Clarence Beeks

December 21st, 2009 at 1:57 PM ^

Eh, I like Jamie Dixon, and he's probably right, but he's wrong about why the built the Petersen Events Center. They didn't build it because of demand for Big East tickets, they built it because Fitzgerald Fieldhouse was/is a dump.


December 21st, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

is going to be much less of a sure thing than many assume. It'd be sort of humorous if we couldn't persuade anybody on the list to move. It's not as though the Big Ten is regarded as being at the top of either football or basketball, and while the conference won't admit anybody that doesn't meet the academic requirements, I don't think that academics alone will make the switch happen. It will ultimately come down to money primarily.

From Dixon's perspective, I wouldn't want to move either, considering how strong the BEast is.

Dark Blue

December 21st, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

Dixon is right. Realistically I think Pitt makes the most sense for the Big Ten, but they have grown into a power in Bball and currently play in a super conference. I wouldn't leave either.

MI Expat NY

December 21st, 2009 at 2:19 PM ^

Dixon recognizes that Pitt to the Big 10 makes sense on many levels and he's worried about losing his inroads into the NYC bball recruiting hotbed. Thus he's spouting off. Ultimately, this decision will be made above his level (he's not nearly as important to Pitt as Boehiem is to Syracuse), and he'll have to live with his job becoming slightly more difficult if they make the jump.

P.s. I wonder if filling the arena for far-flung places like Notre Dame, Marquette, Depaul and South Florid fits into his critique? Big games vs. ranked teams draw fans, it doesn't really matter where they're flying in from.


December 21st, 2009 at 2:38 PM ^

I don't know why anyone would take seriously the stuff anyone at any potential expansion target says. It's like head coach hires, only on a much grander scale, which given the scale of coach hires, ought to tell you something. Nobody at Mizzou, Pitt, Syracuse, Nebraska, or anywhere is going to say anything other than "we're happy where we're at" until it's obvious the point of no return is passed. Until a school is at a point where a move to the Big Ten is not only agreed upon, but can't possibly be screwed up in any fashion, they're all going to say they're not interested. Virginia Tech was part of the Big East's lawsuit against the ACC until the moment they switched. At this point, everyone's "happy where they are." Wait til a year from now when the wheels are properly in motion.


December 21st, 2009 at 3:38 PM ^

wanted to add BC, Miami and Va Tech either, but it happened anyway because of the $$$. It actually didn't turn out that well, because Miami and Florida State haven't been meeting in the ACC championship game as anticipated and attendance has been poor. It did help TV $$ though. The fact of the matter is that either Pitt or Mizzou will jump at the Big Ten if given the chance (even if their basketball coach doesn't like it) because the Big Ten $$ is so much more than what they get now. The Big Ten may ultimately decide it doesn't get enough out of expansion to make it worth slicing off another piece of pie for a new member.


December 21st, 2009 at 3:47 PM ^

It does do wonders for Pitt football, however, as the Big Ten is more prestigious, has better bowl tie-ins, and makes a ton more money than the Big East. I thought he had some highly mediocre arguments as Pitt doesn't exactly have any huge rivalries outside of West Virginia (although the Villanova and Syracuse games are considered somewhat important, as I understand it). Furthermore, with the number of non-conference games in college basketball, there's no reason to suppose that they couldn't play them every year anyways. Also, the distance argument is complete crap, when you consider that Pitt is just as far away from Marquette as Wisconsin and I doubt that Pitt cares about the South Florida or DePaul games anymore than they would a Northwestern or Iowa game.


December 21st, 2009 at 5:29 PM ^

I don't think that a rivalry can be considered 'huge' until the teams involved have disliked each other for a long time. To my understanding, there's no history of a rivalry between Pitt and UConn or Georgetown until quite recently when Pitt became good. Furthermore, insofar as I understand it, UConn and Georgetown do not consider Pitt to be a rival any more than the typical Big East team. It seems more like a Michigan-Iowa type "rivalry". It's an important game as it's a conference game, but there's no enmity between the teams.

To that end, I don't think that those games are important enough to Pitt to turn down the Big Ten on the grounds of tradition.


December 21st, 2009 at 4:45 PM ^

Simply put, like I said before, Pitt doesn't care about their football program as much as you all think. The Big East is looking to add 2 to 4 teams for football in the future. Those would most likely include ECU, UCF, Memphis and/or bringing Temple back. But what's most important to the Big East is basketball. Always has been, always will be. Pitt has HUGE matchups with Syracuse, UConn, Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Marquette in basketball.

The Big East could theoretically add ECU and UCF (or Memphis, or Temple) to get to 10 teams in football, and 18 for basketball. If they wanted to get championship status in football, they would have to dump Depaul and Marquette in basketball in order to make room for the other basketball AND football schools (ECU, UCF, Memphis, Temple or others). An obvious choice would be Memphis which would fit right in with the long list of dominant college basketball teams in the Big East.


December 21st, 2009 at 5:34 PM ^

Whether Pitt cares more about basketball or football more is a secondary question. The primary question is whether Pitt cares more about their relatively new basketball rivalries and tradition more than the financial advantage that the Big Ten has over the Big East.

MI Expat NY

December 21st, 2009 at 6:13 PM ^

If they add any more schools, that league will be torn apart. The seeds are already there... 8 football schools, 8 non-football, private (all catholic?) schools. If the Big East adds UCF/ECU/Memphis/etc. I could see Notre Dame, Marquette, Depaul, Villanova, St. Johns, Providence,Georgetown and Seton Hall breaking off to form a nice little basketball conference. They wouldn't have the same cache of the Big East, or quite the depth, but they also wouldn't be a part of a beheamoth of a pseudo conference either. They could possibly also raid a couple of the A-10's stronger schools to round out their new conference (Xavier, Temple, St. Joe's, etc.).

Actually, if this isn't the end result of the next round of conference realignment, I'd be surprised.


December 21st, 2009 at 7:37 PM ^ coaches don't dictate to the Pitt AD nor the Pitt president. Pitt to the Big Ten is a natural for football, especially as long as Dave Wannstedt stays. He coaches Pitt like an old school Big Ten team. The football team is a perfect match for the Big Ten; they're like Wisky with slightly better weather in November.