We all remember how Chancellor Nordenberg felt after the previous ACC raid of the Big East (and how much of a hypocrite he is because he turned on the Big East...blah blah something about the death of the Big East....some mumbling on where college athletics is heading). UConn was pretty pissed, too. If you recall, they also sued BC when the Eagles left for the ACC in 2005.
Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe sheds some light on the ACC's most recent expansion to include Pitt and Syracuse - and it's interesting, to say the least.
The Atlantic Coast Conference’s expansion to 14 teams with the inclusion of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East is being portrayed as a simple move to expand its footprint in the Northeast. Like almost all of the other moves in conference expansion over the past few years, it is also driven by the football-dominated television contracts - reaching into the billions of dollars - that have been negotiated with the Bowl Championship Series conferences.
And while ACC officials say that is the main reason for the expansion, there is also a strong sentiment that this was also a basketball decision.
According to sources in the Big East and ACC, the idea is to reestablish the ACC as the preeminent conference in college basketball and was a predatory strike at the Big East, which, while struggling to improve its BCS rankings in football, had established itself as the runaway leader in basketball.
It also demonstrated the growing influence of Boston College, if not as an athletic power, then as a strong character in a passion play of intrigue, negotiations, and power moves - one of which was to successfully block Connecticut’s potential membership in the ACC.
As you can imagine, UConn's pretty pissed. I know that if Pitt was in their position, I'd be upset, too.
At the same time, let's thank our former (and now future) rivals in Chestnut Hill. For without them, we'd probably be standing on the street corners selling ourselves to any conference willing to pick us up, just like UConn.