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Should Pitt Decline A BCS Berth?

I laughed out loud at a Post-Gazette reader's question about whether Pitt should "bow out" of a BCS bowl game if the Panthers win the Big East.

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If Pitt wins the Big East should Pitt gracefuly bow out of the BCS Bowl Game? I would suggest the Panthers make a deal with TCU or Stanford for whatever for the money differential and play in a lesser Bowl Game and work toward a stronger conference in 2011. Pitt winning a BCS Bowl will be considered a fluke but gracefully bowing out for the good of the game and the NCAA could be priceless.
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That's creative, but man, this Panthers team would live in infamy if it tried anything like that. I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a potential recruit who heard about Pitt willingly dropping out of a BCS game, and I can't imagine that I'd still want to play there. Post-Gazette writer Paul Zeise thought it was a bad idea, too:
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[T]here is a system in place and it is what it is and if Pitt or Connecticut or West Virginia wins the Big East, they will have earned the right to be in a BCS game. And why in the world would they decline that? They get a month of free publicity, get wined and dined in some really nice locale and probably get a boost in recruiting as well. And the money deal would not work because the money for the BCS berth is paid to the Big East, not to the school, and it is divided evenly among all the schools.
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Zeise goes on to point out that if the Panthers did win their last two regular-season games and a bowl game against a ranked team, they'd have plenty of momentum to take with them into the offseason.
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That said, it surely is meaningful that Zeise had to spend an entire paragraph explaining why Pitt wouldn't decline a bowl game. Given the way the Big East has gone this season, the idea that Pitt, or West Virginia or UConn will be going to a BCS game is kind of crazy.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.