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September 21, 2011

Big East Puts On Happy Face

Filed under: ACC,Big East,Big XII,Conference — Chas @ 1:34 pm

I swear, some time soon I will get to the actual games. Maybe even talk about ND before Saturday. Yet I can’t turn away from Conference Expansiopocolypse stuff. I’m just too invested.

The Big East football programs had a little get together at a hotel in NYC. Henry Kissinger happened to be in the same hotel. You really can’t make this stuff up.

Speaking of stuff you can’t make up. This was the full text of the Big East Conference statement after the meeting.

Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.  We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the BIG EAST Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.

What a reaffirming and warm statement. But

Curiously absent from the league statement is the specific wording that all of the schools were committed to the league.

Not really. (By the way, check out the story just for the punchdrunk picture of Marinatto. I want some photoshopped submissions based on that picture. Please!)

This was a meeting of all seven school presidents and ADs. Well, not quite. UConn has no AD, and their President had other commitments outside of conference survival. UConn Pres. Susan Herbst just issued a statement on Facebook.

“The past several days have magnified the period of instability that exists today in the world of college athletics. I want to say thank you to all of our loyal supporters and fans of UConn and our athletic programs for their patience during this time.

“Please know that we will always do what is in the best interests for the University of Connecticut.

“We remain committed to our ideals and principals in intercollegiate athletics and will continue to achieve excellence academically and athletically.”

Two words missing completely from this statement: “Big” and “East.” Everyone feeling the commitment? No? Not a surprise.

One official in the Big East who requested anonymity said that was not an accurate assessment of the sentiment in the room. The official said league schools are committed to recruiting more schools but did not make any pledge to remaining in the league until it’s clear what the league will look like.

The official also said about four or five of the Big East schools are committed to keeping the league together, but the other two or three need to know where the league is headed before a firm commitment is made.

Yeah. That seems to be the right POV.

About that direction, status quo is a big part of it.

Marinatto also said, “We had a conference call with nonfootball playing members yesterday and all of them unanimously supported their football brethren in order to move the conference forward with the same structure it’s been.”

That’s right, “same structure.” No split. That would be bad for Providence. Teams are bailing for the exit and they aren’t going to change anything. On the Banks (Rutgers) as you would expect is taking this news in a calm, measured manner.

How about those future members?

…the Big East was in the final stages of acquiring Navy as a football-only member.

No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told Besides Navy, the Big East also was targeting Air Force and league sources felt confident both schools would have been Big East members, perhaps within the next year – that is until Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving for the ACC.

Navy and Air Force as football only members? Because football only members worked so well back in the 90s. It didn’t breed hostility and other divisions at all. Speaking of the 90s (oh, you know it is coming):

There has been “mutual interest” between the Big East football conference and Temple, “maybe more intense recently,” a source said Tuesday just before officials from schools that play Big East football met in New York.

Oh, it gets better. ECU as usual wants to know it’s available and willing (as usual).

[NY Times Reporter, Pete] Thamel tweeted that the East Carolina has applied for the Big East and is not shy about it. ECU noted that it “copied about 50 people on the e-mail.”

Maybe Marinatto wasn’t joking when he suggested that the Big East might play their tournament in Greensboro someday.

With WVU shut out of both the SEC and ACC at this time, the only other Big East football team with a possible out is Louisville. The Big 12 is surviving for another day. Maybe up to 5 years. They will likely go after BYU first, but failing that Louisville is still a possibility. Card Chronicle sets out the simple choice.

As far as Louisville is concerned, it appears there are now just two options: 1) A slightly weakened Big East or 2) A pretty strong (in both sports) Big 12.

Neither is a great option, but at least they might have a choice.

Finally, Nunes Magician (Syracuse) is a little tired of the talk of backstabbing and betrayal for leaving the Big East. Points out the reality.

Here’s a video some Syracuse radio announcer made concerning PITT’s move to the ACC.

It’s all very positive. Let’s give the guy some views and show him we appreciate his positive stance on PITT. And the Panther mascot!

link to

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 7:33 pm

FranKCAM, late getting back to you as to why PSU would consider the BE. They are of course likely to stay in the lucratibe B10, but consider:

– they are being treated as the eastern stepchild, JoePa has urged the B10 to bring in a sister team but has been given a deaf ear
– while the B10 has a very attractive TV contract, the ACC’s contract is nothing to sneeze at … and if PSU commits, the ACC has the leverage to renegotiate an even better deal (and if somehow PSU & ND comes as a package, then the sky is the limit)
– PSU football recruiting should get better – note while they do well in the midwest, they do not do well in the fertile areas Florida and Georgia. This would change if tey join the ACC
– their basketball recruiting will definetly get better. They actually might be able to get a few blue chips from NJ/NYC, Baltimore and DC.
– their athletic travel budget will decrease. Yes,tey would still have to travel to FL (nstead of Iowa, Nebraska, Minn and Wisc) but overall, there would be less traveling .. Pitt, Maryland, Cuse, BC and UVA are minor trips compared to many they are currently taking
– JoePa actually hinted about it yesterday although he may have been postioning an argment for the B10 to seriously consider Rutgers

Again, it’s a long shot but not completely out of the question

Comment by wbb 09.21.11 @ 7:35 pm

correction: above post is why PSU would consder the ‘ACC’ (not the BE)

Comment by wbb 09.21.11 @ 7:36 pm

Tampa — just to be clear about the BC blocking UConn thing….Starkey/Miller/Dweeb were talking to Brett McMurphy about the conference realignment thing. The BC/UConn block came up, but I guess it was originally reported by Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.

Comment by JCE 09.21.11 @ 7:45 pm

pole no wont happen big 12 may be SEC maybe but never ACC.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 7:51 pm

justinian you and i could be right if big 12 adds 3 and SEC adds 1 were will they come from the SEC needs to add a name team WVU or some one like that from big east. the big 12 if they add 3 could do BYU and say SMU but they also would take at least one from big east what do you think

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 8:18 pm

With some luck the Irish may have to join the Mountain West

Comment by Jim 09.21.11 @ 8:26 pm

I think the WVU would have a legitimate shot. Who knows, TCU could even be in the Big 12 picture. Considereing what’s happening in the Big East maybe they walk. A week ago who would have thought that Pitt and Syracuse would be in the ACC.

Comment by Justinian 09.21.11 @ 8:28 pm

I partially agree with BigGuy. I think the BE will be fine in basketball without Pitt & Syracuse. Villanova, G-town, UCONN, Marquette, Louisville, WVU and a rebuilding St. Johns is nothing to laugh at…unless of course they lose 2 or 3 more teams.

In football, I don’t see how they keep the BCS bid unless the keep WVU….and they might not even if WVU stays…

But I have ZERO regrets with this move by Pitt to the ACC. I’ve said all along that a BE- ACC merger was my hope and that is essentially what we have, just not in name.

I’m also glad that the ACC seems patient enough to wait for school’s 15 & 16. No need to rush for Rutgers & UCONN even though that would free up Pitt to leave earlier. I prefer waiting to see if we can land ND – but only if they come in as equal football partners, not the agreement they had with the BE. Pitt & ND playing yearly in the “ACC NORTH” has instant tradition and rivalry tradition written all over it. (just a little bit better than the river city trophy whatever it was called)

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 8:35 pm

WWB and FrankCAM, I realize that it’s highly unlikely, but I would love to see the expression on Jim Delaney’s face if Penn State left the Big 10 for the ACC.

Comment by Justinian 09.21.11 @ 8:45 pm

I have very mixed feelings on WVU & Penn State. Part of me would love to keep the Backyard Brawl going. I love the tradition and natural rivalries of college football. I would also love to see Pitt-Penn State return as well. (I don’t think Penn state to the ACC is out of the question. Maybe a long shot….

But I am also glad that Pitt will be (as of now) the primary ACC recruiter and school in the Ohio, WV, PA, NJ area. That’s not something I would want to give up easily.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 8:45 pm

the you tube was woderful

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 8:48 pm

The only thing better might be the look on Paterno’s face. It might just push him over the edge…

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 8:49 pm

Bowling Green panther not just you but outhers you all must know ND is not going to join any one and if they did it would be big 10. and penn state is not leaveing big 10 dreams are ok but when they have no chance give it up. lets try to think who might really be 15 and 16 in ACC OR WHO MIGHT BE THE 14TH TEAM FOR sec or who is number 10 for big 12 but we need to keep it real. not in dream land.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 9:04 pm

The ACC must feel that they can reel in a big fish. That makes the only sense for them not taking Rutgers and UConn. I was thinking the Rutgers was playing it close to the vest between the Big Ten and the ACC but not any more. Notre Dame’s comment about if they did join a conference they would probably go to the ACC caused the ACC to pause. I still believe that the ACC should invite Rutgers and then stop at fifteen and see what happens.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.21.11 @ 9:05 pm

More on the Big 12 on ESPN says they are working things out. But No expansion for the Big 12

link to

Comment by Justinian 09.21.11 @ 9:08 pm

Thanks for the clarification, JCE. I know McMurphy to be an accurate source. He spent a lot of years here in Tampa.

Don’t know the other guy but considering he’s in Providence, who knows who’s feeding him the info. Did Brett confirm it or just say it was being reported?

Comment by TampaT 09.21.11 @ 9:09 pm

Bring on UCONN and Rutgers. Let’s just call it a day and move forward. Notre Dame isn’t jumping on board.

Comment by Chris 09.21.11 @ 9:10 pm

I totally agree with that reasoning Chris. Blow up the Big East by taking Rutgers and UConn. Notre Dame is just jerking the ACC’s chain.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.21.11 @ 9:12 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 9:15 pm

I keep saying Rutgers is the key to the whole thing FrankCan. UConn is not Big Ten material. I find it hard to believe BC is stopping the addition of UConn but that may be true. If BC is stopping UConn, then just take Rutgers. If the Big Twelve somehow does not implode this season, then WVU may still have a shot getting into the SEC. The SEC has lots of hooligan fans. A fan from Alabama poisoned trees at Auburn, Georgia has problems with their fans urinating in their library on game days. I do not see the WVU fans being any worse than that.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.21.11 @ 9:21 pm

Frank can, I’ll leave it to the people who actually have any say and control to worry about reality. I’ve always been the type of person who only becomes more determined when told your dreams are impossible.

While unlikely, I have no proof other than your opinions that ND & PS are definitely out of the question. I agree with you that it is unlikely, but not that it is only a dream land.

As many others have posted here, Paterno’s nearing the end, PS is the eastern stepchild of the Big 10. They have no rival, long travel and a completely different culture. Beiing in the Big 10 has helped OSU & Michigan to recruit in PA more than it has helped Penn Sate.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 9:21 pm

The Big Ten has academic cooperation among the member universities. That is lacking in the ACC so that would be an issue for Penn State leaving. We need to have the Big East blown up as soon a possible so we can leave the abomination before 2014.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.21.11 @ 9:28 pm

For ND to have dropped a line like that they are either really interested in the ACC…or using the ACC for leverage against both the Big 12 & the Big 10.

Either way, there’s no need to hurry. I don’t think anyone else is in a hurry to land UCONN or Rutgers… Go for a big fish while we can…

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 9:33 pm

JUSTINIAN just read what you posted it id pac 12 that will not have expansion big 12 will expand to at least one to take A&M place . and maybe go to 12 on there list is louisvile WVU BYU and RUTGERS. READ IT AGEIN READ WHOLE POST

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 9:43 pm

lmao Steve. Best You Tube in months…

Comment by Lee in Altoona 09.21.11 @ 9:45 pm

BOWLING GRENN PANTHER I APOLOGIZE you are right you have a right to your dreams.but ND is pulling a scam they just said two week ago they would not join any one. they have turned down everone for ever and to say if ijoin any one it will be ACC means what 10 years from now or never but if i did . and penn state i miss playing them to but the train has left the station . but dream on dont listen to me.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 9:57 pm

You guys might find this of note:

12. If the SEC winds up with West Virginia,
you’ll know it had to go the fallback route.

West Virginia has approached the ACC and the SEC. The ACC has apparently chosen four schools over WVU: Pitt, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers. The Big Ten was rumored to be looking East and South toward Maryland, UConn, Rutgers and Georgia Tech last year. Never were the Mountaineers mentioned.

We’ve already explained why — small state, so-so academic reputation, small television markets.

If the ACC took four teams from the Big East and chose not to pursue West Virginia, how could the SEC go for the Mountaineers without looking like an inferior league to the ACC?

Now, if the SEC raids the ACC and makes off with team or three, then you’ll know that the SEC is indeed as big and bad as so many fans claim on messageboards and talk radio shows. If the SEC grabs coveted, big name schools, you’ll know that Slive was right all along about getting to 16 schools in 15 minutes. You’ll know that the SEC is indeed a very attractive destination.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 10:03 pm

Don’t think they’ll be raiding the ACC now, with that new $20 Million exit fee the ACC has.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 10:06 pm

Good y’all. To laugh is to live. A shout out to Roy.

Comment by steve 09.21.11 @ 10:09 pm

For John in South Carolina

Oh and btw,.,…If ESPN wants us & Cuse in the ACC earlier than 27 months, they’ll just pick up the phone and call that fool Marinatto and lay down the law.

Because…..guess what….the BIgEast TV contract renews in 2012 and the ACC has to renegotiate their TV contract as well. And Big DADDY ESPN is the one handing out……’spending money’.

Case closed !
Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 4:41 pm

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 10:10 pm

FrankCan, yeah it only makes sence. Since the Big 12 needs to invite at least 1 team to replace Texas A&M, they may as well invite 3 to replace Nebraska and Colorado as well. It’s not as though there aren’t some good teams looking for a place land with a BCS bid.

Comment by Justinian 09.21.11 @ 10:14 pm

Tampa — Brett did not confirm it. Just had heard the report.

Comment by JCE 09.21.11 @ 10:16 pm

The only reason to take Rutgers is to stop the L1G from getting any further east.

Athletically they don’t add much.
TV wise, their value is for Cable subscribers, but wait a minute, the ACC doesn’t have an ACC network.

Rutgers has little value on regular TV since I’m not thinking they’re a ratings juggernaut(am I missing something here), as they are hardly, if at all on TV on a Regional basis, let alone a National basis. And are New Jerseyans really going to watch UNC vs. Clemson.

If a school brings little to no value, it’s only another mouth to feed.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 10:19 pm

I like what ziese said in his blog if Notdre Dumb is so upset with this they could have prevented all this by joining in football Screw them they will never be Relievant again….

Comment by POLE 09.21.11 @ 10:25 pm

Being down here in the Carolinas I’m use to watching ACC games already. I’m already ahead of most of the bloggers here. haha

You guys are going to enjoy the October & November road games down here. The weather is usually the years best. September can be very warm, but this year it has been very pleasant.

And the ACC cheerleaders are Head & Shoulders over the BigEast gals. No question about that.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.21.11 @ 10:25 pm

@ Frankcan,

No problem – no offense taken. If I were betting I would bet you are are right and ND is just playing others for down the road. And as I posted, I have mixed feelings on adding Penn State.

HOWEVER, I just don’t think UCONN & Rutgers really offer that much in regards to ratings, rivals or recruiting. At least not for football. I’m not opposed to them. I just don’t see any reason to rush to add them before you swing for the fences. I like Pitt’s position in the current ACC as far as recruting goes. I bet there are a lot of players in PA, OH, WV & NJ who would love to play against the likes of Miami and FSU. We will lose some of these guys to the other ACC schools, but I think we can clean up against whatever is left of the BE – our tradtional recruiting battles.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.21.11 @ 10:33 pm

BOWLING GREEN PANTHER you are right rutgers brings very little. but ucon brings good football not great but ok but it brings great BB and we know that means a lot to ACC. the point is the more teams that leave the big east the sooner we get out of there hate the 27 month thing .

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.21.11 @ 11:29 pm

I just hope that UConn comes to ACC because Pitt/UConn has become one of the best basketball rivalries in the country. But bringing Syracuse along, even if UConn doesn’t come, gives us a good natural rival in the ACC- especially since Dixon has dominated Boeheim.

Comment by kanyon40 09.21.11 @ 11:52 pm

Pitt and Syracuse are most likely stuck in this mess of a conference until the Big East decides who the replacement will be. If we were to be gone next year that only leaves 7 teams left so even if they got a waiver from the BCS, each team would have to buy 6 OOC games and that’s a lot of extra cash to pay I-AA schools.
So hopefully they can decide soon how they are going to replenish the conference, because the sooner that is done the sooner we can move on.

Comment by Twink 09.22.11 @ 12:32 am

Can’t sleep tonight………So I’m reading Check out the articles under “Big Ea$t Losses.” These articles say it all. Of course you will all say these authors are attacking Pitt and Pitt gets no respect, blah, blah, blah…. Oh well, what can I expect from a group of kow tow’ers. Pitt administration is just as slime ball as all the other administrations. Move to the ACC is not only a disgrace, but Pitt will wallow in failure in football and most likely step backward in hoops. Go ahead, label me a troll or a Hoopie covertly coming over to cause trouble on the Pitt site……….. Nobody likes to hear the truth, do they????

Comment by Louis Greenberg 09.22.11 @ 12:59 am

Whether you are a troll or not Louis is irrelevant.

One of the big problems with the ESPN article is that it fails to mention that 10 other teams inquired about entry into the ACC.

If you are Pitt fan how would you have felt on Saturday if they said UConn and Syracuse were leaving for the ACC?

How would you feel right now if they rumored that Rutgers and Lousiville were the next to go?

The fact remains you can suggest the Pitt administration jumped the gun and may have a point.

But it’s not like they upped and left without warning and it’s not like they were the only one inquiring about dancing.

They did what they had to. Unlike the Big East, Pitt was proactive and didn’t become a victim.

I applaud them for that.


Comment by DaveD 09.22.11 @ 1:45 am

Hey Louis, don’t care if your a troll or not, and don’t care if you label Pitt a slime ball.

Frankly don’t care if we wallow in football or go backward in hoops.

I doubt either one, but, Louis, one thing you need to remember………………

We’re in the ACC baby!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!

ACC-ACC-ACC-ACC-ACC!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.22.11 @ 5:05 am

Dan….that just made my morning. Well said.

Comment by FG 09.22.11 @ 7:47 am

Yinz’all, Coach Herrion chimes in:

link to

Comment by steve 09.22.11 @ 7:53 am


The truth of the matter is that everything is speculation at this point. Nobody knows how Pitt will do in the ACC. BC has pretty much $#%& the bed while VT has held firm on football and steadily bettered their basketball team. Those jokers on ESPN really have no idea how Pitt will do in the ACC. I’m just glad we are in a safer place now. This is real money we are talking about. Its not all pretend. Pitt will be able to use that money to better their facilities and help real students. Huge win.

Comment by SJ 09.22.11 @ 9:34 am

I wish Pitt would have had a rebuttle and said”The Basketball school were holding us back and pretty much did it to themselves for not adding football schools.”

Comment by POLE 09.22.11 @ 10:29 am

Just want to point out that one of the reasons for keeping Pitt and Syracuse around for 27 months is 2 additional years of automatic BCS qualification. You need a specific number of top level schools to do that. If the BE loses that bid, and it goes to say, (I can’t even remember, whatever that conference that Boise St. is in…WAC, SWAC..whavtever), they will never get it back. Keeping Pitt and Syracuse on the hook gives them time to get their house in order to keep that bid.

Comment by PittDan 09.22.11 @ 10:36 am

POLE – PITT doesn’t want to ruffle any more BE feathers because we are asking them to waive the 27 month requirement before we can actually switch to the ACC.

Comment by Reed 09.22.11 @ 10:53 am

Very true Reed.. Maybe once we escape!LOL

Comment by POLE 09.22.11 @ 2:22 pm

It is also hard to come at your old conference without backhanded slap at your new conference.

We would’ve stayed in the BE if it weren’t for that idiot.

Kinda sounds like we were foreced to go to this ACC.

Not a good way to start IMHO…gotta say this is the place we wanna be. Big East is a good conferene and all but the ACC is where it’s at.

Enough can be said by others…the administration needs to look forward.


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