Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pitt and Syracuse to ACC?
The New York Times has reported that Pitt and Syracuse are in talks to join the ACC. Following this report ESPN has reported that at least 10 schools have approached the ACC to join the conference. It seems like it was just a matter of time before Super Conferences were created and because football is king, basketball schools will be left in the cold.
The ACC currently has 12 members which include the former Big East schools Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Miami. From a purely Pitt perspective I see this move as necessary rather than hoped for considering the present and future landscape of college football. From a football only perspective this move is great. The Big East was clearly one of the weaker football conferences so this will help secure that Pitt has a strong in-conference schedule and could keep rivalries with Big East schools such as West Virginia if both sides want to.
The basketball perspective is where I am disappointed. The Big East is clearly THE BEST basketball conference in the country with classic schools and rivalries, the hot new teams, and nothing compares to the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The ACC is a step below the Big East, but I am sure that coaches Jamie Dixon and Jim Boeheim were consulted and decided to go in together as a package deal for ACC basketball. This will be fun to see Duke and North Carolina every year and Pitt and Syracuse could dominate ACC basketball as all four programs are neck and neck as perennial powers. Big East basketball will take over the ACC just as Big East football took over ACC football when VT, Miami, and BC jumped ship a few years ago.
This plan is definitely a positive for Pitt and Syracuse football, but basketball will never be the same. It is clear that football is king and it was just a matter of time before Pitt would have to make their move. Let's see how this story develops in the coming days.