Monday, February 22, 2010

#143: Pitt to Big Ten?

---Thanks, But No Thanks---

This might show how out of the sports realm I've fallen.

I was listening to the new Pittsburgh sports talk station this past weekend, and the topic being debated (in a one-sided kind of manner) was if the University of Pittsburgh should join the Big Ten Conference.

Apparently the Big Ten (already misnamed because there are eleven schools) is too small, and I'm the only one who didn't notice.

There really wasn't an argument by the hosts to remain in the Big East...just different reasons why the move would be a good thing. All but one of the callers who chimed in agreed with the hosts.

Some of the points in favor that were offered by the unofficial panel:

- more money for the university

- more exciting home games for Pitt football

- ability to dominate Big Ten opponents in basketball

- more money for the university

- the threat of the Big East either disintegrating or, at least, losing its automatic BCS berth

- renewal of rivalry with Penn State

- more money for the university

Some of the conversation talked about bringing West Virginia and Syracuse over to keep those football rivalries alive, as well, but the crux was whether Pitt should go.

As I am not an alumnus, I probably shouldn't have any opinion whatsoever, but, as a fan, I'll give it anyway.

I consider myself a dissenter. Perhaps a conservative.

Right now, the Big East is the best place for the Panthers in both football and basketball.

Had Pitt football crushed the Big East this past year and put on a great performance in their BCS game (even if they hadn't won), then I'd be more easily convinced that Pitt was ready for the move.

On the basketball side, the Panthers are supposed to be having a rebuilding year, but find themselves in the thick of the Big East conference and have all but assured themselves a single-digit seed in the Field of 65 with gritty wins against Marquette and Villanova. These kinds of games against these kinds of teams are necessary for a team to grow. To be competing against a strong, but less-formidable conference in the Big Ten would hinder the Panther roundball program.

Of course, to me, the "money" aspect that I illustrated in the proponents list of "pros" doesn't carry enough weight for me to side with the pro-Big Ten move.

Bottom line: a (relatively-speaking) lightweight conference schedule in basketball while the football team becomes the doormat does not make sense.

The only issue I need more information on that could persuade me is how (or why) people are saying the Big East could be dissolved.

I haven't heard anything on this. Then again, as I said, it might just illustrate how far out of the scene I've fallen in recent months.

(Feel free to fill me in.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ability for Pitt to dominate in basketball?

With Gary McGhee at center?


3/31/2010 10:35 AM  

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