Not a shock that Pitt appears to be staying in the Big East for 2012. $20 million without a Big 12-like $10 million subsidy to help is not going to be forthcoming from Pitt. Nor would it be likely that the Big East would be as compliant with the potential to see the conference down to 6 or 5 for 2012.
The only real news regarding the move to the ACC, is that Big East
Stooge Commish John Marinatto is actually stating something everyone already knew.
Big East Commissioner John Marinatto says his league “might be open to a discussion” about allowing Syracuse and Pittsburgh to join the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2013 football season.
The Big East reached a settlement with West Virginia on Monday that allows the school to become a member of the Big 12 in 2012.
Marinatto had previously said that the Big East intends to hold all three schools in the conference until 2014.
“But given the strength and speed of our expansion efforts, I think our board might be open to a discussion about 2013,” Marinatto said in a telephone interview.
No kidding. By 2013, for better or worse the Big East will have SDSU, UCF, SMU, Houston, Memphis and Boise St. to go with UConn, USF, Rutgers, Cinci and Louisville. There is no reality where the Big East wants to have a 13-team conference for one season. Fall to 11, then back up to 12 in 2015 when Navy comes.
The issue for 2013 is money. $20 million is the number for leaving immediately — and that does seem to be the going rate in all conferences. Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Mizzou all paid about that much to leave quickly. The speculation is that Pitt and Syracuse will be paying around $10 million to leave. Perhaps, but I think it will be less than that. More than the $5 million, but not $10 million.
First of all, that $20 million WVU is paying, is not just going to the remaining members. You can bet that even Pitt will see some of it in the form of money to help pay for another game. All 7 remaining Big East teams will need another game. Many of them, between either WVU or TCU need at least another home game. That’s on the Big East to help fix. Choices for 1-A options are limited. Considering that the Big East let the Mountaineers out for more money, that money has to be used to help the other seven schools.
As it stands Pitt is down two home games. They only have 2 conference home games and 4 conference roadies thanks to this mess. While the Big East may do some schedule rejiggering to give Pitt another conference home game, there are still gaps to fill. Pitt already bought out their UCF home game to accommodate TCU’s arrival. They will have to buy another home game — possibly 2 if the Big East doesn’t fix the schedule.
The Big East is going to help pay for that. That’s why AD Steve Pederson has stated that the Big East is actively trying to get Pitt another game. As well as for some other schools in the conference. That takes some money off that settlement. Say, $5 million to help the Big East football teams get some games (assuming they don’t use it to help pay for one of the future teams to come early). But either way, that $20 million buyout from WVU is not so much a complete buyout as to help pay for immediate scheduling corrections.
The Big East and Pitt don’t want to have to go messy lawsuit. If the Big East doesn’t help pay for buying a game (or even 2), then you can assume that it will come off the final bill Pitt pays for leaving after 2012.
As for WVU’s departure. WVU AD Ollie Luck, is now in the spin mode since he will have to deal with the end of the Backyard Brawl at his end. So, commence effort to placate Hoopies by suggesting it will be Pitt that won’t play.
This will also be the first time since 1942 that West Virginia won’t face Pitt in the annual “Backyard Brawl”.
The heated rivalry is over for now and they will never face again in conference play, but Luck said he is open to scheduling a match up down the road.
“It will be difficult to schedule,” stated Luck. “I certainly would welcome a conversation with Steve Pederson, my counterpart at Pitt, once Steve has a handle on what they want to do with their non-conference schedule.”
Quite a bit more diplomatic than his earlier claims of how much Pitt needed the game.
Bob Huggins is even spinning that the basketball side shouldn’t end.
Dixon does the basketball schedule on his own. He was noncommital on the WVu series when asked about it in October. He will speak with reporters later today after practice.
Huggins said he would be surprised if the two schools did not find a way to continue the series.
“I’d be shocked,” Huggins said. “We’ve been playing since 1904. We’re all looking for good non-conference games.”
To which Coach Dixon remains noncommittal it seems.
Dixon said most of non-league sked for next year is done. On WVU: “When things settle, we’ll go from there. No decision will be made today.”
Roughly translated: “We’re good, because on the basketball side, it’s the Hoopies not Pitt that need the ‘economic boost.’ “