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July 22, 2014

2014 ACC Football Media Days

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football — Chas @ 6:48 am

I’m not sure why the ACC starts media day on a Sunday. Other than to make it as clear as possible to BYU  that they will never receive an invite. I mean, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal for the media. Prepare the stock “Five things for ACC Media Days” column in advance. Show up on a Saturday to the nice resort hotel. Get one free night to party and have a good time. Nurse the hangover. Put the digital recorder on the podium and let those stock questions flow to the players.

I mean, it is media day. It isn’t really about the media any longer, as we saw from the 4-day long SEC event. It is about marketing the conference to everyone else. It is about getting the fans ready for football season. It is the starting point to coverage for the new season.

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July 2, 2014

The cycle has finally concluded. Yesterday was the official changing of conference affiliations for this year. Louisville entered the ACC. Maryland and Rutgers went to the Big Ten. East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa go to the American. Conference USA called up some other teams.

There will still be moves. Navy is joining the American in another year. Cinci and UConn will continue to beg the Big XII and any other conference that might have them for a chance. But for now, things have reached a settling point.

So, this may be a bit rambling, but just some of my final thoughts on the whole expansiopocolypse thing.

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June 25, 2014

Isn’t it great that when all else fails we revert right back to discussing the apparently seminal topic of what wins college football games.  Of course it is the recruiting season, and recruiting season means star gazing, so let’s have at it.

Back in the spring of 2012 I did a three piece series on here about how recruiting stars equated to peer production – that is how many stars did leading college producers have and what the 1st and 2nd string All-Conference (BE and ACC) players had when they entered their respective college programs.  Just for fun, and especially if you are bored, here they are in sequence… remember to read the comments also as there was some spirited discussions back then too.   They are a bit lengthy but you guys can handle it.

So here they are:   Hitch Your Wagon to a Star,   Hitch Your Wagon II and Hitch Your Star III – ACC .  I don’t have the time or inclination to do all that research again to update to the 2013 results but I have a feeling the findings might not be that much different now and probably aren’t year to year.  Why?  Because unless you are running a huge, heavily financed football program such as the perennial Top Ten finishers do then your recruiting is going to look much like those posted results we see from two years ago.

To me there are two requirements as important as recruiting to building a winning football program. First and foremost you have to have a Head Coach and his chosen staff who get the best possible production out of the players on his roster, regardless of the players’ star factor.

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May 29, 2014

Happy National Pitt Networking Day.  I’ll be hitting the Cleveland one after work. Hope some of the Northeast Ohio readers make a showing.

The ACC will be supposedly be announcing something “big and breaking” today. Fingers crossed its the announcement of Bojangles coming to Pittsburgh.*

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May 28, 2014

No one has been arrested so far this offseason. And I’m not saying I want any players in trouble with the law. It’s just been real quiet the last couple weeks.

Nothing with recruiting. No police blotter. No conference insanity. Just ridiculously quiet.

So, what are still in my browser tabs that need to go?

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May 15, 2014

Not a lot left from the ACC meetings. Coaches have already been departing.

The news now shifts to bigger picture things like NCAA changes. The five major conferences agitating for more control of their own interests within the NCAA was the major talking point.

One of the big topics at the ACC’s spring meetings this week was the potential changes to the NCAA governance structure. The Division I Board of Directors recently endorsed a new model. It will be officially voted on in August and one of the primary shifts would be to give the “power five” conferences — the ACC, Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 more autonomy to create legislation.

“The whole idea here is that you would have some permissive legislation that would allow some schools to do things but not require everybody to do things,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “So if we felt like, as five conferences, this is something we were really interested in doing, that if it made sense and we could pull it together, we could take it through the five without everybody voting on it.”

This week, the athletic directors met with Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, one of the leaders in the NCAA’s reform efforts. The goal was to get a clearer picture of what the restructuring meant and how it would be implemented.

One of the early sticking points in the review process has been the supermajority needed for the power five to pass new legislation.

Any item would be voted on by the 65 schools, as well as 15 student-athlete representatives, and need a two-thirds majority to pass.

The support is mixed on this idea. There appears to be a split among the schools and conferences on this aspect. Some such as the Big 10 and Big 12 want a simple majority. Schools in the ACC seem to be more in favor of the supermajority. Honestly, I’m not sure on which would be the better approach. It isn’t clear to me on the details, so I can’t say which would be the way to go.

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May 14, 2014

Not a surprise, but still good news. The ACC is moving the ACC Basketball Tournament up one day, so that the championship game will be played Saturday night rather than Sunday.

The Atlantic Coast Conference will move its tournament championship game to the Saturday night before Selection Sunday after being a Sunday afternoon staple since 1982.

The ACC announced the scheduling change Tuesday during its spring meetings in Amelia Island, Florida.

The ACC tournament will be in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2015, Washington, D.C., in 2016 and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in 2017 and ’18. The 2019 ACC tournament will be held in Charlotte before it goes back to Greensboro in 2020.

Big shock that all the coaches of former Big East teams are happy to get back to normalcy.

“Prime time on Saturday night during the tournament week is another step in the right direction,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN.com from the meetings.

The ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Atlantic 10 were the highest-profile conferences that have played a Sunday final recently, causing the selection committee to sometimes come up with an alternative bracket depending on who was playing for the title.

The ACC tournament will run a Tuesday-to-Saturday format, meaning the league’s regular season will end on the previous Saturday instead of Sunday. There will be three first-round games on Tuesday of Championship Week, four second-round games on Wednesday, four quarterfinal games on Thursday, the semifinals on Friday and the Saturday championship game.

“I think it’s huge. The Friday night doubleheader resonates around the country, it always has,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “The extra day is good for the two teams with the preparation, and Saturday night you have the whole television audience.

“We’ve talked about this since we came into the league. This will be a great thing to switch to this.”

“I love the move,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told ESPN.com. “I’ve always thought it was powerful when we did it that way in the Big East. The Sunday final is almost an afterthought since the attention is all on the selection show.”

Brey is absolutely right.

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ACC Discovers Italics

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Marketing — Chas @ 7:08 am

No one really gets too worked up over conference logos. It doesn’t carry the emotional weight of a school logo. In the end they all just seem like corporate branding exercises.

Apparently the ACC is updating its logo, where the primary change is with italics.

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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.

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April 24, 2014

After all the spring practices are in the books. As the long 3 month stretch of nothing but conference and NCAA rules debates, police blotters, recruiting and mindless predictions as the only news in college football stare us in the face, the ACC tosses us one last nugget. A conference call with the coaches to talk about spring practices.

You can listen to the nearly 2 1/2 hours of coaches talking vaguely about spring practices here. Coach Paul Chryst is on at roughly 2 hours into it.

Coach Chryst was asked about Tom Savage’s rise in the draft boards.

“You never know what to expect so if you said you’re surprised or not surprised you’d be wrong,” Chryst said. “He certainly has a lot of the talents and physical attributes. The biggest thing Tom hasn’t done is just play a lot of football.”

Savage transferred twice before ending up at Pitt, which Chryst said limited his visibility to NFL teams. Once they got a chance to look at the tape, they apparently liked what they saw.

“I think a lot of the buzz that comes before he wasn’t as much a part of because he hadn’t played for two years,” Chryst said. “I think what he did in the season, the combine, individual workouts, it’s been great to see. Hopefully everyone is right and his stock is rising.”

In Chryst’s seven-year tenure as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator, the Badgers had 27 players drafted into the NFL. In two years as Pitt’s coach, he has yet to have a player taken. That will change this year, with Savage, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and wide receiver Devin Street each likely to hear their names called.

“I think for the program, it’s good,” Chryst said. “But most important you’re happy for those individuals. That’s what really makes it special.”

Or, dare we say, “neat.”

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April 23, 2014

The ACC released the match-ups in basketball for the next two seasons yesterday.

Here’s what Pitt looks like in graphic format:

PittBBSked2015-16

Syracuse and Louisville are Pitt’s permanent “rivalry” games. That works for me. Both very good teams. I like that Big East connection and history. Yes it means Pitt will always have a tough ACC schedule, but that isn’t a bad thing.

The next pair are the home-and-homes for the season. I assume that they are planning on rotating the pairs to some degree. Which means it could well be five years before we see a UNC or Duke home-and-home.

The next group of five are the home ACC games. Then the last five are the road games. The ACC knows Duke and UNC are still the glamor programs that will draw the crowds. Every ACC team has UNC and Duke split as home-away each year.

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February 5, 2014

The Numbers Are Stable

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 12:50 pm

Last year, there was a wide variance on Pitt’s recruiting class in terms of where it ranked against other programs. From 20 to greater than 40.

This year, the consensus is far less spread out. ESPN.com once more has Pitt outside their top-40 (and 9th overall in the ACC). Scout.com says #42. Rivals.com #43 and 247 at #44.

The loss of Wade Freebeck probably dropped Pitt anywhere from 1 to 3 spots in the rankings.

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January 27, 2014

Slight anticipation. Bit of excitement. Hard ticket to get.

Pitt got through their road game with Maryland. Duke throttled Florida State on the road.

Briefly, I’ll get some thoughts from the Maryland game out of the way, first.

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January 24, 2014

Thoughts on Playing AT Maryland

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Bloggers — Mike Zimmerman @ 6:22 pm

Good evening all.

My name is Mike, and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be joining Chas as a writer here at Pitt Blather. I’ve spent many years here, first as a casual reader and in more recent years as an active poster. You guys are a vital part of this great community, and I look forward to continuing the standard of excellence that the Blather has come to know.

As always, I will remain active in the comments section. Ultimately, the backbone of this site is the tremendous dialogue, and I wouldn’t give that part up for anything. If you like what I have to say, that’s great; if you don’t like what I have to say, that’s great, too.

Now, with introductions out of the way…

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January 23, 2014

2014 Schedule Thoughts and Etc.

Filed under: ACC,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 8:39 am

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.

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