What made you guys jump for the ACC? Was Cuse talking to them to whole or did it come out of blue? I've only heard things from our front. I wanted to see what went down on your end.
No inside info here, but this is the pieces I have put together based on everything I have read...
I don't think SU cut ties or contact to the ACC from the initial raid of 2003.
I think after the Big East's scramble to add the CUSA's and construct the 16-team BE BBall conference--along with the initial success of the football schools from 2005-2007--SU was hopeful with everyone else that it could work.
But after that initial high, the writing was on the wall, and the wall began to deteriorate, as we all know. Syracuse sees the BE as a conference that can not and will not thrive on a long-term basis, due to the following...
1. The inability of the Big East to keep the most successful head coaches in the league (Rodriguez, Dantonio, Petrino, Kelly, Edsall) hurt the on-field performance of the football programs tremendously
2. The decline of the football teams' performances led to a huge backlash from the rest of the country (including the media), which made recruiting that much more difficult for all BE teams
3. As a result of the Big East not pulling its weight and cashing a BCS paycheck without earning it (and also seeing mid-majors like Boise State and TCU get a seat on the table annually) the other 5 BCS conferences began to stir with talk of 16 team power conferences and a departure from the BCS.
4. Along with the instability of the football teams, the Big East leadership continued to warrant the same power to the basketball-onlies and Notre Dame as the football schools who were generating the most money while doing the dirty work on the front lines.
5. Summer, 2010 - The first moves toward major conference realignment began, with the Pac-10 and Big Ten both expanding to 12 teams. As Big East leaders sat tight and watched rather than decide to be pro-active, the Big East football schools became concerned that they will be left out of the revolution and would have no seat at the new college football table. It became apparent that any one of the 8 football schools would jump at the first offer from the other BCS conferences, although this may have not been apparent to the Big East leaders.
6. It took one of the basketball coaches for the Big East leaders to wake up from their coma and decide adding TCU would be a pretty good idea. And while this was great for the conference, adding yet another basketball team to an already bloated conference was a downside. Now we're talking a possible 20 basketball teams someday? When is too much too much?
7. The Big East finished the 2010 season with no teams in the Final Top 25 rankings. Several mid-major conferences contained teams that finished ahead of the highest-ranked WVU school. The disasterous season the Big East feared could happen after the defections of 2003 happened. More pressure mounted on the Big East's BCS bid, and while safe at the moment, the recruiting hits caused by the bad press does not help matters. Despite the recent addition of TCU, the conference situation looked dire.
8. During the conference's darkest time, Big East leaders nearly accomplish a coup of a large television contract that could provide stability and security to the conference and lead to a bright future. But alas, the Big East rejected it. This was the nail in the final coffin from Syracuse's perspective, as SU was fed up with seeing the basketball schools and Notre Dame voting on football issues and having the same voting power as the football schools.
9. SU seeks the ACC. With the most recent shakeup in the latest conference expansion talk, the ACC makes the proactive move and invites Syracuse and Pittsburgh, with the strategy of increasing their (small) chances of taking Notre Dame in the future in case the 16 team power conference idea becomes reality someday.
10. Syracuse and Pitt have no choice but to say yes to the ACC and goodbye to the Big East.
Simply put: Future financial security combined with years of frustration with Big East Leaders and the reality that the Big East (being the only BCS conference with basketball-onlies) will never truly be unified led to the defection.