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Wakeup Call: What of Pitt basketball?

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> It’s close to impossible, I think, to question Pitt’s jump to the ACC given all the eat-or-be-eaten movement taking place all about them. But it seems to me that the Panthers’ fan base is being excessively exuberant, particularly as it relates to basketball.

Look, we can debate particulars all day as to whether or not having Duke visit cancels out having UConn visit, and things like that. It should be very interesting later this morning to hear what Jamie Dixon has to say on the topic. Bottom line for me: Pitt had a good situation — no, an excellent situation — exactly where it was. And this changes that.

Let’s not pretend otherwise.

>> It’s going to take 27 months?

Wow, who wants to be Mark Nordenberg at the next Big East executive meeting?

>> My Monday column, as always, is from covering the Steelers’ game. This one focuses on the defense, which was just about as good this week as it was bad last week.

>> One point regarding the offense: If Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown continue to look that good …  nah, I can’t say it just yet. But I think you know which borderline blasphemous point I’m getting close to raising.

>> The Pirates’ ridiculous 15-1 loss in L.A. prompted me to waste at least a small part of my night determining this: Only four of the 14 NFL games played on the same day were decided by a greater margin. The only one that matched the margin exactly was the Patriots beating the Chargers, 35-21.

Just think if the Dodgers hadn’t left 14 runners on base.

>> I’ll be with the hockey team this morning if anyone needs me.

Comments

  1. Jay Geyer says:

    As far as the Sanders/Brown item is concerned, please do as Michael Vick does and bite your tongue. Way too early for that. Let them be themselves for just a little while yet.

    I have mixed emotions concerning Pitt. I think the Big East is doomed in the long run. And that was before this news. The football program is definitely in better company in the ACC, but the Big East has been the best basketball conference for several years now. Hands down. I will miss the Big East Tournament. So while I am not amongst the “excessively exuberant” crowd, I do have to admit this was inevitable.

    Then we have the Bucs. I just want this season over and done with. I’ll get excited again in February.

  2. tim cypher says:

    I’m already there. Sanders and Brown situation should be going the same way Foote has been rotating in more often. I’m not saying he’s done, but as he’s taking steps back other guys are taking leaps forward and I can’t realistically saying he is hands down the best option to be out there opposite wallace. Get the young guys some extra plays and ‘keep the old man fresh’ just like farrior…

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s By The Time I Get To Phoenix Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

  4. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    -Behind the Steel Curtain

    After Shutout of Seattle, Pittsburgh’s Defense Return to Familiar Place in Early-Season Rankings

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/9/19/2434823/after-shutout-of-seattle-pittsburghs-defense-return-to-familiar-place

    AFC North Foes All 1-1 After Week 2 Action

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/9/18/2434153/nfl-week-2-recap-afc-north-steelers-ravens-browns-bengals

    -Steeler Depot

    Week Two Coverage Stats

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/09/steelers-week-2-coverage-stats-versus-seahawks/

    -Steelers Gab

    Tomlin Talks About the Win Over the Seahawks

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2011/09/18/tomlin-talks-about-the-win-over-the-seahawks/
    Defense Rocks, Offense Rolls as Steelers Shutout Seahawks 24-0

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2011/09/18/defense-rocks-offense-rolls-as-steelers-shutout-seahawks-24-0/

  5. JAL says:

    WVU Blogs

    Gold and Blue Blog

    College GameDay Coming to Morgantown

    http://goldandbluezone.com/football/college-gameday-coming-to-morgantown/

    WV Illustrated

    WVU Postgame Interviews from Maryland Win

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/15487208/wvu-postgame-interviews-from-maryland-win

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    —Pensburgh

    It’s Evgeni Malkin’s Turn to Lead

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2011/9/17/2431147/sidney-crosby-concussion-evgeni-malkin-knee-penguins

  6. Turner Ward says:

    DK – I think you’re way off base on this one. If you subtract Pitt and Syracuse, the Big East and ACC are pretty much even in basketball. Those 2 schools flip the balance of power wherever they happen to be. The Big East is currently stronger; when Pitt and Syracuse make the move, the ACC wins.

    And playing football in a conference with FSU, Miami, and VA Tech will be infinitely better than WVU and an occasional flash-in-the-pan Cincy or USF. Not to mention that this move again gives Pitt recruiting inroads to the state of Florida, which have been missing since Miami made their move to the ACC.

    Pitt had a nice – not an excellent – situation. Faced with the prospect of the football conference actually folding when other teams got cherry-picked, Pitt had to make the move first – and they will be better for it.

  7. TJA says:

    Going to miss Thanksgiving weekend with Pitt/WVU. That was always a dandy to look forward to…no matter their records. Yes, there is no question that the Big East is a great basketball conference. That said, I am ok overall with this move. I do like the idea of UNC…NC State…Duke…Wake…coming to “The Pete”. There is some serious tradition there in those Carolina schools.

  8. SeanE says:

    DK-While I do not think you are being “borderline blasphemous” in your suggestion, I don’t think that time has come quite yet. Brown and Sanders are not yet at the level of the “dancing man” when it comes to blocking…in Brown’s case not even close. That goes a long way with Tomlin. Also, the old man had a few nifty catches yesterday if memory serves.

    Also, with regard to the ACC move-this had NOTHING, repeat NOTHING to do with basketball. Football is the reason for these moves (because of money) and while Pitt had an excellent situation for Basketball the football situation was below average. Also, I don’t know how a conference that will have Duke, NC and Syracuse will still not be an excellent situation.

    As for Jamie Dixon, I think we can expect him to toe the company line. Jamie has shown himself to be a practical guy. While I have no doubt that he would have liked to stay in the Big East in a perfect world, we all know the current college athletic world is far from perfect. I don’t think Jamie would have liked what the Big East may have looked like if Pitt was without a chair when the college realignment music stopped.

    All in all, kudos to Nordenberg and Pederson for being proactive and securing Pitt’s athletic future.

  9. Rocco says:

    After the whole coaching search debacle, I never thought I’d be saying this, but you’re right Sean, kudos to Nordenberg and Pederson (talk about blasphemy!) for being proactive. While I think the way we left (the kind of middle of the night, behind closed doors way that Nordenberg and other sued the ACC for before) was less than desireable, it was pretty obvious something had to give, and I’m very happy Pitt will be “taken care of” for a long while in the ACC.

    Other than the horrible loss to Iowa, it was a pretty good weekend in the history of Pitt athletics.

  10. JAL says:

    One problem the Big East has had is that it a hybrid conference. Half the teams have no major football team. In the other big conferences every member plays top level football and basketball. Football drives the bus so when schools see a better football fit they go for it.

    Over the past few season Big East basketball has been much better than the ACC, as evidenced by the number of teams making the NCAA tournament. This move makes the pretty equal in basketball.

    Latest rumor has Oklahoma and Texas headed for the Pac 12. That would put the Big 12 in worse shape than the Big East. We might see some combination of the Big East and Big 12. Big 12 already down to 10 and Texas-Oklahoma leaving will put them at 8.

  11. stewart says:

    in regards to basketball, Pitt’s style of play is not ACC like, it will be interesting to see if they change their style of play and recruit differently.

  12. SeanE says:

    Great point JAL about the hybrid nature of the conference. I don’t think any of this is coming as a great surprise to the basketball only members. They may seceretly be happy that the football focus will end and the Big East can get back to being a basketball focused conference.

    A side effect of all of this could mean the downfall of the A-10. How so? Imagine all of the Catholic schools in the Big East St Johns, Georgetown, Villinova etc joining with the Catholic schools of the A-10 Dayton, Xavier and Duquesne etc. banding together to form a Catholic conference. That would be some league.

  13. meglasdad says:

    Full disclosure, WVU fan. While I hate to see Pitt go, I understand the move completely. What I hate is, everyone saw the Big East could not exist much longer as a conference. It’s a shame that Pitt or WVU could not see this and make a move to take the football schools and form a real all sports conference. Pitt, WVU, Uconn, Syracuse and others could form a good basketball and football conference. When the Big 12 implodes, there is Kansas and Kansas State, Baylor is improving etc… You could have made a good conference that would be competitive with others. And you could have told Notre Dame to find their own bowls from now on! Anyway, good luck and I hope this goes as good for you as you think.

  14. Eric Bowser says:

    @DK
    I look at it this way, if PITT had ignored the obvious signs of a changing landscape, they could have stayed in the Big East while Syracuse, UConn, Rutgers, and WVU left for other conferences and then what, play basketball with the little sisters of the poor and Notre Dame.

    The level of basketball success would have dwindled with those schools in the Big East conference, so that’s why I’m happy to have the ACC. The basketball is North Carolina centric but with a large group of schools in the north now, balance of power should begin to even out.

    There’s still rumblings of Connecticut and Rutgers getting an invite from ACC to join their conference and I think that would round out the conference alignment nicely.

    North: Pitt, UConn, Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland, VA Tech, Virginia, Boston College
    South: NC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, GA Tech, Miami, Florida State, Clemson

    I think PITT could more than handle their own as I don’t think the Big East will be what it was and the recruits we get from New York and Philadelphia will still migrate to Pittsburgh, especially if the ACC has their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.

  15. @suckmeter says:

    Pitt moving to the ACC doesn’t suck for basketball. I think its an upgrade. Consider:
    Lose: Villanova, Gain: Duke
    Lose: Louisville, Gain: North Carolina
    Lose: Georgetown, Gain: Maryland
    Lose: Notre Dame, Gain: Wake Forest
    Lose: UConn, Gain: UConn in a couple years

    Will miss playing West Virginia, but who cares about South Florida, Cinncinati, Marquette, St. Johns, Depaul, Rutgers, Providence and Seton Hall. The rest of the ACC teams are much better than this group.

  16. JAL says:

    Nothing particularly new here either, both the ACC and SEC came from the Southern Conference which had 23 schools once and had 17 as late as 1952 when Duke, the Carolina schools and others split to form the ACC

  17. RDP says:

    @TJA – There is no reason (if WVU goes to the SEC) that we can’t still have the Backyard Brawl on Thanksgiving weekend. Florida plays FSU, South Carolina plays Clemson and Georgia plays Georgia Tech all on Thanksgiving weekend this year.

    They might have to take a break for a few years while they get out from their current non-conference commitments, but they should have no problem getting it on the schedule after that.

  18. Eric Bowser says:

    @suckmeter – I think DK’s concern is PITT’s ability to compete due to losing some recruits in NY/Phi area because of the Big East label and going to MSG. There’s no doubt with PITT and Syracuse in ACC now and then add in the strong possibility of UConn, ACC will be a dominant conference in basketball. It will be harder to win ACC regular season and post-season title than Big East.

  19. JAL says:

    I also would not say goodbye to WVU-Pitt yet. They have been playing each other for over 100 years, including many seasons when they were not in the same conference. Would not surprise me to see them continue to play as one of their non-conference games if they do end up in different conferences.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    As for football, 2 traditional rivalries may have to bite the dust. If the ACC goes to 16 teams, Pitt may be forced to play 9 conference games. Two of the three non conference games are probably going to be perceived patsies which leaves only one other game. This just about kills any chance of renewing the Penn State game on a regular basis. Then, what of West Virginia & Notre Dame ? They may have to back out of the 2 games they already have scheduled with Penn State. I would have to think the football coaches & AD’s will be arguing for 8 conference games & 4 non conference games.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–saw you on the Sports Showdown last night. I think you need to take a page from Paul Zeise’s book and hit Jory upside the head (at least figuratively). He blathers on and on and the only way to stop him is to do it like Paul Z, Ron and Joe Bendel do. He’ll still smile . . . (I think his perpetual smile must be how he got the gig in the first place), but he won’t quit interrupting you until you get rude with him. (I know, not your style-sigh)

  22. Eric Bowser says:

    JAL – I agree, if the rivalry continues, it is great for both teams as they get to have a quality non-conference game on their schedule.

  23. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – It would be nice out of these conference alignments is the elimination of the patsie games. I’d rather see PITT play WVU, PSU, and ND for non-conference games than WVU, Buffalo, and Maine. Playing WVU, PSU, and ND strengthens the schedule, makes the players better against quality competition, and helps with recruiting as well.

  24. CWalton_67 says:

    A very good point on Pitt basketball, but I really think the Big East is on the verge of extinction, at least as a major conference. This is a good move for Pitt, with the exception of football, where they should be playing in the WPIAL. When is Steve Pederson going to start taking some heat from the media for the debacle that is Pitt football?

    I am very surprised at this Pirate team mailing in the rest of this season. I really thought they had some players with more character than that. We sure are a long way from the highs of pre-All Star break, aren’t we?

  25. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Eric

    Agree 100%. That’s what the 12th game was supposed to do, until the coaches got their hands in it. The AD’s & presidents saw the extra game as chance to schedule a quality opponent fill up their stadium & get on national TV. The coaches see it as – let’s schedule C.W. Post & get a “W”.

    Also, schools that sell out no matter who they play can schedule whoever they want. Pitt needs to bring in a name to put fannies in the seats. It’s the disadvantage of being in a pro city.

  26. JUCOFan says:

    The real losers here are the fans. Ultimately rivalries will be lost, and geographic synergies will be foresaken as schools scramble to preserve their piece of the pie.

    What is missing? A good strategic plan and roadmap for the future of Div-1 college athletics and conference affiliations. This should be the NCAA’s role. However, leadership within the NCAA is weak, and without a comprehensive strategic plan and roadmap to the future, the final landscape of college athletics will be suboptimal.

    As is true in business a good strategic plan generally starts with setting a future target and mapping out steps to get there. This approach generally results in a good outcome assuming good tactical execution.

    In this case, there seems to be no comprehensive strategic plan and schools are scrambling to find a seat in this game of musical chairs. It’s funny how a group of supposedly bright college presidents can be so reactionary rather than strategic.

  27. Naje says:

    DK –
    What else could the defense do — other than completely shut down the opponent yesterday — to make anyone happy? Intercept a few passes? Hell, the Seahawks receivers had trouble catching Jackson’s ducks. Recover a few fumbles? Yeah, that’s a game plan I want to hang my hat on: “Guys, we MUST create fumble opportunities… above all else, we want those fumbles!!!!!”

    Come on, just own up to what happened in Baltimore: the purple boys played their super bowl and schemed for the game like it was a playoff game. The Steelers didn’t. End of story.

    Did you see the waxing Baltimore took at Tennessee yesterday? That’s what happens when you lose your mind and expend that much emotional and mental energy to win your first game of the season.

  28. Bizrow says:

    The only thing constant is change

    Except for the way the Pirates play…. :-)

  29. SeanE says:

    @Biz-reminds me of the old joke. Why did I choose to watch the Pirate game Saturday night instead of going out with my wife? Because my wife might %$#* me….but the Pirates most certainly will. :-)

  30. Fat Jimmy says:

    Amazing how the tenor in Pittsburgh following Pitt’s midnight exodus is nowhere near the same as when VaTech, BC and The U bolted to the ACC a few years back! Those schools were villified, the ACC was insulted as a conference, blah blah blah.

    Now, when it’s YOUR school doing the backstabbing, it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

    I welcome Pitt to the ACC — hands down the best basketball conference in the country and soon-to-be a very formidable football conference. But it does crack me up at how the morality of all these homers will shift as long as it suits you.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jimmy

    The two situations aren’t even close to being comparable. It was made clear to John Marinatto by more than just Pitt & Syracuse that if he wasn’t proactive in adding to the Big East it would be left in ruins, much like the Big 12 will be. When all the dust settles, there may only be 64 spots & the only way to guarantee yourself one was to be proactive. Not wait around to see what happens.

    This isn’t just about three teams switching leagues to grab the last dollar like in 2004. It’s about survival. Then you grab the last dollar.

  32. Kevin Leary says:

    Count me among the many who are not overly excited. I’ll admit, it’s a minor improvement in football where Florida State, Miami, VaTech, Clemson and Ga Tech are an improvement. But Pitt will be losing ND and WVU — the only two games which repeatedly fill Heinz field. It’s possible that both could be continued from the ACC, but there is no guarantee that WVU.

    In basketball, this is a tremendous downgrade. The ACC for most of the past decade has been a 2 team conference. Pitt makes it three. Cuse’s track record over the last 10 years is a lot like Maryland. They had one tremendous team and a lot of other groups with missed potential. Moreover, we have no rivalries with the Tobacco Road teams. We’re losing a shared hatred with UConn and WVU, and a shared respect with G-town and Nova.

    I’m going to miss playing G-town, Nova, WVU, UConn (potentially), Louisville, and others.

    It’s a real pity that football dollars are doing this to Pitt basketball.

  33. JAL says:

    Not sure that that ACC will be a better basketball league unless they get another team or two. Last season Big East had 11 teams in the tourney and ACC 4. Take Pitt and Syracuse to ACC and Big East has 9 tourney teams left while ACC would have 6

  34. SeanE says:

    @Fat Jimmy-not fair to compare the two situations. Pitt was on record as far back as May 2010 in telling the Big East that they were not happy with how the conference was handling expansion and that they were going to explore their options….including leaving the Big East. If recent events came as a surprise to the Big East, especailly considering all that has recently transpired in college athletics, then the powers that be in the Big East are incompetent. Much different than in 2003.

    @Kevin-with all due respect there is no way you can call the Basketball move a “tremendous downgrade”. Two of the top programs in the country (Duke and NC) are in the ACC and two marquee teams from the Big East are being added. While I may agree with JAL that the Big East may still have a slight edge, I would argue that it does so only with regard to depth. Add UConn to the mix (which seems to be a serious possiblity) and the debate ends.

  35. Steelfan says:

    Not sure where all this “Pitt’s midnight exodus ” nonsense is coming from. Let’s try to get the facts straight people.


    He (Nordenberg) said he notified Big East officials in writing in May 2010 of the university’s intent to explore its options and said he was told in return that other teams were making similar plans.

    He said he “made very clear if other opportunities did arise, we would feel as if we were obligated to seriously assess them.”

    Read more: Big East could waive notice for Pitt, Syracuse to leave conference – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/college/pitt/s_757525.html#ixzz1YQHejItC

  36. JAL says:

    Sean

    I agree, more depth in Big East but if UConn goes ACC argument over.

  37. Steelfan says:

    Yes, the Big East may have more depth right now (as in today), but for how long, that’s the question.

    “Reaction by the remaining members seemed to suggest otherwise. Rutgers and the University of Connecticut are rumored to be candidates to boost ACC membership to 16 teams, while other Big East schools issued statements indicating they would look for a new home.”

    The Big East is finished. How good will it be once all of the remaining football schools leave. The depth will be gone and the ACC will be the best basketball conference in the country.

    Pitt did the right thing, they had no choice.

  38. Steelfan says:

    West Virginia angling for SEC membership?
    Posted by John Taylor on September 19, 2011, 8:28 AM EDT

    “Pittsburgh and Syracuse are already gone to the ACC. UConn is reportedly trying to be gone to the same conference. Rutgers also appears to be interested in anything other than its current conference for future affiliation.

    Now, the Big East could be faced with yet another significant defection. Maybe.

    Colin Dunlap, former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer and current radio host on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, sent out a series of tweets Sunday evening suggesting that West Virginia’s interest in a move to the SEC is escalating. Specifically, Dunlap, citing a university source, writes that “WVU sent paperwork to [the] SEC today.” Subsequent to that tweet, Dunlap wrote, in part, “It is very simple. WVU has an interest in SEC. The SEC has an interest in WVU. WVU sent paperwork to SEC.”

    The fact that West Virginia maintains an interest in the SEC is not exactly new news; speculation connecting that university to that conference has been around for weeks. The fact that the school has reportedly sent paperwork — presumably an application for membership — suggests the situation is further along than many had known. It’s highly unlikely WVU would take the step to “send paperwork”, if that’s indeed the case, unless they were given at least backchannel assurances they would be welcomed into the SEC.

    Suffice to say, the school has remained tight-lipped regarding their future conference affiliation.

    “There is no question that the landscape of college athletics is once again changing,” WVU athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement released a few hours after the Pittsburgh-Syracuse news became official. “West Virginia University has great tradition as the state’s flagship land-grant institution, and we will continue working to do what’s best for our University and its athletic teams. No matter how the college athletic landscape changes, there is no doubt WVU is and will remain a national player.”

    Note that there’s not a single mention of the Big East in Luck’s statement.

    While it’s far from a done deal, the potential WVU-to-the-SEC situation bears watching over the next few days, especially if all hell breaks loose on the other side of the country and prompts other conferences to respond in kind.

  39. Kevin Leary,
    “In basketball, this is a tremendous downgrade. The ACC for most of the past decade has been a 2 team conference.”

    2011 was a down year for ACC. However, since 2001 the ACC has had 5 National Champions, including Maryland, Duke, and UNC, and Georgia Tech lost in the Championship game. That’s 6 Championship game appearances among 4 teams, while the Big East has had 3 Championship Game appearances among two teams (UConn twice). And Big East has had 4 extra teams each season to pad those statistics.

    You are looking at the move to the ACC with your heart and not your head. Syracuse is the other Big East team to appear in a Championship Game, and they are coming along to the ACC. Plus, UConn may eventually join the exodus. This is a GREAT move for Pitt, for ALL sports, including basketball.

    I look forward to Pitt finally winning an Elite Eight game as a member of the ACC.

  40. Steelfan says:

    Rutgers ‘in contact with’ Big Ten, ACC
    Posted by John Taylor on September 18, 2011, 8:06 PM EDT

    Big East, you may have a problem.

    With Pittsburgh and Syracuse out the door… and UConn reportedly aggressively looking to do the same… and with West Virginia training their eyeballs southward, the basketball conference that dabbles in football is now standing at the precipice, staring straight down at gridiron oblivion.

    And now this.

    Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC over the past two days about potential membership in that suddenly proactive conference. Additionally, Luicci writes that Rutgers’ “lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained opened and ‘are active’.”

    How open are those lines of communication with the Big Ten? So open that Rutgers is comfortable in showing Jim Delany some very public leg.

    “The bottom line as it relates to Rutgers, this is not the kind of thing that causes us to get to work,” RU athletic director Tim Pernetti said earlier today about the upheaval in his current conference. “We continue to and have since I started on the job been very active in this space.

    “And I think given our assets and our location, the New York TV market, our AAU status and strong academic standing, and most of all — given all the nonsense that’s gone on out there — running a clean program (with) integrity. We have great assets and we will continue to be a player nationally during this time as the landscape continues to shift.”

    Bravo, Mr. Pernetti. You worked that like you owned the prestigious academic television market.

    Regardless of whether it’s the Big Ten or ACC that’s the main object of flirtation, it’s clear Rutgers is “aggressively pursuing” a conference they feel could save it from the instability in its current conference. And would love nothing more than for a Midwestern savior to come a callin’.

  41. Steelfan says:

    Source: UConn eyes ACC move
    By Andy Katz and Joe Schad
    ESPN.com

    UConn president Susan Herbst is aggressively pursuing membership in the ACC to become the 15th or 16th member institution in the conference, according to a source with direct knowledge of UConn’s situation.

    According to the source, Herbst was having conversations recently but in light of Pittsburgh’s and Syracuse’s defections from the Big East, the talks have accelerated in the last 48 hours.

    In a statement earlier Sunday, Herbst said that although UConn was “a proud charter member of the Big East” the school was staying “actively involved in discussions with our counterparts from around the country to ensure the successful long-term future of our university’s athletic program.”

    Earlier Sunday, ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league was comfortable with 14 schools but not philosophically opposed to expanding to 16.

    Both Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina coach Roy Williams have told ESPN.com that they would endorse the ACC expanding to 16 teams comprised of two eight-team divisions.

  42. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    All I have to say is how much I appreciate this great thread. Great points all, including those that challenge me on a couple of those views up there.

    Sorry I couldn’t get too involved — covered the Penguins’ practice this morning — but there are times like this when it’s best to stay out, anyway.

    One thing I’ll add, as an aside to this discussion: Sidney Crosby pushed himself VERY hard today. I know hockey drills, and I know how tough some of them are. He went all out.

  43. If there is any “home team” in the New York City market, it is Syracuse. The two other major colleges in NYC market are UConn and Rutgers, in descending order. It would make sense to add one more of those teams to the ACC.

    However, questions:
    1/ UConn was nothing before Calhoun came. He almost retired before deciding to come back this season. How much longer will he coach? Will UConn be good when he leaves? The UConn football team is not a strong point. Does Calhoun’s uncertainty and the drag of football discount UConn?

    2/ Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is the least of the Big Three in NYC. It is lousy in football AND basketball. It hopes it is on the upswing in both. Is it? Other than its NYC proximity and the flamboyance of Gov. Chris Christy, it Rutgers the right pick to join ACC?

    3/ Temple, under Dave Golden and now its new coach Blah Blah, has really improved in football. Saturday it led Penn State for 58 minutes. Its basketball is traditionally top-notch. It is in the Philadelphia market (4th largest in nation), where ACC does not reside at all. Would Temple be a good fit for ACC.

    I wish I knew what Calhoun was going to do. I guess I still feel UConn and Temple would be the best additions——of teams up and down the eastern seaboard of US. Texas and Oklahoma or Missouri would be more powerful fits, but geographically are crazy. Atlantic Coast is Atlantic Coast.

    What does anyone think? (and before anyone includes WVU, let me remind that WVU doesn’t fit the academic standards the ACC holds dear.)

  44. SeanE says:

    @Groat-very good point about UConn and Calhoun. Although the same could be said of Duke before Coach K and Carolina before Dean…and even Pitt before Jamie.

    Temple is not a player. They do not bring anything to the table. Philadelphia is not a college football town. There were more Penn State fans at the Link Saturday than Temple fans…and it wasn’t even close. Temple is a solid fit football wise in the MAC…and I think they are actually pretty happy there as well.

  45. Kevin Leary says:

    Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

    2002 was the Maryland year. In the 9 years since, they have missed the tournament more than they have made it (5 out of 9) and only made one sweet sixteen in those 9 years.

    The 2004 Georgia Tech team you reference was the only time in the last 15 years that Georgia Tech even made it out of the first weekend. They have made 5 NCAA tournaments in those 15 years.

    Wake Forest would be the 3rd team in that mix. But since the passing of Skip Prosser, they seem to clearly be going the wrong direction.

    I sincerely, really, analytically think that this is a downgrade.

    The ACC has Duke, and UNC, and then not much else. Pitt is a big improvement. Cuse is decent one. But the ACC cannot, in any way shape or form be the kind of league where the 9th best team wins the NCAA tournament.

    Pitt will be in a sub-division with northern teams. They will play VaTech, Maryland, Cuse, Virginia, and perhaps UConn and Rutgers. You can’t tell me that’s as good as what we’ve had in the Big East.

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Groat

    Temple football has made such a splash, you can’t even remember their coaches names. It’s Al Golden, who is now at Miami & Steve Addazio. Remember, they were recently shown the door by the Big East. Temple doesn’t get a chair when the music stops.

    As far as basketball, we all have to remember that this isn’t over. Rutgers & UConn are going to leave the Big East, WVU wants out also. Think about it. Pitt, Syracuse, & UConn are leaving the Big East for the ACC. The downgrading of ACC basketball rings hollow.

 
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