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.