PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 05: Hubie Graham #83 of the Pittsburgh Panthers celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdwon in the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats on November 5, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
It doesn't matter if a school or two leaves the ACC. It's still a great fit for Pitt.
Quick. Sound the alarms. Time to panic. Expansionpalooza is happening again, and we're all doomed.
That's the sentiment you'll get while reading the message boards and Twitter this week. If you haven't heard by now, Florida State is possibly thinking about moving from the ACC to the Big 12.
The rumor has taken on a life of its own. Its origins are debatable, but a lot of the flame-fanning is being done by West Virginia fans on various message boards and blogs. In this day of social networking, a rumor and blog post can turn into a full-blown national story. FSU's Board of Trustees Chairman Andy Haggard made some pretty opinionated and inflammatory remarks regarding his school's place in the ACC. Even though most of his facts were wrong and the fire was seemingly extinguished by FSU's Athletic Director and President, the chatter refuses to die.
As Pitt fans, we're a naturally pessimistic bunch. Just when we get settled in a comfy new home, this happens. It seems like the Big East 2.0 is upon us. Woe is us! Fret not, Pitt fans. I'm here to provide you some logic and comfort. We're better off in the ACC, with or without FSU.
Now I don't believe FSU (or Clemson, because that is even more ridiculous thought) will leave the ACC. But if they were, the ACC is still a huge step up perception-wise for Pitt. While not even close to dominant in football, the potential for ACC teams like Miami, UNC, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and even North Carolina State is much higher than former C-USA schools Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida. The ability for the ACC to get back on the national radar is there. Would the Big East, or will the Big East, ever have that chance again? Doubtful.
The ACC also brings TV coverage and exposure unavailable in the Big East. The new contract with ESPN provides even more opportunity for Pitt to be seen in households across the nation. Surprisingly, the ACC also brings stability. Yes, the rumors are out there, but the core of the ACC isn't going anywhere. While a school or two may leave, the base and heart of the ACC is here to stay. I'm comfortable in stating that if the ACC is good enough for UNC, it is good enough for Pitt. Until then, just relax Pitt fans. A year ago the Big 12 was on the verge of collapse with Texas and Oklahoma looking west. What a difference a year makes. And how quickly we forget.
So Pitt fans, there's no need to worry. We're in good company. Better company. Company that isn't halfway across the country (ahem, WVU). Just remember, Pitt fans, in the words of the immortal Stuart Smalley, "We're good enough, we're smart enough, and doggone it, people like us!"