After the ACC announced their new scheduling formats, Steve Pederson had this to say.
"We are following that very closely and continuing to monitor what happens [with West Virginia]," Pederson said. "I don't know exactly what the future holds."
I don't know. I really don't think it's possible. That would mean leaving the Big East with only 5 football playing schools. Sure they could each play a home-and-home with each other and add 4 non-conference games to complete their schedule for one season. But it just seems wrong to leave the Big East that way.
Although, when you think about it, it's really all the Big East's fault. So screw them anyways right?
Pederson is unhappy that the changing face of the Big East opened a hole in Pitt's 2012 nonconference football schedule. Pitt had to cancel a scheduled nonconference game against Central Florida to accommodate TCU, which said it was joining the Big East. When TCU backed out last year to join the Big 12, the Big East allowed it go without penalty.
"We actually bought our way out of the Central Florida game," Pederson said. "That wasn't our preference. We weren't consulted on letting TCU out of the league without a waiting period. It really has put us in a very difficult spot."
Not playing TCU is going to cost Pitt a lot if they're in the Big East in 2012. The Horned Frogs were supposed to play at Heinz Field next season. Pitt had to give up a home game against UCF for it. Now, if the Mountaineers also leave, that's a 3rd home game that Pitt had to give up because of the Big East. That's a lot of money right there.Paul Zeise had this is say.
** The number one topic facing Pitt athletics right now is this - when do the Panthers get to begin competing in the ACC? I am now becoming more and more convinced in the conversations I've had in the past two days that Pitt will be in the ACC in 2012 and here is why - the school has had enough with the way the Big East has mangled this all and frankly is waiting on West Virginia.
If - or more accurately - when, West Virginia finally declares they are leaving for the 2012 season officially and the Big 12 schedule is announced with WVU on it, Pitt is going to follow them out the door and dare the Big East to stop them.
He clearly must not be a Pitt fan at heart though. Rooting for West Virginia? Never in a million years will you catch me doing that.
But it's true. If Pitt wants to be in the ACC for next season, Pitt needs to hope that when West Virginia and the Big East enter mediation on Thursday, they reach a settlement and both sides move on. Or, Pitt could do as Zeise says and just dare the Big East to sue. It's not noble (and you get bet Pitt and/or Syracuse will get a lot of flack from the media), but the Big East did this to themselves by not forcing TCU to stay and honor their agreement to play in the Big East. They let them walk for only $5 million and forced Pitt and all the other Big East schools to make room on their schedule for TCU. It cost the Panthers in particular a lot.
It's possible. The ACC hasn't released their schedules yet and although ACC commissioner John Swofford pretty much dismissed the notion of Pitt and Syracuse playing in 2012, the schedules haven't been released yet. There's still a chance. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.