The Bishin Cutter wrote:
Personally, I think they're missing the boat with Pitt, but if UMass is anywhere in this, no way in heck does Pitt ever resurface.
Pitt's glory days sort of went downhill when scholarship limits were enacted. I recall, though now long ago, Johnny Majors saying something to the effect that he find more top quality players in the City of Pittsburgh & its 'burbs, than the whole State of Tennessee.
Pitt will be playing another short series with Penn State, but losing that regular series, I believe, was not good for the Pitt program. Also, ending the series with WVU is really dumb. They put money on ND who will now be in ACC rotation with Pitt. Pitt has not been a great draw anyway, and diminishing close-by rivalry games, the detrimental impact shall continue to show. Pitt shall get security and more money in the ACC, and it will be great for bb perhaps, but I would not be suprised to see sustained fb mediocrity at Pitt in the ACC. While the B1G could be the best of all worlds for Pitt, given their location, Pitt is just not a serious B1G candidate.
That said, I think conferences are really missing out on certain value when they outright dismiss in-footprint additions. 'Rival intensity' keeps interest high. Short distances for travel for fans and teams helps in multiple ways, though it's more concentrated TV, the thought goes. But national audiences & sponsors also like huge in-state and competitive, neighbor rivalry games, and large, enthusiastic stadium crowds.
Efforts to break apart Kansas-KSU; OU-OSU, etc. in the name of mega-conferences, is really shameful. Bitterness, envy, and retaliation, have, for now, cost Mizzou-Kansas, Texas-Texas A&M, Pitt-WVU, etc. Strange so many of them involve some association with the Big 12. Changing conferences, in itself, does not have to end great rivalry games. There are four SEC-ACC in-state rivalry games that have survived. But even then, it does impact conference scheduling.
I just think it is the Big 12, even with the forced GoR, where the feeling of being tight bonded, is most fragile.