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September 18, 2011

Wake Up And It’s A New Conference

Filed under: ACC,Big East,Conference — Chas @ 11:35 am

Is there a morning left for me to oversleep without missing something?

It is official. Pitt and Syracuse are moving to the ACC.

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” Swofford said. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”

The exact timeline is unclear. Big East rules call for a 27 month notice period — and the ACC stressed that they would abide the Big East bylaws. This may mean, a lot like what went down in the Big 12 last year that Pitt and Syracuse are going to have to surrender some extra money to the Big East to make it happen by next year.  We shall see on that front.

According to reports, and the teleconference, this came together very, very quickly. Like in less than a week. Both Syracuse and Pitt started talking to the ACC and both sides came together quickly. It makes it harder for conspiracists to make the claim that Pitt helped sabotage the Big East sellout extension with ESPN over the summer. As On The Banks pointed out, plenty of football schools in the Big East pushed back on that one. A deal that would have paid less than the ACC gets and that everyone — including Big East Commish Marinatto — was saying looked smart after the Pac-12 money deal came through.

The fact that Marinatto was completely blindsided by this just points out his incompetency. At least Mike Tranghese knew the ACC was sniffing around Miami and other Big East members in 2003. At least Tranghese knew there was dissatisfaction from the football membership. Marinatto has remained incompetently clueless and footdragging.

There is so much more to all of this. Heck the ACC is already talking about adding MSG to the ACC Tournament rotation. Well, assuming the Big East survives, that may be an issue but last I checked there may be some other arena now located in Brooklyn that could be available.

I expect that WVU, UConn and Rutgers will be fine. In the next couple of years they will likely find their own places in a major and stable conference. Whether it is with the full expansion to 16 teams — thus providing the openings in the ACC and SEC and Big 10. Or even a 14-team conference (WVU to the SEC rumors have not abated).

Teams like USF, Louisville and Cinci are understandibly unnerved. They are looking at having to band together with remnants of the Big 12 — and probably under the Big 12 banner since they have a real TV deal at the moment.

TCU? Well, they look royally screwed.

There will be lots of crap heaped on Pitt. There will be accusations of hypocrisy, greed and betrayal. That is understandable. The fact is, though, is that Pitt and its leadership worked harder than many in the conference to save the conference starting back in 2003. Something I fundamentally disagreed upon even then. The last year or so, finally opened their eyes to the basic, unsolvable problems of this kind of awkward dual-interest league.

Pitt and Syracuse are doing the right things for themselves. Just as all the members have and will do.





Sean Miller has ties to the ACC as well. Very interesting.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 8:18 pm

This could happen lets say ACC takes two more from big east and some else takes one the big east could end up like this cincy louisville WVU S FLORIDA TCU Kansas st Baylor Iowa st 8 teams with only UCF OR NOVA to take them to 10. Boy would it suck for WVU to be stuck there.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.11 @ 8:24 pm

Frankcan at Colin Dunlap’s twitter account below, it is reported that WVU has sent in the paperwork to the SEC today. Colin is formerly of the Post Gazette and is now with I believe KDKA in Pittsburgh. As I said before, WVU is going to be OK.

link to twitter.com

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.18.11 @ 8:38 pm

They need to do whatever it takes to keep the Backyard Brawl alive on Thanksgiving weekend.

Comment by Chris 09.18.11 @ 8:40 pm

The Backyard Brawl on Thanksgiving weekend is going to go the way of the Penn State/Pitt game on Thanksgiving weekend. The best we can hope for is an annual September Backyard Brawl. I would guess long term an annual Maryland/Pitt Thanksgiving weekend would be appropriate unless Penn State comes to their senses and joins the ACC. Anyone else notice how badly their football program has gone down hill since they joined the Big Ten. Of course that may have to do with a certain geriatric coach as well.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.18.11 @ 8:46 pm

John in south carolina you were right and i bet PITT knew it was comeing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.11 @ 8:49 pm

Simply my opinion. Graham keeps blaming the problems on the players not being able to pick up his sophisticated system. I do not buy this. No one is going to confuse Tulsa with Pitt academically or subsequently with the standards required my athletes to maticulate at either school (despite preference atheltes receive). The implict message is that the Tulsa players were simply brighter than Pitt’s the first year the “system” was installed. Second the system is so sophisticated that high school players at a Texas H.S. have mastered its intragecies better than their collegiate counterparts. This is the reason an unrecruited (this is the truth) highschool quarterback from that H.S. was offered a to walk-on at Pitt and is now ready to make history by being the first freshman walk-on Division1 QB to star a major college game. This 18 second offense exhausts the defense and is not a viable offense scheme outside of minroe conferences such as the USA. We are in big trouble in our football program anyone who watched the Iowa game knows who was to blame Graham and his “Walcott Medicine Show”

Comment by DRW 09.18.11 @ 9:02 pm

Hey Guys,

Remember that Dana O’neil is a Penn State grad. As such, her objectivity when it comes to Pitt goes right down the crapper.

Comment by Greg from State College 09.18.11 @ 9:02 pm

DRW,
Ever hear of Oregon or Auburn?

Comment by sweet caroline 09.18.11 @ 9:05 pm

I find it fascinating that the NCAA is always all up in the business of players and coaches and recruiters and boosters, but is absolutely and completely MIA when it comes to conference realignment and the devastating impact it could and likely will have on a lot of universities, players, coaches, recruiters and boosters.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 09.18.11 @ 9:11 pm

Thanks Melvin-I am not to worried about Coach Dixon leaving Pitt just because Pitt joined the ACC. I beleive UCONN will be the next ACC member so Pitt will still have the Syracuse, Uconn, BC connection from the old days plus Duke/NC games each year. The ACC will become an even bigger monster in basketball and not to shabby football conference! I also would love to have Rutgers join the ACC, not so much for the athletics but to shut out the the smug MidWest Big 10 from the eastern borders. Let them continue to be the so called almighty conference. Time and demographics will prove that Pitt in the ACC is better than Pitt in the MIDWEST, Hail to Pitt and beat Notre Dame. Am going to the game and hope for a win. I am so happy that I don’t have to worry in my lifetime that my Pitt Panthers are secuely in one of the super conferences. Has been a long 2 years getting to this point!

Comment by BruceF 09.18.11 @ 9:12 pm

DRW, you must not have seen my post, this offense is run by half the teams anymore, or some variation.

Like sweet caroline said, Auburn, Oregon.

Thursday nights game, Miss St, Lsu.

There is only one person who blew that game, with interceptions, fumbles, not being able to get a first down, three five and outs in a row.

Missing a wide open Street for a touchdown with another 5 yard underthrown ball for yet another interception.

You want to blame Graham, go ahead, for playing Tino.

Other than that, you ought to quit preaching if you don’t like it and quit watching. Seems to really be bothering you.

Grahams here, the offense is here, he gets many years to prove himself or not.

Just like the past two coaches got 8 years, and 6 years, and your judging after game 3??????

We all get your point, its the same thing everytime. You don’t like Graham or his offense.

Ok, we get it!!

Comment by Dan 09.18.11 @ 9:17 pm

That Dana O’Neil (from ESPN.com) piece on this situation is just plain air-headed! Change was going to happen with or without Pitt. For once, Pitt did the smart thing and was proactive in making sure we had a place in the new conference world.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.18.11 @ 9:18 pm

@ Dan
Anyone who uses Wanny’s initials (David Raymond Wannstedt) as his posting name is going to bash the new coach, regardless of what system he uses.

Plus DRW, like his hero, loves the grind-it-out offense so you’re going to see it over and over and over, regardless of whether it’s successful or not. 🙂

Comment by TampaT 09.18.11 @ 9:28 pm

PITT did the rigt thing we have a seat at the big dance. and if you read tis post john says WVU sent paper work to the SEC. And there will be outhers and it is the commissioner of the big east and the BB schools fault. Not pitt or the orange men .

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.11 @ 9:31 pm

This is nothing short of stunning to me. I was getting texts from a couple friends from WVU while at my daughter’s soccer game and I had no idea what they were talking about. Leaving the Big East in basketball will be very bittersweet. However Pitt did what they needed to do in the changing landscape. I live in ACC country so selfishly I love chance to get to see the Panthers at some great campus settings. Hail to Pitt!!!

Comment by BCE 09.18.11 @ 9:36 pm

@melvinbennett
Nice letter to O’Neil. It is ironic that an ESPN columnist would talk about greed. But that’s for the business and ad people. She’s a “journalist” and above all that. She’s probably just smarting since she covered BE basketball until her promotion.

Another ESPN columnist/personality, Jay Bilas wrote that with the addition of Pitt and ‘Cuse, the power has shifted back to the ACC as the best basketball conference in the country. He sees the ACC adding UConn and perhaps Rutgers, but he says don’t rule out Notre Dame instead of Rutgers, and as a full member yet. A reach, but who knows with the way things have gone.

So, FRANKCAN: The ACC’s aggressive move and Monday’s decision by OK and TX may force the Big Ten (or whatever number they’re up to) to become the Big 16. They may try to snatch up Kansas, Mizzou and Iowa St., the Big 12’s remaining AAU member schools, leaving them one short of 16. They’ll likely target Rutgers, IMO, the only remaining big AAU school not locked up, I think.

If RU goes to the ACC, not sure what will happen then. They may bend their AAU “rule” like they did with Nebraska and beg Notre Dame to join them. I’d love to see ND demand the same deal they have with the BE though and screw the Big Whatever over. They’re the ones who started all this conference crap last summer anyway, so it serves them right.

Comment by TampaT 09.18.11 @ 9:46 pm

Thank God Pitt and Rutgers said no to Villanova’s attempt to become part of the Big East Football league this spring. This would have just made my sleepless nights continue. Looking back at what happened this spring when Pitt was made to be the bad guy in not letting Villanova in as a football member now seems to show that Pitt began to flex its muscles and saw the handwriting all the wall. I grew up in Pittsburgh and now live in Allentown so I read and hear alot about the Villanova situation. It made no sense to have a weak Villonava football team join the football end of things and for the Commissioner of the Big East to envison this as a way to save the Big East speaks volumes to the leadership void in Providence. I agree that the Big East basketball teams did not give a sh_t about their Big East football partners and they will now have to pay the price of losing some good basketball teams!

Comment by BruceF 09.18.11 @ 9:54 pm

The fact that Marinatto was supposedly ‘blindsided’ by all of this, sounds less than disingenuous.

Chancellor Nordenberg made it perfectly clear at today’s 6pm media conference, that PITT sent the BigEast a letter in May (over 4 months ago), saying they were exploring all options. Also he put to the rest, the other smear job of him being the current Executive Chairman of the BigEast. The Chancellor said he hasn’t held that position since 2005.

With the way the BigEast under Marinatto was run, it figures they wouldn’t even know who the current Executive Chairman is. Same thing for that slob Jurich down in Louisville. I really hope they end in nowheresville.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 10:48 pm

Found my way here via the internet, Penn State fan. Pitt just made a great move to the ACC, and quite honestly I wish PSU would come to their senses and bolt along with UConn for the ACC as well. PSU lost it’s big time east coast recruiting advantages when it joined the Big Ten, and now we compete in regions we have no history in, which has hurt us considerably. I lament not playing Pitt every year, and truly miss all of the eastern rivalries. Playing Pitt, Syracuse and others would just be wonderful to see.

Also, the ACC would have tremendous sports in all other areas outside of wrestling. Unfortunately, I don’t believe we have the foresight to do it. Have fun with all those eastern recruits you are going to now get coming your way. If you are a east coast kid and want your family to see you play, why would you go to a school that’s 300 miles east from anyone it plays?

Comment by Mike 09.18.11 @ 10:48 pm

BruceF you hit the nail on the head you are so right

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.11 @ 10:49 pm

Another caveat, I guess Marinatto and Jurich must have missed all the hoopla of PITT being a target of the Big 12. Where have these clowns been the
last 6 weeks?

Orbiting the Earth in the ISS?

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 10:51 pm

@Greg from State College,

Thanks for the heads on Little Dana. Did a little research on the biotch myself, she worked for the Philadelphia Daily news and for 7 years her beat was Villanova basketball. AND she’s a Penn State grad. Yes she’s very nondescript looking like so many of the Nittany Cows.

Her antipathy towards Pitt is in a much clearer light now.

Thanks for the headsup again Greg

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 11:02 pm

@Tampa T

Thanks for the thumbs up.

I would think being stuck with the big 12 dwarfs would be a more appropriate. Imagine the Little 11 could have had Pitt & Syracuse(two Major Media markets), they might get stuck with Iowa State and Kansas State (nowhere & next to nowhere). Especially in Mizzou goes to the SEC.

If WVU ends up there, there’s no reason the PG needs to report on them anymore or the Pittsburgh TV stations need to bother either.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 11:10 pm

If Marinatto was blindsided by this, then he’s a bigger fool than most of us even suspected.

Comment by thestumper 09.18.11 @ 11:16 pm

@Tampa T again

Wonder if I’ll get a response email from our girl Dane? Ya think ! haha

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 11:16 pm

She’s very clever, she made her article seem mainly directed at Syracuse. In fact it appears….that Pitt is just an afterthought until about halfway into the article, when she attacks PITT and Nordy with some vicious verbiage.

I called her out for it, I’d like to send a copy to her editor actually and call him out. Of course he more than likely ok’d this attack piece by his little attack dog, Dana.

Yellow journalism at it’s finest !!

Comment by melvinbennett 09.18.11 @ 11:32 pm

@melvinbennett

If you do get a response, you need to post it here. That would be interesting to read.

She’s writing as a columnist in that piece not as a reporter, so she’s OK stating her opinion. It just happens to be a pretty cynical, self-serving and misinformed one.

As you have found in your research, she has strong ties to the Big East. As many have stated, Pitt and Nordy did what they could to save the Big East over the years, which she uses to admonish rather than praise them. And as many have stated, Pitt was clear in its intentions over a year ago that if the Big East did not strengthen its football competition, they were going to explore their options, which she totally leaves out of her argument.

The Big East has only themselves to blame. The handwriting was on the wall. Pitt and most of the other football schools were unhappy. The Big East made no more than a half-assed effort to appease them, so why would anyone be surprised or upset that those schools are now bolting for other conferences.

I do feel bad for the football schools that will be left behind, but I’m guessing they’re all starting to look for options as well. So, the Big East will become what it wants to be, purely a basketball conference.

Comment by TampaT 09.19.11 @ 12:05 am

Well I’m pissed. Let ESPN write this article, about greed and hypocrisy, about themselves and their business partner, that being Texas and the ESPN Longhorn Network. That is what imploded the Big 12 and started this whole new phase of realignmentpalooza. And it’s mostly all being driven by the buck$ that ESPN/CBS/Fox Sports are providing as the bait. ESPN had revenues off of College football last year close to $400 million.
Not counting 2nd tier & 3rd tier revenues off of their other ESPN’s.

Let’s see how they report OU & Texas bolting the Big 12 tomorrow and how much greed and hypocrisy is reported then.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.19.11 @ 12:24 am

The colleges are only getting $10-$20 million or so each. The REAL WINNER IN THIS WHOLE PROCESS IS ESPN. THEY HAVE A LOT OF FRICKIN NERVE !!

Comment by melvinbennett 09.19.11 @ 12:27 am

Smizik gives PITT a big thumbs up!

Get on there and give him a 5 star rating gents:

link to communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com

Comment by melvinbennett 09.19.11 @ 1:14 am

Thanks for sharing this one. I really appreciate and enjoyed reading. Keep it up and good luck.

Comment by Steffie @ conference space 09.19.11 @ 2:08 am

Hey Mel, I’m giving her a good morning bombing on that Espn site. Dana, her name is. I would link my comment hear, not sure how to do that. Know how to link the site, but the comments????

Anyhow, tried to use Dan0, allready taken!! ha ha

So, mine is under ddlochness if you want a laugh!!!

Comment by Dan 09.19.11 @ 6:48 am

[…] Wake Up And It’s A New Conference: “It is official. Pitt and Syracuse are moving to the ACC […] The exact timeline is unclear. Big East rules call for a 27 month notice period — and the ACC stressed that they would abide the Big East bylaws. This may mean, a lot like what went down in the Big 12 last year that Pitt and Syracuse are going to have to surrender some extra money to the Big East to make it happen by next year.  We shall see on that front.” (Pitt Blather) […]


It may be that there are not enough teams to get to 8 which is what you need check this out. louisville south florida cincinnati tcu kansas st baylor iowa st that is 7 and every one else could have a new home. they we need to add NOVA OR UCF to get to 8 boy that would suck

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.19.11 @ 10:23 am

Just wanted to add my two cents that this was an AWESOME move by Nordenberg….Finally Pitt is proactive…the ACC is exactly where Pitt belongs. Glad ‘Cuse is along for the trip too. The Big East was going to die one way or another, and I’m glad Pitt was able to get out and land in a major conference and end all of the uncertainty about Pitt’s future. I also loved the ACC’s move to add a $20 million payout to any team that tries to abandon the conference, that’s really the way you keep this new ACC conference bound together. $$ is thicker than any other loyalty! As crass as that is, that’s really a strong move by the ACC commish. Now we don’t have to worry about the SEC trying to poach FSU or The U.

Anyone think Notre Dame is going to start to panic now and jump to the Big 10? That’s my feeling, expecially if the Big East dissolves altogether…ND will need somewhere for their other sports to play and a way to get to a bowlgame in non-BCS (ie: every) years, I don’t think the Big 10 will just roll over and let them part way in the way the morons in the Big East did….I predict ND is in the Big 10 by this time next year.

Comment by CJK 09.19.11 @ 11:06 am

The Newark Star-Ledger (available at nj.com) in a story on what RU does next, says ACC to 16 teams Plan A is Texas-Notre Dame; Plan B is Texas-Texas Tech; Plan C is UConn-Rutgers.

Seems to me they’ll be going to Plan C.

Comment by Scott 78 09.19.11 @ 12:28 pm

I agree with everyone that it was the right move but I am somewhat disappointed that the Big East didn’t work out. It truly could have been the Beast of the East in Football & Basketball, but it was doomed when PSU wasn’t accepted in the early 80’s. I think we’ll play WVU for a few years, but not being in the same conference will severely water down the Backyard Brawl and it will end soon, just like the PSU game. So we will eventually lose all 3 of our biggest rivals: Pitt, WVU, and ND. And please don’t tell me that they can be replaced with Clemson,GT,etc. It won’t be the same, it will suck losing those rivalries.

Comment by Alex P 09.19.11 @ 1:56 pm

[…] Wake Up And It’s A New Conference: “It is official. Pitt and Syracuse are moving to the ACC […] The exact timeline is unclear. Big East rules call for a 27 month notice period — and the ACC stressed that they would abide the Big East bylaws. This may mean, a lot like what went down in the Big 12 last year that Pitt and Syracuse are going to have to surrender some extra money to the Big East to make it happen by next year.  We shall see on that front.” (Pitt Blather) […]


Just a smiling caller here to share a adore (:, btw good character . “Audacity, some-more insolence as well as regularly audacity.” by Georges Jacques Danton.

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