now we have to make it count even more. There will be no more “Wait ’till we get you guys in Comcast,” anymore. Or vice versa. The fans are going to come out in droves to the one time we play them, or travel to Duke to try and get a seat, but it will never be the same. It’s diminished, and it isn’t fair to Terrapin or Duke fans.
That being said, with the addition of all these new teams, the ACC is going to be rough and tough and teams will be better for it. They will be battle-tested against any type of team you want to go up against, be it three point specialists (Duke), all-white fundamentally sound teams (Notre Dame), zone defenses that constantly confound (Syracuse), or All-Star teams (Notre Dame). In that sense, we should be excited. Maryland is going to be better because of it; while we are certain to take our lumps at first, in the long run our team and program will thrive in that kind of environment.
Nonetheless, everyone can be sad on the day a rivalry died.