Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Wanted to get to this a bit earlier, but recently, the idea of a Labor Day season opening tilt between Pitt and Florida State was mentioned. But now the game could be in jeopardy with Villanova potentially in the way.
Here's the deal, in case you've missed it. Florida State has a game with Wofford scheduled for that weekend while Pitt is slated to play Villanova. Wofford has been nothing but cooperative and believes the game can be moved:
"We have had conversations with (the ACC and Florida State), and we are just trying to work things out the best we can," Line said. "I am sure we can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
"You probably would rather not (move the game), but you do what you have to do to work with folks. People have been good to us, and we try to reciprocate when we can."
However, Villanova may be the sticking point in it all. Per the Trip, their AD had this response recently:
"We haven't been able to find a resolution that isn't extremely complicated," Nicastro said. "We have had a number of discussions with the various parties (Pitt, ACC, ESPN, our football conference, the Colonial Athletic Association) to see if there was a reasonable way to shift the date."
Look, that's not a big surprise considering the whole Pitt leaving the Big East thing. An even bigger issue was Pitt's whole 'no to Nova' campaign back in 2011, that was widely reported. Simply put, Villanova just can't be all that friendly towards the Panthers in my mind. VUHoops even suggests the game might be canceled completely, even though I'm not necessarily sure I see that happening.
We'll see how this all plays out. Villanova has a good chance to stick it to Pitt here and if we're being honest, who could really blame them? I wouldn't, anyway. But with Wofford so quick to seemingly want to work this out, Nova risks looking a bit ridiculous. They will feel the brunt of the pressure from all of the groups the AD pointed out and if they're the only sticking point between a big matchup here, they'll definitely be attacked from all angles.
If it absolutely can't be moved, Pitt could try to buy their way out, of course, with some of those new, shiny ACC dollars. And maybe that's what Villanova would prefer. My guess? Cooler heads prevail here and the game goes on. The other thing to remember is that as intrastate rivals, it'd be better for both schools to find an amicable situation here and maintain good relationships with each other.