On College Football Realignment

A clear and concise look at possible conference realignment by POV reader Joe Lawrence.

Last week’s news about Texas and Oklahoma giving the bum’s rush to their Big 12 (B12) college football conference partners in search of the almighty dollar in the SEC was a bit surprising… and at the same time, not at all. The Longhorns have flirted with other conferences in the past – both the Pacific-12 (PAC-12) and Big Ten (B10) were suitors. And the pairing with the PAC-12 was given a long look by both parties.

To be honest, I thought that Texas A&M’s move to the South Eastern Conference (SEC) gave the conference the TV footprint it needed in Texas and it might not need another school. Silly me! The Longhorns are one program that any conference would take in a heartbeat. As for Oklahoma, anywhere the Longhorns go, so goes the Red River Rivalry.

Obvious questions following this news are: what happens to the remaining B12 schools? Specifically, what do the Hoopies do in a heavily diluted conference? And will other Power Five (P5) conferences make expansion moves in response?

Today, Jay Bilas of ESPN indicated that ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips should call the SEC and propose a merger. Jay doesn’t always get it right and I believe this is one of those times. But his remarks did get me thinking about the future of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and upon reflection, I think he has it half right.

In a merger of businesses (and college football is a business), the end game is to unlock accretive value. Sometimes it comes through back-office consolidation; other partners bring complementary products/services which when paired unlock higher sales. Often, a merger will give the combined concern greater geographical reach.

I’m not sure overall that the ACC offers any of those things. It’s a second tier P5 conference whose TV network has not been able to get a cable deal in the geographic markets where it has a different footprint than the SEC – namely the Xfinity markets of the mid-Atlantic. The SEC has a significantly better TV deal than anyone other than the Big Ten. Adding Texas and Oklahoma though makes perfect sense from a financial standpoint. The two bring accretive value.

Rather than call the SEC, Jim Phillips may want to call an investment banking firm that specializes in large, complicated transactions. I say this because I believe the ACC’s break-up value may be actually greater than its total. An argument can be made that a split of the ACC between the SEC and B10 could create more TV revenue than otherwise.

If one goes down this path, who goes where there is the biggest challenge? Some current ACC schools such as Clemson and North Carolina State feel like SEC programs. Others like Syracuse and Boston College feel like logical fits in the B10. Here is a table with some rough thoughts about who might go where in such a deal:

ACC SchoolAAU MemberBigTen FitSEC FitBest Non-Conf geographic rival
Boston College          YY Notre Dame
Clemson  YSouth Carolina
Florida State    YFlorida
Louisville         YKentucky
NC State          Y?
Syracuse        Y Rutgers
Wake Forest     ?
Duke  YY ?
Georgia TechYY Georgia
Miami   YFlorida
North CarolinaYY ?
Pitt     Y  Penn State
Virginia          YY Maryland
Virginia Tech    YWest Virginia

Notice that the first column in the table notes membership in the Association of American Universities (the AAU for short). This is important to B10 school Presidents – the folks who actually decide on membership invitations. AAU schools share non-athletic resources such as libraries and research – something many sports fans overlook when considering a school’s fit in a conference. Thirteen of its schools are members and adding other AAU schools might be attractive. Only four SEC schools enjoy AAU status (and we all could have guessed that).

Something else to think about is a vague idea of “fit”. This can include geography, historic rivalries of fanbases, location of alumni, etc. I’m sure many of you might come up with something similar to what I’ve noted in the table, give or take a few changes. Taking a look at the last column of the table, many of those moves would bring some existing natural rivalries in-house.

Based purely on the table above, the two “buying” conference might each take six ACC schools, putting the SEC at 22 schools and the B10 at 20. Wake and Pitt still need homes. In return for the B10 taking both schools (despite the non-accretive value each would bring), Vanderbilt agrees to a “trade” to the B10 and the SEC “picks up” Nebraska in the deal. B10 Presidents are pleased with the shrewd deal-making, adding six AAU schools to their ranks.

Those folks aren’t wired like the average sports fans after all and have other agendas, such as being associated with other like-minded universities. The SEC then snatches up WVU and OkSt to round out to 24 schools and creating a reasonable geographic footprint. The B10, needing four schools of good academic caliber, picks up AAU affiliates Iowa, Kansas and Iowa State from the B12 trash heap.

It is at that moment that the investment bankers call Notre Dame President, the Reverand John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. and throw the Irish a life raft. As the mega conferences now can each hold their own playoff systems, talk of expanding the CFP quiets down. With Irish no longer guaranteed a spot at the CFP table, the Irish grab the lifeline.

In short, Pitt is a pawn in this transaction. Is anyone surprised?

There is of course a more realistic scenario where no trade occurs and the B10 does not pick up Pitt due to its TV market overlap with the Penn State Nits. Pitt – standing in a corner of the gym while all of the prettier programs dance together – plotting the chance to rekindle their relationships with Temple. If only we had an experienced, savvy AD who could leverage Pitt’s considerable position of strength…sigh…

324 thoughts on “On College Football Realignment

  1. Well done Joe. I wrote a article about the importance of the AAU memberships when the last conference alignment happened (Pitt from BE to ACC) and you are correct – Pitt fans didn’t think it mattered one bit, but it does.

    Pitt’s admin will not, I believe, go into a conference like the B12 for just that reason.

    Here is a listing of AAU members:


    Also, here is a ranking of Top Research Universities…. Pitt is #27 in ’18 (down from #10 but still excellent).


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article JoeL…love your insights/perspective. Will be an interesting following the “soap opera” as it unfolds. Just glad I am one of the ole timers who can tell his grand-kids about “college ball.”


  3. No a real surprise but Pitt pick to finish 4th in ACC Coastal. Here’s hoping we do better than that but returning 14 average talented players leads to this thinking:


    “Despite the return of fifth-year senior quarterback Kenny Pickett and 14 other starters from 2020, Pitt was picked to finish fourth in the seven-team ACC Coastal, according to a preseason poll of 147 media voters.

    The Panthers did receive one first-place vote, however.”

    (From the POV!)


    Liked by 1 person

  4. ACC is woefully behind in conference revenue compared to the Big Ten and SEC. Swofford signed away the financial future of the conference with his bungled attempt to get the ACC network off the ground and he made a big mistake in trusting ESPN. ESPN stands for SEC and Big Ten. Good report here https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/article253041348.htmlfrom the Charlotte Observer on the precarious status of the ACC.

    Pitt, with its current coach and attitude, should not be put in the same conference as Penn State. Franklin is burning up the recruiting trail with the #2 ranked class; Pitt is in the low 50s.

    It’s time for Sleepy Gallagher and Lazy Heather to step up if we want a future for Pitt football that does not involve the AAC. Not expecting any leadership from either a disconnected chancellor or an AD who is way in over her skill set.

    Bringing in WVU to the ACC, according to the Observer, adds absolutely no value at all, except giving Pitt some extra revenue in ticket sales.

    As far as conference realignment goes, Pitt will continue to down-sell and disappoint.,


    1. An excerpt below from a piece in The Athletic that discusses Commissioner Jim Phillips’ early inititatives. I share this because of both Narduzzi’s and Clawson’s rather damning comments about the prior ACC leadership:

      …Phillips, for his part, had wasted no time in getting started once his ACC tenure began in February. He immediately formed a football subcommittee, aimed at elevating the sport’s voices and addressing their concerns head-on. This may sound like lip service from the new boss, but those on the subcommittee — which includes coaches Dave Clawson, Pat Narduzzi and Dabo Swinney, to go with six rotating ADs — swear it has been so much more than that.

      ‘More than anything, as football coaches we felt we had very little voice,” Clawson told The Athletic. “We’d have these annual meetings and we’d have suggestions and, quite honestly, really nothing would happen. … And the one thing I really appreciate about Commissioner Phillips is he’s been very open, he’s been very engaging. We complained that we felt we didn’t have a voice, and he said, ‘Well, I want to give you access.’ I said, ‘We want meetings with you and ADs that we can express concerns. And if you say no, then fine, but then just tell us no. Don’t take these things and just put them off to some file that they never get looked at.’

      “And it’s been good. There’s a lot of different things going on. Certain things are always going to be, you do what’s best for where you’re working. And then I think a lot of things are just things that we think are best for the ACC and college football.”

      Clawson is in his third year as chair of the ACC head coaches’ committee, a position that usually has a one-year term but was extended after 2019 to stabilize matters during the pandemic in 2020, then extended another year with the commissioner transition.

      In some years, ACC coaches would only see each other to discuss conference matters every May at spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla. Now they regularly get together over Zoom, engaging in substantial conversations that they hope shape the next era of ACC football — whatever that may look like after this week’s realignment chatter.

      “We’ve all got our opinion, but at least they’re listening, and in the past there has not been much listening,” Narduzzi said. “I think the only way you get better is to ask your people. Ask the people that are directly involved what can we do to make football the absolute best, where there’s no doubt that we’re the best in the country.”

      He later added: “What are we doing marketing-wise to market ACC football? What are we doing to make people understand it’s the best? What do we do with our network? How do we get the contract changed? It’s everything.”…

      Here is a link to the full article:


      Liked by 2 people

      1. I read that on the Athletic. Why in the world did Swofford or Phillips let Notre Dame slip out after the conference enabled them to be in the college football playoff by their temporary membership? That just shows extreme weakness. Notre Dame basketball brings 0 to the ACC. But the Irish lead the ACC commissioner around by the nose. There is no business sense and no one with (scrotum)

        And as far as Narduzzi is concerned, he should just shut up and spend much more effort recruiting. His little 2 and 3 stars don’t cut it. I’m sick of listening to him, I don’t like him, and I will never forget that last year he complained Pitt wasn’t ranked….LMAO…just look at the Miami, Clemson, and Notre Dame games.

        Narduzzi is a fraud.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My favorite source for thoughts and discussion on college football realignment has been FrankTheTank. He’s an Illini fan and does a very good job of articulating the issues in this area. Noticed that his site resurfaced from hibernation as a result of the Texas/Oklahoma news and his points and the ensuing comments offer some good thoughts,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. FrankTheTank is the dean of all conference realignment analysts and has been for years. When trying to understand all this, keep in mind his mantra, “Think like a university president, not a fan!”


  6. Well, at the very least Lyke can’t absent herself for 6 months as she has done in the past. If she doesn’t want donor $$ to dry up completely Pitt needs to address this with a plan forward.

    I’d put the Victory Heights project way on the back burner until conference issues are completely resolved. Last thing Pitt needs is to spend money we don’t have then find ourselves with the Little Sisters of the Poor conference.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s foolish to fund this project with a massive amount of debt if pitt will be in a conference playing the likes of temple, buffalo, UConn, east Carolina and south Florida.

      It’s a strong possibility because pitt does not have the will. Pitt leadership doesn’t not care to the degree it needs to care. It’s not hungry enough.

      Pitt will be passive. They will react. And then it will be too late.

      If I were Gallagher I’d be in discussion with the big ten last Sunday. I’d also promise them to build a MPC to host big ten events. And I’d go all in on hockey. That’s how you sell pitt

      I’d rather bk pitt that way than through victory Heights

      And remember 4.25 percent per annum of a growing $2.6 billion touchable piece of the endowment can be used with absolutely no strings attached.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tex:
        You were right on the money with this. I thought after the sec got locked down it would freeze expansion.
        However, adding Texas and OU is a home run.
        I was not aware that the Big 12 media rights were expiring so soon.
        Well done.

        I had dinner last go around with a fortune 100 CEO and the Chairman of the board of a major University. The Chairman was seriously considering me as a consultant.

        It is very interesting stuff

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Pitts wrestling and volleyball programs don’t need a new facility to become good. They already are. They don’t need them to become great either. They need money and fans. And money comes from boosters and more importantly the football side. Fans create the atmosphere. And Fitzgerald actually has atmosphere of its own.

    I’d also delay victory Heights until it all shakes out.

    If Pitt is left out, no need for it. If Pitt is invited to the big ten or super league, pitt will need a MPC for football and separate playing and practice facilities for soccer and volleyball.


  8. School presidents are making the call. Not ADs or coaches. So the accreditation is important but conferences will overlook it for money.

    Any school added has to generate at least $50 million more in revenues. Both Rutgers and Maryland did. Their tv markets. The big ten got its great deal in a large part to those two programs despite their relatively poor brands, small fanbases and lack of recent success.

    Markets are what matters. TV sets and to some extent geography and cultural fit

    Pitt fits with the big ten. If this conference expands, pitt is on the shortlist.

    Will the big ten merge with the pac ten to create a 30 school mega conference? I like the idea of a national conference from east to west coast.

    The sec with Texas and Oklahoma but they could also become mega by poaching the ACC.

    Personally if I was ACC commish, I’d round up the school presidents and have them vote on going straight to 20 schools and then forcing a new tv deal. Add Tcu, Houston, Cincy, navy and cfu. Notre Dame makes 20.

    However It’s big ten or bust for pitt since I don’t see the ACC standing at the end of all this

    And then several years down the road, 30 schools will make a break from the NCAA and form their own football super league. If Pitt isn’t prepared or interested, say goodbye to the baseball, soccer and wrestling programs. Pitt won’t be able to afford them.


    1. Do you really see a small Christian school like TCU generating 50 million dollars when all eyes in Texas are focused on UT and A&M? Even UH, located in the fourth largest city in the country, doesn’t excite locals like A&M and UT do. It’s evident by the fact that neither A&M or UT will play Houston in Houston. They don’t need to.

      Cincinnati will never be on the same footing as Ohio State in Ohio and the Big Ten doesn’t need/want Pitt. Pitt tried to get in after WWII and was rejected for Michigan State. There was never serious talk about Pitt getting in when the Big East was falling apart. By self-selection, Pitt has made itself second class to Penn State. Penn State has no incentive to want or help Pitt. Put the blame mostly on Pitt.

      So what I’m thinking as I re-read your comment is that we are really at a dead-end, the demise of college football as we have known it. The SEC is the mini-NFL and anyone who wants to be someone needs to play along. The SEC did college football a service, though, by exposing the NCAA for the illegitimate organization it has become. Case in point? Has North Carolina ever received consequences for its multiple infractions ranging from recruiting to giving out grades to athletes who never attended class?

      Message to Heather Lyke (wake up, it’s almost lunch time): Take your compliance credentials and shove them in the dumpster. Right now, the watch dog has been poisoned. It’s survival of the fittest. With your sleep disorder, Heather dear, you are certainly not the fittest for the task ahead.

      Let’s hope what the SEC is forging will foster a fairer landscape for college football where competition and lawsuits keep the playing field more even than it ever was under the NCAA auspices. And if Pitt is forced to pour more resources into college football, make greater efforts to reach its alumni (by the way, how are season tickets selling for the Narduzzi circus??), we will greet it as a much needed change.

      Maybe Pitt could try to get in the Ivy League again? That attempt failed before. Ivy League students are far wealthier for the most part than the urban proletariat who attend Pitt. Don’t get me wrong. Down with the blue bloods. Raise the flag of working class, the sons and daughters of iron workers and coal miners who built Pitt football in the 20th century and continue to matriculate at the city campus along with a growing number of out of state and foreign students.

      There is no time or appropriate use for any overactive English profs who think we want to hear from them about Pitt football. It’s time for the leadership at Pitt to tell the academic side to butt out, no interference necessary from negative profs who believe the world turns on their lectures. It doesn’t. At least not now that Greg Sankey has made himself college football czar.


  9. Thanks for the article, JoeL. Smoothly written.

    (And I’m guessing the first time the word “accretive” has appeared on the POV… 😊)

    Go Pitt! (Wherever we may end up…)


    1. MM, “accretive” had me running for the dictionary ! The POV ” where lessons are learned and couches….” oops wrong school.


      1. Lessons learned and couches burned. Wvu will be left all alone when the dust settles.

        However there’s a chance that Pitt will as well unless Gallagher is in discussions with the big ten

        Don’t under estimate why the Domers are in the ACC. It’s because three northern schools are there with very high catholic populations and where their alumni and subway alum live. NYC for Syracuse but all of upstate is that way as well.

        And it’s because of the dc area, Carolinas and Atlanta. That’s population growth. Where those mid West and mid Atlantic fans are moving and living now.

        That’s why I know the big ten President was already on the phone with Notre Dame, North Carolina and Georgia tech on Sunday.

        Smart business people are proactive and can see the future

        The future is pitt in the big ten. Well big 20. And to build that MPC so it becomes the crown jewel of the big 20.

        But I have zero confidence in Gallagher. And you’d think he would understand that a new element can be created when atoms and molecules combine. Sometimes a split creates energy.


        1. Perhaps when Pitt and WVU are left out, they will form the BIG2 Conference.

          The season could consist of 5 OOC games mixed within a best-of-seven Backyard Brawl World Series… 😊

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. You absolutely have to think like an investment banker who specializes in mergers and acquisitions.

    What schools are in the largest markets?

    What schools help enhance the conference brand?

    What schools will be popular on tv?

    Pitt actually checks many of these boxes. That’s why it’s an attractive candidate to the big ten

    Personally I think it’s a better fit both geographically and culturally.

    Now I’d want BC and Syracuse to come along.

    Notre Dame would then become very tempted to join the big ten. But I think adding a school like North Carolina or Georgia tech would seal the deal for them.

    And then to have some alliance with the pac ten like annual tournaments in basketball and some cross over games in all sports.


  11. Conference realignment helps sell the MPC concept. The timing of the article is no coincidence.

    Just like the ACC demanded that pitt do something about the floor and humidity issues at Fitzgerald, the big ten will demand Pitt do something about its Heinz issue.

    Playing on campus is a requirement to gain conference entry.


  12. Listen, I fully appreciate that a number of folks here (or at least a vocal few) don’t think much of Pitt’s administration, but to suggest that a Pitt official should be contacting another conference is simply nonsensical.

    Pitt, like every other ACC school, has signed away its media rights to the ACC until 2035.
    No current school – not even Clemson – can walk away from that.

    The only way Pitt could find itself in another conference is if the ACC dissolves, either in total or through a majority exodus of its member schools. Should the SEC or B10 absorb the ACC in total, they might want to keep those grant of rights in force.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those rights can be renegotiated if conference membership changes

      A school leaving would be hit with penalties and lose media rights for a certain time period. But you can’t tell me there aren’t power in numbers and those schools leaving the ACC could throw a lawsuit right back at the ACC.

      It could be tied up for years in the courts. Plenty of smart lawyers out there. Contracts were meant to be broken. And these so called poison pills preventing schools from jumping don’t really contain much poison anyway.

      There is always a way or ways out. Any business person knows that. There will be a compromise and settlement. Texas aintvwaiting until 2025 for the sec. they will be there next year.

      Ten years ago Pitt was attractive

      I personally see BC, cuse and pitt all bringing about the same level of value individually. But you package them and it creates more value. And more importantly, it helps sell the Domers on the big 20.


  13. Another good article

    You know many ACC southern schools have eyes on the sec

    The big ten also has eyes on them

    The ACC ain’t gonna be around

    This grant of rights would lose in court. At the very least an injunction would happen. Case would be tied up for years

    I suggest Pitt test the contract

    They along with BC and cuse need to apply for direct membership in the big ten

    That would convince the Domers to join

    At some time pick up a school like Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia tech.


  14. Just because something is written in a contract does not mean

    It’s legal
    It’s enforceable

    Good luck if the ACC ever thinks it will get any money from clemson when it goes to the sec. or Florida state for that matter

    And then you get bureaucrats involved. They will muck things up. All this goes to court and then public opinion

    The ACC is in a very weak position

    Pitt needs to be proactive on this. Package themselves with schools, scrap victory Heights for a big 20 MPC. Get the Domers to switch from the ACC to big 20.

    A strong AD would be gathering AD support from other schools and presenting a business case to each university president.

    This is a win win for Pitt
    Cultural fit
    Geographic fit
    Academic fit
    Rivalry fit


  15. The only one harmed if the ACC imploded are those fat cat so called leaders. I call them bureaucrats who sit on the ACC conference board.

    Few if any individual schools would be harmed. Most would find a landing place

    Any penalty or payout would only be given to the five schools that remain.


  16. No, what teams are where, won’t convince ND to join. The only thing that would convince them to join is a conference requirement for a playoff.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The seedings are based on conference winners for a proposed 12 team playoff. At best, the Domers are the fifth seeded team. Will never get a bye.

      Now why does pitt make perfect sense for the big 20

      Top 30 tv market
      Far more pitt grads and fans in Allegheny county than Nitters

      The second highest number of living alumni in the ACC

      Great football tradition and history

      Plenty of hall of Famers from pitt and more to come

      Historic rivals of penny state and Notre Dame. Domers fifth most played school

      Academic fit. That accreditation matters. Big ten on record.

      Geographic fit. Between the suckeyes and Nitters.

      Cultural fit. Pittsburgh is south Cleveland.

      Some of the highest tv rated games involved Pitt

      Major Airport

      An easy win for Ohio state and penn state


  17. Waiting on huff to chime in since he’s the POV lawyer and insider on all this

    Are these contracts legal and importantly enforceable. Just because you lose in court doesn’t mean you have to pay anything. Good luck collecting ACC.

    Who has standing?

    And who besides the ACC commish will be harmed when all the schools leave for mo money

    No harm, no foul


  18. I really feel bad for West Virginia.

    The big ten won’t have them given academics.

    The sec doesn’t want another Mississippi state

    The ACC doesn’t get a large market. Louisville actually provided a much bigger market despite its academic reputation.

    The Hoopies will find themselves eating at the kids table in the basement. Playing whiffle ball when the big kids play baseball. Playing two hand touch instead of tackle football.

    They are totally screwed and know it

    And Pitt should not make any effort to help them. Pitt needs some help right now…better leaders.

    Maybe Tom Richards can step up. He knows sports and business. Can’t say that about lyke and Gallagher.


    1. Pitt chose academics over sports long ago and the hoopies chose sports over academics as a ‘better’ investment. WV could lose their sports status and fade into oblivion on both fronts, but Pitt knows they can hold on to their academic status no matter what happens with the mercurial nature of college sports.

      Maybe Pitt is smarter than we think. Could future sports investments be a gamble right now? I think the younger generation cares less about identifying with sports hero’s/teams than we do/did. Look at the current Olympics TV ratings…


      1. The younger generation could care less unless you made them care. But my generation still has thirty years to spend money.

        Sports is a very good investment today and for the next several decades.


      2. Jackagain, you are correct. Someone please name for me a private then semi-private that is a football power. Miami’s glory days are closer than Pitt’s, but they have been just above mediocre, while Pitt has become the definition of the word. Vandy and Northwestern lucked out in their conferences.

        The future is going to be 30-45 semi-pro colleges then everyone else.


  19. I’m sorry, I don’t see a reason that the B10 would want Pitt, Syracuse or BC. If you assume that the B10 has membership in the AAU as a go/no go hurdle, that eliminates both Syracuse and BC. (BC is not a member of the AAU, BU is. They’re different schools.) That leaves Pitt.

    The next hurdle is money. Any school’s addition to a conference has to increase the amount of money each of the existing schools receive. That was the brilliance of adding UT and OU to the SEC. They are national brands and will add additional cable subscribers and streamers on a per school basis. If the estimate that UT and OU were contributing more than half the B12’s TV value is correct, that’s over $60 M per school. This is a no brainer.

    Pitt, unfortunately, will do neither. PSU has already got all of the PA cable systems to sign up for the BTN so Pitt adds nothing there. Do you really believe that Pitt is going to add a significant number of people that would subscribe to a B10 streaming service that wouldn’t have already decided to do so because PSU is already part of the B10? I don’t think so. The B10 is getting ready to negotiate they TV contracts so adding additional schools isn’t going to allow them to start negotiations any earlier. The only school that would make a difference is ND.

    Finally, although contracts can be broken, there’s usually a penalty for doing so. You can negotiate the penalty down, but it rarely disappears. For example, Maryland paid the ACC $31.4 M instead of the contractual $52.2 M. They’re actually borrowing the money from the B10 to do so. Pitt isn’t going to leave the ACC without paying a boatload of cash.

    Pitt’s, and the ACC’s, best route is to convince ND to join the conference as a full participant. If the college football playoffs were expanded such that conference champions were guaranteed a first round bye, it’s possible they could argue that ND would have a 50/50 chance of beating Clemson in the ACC championship game to get the bye while if they remained an independent, they would always have to play a first round game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I think at the end of the day doesn’t matter. But what I know is sports is a business and contracts can be illegal and non enforceable. And there’s these legal thing about standing and harm. That I know since as a business you know these things early on.

      If the big 20 can make more money by adding schools and do so in a way to convince Notre Dame to join, it’s a done deal

      If the Domers wait too long they will find themselves stuck playing BYU in a conference. And I’m being serious.


      1. I don’t think any school in the current B10 geographic footprint outside of ND can add to the amount of money each B10 school is receiving now. Pitt, Syracuse and BC definitely don’t. If you wanted to expand elsewhere, and not do something like picking up a couple of PAC 16 schools, they’d be looking at Virginia and North Carolina first.

        And yes, contracts can be unenforceable but past experience would indicate that contracts that tie a school to a conference are strong enough that a school, like Maryland, would fork over $31.4 M rather than try and get it reduced to $0.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Think in bundles. No individual school can. But bundle them together and you add value. Enough value to possibly convince the Domers. But the Domers are the only school left that can single handily change the game.

          Ask yourself why are they in the ACC today. You’ll find your answer. Make the bundle appealing to them. There’s only one team you need to convince.

          The big 20 is it

          And yes I used my Tardis to know.


  20. If I’m not the SEC, I try to merge with another conference. The SEC would crap themselves with such a move and it would force them to do the same not just cherry pick teams.
    ACC and PAC12 combined would be awesome. East and West divisions. Have cross division games. TV markets across the country.


  21. ND has more power than most. They will have their choice no matter how long they wait.


    1. That’s where you and I differ. This isn’t your father’s Notre Dame.

      I think cultural and academic fit are important to them.

      They are in the ACC because they have some rivals there plus it’s a growing market. And more importantly they weren’t willing to be a lapdog for Ohio state.

      I think big 20 makes the most sense to them. They are waiting for the phone to ring but the current big ten commish is a moron.

      Big ten totally unprepared by the Texas move. And they actually thought Texas would join them. Spend 21 years in Texas first and then you will know how foolish that thinking was.

      Big ten is best partnering with the pac ten

      The ACC will be reduced to ruble.


      1. I think it is your fathers ND. They get 15 million a year just being in there own TV contract. That is just what is reported. I believe Texas gets the same but only people in Texas give a crap about UT. ND has a nation wide following.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Great, article and insight JoeL. Much like coaching searches, the rampant speculation makes this topic great fun! Shakespearean theater at its finest.


  23. Here’s the big 20 and how it will destroy the sec, sorry Texas, and make far mo money.

    West Division
    Notre Dame

    Eastern Division
    Michigan State
    Ohio State
    Penn State

    No southern ACC schools at this point although Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech would be next in line. Navy as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Easy path for the Domers. You people need to know how to sell. The only reason why the Domers aren’t in the big ten is because they were fed a lame and very unconvincing pitch from someone who couldn’t sell bourbon to a Texan.


    2. Pitt, Syracuse and BC will dilute the payouts, no matter whether you look at them individually or as a group. They just don’t bring enough to the table for the B10 to consider them. And I have a hard time seeing the value to the B10 in bringing in Stanford and Washington. USC and UCLA I can see, not those two.


      1. I agree with almost all of Kevin’s comments on this topic but have one quibble: you’re underrating the value of Washington (huge and rapidly growing market, located in what is essentially a regional capital, strong revenue generating athletic department, one of the top grant receiving AAUs, and a strong program historically and recently. Stanford is a little harder to justify on objective measures, but after the major technical schools, it’s probably the #1 degree in the country right now from an earnings perspective and the prestige factor would weigh large, so I wouldn’t dismiss it. I also wouldn’t dismiss Cal, #1 public university in the country and the biggest school in the Bay Area (#8 market in the country and high per capita income).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Washington is interesting for the reasons you mentioned. On the flip side, how much of a national following do they have? Same thing with Cal. For the B10, they would be looking for those attributes to really move the needle.

          However, if one wanted to think outside of the box, a PAC-12 – ACC merger, or something similar, might work. You could have an East Coast division (or group of schools) and a West Coast division. It might be a little hard to manage but it would allow the ACC to get out of their current contract with ESPN at the same time the PAC-12 is renegotiating their TV deal.

          Liked by 1 person

  24. And remember just because a school doesn’t have that coveted accreditation doesn’t mean they can’t apply and get it. Money talks even in egghead circles.


  25. As you can see many notables are left out. Now if you were a university president or AD would you take a passive approach and sit back and see how it all plays out? Or would you be proactive and take an aggressive and results oriented stance.

    Pitt given its leadership will be passed by.


  26. ACC should survive but needs to – 1. Sign up with Comcast now for Fall FB (even give them money in a great deal that Comcast cannot pass up). 2. Twist the arm of ND with a deal they cannot pass up (ND likes playing BC, Navy and Pitt) 3. Bring in Navy.

    All these make ACC a better league. B10 not me style, SEC are NFL farm teams. B12 very shaky and Pac 12 play when I am asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I hate to ask this, but do we really think Pitt is going to step up and build an on campus multipurpose stadium so that it can be more attractive to the supposedly new megaconferences? Do we really think Pitt is going all in to be a football powerhouse when Pitt’s been medocre at best since before and after briefly regaining glory from the midseventies to mideighties? It would be great to think that Pitt would step up like that, but I don’t think it will. Do you? Would it really be so bad for Pitt to end up in some version of an AAU-like conference with Cincinnati, WVU and whoever else? I hate to say it, but if the supposed megaconferences do form, given Pitt’s history of mediocrity, I’m afraid an AAU-like conference is where Pitt fits. Yoi and double yoi. Sigh and double sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No they won’t. But big ten conference membership could be dependent on it.

      I am 100 percent certain that the big ten will use it to host big ten events

      I’d slow play Victory Heights until the dust settles

      Imagine the support behind a MPC if fans knew that Pitts life depended on it.


  28. I find it hard to believe that some of these other schools will find a home but Pitt won’t. Like Georgia Tech. It brings less to the table than Pitt. It is as overshadowed or more by Georgia than Pitt is by Penn State for eyeballs in its home state and outside. Boston College too. What does it bring in value other than a maybe minimal influence on Notre Dame’s thinking when BC’s new conference comes calling for Touchdown Jesus?


  29. Pitt is in a bad position here because it lacks the assets to be proactive in the current realignment. Sure, Pitt should look at the Big10, that’s probably the best fit for them, but it takes two to make a marriage and what does Pitt have that the Big10 needs or wants? Pitt isn’t generating $50 million in additional revenue (the minimum needed not to dilute each university’s current share of the Big10 pie). Cable doesn’t even consider Pitt valuable enough to pick up the ACC network. Really, the only teams that could move the needle for the BIG 10 aside from Texas and Oklahoma are Notre Dame (not happening), UNC, UVa, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington. Anybody else reduces the payout or lacks the national appeal to create the marquee brand matchups in a cordcutting world.


    1. I should amend this to add that for market size, prestige, and research, I can see where Stanford and Cal would be good additions as well, but it’s a little more subjective than the $ the others would bring to the table.


    2. Pitt alone doesn’t generate the money.

      But Pitt bundled with a few other schools could be attractive enough to get Notre Dame into the pool.

      The big ten with the right composition of schools is the better fit for them

      They just don’t want to be Ohio states lapdog. So place them in a separate conference division.

      And make sure there is some sweetener.

      But I’d force the decision on the Domers now. They get one shot. Big ten can’t wait. Serves them no good.

      ACC should be doing something similar.


  30. Hobie, I think the same way you do. If Pitt goes down in conference status I may actually like it even more. I liked the BE more than the ACC because it felt like a family of teams vice big business…but business feeling was due to the major shift in CFB when the last round of conference changes happened.

    To me it doesn’t matter what level the conference is in or the teams we are playing are in because I want it all to be fun and I want it to be a nice thing to do to go to the games and to follow the team. Right now it just doesn’t feel that way for me.

    Quite the opposite in fact. I find myself not even be able to read articles about all these different conference shifts, the transfer portal, the ‘pay for play’… all the crap that takes directly away from the enjoyment of the game itself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reed, I wish Pitt could/would play with the big boys in the supposed megaconferences, but I think Pitt has clearly demonstrated that it doesn’t have the je ne sais quoi. Plus, I think only a handful of schools will dominate the megaconferences, the rest will be also rans year after year after year. So, maybe an AAU-like conference with other schools not needed by the megaconferences (where Pitt can legitimately compete) is not so bad after all. Still, sigh and double sigh.


      1. You mean like most state high school divisions? You play with your own kind and win state titles. The big suburban schools have more followers and media, but a state title is a state title be it 6A or 2A.


  31. JoeL – nice thoughts and effort in your article. Loved the chart. But I only count 21 teams in the new Big 10. Fourteen currently. You added 6 from the ACC and Notre Dame. That’s 21. You added Kansas, Iowa State and Iowa to make it 24.. But Iowa is already in the current Big 10. That’s 23. Does Pitt now have a chance or are you adding TCU or Baylor to help balance out the religious sects.


  32. Let’s review today’s vocabulary lesson courtesy of the brainy POV posters:



    “Je ne sais quoi”

    Could be a pop quiz tomorrow!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Many, many excellent points raised.
    Now, does anyone think that our AD is equipped to handle any of these challenges?
    Does anyone believe our Chancellor to be capable of confronting them?


    1. We apparently got ‘lucky’ when we got into the ACC, when BC put the kibosh on Uconn’s ACC invite.
      Given the chance at ‘2nd life’ & of taking advantage of that fortuity, has been an abysmal failure.

      Pitt has really done nothing to upgrade the football program since entry into the ACC in 2013. Going a middling 55-47 in those years. And playing in a variety of 2nd and mostly 3rd rate bowl games. And losing 4 of the 6 bowl games.

      The only thing they did to ‘up’ the brand image, was to re-introduce the Script and change the colors.
      It was the cheapest way to try to increase the brand image and the uniform companies pay for most if not all of it. Didn’t really involve any imagination at all since the Script & the colors were just sitting on a shelf and just needed ‘dusted off’.

      Pitt, with a little effort and hiring the right people could have become a ‘force’ in the ACC Coastal immediately. Instead it became what it was in BigEast football……an also-ran.

      And even the once vaunted Pitt basketball program became more than abysmal…they became a laughingstock, last place team, going 0-18 in conference. And not much better since, finishing in last place, in 2 of the 3 seasons since the winless season. So no ‘value added’ in Pitt hoops at all,
      where at least we did have that going for us, 10 years ago.

      So to summarize…..they let the football program just piddle along and let the bball program go belly up.

      We better hope the ACC doesn’t implode or we’ll be joining the Hoopies.


      1. But Pitt has top ten wrestling, volleyball and soccer programs.

        Out of the 19 programs, I would consider only 15 percent to be very good if not excellent. I won’t say elite.

        Most of Pitt’s programs are in the bottom tier of the ACC. So they are poor performers. Mediocre at best.

        If this was the old big east, most of Pitts programs would be top third in the conference.

        The ACC is far more competitive and takes sports more seriously.

        Football money helps buy the best facilities and coaches in these secondary sports.


    2. Pitt, BC, Syracuse should have been on the phones with the big ten and Notre Dame on Sunday.

      Make an offer the Domers can’t refuse

      They get to play historic rivals

      They get to play in markets with high catholic populations

      They get to play where their alumni and subway alum live

      They get to play in the weaker division

      They get a strong say on scheduling

      Whatever else is needed within reason, maybe grab a few southern ACC schools or partner with the pac ten.

      But they need to decide now.

      Uncertainty kills. That is a definition of risk. You want to take risk out of the equation. Make things predictable.


  34. Kansas, K-State & Iowa State add nothing to the B1G. Unless the B1G commish & Presidents are utter fools that isn’t happening. At least 2 of these will end up in the MW. Maybe all 3.

    Now the B1G has always had a relationship with the PAC 12 because of the Rose Bowl and that agreement for the 2 conferences to play each other has stood for a long time, sans a couple times.

    So I could see a USC, Washington, Colorado & Stanford foursome being a possible addition to the B1G.
    All 4 are AAU schools and bring in large markets (LA, Seattle, Denver & SF)

    Oregon another AAU school, is another possibility since outside of USC, that have the 2nd biggest brand in the PAC 12……… but smaller local market than the aforementioned 4. (so either Oregon or Colorado)
    UCLA is not needed, as USC is by far the bigger national brand for football and covers the LA market,

    Also USC & Stanford are ‘Private Schools’ so they won’t become entangled in administration roadblocks as they might if they were part of the U of California Public schools, like UCLA & Cal-Berkeley.

    If these 4 bolt for the massive pay boost of the B1G, you could see a few of the remnants of the Big 12
    go to the, at that time PAC 8, those would be TT, TCU, OK State & Kansas (2 of these TT & OK State were
    previously part of the 4 team package who were headed to the PAC 12, 10 years ago before the Longhorn Network became the poison pill) Baylor would get the slot ahead of Kansas, but for it’s religious considerations not jiving with the ultra libs of the left coast, from what I’ve read.

    WVCC ends up in the AAC or C-USA. Even their own blog commenters are resigned to it.


    1. Pitt could find themselves in a lessor conference if Pitts leaders are not aggressive. They need to make it known that they are serious. Feasibility for a MPC shows that.

      Also partnering up and forming alliances with some ACC schools. There is power in numbers. A group of schools can make an appealing package deal and could help convince the Domers to join.

      Domers wouldn’t be too happy if they lost Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio and PA to the big ten

      70 percent of their fans live in those states.


  35. College football as we know it is OVER. It is the minor league for the NFL. The NFL is laughing the whole way to the bank. I suggest every NFL team align with a college, pick the recruits, have the colleges pay them a bonus and so be it. I for one am not interested. Welcome to NIL and Mega conferences.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. if so, Steelers pick PSU

    Pitt>>>red-headed, low IQ, step child
    by choice

    is that any better than a toothless hillbilly, not by choice


    1. Lou to the rescue.

      And I do hope at least Tom Richards children read forums like this

      I don’t know them but based on their backgrounds, I highly doubt they think like the current leadership regime.

      They may not think like me…who does, but they most likely agree with the general themes discussed on this blog and others

      They are influencers. Their Dad will listen.


  37. In the realm of athletics, why does Pitt choose administrators least likely to succeed?
    During this pivotal period, we’re sending someone to the plate with a whiffle ball bat and patches over both eyes.
    Fanta, Victory Lights (Sure, that’s where the bread is buttered financially), residing in a bunker for nine months. Where is engaging the fan base, the community, the city? What happened to drumming up enthusiasm, marketing, a plan for turning the revenue-generating sports into something beyond mediocre?

    Hey Pitt, even if you don’t care, what’s wrong with at least acting like you do?

    I swear, we’re the athletic equivalent of Bartleby.


  38. Pitt does add the Pittsburgh market. I can’t imagine many people from Allegheny county tuning into the big ten network or watching a Nitter game on tv.

    Most make it sound like the 2.5 million in the metro area are already big ten fans. That’s just not true.

    Pitt brings with them a market just as big as Iowa state or Kansas.

    Nearly 400,000 living alumni

    And close to 800,000 fans per mate silver

    That’s more than Maryland or Rutgers.

    And that’s despite pitt not cultivating existing fans and growing new supporters.


  39. Besides the Domers, what other schools can the ACC target. Maybe the Hoopies and then those two huge Texas markets and possibly UCF in Orlando. That’s it

    But the sec will target clemson and Florida state. If those two leave, the ACC football is greatly diminished. The conference is dead.

    If the big ten targets schools like Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia tech, clemson and Florida state will apply for sec membership.

    The ACC is in a very bad position unless they get Notre Dame to join. And I don’t know how they do that.

    The big ten can make it attractive and ensure they are equals with Ohio state.

    Knute Rockne division composed of Domers, pitt, Syracuse, BC, penn state, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue.


  40. In the last 50 years there have been only four “outlying” teams to have won national championships; Pitt, Washington, Colorado and Brigham Young University. Other than those four teams it was repeat champions from the big dogs such as Miami, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame and the like.

    Once we realize the true history and most probably the future of college football you’ll see that we are definitely left on the outside looking in. Those championships were based on the play on the field but now what we see are programs that are being deemed valuable not based on that so much but based on television area coverage, attendance and fan support, donations from alumni, etc.

    This is where Pitt is now – on the outside looking in. We bring nothing to the table except some internal vision of past Glory Days that in real life terms are ancient history. Nothing in the past 25 years or, I’ll say in the near future, lead anyone to think that we’d be a valuable member of any kind of a larger conference or a super conference. We just don’t have what it takes any longer in any way.

    Our Administration has to look at this with an open mind and clear eyes and understand that this will be a turning point in the story of Pitt football. Can we accept the fact that we might not belong in these big conferences and live with that and try to get back to making football interesting and fun again no matter what level is played on?

    Or is Pitt going to think, ‘well we’re just not a ‘big’ school if we don’t have a big football program’ and beg to be let into it these new conferences, and in doing that are they going to consciously allow us being a doormat again just so we can say we have a ‘big’ football program.

    A front porch as it were…which is the biggest red herring ever dragged across the road.

    The fact is, and I know Pitt fans don’t want to accept this, but we just don’t have what it takes any longer and probably no time in our post-WWII history did we really have what it takes even in the 70s and 80s as that was an aberration on many different levels. But to think that Pitt football can’t be enjoyable if in a lesser conference is ludicrous. You can ask fans any of the schools that are not as big a university as Pitt but are still Division 1 FBS schools what they feel on Saturdays and you’ll find they still love it.

    Which is what is supposed to be the important thing.

    We are not getting an on campus stadium, an MPC in Oakland or anything like that. It just is not going to be in the cards for us. I see us paring down the football resources in a smaller conference and putting more emphasis on BB as time goes on.

    If you look at what hard resources Pitt has devoted to football you’ll find it really is only about five acres on the Southside – and even then our football facility there is shared with the Steelers. We don’t have a devoted dorm building for the football players that can’t be converted to something else, nor do we have a football stadium that would go to waste should we drop in class. Wherever the Steelers go after Heinz Pitt would be certainly welcome to rent for seven days a year.

    In many ways this would be the perfect time for Pitt to take honest look in the mirror and say “Well, it was a good run but times have changed…”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would have a problem playing the likes of UConn, temple, Delaware, Ohio or IUP at Heinz Field. I personally would find that level of entertainment to be a mockery of the sport.

      I have no issues playing historic rivals like navy and Syracuse in a lessor conference. There are many respectable schools that can play outside a super league where the missions are similar and it’s a more level playing field.

      But the day pitt decides to step down and roll over to play the likes of bowling green inside a pro stadium, is the day I’ll become a 100 percent longhorn fan.


    2. A lot of valid points, Reed.

      I don’t go to PItt games because I expect national championships. I go for a fun time with friends and to be in a college football environment, win or lose. And I hope we most of our games, including a bowl.

      Would be great to catch lightning in a bottle with a great coach who stops by for a cup of coffee while bringing the program up into the Top 20 for a bit, woudln’t it?

      The dream of an OCS/PC is Quixotic and could only occur if something occurred akin to the demolition of the Wabash Terminal which enable Gateway Center. And people these days don’t tear down building that look like that anymore.


      But having gone to a well-regarded school that plays in FCS with a basketball team that occasionally shocks thew world, I can tell you its better to be where Pitt is, because it has an opportunity to be part of the national conversation when the programs are running well.

      Liked by 3 people

  41. Pitt does have a big decision to make. Does it want to go all in or fold?

    The odds say that they will choose to deemphasize football again. Pitt really doesn’t have good cards anyway.

    When the ACC is picked apart, pitt might be stuck in a conference with UConn, temple and Cincy.

    Basketball will get more of the focus

    Pitt won’t be able to afford more than 12 sports programs

    Pitt will continue to tag along with the Steelers

    Pitt will follow the scholar athlete model and will most likely privatize and raise admission standards.

    I can even see Victory Heights being scaled back as I type this.

    What could have been


  42. I think some people are missing the point. Pitt is exactly where they want to be. They are in a P5 conference, and are able in normal times to be middle of the pack. Pitt doesn’t want to be the top dog or a bottom feeder. Current donations will support this level of performance, and the occasional flirting with the Coastal title is just icing on the cake. If a major program is going to be successful, it will be basketball, where they already have a facility that can support decent recruiting.

    The real focus in the next few years, while the major sports find some direction, will probably be the minor sports where Pitt seems to want to do better. Don’t look for Pitt to be a pace setter in the football realignment circus. They will just wait it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If they wait which is in their nature, pitt will be left behind.

      Best case is pitt finds itself in a lessor conference playing the likes of BC and Syracuse. Pitt would have to cut some secondary programs. Victory Heights would still happen. Pitt tags along with the Steelers

      Worst case is pitt has few if any historic rivals to play anymore. Will be forced to join a widely dispersed geographic conference playing the likes of Tulsa and Tulane. Victory Heights is scrapped. Pitt shuts down half its sports programs and focuses solely on basketball.

      Or just do as I have said – partner with BC and Syracuse. Work on Notre Dame. Use the wild card up your sleeve.


  43. The MPC is a Joker or a wild card. If Pitt decides to use it, their hand improves significantly.

    If Pitt was serious about sports and is committed to this new football landscape, they would publicly announce delaying victory Heights until a feasibility study is completed where the capital improvement plan for Pitt could be altered or revisited based on the study’s findings.

    That’s how a business would tactically do things. That’s how most schools with front porches would do it.


  44. Did everyone get the email this morning “Panther Nation- Hail as One! A new marketing campaign by Pitt. You can get your yard sign at Busy Beaver.

    So instead of fixing our major sports
    problem, Pitt starts a hokey campaign. RUFKM!


    1. It’s a distraction. A purposeful diversion.

      They would love to shut down the conference realignment discussion on this blog And others.

      It scares the heck out of them because they have no plan.


    2. I did not get mine, but the Athletic Dept took my money several months ago.

      Dan – maybe I could use your sign to cover up one of the yellow seats at Heinz this Fall.

      JoeL – well done article – I say wrap up tOSU, Michigan and Clemson – put a bow on the package and send it FedEx to the SEC.


  45. This will all shake out sooner than anyone realizes.

    In business, you typically don’t wait and see for very long. You have a vision or strategy and then you develop tactical plans and execute. Best to be proactive on most things.


    The SEC is not done with Texas and Oklahoma. They will be approaching clemson and Florida state this week.

    The big ten is not done expanding. They will approach Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia tech this week.

    Notre Dame will be forced to pick a winner. The ACC won’t be that pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Texas and Oklahoma are hoping the announcements burns down their current conference. If it doesn’t they have to stay put til 2025 or cough up 160 million.

      Thus the early announcement. If the Big12 crumbles they get free early exit.


      1. There are always outs like in cards.

        Both schools will challenge the legality in court

        Both schools will line up bureaucrats on their side

        The contracts enforceability will be challenged

        Both schools will settle out of court this year

        Both will be playing next season in the sec.


  46. I do not live near a Busy Beaver. Maybe Pitt FB should rent the CMU stadium when Heinz goes away as it at least is near campus. It may also fit the needs of Pitt FB in the future.


  47. Don’t forget the ACC basketball schools have a ton of power and stick together. NC, Duke, Virginia, NC State and Wake are basketball schools first. Would NC ditch Duke? I doubt it.


      1. I agree. College sports has officially changed. OU-Okl State was once very close.

        OU said “sorry.” The seats at the table are going to be tight in the future. Most will be left out.


  48. Pitt should continue building the wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball arena next to the Pete and stop there. No matter how much you wish, an OCS won’t even be considered now with everything up in the air, possibly through 2025.


  49. Maybe the SEC should turn down Texas. They may be the biggest budget worst performance school in the last decade.

    Records from 2010 to 2019:

    Oklahoma 134-109 4th best.
    Texas 128-71 57th
    Pitt 130-69. 59th



    1. Texas like Michigan have underperformed given poor coaching hires. They have everything long term going for them however. Coaching is a short term fix.

      Plus they just won the directors cup. Excellent sports and the highest revenues in the nation.


  50. I am 100 percent confident that Pitts leadership will have Pitt playing in a football conference with the likes of Toledo, Marshall, Delaware, temple, Richmond, east Carolina and south Florida.

    I won’t watch that garbage football or support pitt football when this day comes. And it’s coming sooner than you think.

    Might as well drop down to division two and play the likes of Edinboro at cmu’s stadium.


        1. My Spiders won the national championship in football under the coaching of my hallmate Mike London, using Dave Clawson’s players.

          BTW – we had an off campus stadium for years and it made getting to and from games a pain but we still did it. One recent school President (Cooper) understimated the alum’s interest in football and sought to move down from the CAA to the Patriot. Alum revolted and he had to step down. A couple years later, an on-campus stadium was finally built. Its a really nice place, although I’ve yet to attend a game there because I have Pitt tickets and I enjoy the trips back home.


          1. I just wish that school could have a different mascot.

            Tex – we have tarantulas down here.


  51. It’s remarkable pitt has been this good given its long term structural issues, certain constraints and incompetent leadership.

    Pitt does everything to kill football yet it doesn’t die.

    Credit to Pitt.


  52. I think that the ACC is being given little credit for being out in front on this. They surely know what is going on, and having been through expansion before, know how to maintain self preservation. After all, it was not that long ago that FSU wanted to jump.

    The OU/UT entrances into the SEC were likely in the works for sometime, and the SEC had already told them if they asked for admittance they would be told yes. This would avoid the SEC being accused of poaching other schools. My guess is that the ACC schools have already pledged their allegiance to the league, and the ACC is currently out looking for the perfect fit to expand. The ACC is the conference with the best balance of football, basketball and academics, and a university could increase its prestige by signing on with the ACC.

    It actually helps that FSU and Miami are somewhat down right now, and don’t have as much pull within the league. ND could be the wildcard, and must convince itself that staying independent, even with the big NBC contract, is not a long term option. Academically, ND is a better fit with the ACC. At some point, ND could be given an ultimatum if the ACC is forced into making an alternative move to expand.


    1. No school other than Notre Dame or penny state will do it. ACC in a weak position. Very little leverage.

      Plenty of ACC teams are very attractive to sec and big ten

      I agree with time zones. A reason why Texas was never going pac ten.

      I personally like the ACC adding Notre Dame as 15. Penny state as 16. Cincy as 17. Wvu as 18. Tcu as 19. Houston as 20. All new markets.


    2. Voice,
      It’s in our nature not to give the ACC credit

      They raided the big east and screwed us for a time

      BC saves us
      Not Tobacco Road

      We get hosed at every football and basketball game with the calls

      They are most definitely not acting in Pitts best interests.

      I say practice some old school cold dishes. U know the saying.


  53. @Kevin Blair – good posts and you make a lot of salient, cogent points. Enjoyed them all.

    The most key of those was the accretive value of schools not currnetly in the B10 or SEC. There is overlap in the TV markets of the ACC & B10…. NVA/DC/MD along with Western PA and perhaps a touch of NY. And the ACC & SEC have overlap in SC, GA and FLA.

    But I do think the SEC picks up a lot of viewers by bringing on schools like Clemson, Miami who will have matchups with the existing SEC schools. And those matchups are prime time fodder, which brings a nice payday. Then, they would enjoy market expansion with the addition of VA Tech and NC State. That brings quite a few viewers.

    Its anyone’s guess what the networks and streaming services will pay in an expanded SEC that includes those schools. But with the inventory of matchups those schools bring, I would not rule out an sweeter deal than what they have + a proporional share of the ACC’s package. Clemson facing Auburn is a much more interesting propostion that Miss- Miss St… or any game involving Vandy. There is “accretive’ value to be unlocked.

    As for the B10, I don’t agree with your views on the value of Syracuse and BC. Those are markets where the B10 is not. But I fully agree with you on PItt’s attractiveness from a monetary standpoint. In the case I made above, the B10 picks up New England, Upstate NY and VA and NC. They effectively seal off the northeast. Thats quite attractive.

    I wouldn’t underestimate the value the B10 Presidents place on academic standing. The opportunity to pull in some AAU schools while increasing revenue could help them grow the top line with sacrificing reputation (like the ACC did in adding Lousiville).

    I find the thoughts about going west interesting, but once things go beyond one time zone, its a bit far particularly when fighting for east coast viewers during prime time.


    1. Nc state was never good for reputation or Florida state for the longest time. Now FSU is tied with Pitt academically.

      Pitt has really blown it on all fronts. All went down hill after Posvar.


    2. Seriously I’m going to do my best to work accretive into every conversation I have at work today. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🤠


  54. I heard an interesting discussion on ESPNU this AM. With further Super League consolidation, and the prospect for further recruiting inequity due to NIL, could there at some point be a high school player draft among the elite colleges Just think of the revenues that that could create….


    1. I like that thinking. But you need a minor league system first. That’s the 30 school super league

      Pitts ticket to admission is Lou to the Rescue and a MPC. Tepper could also help by getting off his lazy butt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. tOSU QB recruit is rumored to be getting 7 figured to NOT play his HS senior season.

      There you have it – NFL minor leagues is on the clock


  55. From Brett McMurphy:

    League records at their new conference

    A&M 42-31 (57.5%)
    Pitt 36-30 (54.5)
    TCU 44-37 (54.3)
    Utah 45-41 (52.3)
    Nebraska 43-41 (51.2)
    WVU 40-40 (50.0)
    Louisville 29-29 (50.0)
    Mizzou 35-39 (47.3)
    Syracuse 20-46 (30.3)
    Maryland 16-41 (28.1)
    Colorado 23-62 (27.1)
    Rutgers 10-51 (16.4)

    with a reply from Chris Dokish:

    ACC conference wins since current lineup in 2014

    Clemson 52
    Miami 35
    Pitt 32
    VT 32
    FSU 31
    UNC 30
    NC State 28
    Louisville 26
    GT 25
    Virginia 24
    BC 23
    Duke 20
    WF 19
    Syracuse 16

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think this really speaks to the frustration of being a Pitt fan.
      Doing well on the # of wins, but we just don’t have much to show for it in titles/championships.
      And blowing opportunities to make a statement.


      1. Correct. But this is also what makes pitt attractive.

        Despite everything and I mean everything going against it, it doesn’t die.

        A mere mortal program would be dead by now.

        Must be something in the water…like arsenic


        1. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.

          Imagine the possibilities with just a will, a plan and some comment leaders.

          The potential is most definitely there waiting to be untapped.


      2. JoeL, lots of mediocrity in the ACC FB with one excellent program and several not so good programs.


    2. PITT is in one of the weakest D1conferences in the country. Even when we one the Coastal the Panthers posted a mediocre record.


  56. What keeps Pitt from drowning is the tradition. With players like Ditka and Marino still walking around, and with the significant list of NFL Hall of Fame players, which soon will be getting larger, Pitt would be spitting on its own tradition if it were to downsize to a lower status.

    Several years ago, the State of PA made substantial cuts in the amount of state aid the public schools were getting. Pitt had to really struggle to avoid major tuition increases, and increasing the budget for athletics would not have been received well while tuition was going up. This trend seems to be moderating a bit now, and they could probably get away with modest increases in the athletics dept budget. The BoT has probably been preoccupied with this transition to a self supporting university that no longer relies on significant annual state allocations. Ironically, the conference realignments and additional TV money may actually pave the way for Tex’s MPC.


  57. Has anyone read today’s PG article about Pitt working hard on single splash scoring plays? We were last in ACC last year.

    Can someone explain to me how we are going to surprise any defense when our QB has to take the time to run to the sideline to get plays? Only team in all of NCAA to do so.


  58. Any of you that had W Michigan as a Sure Pitt win should reconsider. Their QB is top 5 in the country and this team is the most talented they’ve ever had.

    We barely beat E Michigan!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope you’re right but I just can’t see more than 6.

        I could see as few as three. Pitt will start off 2- 2 w losses to W Mich. and Tennessee. Followed by 4 straight losses to GA Tech,
        VA Tech, Clemson and Miami. They’ll beat Duke, Cuse and lose to UNC 5-7 right there.

        It’ll be nice to revisit my prediction in December followed by the wailing of Pitt fans, so I’ve taken a screen shot.

        Pitt has a mediocre O line, no depth on defense, leaves the CB’s on an island, an overrated QB who is Tino light, and complete doofus coaches on both sides of the ball! Add to that a team of 3 star recruits facing better ACC recruits every Saturday and you have “dreaded Pitt optimism!”

        A horrible disease.

        Not that I’m trying to be negative!


        1. There’s no reason that a coach going into his seventh year with an easy schedule, a quarterback approaching social security age, a tight end as big as a house (albeit with hands of stone) and a defensive line that looks to be very formidable cannot snap off nine wins.
          Take away the surprise win at Clemson, the defeat of an over-rated Miami and the victory over the Nits (followed two years later by a beat-down of epic proportions), Coach Pat has underachieved.
          Nevertheless, it’s time for accountability and optimism.
          Nine wins or bust.

          Liked by 2 people

  59. West Virginia dissected, disregarded, disdained throughout all the talk about the Texas/OU move. Just don’t see the ACC wanting the Mountaineers….at least not the Carolina blue bloods.


    1. Would adding them add in additional revenue of at least $40 million to the ACC pot of loot ?

      There’s only 1.7 million people in the whole state. Many without electricity 🙂

      UVA might be more against it than the Carolina mafia.


        1. They don’t bring an extra $50 million

          But they do bring tv and streaming content

          The wvu game against pitt and va tech would be must see tv. Great entertainment value.


    1. I said this yesterday. Texas and OK made this all public so the Big12 would crumble getting them out of 160 million dollar buyout which they would owe if they leave the conference before 2025.
      ESPN is a scumbag network. I am sure they have been involved.


      1. If big 12 teams leave, they have no standing. They have no harm. And some will end up in better positions. Therefore their case it’s thrown out of court and dismissed.

        Both the Texas and okie athletic directors are always mentioned as the two best in the nation


        1. Exactly, plus what can the Big12 do to survive except try to expand themselves or merge somehow.


          1. In the end there will be four conferences until the super league of 30.

            Some from the big 12 will find good landing places. Others will find themselves playing in a lessor conference.

            Pitt is well positioned for the big ten or whatever is left of the ACC after its been poached by the big ten and sec.

            This conference realignment is just the precursor to the super league. It’s a warm up.


  60. Dan, those supposed big splash scoring plays suggests that their red zone running game will continue to suck. I’m not sure how you practice splash scoring plays, which are really a function of superior skill players making plays.


    1. Last couple years the o-line hasn’t been very good at either pass blocking or run blocking. And i don’t recall us having any 4 star recruit linemen. Usually they pick up a transfer or 2, which indicates the lack of available talent. Big plays start on the passing end with good pass blocking and a QB that can accurately throw over 20-25 yards,

      We have had neither and then there’s Whipple.


      1. We haven’t had an elusive RB since Wanny left. Pitt needs to change their RB recruiting philosophy, IMHO. Tough for these straight-line guys when you don’t open big holes. They can’t just run past defenders like they did in HS — they are no longer the fastest player on the field.

        Get some guys with some wiggle…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 7 people

  61. Yahoo Sports reporting that high school #1 qb may skip his senior year and enroll at Ohio State to benefit from NIL…


      1. And he does with one more class this summer according to reports from XM84 college sports radio.


  62. Everyone sees Clemson as a football powerhouse right now but I would argue they are a Dabo powerhouse rather than a Clemson one. Clemson had some success under Danny Ford in the 80’s. But it was not until some brilliant administrator recognized that one of their position coaches had this “aw, shucks” good-ol’-boy personality that recruits and their family members loved that the juggernaut was created. Dabo can sign almost any player he wants and that is likely to remain the case for a long time. But Clemson does not have a long history of being a football powerhouse.

    However, when Nick Saban starts to hint at retiring (he turns 70 this year, Dabo is 51), you know that Bama will do everything they can to bring Dabo back to his Alma Mater. If/when that happens, I can easily see Clemson joining the likes of Texas, Michigan, and Southern Cal with a revolving door of coaches, trying to resurrect the glory days. You see it all the time.

    Having said that, the cynical conspirator in me wonders if, anticipating a bidding war to end all college coach bidding wars, Bama really wants Clemson to have the money and prestige that membership in the SEC would bring, versus a possible withering vine of the ACC? Yeah, that’s a stretch, but Alabama might not want the SEC to be in too big a hurry to welcome Clemson into the fold.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After Dabo, clemson could revert back to the mean.

      But they will have over a decade of winning and the sustained experience of excellence.

      That type of stuff transforms your culture. So culturally they are set up for success.

      They know how to win and what a champion feels like. They have the blueprints and impressions formed.

      They won’t have leadership deemphasize football, raise standards, dismantle all booster groups and let their stadium fall apart.

      Which school would ever do that?


      1. How is that different from Texas, Michigan, and USC? History and “want to” hasn’t seemed to have helped them. This perceived desire or lack of on the part of college admins is a bunch of crap, in my opinion.


        1. The schools you mentioned all had poor coaching hires. Led by poor directors and a flawed hiring process. Very similar to pitt.

          Those schools achieved mediocrity but their expectation was excellence.

          You can’t compare pitt to those schools. Those schools actually want to be excellent and will make changes to get there.

          While Pitt is passive and sits back and enjoys being average.


        2. Elite programs can slide if they make the wrong coaching hires. But all the programs you mentioned have zero excuses. They are set up for excellence.

          Pitt has purposefully set themselves up for stable mediocrity. Everything is by design.


    2. I can see Alabama blocking Clemson from ever getting in the SEC.

      Clemson now has the big bucks, facilities, etc. to replace Dabo with a top coach. They will not slide fast.


  63. Time zone would be a huge issue

    Plus the Domers have subway alums in the mid Atlantic and northeast

    They would rather push south into Dixie

    Moreover the article doesn’t address Ohio state. They are THE reason they won’t join.

    I’ve outlined what could entice or force the Domers to join

    I do agree the big ten is their conference. ACC won’t be around soon anyway.


  64. Surprisingly Pitt was 21st in Red Zone offense last year…but only in % of scores to trips inside. Thanks to Kessman and FGs.

    Not real noteworthy with rushing or passing TDs in Red Zone though…mostly FGs hence not scoring more points like we should have.


    1. Agree, splash plays aren’t the issue. Red zone scoring is and that is a product of no run game thanks to Whipple.


    2. 14 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs with ‘K-eighty” and Patti accounting for several of the running scores…better improve with the2021 schedule


    3. Narduzzi is on record at the ACC Media Day saying PITT won’t be kicking FGs inside the red zone. He says PITT will be scoring TDs instead. I think we will see an improvement this year in that area.


        1. Maybe Tex. I think he feels more confident going into this season than he did last year, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Now he has to prove it to me(us).


          1. Let’s just hope Kenny doesn’t get hurt. He really needs a NIL deal with Tylenol. He’ll be in plenty of pain given the guys in front of him.


            1. You’re right. KP is the key for sure. I do think the OL will be better this year. I like what I saw from some of the newer O-linemen at the end of last season. Between them and the transfer from MD I believe they will be more than just serviceable.


      1. I think the Duzzer’s red-zone statements are largely based on his confidence that TE Krull is going to provide the type of red-zone threat that Pitt hasn’t had in a while.

        For all the disappointment of OC Matt Cavanaugh, we scored inside the ten with Palko like it was nothing. The plays would look like Palko would run but then he’d pull up and toss a little flip to a wide open TE… Pitt can do that this season with KP, an improved OL, and the TEs.

        Fingers crossed!

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  65. My first thought was Pitt still has no good red zone options hence the need for longer “splash” scoring plays…hope I’m wrong.
    Caveat: I usually am…

    Liked by 3 people

  66. So it is reported the AAC wants the remaining Big12 schools. Wouldn’t it be the other way around. The Big12 is more powerful, has more money. They should be taking Cinci, UCF, maybe Houston.


    1. That conference would be formidable in football.

      The ACC is very weak in football.

      Pitt has the third or fourth best record in the conference and Pitt would lose to half the schools in the AAC.


  67. Pickett doesn’t throw the end zone corner fade very well, and that is a staple of many high scoring teams with good QBs. Instead, Pickett must try to hit the end zone crossing pattern, which is high risk and prone to interceptions, which costs even a FG try.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is where a good TE is valuable VOR. PITT claims to have that option this year. Let’s wait and see if he is as good as advertised; and if he can stay healthy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You do know that Krull was one of the worst sci fi/fantasy movies from the 80’s?

        I paid money to see that flick. I’m never getting that coin back.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Dan, as a teenager watching that movie, I thought it absolutely sucked. And I was so hyped going into it. I should have saved my money for the arcade.


          2. The arcade was right next to the movie theatre in Indiana. At the mall. I used to hang Canadian flags above the KMart there. Long story. I played street hockey as a kid. After two bourbons you’ll understand.


      2. Hope you are right, special K. It’s been a while since a TE has had a significant impact on the offense.


        1. On paper he looks like the real deal. Plus, he got a lot of good writeups in the Spring. I think if he stays healthy he’ll be very productive. Granted, that’s a big if.

          Liked by 1 person

  68. The pac ten and big ten merger fails because of time zones

    Nobody in New York is going to watch Ohio state play usc at 11 pm

    Nobody in LA is going to watch UCLA take on penn state at 9 am

    That’s just common sense


  69. It took a Seminole to post this. Because pitt would never be this transparent. But I don’t hide from the truth. Texans never do…we’re really north Mexico. 🤠


    Pittsburgh Director’s Cup Totals NCAA Results
    ==== ===== ========
    1994 84 157
    1995 48 282
    1996 76 168
    1997 66 213
    1998 77 100
    1999 95 80
    2000 69 234.5
    2001 153 85
    2002 106 166.5
    2003 68 260.5
    2004 90 190.5
    2005 97 170
    2006 91 175.5
    2007 71 282
    2008 85 232
    2009 93 198
    2010 112 158
    2011 123 135
    2012 131 129
    2013 109 152.58
    2014 85 232.75
    2015 96 200
    2016 110 157
    2017 92 216
    2018 111 167
    2019 137 114.5
    2020 36 145
    2021 73 279

    You can throw out 2020 and 2021 given Covid.

    The key take away is that pitt has historically placed around 90. Very consistent. There are 65? P5 schools. That means 25 scrub schools have better sports programs than Pitt.

    Now who’s the scrub?

    Remember BC was 74 in 2021. They helped us into the ACC and they kept us out of the ACC basement by literally one point.

    Ivey, pac ten and Mac were conferences that cancelled several fall and winter sports or had abbreviated schedules. That’s over 30 schools that pointed practically nothing.

    Helping pitt achieve this mirage. Pitt has said nothing about the cup in any public release. That is very very telling.


    1. When a university doesn’t even care about its baby and money maker, it certainly won’t care about its minor sports. Pitt stumbled into basketball success thanks to Sonny Vaccarro then became uncomfortable going to MSG every March for the BE finals and cut into Dixon’s spending.

      Sports at Pitt has been run by absolute trash administrators, ADs and some coaches.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree. Unfortunately we have plenty of fans who practice in alternative realities and revisionist history.


  70. You may ask yourself why our AD was literally not seen for 15 months. And of course when she did come out from the basement she made at least 15 ‘ums’ in her call.

    Btw -my speech teacher would whip me if I made an um And countless other bad speech etiquette or violations. She should know far better and be far better prepared. Embarrassing really.

    Maybe busy working on her resume?

    Just sayin.


  71. Tex, so you’re saying that a basement dweller who hides for months and says “uhm” every other word is really just spending time writing a resume in order to jump to OSU or MSU? I don’t get why someone who is currently in over her head at Pitt would be a top candidate for some position at OSU or MSU (or any Big 10 university).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just spin here. Maybe you should visit ESPN to see what’s happening. Ohio State AD, Oklahoma, Alabama in the news.

      Spreading misinformation is not cool.


    1. I see plenty of the Texas and okie AD’s

      They are always open, charming, colorful, charismatic, communicative, transparent, honest, engaging, smart, hard working, creative, strategic thinkers, passionate, results oriented and businessman.


    2. Just spin here. Maybe you should visit ESPN to see what’s happening. Ohio State AD, Oklahoma, Alabama in the news.

      Spreading misinformation is not cool.


      1. Well I guess when there is something to say we will hear about it then. Question.. What has happened at PITT lately we may have missed because of our AD hiding in her basement? BTW, just love the double standard around here. What about the comments that accuse Heather of being at the OBX, her basement and Disney world? That’s not only misinformation they are outright lies They are ok because they are derogatory and negative towards Heather and PITT.

        Just like this Fearbry kid committing to psu. Oh the moans and groans from the POV towards Narduzzi but when Fearbry de-commits, dead silence from PITT’s Who’s Laughing Now crowd.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The sec is positioning themselves to dominate the new 30 school super league. Again this is just a warm up.

      I can see the sec adding clemson and Florida state. I can also see them adding nc state and va tech.


  72. On a positive note, Pitt announced their 2021 Volleyball roster. The only loss, which was probably to be expected, was Sadie Dick an OH/RS from Canada. She was a redshirt freshman last year who only played in 2 of the 88 sets. In a minor surprise Kylee Levers is coming back along with Kayla Lund and Chinaze Ndee. All of Pitt’s incoming freshman were retained as well as two transfers. The total roster has 17 high quality players. We also appear to have a volunteer assistant coach who was previously a paid assistant coach at Texas Tech. Waiting for her bio to be posted.

    With Pitt’s roster one could actually divide the squad and still have the ACC champion and one that finishes in the middle of the pack in the ACC. Anything less than the ACC championship and a deep run in the NCAA tournament will be a disappointment. No pressure Coach Fisher!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. At a golf event, Coach Fisher said he expects Pitt Volleyball to be in the top 10 to start next season. He also said he will have a lot of work to do after next season…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  73. Women’s volleyball should be preseason rank in top 5

    Still waiting in early second round of nba draft.


  74. Well Justin is probably off playing in France or Turkey.

    Not sure who gave him advice to enter the draft. I think he probably would have gotten drafted had he returned for one more year at Pitt.

    Didn’t Capel advise him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Justin’s brother will be an All-American with St. John’s playing their way to an Elite 8 spot in the NCAA Tournament.

      Not a good look for Pitt basketball and Jeff Capel last night.


  75. When the dust settles, the only schools left in the ACC might be pitt, duke, wake and Louisville.

    At least pitt can sue for damages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No doubt. Texas open with Bama in 2022 and all will want that to be a conference game, not an OOC. Once Clemson and FSU are offered maybe Pitt will wake up as to what is going on. Won’t matter. The school will be left out in the cold and the reason will trace all the way back to 1982.

      I know I will read how Pitt will be fine and joining a super conference will go against the Mission Statement. Meanwhile, these other schools have athletic Mission Statements and the schools and its fans will laugh at Pitt.

      Having awful leadership when it comes to athletics is going to seriously doom Pitt.


      1. I’ll be there with Matt M. He likes it when I bring the bourbon. I have to remind him to keep his clothes on though.


  76. So, correct me if I’m wrong (which I usually am), but Texas and Oklahoma are finagling, manipulating and doing everything they can to be prescient and secure the best spot for their athletic programs where other schools (uh…guess who) are content to be mired in the muck of mediocrity and unwilling to do anything about it.

    Ain’t no businessman, but if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.


    1. What’s genius about their move is that there won’t be any big 12 left. Therefore they won’t have to pay any penalty for damages or forego their media rights because there will be no school left with standing to be harmed.


    2. Texas, Oklahoma and the sec play three dimensional chess. There are plans within plans

      Pitt plays checkers, a child’s game


    3. Or just thinking forward. Pitt is stuck in the past with old ways of thinking and doing.

      Some of this I think is due to the FUDs – fear, uncertainty and doubt

      It paralyzes their decision making.


    4. Pitt fell behind in the mid 1980’s, compounded it in the 1990’s and nearly fell into oblivion…..and never caught up.

      They should get the soon to be retired…Romoff to do some much needed consulting.


  77. There is a $3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Pitt needs to buy some influence.

    Oakland could use some infrastructure. Pittsburgh could use some gondolas. Pitt could use a MPC.


  78. The Texas overall mission statement is very simple and clear in purpose – to transform lives.

    Here is Pitts

    Notice the heavy emphasis on PA. Bear in mind only half of pitt students come from the state. And Pitt receives only 6 percent of funding for its budget from the state.

    Yet 33 percent of the BoT are state appointed.

    That’s why Texas is number one in sports and a top 25 academic school and one of the top 5 public schools.


  79. If you think Justin Champagnie should have come back you have no clue. Zero chance he could improve his stock. The NBA draft is about potential. Please don’t use Cam Johnson as a comparison either. Cam was elite at something the NBA covets … shooting … and had a natural position … and was able to showcase his skills in games that mattered. Justin is elite at rebounding at a position that it’s not coveted nor does he have a natural position in the NBA. He was a guard at Pittbut will probably have to play the wing in the NBA. If he wants a professional basketball career leaving was his best option. He can attempt to latch on with the Rap but now he has the option to go over seas and get paid immediately. If Pitt was a tourney team and Justin had a platform to showcase his skills it’s one thing but Pitt most likely will not be nor would have been eligible. There was no way he’d improve on last season. All he could do was hurt his ranking. Getting to 18/11 again would have been a reach on a team with better balance.

    Good luck, Champ! Make Pitt proud.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Justin flat out said he would be picked and multiple teams were interested. So there is a disconnect.

      He is either full of it
      Got bad advise
      Or was delusional

      Not good looks for him
      Not a good look for Pitt

      Liked by 1 person

  80. And the economics don’t make sense

    He could have made millions with NIL this season

    He goes to Turkey and makes $150k before Turkey takes half your money and you pay for your living expenses with rampant inflation.

    So at the end of the day his take is practically nothing

    Should have stayed in school


    1. Half his money? Lol … most overseas players actually don’t pay taxes. I work with two who played professionally and am friends with another who is a parent on my kids basketball team. Millions? C’mon … Bama’s QB is not even to $800K yet …

      He could not improve his stock. He was not winning player of the year on a bad Pitt team nor would he put up the same stats on a better put together team.

      No upside to returning if a professional career is what he truly wants … want to put money on his brother not getting drafted, too? Regardless of the season he has.


      1. His bro will have fun. Win awards. Make nil money. Be big man on campus. Act like a kid. That’s priceless.


  81. Feel bad for Champagnie. I wrote on here that he would not be drafted because he didn’t have a go to move offensively that could get him points, wasn’t quick enough offensively or defensively for the NBA, his body type is a dime a dozen in the league and those competing for spots, he had to be wide open to make shots, his balhandling was average and rebounding in the nba is much different than in college. Those are NOT knocks on him. He did them all very good for a college player, but you need to be great at something to standout in the nba.

    That said, I also thought that he should have stayed at Pitt and worked on improving one part of his game over this summer and next and he would have a shot. He can take the next two or three years and if he improves dramatically in two to three areas, give it another go.

    Perhaps he wasn’t counseled correctly by Pitt leadership….or perhaps he just wanted to go for it and not mess with school. We will never know how or why he made the decision despite what you might read, or what he might say now. He needs about 20 pounds of muscle, an explosive first step, and an ability to score with someone actually guarding him. I wish him well.

    Dan, your thoughts on Champs game? I only watched about 10 games or so, but that’s what I saw.

    Would be a very good tight end with about 30 pounds of muscle as he has strong hands, good hops and pretty smooth running style. Probably can’t block too well which would make him a perfect fit for the Pitt blocking scheme.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Huff – as usual I read your whole post. You and Dan swim in the deep end of the BB pool and I always enjoy and learn from those posts.

      But…I kept waiting for the jab and you did not disappoint with the last sentence haha.

      Mo-Allie Cox made the move from college BB to TE in the pro’s, but he was a beast:


      Justin would need to really bulk up to get a sniff as you indicate.


    2. Huff, you are dead on! What horrible advice Champ got. While his game may not have improved a ton if Champ stays his college notoriety would have made him a sure late first round early second, round pick next year.

      No way he plays a minute with the Raptors in regular season. Instead, he plays in Europe and by this time next year, he will be working at Walmart!

      He simply doesn’t have a pro skill set!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zero chance … how many non-tourney upper classmen were drafted? Too much risk. No way he’d be an 18/11 guy again. His stock was high as it would ever get. He made the right call. Start making money, now.


    3. There was no reason to come back, especially after two knee scares.

      Justin wouldn’t have made much with the NIL if he came back, not at low-rung Pitt at least.

      This seems to be about making whatever money he can in the short term. If it’s in the GLeague, I’ll go see him when he comes to Austin.


    4. He was a great college player without a position in the NBA. Not long or athletic enough for a wing. Not a good enough shot or quick enough to be a gaud. He’ll be a good international player.


    5. Champ is not good enough for the European League and will wind up in Japan. I would like to see him make it in Europe though….but no way he plays in the NBA.


  82. Many former basketball players like gates made the move. Can he catch and run routes

    He’s make more on a practice squad than playing in Turkey.

    Now why does Notre Dame value independence so much. They could make more money being in a conference. They could have an easier path to the playoffs.


    I’m pretty sure it comes down to the seating at the dinner table. I’m fine with them as heads and giving grace.


  83. Champ must have thought that he wouldn’t be helped by a rebuilding year at Pitt. It’s not likely that his skill set would have improved much. He’s not especially quick, he can’t shoot and doesn’t have the body to be a power forward in the league.

    Champ is basically plagued by doing several things pretty well, which gets you pretty far in the college game, but he has no superior trait or skill that is in demand in the NBA. It is also doubtful that his free agent contract with the Raptors is guaranteed, so he will probably be headed to Europe before long.


  84. He had a shot at ACC poy.

    Might have been first team all American.

    Gone down as a top five great for pitt basketball.

    Made hundreds of thousands with nil.

    Had a good time in school enjoying life as a kid or not too serious adult

    But he passes up all that.

    And wasn’t it Capel who said go for it?


  85. Think the people who wanted Champagnie to return for another season are being just a little bit influenced by their loyalty to Pitt Basketball.

    There was nothing for Champagnie to gain by coming back. As far as physical or mental maturity goes, Justin always stood out as one of the MOST mature on the Court. At this point, there is little mystery to NBA scouts as to what he is and isn’t only some question as to what he might someday be.

    Sure he can continue to improve his shot and sharpen his other all-around skills and do it to the point of some day actually playing a game in the NBA. But it is naive to say that can only be best done at Pitt.

    In fact, my bet is that he and his advisors have determined he has a far better chance of doing that where he is headed rather than spending another year with Capel in Oakland.


    1. If Capel was such a great coach and the ACC is the premier conference, why didn’t he come back to improve his game

      Plus he would have gotten accolades and awards. Would have made good coin with nil

      And would have been big man on campus and had fun being a kid

      I think his decision was stupid. His little bro made the correct decision.


      1. Because he wants to play professionally and does not care about college? Sounds like he’s already accepted the fact that he could have to play overseas, too. Stock was as hot as it would get at Pitt … maybe transfer like Cam Johnson did and get on a Final 4 contender … but there is a lot of risk in that too.


      2. Maybe he didn’t want to suffer thru another losing season and most likely even worse, at or near the bottom of the ACC. Again.

        No fun playing on vastly overmatched losing teams. That would be 3 years in a row.


        1. And only a pitt fan who is a fool and sucker would pay to watch a basketball game at the Pete this season. So Pitt tore down a football stadium to build a basketball arena for the worst P5 program over the last five years. The worst stretch of badness since 1964-69 at pitt. That’s some great leadership in the administration.

          And Pitts net profit has dropped by roughly $70 million during this span based on my calculations. You go from making $10-$15 million in profit each year to losing around $5 million.

          Pure genius move Pitt.


    2. Disagree POD on his standing out as the most mature. Now if you want to say he was the most mature on the pitt team, sure, I can support that. But that is the issue. He wasn’t competing against pitt players for NBA draftability. He disappeared the second half of the season.

      I do think he also realized that Capel was on his way out had he been offered the Duke job or any of several others and that capel and heather don’t get along. He did not think that gallagher’s intervention and bringing heather and capel together…would actually work. It may or may not, but my guess is as soon as capel has a good run with Pitt, he will get offers and bolt.


      1. Good insight huff. But I have doubts that Capel is marketable to programs above Pitts level. He would have to go on a sustained run of very good performance. That would be at least four years. Not saying it can’t happen. Just highly unlikely.

        Liked by 1 person

  86. Here were the finalists for 4-star TE Mason Taylor from Florida who visited Pitt in June:

    “Pittsburgh Sports Now has been told that Taylor’s finalists are: Pitt, LSU, Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, Texas A&M.”

    He just decided on LSU. Surprise!

    Reminds you of one of Pitt Basketball’s recruiting capers…. At least we didn’t lose him to the Eers.

    Go Pitt.


  87. I think Narduzzi pays every one of these four stars to say that Pitt made the top 5.

    No elite recruit who has Pitt in his top 5 and after a visit has ever committed and signed. You can check me on that.


    1. Well we all should know by now…..Meatballs is not a wordsmith, is not blessed with good oratory skills, and is therefore not a great closer.

      He did have a very nice Sportcoat on the other day in Charlotte. Hart Schaffner Marx.

      A school like Pitt, mired in mediocrity for decades…..really needs a guy with much more pizzazz.


  88. Champ can improve his game in the G league under a professional teams instruction. If not it will be off to Europe. He’ll be just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our NBA team got beat by France. Let that sink in….Champ’s not good enough for Europe.


  89. I would imagine the elite college football schools are already recruiting with promises of NIL money. There is nothing regulating it. The stories will come out soon.

    Are universities permitted to help kids get deals? Why can’t UPMC Sports Medicine pay every kid on the team, show the team practicing in a commercial.


    1. What most every university’s have done is contract with third party companies to assist the athlete students with NIL. All above board. I am no longer giving out free advice to Pitt because they don’t take it (see Reed’s letter to the AD). I work with one P5 school on NIL and one other conference daily on this issue. Contrary to the pro heather commenters, she was not ahead of the game. Her reputation is awful as a business person with savvy. Not her fault in my opinion.


      1. And here I am a former business owner of a million dollar company getting ripped to shreds because I don’t know business. The moronic irony.


        1. You don’t get ripped to shreds here, Tex. There does exist some decorum. You get critiqued on some of the occasions when your comments other believe your comments lower the bar here. Example – the yellow blouse stuff.

          You get complimented when your comments deserve it. Which is not infrequent I would add. No one gets it right 100% of the time though. With the volume of your comments, you should be prepared for some pushback. Its part of the deal.

          Ripped to shreds? Come on, man.


        2. Tex, former owner of million dollar company frankly means nearly nothing

          not disparaging you, just doesn’t and hasn’t for a while


          1. Being a member of a million dollar club is touted by every small business I know of. It’s rarified air. Very difficult to achieve. In the end it wasn’t worth the sacrifice for me.


          2. The one thing I did learn from the experience is that I’m a hard worker and good at sales. I’d be perfect for the MPC fundraising committee. 🤠


        3. Tex, we should talk. I have made millionairres out of multi-millionairres! hahaha….i enjoy your comments because the core of what you state is accurate.

          I don’t mind the blouse stuff. I don’t mind the carrick art students either and miss the upitt humor! Candidly, I think it is all made in good fun. Doesn’t make me a bad fella, just my sense of humor is a bit different and this is an escape from the correctness and proper decorum I must emit each and everyday, so I appreciate a little raunchy humor. I think everyone here comes from a good place and a bit of jocularity is good for the soul.


          1. I try not to take things or even myself too seriously. And nothing is meant personally. The big beef I have with Pitt is playing fans for suckers and fools. And there’s just enough of them to allow Pitt to get away with it. I think like a teacher. If I can convince one individual that pitt leaders have no clothes or that a feasibility study is needed or serious consideration needs to be taken in regards to the BoT structure, etc, then I’ve served my purpose. Challenging people to think and observe in different ways is what I like to do. Doesn’t mean I’m right on things…just different.


          2. I appreciate that humour.

            So tell me, your thoughts on conference realignment and the possibly/inevitability of a football super league in 200 words or less.

            I know full well where Pitt has placed that hockey feasibility study and their plans for a football one. You ever been lost in the basement of the Cathedral? You wouldn’t believe what I saw.


      2. Just who are the “pro” Heather folks, Huff?

        What I see here are those who heavily criticize her – which may or may not be just – and others who acknowledge they don’t really know. Some of those folks give small bits of credit – way short of lauding – when something is done correctly.

        My memory may be failing me but when PItt rolled out its NIL initiative, I don’t recall that anyone said she was ahead of the game, but rather was ready when the day came. You seem like a really bright guy and understand the difference between that and being ahead of the game. So, who are these folks?

        I hope your list doesn’t include those who attempt to balance the over the top stuff. Because I think its much more realistic to indicate that someone who may be in over their head is still capable of getting some things done. Been my experience at least. But then, I’ve never had the pleasure of overbilling Pitt admin.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. And who exactly are these mysterious, delirious Koolaid drinkers referred to on here? Inquiring minds want to know.

          Go Pitt.


        2. I think if you look back when the announcements were made about NIL and the firm Pitt was using, there was applause all around. I have worked on and seen the Opendorse contract. Schools can pay for that, usually between 50k – 100k. If you are a car dealer and want Kate to do a spot, Kate directs you to Opendorse. Opendorse advises 3rd party what it will cost X to have the athlete and is the middleman. What most universities miss is that opendorse does not charge the athlete, but can charge the 3rd party, in addition to the retainer they get from the university.


  90. One thing about Champ….he was quite familiar with what Pitt had coming back to be his teammates. You can’t tell me if Pitt had better players coming back(or incoming players)…. that that wouldn’t have been a major factor in him returning.

    Who weren’t coming back…… were 2 of the top 3 scorers, the only other double digit scorers, plus they were also the 2nd & 3rd top rebounders & they were Pitt’s two top assist players.

    And he didn’t see the returning players, nor any of the stiffs Capel managed to sign for next year, helping him duplicate this past season. Capel was 0 for 150 of the top transfers.

    Would that excite you in coming back for another LOSING SEASON ?


  91. How many non-tourney upperclassmen were drafted last night? He 100% made the right call … Zero chance he could improve on 18/11 … his stock was as high as it would get. If Pitt was a better team, I may … emphasis on may …have changed my mind … but I still don’t think he’d help himself much … Always bet on yourself.


    1. We will never know the answer on whether he would improve or get worse. No data to back that up tossing. Good fodder and I might agree, but again, we will never know, so we shouldn’t definitively say one way or the other in my opinion. My sense is he could have picked one or two things to improve during the off season to help his stock (i.e. muscle weight/vertical/burst/ball handling/passing/rebounding, etc).


  92. TX are you off your meds? We can always count on you for inane comments, but you’re really outdoing yourself in this thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would give anything to be a kid again. You can’t put a price on that.

      What is the harm in coming back to school for one year? And don’t give me the injury excuse. He could blow his knee out in the G league or boarding his plane to Turkey.

      Now you answer that one clearly and I’ll know if you’re lucid.


      1. You’re projecting your thoughts and feelings on him … you learned that from experience …he needs experience to draw a similar conclusion … I’ve heard several athletes say the opposite … they wish they would have gone pro sooner … Mike Young just alluded to it in a PG article … paraphrasing … but he said Dixon coming back would have been a better team than Stallings but conversely, he may have been able to go pro after his sophomore year under Stallings with the way he was used in his offense … I don’t wish I could back to my college years … can’t live in the past. I had fun but growing up has been fun, too.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. As much as Kate (K8) can. No limit. Someone will need to teach him how to do his taxes. He has immediate write-offs already so he is losing money.

      This is why the golden panthers should start up and will have zero influence by the AD to reign it in. Hundred dollar handshakes for everybody!! It’s wild wild west. For eligibility purposes, the player is responsible for reporting all income to compliance on a mandated form. The more stupid part is that the university will only be responsible for proving they asked the athlete to report wages. The down side is for the athlete. If they fail to report, they hose themselves with eligibility.


      1. So … Justin was smart to leave and possibly play in Europe? How old was the oldest Euro starter drafted?


        1. His little bro has all the brains. His lil will get drafted and rub it in his big bros face. You can’t teach stupid.


          1. He plays for a tournament bound team. For someone who likes statistics, you’re not using them here. Upperclassman on bad teams don’t get drafted. Unlike the NFL, he has other professional options and can still make his way to the nba.


            1. He plays in the big east against inferior schools.

              If Justin has a big game against duke or NC, everyone in the world notices.


              1. BigEast hoops is still very good…much as I hate to admit it.

                In the Final AP poll of the last complete season of 2019-2020, 4 BigEast teams were in the Top 25.

                Villanova has won 2 NC’s in the new BigEast (ouch)


                1. It’s still decent but nothing like the old big east. nova is the big dog. And Pitt does little to rekindle rivalries with UConn, GTown and Nova. At least they are playing St. John’s again. Pitt would rather throw their coach under the bus for criticizing ACC officials instead.


                1. I’m not an nba fan. But what I think is that Justin wants to grow up too fast. Got bad advice. And won’t be making millions like he foolishly thought.

                  Should have stayed in school for all those things I mentioned previously. And I know enough to know in the second round that there were some very questionable picks. Justin could have been a questionable pick with one more year in school.

                  He would have made more in nil than the g league or some scrub club in Europe or China.

                  Bad look on him. Bad look on Pitt. Does that surprise you?


    1. I don’t see any ACC top teams making a move.
      And the lower teams don’t make financial sense, as does not WVCC.
      There are many of these blogs with nothing better to do, than spam click bait.

      1) Much easier path to the 12 team playoff and therefore the NC.
      2) ACC Grant of Rights keeps everyone locked in for over a decade


  93. I say bring it on but pick Louisville over the Hoopies.

    Pitt by the way is so totally screwed in all this because they have a fashionista as AD and atom counter as Chancellor. Along with 33 percent of their board being worthless inept bureaucrats.


    1. and James says I pass on disinformation?

      How do I separate fact from fiction? I exercise patience, use common sense and drown out the wanna be comedians.


      1. Ike, you take things too serious sometimes. I don’t know the background on the disinformation thing. So I won’t comment.

        All I know is I like everyone else has opinions. I try to back up my thoughts with arguements. One can disagree. But you and my maker will never convince me that lyke and Narduzzi are good for Pitt. I’ll hear arguements and enjoy the debate but nobody can change my mind.

        If Narduzzi goes on a run of three straight ten win seasons then maybe

        If heather conducts a feasibility study and gets Tepper to stroke a $50 million dollar check, then maybe

        But those things will never happen.


      2. I don’t take pitt sports seriously. They are often times a joke. A good dark comedy. I stopped caring about football a long time ago. I still care about pitt though.


    1. I like the idea of rhe other 3 conferences carving up the Big 12 but think there should be an effort to get Cincinnati, Houton, UCF, and USF involved too.


  94. With all the media promotion of the delta thingie……what does this mean for college football.

    Will they insist everyone wear a face diaper ?

    Will they limit seating capacity ?

    Does this mean we can’t tailgate & Heather will go back into the CoL bunker ?

    Stay tuned !

    Liked by 1 person

  95. I have no idea of what is going on? Looks like some changes coming. I hope the ACC stays the same and add Navy, Notre Dame, WVU and/or Maryland. That about all the further I’ve gotten in this conundrum. (I hated English)

    Liked by 1 person

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