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.


  1. As the Blast Furnace resident ACC enthusiast, I'm in love with this news. Not only have we struck first in the great conference realignment, we've increased the penalty for schools leaving the ACC. This looks to be a major solidarity play that ensures the ACC's future as one of the big boys in college athletics.

    I also think this more than works out for basketball. While the Big East has a neat tradition around their tournament in New York, it isn't as cut and dry that the Big East was ever superior. Two of the four most traditional basketball powers are already in the ACC, and now with Pitt and Syracuse, it is definitely the better basketball conference.

    Plus, as a Virginia Tech fan living in Pittsburgh, I get to look forward to the Hokies in Pittsburgh every other year and ACC football on TV. I might have to consider Pitt season tickets now that all the teams I most closely follow are going to be here.

    The ACC, assuming no one is moving out, just ensured their place as one of the major conferences when all of this shakes out and Pitt has ensured themselves of a place at that table. And, from a pure fan enjoyment perspective, I'm happy as an ACC fan in Big East territory and you all will soon recognize that the ACC was the better place to be all along.

  2. I hope no one leaves the ACC now.

    Is Big East BB still the most powerful? Not sure anymore, as the top teams in the ACC now look better than the Big East squads. I will miss the Big East tourney in MSG though.

    This was a necessary move, the Big East may be done now; who knows. If no one leaves the ACC, this will be a fun conference to watch.

    Good move PITT. I hope Dixon waas consulted, and is enthusiastic about the move. Football is king, and this hopefully will help PITT football.

  3. By the way, what a difference a matter of a few weeks can make.

    A few weeks ago, it looked like the Big East may rise again, with teams like Kansas and Baylor inquiring about joining -- along with the recent addition of TCU. Furthermore, there were rumors of teams like Florida St. and Clemson leaving the ACC, which would have really hurt the conference.

    Now we can throw all of that out the window, with PITT and Syracuse adding more strength to the ACC conference; and now the Big East is left in shambles.