What's a good way to make Pitt fans forget about blowing a 17-point fourth quarter lead? Immediately announce that the school is leaving the Big East and moving to the ACC.
When I first heard the rumors yesterday that Pitt, along with Syracuse, would be making an official inquiry to apply for admission to the Atlantic Coast Conference, I didn't think anything would happen for a very long time.
And then when the Panthers squandered away yesterday's game, I wondered if the conference would have second-thoughts about Pitt joining their ranks.
Well, this morning, I was floored when it was announced that the move by Pitt and Syracuse was a done-deal. It's still up-in-the-air as to when the two schools will officially become part of the ACC since the Big East requires a 27-month notice for teams looking to move; although that stipulation could be waived.
When Pitt officially moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference, it will be the only university located in a land-locked state.
And I wonder if Syracuse fans will feel like they're part of the ACC when they're getting pounded by two-feet of snow in the middle of January.
Of course, all the recent realignment in big-time college athletics has nothing to do with geographical accuracy. It's all about survival and money.
And in all fairness, in terms of travel for teams and fans, there really is very little difference between schools in the Big East and the ACC.
Pitt moving to the ACC is at least a slight upgrade in the football department. And with Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami (depending on the severity of their inevitable sanctions), and Clemson, one might call it a significant upgrade. In basketball, at least in terms of prestige, moving to the ACC is a lateral move. It remains to be seen if it will effect Jamie Dixon's New York recruiting pipeline. Although, playing in the same conference as Duke and North Carolina has to be at least a little enticing to even kids in the New York area.
I've always been a Big East fan and wanted them to succeed as a football conference, but it just became increasingly obvious that the Big East was always going to be a target for other conferences looking to expand.
Pitt had to be proactive. It had to think of its own welfare first and foremost.
I don't know what this will mean for Pitt's longtime rival, WVU. But I'm fairly certain that this conference shifting is far from over. From what I understand, Pitt and Syracuse were only two of several schools targeted by the ACC. The additions of Pitt and Syracuse gives the ACC 14 members. If they want to expand to 16 schools, West Virginia would be an ideal candidate.
With the defections of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College in 2003, and now with Pitt and Syracuse leaving, it appears that the Big East may be done, at least as a football conference.