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September 13, 2016

There was just no way I was doing any basketball posting last week. Wasn’t sure I would squeeze anything out this week, but it’s got to happen.

The ACC finally released the men’s basketball schedule, which means Pitt’s basketball schedule is finally complete.

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September 8, 2016

Musings and Notes

Filed under: Football,Non-con,Opponent(s),Schedule — Chas @ 7:35 am

I look at Penn State’s attempts at “unrivaled” to market their lack of a rival team the same way I view friends that try to pretend how happy they are not to be in a relationship. Constantly spinning the positives when you can see the desperation in them to be with someone. Anyone.

In that vein, I can’t bring myself to call this game a rivalry game. A resumption of on the field hostilities, perhaps, but not a real rivalry game. I wish it wasn’t so. But it isn’t. It should be, but I don’t know that even Pitt is feeling like it can or should happen annually. Despite what AD Scott Barnes is saying.

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August 30, 2016

Special Season

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi,Schedule — Justin @ 12:00 pm

I noted this on twitter a few days ago, but I wanted to expand on it a bit further. 2016 could potentially be a special season for Pitt. All of the elements are there: experience, leadership, talent, depth, coaching, and opportunity. The national spotlight will be on Heinz this Saturday with the return of James Conner and it won’t leave with Penn State visiting the following weekend. Back to back road trips against ranked teams, Oklahoma State and UNC, pose big challenges.

Hypothetically, what if Pitt starts 4-0? A win over a rival and two ranked teams on the road plus the emotional angle of Conner would make the national media nuts. That would lead to a top 15 ranking with the easiest stretch of the schedule ahead.

Why is this not crazy? (more…)

August 25, 2016

ACC Network and Scheduling

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Media,Money,Schedule — Chas @ 11:07 am

Have to start somewhere…

Most of the offseason around the ACC has been about the speculation that the ACC Network was never going to happen. That the losses in the last year at ESPN over cord-cutters and a shrinking subscriber base meant that the Mouse Monopoly was not going to add another channel devoted solely to a conference. ACC schools would have to just accept the extra $3 million/year each on the present deal.

Never should we count out Ninja Swofford. Last month came the surprise announcement by ESPN and the ACC of the long-discussed, but seemingly doomed to never happen ACC Network.

ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital network, it was announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte, N.C. The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.

Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year.  More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches.

Sure the cable channel won’t roll out in 2017… or 2018. But, it is coming.

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May 23, 2016

This is… interesting.

When teams are matched up in the B1G/ACC Challenge, there is almost without exception, an attempt to pair up teams of similar expectations.

For different reasons, a Pitt-Maryland match-up suggests pairing off two teams that could be very good or very mediocre.

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May 4, 2016

There’s a “but” involved.

Been rumored for a month or so that Pitt and Penn State would face-off in basketball this year. BUT that it wouldn’t be any sort of “home-and-home” exchange. Sure enough, it’s going to be in New Jersey. And it is the undercard.

Villanova will play Notre Dame and Pitt will face Penn State in the first Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Dec. 10, sources told CBS Sports.

An official announcement is expected soon.

The first game of the doubleheader between the Wildcats and Fighting Irish will be available on CBS while the second will air on CBS Sports Network.

Villanova and Notre Dame will tip off at Noon ET with Pitt and Penn State expected to begin their game at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET.

So it is the undercard, but goes second. That’s different, but that is CBS for you. They will make the Nova-ND their Saturday noon game, and see if people can find their cable sports channel for the second game.

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January 26, 2016

Pitt and the rest of the ACC officially released the 2016 Football Schedule today. While opponents have been known for a while, the dates have not. Let’s take a look! (more…)

September 10, 2015

Backyard Brawl Back

Filed under: Football,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 2:07 pm

Good hate is so hard to find. Playing Penn State is important. In the grand scheme of things, they remain Pitt’s primary object of hate. But there is room in my heart to hate more than one team. And a chance to see that hate expressed against the Hoopies on the field once more is a good thing.

It was just a matter of time, and honestly having both schools changing ADs helped this happen. There was more than a little acrimony on that front as well.

Pitt and WVU will play a 4-game home-and home. Pitt hosts in 2022 and 2024. Travels to the godforsaken land of Morgantown in 2023 and 2025.

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September 3, 2015

Oh, ACC. I know the transition has been difficult for the last decade plus. To go from a basketball-centric conference to… well, slightly less of a basketball-centric conference.

Trust me. we get it. After the time spent in the Big East, we Pitt fans understand that there can be a slight incomprehension echoing in the conference offices about staying focused on football season.

Still, to release all the ACC college basketball schedules in the afternoon, the day before college football kicks off the season? Not a week ago or two weeks. Just some 30 hours before a game involving one of the teams from your own conference kicks off the season. That is some Big East level idiocy.

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June 25, 2015

I knew Pitt had a lot of players getting some off-season surgery, but I didn’t know it was this many.

[Pitt Coach Jamie] Dixon, who has three players out with surgeries and at least five others recovering from previous surgeries or nagging injuries, said the changes to NCAA rules also played a part in the decision.

“The rules have changed to where you could only have two players from one college team on each of the summer league teams,” Dixon said. “That sort of made it difficult with only so many Division I players available to have the kind of competitive league you are looking for.

“Hopefully, it is something we can revisit for next year, but, for this year, it just didn’t seem like it was going to be able to work out.”

Josh Newkirk earlier followed by James Robinson and incoming transfer, Sterling Smith, recently had off-season surgies.

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January 29, 2015

Football Schedule Released

Filed under: ACC,Football,Schedule — Justin @ 10:13 am

The ACC released the 2015 football schedule this morning. While opponents and location have been determined for awhile, the order of ACC games as well as the dates (Thursday vs. Saturday) were not known until today. As I worked through these previews, I realized that several opponents will be better in 2015, notably UNC. The first thing that jumps out to me is that four of the last five games are at home. If Narduzzi and company can get this team playing at a high level, a late season run is possible. (more…)

October 8, 2014

Serious Troll Move

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s),Schedule — Chas @ 6:25 am

I may be in the minority on at least wanting the Backyard Brawl on some sort of rotation for the football non-con (good hate is so hard to find), so a home-and-(delayed)-home with Marshall isn’t exactly the same. But given Marshall’s relationship with WVU, and the outrage it is generating south of Pittsburgh. Well, I have to respect a scheduling troll move like that.

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August 28, 2014

Well, the dates are all set. The ACC television is set. The times for many of the non-con games and any accompanying TV coverage are still unknown.

The ACC released its complete schedule with dates and times yesterday (PDF).

Pitt’s ACC opponents were already known, just not the dates. February is going to be brutal (PDF).

Feb2015Brutal

The week before that is a Saturday home game against Louisville on CBS. Pitt’s ACC schedule definitely has a very difficult middle. The start and ends are noticeably weaker. But that middle. Oh, that middle stretch of late-January through the third week of Februrary. It’s very likely that in that 9 game stretch ND and Bryant will be the only unranked teams Pitt faces.

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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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