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The Cincinnati Conundrum

This is a very good football team.
Syracuse faces #5/7 Cincinnati this coming All Hallows Eve at noon in the Carrier Dome. However, there is a lot going on behind this game that impacts more than just Syracuse and Cincinnati. The entire future of the league could possibly rest on this game, and really every game Cincinnati faces from here on. Some serious ethical questions also appear related to this game as well. There are two outcomes to the contest this weekend, so I will address this debate through the two possible outcomes of the game.

Syracuse Is Beaten By Cincinnati
Syracuse gets destroyed by Cincinnati, even using a backup quarterback no less. Assuming (yes, I know this is a lot of assuming, but for the sake of the article come follow along) that Cincinnati then runs out the season beating every other conference opponent and Illinois, they should have a very good chance to play for the National Championship, which for the Big East would mean an awful lot. Chances are this would indirectly benefit Syracuse in the next few years because the overall conference will be in a better position. Additionally, playing in a National Championship would add strength to the Big East’s argument to remain a BCS conference in the future (if the BCS is still around). Syracuse will not have a bad loss, as Syracuse is supposed to lose this game. The team moves on, hopefully putting on a strong showing against a far superior team.

The problem: You are actively rooting against Syracuse University.

Syracuse Beats Cincinnati
Syracuse loves being the spoiler. Syracuse manages to beat Cincinnati unexpectedly giving them four wins. Additionally, Syracuse wins my predicted games of Louisville and Rutgers. The Orange get their biggest marquee win in several years, probably dating back to 2002. Syracuse becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2004, and attends some marginal bowl, possibly getting some recruiting help, a small pay out, and respect from the nation far superior to last year. However, they would probably lose in that bowl game. Cincinnati loses the ability to play in the National Championship, possibly dooming the league to be a second tier BCS league for the next decade.

The problem: You are actively rooting against the conference, and possibly hurting Syracuse in the long run.

Granted I realize that I am exaggerating and taking the examples to the extreme, but these are very real possibilities. At this point can you see a team that remains on Cincinnati’s schedule that has a clear advantage over Cincinnati? Would Cincinnati’s chances to be in the National Championship not be gone if Syracuse wins? Clearly these situations could play out as I have stated earlier. It is certainly an interesting debate.

So there you have the possibilities laid out for you. Should you root for or against Syracuse this Saturday? I’ll leave you to make up your own mind. Either way I’m going to be in the Dome, in costume, acting like a huge jackass. Always the safe play to avoid any ethical dilemmas.

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3 Responses to “The Cincinnati Conundrum”

  1. # Blogger Dan

    It's a tough one, but in the end I think it benefits Syracuse much more to win. This would be the kind of win that would signal our return, and it's something that Marrone could really use to sell the program to recruits.

    Besides, I can't possibly cheer against Syracuse anyway. It just wouldn't work.  

  2. # Blogger Shedd

    I've been thinking about this all week. But I have to root for Syracuse. The nation and the national media recognize how good Cincinnati is at this point. A win for us would do more to boost us than it would to damn Cincy. Now, I know we would end their title hopes if we won. For that I would feel guilty from a Big East fan's POV, but this win would be huge for us.

    To put it simply, I will always root for Cuse. If we lose on Saturday than I will move on knowing it was likely anyway and root for Cincy to win out.  

  3. # Anonymous Twink

    It's better for Syracuse to win. This happened a couple years back with Pitt and WVU. Pitt beat WVU and kept WVU from going to the title game. Since then Pitt has built off that win and moved up into the rankings and is becoming a marquee team in the Big East. If Syracuse could do the same that would be best for the team and best for the conference. Having Pitt and Syracuse as the main two Big East teams would help with the media perception of the league, so go orange!!  

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