The good news, is that Pitt has been following that whole 2-wins, 2-losses thing. So from that side of things, Pitt should win in Tampa on Saturday night.
The bad news. Pitt hasn’t won a Big East road game this year. The only road win this year: at Buffalo. Oh, and Pitt is 0-4 in night games this year (1-6 in all games that did not start at noon).
Pitt sits at 5-6. A win squeaks them into a bowl game. Normally this would have Pitt staring down the barrel of a 3d straight trip to Birmingham and the BBVA Bowl. Yet, oddly enough, there is a good chance for Pitt to snag a bid to one of the other bowls.
The Pinstripe and Beef O’Brady Bowl both seem to be expressing a bit more interest in grabbing Pitt.
Admittedly, this seems like small consolation, but after two straight years of the worst January bowl, it sounds downright appealing.
The Pinstripe Bowl is looking Pitt’s way because of the match-up they could create.
Pinstripe Bowl executive director Mark Holtzman said renewing the Backyard Brawl between Pitt and West Virginia at Yankee Stadium “can be very compelling” for his game.
“The question is would it be as compelling for the fans as a Backyard Brawl in Heinz Field,” he said. “You sell out for that and then some. The good thing is it’s a drive and Pitt fans are used to driving to New York for basketball.”
The reason, of course, is money. Pinstripe bowl officials believe they can sell out a Backyard Brawl in New York. A meeting of Cuse and WVU would sell well, but not as well.
While the Beef O’Brady Bowl also seems interested, if the Pinstripe were to pass on Pitt. If Pitt didn’t get picked for the Pinstripe, the key to whether Pitt goes Beef or Birmingham would hinge on ESPN.
ESPN owns and controls both bowls. They aren’t concerned with attendance as much as they are ratings. In the Big East, Pitt has been one of the better draws for TV eyeballs. That’s why Pitt had back-to-back showings in the BBVA. Getting people to watch a low-tiered bowl game on a post-New Year is not an easy thing. But even ESPN knows there has to be a little variety.
Of course, getting a bowl bid still requires Pitt to win the damn game.