Football wasn't the only reason Pitt was added to the ACC (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
As Pitt fans, we're all pretty pumped about the move to the ACC. But that doesn't mean everyone's thrilled. A popular North Carolina blog has a different view and, let's just say, isn't all that thrilled about the Panthers coming aboard.
Let's examine some of their arguments.
Keeping It Heel, a fine North Carolina blog, would have preferred another addition for the conference. Below are some of their arguments along with my thoughts.
I don't typically do this with other blogs, but my responses aren't meant to tear down this site. Rather, I think these are arguments fans of other ACC programs would have, so it's worth taking a look at them.
Why bring in Pitt? I understand it will not be easy to get a powerhouse football school to the ACC. But there is no need for another mediocore football school that will not boost the conferences reputation in the sport.
In a nutshell, the move is about far more than football. But even looking past that a bit, while the Panthers didn't have a great football season last year, the program is a solid one. They averaged eight wins from 2008 - 2010 and were pretty close to getting BCS bids in two of those seasons. Pitt also brings a great football history to the conference. The Panthers aren't a recent powerhouse, but stack up pretty well compared to other ACC programs and certainly don't drag the conference down.
Beyond the football stuff, Pitt is a solid fit geographically, has a history of rivalries with several member schools, is an excellent basketball school, and a strong academic institution.
The Big East has no big time schools to offer and the SEC isn’t about to disband right now, especially for the ACC. So that means Notre Dame is the best chance, and the ACC needs to do everything it possibly can to bring in the Irish.
Well, um, yeah. Of course the ACC would prefer Notre Dame to Pitt ... so would everybody else. But the Irish aren't all that interested in joining a conference full time so does that mean the ACC should just skip expansion if they can't snag the Irish.
In an ideal world I would love to see the ACC rid themselves of Boston College and add both Pitt and Notre Dame. Upgrade the bottom while also giving the conference a team with the chance of being an elite program again.
So, in this scenario, Pitt would be an upgrade to 'the bottom' of the ACC. Again, the Panthers aren't great, but I don't think they're in the bottom 1/3 of the conference. I'd place them much closer to the middle, meaning they're a fairly strong addition. They're clearly ahead of Boston College, Duke, Maryland, and Wake Forest, and match up well against most of the rest of the conference.
I get the point of the author, I really do. The basic premise is that Pitt does little for the ACC in terms of strictly football. But Pitt adds so much more for the conference and that's really too hard to ignore. Plus, adding a powerhouse in football isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to do and it seems that's a bit lost here (even though that very point is referenced). The ACC is a solid fifth right now in terms of the top four football conferences. Most strong football programs in the top four conferences wouldn't have a desire to join the ACC right now and in grabbing Pitt from the Big East, the conference got the best available option when you weigh everything the school brings.
All in all, Pitt is a fine addition to the ACC.