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.