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December 6, 2013

Anywhere But Birmingham

Filed under: Bowls,Football — Chas @ 7:20 am

Yes, even if that means Detroit.

As an economic model, the college bowl system is up there with the Shoe Event Horizon (only less logical).

It now seems like a secondary cottage industry for pundits and commenters now exists  to complain about the volume of bowls. More noise that eventually sounds like so much static.

I’ve long since stopped being bothered by the whole issue of bowls and the overwhelming volume. People show up to them. We watch them. The beat goes on.

Even when it comes to Pitt, given their 6-6 record — again. I’m at a point where I can’t get worked up over where they Panthers go for their bowl. At least they are going. At least they get the extra practices.

It’s not like Pitt deserves some nice bowl game after their regular season performances. In fact most of the outrage the last couple of years has been that teams just as undeserving have gotten incrementally better bowl bids. To the point where there is resentment at not getting the “Beef O’Brady Bowl” or something like that. And of course, repeated visits to Birmingham.

With that out of the way, I’m not concerned at the slightest possibility that Pitt gets left out of the bowls because there might actually be more qualified teams than bowls.

Pitt’s going. It won’t be a great bowl, but they are going.

Even as things stand, it seems unlikely that Pitt will get one of the ACC’s bowl spots. The league has a rule that bowls selecting may not reach more than one win down in conference standings. For example, at 3-5, Pitt could be picked ahead of any 4-4 teams, but not any 5-3 teams.

Because of this rule, the Panthers can be selected no higher than seventh in the bowl selection, and geographic placements of other teams (for instance, North Carolina going to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.) make it likely that they will be searching for a non-ACC bowl spot.

The final ACC pick is the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., but executive director Steve Beck told The Washington Post this week that if faced with the likely choice between Pitt, Maryland and Syracuse, the bowl likely would go with the Terrapins.

Most projections have the Panthers going to the Little Caesar’s Bowl Dec. 26 in Detroit. The bowl will not be able to fill its Big Ten spot, and executive director Ken Hoffman said he expects Pitt and Syracuse to be the teams still available after the ACC’s selection process.

A bowl game in Dallas is also a possibility.

No mention of the Pinstripe?

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.06.13 @ 7:30 am


Why do people criticize the large number of bowl games? Bowls are a reward for the players hard work and perseverance. Plus the the extra practices (it has helped Pitt?
couldn’t help myself had to take a shot). Nevertheless the
players receive gifts, get to play one last college FB game,
and we the fans get to watch our favorite team (and begin to
think about next year). Yeah would love to be in a more prestiges bowl but no more matter participating is better than
Staying at home.

Comment by JR 12.06.13 @ 7:51 am

If the Pinstripe is again available, it would probably go to Syracuse again. I believe if Rutgers wins tomorrow (don’t know who they play), they will become eligible, so they are another possibility.

Comment by wbb 12.06.13 @ 7:52 am

Why let Maryland take the military bowl? The ACC should tell them to go to Detroit, that bowl is affiliated with the big ten and that’s where they are going so why not get started now!

Comment by Steve h 12.06.13 @ 7:52 am

Steve, problem is that the bowls have a lot to say as to who they want. The bowl in Annapolis will push hard for the Terps as would the PinStrip push for Cuse or Rutgers.

Comment by wbb 12.06.13 @ 7:55 am

I am looking forward to Pitt’s bowl game. The more college football the better. Beats not playing again as is the case with WVU.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.06.13 @ 7:57 am

Was hoping for the Pinstripe or Military for the players sake. Two good locations. Who the hell wants to go to Detroit.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.06.13 @ 8:00 am

Agree about the “secondary cottage industry”. I swear Ron Cook trots out the exact same column every year at this time. Smizek too. I’m surprised the PG keeps running it (but maybe not too surprised.) For the most part I think all those various columns fall on deaf ears. There are a vocal minority that care about the “integrity” of the bowl system (if there is such a thing), but I think most people just take them for what they are. An end of season exhibition game — that has nothing to do with being a reward — and one more opportunity to watch your team play.

Comment by JCE 12.06.13 @ 8:29 am

I have no problem with all the bowl games..if nobody watched them they wouldn’t stage them..

Though they should let the teams that don’t play a bowl game have the extra practices that teams get with a bowl game….seems the teams that need the practices the most for the next year (losing teams) don’t get to have them.

Comment by milobloom 12.06.13 @ 8:52 am

The way I look at it–this is an opportunity to win another game and finish 7-6 vs 6-7 last year and to finish on more of a positive heading into LOI day.

Comment by pitt1972 12.06.13 @ 9:02 am

Notre Dame does not want to play in the cold and snow so if they find a warm weather bowl the pinstripe will be open if not they go there.

A lot of sites have syracuse in the beef o brady bowl and us in the detroit bowl but why do the orange get the warm weather bowl and us the cold
bombed out city.

but as you say at least no birmingham.

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 9:13 am

I’m not sure why anyone complains about bowl games other than because “it’s the way it used to be when I was young!” I get a chance to watch my Panthers play a team they don’t usually play. The team gets another game together. There’s a small financial gain. There is literally no down side to having more bowls!

Frankcan, Syracuse fans are associated with Snowbirds- older people who fly down south for the winter- so Beef O Brady’s in Florida believes they will probably sell more tickets. I don’t think it’s worth finding numbers to back it up, but I’m inclined to agree with them.

Comment by AJMayo 12.06.13 @ 9:21 am

I don’t mind the volume of bowl games.

I’m a Pitt fan first but I’m also a college football fan. I enjoy having a college football game on every night from about the third week of December through the first week of January. Maybe this has diminished a LITTLE bit because with expanded network coverage, college football can now be found every week during the regular season on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, Friday nights and then all day Saturday. But I guess the bowls are a little bit different because it’s kind of a three-week last hurrah for the season.

Plus, college football is one of the things I think ESPN still does very well, so I’ve always liked their Bowl Week presentations.

No complaints here at all, to be honest. Besides, it’s just going to get bigger, especially as ESPN Events continues to drive the boat on this as a producer of ever more of these smaller-tier games.

Comment by Stoosh 12.06.13 @ 9:38 am

AJMayo ok could be right i dont know .
as mutch as i hate detroit at lest it is a indoor field and the players wont have to play in the cold.
if truth be told they might rather play there then the pinstripe in NY which is out door and will be cold and snowy ,

NY is better for the fans more to do but bad for the players at least on game day.

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 9:38 am

I think the NCAA or whoever makes the rules should allow all college teams to have the extra practice times now allowed to bowl teams. Maybe they can also play a winter game among themselves (no seniors) as a preview to next year. Maybe then teams would turn down a bowl and the lousy bowls would go away. ESPN can even bring the winter games.

Comment by Frank MD 12.06.13 @ 10:24 am

Poor Pitt football

Comment by Don Walnut 12.06.13 @ 10:39 am

With the casinos and gentlemens clubs just across the border in Windsor, Detroit becomes a little more inviting. What is it a 5 hour drive?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.06.13 @ 10:46 am

PSU and WVU not bowling. Go MSU over OSU.

Comment by Frank MD 12.06.13 @ 10:52 am


You wouldn’t like Detroit. It’s a little LESS than average.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.13 @ 10:53 am

How about this?

Tyler Ferguson… the next Tom Savage?

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.13 @ 10:54 am

Regarding the Bowl Game “Free-for-All”…

The idea of Bowls being SPECIAL goes back to BC (Before Cable).

Personally, don’t see any problem with a team such as Pitt going to a Bowl, whatever or wherever it is.

It’s a reward for the team, the students and the fans.

As for Pitt… reportedly, the ACC is leaning toward sending Maryland to the Military Bowl. I get it.

But anyone who was at the Navy Game knows that Pitt Faithful had a surprisingly good showing on Game Day in Annapolis.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.13 @ 11:01 am

While I miss the days of all day great football on New Year’s Day and the big name bowl games, times change. I would like to see an eight team playoff leading to a New Year’s Day Champion. Two weekends of meaningful football leading to the grand finale.

That would leave plenty o teams for the Bowl Games. Everyone could have their fun and there would still be some quality games and a champion with less controversy.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 11:04 am

You could have one team from each of the five big conferences and three at large teams. I think it would be pretty exciting. It wouldn’t ruin the beloved bowl system. If you finished in the top five of the polls but were not one of the conference reps you would get an automatic at large slot.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 11:13 am


Pizza Bowl… is in Motown. However
kids get to play in an NFL dome stadium..
…not bad. Also contrary to some of the
comments lots of things to see and great
places to eat. Doubt they will spend too
much time in the center city. Go Pitt.

Also obvious that the PG writers are pro
PSU. Note very little written about the ACC
in general. Sam Werner’s coverage of Pitt
is very weak (in my opinion). Lastly Zeise
is all over Pitt BB but other sports writers
just go negavity on the schedule.

Comment by JR 12.06.13 @ 11:13 am

The most important thing is to have competitive games and not a bunch of blow-outs. This is what makes a bowl game fun. Of course, unless it is Pitt doing the blowing (not the sucking).

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 11:16 am

All I care about is a season thast ends 7-6 for Pitt. Get healthy, get ready and kick some a$$ in the “whatever bowl” we go to.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.06.13 @ 11:41 am

gc, problem with an 8 team playoff is that 2 fanbases of about 35k will have to make 3 different trips in successive weeks on or around the holidays.

Comment by wbb 12.06.13 @ 11:47 am

You could start the playoff on the campus of the four favorites. Saves one trip. Guarantees a sell-out and rewards the favorites.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 12:08 pm

Also seeing how many FSU, ND, NC, and Miami fans came to PITT games, makes me believe that the big school fans would show up. As for Pitt…as if we ever had to worry about it.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 12:15 pm

gc, if you think you have controversy now, just think if you had an 8 team playoff with the 1st round at home with the higher seeds? Not only would the 9th and 10th teams be pissed for being excluded, you’ll have all kind of bitching from the 5th and 6th seeds .. na maybe even 7th and 8th seeds.

Comment by wbb 12.06.13 @ 12:24 pm

If you look at the ACC standings you see that Pitt is the last ACC team in terms of bowl selection. We are 3-5 and 6-6. Every other ACC team has better standing according to ACC rules. Detroit may be it so we help their economy.

Comment by Frank MD 12.06.13 @ 12:28 pm

I like the idea of going to Detroit. Staying in Windsor is fun and Ford Field is nice. It’s an easy trip to make. Detroit over Birmingham.

Comment by MWPanther 12.06.13 @ 12:44 pm

Christmas in Detroit ….. starring Bing Crosby and Barbara Stanwyck (2 1/2 stars) Lonely, diehard fans of a mediocre college team meet at an obscure college bowl, and sparks fly.

Comment by wbb 12.06.13 @ 12:46 pm


I think you need to add “entertaining” to “competitive.” Do not forget the very competitive 2008 Sun Bowl when Pitt fell to Oregon State 3-0.

Comment by MWPanther 12.06.13 @ 12:48 pm

It’s a chance to see my great alma mater play one more game! Nothing more, nothing less! I would rather have a day when I can watch Pitt, have a few cocktails and yell and scream at the tv once more. Sad but true, I still love game days! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.06.13 @ 12:55 pm

Right now it is two teams, Is it next year four? So 5-8 shouldn’t complain about having a chance. Who cares about 9 & 10, besides they will have their pick of the best bowl game. It’s all in how you sell it.

The Steelers and others have won the Superbowl after all away games. If I am number 8 and I have a chance to beat number 1 in their stadium, I am happy to have the opportunity. Especially if I am Northern Illinois or Boise St. If I am the number two team from the SEC, I am not afraid to go to Ohio State or anywhere for that matter.

You will always have controversy, but it would be better to give eight teams a chance on the field.

I would prefer 16 teams, but then you would really damage the bowls.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 1:16 pm

16 teams? Remember, these kids are not paid….the top teams would be playing as many games as an NFL team.

Comment by Jackagain 12.06.13 @ 1:23 pm

16 teams? Remember, these kids are not paid….the top teams would be playing as many games as an NFL team.

Comment by Jackagain 12.06.13 @ 1:23 pm

I’m not being critical, as this group exceeded my preseason expectations, by pointing out that going to a crummy bowl game has an upside. When alas our team improves and earns a good bowl game, perhaps they will appreciate it more.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.06.13 @ 1:25 pm

So as of right now it would be FSU, Ohio St, Auburn, Missouri, Stanford, Alabama, Northern Ill., UCF. Sure you would get some bitching from OK ST, Baylor, Michigan St etc. But they get to go to the big bowls. They also didn’t win their conference.

It will never be perfect, but you would have seven games really worth watching with something on the line. The champion would not be a fluke, having won three games. More teams have a real chance.

You also could have a real Cinderella.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 1:31 pm

Bowl games, especially those between Christmas and New Year’s, are one more excuse/opportunity to crack open a beer as early as noon on a weekday. I for one am all of them.

Comment by JW 12.06.13 @ 1:33 pm

I think a 64 team bowl playoff makes more sense. At least then we might get Pitt into the competition for the National Championship again.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.06.13 @ 1:34 pm

The top teams are the equivalent of NFL teams.

They are paid a college education and room and board,$60,000-$120,000.

Comment by gc 12.06.13 @ 1:41 pm

LOL Dr. Tom…and it might get Voytik some playing time in for next year. (unless they lose the first game of course)

Comment by Jackagain 12.06.13 @ 1:42 pm

Dr. Tom, You have my vote for optimist of the year if you can still imagine Pitt in the national title hunt. I once dreamt Nicole Kiddman needed my help to put on her suntan lotion so I am a fan of ridiculous delusions.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.06.13 @ 2:02 pm


UNC fans stood and sang Sweet Caroline
and had fun doing it. Heinz Field will rock
when the product warrants it.

Rember the BBVA put 50k in the stands
last year ( mostly Ole Miss people). Fans
enjoy these games despite the comments
made by the curmudgeon Ron Cook has to
say. Go Pitt!

Comment by JR 12.06.13 @ 2:40 pm

Chris Pederson to take Washington job. A program that obviously has an interest in winning…

Comment by Pap76 12.06.13 @ 3:21 pm

Little Ceasars bowl isn’t that bad this year. It’s not Birmingham, it’s close, casinos and with the Winter Classic happening, their are tons of events going on between Xmas and New Years around Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Comment by H2P4life 12.06.13 @ 3:22 pm

I know I’m in the minority here because I don’t mind if Pitt plays in Birmingham. Since I live in metro Atlanta, Birmingham is a short drive and I can take in the game and drive home afterwards. So, I’m for BBVA! 🙂

Comment by MariettaMike 12.06.13 @ 4:29 pm

How ’bout a matchup vs Ped State in Detroit? Big Ten country and not far from the ‘burgh — that would be a sweet sweet throwback grudge match…and a nice way to kick off the possible re-initiation of the old time rivalry. Go Pitt!

Comment by Matt N. 12.06.13 @ 4:51 pm

Marietta – yes, you are in the minority.

If Pitt goes there again, all the seniors should be awarded a “Minor in Civil Rights Studies” from the University to go with their stated majors.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.06.13 @ 4:59 pm

here is a wild one for you fallow me on this one
Boston College is thinking of going to the heart of dallas bowl maybe.
Notre Dame wants a warm weather bowl.
if they both do that that would put us in the independence bowl in shreveport and orange in the pinstripe hey it could happen.

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 6:42 pm



Love Shreveport. I lived 90 minutes away in East Texas. Still have a brother & other relatives there. back in the old days (1974-1987) used to take dates to Shreveport. Hopefully, a PITT bowl, family visit & gambling.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 12.06.13 @ 6:59 pm

PITT cocks fan it is a long shot and some things have to fall just right but maybe .

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 7:50 pm

info for any who are on line like Wbb or EMel Boston College is trying pushing hard for the heart of dallas is all over the place on sites check it out if they make it good for us.
it would be independence bowl for pitt no cold detroit bowl hey it could happen.

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 9:24 pm

Mayor of Dallas is a former BC football player. Shreveport would be nice. Detroit would be terrible. Dallas Cotton Bowl would be great for Pitt but they’d play a Conference USA team. In Shreveport, they play an SEC team and the payout is more.

Comment by TX Panther 12.06.13 @ 9:49 pm

forget the orange to pinstripe notre dame just told pinstripe they would come guess they could not get that warm weather bowl.

Comment by Frankcan 12.06.13 @ 10:06 pm


Why doesn’t Pittsburgh have a bowl game?

Given the # of bowl games it wouldn’t be a bad location for mid tier Big 10 school (eastern ones of that conference) vs a northern ACC school…

They could even get ND on year like this instead of NYC.

Comment by JoeP 12.06.13 @ 10:37 pm

Bowling Green upset #14 and previously undefeated Northern Illinois 47-27 to win the MAC championship and a bid to the Bowl ..NIU likely headed to Detroit and the Papa John’s Bowl ..

Comment by hoopzebra 12.07.13 @ 12:20 am

Detroit sounds about right for a 6-6 team. Short trip for our guys and since Chyrst seems to have started pulling some recruits from Michigan it could be good for recruiting. Seriously.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.07.13 @ 7:59 am

so glad ohio state lost .

Comment by Frankcan 12.08.13 @ 12:06 am

I wouldn’t go to Detroit for a bowl game if the entire trip was covered and I got 5k in spending money. Anywhere but that shithole please. Dallas or the Port City!

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.08.13 @ 1:41 am

I thinks its Shreveport or Dallas now given tOSU loss last night combined with the Biwling Green win the other night. I am so glad the Buckeyes lost. FSU and Auburn then to settle things.

Comment by TX Panther 12.08.13 @ 7:38 am

Sorry Frankcan, Ohio State losing means SEC in the championship and by that I mean “SEC” not Auburn, not Alabama. I live in Atlanta and it gets old. Supposedly these are die hard fans of specific schools, but they’re not because they root for the “SEC” even when it’s their supposed team’s conference rival. It’s really extreme…. so yeah I wanted OSU to win.

Comment by JoeP 12.08.13 @ 8:58 am

Projection: Pitt vs. W. Kentucky, 12/31 Advocare V100 Bowl

Comment by MariettaMike 12.08.13 @ 10:16 am

Advocare V100 Bowl, Shreveport, Louisiana

Comment by MariettaMike 12.08.13 @ 10:20 am

You are smoking crack if you think we are going to Shreveport. Advocare has the 6th or 7th pick in the ACC. They will take GA Tech.

I do think there is a very real chance we end up in St. Petersburg at the Beef O Brady – unless there is something going on behind the scenes that I don’t know about.

Technically we could also get an invite the Pointsettia bowl but I think that’s probably unrealistic.

All that being said, at least Detroit is an easy drive from Pittsburgh. I’d hate to see us get hammered by Ball State though…

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.08.13 @ 10:45 am

now that i think abought it ohio state haveing lost is is bad becuse FS could have beat them .
i dont know if we can beat Auburn.

Comment by Frankcan 12.08.13 @ 12:00 pm

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