May 13, 2014

ACC Status Dull

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 7:48 am

This week has the ACC spring meetings. Among the issues to be decided would be the conference schedule for football. Specifically, whether the ACC would go to 9 games.

Brief recap. After the joining of Syracuse and Pitt, the ACC decided to go to a 9 game schedule. This despite the complaints from GT, Clemson and especially FSU. All three have permanent rivalry games with their in-state SEC rival. To go to a 9 game schedule would make it harder for them to annually schedule 7 home games. This decision got rescinded after the Notre Dame maneuver. With Notre Dame rotating onto every ACC team’s schedule at least once every 3 years as a non-con — which is more frequently played than an actual conference opponent from the other division, excluding the protected rivalry game — it was seen as being too unfair to teams that had an out-of-conference rival.

[Just a brief aside, but the fit pitched by both Clemson and FSU over the issue of the 9th game at the time was cited by many as an issue that was driving those teams to look closer at the Big XII. Yet, the Big XII had already gone to a 9-game schedule, which seemed to be conveniently ignored.]

Now, with the coming playoff and emphasis on strength of schedule. The hope for an ACC Network (i.e., more inventory). And that the Big 10 was moving to a 9 game schedule. Well, that meant 3 of the major 5 conferences were already at that point. There was momentum to revisit and possibly return to that idea.

Full disclosure, I fully support a 9-game schedule. I think it provides better games. It is better for the conference to actually play everyone in the conference within a 3-year period rather than 6 years. And frankly, most programs have sucked at handling 4 non-con games. Opting for a low 1-A team and adding a 1-AA as well all for the puffery on the wins and to have seven home games.

The vote was going to be close. ADs and administrators for the schools in the ACC seemed evenly split. But Commissioner Ninja John Swofford quickly realized the votes weren’t going to be there.

No sooner had league officials convened at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., for their annual spring meetings — had anyone found time to scout the top-shelf tequilas at the oceanside bar? — did the ACC tweet the news that commissioner John Swofford is recommending that the status quo prevail. Moments later, Swofford emerged from behind closed doors and discussed the matter with several reporters in a hallway.

Not exactly SOP for XXL news — the ACC has debated for years whether to play eight or nine conference games. And certainly no way to lend any drama to proceedings that extend until Thursday.

Granted, a closing business session must vote on Swofford’s recommendation, but that’s a mere rubber-stamping. Swofford knows the temperature of the room and unveiled the decision only after conferring with the league’s 14 athletic directors, who were far from united — the vote was 8-6, according to a source, with Virginia’s Craig Littlepage preferring nine games, Virginia Tech’s Whit Babcock eight.

Kind of interesting there, since VT Coach Frank Beamer had previously endorsed nine games.

There is no change to the schedule format either. With the 6-1-1 schedule layout remaining: six divisional conference game, one “protected rivalry” game with a cross-divisional team, and one rotating conference game from the other division.

There is the sop of “requiring” teams to schedule at least one major conference opponent each year. A particularly low bar to clear.

Pitt AD Steve Pederson unfortunately has supported the status quo.

Also, at the time, the ACC was still dealing in only schools with high academic standards and being a member of the (can’t think of it right now), American Association of Univ.???? was a big deal.

Now, when pickin’s got slim and they needed a team, they had to offer Louisville, so, after the fact, WVU may have gotten in.

Before that, there were only two spots open anyhow, they weren’t looking for 3 teams.

Comment by Dan 05.14.14 @ 12:14 pm

@spirit, no doubt, linked for a 100 years. Sad situation.

Contrary to even some of my own comments over the years, I get no joy in seeing them on an island.

That only comes in my mind, when I see a WVU troll or loudmouth. Then it kicks into full gear.

Everything being equal, I’d love them to be in the ACC and still playing them every year.

Comment by Dan 05.14.14 @ 12:16 pm

Agree with commentaries about psu fans.Arrogant is the word .Last ps/PITT game at tThree Rivers sat next to 2 older dudes like me and a 20 something. I commented about one of their players being arraigned on criminal charges which upset the young guy.Pitt forged ahead before half and won. The young guy disappeared at half. The older guy next to me explained ,he and the other older guy were Pitt alums the younger guy(his son) was a PS alum and could not bear watching PITT THOROUGHLY and defensively beat State so he left. In the 50s Psu and Notre Dame fans were both intolerable but with less subway alum for fans ND fans have become tolerable.PS fans worse and a lot of the Ps fans are from NJ, not even Pa.They are elitist NY city suburbanites. I used to follow their fancy motor homes covered with PS signs and NJ plates west on I78 and I80 while returning to western Pa. at the end of my work week in the 70s and 80s.

Comment by Pitt 60 05.14.14 @ 12:28 pm

Psu is the one game that should happen every year. I agree with earlier posts wvu and nd are rivals but pitt and psu is a pure hatred cival war. I live and grew up about a 45 min drive from happy valley. Thanks to my grandfather i was born into a diehard pitt fan. After the 7 to 6 pitt lose in the 70s my paps neighbors drapped his whole house in blue and white toilet paper deflated a football and threw it in front lawn

Comment by zach 05.14.14 @ 1:03 pm

Im 31 and i hate psu. The only thing i give them credit for is the psu creamery sure does make good ice cream i wear my pitt shirts proud make i make any trip to state college. When i chosing a college to attend my dad u can go to pitt or any other college in this country ud break my heart if u went to psu

Comment by zach 05.14.14 @ 1:08 pm

Im a diehard pitt fan and always will hate psu. I stayed close to home for school proud alum of SFU. Penn state sucks

Comment by zach 05.14.14 @ 1:11 pm

My oldest graduated Pitt 09 but my youngest despite being raised better chose Penn St. I have to admit he has gotten a first rate education and better job opportunities than I ever imagined. He still loves Pitt basketball but has been unfortunately indoctrinated into the Penn State football. Otherwise he is a great son and I couldn’t be prouder. I guess you still love your children no matter what they do. For awhile I even found myself hoping they would win some of their Big 10 games. After 4 years of this though, I have finally regained my senses and have started hating Penn State as much as ever. I guess there is no end to the sacrifices we are willing to make for our children.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 1:24 pm

I was at the November 1979 WVU game at their old stadium sitting with a small group of Pitt fans when we started getting pelted with stones. My wife of 5 months (also a Pitt grad) flagged down a security guard from the stands, but his helpless waving of his hands in the air was an “it’s out of my control” gesture. I never wanted to win a sporting event more in my life (and I coached 4 of my kid’s sports teams). Though Pitt was the dominant team it wasn’t decided until Marino took a knee after a Jo Jo Heath interception off of an Oliver Luck errant pass (yep, that Oliver Luck). Pitt 24 – Stone-Chuckers 17. Burgh Heaven.

Comment by Tony in Hampton 05.14.14 @ 1:29 pm

I guess saying we screwed WVU isn’t really accurate. It was more like we left our friends and family and moved on for a better opportunity despite the fact that it left them in a precarious spot. We could expect they would have done the same if the situation was reversed. When it is all said and done I think that Notre Dame is the real problem causer. Why do they deserve preferred status and all the tribute with half the commitment. I think without the Irish things would have worked out better for the rest of us and until we are all equal members in the conference everybody is still at risk.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 1:35 pm

Nice comments, nice conversation for a muggy spring day. Enjoyed all of your comments this morning.

Comment by Dan 05.14.14 @ 1:37 pm

@Pitt60, I enjoyed your comments on the final game played in 2000, do you happen to remember how many points the State boys amassed that day?

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 2:00 pm

I attended the last college game EVER at 3 Rivers.

Pitt’s big win over the Morganholers, 38-28.

Kevin Barlow ran roughshod over the Hillbillies.

“The football rivalry is the 14th oldest in the United States and is typically shown on national television. In the past, the Backyard Brawl has been seen on ABC, CBS, ESPN, and ESPN2. Through the 104 games played between these two schools, Pitt leads the series 61–40–3. ”

I like our record better against the Hoopies than against the Pedo’s.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 4:25 pm

@ sos22

WVcc academics is no worse than Louisville.

Had they waited, I think the ACC takes them over L-ville. Much better geographic and cultural fit.

Plus the ACC needed another school, everyone could make fun of !

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 4:27 pm

Emel, Your suggestion sounds good in retrospect but I respectfully disagree. When Pitt and Syracuse left WVU was actually turned away for both academics and because they added so little to the TV market. When that happened there was a panic slide of effect, that had WVU being a likely outsider in the rush to get a seat in a major conference. If they hadn’t become pro active in chasing down a slot they might well have been on the outside looking in. When they were fortunate enough to sneak into the Big 12 ,on the strength of their athletic successes, there was a large breath of relief taken. Although academically Louisville is no bastion of knowledge they at least represent another wing of TV audience and a very competitive athletic presence. I not only don’t think WVU could get in the ACC now but I also don’t think they are all that safe in the Big 12. They don’t fit and and don’t add anything. That is the kind of deal that goes south when push comes to shove. We just barely made the cut ourselves IMHO.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 5:06 pm

Emel, Do you have the stats on the hoop history against southern neighbors? The WVU series historically had some of the worst home cooking officiated games I recall in my lifetime of watching basketball. Both ways. I’ve seen games we got flat out robbed and I’ve seen games we stole.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 5:13 pm

No problemo sos22, we can’t agree on everything.

And you are correct sir even with our Academics and storied football history and current above average hoops program…..we did barely just make the cut ourselves. Thanks to BC and Mr. Gene DeFilippo.

And that’s the point, being that we did barely just make the cut, we were in no position to bring any pressure on the ACC to invite WVcc as well.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 5:45 pm

2nd question.

PITT vs Hillbillies all time in hoops.

Wvcc 96 wins PITT 88 wins

Series started in 1906

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 5:49 pm

WVU is a geographical nightmare for the rest of the conference. The other 9 schools run North and South up and down the great plains. then There is WVU over a thousand miles to the East with no TV market and very little in the way of athletic prestige and no academic respect. The only reason they are in the conference is because they haven’t been able to steal anyone to replace them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 5:49 pm

Agree, it’s also a logistical nightmare for all the Big 12 schools and WVcc for all basketball games.

And all the Olympic sports teams.

Whatever money the Billies are making on football they’re sending it right back out in all kind of expenses.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 5:56 pm

In 1924 Wvcc traveled to Pittsburgh to play PITT at the Motor Square Garden.

I believe the Garden was in East Liberty, later became a Cadillac dealership.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 6:00 pm

Emel, Obviously you are right that we didn’t have much choice or say. I still felt guilty. It is kind of like not standing up for your moron cousin in a street fight. I want to beat the shit out of the hoopies, but don’t like the idea of anyone else mistreating them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 6:01 pm

Actually they fit in pretty well academically in the Big 12. As other than Texas & TCU, not much is thought of academically of OK. State, OK, Iowa St., K-State, etc.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 6:03 pm

The 2009 Backyard Brawl was the most watched game in the history of ESPN2.

Comment by Emel 05.14.14 @ 6:05 pm

We used to get homered regularly in hoops at Morgantown and I saw us get ripped off there more than once but once at the Field House the officials gave us one. The place was jammin’ with a sardine packed house, complete with Tiger Paul, and Jim Catlett’s team had the lead into the last minute. There were a couple home cooked calls and then we brought the ball full court with less than 5 seconds left still down 1. I think it was Tom Richards who hit Larry Harris with a half court pass in the corner. He turned mid air and drained a corner jumper that only touched twine as the buzzer cemented the win. Catlett was so pissed off he vowed to never play in the Field House again.

I saw Larry Harris a couple years ago and shook his hand and asked him if he remembered the shot. He told me it was one of the happiest moments of his life. It made my top 10 too, Thanks Larry.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 6:18 pm

The 2009 game is something they can’t take away from Wanny. He might have had his shortcomings but that was his finest moment. Maybe the biggest Pitt upset in my lifetime. It wasn’t any accident either we had the best team that night.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 6:27 pm

Emel, How pathetic can the Big 12 be if WVU is a good academic fit. One could get brain damage just thinking about it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.14.14 @ 6:57 pm

Think you’re thinking of the 2007 game sos22.

The one that knocked the Hoopies “out” of the National Championship game. 13-9

PITT was a 28 point underdog.

As far as Big 12 academics, I believe that was one of the factors of Texas wanting to possibly join the PAC 12, which has Stanford, Berkeley,USC & UCLA. All Top 25 academically rated schools. And UW is comparable to PITT.

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 12:42 pm

Emel, Sorry it was 07 , thanks.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 1:43 pm

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