The last time Boston College Eagles basketball hosted the Syracuse Orange at Conte Forum, the guy in that picture wore maroon and gold.
Those were the days of the Big East, years before it fractured by football affiliations, and the days of Jared Dudley, Craig Smith, Louis Hinnant, and even Nate Doornekamp. Our head coach was dressed by Eastern Clothing of Watertown and our basketball team won games, starting 20-0 that season.
That game was almost nine years ago, and it is almost difficult to conceive all of the things which have happened in the history of this program since then. Al Skinner and the Big East are gone while Steve Donahue and the ACC are in. Even Syracuse has found its way to the ACC, but they still have Jim Boeheim, the man Boston College beat on February 19, 2005 in the “Juice the ‘Cuse” game. At least, that’s what I’ve called it because The Heights printed that phrase as a rallying cry.
Now, it’s 2014, and Syracuse and Boston College will meet once again. That last meeting was a battle between top-ten teams; this time, well, at least there’s one top-ten team. As this Boston College squad is not one-tenth as good as the one that came before it in 2005, there’s no possible way that same atmosphere will be generated in Conte Forum. Sure, there will be people present, and the students are just coming back to campus after winter break, but the stakes and national implications were much higher then. All #2 Syracuse wants tonight is to avoid taking a bad RPI loss.
It’s a shame, too, because I remember this meeting as having a great rivalry feel to it, magnified by the fact that both teams were good. With any luck, the Boston College-Syracuse games at Conte Forum will have that same feeling again very soon.