Pitt's ACC not as rosy, but some good news
Pitt's ACC parachute, intended to carry the football program away from the Big East to a safe, secure landing spot, has developed a few holes.
Maryland, an ACC founding father, moved to the Big Ten this week, and it may not be the only school looking to leave.
Florida State, the highest-ranked ACC team (No. 10) in the Associated Press poll, might bolt if Big 12 officials offered an invitation, according to longtime college football analyst Mike Huguenin.
“There is a reason Maryland and Florida State were the only teams to vote against raising the exit fee to $50 million,” he said. “Florida State is certainly not wedded to the ACC.”
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski told Sports Illustrated this week the ACC is “vulnerable right now. I'm concerned about our conference.”
Huguenin, who lives in Orlando, Fla., and has covered college football for nearly three decades, said some Florida State fans are envious of riches other schools, especially in-state rival Florida, take to the bank.
“Florida makes boatloads more money (in the SEC),” he said. “Big 12 teams make more than the ACC schools.”
Despite such dire speculation, there is some good news for Pitt. The conference's Coastal Division, where the Panthers will compete beginning in 2013, isn't that tough.
While the Big East has two 9-1 teams — Rutgers and Louisville — and 7-3 Cincinnati, five of the six Coastal schools have lost at least five games. The exception is North Carolina (7-4, 4-3), but the Tar Heels are facing a bowl ban this season and the forfeiture of 15 scholarships over a three-year period for NCAA violations.
The Coastal representative in the ACC Championship game Dec. 1 against Florida State will be Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3) after Miami (6-5, 4-3) slapped a bowl ban on itself in an attempt to lessen upcoming NCAA sanctions.
Georgia Tech started 2-4, losing to Middle Tennessee, 49-28, and giving up 40 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time in school history. Defensive coordinator Al Groh was fired at mid-season.
“As mediocre as Pitt has been this year,” Huguenin said, “if I'm a Pitt fan, I'm thinking the Big East is horrible, and we struggled in it, but we're going to a league that really isn't that good either.
“I don't think Pitt will contend for a division title, but I think Pitt can go to a bowl game next year.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.