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August 12, 2014

Just best to stay out of Reed’s way when he’s rolling like this.

So, just to note that while the full schedule of dates, times and TV appearances have yet to be released; ESPN did announce their Big Monday schedule. Pitt gets two appearances on the ACC slate.

January 19, 7pm at Duke

February 16, 7pm at Virginia

Disappointing not to get a home Big Monday game, but Pitt is featured in 2 of the 8 ACC Big Monday games. The same number of appearances as Duke. UNC and Virginia each have three appearances. Louisville and Syracuse make only one appearance each. Not too bad for a team that will be considedred 6th to 8th in the ACC preseason polling (some combination of Virginia, Louisville, Duke, UNC and Cuse will be most prognosticators top-5).

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August 7, 2014

Maui Bracket Set

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 6:50 am

The bracket was released for the 2014 Maui Invitational Classic. Since Pitt will get there a little early to play Hawaii, they get an extra game. Pitt gets to start it out against the host — Chaminade. Assuming no upset (yes, yes, we all know: 1982. Virginia. Ralph Sampson. Yada, yada, yada.), Pitt moves on to face BYU or SDSU in the semis. Given the recent past, I would expect it to be SDSU.

I’m not sure if it is just a few people getting negative or just a conditioning thing, but I actually saw some complaints about Pitt’s bracket on Twitter and message boards. Mainly that it is a negative to have the game against Chaminade because it hurts the RPI. And a little unfamiliarity/little too casual in dismissing a team like SDSU. The Aztecs have been one of the best teams in the Mountain West. They were a #4 seed last year, going out in the Sweet Sixteen to Arizona. Odds are, if it is Pitt-SDSU in the semis, SDSU will be considered the favorite.

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July 9, 2014

At Last, The Completed Non-Con

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 6:43 am

I’m back. A bit of traveling for the holiday week(end). Try to get back into things Monday night and the storm that ripped through our area knocked the power out for a good 12 hours or so. The power outage wasn’t the worst — except to my 12-year old daughter who found her tablet useless without wi-fi. Especially since it happened at night and we were able to sleep through half of it.

The worry was all the contents of the fridge and freezer. Well, it was the worry of my wife. Within the first hour of the outage, she’s ready to declare everything in the fridge is doomed. Followed by the ice cream in the freezer. By the morning, she’s planning to toss everything from the freezer. Lose power for more than 24 hours and she is considering a new refrigerator, because who knows what may linger in the old one.

Keep in mind that the minute we lose power, she all but padlocks the doors to the fridge so none of the precious remaining cold escapes.

My only concern was how soon the water from the storm would get into the ground and into our basement. Every time there’s an outage I think about how I really need a battery back-up for the sump pump. And every time the power comes back I put off the move.

Anyways…

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June 11, 2014

Pitt Has That Final Home Date

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 7:22 am

Pitt tends to wait until August to put out its basketball schedule. Most of us rely on piecing together the non-con by leaks and releases from other schools.

As you may recall, Pitt posted a need for a home game at the end of 2014.

The lucky team that accepted was  Florida Gulf Coast University.

FGCU has added a travel addition to its non-conference schedule, visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Dec. 30, to go along with a previously announced game at Xavier on Dec. 28, FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh said today.

With 31 total games permitted each season, FGCU and other A-Sun schools have 17 non-conference games to find. Xavier, which is paying FGCU $95,000 with other compensation for the one-time game, and Pittsburgh are one-year deals. Schools can accept up to four “guarantee” games, although FGCU is planning to cut that number to three this season.

Have to imagine Pitt is paying close to the same amount for that game. Kind of a shrewd scheduling by FGCU to put those road games back-to-back. An extra night in a hotel instead of an additional flight.

May 30, 2014

One More Gametime Set

Filed under: Football,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 7:38 am

Be honest. You really weren’t sure that the road game at FIU would be shown anywhere but on some pirated stream. Instead, it will be a game on FoxSports 1. Yes, they are still a real channel despite airing Big East basketball games. A noon game, but it counts.

To remind every one, this is FIU. They are not the school that fired Carl Pelini for alleged drug use or whatever the allegations now are. That’s FAU. No, FIU is the school that had rising coaching star Mario Cristobal and inexplicably fired him after a rebuilding year to eventually hire… Ron Turner.

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May 21, 2014

Credit and curses to J.D. for noting this site. It’s a Craiglist or want ads for basketball games. Rather than individually calling each school, you can post your wants and needs for a game. Specify the date and/or the kind of opponent you want and hope someone gets back to you on this.

For example, UNC-Charlotte posted this gem: “Looking to buy a game for the opener. Competitive $$$$ – RPI 200 and below. Please call or email. Thanks.” They want a guarantee game with an opponent that won’t ding their RPI too much.

That “200 RPI or better” caveat is very common in the ads for a lot of major conference and high mid-majors looking for guarantee games.

Then there are the really sad ones. The ones looking to be bought. Like Alabama A&M looking to have practically their entire non-con on the road:

Hello Coaches! I hope you all enjoyed Dallas as well as the very exiting NCAA Tournament. We are looking for some games to fill our buy dates. They are as follows: Nov. 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, Dec. 14,-23, Dec 29-30. Please help us out in this endeavor. Thanks Coaches!

It’s never been easy, but it is a different kind of rough being a player for a HBCU these days.

Pitt has posted their remaining need:

PittBBallSkedQuest14-15

As you can see, Pitt is looking to fill a final home game right before the New Year. Pitt has a bunch of challenging road/neutral site games. And like many other programs on the list, they need a home game to fill that has to start at home.

So who wants to spend the rest of their day coming through the list to find Pitt a game?

Trickling Game Times

Filed under: Football,Schedule — Chas @ 6:29 am

The ACC started dribbling out some game times for the upcoming football season. As their TV rights are wholly controlled by ESPN, most of the gametimes are going to be held until two weeks or so before the game.

Pitt had three games times formally announced. Really, only one. The Thursday night game hosting VT (7:30) was a given. As was their Friday night road game at BC (7 pm). The season opener against Delaware will be a nooner that will be shown on ESPN3.com.

We can thank MLB for that time. The Pirates play that same day. Their game was originally slated for a 7 pm start time. Given the Pirates success last year, MLB decided to make that a potential FOX game of the week game. That meant they moved the start time to 4pm. The sweet spot in screwing with parking and fans when the two facilities share parking and so much else.

And even though, just past the quarter point of baseball season, the Pirates sit in 4th place and 8 games under .500. Well, MLB isn’t changing their game times now.

MLB’s brilliant idea was to have Pitt play at 10 or 11 am. AD Steve Pederson didn’t go for that one (and depending on your level of hatred for Pederson ranges from giving him no credit because it was obviously a bad idea to even listen to at least he didn’t screw this up).

No one is wild about noon starts, but it is the best of bad options. Frankly it will be those going to the Pirate game that will have the real problem. They have to show up while the football game is still happening. They will be frustrated by the parking problems and trying to get to the ballpark. Pitt fans can wait them out.

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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May 1, 2014

Well, the rumor this morning was that Pitt might get Ohio State. Really, though, that didn’t make sense since Pitt hosted last year and so did Ohio State. Pitt had to be going on the road for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. My main concern was another dog game where Pitt ends up with Rutgers.

Instead Pitt gets a team that has a blue-blood reputation and a still hateable coach in Tom Crean.

The refurbished ACC and Big Ten will stage some high-profile matchups in their annual challenge series in the coming season, highlighted by national championship contenders Duke and Wisconsin clashing in Madison on the second night of the event.

In other notable matchups, Syracuse will visit Michigan, Ohio State will travel to Louisville, Indiana will host Pittburgh and North Carolina will welcome Iowa to Chapel Hill, sources confirmed to SI.com. Maryland, which left the ACC at the end of this past season to join the Big Ten, will face longtime rival Virginia to College Park.

Pitt’s non-con schedule is definitely taking a step up this year. With Indiana (who should at least be a fringe NCAA Tournament team) on the road and the Maui Classic. Plus you know Coach Jamie Dixon will find a game in NYC or nearby as he likes to do.

The downside is that the home non-con will probably remain lackluster with that many neutral court and a solid road opponent.

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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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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January 22, 2014

ACC 2014 Is Now

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 3:08 pm

acc2014coming

Sure, Pitt. I get it. You don’t leak. Not like FSU. Not like Duke. Not even Syracuse. No. You have to keep it under wraps until the 3pm time. Fine. You don’t want to share early. I get it.

You miss that early bounce and overreactions. Let people wait, only knowing that Pitt will go down to Miami for Thanksgiving weekend.

So we waited. The interminable minutes ticked by.

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December 17, 2013

Not Sweating the Non-Con

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 7:21 am

I’ll understand if you were wringing your hands over Pitt’s non-con schedule again after this past weekend. The non-con has not gotten better looking. Not after Cinci went down big to Xavier. Penn State showed why it doesn’t get basketball respect after losing to Princeton at home — by blowing an 18 point lead with 6:34 left. Duquesne lost to Robert Morris. Heck, Fresno State and Albany lost over the weekend.

So no matter what computer metric you use (KenPom, RPI, Sagarin…), Pitt’s non-con strength of schedule is down near the bottom.

It’s the reason why Pitt is still unranked despite piling up a 10-0 record. Stanford is presently the best win, and while nice, provides no boost. And thanks to getting blown out by Xavier, the same can be said for today’s game with Cinci as far as potential impact — assuming a win.

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November 6, 2013

So this is a nice addition to the future football schedule.

Pitt and Oklahoma State will play a home-and-home football series during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the schools announced today.

On Sept. 17, 2016, the Panthers will play at Oklahoma State in Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Cowboys will visit Heinz Field in Pittsburgh the following season on Sept. 16, 2017.

I do like that the dates of the games are 9/17/16 and 9/16/17. But then I’m a little tired and at this point easily bemused.

 

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November 3, 2013

Gametime for ND-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly,Schedule,TV — Chas @ 12:19 pm

ESPN could wait until noon today to announce. And by god they did. Actually they went 15 minutes past it. Holding ND and Pitt writers and fans hostage with the delay.

Faced with the reality that they have no great options they opted for the ratings bet with ND at night. With VT flopping — Pitt faced Logan Thomas 2 weeks too early it seems — and Miami being crushed by FSU, the VT-Miami showdown lost any real luster of meaning in the ACC Coastal Wheel of Destiny. That sends them to a noon 7pm start.

As I said earlier, there was no value putting ND-Pitt on at 3:30 with two Big 10 games already in that slot. That puts ND-Pitt at night. Not just night. It’s the 8 pm ABC national broadcast. ESPN opted for the guarantee of ratings with ND involved. Even if the game itself will be, um, hard to sell as compelling.

Three home night games this year. Really can’t complain about nooners this year.

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