Former Pitt offensive lineman and NFL star Ruben Brown was on 93.7 The Fan recently to promote the Joe Moore offensive line camp. But the best part came when he was asked about Todd Graham and the ACC.
When asked about Todd Graham, Brown dug right in (Audio - quotes below may be slightly off):
"That last guy...he better be careful where he goes. Because I know a lot of Pitt people that want to, you know, put a banana in his tail pipe.
If I see that joker, I'm definitely thinking about taking a trip out to Arizona to, you know, give him a piece of my mind."
The banana in the tail pipe, a clear reference to Graham's high-octane, pedal-to-the-metal schtick. But Brown had plenty more to say and says he wasn't fooled by Graham from the start. When asked if he fell for Graham, Brown says not a chance:
"No, I wasn't - I went down to the very first spring game he conducted. I saw how he conducted the practices and how everyone around the building that was really close to him...they weren't glowing. When that doesn't happen, that means there's something wrong and I could feel it then."
It's easy, of course, in hindsight to say we weren't fooled by Graham. While I always had some reservations about him, those feelings were based on his success at lower levels - not his personality. And when it came to any possibility of him leaving that soon, I could never have predicted that.
Getting away from Graham, though - Ruben had more to say. In what surely was a bit of a throw-in question, Paul Alexander asked him about the ACC as the interview was wrapping up. Brown wasn't happy about that move, either.
On the ACC...I don't like it at all. I can't stand it. I think Jim Boeheim and myself feel that, you know, they just destroyed the Big East. It's gonna make it tough recruiting with everyone because now we're in with the Virginia Tech's and, you know, the rest of those guys.
Destroyed the Big East? I don't think Pitt and Syracuse did that by themselves since poor management and planning had just as much to do with it. But there's no denying that their departures forever changed the conference and really left the Big East scrambling.
But to his other point about the competition side of things, those thoughts are a bit short-sighted. I've made the argument over and over in the three years or so that this blog's been around, but Pitt is definitely stepping up a bit in competition. If that were the only factor, sure, I'd probably rather see them stay in the Big East and have a chance to be more competitive. But there are too many other factors to consider - the biggest of which is money. And with all of the recent talk about a four-team playoff, Pitt is more relevant in a conference in the ACC than they would be in the Big East.
Definitely check out the audio interview if you get a chance.