Here’s the one thing that must be kept in mind for the 2014 schedule. There was no way it was going to match 2013. Not with the excitement over the ACC in the first year. Not with FSU and ND on the home slate. To say nothing of the Labor Day extravaganza to kick things off. So, if that was your benchmark, you will be disappointed.
It’s a better schedule for Pitt, though. Iowa is a solid non-con. There was a bit of shifting and scrambling with the non-con because of the changes with the ACC and ND. So, that removed the road game to South Bend that was supposed to take place.
As noted, the bye weeks work out a lot better.
The Thursday night game at home with VT is a mixed bag, personally. Thursday night is a showcase night and Pitt should be happy to get to host a big one like that against the Hokies. The flip side is not many out-of-towners like myself can attend the game.
From a comfort, weather standpoint there’s only one home game after November 1. As I get older, that becomes another positive.
Pitt will open the 2014 season with a home game Aug. 30 against Delaware. There’s still some logistical details to work out because the Pirates have a home game at 4:05 p.m. that day. Pederson said the original plan was for Pitt to play at 1 p.m. with the Pirates going at 7 p.m. The Pirates were asked to move their game for television reasons, and now Pitt has to figure out a kickoff time that causes the least inconvenience for fans heading to the North Shore.
“The reality is there’s really no time we can play that’s not going to impact a 4:05 game,” Pederson said.
“Under no circumstances would be kick before noon. That’s not fair to our fans. We would never do that.”
Fox and MLB need to bend a little or everyone in Pittsburgh gets screwed.
Friday night at BC. Like football at the NFL, the creep of games on odd nights is all about the money. The destruction of the Big East means that ESPN has dictated to other conferences that Friday nights will happen.
Other conferences may continue to stomp their feet and declare “never,” but they will happen to them all to some degree eventually. EVERY conference. EVERY school has shown it’s all about the money.
I’m not about to start guessing wins-losses yet. Especially since the questions for Pitt this year are going to largely be on the defensive side of things.
Speaking of which…
Aaron Donald is blowing up at the Senior Bowl practices. That’s just one article. Twitter has scouts and NFL-nicks constantly raving about the way he is destroying offensive linemen on one-on-one drills. They are learning what we saw all year. You have to double-team Donald. If I had to bet on the draft, I’d say teams will still tear him down at the combine because of his size, so that he doesn’t go until some time in the second round. But he will make the team that gets him very happy.
ACC schedule wise, Syracuse blog TNIAAM had a piece on how their AD is already agitating for ACC football schedule changes to fit his/Cuse’s desires. There’s a fair amount I can actually agree in there. I don’t really see Cuse as Pitt’s rival either. I think the set-up that has teams from the other division seeing each other only once in six years is ridiculous.
Unlike Syracuse’s AD, I would favor a more structural change that the NCAA would have to approve. It would eliminate divisions (a requirement if you want a conferencechampionship game). Rather the top-two teams face off. If you want each school to have one protected game fine, but then seven other games that change every year. It guarantees everyone sees everyone at least every other year.
Yes, the obvious flaw would be years when one team gets a brutal schedule and another cakewalks. But it is more than a little ridiculous that teams will play ND more frequently in a 12 year period than other schools in the same conference simply because they are in the opposite division.