The Pitt football team had, by most indications, a pretty successful year at 8-4. That season was 'rewarded' with a trip to the Military Bowl, but as you might expect, that didn't make many fans happy.
That's not so much a shot at the bowl, which features a very good Navy team. Rather, fans were upset because the team didn't land in one of the ACC's Tier One bowl games, being passed up by several 7-5 teams in the process.
Nevertheless, the ACC was certain that fans would be fine with this. The conference made their announcement on Twitter to happily congratulate the Panthers.
Good luck @GoPittFootball in the @MilitaryBowl! pic.twitter.com/XVsNSKeIaQ— The ACC (@theACC) December 6, 2015
Awww, that's cute. So nice of them, really. Such a warm response might usually elicit emotions such as 'Go Pitt!', 'H2P', or even a hearty, 'Why, thank you.'
Yeah, so, that didn't happen. Pitt fans responded ... well, let's have a look:
There were, the logical responses, such as this:
@theACC Thanks for NOTHING, @GoPittFootball beats Duke, VT & L'ville & NC ST played zeroes in non conf & Pitt gets Tier 2 bowl status.— George Contis (@GEORGECONTIS) December 6, 2015
And then, well, just pure, unmitigated anger:
.@theACC thanks for taking care of a team that was one of the better stories this season in your league.— Bryan (@bryangm) December 6, 2015
@theACC I want to fight you— Steve Hummer (@HummerX) December 6, 2015
@theACC @MilitaryBowl disgraceful process— DreamBackfield.com (@IntoPitt) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl I was much happier in the big east. Crooked conference.— Lisa Jones (@LisaCollins15) December 6, 2015
@theACC you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself— Todd Allen-Gifford (@tagteam_13) December 6, 2015
@theACC screw u. Your refs are horrific, possibly cheaters and u r worse.— Jon Lavia (@Laviator_) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl terrible. Get it together ACC...this is a disgrace— GoodLuckKids (@GoodLuckKids) December 6, 2015
@theACC nothing like getting jacked in your own conference— Joseph Scassera (@Scaztastic) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl MilitaryBowl BOOOooooo— Ryan Stanley (@ryans_tanley) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl What a joke! Pitt should decline this garbage. Way to protect your members #ProtectThePlantation— Red Lot 7A (@ShawnPiatek) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl The Military Bowl sucks.— Suplex City (@Lesnar58) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl #ACCmath. Forth best team gets 9th best bowl. Everybody avoid: @FoodLion @Bojangles1977 @GEICO— Phil Collinsworth (@PantherPhil) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl Let's join the AAC(American Athletic Conference— Mike Ostrosky (@miteymikeo) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl not only do acc officials suck- the acc league officials are incompetent 2 put Pitt in a tier 2 bowl— The Reno9 (@TheReno9) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl This is a shame ACC. Pitt deserves better from you. Step up next year. No one will go to that venue— Andy Andoga (@AaAndoga) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl ACC this is a joke. Guess wins and records don't matter.— Jeremy McIntire (@mcintire23) December 6, 2015
@theACC I hate everything you choose to be— Derrick Aloysisus (@Fire_Skeletons) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl thanks for the fair treatment...— Joseph Kukets (@JoeKukets) December 6, 2015
@theACC go home, you're drunk ACC— Tim (@The_Teeps) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl total screw job by the ACC. Bowl process is as bad as the old guard referees— Herr Maier (@herr_maier9) December 6, 2015
@theACC @GoPittFootball @MilitaryBowl this conference is an absolute joke. Pitt gets jobbed.— Michael J. Larkin (@MJLarkin3) December 6, 2015
I should note that several (okay, so most) responses weren't exactly, shall we say, fit for human consumption. These were actually the tame ones. But you get the idea.
To be fair here, some of this anger is misdirected. Fans should be upset at the bowls here since they are the ones making the picks. The bowls that selected 7-5 Miami, North Carolina State, and Louisville for Tier One games over the Panthers are the ones who really gave it to Pitt here.
The ACC isn't completely off the hook since they are the ones that made the rules here and allow better teams to be passed up by others. Still, it shouldn't be lost that the bowls are in this to make money and are the ones making the selections here.
It's also worth pointing out that the anger wasn't directed so much at Navy, a very quality opponent. Rather, fans were upset about the process that somehow took one of the better teams in its conference and slotted them near the bottom in terms of bowl prestige.
Regardless of whoever you blame, one thing that is pretty apparent is that Pitt fans aren't very happy.
#GOACC (I guess, right?)
Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.