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September 8, 2011

Has it come to this? Is the SEC that afraid of the empty threat of a lawsuit that they are hesitating on taking Texas A&M? Could it be true that the ACC showed more intestinal fortitude than the SEC is showing?

Nah.

This whole lawsuit threat is merely something that gives everyone a chance to pause. The SEC is willing to step back and wait because there is no need for them to rush.

The Pac-12 gets to think a little longer about how much it wants to take Oklahoma. All the Big 12 members are willing to take a step back for the moment. The only place that is really pissed off about this are in College Station, Texas.

“We are being held hostage right now,” Loftin said of being forced to stay in the Big 12. “Essentially, we’re being told that you must stay here against your will and we think that really flies in the face of what makes us Americans for example and makes us free people.”

Uh, yeah. Hyperbole much? And the recommitment and public statements about sticking with and supporting the Big 12 in the prior year? Well, those don’t count.

 

Do you recall back in the summer of 2003, when the ACC was pursuing their Big East raid? Where the ACC went behind the Big East’s back to court Miami. Did the Big East threaten a lawsuit? No. They filed one. Not just filed a lawsuit, but got state attorneys general to participate.

Remember what it accomplished? Unless you are Syracuse or Virginia Tech, it merely acted as a minor delay.

Oh, it made ACC schools skittish enough that they couldn’t muster sufficient votes to take Miami, BC and Syracuse in one swoop. Instead, it gave the Virginia legislature and governor time to bring pressure on UVa to not support any expansion without bringing Virginia Tech to the conference. VT was even a party to the Big East lawsuit against Miami, BC and the ACC. Since enough ACC teams wanted Miami, they decided to take VT as well, and waited a year before getting BC.

Other than a brief delay and getting VT into the ACC, the only other thing that the Big East got out of it was an agreement for a bunch of home-and-home games.

This Big 12 joke, isn’t even the threat of a lawsuit. It is that Baylor (and now Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State) won’t waive their right to bring a lawsuit.

The reports are that the objections would be dropped if Oklahoma (and by extension Oklahoma State) reaffirm their commitment to the Big 12. Right. All this is going to do is make Oklahoma more eager to run.

If A&M is forced to stay in the league, and it continues at 10 teams, what kind of environment would ensue? It would be a pirate ship of a conference. A virtual prison, with every school sleeping with one eye open, because it trusts no one. Do you think OU, much less A&M, wants to be in a league with Baylor after Wednesday?

You talk about planning an exit strategy.

Or let’s say the threat would work — a far-fetched idea; when did anyone ever get ahead in life threatening David Boren? OK, so OU’s back in, with no A&M, and the league needs a 10th team, which everyone agrees would, best-case scenario, be Brigham Young. BYU has been waffling on its interest in the Big 12. Some in Provo believe independence works better for the Cougars.

Now, those BYU skeptics have to grow, don’t they? Does a Big 12 held together by desperation and threats, still with widespread resent of Texas, sound like something anyone would want to join if they don’t have to? Not even the lure of a possible BCS bid would make that palatable to BYU.

The real goal is to give Baylor time. Time to find/force its way into another BCS conference.

Baylor administrators have had discussions with the Big East and are confident the league would extend an invitation to the Bears if the Big 12 implodes, a source with knowledge of the conversations told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.

“There haven’t been any guarantees,” the source said. “But [Baylor] feels strongly that that’s what would happen.”

Big East officials declined to comment, but it’s certainly not difficult to see why the conference would value Baylor. The Bears are surging in football and men’s basketball and are a perennial contender for the NCAA title in women’s basketball.

Uh, I can think of plenty of reasons why the Big East would have little interest in a private school located in Waco. One that despite being able to force its way into the Big 12, did nothing for the first dozen years in the conference. A program that has been wracked by scandal on the basketball side that it makes Jim Calhoun seem downright saintly.

I would dismiss this as outright bulls**t, but we are talking about the Big East braintrust being involved, so… I am a little worried.

Meanwhile, Texas just sits back. They aren’t part of any of the threats and wrangling. They just lit the fuse. But if you think they are upset over this, well Chip Brown at the Texas Rivals.com site has been both breaking news and doing his level best to give the Texas spin. And boy does he spin it today.

And it would also give the BCS conferences two years decide what they really want to do with college athletics.

Sources say the Pac-12 has indicated it would not expand unless the SEC moved first. So if Texas A&M-to-the-SEC is off the table for two more football seasons, there is a real chance the massive realignment that appeared so imminent just a couple days ago in college athletics could actually be thought out – for better or worse – over time.

All the scenarios about whom the SEC might add to get to 16; about whom the Pac-12 might add and how Texas and the Longhorn Network could or could not fit into a conference structure could be mulled over for weeks and months and not hours and days.

How about a trial balloon to the Big 10?

If the Big Ten came to Texas and said we will take you as a member and you can bring the Longhorn Network – with the only caveat being that Texas could not share in any of the revenue from the Big Ten Network, that could be deliberated and discussed thoughtfully.

And then there is the trolling of the rivals.

For the second year in a row, college athletics is facing massive realignment. This time it’s been, in large part, because the boards of regents at Texas A&M and Oklahoma decided enough was enough. A group of nine people – made up of professionals such as dentists and convenience store owners – were making the decisions about who would be playing in what conference and when.

Meanwhile the Texas regents are saints and world leaders. Every last one of them.

It goes on:

Not a commissioner. Not a group of athletic directors. Not a group of people who spend every day thinking about the business of college athletics. A group of non-paid volunteers who are appointed to a regents board by that state’s governor.

Think about that for a second.

Sometimes these regents move at the behest of a governor’s agenda as opposed to an athletic director’s agenda.

Not a Rick Perry fan in any way, shape, or form. But now we are about to add Perry’s presidential aspirations and the getting the Southern vote to a conspiracy to get Texas A&M into the SEC? To wit:

Nonetheless, they are the ones moving the chess pieces in realignment because there is no one watching over college athletics with EVERYONE’S best interests in mind.

I don’t think the hypocrisy-meter can handle this one. A Texas homer bitching about how schools are looking out for their own interests rather than the best interests of everyone.

 





I would have no trouble with Baylor (Waco) balancing out TCU (Fort Worth) if they were not both in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I believe the Big East has no shot at getting Missouri. Is Baylor a better fit than Iowa State or UCF for the twelfth member? I am assuming Kansas and KSU are a done deal to the Big East when the lawyers quit holding things up and have leeched all the money they can get from this thing. Remember the 12/20 conference will only be an interim step to the final outcome for all the football schools. Hope all this gets settled before the Big East commish loses his cool and does something stupid with the new TV contract.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.08.11 @ 1:51 pm

Baylor adds nothing. Waco is in the middle of nowhere between DFW and Austin. If the Big East needs a Texas school, please invite Houston. I don’t think TCU would be too pleased if Baylor was offered an invitation. I would take Nova over Baylor and I’ve been saying No to Nova since the beginning of time.

Comment by TX Panther 09.08.11 @ 2:18 pm

The following is from P-G’s P Zeise weekly chat session — IMO, he pretty much nails it (plus it is good advice for many here):

highoctaneboi: Any thoughts or insight on the conference shift garbage to calm us Pitt fans down (or not)?

Paul Zeise: No, other than to say this – there are so many moving parts and so much stuff flying you would be much better served NOT to react to every piece of information that is put out there because so much of it could be false, so much of it could change, so much of it could be predicated on a hypothetical – that you just never know. The best I can tell you is this – whether it is a strengthened Big East or another major conference, Pitt will clearly land on its feet and be fine. I would NOT Have said that a year ago with confidence but I have had enough conversations with enough of the right people to know that the University finally has realized that it needs to be proactive and needs to take care of itself and is no longer married to the idea of saving the Big East at all cost. That means the University is going to do what is best for its long-term future. I can tell you, it wasn’t that long ago that Pitt in a different conference was a pipe dream. Now, I could easily see it – just as I could easily see the Big East putting together the right combination of teams to stabilize itself. So I wouldn’t react too much to stuff in a negative way because I really do believe Pitt will be fine.

Comment by wbb 09.08.11 @ 2:20 pm

Thanks for insight into Texas preferences TX Panther. Paul Zeise in his Q & A today said Pitt no longer married to Big East if it is not in Pitt’s best interest. That is refreshing to hear.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.08.11 @ 2:22 pm

After TCU was back stabbed by Baylor during the formation of the Big 12, TCU would love payback. At this point, I don’t think the Big East can afford to piss off their newest member. Plus I’m not sure how a Baptist school would go over in a predominately Catholic conference.

I’m glad to hear that the Pitt administration has finally woke up and supposedly gets it according to Zeise. However, Pitt had better be truly proactive behind the scenes because I’m not seeing much in public. Yes, Zeise is probably correct and Pitt should end up fine, but look at who’s running the show. I have far more faith in Olie Luck.

Comment by TX Panther 09.08.11 @ 3:23 pm

As a proud Pitt graduate, I must insist that you write “state attorneys general.”

That is all.

Comment by William U. 09.08.11 @ 4:15 pm

Noted and fixed

Comment by Chas 09.08.11 @ 4:20 pm

I’m also glad to hear this, and I hope they are on top of the situation.

I agree, as I think many or even most on here do, that Pitt will be fine.

Nor is the sky falling, and there is nothing to lose any sleep over. It’s not the Israeli’s and Palestinians situation. Most get that, but, this is a blog, it is a topic that has been brought up, and I don’t think anyones opinion one way or another is crazy. It’s a college football blog and a current topic for discussion, right???

In that regard, and I’d say I’m about %80 positive Pitt will land ok, if I had to put a figure on it, there is a little bit of cause for some concern and apprehension.

If it was all about Pitt’s image, as a football team, history, and academics (AAU), yes, they are a shoe in!!! However, there are scenarios that could be envisioned, where we could be left out.

If it was just about the above mentioned, we would have been in the Big 10, 20 years ago.

Allthough one person said, “hey, Pitt doesn’t have the value you think they do”, to someone on here. I do disagree with that, Pitt is still an attractive college program, and still pretty well respected around the country. TV ratings prove that out I believe. Also, just talking to people all over the country, college football fans still know who Pitt is.

There are scenarios that could happen, because of geographics, relationships with ESPN, politics, tv markets, where it could go sour.

I don’t believe that to be the case, and I think, I, like many, are just hoping that Nordy and Steve are on top of this and calling, schmoozing, calling in favors, politicing, whatever, to make sure we are relevant, if the “big” scenario would happen.

Comment by DAN 09.08.11 @ 4:43 pm

I proudly tell people I went to Pitt and they know its the college of Dorsett and Marino. If I say Pittsburgh, they have no flippin clue. Pitt has got a great brand. I like the current colors but Pitt script rules.

Comment by TX Panther 09.08.11 @ 4:56 pm

There will be no conference expansion not now to mutch litigation best to play with 9 the only team that can be added now is navy if they will come they are a independent or nova boy does this suck.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.11 @ 5:02 pm

If the big east takeing baylor could make things happen i would be all for it if kansas and kansas st come also they would be better than nova or navy and would bring the tv money any thing to get us to 12 teams.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.11 @ 5:16 pm

I lived in the South for 20 years, they all know Pitt, or if they didn’t,,,,,they sure did AFTER I got through with them. haha

Comment by melvinbennett 09.08.11 @ 6:38 pm

Especially the ones who went or cheer for UGA, Clemson, USC (South Carolina) or UNC.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.08.11 @ 6:39 pm

As far as Baylor coming East, this kind of puts that to rest.

“Sources close to Baylor say the Big East reached out to BU along with Kansas and Kansas State. Maybe so, maybe not. But the Bears didn’t want to take their chances. They have plans to renovate Floyd Casey Stadium with the millions they are promised starting next year in the Big 12, when their TV revenue jumps to between $17 million and $20 million.

Schools make a small fraction of that in leagues like the Mountain West and Conference USA. You’d be desperate too, to hang onto what you’ve got when you’re facing that reality.

Baylor wasn’t going to let that Big 12 paycheck go easily. And now they’ve been joined by the likes of Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State in refusing to agree to a waiver of legal claims against the SEC. So here we are. “

Comment by melvinbennett 09.08.11 @ 6:49 pm

Pitt will be situated in the B10 or ACC when the dust settles because it is a member of the AAU and more importantly a top research university with over $775 Million in research grants. Of the schools contemplating conference affiliation changes only Texas has a larger research grant amount. TV revenues from football are paltry compared to the $775 million in research funds and prestige brought academically to the conference that secures Pitt as a member.
On top of all this you get Pitt’s football tradition and highly ranked basketball program !

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 09.08.11 @ 7:45 pm

Please don’t take Baylor. Mizzou, Kansas and KSU would be amazing additions.

Comment by Chris 09.08.11 @ 8:20 pm

Agree Spindler’s Spirit (as in Mark Spindler, cool),

All of what you said and throw in we have over a
$2 Billion Endowment. I see Big 10 or ACC as well
or maybe even the SEC. Both the Big 10 or the SEC would be a big step up in football and $$$, the ACC not so much.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.08.11 @ 9:06 pm

There will be no conference expansion unless it is a independent or nova so forget thoes dreams . melvinbennett it is all done gone but what the hell at least we dont have to worry abought big east braking up now.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.11 @ 10:04 pm

Dan given what I hear from Ziese’s blog…I do feel better about the situation. We can agree to disagree about the value Pitt has for other schools and that is o.k.

Hell I hope my concern is misguided because I want Pitt to land on it’s feet.

And it sounds from what Ziese is saying Pitt learned from the past which is all I wanted to hear.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 09.08.11 @ 10:13 pm

DaveD there will not be any expansion now it would cost A&M to mutch and sec wont take any one who is under litigation and if they dont go oklahoma wont so no expansion. So big east is safe but they cant have expansion eather unless it is a independent school.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.11 @ 10:25 pm

I think the ESPN clause was introduced. As in they want the Big 12 to stay intact. Baylor was just used as a front man. This is how things work in both sports and business. Sorry …sports is a business. haha

Comment by melvinbennett 09.08.11 @ 10:46 pm

What ever the rason there will be no expansion for any one. So melvin do you want navy or nova for number 10.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.11 @ 10:55 pm

Road trip to Waco, Texas ??

no-drinkin’, no-dancin’, but a good old fashioned tent revival at halftime in the middle of 25 acres of parched mesquite scrub- sign me up. Bible pounding optional.

Comment by square44 09.08.11 @ 11:27 pm

Actually, there is no litigation. Baylor (and three other schools) have simply refused to waive their rights to sue. More importantly, it is extremely unlikely that any lawsuit would make it past a motion to dismiss. It just doesn’t appear that either the SEC or A&M have done anything actionable under the law.

This smells more like Baylor trying to delay the move with the hope that political forces will put pressure on Texas to take Baylor with them if they move. I really think this is more about Baylor trying to find a soft landing spot rather than a realistic attempt to stop A&M.

Comment by Pantherman13 09.08.11 @ 11:40 pm

Whatever happens- NO BAYLOR!!!

Comment by Eric R 09.09.11 @ 12:17 am

@FRankcan

#10, let’s see, who do we have a choice of(rolls eyes), c-usa teams, a fcs team and service academies. I haven’t read anywhere that Navy is in play. Army is back to being an independent after a few seasons in C-USA.

If TAMU is not going to the SEC, then the BigEast should go after BYU, but they probably won’t be interested. (but at least make the effort)

So I guess I take Navy since they have more than a respectable football team and have had lots of bowl seasons in the last 10-12 years. Nova….no thanks, take your soccer stadium, your preppy students and your campus bars and shove em.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.09.11 @ 12:50 am

And we can add Navy as a football ‘only’ team.
I think they play in the Patriot League for hoops already or the Colonial League. Whatever.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.09.11 @ 12:57 am

I’m sorry but I don’t think AAU or endowment or research grants matter one bit, although it is nice to think so. They didn’t matter to the Big 10 or Pac-10 in their latest rounds of expansion, nor really the ACC when they poached the Big East way back when.

Comment by JW 09.09.11 @ 8:43 am

I agree with JW — TV market size and fan following means more than academic standing.

I say this because when the B10 announced their expansion intentions in December of 09, they made a big deal of academic standing being a big criterion for selection. Then they select a school who they knew was losing their AAU certifcation. On the other hand, aside from ND and Texas who were not interested, Nebraska had the highest TV ratings of all of the potential candidates, not to mention their rabid fanbase.

Pitt’s academic standing and endowment surely is a plus but I believe it to be secondary criteria.

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 9:23 am

Pitt does have good TV ratings, but our fans don’t travel well. For whatever reason, Pitt fans aren’t nearly as passionate and loyal as other schools. Too fickle. Always finding an excuse. We aren’t as rabid or fanatical. Pitt provides a new market for every conference but the Big 10. Has outstanding academics and now very good athletic facilities. Has an athletic department that is not severely in the red. And, has history, tradition, and a good brand. But, outside a core group of fans that show up each weekend and have traveled to bowl games, Pitt doesn’t have many believers. We need some Pitt Kool-Aid or something. I’m still getting hell from the wife for traveling out to the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve leaving her, a newborn and 2 year old behind. But, I’d do it again even knowing that Pitt would be blown out. Why? Because I’m a fan…and, alumnus. I can also just tune out the wife.

Comment by TX Panther 09.09.11 @ 9:46 am

Again, TA&M is going to the SEC. A small momentary blip on the radar screen. Must I ????

Comment by DAN 09.09.11 @ 9:47 am

I thought Baylor and some other schools want Oklahoma’s commitment to stay in the conference before they waive the right to sue. So they are basically putting Oklahoma on the spot.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.09.11 @ 10:17 am

To wbb :
To your comment about knowing Neb losing AAU membership, that was true but B10 could say at the time Neb was AAU, Neb had football tradition, sizable research budget, and a new TV viewers for B10. 0n that checklist of 4 items Nebraska now meets 3 (No AAU)and Pitt meets 3 not a new TV market, keep in mind PSU currently delivers 72% of PA to B10 based in cable carriers, Pitt could close that remaining 28% to a degree and prevent the ACC or SEC from getting a foothold in B10 country. Again you underestimate the value of Research grants held by the schools.
These research grants translate into spin off research programs ($)for Conference member schools.
Pitt brings planty to B10 in addition to being a good defensive move to protect TV coverage in B10 country from other rival conferences.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 09.09.11 @ 10:26 am

one of the primary criteria for maintaining AAU membership is research grants and apparently this was a big reason for Nebraska being dropped.

link to chronicle.com

Thus, Nebraska met 2 of the 4 items listed in the post above … andneither of these have anything to do with academics

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 10:48 am

and one more thing, Nebraska was on AAU probation since 1999 and this was well known by all fellow members

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 11:18 am

If the B12 dissolves they leave a lot of good bowl games on the table to be fought over. When all the musical chairs about expansion is over I hope Pitt ends up in the BIG-pre10, the ACC sucks.

Comment by joel 09.09.11 @ 11:45 am

Dan it was fun thinking we had a shot at some big 12 teams. But dan there will be no expansion damages would be to high. And now that the outher conferences have seean what Baylor has done they will do the same to stop from loseing teams there will be no more expansion. And that is to bad because it was fun.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.11 @ 1:41 pm

I would be fine with the Big East, Big Ten or ACC as long as we are with WVU and hopefully Cuse and UConn

Comment by Tony C 09.09.11 @ 1:46 pm

Frank – not sure where you are coming from, but again, the likelihood of any damages being awarded out of the Texas A&M/SEC situation is virtually nil. The only two theories that have been put forth so far are breach of contract (against A&M) and tortious interference with a contract (against the SEC). From the facts, it doesn’t look like the SEC interfered with anything. More importantly, it is not clear that there is an enforceable contract with which they might have interfered. As for breach of contract against A&M, once again, it is not clear that there is any kind of enforceable contract keeping A&M in the Big 12. Moreover, the fact that the Big 12 not only has a procedure for withdrawing, but apparently provided the blueprint to A&M, counsels strongly against any kind of breach of a contract.

Again, this seems more like a ploy by Baylor to slow the process a bit to try to involve the politicians. The problem is, this time (unlike when the Southwestern Conference broke up), they don’t have a sitting governor who graduated from their school.

From a legal perspective, they don’t have much to stand on. I’m guessing that they know this and that is why nobody has actually filed a lawsuit.

Comment by Pantherman13 09.09.11 @ 3:17 pm

The Panthers must be WARY of Maine and any other team which lines up against them. I recall recently, Ohio, Buffalo, Bowling Green, N.C. State and Toledo. These are not national powerhouses, but gave the Steel City lads fits. As for the Mountaineers, HA! Who would miss their academics, their rowdiness their coin tossers and their beer guzzling. The SEC deserves them. If they depart the Big East there will be no weeping in this corner. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 09.09.11 @ 4:02 pm

Pantherman13 lets say you are right it does not change any thing SEC wont take a team that is under threat of a law suit and if A&M does not go oklahoma does not which means no expansion.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.11 @ 4:07 pm

Rev. George Mehaffey SEC wont take A&M if there is threat of law suit and there fore they dont need a 14th team so WVU will be with us in big east thats the way it goes sorry.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.11 @ 4:28 pm

Thank you, Frank. You don’t lack self-confidence. Fot what it’s worth(nothing), I will endorse WVU to the SEC just to enhance the Big East and for the reasons I cited above/ Rev. George

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 09.09.11 @ 4:33 pm

Frank – I can’t believe that the SEC is going to let the threat of a baseless lawsuit from a relatively minor player deter them if they think there is money to be made by adding A&M. At this point, they are smart to just let this play out a little longer because (i) they are in no rush to officially add A&M, and (ii) depending on what Oklahoma and Texas decide, this may all be moot. Keep in mind, their legal position actually gets worse if Oklahoma leaves (which is the scenario in which they supposedly would file suit).

Worst case, if the SEC really wants A&M (which I think they do), they have the school indemnify the conference against potential losses. In other words, let A&M do battle with (in other words, crush) Baylor. A&M might actually agree to this since the legal claims are basically meritless AND they have the backing of the governor and many other politicians. That being said, I don’t even think it comes to that.

As Chas pointed out, this is a delaying tactic and nothing more.

Comment by Pantherman13 09.09.11 @ 4:42 pm

Pantherman13 i would like you to be right because it would give us a chance to pick up better teams for big east. And speculating who was going were and when was a lot of fun.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.11 @ 4:58 pm

Frank, you are giving far too much weight to the threat of legal action. College FB is big business. All business invovles risk. One of those risks is to be sued for actions you take in pursuit of your profits. The fact is all big businesses get sued now and again. There is zero chance the SEC is not going to eventually move forward with TA&M and probably WVU as well. They just don’t want all the messy press the ACC had with their raid of the Big East. They want nice and easy, but if they can’t get that, the gloves will come off because they have lawyers too! For what its worth, I hate the thought of losing WVU as a rival, but the truth is they do fit the SEC far better than the Big 10 or ACC. The super conferences will happen. Its all about TV money and the amount of product you can put into the market. Twelve teams equals six games per week, fourteen teams equals seven games per week, and sixteen teams equals eight games per week. If the PAC 12 were to become the PAC 16 and no other conference expanded, then the PAC 12 would be putting 24 more games per season into the market place than the other conferences. There is no way the SEC, Big 10, or ACC will let that happen. It is just a matter of which league picks its new teams first and then the dominoes fall.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.09.11 @ 5:31 pm

* Note, the numbers in my post above are only addressing conference games. The number is even higher when you factor in non-conference games.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.09.11 @ 5:34 pm

HbgFrank i hope you are both right and that i am wrong because i was haveing a lot of fun with the expansion thing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.11 @ 5:50 pm

I’m sure one of the things on Texas A&M’s plate, will be to counter-sue the conference and/or Baylor, for impeding Texas A&M to pursue their own agenda, after being told it would be ok.

This will all go away soon I believe, Texas A&M may have to pay a little extra cash.

They will not be going back to the Big 12.

At most, they might be independent for a year, but, …………hey, how about inviting them to the Big East!!

Texas A&M and Baylor, so they can have recconciliation!!! LMAO

Come on boys, most of us have your back, and Coach Grahams back, had it last week, even after a so-so at best performance……….

You gotta lay it on the Lobsters. No 10-7, no 21-17, but a lickiing better be had!!!

Comment by Dan 09.09.11 @ 6:49 pm

Pantherman13–as an honest question, why don’t you think either of those claims would survive at least to discovery? Disclaimer: I’m not a litigator.

I would be interested in taking a look at the conference affiliation and television rights agreements–do you know whether they’re publicly available or amenable to FOIA requests? It seems strange to me that networks would plunk down $200mm/year for rights to a conference’s slate of games if each constituent team could easily walk away.

Comment by GDF 09.09.11 @ 7:52 pm

The SEC will not take Pitt or WV as #14. I doubt any team in the SEC will want to travel North in late Nov. or Dec. WV has a real problem, the ACC [Carolina schools] not wanting any part of WV and add the BIG-pre10 as well.

Comment by joel 09.09.11 @ 8:36 pm

You truly believe A&M won’t end up in the SEC? Baylor is just delaying it a bit in my opinion, which isn’t worth a crap for the record.

Comment by Tony C 09.09.11 @ 8:44 pm

56-0 panthers tomorrow

Comment by scoocher 09.09.11 @ 8:45 pm

all i know is that if iowa state somehow ends up in the BE, i may come out of the stands to personally tackle paul rhodes. i have never hated a person ive never met the way i hate rhodes. i will bend but not break him.

Comment by Greg in New Orleans 09.09.11 @ 9:36 pm

joel, good point about SEC not going north in Nov; they rarely travel north this time of year

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 9:41 pm

Hopewell beats Montour 22-19,Rushel Shell rushes for 233 yds on 38 carries.

Comment by alcofanh 09.09.11 @ 9:50 pm

@Greg…. LOL!!!

Comment by Dan 09.09.11 @ 9:51 pm

And Louisville lays the egg!!! Yikes!!

I know, I know, FIU is improved!!! Look, they play in the Sun Belt, and, they are, F.I.U.!!!

Comment by Dan 09.09.11 @ 10:18 pm

you want to be proactive, it’s time to invite FIU in the BE .. don’t laugh .. instead consider the following:

– only 10 years of FB and they won the Sun Belt last year
– located in Miami, recruiting hotbed and will continue to improve
– 4th largest college in FL, 15th largest in US – 44,000 undergrad enrollment
– research univ; $138m endowment; more valedictorians wnet there than any other US college last year
– beat Lousiville tonite; lost to Rutgers by 5 and Texas A&M by 7 last year

This is a rising star – time for the BE to strike

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 10:20 pm

oh yea, while their field only seats 18k, they own the field and it looks like they can easily expand

link to fiusports.com

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 10:26 pm

Pop quiz~ who is FIU’s only win against a BCS opponent? Louisville! Way to represent the Big East.

Comment by Eric R 09.10.11 @ 8:04 am

as a follow-up to Alcofan’s posting — Hopewell beat 3A No. 1 Montour with a last minute 35 yd TD by Rushell Shell, who had 233 yards. Coach Graham and a few assistants were at the game, as was an asst coach from Alabama.

It needs to be noted that Montour’s RB, Julius Durden had 162 yds on 14 carries. Durden was also offered by Pitt who is supposedly high on the Panthers according to PantherDigest (Scout.com)

BTW, the most recent Pitt commit, Corey Jones, had a 59 yd TD reception against Gateway

Comment by wbb 09.10.11 @ 8:59 am

Baylor is just another version of Providence College, changing Catholics for Southern Baptists. If you like temper tantrums and the minority controlling the majority, go ahead: Invite the Bears.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.10.11 @ 9:24 am

FIU’s coach added another notch in his belt, with that win last night.

I wonder if he is going to move on to another program shortly?

FIU was ready to play and another black eye for the big east.

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat! 09.10.11 @ 9:28 am

I am going to the game to be with the diehards today. I have been to many sparcely attended Pitt games over the years. Should be nostalgic. Although I will be in the Club seats, far from the days that you had to pick splinters out of your butt from the rotting wooden benches at Pitt Stadium. We’ve come a long way baby.

We need the kids to act like the zoo today. Where is today’s version of Tiger Paul? We need a new cheer that is unique to Pitt. Olay Olay Olay has already been taken as has whatever they do at PSU. Any ideas?

By the way, I don’t remember hearing the Band play the fight song last week. Maybe they should blast it over the crazy loud sound system.

I hope they are not bringing in top recruits today to witness the pagentry that is PITT.

Sorry for the negativity. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by gc 09.10.11 @ 9:37 am

The game (except play, of course) is entirely scripted. What is shown on the ‘tron, when and what the band plays, what music is played and when. Even worse, when on TV. This also applies to the Pete. The folks doing the scripting, I don’t believe, have the same focus on history and tradition. Blame them….

As for the Pitt Band, the director and some of his key folks were in the band in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Jackie Anderson’s dad was a Pitt Dentist and Asst. Director from the 50’s through 1970. They know what to do, but they are just “scripted” into submission.

Comment by CompLit 09.10.11 @ 10:05 am

I definitely feel better about Pitt landing on it’s feet in a good conference given the fact tha the universtiy spent good money on Graham to better the football program and b/c of the health of the b-ball program.

However, for those that feel better because of Zeise’s column, I urge caution. Zeise is not an insider and think that has been proven through the mess we had with haywood, etc. Nice guy and reporting is ok but he is far from an insider.

Comment by pittfan92 09.10.11 @ 10:13 am

FIU is a diploma mill…nuff said.

Comment by TX Panther 09.10.11 @ 11:11 am

Zeise is as close as an insider as you can probably get. He was the first to (1) dismiss the rumor from Feb 2010 that Pitt was joining the Big 10 and (2) also the first to dispel the news reports of this past January that Tom radley was hired as head coach.

Nonetheless, nobody really knows, not even Pitt officials, what the future holds. They can be roactice all they want and make other conferences know that they would be interested in joining, but they don’t have the leverage to force their way.

All Zeise was saying that the Pitt admin is prepared to take advantage of any opportunity that may come their way.

Comment by wbb 09.10.11 @ 11:36 am

wbb, we can agree to disagree on Zeise. His sporadic reporting during the coaching change(s) told me all that I need to know. He was out-reported during that time by the Trib.

Comment by pittfan92 09.10.11 @ 2:34 pm

Hmmm…Let’s look at the overall Big 12 Title List (inception 1996 for those
trolls who are a bit mathematically challenged):

1) Texas with 114
2) A&M with 53
3) Baylor with 42
4) Oklahoma State with 40
5) Oklahoma with 39
6) Kansas with 24
7) Iowa state with 11
8) Texas Tech with 11
9) K-State with 7
10) Missouri with 7

Inclusion of now departed teams:

Nebraska with 72
Colorado with 27

Influence only gets you so far…winning on the athletic field is where it
counts. Baylor has not been the best in years past in football, but they have
improved tremendously over the last 4 years. Currently ranked in the top 20 with a defeat of soon to be BE member TCU.

Comment by JB 09.13.11 @ 12:05 am

[…] from Baylor and other Big 12 members  — Kansas, K-State, Iowa St. and Mizzou — is not a real deterrent for the SEC to take Texas A&M. It is just the excuse for a chance to […]


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