Conference Realignment: Pitt, Syracuse to the ACC

The ticking time bomb that is college athletics came closer to a full explosion when it was announced that Pitt and Syracuse would be leaving the Big East for the ACC.

It was a surprising move, given that the brass at Pitt made it seem like the school would be reactive rather than proactive. I suppose that after the first domino fell (Texas A&M to the SEC) they felt the timing was right.

There are both pros and cons to the decision. Let’s take a look at them.


Chumps no more?

With the lack of depth that the Big East has for football, the program should get  a boost from making the jump to the ACC. There will be more money to be had from bowl games and good seasons will be rewarded with better than the Meinike Car Care Bowl.

ACC hoops, baby!

Although the Big East has cemented its place as a power in college basketball, the ACC should give the Panthers a chance to show their stuff against perennial powers such as Duke and North Carolina yearly. It will be very exciting to have those teams coming to Pittsburgh regularly.

Hello old friends


The move in the conference will also rekindle old rivalries with Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech who left the Big East in 2004 or 2005. Pitt had many great match ups with these teams in football in the late ’90s and early 2000s’. It could potentially wake up a very dormant fan base and get them out to Heinz Field for games.


They aren’t who we thought they were

Although the conference features Duke and UNC for basketball and Florida State and Virginia Tech for football, there is a lot of dead weight in the conference. Teams such as Wake Forrest, Georgia Tech, Virginia, and NC State to name a few struggle to compete consistently. The conference lacks depth, especially in basketball as the others just can’t keep up.

Still moves to be made

There are still many moves to come in conference realignment. Many schools have been rumored to move including some ACC ones. Once the dust settles, there is a chance that Pitt could still find themselves in an inferior conference compared to the rest of the country.

End of the Backyard Brawl?

Since Pitt has bolted, they will no longer have a mandatory game with West Virginia. Although it wouldn’t be tough to schedule the matchup out of conference in basketball, it may be a sticky situation for football. It is often the highlight of the season for both teams so the inability to play it every year will be a tad disappointing.

I can’t really come up with a final verdict on whether the move is good or bad since there is still so much that could happen with the rest of the conferences. Only time will tell. I still applaud the schools proactive approach to realignment as they are moving on their terms rather than doing so because they had to.



About suhlmann12
journalism student at Ohio University. Huge fan of Pittsburgh sports teams

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