Paul Zeise had a follow-up post to Big East media day and talked quite a bit about expansion. We've hit that topic pretty hard over here, but one note I found interesting was the fact that Pitt and Notre Dame are working to continue their football series.
The Big East may not be able to get Notre Dame as a football member but the Fighting Irish could be on the Panthers' schedule for a very long time.How long is anybody's guess but AD Steve Pederson says he wants Notre Dame on the schedule for a significant amount of time:
One series that you can count on for the long term is the Notre Dame series. The current deal is like a 12-year deal but Pederson said he's had many discussions with Notre Dame and both sides want the series to continue "for a long, long time," he said. He anticipates the two schools signing another long term deal to play home-and-home when the current deal is closer to the end. "Both schools respect each other, we share many of the same values, we have great traditions of playing against each other, it is always a quality game - both sides agree it needs to continue," Pederson said.
Bash Pederson all you like. Heck, it's been abundantly clear I've not always been on board with his line of thinking. But he's got this one exactly right. Not only do I personally love the Notre Dame game, but it really adds tremendous value to Pitt's schedule. Not only are the Irish an attractive opponent (even in down years), but the game sells a lot of tickets.
Pitt also reaps the benefits by charging more for that game on an individual basis and that's the right move. After all, why shouldn't that game cost more than a contest against a team like Buffalo? Not only does Pitt make more money by doing that, but it encourages fans to buy season tickets instead.
Want another reason it's a good idea? It's a bonus for recruiting. Imagine Todd Graham being able to go into a recruit's home and tell him that he'll get a chance to suit up against Notre Dame four times.
And for all the screaming about Penn State, having Notre Dame on the schedule annually is a nice consolation prize.