Yesterday, we gave our initial reactions to Pitt's first-ever ACC football schedule and it was pretty much unanimous - we're all fans of it. It's pretty obvious to see why. Today, we discuss the opener with Florida State. It's something we've known about prior to the schedule, but not all of us are big fans of it.
What are your thoughts on opening the season with Florida State?
Greg (oaklandzoo12): I'm a little uneasy. The idea's great - a national televised game against an ACC favorite in Pitt's first ever ACC game. And we're going to have to play them in 2013, so might as well play them early. But we've been in this situation before. The stage was set in 2010 against Miami and Pitt flopped. Big time. There's no question that Pitt should have gotten up for that game and Miami made them look like a D-II school. Then against WVU, our arch-rival, Pitt didn't even bother showing up in the 2nd half. Pitt was co-champion that season, but you don't see anyone pointing that out, only the losses to Miami and WVU. I'm not saying Pitt won't get up for FSU. But it's very possible that they're outclassed. Badly. On national TV. Pitt can still have a successful season, but the critics will still point to an embarrassing loss to FSU as to how far Pitt has to go. Ultimately, I like the idea, but Pitt better show up.
Anson (CardiacHill): I've documented this before, but I think that while it's a huge attraction, I question just how intelligent it is from trying to actually win the game. Pitt enters next season with a new quarterback and I just don't see any way that they can be ready for that game. Starting off with a weaker opponent and letting the team get comfortable for a game or two would have been ideal in my mind. But if there's one thing I've learned with the move to the ACC, it's that fans value big time opponents over actual wins and losses. I wouldn't put myself in this group, but many Pitt fans would rather go 7-5 playing big games than 10-2 in the Big East. And if that's what the fans want and if the goal is to create excitement around the program, this game surely does it and it was a wise move.
Pat (Pat O'Mahony): I love it. If Pitt loses, who cares? A loss on opening weekend to FSU doesn’t kill your season. If Pitt wins, it sends the hype around this team into the stratosphere. I doubt Pitt will win, but this game will be so much fun for Pitt fans. Steve Pederson and Paul Chryst deserve a lot of credit for making this happen. The Seminoles also deserve some respect. They’re walking into the hornet’s nest against a Pitt team and fanbase that will be more energized than ever before.
Jim (FloodCityPanther): I have been all for this from the first mention of it a few weeks ago. Pitt gets the national TV spotlight against a marquee opponent, what could be better? Pitt has lost openers against Notre Dame and Utah to Bowling Green and Youngstown State. If Pitt is capable of losing to anyone on opening night, why not drop the potential of a letdown game, and add the potential of Pitt pulling an upset. Plus, I get to spend the holiday with 65,000 Panther fans, sounds good to me.
Mike (mikeo90): I love it. Go big or go home. This is the type of gutsy move that Pitt hasn’t made in years and needs to make in order to start becoming nationally relevant again. We, as a fanbase and as a program, need to shake the sluggish, apathetic mindset we’ve developed over the past couple decades, and this game is the perfect way to start.
Bryan M. (FearTheStache): Absolutely love it for two reasons. 1) The game will be a nationally televised event, up against no other competition. This isn’t a Thursday or Friday night game. This is essentially "Monday Night Football" on the same network the week before the NFL season begins. 2) In college football, if you are going to lose to tough competition…lose early. You have the rest of the season to work your way back up the rankings. This is the reason that the SEC starts conference play early while scheduling teams like South Central Louisiana State University two weeks before the SEC Championship game.
Anthony (VictoryLights): I kept going back and forth on this one. There are a lot of positives to it: national exposure, getting in a conference game early, catching one of the best teams in the conference in their first game with a new quarterback. The problem, a decade and a half of disappointment in big games keeps jumping out from my repressed memories, games like Notre Dame with Wannstache vs. Weis to start the season or several beatdowns at the hands of Miami. In the end the good outweighs the bad though. As long as Pitt doesn’t come in and complete lay an egg in this game it is well worth it.
Tomorrow, we'll talk under-the-radar games, trap games, whatever you want to call them. Pretty much any game other than Florida State, Notre Dame, and Miami.