With Pitt and Syracuse officially in the fold for 2013, ACC Commissioner John Swofford took some time on ACC's Media Day this week to comment on the duo joining the conference.
On Friday, we took a look at Pitt not being a good fit for football, according to some. But Swofford is quick to point out that there are other reasons the conference targeted the two schools:
Swofford said that it was easy to add Pitt and Syracuse because both schools are so similar to most of the current schools in the ACC and that both have plenty of potential for growth.
"I think what attracted this conference to Pitt as well as Syracuse relates to the balance or athletics and academics, their history of athletics and the potential of that program to grow going forward and the quality of the institutions," Swofford said. "I know a lot of people are cynical about [the importance of academics] in terms of expansion, but if you sat in and listened to an expansion discussion with our presidents it definitely does matter.
"And Pitt and Syracuse both fit the profile collectively of the other 12 schools in the ACC as far being in the top 100 of academic institutions, their athletic numbers were good in terms of graduation rates, etc., and geographically the two schools have given us the opportunity to be contiguous from state to state, and competitively we felt like they fit well.
"A lot of it was about fit. I mean institutionally and academically as well as athletically and certainly, in this instance, geographically as well."
I already went over all of this in the Friday post I mentioned, but Pitt really is a great fit for the ACC for so many reasons other than football. We've been over it a million times before, but the ACC is the best possible fit for Pitt, all things considered. Other conferences are, of course, better in football. And while it'd be nice if the university were tied into a more lucrative deal, when you look at things such as academics, geography, and (yes) basketball, the ACC is the best fit for the Panthers.