|Joe Paterno at a recent press conference, praising recent ACC acquisitions|
Did anybody hear Penn State's press conference the other day? When Paterno was asked about the conferences realigning, he surprised everyone by basically saying, "who knows where Penn State ought to end up."
I was kind of searching the internet reading about Pitt and Syracuse moving to the ACC, and came across some articles talking about Joe Paterno's desire (and large push for) PSU's entrance into the ACC back in the 80s. The ACC was Paterno's first choice before PSU joined the Big Ten. Basically, he wanted an ACC that would stretch the entire Atlantic coast; obviously that didnt occur at that time. Now, it has actually happened.
Penn State's Curley and Spanier immediately came out and said that Penn State is happy in the Big Ten and not leaving, shooting down what Paterno said. (And possibly showing their growing desire to push Paterno out). But you have to wonder why on earth Paterno would say such a thing. If Penn State were to move to the ACC, they would be playing the same teams they used to in the independent days -- Maryland, Pitt, 'Cuse.... and Notre Dame.
If Notre Dame goes to the ACC, I believe Penn State will be right there with them. Notre Dame's contract with NBC runs out in 2015, and if the ACC can come up with a new TV deal with NBC along with its already lucrative ESPN deal, that could be pretty convincing.
Who knows what will happen with the Big East, despite what their comissioner has been saying. If it falls, Notre Dame is left without a basketball conference, setting up its need to be invited into a conference. I do not think any conference will allow Notre Dame to enter just with its basketball team. Similarly, I believe Notre Dame would most likely go to the Big Ten if they are by themselves, but if Penn State is looking to make a move, I could see them both going to the ACC.
Geographically, it makes no sense for Penn State to be in the Big Ten. And if Paterno's thoughts reflect the administrations thoughts on the matter at all, some interesting things could be occuring.