One of the quotes getting the most buzz from day two of ACC Media Days came from our own Dino Babers. Obviously, it’s no secret that Syracuse’s new football coach is a fan of TV and movies, so it should come as little surprise that he dropped a comparison from the world of filmed entertainment to describe the Orange.

By the way, I’m about to get into some serious Game of Thrones spoilers so if you haven’t caught up, you may want to skip this one.

If you’re unfamiliar with Game of Thrones (dad), Jon Snow is the bastard “son” of Ned Stark and one of the last in the Stark line. Robb is dead. Rickon is dead. Sansa is still going strong, or as strong as someone who was tortured by Ramsay Bolton could be, Bran is off becoming a tree-slash-raven (or something), and Arya has decided she actually does have a name, and also now has a very particular set of skills that will enable her to seek vengeance on those who’ve wronged her family.

For the purposes of what we’re talking about, we’re going to kind of shift a little of what Dino said and say that Syracuse equals the Starks, rather than just Jon Snow. In large part because, well (SPOILERS AHEAD!) it’s been revealed that Jon Snow isn’t actually Ned Stark’s son. Instead, he’s the son of Ned’s late sister, Lyanna, and Rhaegar Targaryen. Yeah, it’s complicated, and while it puts Jon directly in line for the throne, that doesn’t really fit Dino’s analogy quite as well.

So instead, Syracuse is House Stark. The wardens of the north, as far as the ACC is concerned. Long since decimated by betrayals (the Boltons turning on the Starks; the original exodus of Miami, Virginia Tech, and BC from the Big East) and poor decisions (Robb breaking his pledge to marry Walder Frey’s daughter, which is what led to the Red Wedding; Syracuse hiring Greg Robinson under the mistaken belief he was a “football coach”), Syracuse and the Starks are primed for a rebirth of sorts.

House Stark has regained power in the north with the defeat of the Boltons and their traitorous allies, and Syracuse now has its own new champion and potential King in the North in Dino Babers. That still leaves us to figure out exactly who everyone else is, of course.

Who’s House Lannister?

Who’s House Targaryen?

Who’s House Martell?

Who’s House Tyrell?

House Baratheon is basically gone, so we’ll skip over them. Martell and Tyrell are basically dying on the vine, now that the male heirs on both sides are gone, and have banded together to help Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Eater of Fro-Yo, Buyer of Locally Grown Vegetables, Big Fan of Hot Tubs, Patron of Bojangles, in her quest to claim Westeros and the Iron Throne.

The one thing I’m pretty certain of is that Boston College is House Frey. I mean, right? The incompetent House that was once allied with Syracuse/the Starks, only to stab them (quite literally) and side with the Lannisters (the ACC in general? FSU in particular? Maybe just Tobacco Road as a whole?). The only problem is, House Frey consists of bumblers who can’t even hold Riverrun, forcing the Lannisters to take action in order to regain control.

Boston College was the default “northern” team in the ACC/Westeros, but they simply weren’t getting the job done and, once Syracuse joined the ACC, have been pretty well overtaken for any control in the north. Control they never even really had, because even Pittsburgh offered a more stable ally in the north to the ACC. That, of course, would have to make Pitt the ACC equivalent of the Boltons.

It’s a battle for northern dominance in the ACC, much like it’s a battle for northern dominance in Westeros between the Starks and the Boltons. And because I’m a Syracuse alum and fan, obviously in this case, Syracuse is automatically the “good guy” in this scenario, and Pitt is just evil. I mean, really, screw Pitt. And screw Ramsay Bolton.

Another comparison I’m pretty sure about is which program represents House Targaryen. Obviously, it’s Notre Dame. They’re the big, outlying power in the ACC. They’re not really a team you think of as being in the ACC, since football is still independent, just like Dany has been a character the folks in Westeros never really stop to think about as much of a power player because she’s kind of an independent, as well.

But everyone knows that Daenerys Stormborm, Shucker of Corn Cobs, Juggler of Chainsaws, Player of Wii Bowling is hugely powerful and could change absolutely everything in an instant. She’s got her dragons, her Unsullied, and her Dothraki. And now, she’s got the Greyjoy fleet, as well as the help of the Martells and the Tyrells. Notre Dame has its storied football program and unmatched TV deal.

Basically, Notre Dame could come swooping in and either burn things to the ground or assert complete control, depending on what – if anything – they ever decide to do with the football program possibly joining a conference.

It’s about this time in writing all of this up that I realize that holy shit, I need other hobbies. And so, I’m going to cut things off here. If you have ideas about which school represents which Westerosi family, hit me up with your suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. Or don’t. I mean, it’s a free country.

You’re welcome for all of the Game of Thrones spoilers!

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish