PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 17: Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange pursues a loose ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Petersen Events Center on January 17 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
I need to start this post with a little story: When I was college searching, Pitt was at the top of my list. I wanted to major in Political Science, go to Penguins and Steelers game, and live in a city I had visited more than every other combined. I had an overnight visit on campus, bought my fill of blue and gold, and was 100% sure Pitt was where I'd spend the next four years. As fate would have it, Fr. Mike Allison and Julie Walas cleared my brainwashed head and I went to the best school on Earth.
Moral: Pitt and Syracuse are both forever linked for me.
Crazy thing, now they will be linked forever in the eyes of most of the country as well as out new neighbors. With news that Pitt and the BIG EAST conference "worked out" the same deal that Syracuse had, Pitt and Syracuse now begin their last seasons against USF and DePaul. On paper, this comes as no surprise. The moment Syracuse worked out a deal, Pitt could not have been far behind. As Sean mentioned in a previous post, Pitt/Cuse come into the ACC as a package deal.
Which leads me to my main point of why do Syracuse fans care? Well because in the eyes of the ACC land folk, we may be forced into a "rivalry" we don't want to be a part of. I know it's insane to think of Pitt as anything more than an equal football and basketball opponent, but we're both now the outsiders in a strange new land. I mean, we WANT Boston College to be a football rivalry and basketball's still uncharted waters.That means Pitt, again, TO US, will be nothing more than a familiar face who we enjoy beating as much as the next guy.
I have no idea what those on Tobacco Road think other than their early annoyance with James Arthur. I'm sure that Pitt will do just fine hating on Virginia Tech or some halfway decent football school while we enjoy winning ACC Tournaments in MSG. (New idea: winner of previous ACC Champ picks court for next year.) With the above story, I of course have some fans of Pitt/friends who go there. After the jump are their tweets on the matter.
@ThreeRiversBlog: Inevitable that it was going to happen early, esp after Syracuse made the deal the other day
@WilliamFucich: not against it, ACC is mediocre at football before & after their inclusion
@JohnCassillo: What's not to like, if you're Pitt? Even with lawsuit, you still got out for just $2.5M more than you would've owed otherwise
@MikeKnoll22: I like the move a lot I have a feeling they can be a contender in the ACC and there was already a lil rivalry with cuse
@BladedWedge: Better than being lumped with WVU or Penn State at this point
So as you can see, everybody over at Pitt feels about the same as we do about the move. Pitt certainly can contend in football more so than basketball and that's what they're going for. I saved @BladedWedge's tweet for last because I think it's an unintended benefit of the ACC move with Cuse. In Western PA, the three college sports programs (Pitt, WVU, Penn State) are lumped together after the Pittsburgh pro teams. After all that has transpired, starting a new chapter alongside Syracuse isn't such a bad idea.