November 28th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

Its interesting you bring up Pittsburgh.  I wonder if they had waited before making the decision to join the ACC whether they would have been added to the B1G this time around.  They really are a perfect match geographically and athletically.  Academically too (at least moreso than Nebraska).  I'm bummed it didn't shake out that way - the PSU-Pitt rivalry could be renewed and new cross-border ones like Ohio-Pitt could begin.



los barcos

November 28th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^


would have been a great addition:

-academically they are right there with ohio, in front of purdue, minnesota, msu, indiana, etc

-good grad programs too. UPMC is internationally recognized.

-pitt is a great city and would have been a fun road trip. Only 4 hours from ann arbor.


The problem is they cant even get on local tv – they don’t bring eyes.  No one cares about pitt– it’s a professional sports town.  also, I’ve never been to Rutgers, but pitt would immediately come in as the worst stadium in the big ten (professional stadium, tailgate under a highway).


November 28th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

Agreed.  The stadium situation absolutely sucks.  I was at the last game in the old Pitt Stadium (where the newer basketball arena now sits) and it was a fun place.  Kind of like a mini Big House but right in the middle of campus and Oakland.  Too bad they couldn't keep it but they made a deal with the Steelers when they built the new Heinz Field and new practice facility on the South Side.  Real bummer for the students who now have to take a bus to games.  But the Pitt-WVU game at Heinz Field was a fun atmosphere (if you like a bunch of WVU fans geared out in camoflauge and bright orange hunting jackets yelling in your ears behind you).

Old Pitt Stadium:


Darth Wolverine

November 28th, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

I can't stand watching a CFB game that is played in a pro stadium (obviously the exception is M, but as long as they win, I don't care where they play). Pitt games are hard to watch on TV simply because Heinz Field is so hideous. College teams belong in college stadiums. College stadiums always have more character and just give you the college feel. This is also why I can't stand watching the Hurricanes play at home. Their stadium is so ugly and their games don't feel like college games.


November 28th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

Your last paragraph is flat out wrong.

Pitt has never had any issues with being aired on local TV.  They would have absolutely brought eyes to the B10 market had Penn State not already done so (which is the ONLY reason they will never be invited).

People in Pittsburgh care about the Pitt teams--more so basketball than football--but as mentioned earlier, the fact that the football games are played at Heinz and the team is annually mediocre isn't much of an incentive for fans to go watch them live.

Basketball on the other hand is huge.  Pittsburgh doesn't have an NBA team which means Pitt is the only basketball team people follow.  Tickets at the Pete aren't easy to come by.


Yes, Pittsburgh is a professional sports city first, but that doesn't mean there's a loss of interest in the college teams.  They would have been an excellent get for the B10 if the invitation qualifications didn't mandate opening a new TV market.  Holding off on the ACC offer would have done nothing to increase their chances of getting in.


November 28th, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

I understand your point but I think the initial point is definitely valid.  The Steelers rein supreme in Pittsburgh.  Plus, Pitt football doesn't really have a die-hard following like its basketball team does.  Nevertheless, I have heard what you hint at - that Paterno was instrumental at making sure Pitt was not invited to join two years ago.  Even more sad for Pitt fans given what transpired at PSU thereafter . . .



November 28th, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

What would UConn and Cincinati bring to the B10?  Neither UConn nor Cinci bring any new markets to the table for the BTN.  Neither are AAU schools (a seamingly important factor) and don't bring much to the table athletically.  

The only things UConn has going for it is that it's a flagship school (in a small market) and a recent (last 15 years) basketball power.  Now that Calhoun is gone, I think they will recede in basketball relevence history.

Cinci is a large research based school, but again, not an AAU school.  They bring very little to the table as far as sports go and, with OSU, the BTN already has the Cinci market.

A new school needs to bring expanding markets in new areas (Mid Atlantic or South) or tremendous athletic prestige (ND).  With the exception of ND, the school must be a current member of the AAU.  Since ND is a no go, that leaves UVA, UNC, Duke, GTU, Kansas, Pitt, amd Mizzou.  Since Kansas leased it's rights to the Big12, Mizzou isn't leaving the SEC, and Pitt is already in the BTN footprint, that leaves UVA, UNC, GTU, and Duke.  UVA and UNC would be home runs, but UVA and GTU would be pretty good as well.

UConn and Cinci would be a 3 pitch strike out looking.



November 28th, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

What about VT?  I thought that UVa was tied to VT and that UNC was tied to NC State (and to a lesser extent Duke, granted there could be protected OOC games).  Wouldn't that pose a problem of trying to bring in the flagship University of two schools?  I'd think that state legislators from either VA or NC would pretty much require that UVa or UNC pull along their siblings to make sure they're not lost in the college football musical chairs (less likely for VT, more likely for NC State).


November 28th, 2012 at 9:19 AM ^

VT and UVA aren't attached at the hip, it's more that the state wants both schools to be in stable, successful (i.e., BCS) conferences. If the ACC starts to crumble, VT would likely be the first choice for the SEC to expand to 16 with. The NC schools would be tougher to move around, as I think the B1G and SEC would fight over UNC with Duke as the consolation prize. I can't see either conference wanting NC State (or wanting to go beyond 16 teams), so the only way UNC/Duke go anywhere is total dissolution of the ACC.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

The only way UVA and TV are together is that they both need a landing spot.  If the rumors are correct, the SEC wants to get into the Va and NC markets for their new SEC network.  My impression is that UVA will not go to a conference like the SEC due to academics.  VT, on the otherhand, looks to be the target of the SEC.  If UVA went to the B10, that would leave each with a secure landing place.

UNC/NCST are trickier, but the same principle applies.  They have the same Board of Trustees/Regents, so each needs a safe landing place as well.  Those fans want to go to the SEC, but my guess is that the big cademic and athletic donors will have their say.  The problem is where will NCST go.  Their non-AAU status likely means they don't have a spot in the B10.  Some think that the B12 might be a spot.  I don't think Duke will prevent UNC from joining a power conference.  UNC will try to take Duke with them but, in the end, they a spot if the ACC is truly dying as a footbal conference.  

It's my useless opinion that UNC will go only if needed.  They are not short money and love thier little ACC fiefdom (much like Texas and the B12).  They will stay until the end with Duke until they have to leave.  They will always be welcome in a power conference.  That's why I believe it's UVA and GTU to the B10 as #15 and #16.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

as the two best gets for the B1G. Strong geographic contiguity, extending across the Mid-Atlantic, two very strong schools academically, powering the bball thing and women's programs much more fully. Politics (no polo) also comes into play, with state legislatures that would be more sympathetic to the B1G than, say, Missouri's was.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

People keep forgetting that the Big Ten is not just an athletic conference. It's also an academic organization composed entirely—with the exception of Nebraska—of members of the Association of American Universities, a consortium of leading research universities. And Nebraska was a member of the AAU from 1909 until 2011, when it was booted out of the AAU over its assessment of Nebraska's credentials. The University of Nebraska's research and academic medical center is in Omaha, and the fact that it's not on-campus in Lincoln led the AAU to exclude it from its evaluation criteria. The AAU also disregarded Nebraska's USDA-funded agricultural research in its metrics.

Notre Dame has received sporadic solicitation from the Big Ten despite its non-membership in the AAU because of its unique prominence as a midwestern program and its undeniable quality as an undergraduate education institution. Supposedly, if ND had accepted the invitation, it would have resulted in a substantial augmentation of its research activities.

While I believe that the ultimate goal of the Big Ten is to become a 16-member conference, the AAU-membership standard limits the number of institutions that are eligible, which is why Cincinnati and UConn have no chance at being invited, completely aside from their athletic merit. The AAU membership standard is why I think that Pitt is a logical addition to the conference, regardless of the fact that it doesn't expand the footprint and is slated to join the ACC in 2013. The problem with adding other schools like UVA and UNC is that the legislatures in Virginia and North Carolina are going to be extremely resistant to seeing those schools peeled off from their pairings with VaTech and NC State, and those latter two are not AAU members. I still think that Missouri is also a logical candidate to the west, since it's not hampered by any historic ties to another in-state school. The obvious problem is its new membership in the SEC; personally, I think Mizzou's leadership blew it in not waiting for the Big Ten, which is a conference that Missouri was far more interested in joining for academic reasons.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

There isn't some inexorable gravitational command to reach 16 teams. Every add needs to be revenue positive, as well as meeting the Big Ten's geographical and academic standards.

As you note, UConn and Cincinnati fail on academic grounds. Pitt fails on revenue grounds: it doesn't add much, given that the Big Ten already has Pennsylvania's major football school. (Even with crippling sanctions, Penn State had a better football season this year than Pitt, as it practically always does.)

You are right that UVA and UNC will have a lot of trouble splitting up from their in-state sister schools, even assuming they'd want the Big Ten (and that the Big Ten would want them) if that issue evaporated. But I don't think Missouri had any choice. No one passes up the chance to join the SEC. Sure, they coveted a Big Ten invite, but when Kate Upton has the hots for you, you don't hold out for Jennifer Aniston.


November 28th, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

It wasn't even 10 years ago that VT was in the Big East, separate from UVA. As long as VT is in a good situation, than it'll be fine. The state legislature was resistant to VT being on what was then thought of as being a sinking ship, the Big East. And, at that time, VT was still on a positive trajectory as far as name recognition goes with Vick having just been there and doing well in the NFL and good post-Vick Beamer years. The ACC will stick around in some form and be alright, and if it's not than VT could go to the SEC or Big 12. They have good enough athletics, academics, and media market importance to land in a good situation. 


November 28th, 2012 at 4:07 PM ^

There isn't some inexorable gravitational command to reach 16 teams.

+1'd for that alone. 16 teams is thoroughly, 100%, an artificial construction of message board denizens.  Many UVA fans are talking about how UVA should throw itself at the B1G's door right now before the bus leaves.  To which I say: let's say UVA and UNC found themselves in a severely depleted, Big-East-ified ACC, and wanted to go to the B1G.  But the B1G already has 16 teams.  Does anyone truly believe the presidents in the B1G would say, gee, I know those are two of the best schools in the country and we'd love to increase our collaboration with them, but we already have 16 teams so we can't?


November 28th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

It goes beyond the question of being available, but whether Big Ten Network programming is included within "basic" service or something akin to that where the B1G is receiving a part of each month's cable payment from all or almost all of the cable/satellite provider's customers.  If I remember right, that was the big sticking point when the B1G went live and various networks were slow to provide coverage.  Guessing again, I would think that it is included.

I would also have to believe that while available, Big Ten Network programming is not part of the basic package in much of the DC-Baltimore Metro area, nor is it in NJ and NYC, which is why Maryland and Rutgers are now Midwestern schools.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

Louisville went from C-USA in 2004/5 to ACC in 2014(?).  That is an incredible leap in a short time period.


I do wonder how Kentucky (Louisville in particular) is in any way associated with the Atlantic Coast?