Can Pitt compete in the ACC?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt faces a steep increase in competition in all sports in the ACC

For the most part, we've looked at the football side of things when it comes to Pitt's move into the ACC. But the Panthers are joining for all sports and for many, the level of competition is much higher in our new conference than the Big East. Will Pitt be able to compete in it's new league, or are we doomed to a Boston College-like existence (1 conference title since the Eagles joined in 2005)?

We're already well on our way. The first step is to improve the facilities, which Pitt has done with the opening of the Pete and the Peterson Sports Complex in the past ten years. Next is to hire the right coaches. For the most part, I would say that the Panthers have a solid group of coaches that are certainly capable of leading their respective teams to a conference title.

The last step is bringing in the right quality of player that can bring home the championship and that's where Pitt has the most work to do. The baseball team had the best season in school history, but that was in the 7th best conference in terms of RPI. The ACC was the top-ranked league. The football team barely made a bowl game in a weakened Big East. Women's basketball hasn't won a conference game since 2011. Both soccer teams haven't had good seasons recently.

It won't be easy and certainly is going to take some time. Many, if not all of the programs have to build up their talent pool before Pitt can seriously challenge for conference titles. The good news is that some programs weren't using their full allotment of scholarships available to them. With the increased revenue coming from the ACC's new media deal, that should no longer be a problem. Pitt is certainly capable of competing with some of the ACC's heavyweights. We as fans just have to be patient.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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