So, since signing day last week, the reports have flown about Pitt getting Florida State at home on the opening weekend of college football. A marquee game to start Pitt’s time in the ACC. Monday night.
The topic has been bandied about, and strawmen have have been set up to be knocked down in explaining why Pitt should jump at the opportunity.
The Panthers are scheduled to open with Villanova on Aug. 31, but the prospect of a Labor Day visit (two days later) from Florida State recently became viable. To their credit, athletic director Steve Pederson and coach Paul Chryst jumped all over it.
My understanding is that Pederson first was presented with the idea. He approved it but left the decision with Chryst, who immediately and enthusiastically endorsed it.
Unfortunately, some people didn’t, judging from what I saw since the news broke Wednesday.
Usually, it’s the coach who’s paranoid, not the fans. Yet, I keep hearing these concerns: Pitt’s not ready for that kind of challenge so soon. … They couldn’t even beat Youngstown State in last year’s opener. … Remember Wanny’s first game, against Notre Dame? … They could get embarrassed on their home field!
Nothing but fear-based, negative thinking.
My only objection is that it is a Monday night game, and I really don’t know if I can make it for the game. My reasons for hesitating are purely selfish. I want to be there.
Now the real issue in working all of this out is finding a place to move the Villanova game.
There are a lot of moving parts involved, though, and nothing will be finalized until the ACC releases its full conference schedule, which should be some time in the middle of February.
One of the biggest hurdles for Pitt would be rescheduling a season-opening game Aug. 31 against Villanova. If everything falls into place with Florida State, though, a source indicated the Villanova game likely could be moved to later in the season.
Not to mention FSU re-scheduling their 1-AA patsy opener with Wofford.
The question is not simply would Villanova have an open date that matches up with Pitt for later in the year. Nova is only playing an 11 game schedule. With a little help from the ACC, it is very likely Pitt could have a matching open date to reschedule..
I guess my question is, how willing is Villanova to accommodate Pitt?
There’s just a bit of bad blood right now. The whole blocking Nova from moving to Big East football led by Pitt. Pitt leaving for the ACC. The schism of football and basketball at long last in the Big East. Egos and pride might make this a little more difficult.
Maybe it’s as simple as throwing some extra money towards Villanova. Maybe Nova is fine with changing their schedule. So far, no one has heard anything from the Villanova administration. But I can’t help but think that it would be the most Big East basketball thing to have Villanova gum this up as much as possible.