Welp, Big East Media Days are only a couple weeks away. That means training camp is looming. That means some actual Pitt football speculation. I know, it’s been a while. Teams have announced which players will be attending the media day for interviews/lobster eating competition. Pitt is sending:
- Jared Holley
- Ray Graham
- Aaron Donald
Can you believe that Tino Sunseri isn’t going? Not liking Pitt’s chances in the lobster eating. This is almost certainly the last time Pitt and Syracuse will be a part of this. I’d like to see Coach Chryst end the clambake by solemnly stating: L’Shanah HaBa’ah B’Greensboro (Next year in Greensboro).
I think Pitt would be served well by sending Cam Saddler along as part of their own media crew. Just hand him a camera and turn him loose on the event.
I agree that seeing Ray Graham on the list is a really good sign about the condition of his knee and the rehab. Can’t imagine Coach Chryst would bring him unless he believed that Graham will be ready. Added bonus for Graham, his step-brother, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene will also be at the media day.
You know the difference between Joe Bailey (the Big East interim commissioner) and Chuck Neinas who filled the same role for the Big 12. Neinas actually treated his gig like it meant something. Bailey is treating it like a temp job (which it kind of is). Neinas was willing to burn some bridges with the Big East and maybe even the ACC for his company — which serves as a consultant/recruiter/middle-man for universities when looking for coaches and ADs. Bailey not only seems unwilling to risk offending any future clients for his company, he can’t even be bothered to be aggressive in protecting the Big East.
In the past couple weeks, Bailey has tried to do some interviews in the name of promoting the Big East.
“My general feeling about the Big East is that it’s never been incredibly proactive about tooting its own horn,” Bailey said Friday in an interview with The Enquirer. “Maybe we have to be a little more proactive in this. The proof is in the quality of play, the quality of the institutions, the quality of the coaching. That’s the way the Big East has always been. It doesn’t proclaim a banner headlining that it’s the best basketball conference in the United States. You let others make that judgment. My guess is that in the future the Big East will be more proactive at saying what we are. And we’re pretty good, pretty damn good.”
Yeah! And you’re going to lead that charge. You’re going to fight for the Big East! Right. Right?
I have touched a lot on the ACC compared to the Big East this week. How is the future system going to be fair, given these tie-ins?
JB: There is a sense that there’s a rub of the green. Sometimes, it doesn’t work perfectly and you have to live with those things, fair, unfair, deserved, undeserved, that’s kinda the rub of the green. Sometimes, it’s going to happen, whether it’s to the Big East or someone else.
Let’s go on meritocracy, then. The Big East has outperformed the ACC over the past seven years when it comes to teams finishing in the Top 12 of the final BCS standings. Yet it is the ACC that has an automatic tie-in to the Orange Bowl, while the Big East has no tie-in right now.
JB: The best way to say this is that most schools and then most conferences have peaks and valleys. Sometimes you perform well over a period of time, and other times you go down a little bit. Not too many schools and/or conferences are at the top for a very long period of time. I’m just not good enough at looking at a crystal ball to predict how well the ACC is going to do. All we can be conscious about is how the Big East competes, and how many quality programs we’ve got, and focus just on that, and let the other things happen, and those are things right now that are out of our control. All we can do is bank on the notion that the schools that are in the Big East are going to perform quite well and earn their way into not only (the elite bowl games) but into the Top 4 also.”
Tossed a softball and he bunts. Or for the Big East, he pulled up for a short jumper when he could had an open lane to slam it home. He couldn’t even try to take an honestly deserved shot at the ACC. Instead he uses both interviews cited to talk of how the new system will be a meritocracy and the Big East will be fine. Completely passive.
I shed no tears for running screaming from the Big East, but I increasingly feel sorry for the football programs that remain stuck in the Big East. It has to be incredibly demoralizing. Not to mention the abject fear that this guy may be part of their TV rights negotiations.
At least the Big East doesn’t have a conference tournament ban like in the smaller conferences — though you can bet some schools wish there would be.