February 14, 2013

Here’s what I asked last week in regards moving the Villanova game so FSU-Pitt could start the season:

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.

The answer — unsurprisingly — is: not much.

Villanova isn’t going to simply accommodate Pitt and the ACC on this.

“We haven’t been able to find a resolution that isn’t extremely complicated,” [Villanova AD Vince] Nicastro said. “We have had a number of discussions with the various parties (Pitt, ACC, ESPN, our football conference, the Colonial Athletic Association) to see if there was a reasonable way to shift the date.”

Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Villanova has zero incentive to muck-up their schedule to help Pitt.

Ideally for Villanova, they get two paydays out of this. They force Pitt to buy out the game at this late time, then pick up another patsy game from a 1-A school in a bind.

Pitt would have to then find (and pay) another 1-AA team that has an opening or can make an opening for a game later in the season. All at the last minute. Which is a little trickier (and more expensive)  when conference play is happening.

Villanova also has an incentive to draw out the negotiations with Pitt so they have time to line-up potential replacement teams and dates, if they realize Pitt is serious about buying them out if no changed date can be set.

It becomes a question for Pitt of how badly do they want/need to have the opening game be with FSU.

The Seminoles are coming to Heinz Field. It’s not like the game won’t happen. Pitt still has a hell of a nice home slate. It’s just whether having FSU on a Monday night and the exposure of the game on the opening weekend of college football is worth it.

Is it possible that ‘Nova is getting encouragement to play hard ball from their basketball conference?

Comment by Hoopzebra 02.14.13 @ 10:42 pm

Any chance of throwing them a basketball game or two would help?

Comment by DCPinPGH 02.14.13 @ 10:43 pm

Nova doesn’t have much incentive to schedule Pitt in basketball. Pitt wants to play in Philly for basketball because of recruiting. The last thing Nova wants is Pitt being a regular.

As for being encouraged to play hardball, I sincerely doubt they needed it. Economically it makes too much sense for them to be difficult. And the school has the personal incentive from the role Pitt played in helping to scuttle their plans to move to 1-A football.

Comment by Chas 02.14.13 @ 10:54 pm

Maintain the schedule and embarrass Villanova on the field. In the log run the game on Labor day is not that important.

Comment by gc 02.14.13 @ 11:51 pm

Should have never scheduled Villanova in the first place. Hopefully fewer of these 1-AA games going forward. Pay them off and say good riddance. And let’s kick their ass in hoops one more time as a parting gift.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.14.13 @ 11:54 pm

I hate the puff games. Even if it means -2 on a record, I would rather have a schedule that I can ENJOY than one that is filled with the Villa’s, Ball st’s, and bowling greens of the world. It’s no knock on them (well, maybe villa), but they’re literally in a DIFFERENT LEAGUE than us.

Comment by Benzene 02.15.13 @ 1:49 am

Exactly Iron Duke

Another bonehead move by Stevie Cornhole.
Scheduling Villimanilli is a lose lose.

You’re expected to beat them, so whoop whoop when you win.

If you somehow they win, it’s a major embarrassment.

For them it’s a win win.

And of course this highlites even further that our AD is stupid stupid.

Buy the f*ckers out, PITT playing in front on a National TV audience doesn’t come along everyday.
As you’re never going to have a game during the rest of the season, when the nation’s TV sets aren’t tuned ALL to PITT.

Comment by EMel 02.15.13 @ 2:19 am

Just to be clear.

Games on Labor Day have no other football games competing for viewers.

EVERYONE WATCHING FOOTBALL on Labor Day IN THAT TIME SLOT, WILL ONLY HAVE PITT VS. FSU TO CHOOSE FROM. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of exposure.

That only happens in the rarest of occasions. Like the National Championship game for instance.

Hey but it might be a good idea to hire a Defensive Coordinator…….before the game !!!

Comment by EMel 02.15.13 @ 2:26 am

unless we are getting r ass kicked, play the sched don’t waste the buy out money, give nike the 70,000 for the retro unins,let the new qb adjust

Comment by paul shannon 02.15.13 @ 7:16 am

off topic …. but this is from today’s PG, and it confirms that PA is even’t close to the football factory it once was. Also note that once again, Ohio, despite having less high schools students, has over twice the amount of D1 commits than PA.

link to

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 7:24 am

wbb, Ohio may have fewer students, but more kids in Ohio play football. There were a lot school district consolidations or mergers, in PA over the years. The result is larger school dristricts but fewer football teams. Ohio has a lot of smaller schools, and as result they have a lot more kids on the field playing football.

Yes, Western PA is no longer the hotbed of highschool football talent that it once was. That title has long since been taken by Florida and Texas. However it still remains a good area. The local talent this year in particular is considered to lower than normal for Western PA. The next two years are, by most recruiting services are expected to have much stronger recruiting classes for 2014 anf 2015.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.13 @ 7:51 am

Screw Villanova! I wouldn’t give them a nickle to change the date. Yes, it would nice to open up the season with a high profile nationally televised game. If the arrangements can be made in a reasonable manner, then they should go for it. If not, please refer to the opening two words of this statement. We will still be playing Florida State here in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field regardless and will still be a big draw. I don’t like extortion so once again, please refer to the opening two words of this statment.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.13 @ 8:06 am

I wholehearted agree that there is still quality recuits in PA, and Western PA … but there is quantity of them. Thus (1) we need to get more of the Fosters and Kuglers and (2) we need to hit Ohio and Florida hard.

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 8:07 am

clarification: I wholehearted agree that there is still quality recuits in PA, and Western PA … but there is JUST A LOT LESS of them.

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 8:08 am

I don’t care if we play Villanova or not. That’s a side show. But I think playing FSU in the opening game is a mistake. Another blow out on national tv won’t help Pitt recruit, and it certainly won’t help the players. New QB. No DC. They need a few cupcakes to start the season. And maybe they’ll win those games before moving on to the FSU’s of the world.

Comment by velvil 02.15.13 @ 8:23 am

You only have our AD to blame. He scheduled Nova. Pitt is paying them to play them. And now Nova will extort Pitt for more. Nova will do Pitt no favors. We will play FSU at berkshire hathaway field sometime in 2013 and there is a good chance the game will be national anyway. Do Nova no favors those money grubbing clueless arrogant vengeful philly snobs.

Comment by TX Panther 02.15.13 @ 8:26 am

Since this is all about me anyhow, I’m hoping that the schedule stays the way it is. I can’t make the trips to Heinz Field on the weekday games since I’m from the DC area and work beckons the following morning. But not during this year’s Labor Day week! I’ll be cruising with my SAE Fraternity Little Brother and our wives up in the Alaskan inside passage. So for us, its all good staying just the way it is. We’d hate to miss seeing that game in person, since, IMO, it is the best game on our slate this coming season.

A patsy game wouldn’t be so bad for Pitt either as a home opener to help work out the kinks first before going forward considering having a new QB at the helm and all.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.15.13 @ 8:31 am

Pitt should not be playing Nova in FB. Purge teams from the
lower classification from all future schedules.

Comment by JR 02.15.13 @ 8:49 am

Question for the bloggers: when can Pitt coaches begin contact/communication with the players currently on the roster? Do they have to wait to the offical start of spring camp or can they meet, text, etc. now? I’m not part of the crowd panicking for the DC to be hired (anxious and excited – yes), as I feel HCPC has things under control. One of the downsides to not naming the DC already would be if that DC could be communicating with the current players right now. Does anyone know how this works?

Comment by JAM05PITT 02.15.13 @ 8:53 am

I say screw Nova and pay Gardner-Webb to come back. I never want to lose to a 1AA opponent again. YSU made me ill for an entire week. I say let’s play Gardner-Webb for life.

Comment by AJ 02.15.13 @ 8:55 am

“berkshire hathaway field”

LOL That’s good, Tx.


Comment by pittbluegold 02.15.13 @ 9:34 am

Dr Tom, great time of year to do the inside passage, I did it late August about 6 years ago. You won’t want to leave … until you you start hearing horro stories about it raining sideways in November, etc.

There is a great bar right at the harbor in Skagway (my favorte of all the stops) with great food and wine list .. forgot the name but it is right next to where the ships dock.

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 9:37 am

The good Lord knows there are many, many reasons to criticize Stevie P, but scheduling Nova is not one of them.

I’m assuming this is just due to Nova being in the BE. When the game was scheduled no one knew Pitt would be in the ACC. The BE was looking at Nova to make the move up in football so it would become a fb member as well. I’m not saying for certain there was pressure from the BE to schedule Nova, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the case.

Cupcake opponents early in the season have been the norm, not only for Pitt, but for the majority of BCS teams. This seems to be changing, but it was just how it was done then.

Comment by pghFred 02.15.13 @ 9:44 am

Dr. Tom – take the choo choo to Canada in Skagway – great ride.

Comment by Frank MD 02.15.13 @ 9:53 am

If the ACC wants to have the Pitt/FSU game on Labor Day, have them chip in some cash and buy out Nova. Then we can find som other 1-AA school to bring in and nova can enjoy not playing any other FBS schools since all of them have full schedules.

Comment by Twink 02.15.13 @ 9:56 am

pghFred, I am by no means a fan of Stevie P, but agree with you.

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 10:01 am

Leave the schedule alone. We will still have FSU at home on a week end when more out of town ticket holders can make the game. I have had 4 club level tickets and parking pass since the move to Heinz and hate not being able to us them. As it is 150 mile drive and one if not two hotel nights add up without taking a day off from work for a Monday night game.

Comment by WarrenPAnther 02.15.13 @ 10:13 am

Stevie’s bigger problem will be Penn State in the long run. The Big 10 is going to nine or ten conference games. Stevie has been spouting off about locking up Penn State. Past four games, it doesn’t look good. Screw Nova. Play’em as scheduled and move on.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.15.13 @ 10:35 am

17 days till football march 5.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.13 @ 10:40 am

In no way a fan of Villanova, but, when BC, Miami and Va. Tech left, I would have in no way wanted to help them if the situation arose, so I can see exactly where Villanova is coming from.

FSU Labor Day night would be great, but, if they really start to turn the screws on us for more than should be fair blood money, then get up from the table, walk away, and tell em’ we’ll see ya on Saturday the 31st!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.13 @ 10:44 am

pghFred and wbb, I agree with you that the scheduling snafu isn’t the fault of Pederson. And to even blame him for it is ridiculous! If VIL wants to play hardball, let ’em. Then we open the season with them and wipe up the field with them.

Comment by DobieGillis 02.15.13 @ 10:54 am

The Big Ten has announced it will no longer play DIFCS teams. The ACC should do the same and eliminate teams like ‘Nova from poaching big paydays.
They dropped D1 football long ago. These are the consequences of those actions. Maybe they can play Temple and secure that big payday.
Tell them they don’t move this game they never play us in anything ever again. We simply don’t need them for any sport. If they refuse to move, then kill them in football (go for 2 if up 40 or more points) and then send them on a one way ticket to obscurity.

Comment by sfpitt 02.15.13 @ 11:19 am

The ACC, PAC 12, SEC, and Big 12 will all be forced to drop the non D1 games because the playoff system will reward those who do so. Once again, the Big 10 is the leader of the pack! Frankly, it is about time. We only have 12 games a year…none of them should be “tune up” games.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.15.13 @ 12:26 pm

Apparently, Wofford has no problem with FSU moving their date. If Villanova continues to be a problem, I would ask the ACC to help, since this is their move to have the FSU/Pitt game on Labor Day. I agree, no more 1-AA teams from now on.

Comment by gdodson 02.15.13 @ 12:28 pm

just to counter .. this is how many of the 1-AA teams meet their expenses, it is a big payday for them

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 12:45 pm

Thanks wbb and Frank MD for the insites on shore excursions. We’re stoked and already looking forward to crossing this once in a lifetime trip off of our bucket lists. It is still 6 months away and we are already anticipating it as if five year olds waiting for Christmas!

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.15.13 @ 1:48 pm

Pitt hasn’t had an opportunity at a national game like this in quite some time (Thursday nights in East Hartford don’t qualify). With sympathy to you gents who must travel to “The Berk”, aka the stadium formerly know as Heinz Field, for home games, Pitt needs to do whatever is necessary to make this FSU Labor Day game happen. Get the ACC to chip in, get Warren Buffett to chip in, hell get Jimmy Buffett to chip in.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.15.13 @ 2:00 pm

BTW, I second Frank MD’s suggestion for the train ride. I didn’t do it but was told by other passengers how much they enjoyed it

Comment by wbb 02.15.13 @ 2:05 pm

I still would like to see PSU in the ACC, hopefully the B10 has another down season and they keep s**ting on PSU until they decide it’s time they went somewhere else. Use that as leverage on both sides to grab ND as a full football member and WE’LL NEVER HAVE REASON TO GO ANYWHERE ELSE. Redo contracts, all of a sudden ACC network with ND and PSU is the only thing that makes sense for ESPN and there you have it. We completely solidify the east, increase profits to each school, get to play everyone we want to play… Oh what a dream.

Comment by Benzene 02.15.13 @ 2:35 pm

@ Emel
Wow! Only the second time I’ve ever seen Cornhole and Millivanilli in the same paragaph. Stii laughing.

Comment by oklahomeboy 02.15.13 @ 4:08 pm

“To be, or Not to be, THAT IS the question. Meaning, of course, is a Pitt-FSU griditron engagement going to happen or NOT? Well fans. it is. The teams are scheduled for a contest at Heinz Field in 2013. The question actually is will the Panthers have national exposure on Labor Day? Golly, I hope NOT. Let us be practical. We KNOW FSU will be a top 29 team next year. Probably even better. I watched their bowl game in January and was quite impressed with Jumbo Fisher’s minions. To the contrary, the Panthers will be breaking in a new signa caller. Will it be Savage who was very good when he was a frosh, EONS AGO!! Will it be Voytek who has yet to see varsity action? Will it be poor Trey Anderson. a Texas highschool phenom who looked good with the clipboard the last two seasons. Or perchance it wiil be the young Buckeye, Travon Chapman who has been at Pitt since January. WHOA!! Seems whichever one of those lads gets the job he will need some SEASONING. Maybe quite a bit!! Add on the fact that Pitt;s lines, both offensive and defensive will be in for restructuring. Realistically, I would not want to be embarrassed AGAIN on national television. Let us open with Villanova. They won’t be a soft touch and line up against the Seminoles later in the season when the Steel City collegians have had some experience, Wewill have a chance for an UPSET THEN!! Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.15.13 @ 4:23 pm

Hey Rev, you write like we haven’t got a prayer! I have a direct line to God and he wants Pitt to play FSU on Labor Day and he assures me Pitt will win.
BTW, WVUlgar just lost their 80th assistant coach; this one to Oklahoma.
Looks like the worlds’ largest urinal (Puskar is Norwegian for chamber pot) will struggle more. How does a big time program like the hoopies fall so fast? Answer: Oliver Douglas Luck is their AD. would you rather have pumpkin Huggins and Holgersen (even after his monthly shower) or Dixon and Chryst?
Thank God!! Right Rev?

Comment by SFPitt 02.15.13 @ 4:41 pm

SFPITT, Right on from the west coast!! Oh, I have lots of prayers, BUT—when it comes to Pitt on the national tube, my faith is a bit shaky. Unless we are playing Notre Dame, of course! Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.15.13 @ 4:55 pm

Wouldn’t pay Nova a dime from the Pitt piggy bank. If ESPN and the ACC wants it then they should put up the money to payoff Nova. Otherwise let’s play them and keep FSU as the 2nd or 3rd game.


Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 02.15.13 @ 7:02 pm

“…Norwegian for chamber pot”. Outstanding!

Comment by Iron Duke 02.15.13 @ 7:30 pm

ACC teams have played in 7 of last 8 Labor Day feature games, so I guess it’s become a tradition. If we don’t take it, another school will, even if they have to pay off a 1-AA opponent to do it. Maybe Syracuse can pay off Ped St. to move to a Labor Day game, Lord knows they could use the coin.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.15.13 @ 7:54 pm

I agree that it is Stevie p’s fault! He is the ad and his job is to schedule games! Is there anyone else to blame. Burn some bridges with nova, you aren’t going to play them anymore anyway. Buy them out and make the Fsu game work! National tv and first game of the season, the whole country will be watching. We seem to play better against good quality opponents anyway. Chryst will have the boys ready! The acc is trying to roll out the red carpet, seize the opportunity! Since when are we afraid to play anyone. That is a losers mentality. I like that Chryst didn’t hesitate on this one. Come out of the tunnels on Labor Day night with a packed house, nothing better. Could we lose, sure! But we could win against a team who always has a hiccup game and pitt could be that hiccup! The only thing better would be to come out in the script. Place would go nuts!! Nova like some have said is a lose-lose situation. Crush them and everyone expects it. Close game and we are ready to fire the team and god forbid we lose, almost happened last time we played them when Brian Westbrook went nuts! Bring on the noles and let’s show them what smash mouth football is all about!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 02.15.13 @ 11:32 pm

Right on Sweet C

Comment by Iron Duke 02.16.13 @ 11:13 am

We better start off on the lighter side with Nova…one of the coaching tickers is suggesting that House will be named DC this week. And, PC will be adding Jay Palmero to the defensive staff. Who is Jay Palmero? Unbelievable!

Comment by DJS 02.17.13 @ 6:27 pm

Please identify your source!! Which “coaching tickers?’ Who really is Palmero? A hint would be in order!! And, by the way–who is DJS. I don’t recognize the code. Thank you. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, just curious. I;m getting frustrated with RUMORS!!! Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.17.13 @ 8:22 pm

Rev. George,
The source is coaching And, DJS are my initials for Doug Sheaffer of Steelton, PA.
Coaching search has the Pitt posts listed today. They seem to be pretty reliable source for information.
I am frustrated as well.

Comment by DJS 02.17.13 @ 8:57 pm

Check out the Pitt athletics web-site. It’s official that Matt House is new DC. I am behind and hoping that Matt does a great job. Good luck to Matt!
But I question as to what took so long to hire someone that was just down the hall!

Comment by DobieGillis 02.18.13 @ 10:18 am

This is a win-win for the university. They save a bundle of money and Pitt continues in mediocrity. What else could an athletic administration like Pitt has ask for.

Comment by DJS 02.18.13 @ 11:04 am

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