What if TCU joined the Big East?

Discussion in 'Football Board' started by HailToPitt725, May 23, 2020 at 10:34 PM.

  1. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Junior
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    Here’s a Pitt-related hypothetical to ponder: What would the last eight-nine years be like for Pitt had TCU joined the Big East in 2012, and not backed out prematurely?

    We’ll assume that under such an agreement, the Big East would have gotten a tv contract from ESPN that they’d feel comfortable signing. This means TCU joins and Pitt, Syracuse, and WVU stay for the time being. The conference would now look something like this:

    - Pitt
    - West Virginia
    - Syracuse
    - Louisville
    - Rutgers
    - UConn
    - South Florida
    - Cincinnati
    - TCU

    At nine schools, the Big East would likely add one other school to get to ten. Who would this be? Memphis, UCF, Temple? Perhaps they add all three to get to 12?

    Maybe the Big East goes after Big XII schools if they had fallen under, assuming Texas, OU, etc. left and WVU/TCU never joined. Would they add three Big XII schools to create an East/west division alignment?

    Now, here’s a few more questions to consider,
    - Do Louisville and Rutgers leave for the ACC and Big Ten if this happens?
    - Does Pitt have more or less success in such a conference during the 2010s? Maybe we make a NY6 bowl?

    What say you?
     
  2. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I understand where you’re coming from, but the money difference was so substantial that I still think Pitt and Syracuse would’ve left.

    Remember, there was never any scenario in which a grant-in-rights type of agreement, like that which the ACC has, was ever being discussed. That means teams could have left anyway and Pitt and Syracuse would have.

    You also have to understand where the league was emotionally and politically at the time. It was literally on it’s last legs.

    The extra football team that you talked about was not going to be UCF or Temple, it was going to be Villanova and that was a big part of the problem.

    The ACC had just signed a $155 million contract and ESPN reportedly offered the Big East a $110 million contract. After Pitt and Syracuse joined the league, the media rights contract increased to about $240 million. With the ACC Network, it’s expected to increase quite a bit more. However, the current events of the world are definitely going to delay that timeline.

    Financially, it was just a complete no brainer.
     
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  3. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I don’t want to hijack your thread, but I think a more interesting scenario would’ve been what if West Virginia and say, Louisville had agreed to join Pitt to go to the Big 12 before the ACC could jump in?

    I think that actually had a chance of happening. I think the Big East was basically dead either way at that point.
     
  4. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Junior
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    As a Kansas City resident, I would’ve been just fine with that! Not sure everyone else would’ve been, though...
     
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  5. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I happen to know somebody who was involved in some of those discussions and the stories he would tell me at the time had me very worried.

    The league had become extremely dysfunctional by that point. Also, contrary to popular myth, it was not a Catholic schools versus the non-Catholic schools dysfunction. That was definitely a part of it, but even the football schools themselves were really fighting over the direction of a conference.

    Basically, the debate over who to add boiled down to UCF. Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia were strong proponents for adding UCF. However, USF and Louisville strongly objected to it.

    I can’t speak for the others but I know the thought at Pitt was but we really need to focus on strong recruiting areas – which is why TCU was chosen and why they wanted UCF. However, USF and Louisville just saw them as recruiting competition and they were adamantly opposed to their addition.

    Somebody among the Catholic schools came up with a bright idea of making Villanova the compromise choice and that did not sit well with Pitt, West Virginia or Rutgers in particular.

    Also, Villanova made it crystal clear to everyone that they were not interested in making the move but were considering it as a service to the league. The Wildcats also made it clear that if they did make the move, they were not going to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into that program like UConn had done. Instead, they were going to try to do it as cheaply as possible and they were going to play their home games in an 18,000 seat soccer stadium in Chester.

    What kind of compromise agreement is that? Who exactly was that designed to assuage? I have always believed that the push to add Villanova in football – pretty much against their wishes – was a much bigger deal than people realized/remember. It obviously did not cause the schism but was rather a symptom of it. However, the addition of Villanova certainly accelerated the “conscious uncoupling” between the schools in their former conference.
     
    5 Dr. von Yinzer, May 24, 2020 at 12:52 AM
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 10:02 AM
  6. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I think that was a FAR more serious consideration than many people realize. The ACC thing really did happen very quickly. Up until the decision was announced, I was convinced they were going with a few other schools to the Big 12.

    Honestly, I would’ve bet my house on it.

    I’m obviously grateful things worked out the way they did. I think the ACC is probably the best possible realistic scenario for Pitt — the Big Ten is never letting them in.

    Also, the ACC road trips are fantastic!

    However, had Pitt, West Virginia and Louisville gone to the Big 12, as was being seriously discussed at the time, that also would’ve been pretty cool.

    Still, had you given me the choice of the ACC or the Big 12, I would have chosen the ACC 1000 out of 1000 times.
     
  7. gourdt

    gourdt Walk-on
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    I wish Maryland was in the ACC, and not the big10. That's the move I didn't like. TCU never made sense to me. Too far away. It's like WV in the big12 now. Doesn't fit the footprint. Too much travel.
     
  8. BillyWestFan

    BillyWestFan Walk-on
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    Big East football was dying on the vine since BC, VT and Miami left. TCU wouldn't have saved it. Big East commissioner wanted Villanova to set up from FBS. It was nothing more than a hodge-podge of teams with Pitt, Cuse, WV, ok Rutgers too, holding it together. Glad we left, period. Good riddance….
     
  9. 9nationalchampionships

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    Agreed! If VT, Miami and BC would have been part of this hypothetical there is a nice conference.

     
  10. bayardstreet

    bayardstreet Sophomore
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    Remember the Saturday in September when news broke about Pitt and the ACC. I think we were on television playing Iowa and beating them also. The espn crawl at the bottom of the screen with breaking news. I was going crazy calling my buddies to see if they were getting the story. We lost the game in the 4th quarter but the game became an after thought due to the ACC news
     
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  11. ThePanthers

    ThePanthers Head Coach
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    I was at the game in Iowa. Some dude in the pitt section turned around and shouted pitt was going to the acc. That was during the time all the rumors were flying so I didn't take it seriously. This was before I had a smartphone or blackberry and I didn't look it up. It wasn't until after the game we were at a bar watching fsu vs Oklahoma did it come across the scroll that I officially believed it.
     
  12. HopeandChangeforAntoons

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    I don’t know about the what-ifs, but from the UCF fans that came to this board and to the game, I think we did okay to not be in the same conference playing them every year.
     
  13. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    Yeah, they sure were an obnoxious group, weren’t they? They came in full of piss and vinegar. They were absolutely convinced they were going to win and they were letting us know it.

    Afterwards, they left as very sore losers. I saw several fairly ugly incidents on the way out of the stadium and it was definitely disheartening.

    The Knights fans definitely did not acquit themselves well.

    However, when you’re on the precipice of extinction, which is where we thought we were at the time, you’ll deal with that if you think they can help save you.

    Also, I still believe that if the ACC were to ever lose more schools, UCF would stand a very good chance of getting an invitation.
     
  14. joeydavid

    joeydavid Heisman Winner
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    It's the state as a whole that behaves poorly.
     
  15. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I have an awesome - but long - realignment story:

    That year, we happened to be driving through Virginia/West Virginia during the West Virginia/Marshall game. I have racked my brain on why, but I just don’t remember. We always go on vacation in July, so we weren’t coming back from the beach, but I have no idea where we were?

    Anyway, at one point we ended up picking up the West Virginia/Marshall game, which had just been suspended due to lightning.

    Their broadcast team tap danced for a while and then ended up bringing Oliver Luck on to take calls and he did not hold back. He repeatedly made it very clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that West Virginia was actively trying to leave the Big East.

    As I recall, Luck was implying that they were headed to the SEC, to which I was dubious. However, his views on the Big East were crystal clear – it was dying on the vine and West Virginia was doing whatever it could to avoid being left behind.

    I remember turning to my wife and saying, “We need to get the hell out of this league, ASAP.”

    I also texted the gist of the convo to my friend who, months earlier, had been giving me Big 12 updates (small tidbits really). He immediately called me and asked me to recall what Luck had specifically said and I recounted it. He expressed alarm and then told me he had to get a recording of that conversation.

    Apparently, there is a service that records all the radio stations throughout the country and they will send you anything you want for a fee.

    I have always thought that spoke to the level of distrust and uncertainty floating around at that time.

    Anyway, it wasn’t a week or two later that I got a text from him telling me to watch ESPN College Gameday the next morning. That was it - no elaboration whatsoever, just, “Make sure you watch ESPN tomorrow morning.”

    I will never forget it. We were in Iowa City having a few beers in preparation of the Pitt/Iowa game. I showed it to a few of my friends and we just kind of shrugged and moved on.

    In the back of my mind, I thought maybe some news had broken with regard to the Big 12. However, I wasn’t expecting any bombshell announcements and I never even thought about the ACC.

    I think we talked about how that would’ve been the ideal fit because we knew the Big Ten was never going to happen because of Penn State. However, the ACC did not appear to be in play at all and everything we had talked about was Big 12 related. That is why I am FIRMLY convinced that the whole ACC thing happened very, very quickly.

    The next morning, we headed down to have breakfast in the hotel lobby. When we got down there, it was abuzz with Pitt fans and Gameday was on. The television volume was way up and everyone was just quietly listening to them talk about the major news that had just broken.

    It just kept scrolling across the ticker: “Pittsburgh and Syracuse are leaving the Big East for the ACC.

    Everyone, including me, was completely stunned by the news. This was not something that happened publicly and gradually over time, this happened fast!

    What most surprised me was how many people hadn’t yet gotten it. I was so happy and excited and so were my friends – if only for the fact that they didn’t have to hear me fret about our future if we didn’t get out of the Big East. I was very, very worried that we were going to be left behind. We had spent a lot of time talking about it and I think they fully understood just how bleak the Big East situation had become.

    However, that day, so many of the Pitt fans we spoke with were upset that we were leaving the Big East — which they legitimately considered home. Many - maybe half the people we spoke with - were not at all in favor of the move.

    I think it was in that moment that I realized that I was following that situation much more closely than most others and that the folks who were upset were simply not dealing with from the same set of facts. I am not kidding when I say that a lot of the folks we spoke with that day saw it as a major blunder by Nordenberg and Pederson.

    I spent a good part of that day explaining to people that it was over and that we were extremely lucky to get out when we did. I don’t think a lot of people believed me or fully understood at the time just how fortunate we were.

    That night, after we inexplicably blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, because Todd Graham refused to manage the game, my crew was still having a hell of a good time in Iowa City.

    A few of the Iowa fans we encountered expressed surprise that we were in such good spirits after such a tough loss. We just explained to them that the game results were small potatoes compared to the much bigger news we had gotten earlier in the day. That led to a really fun night because everyone was happy. They had gotten an unexpected win and we had gotten unexpected conference salvation.

    I still think we should’ve won that game and that would’ve made that night a truly legendary night. However, all things considered, we got exactly what we needed out of that situation.

    By the way, there were not loads of Pitt fans on that trip, but Iowa City is a pretty cool place to go for a college football weekend. Honestly, it wasn’t bad at all.
     
    15 Dr. von Yinzer, May 24, 2020 at 12:10 PM
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 12:31 PM
  16. Burgh15

    Burgh15 Freshman
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    I don't things would've been any different if TCU joined the Big East. That version of the conference still isn't good. If Pitt got up with WVU and Louisville and joined the Big 12 we'd have a ton of FAR road trips, but at least WVU would be on the annual schedule. I like that we are in the ACC and they really need to take advantage of their division being open for the taking right now. BTW, if they ever did conference realignment again, this is the direction it should go with regional conferences. Get that NFL model in play: https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootball/2019/01/penn_state_conference_realignm.html
     
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  17. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Maryland leaving may have hurt Pitt more than any other individual member of the ACC, even though we have little history with them. They would have been the closest league member and there is a large alumni base in the DC area. They would have replaced Georgetown in basketball (and were Pitt's designated twice-a-year rival), and now that Navy doesn't have room for us, would have been the occasional easy road trip in football, although that would have only happened once every 12 years in the current divisional set up. Pitt would have had good showing in any sport played in College Park and the DMV is an important area to recruit from for Pitt.
     
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  18. Joe Magarac

    Joe Magarac Sophomore
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    I was in Iowa for a Pitt game and thought just the opposite. I took a picture of the full Iowa Kinnick Stadium and a field of corn and sent it to my friends in Pittsburgh with the caption “ The only two things of note in the state of Iowa.
     
  19. Joe Magarac

    Joe Magarac Sophomore
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    Maryland joined the big ten for one reason and one reason only: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Maryland had rung up such massive athletic department debt that only the federal government was in the same debt ballpark.
     
  20. joeydavid

    joeydavid Heisman Winner
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    They are still underwater and probably in worse shape if they didn't leave.
     
  21. bayardstreet

    bayardstreet Sophomore
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    The Maryland AD, Debbie Yow, absolutely miss managed Maryland into the ground. I think she bolted for NC State. Don’t know the whole story but they look like Rutgers in terms of over extending on facilities.
     
  22. Joe Magarac

    Joe Magarac Sophomore
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    Tru dat. I forget. How much $$$ did they pay to the ACC to leave and join the fat ten. Does anyone remember.
     
  23. joeydavid

    joeydavid Heisman Winner
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    That payout and they accepted a partial share of the B1G's revenue. Rutgers didn't have a viable alternative so taking a partial share made sense. MD's move is questionable at best.
     
  24. Burgh15

    Burgh15 Freshman
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    Rutgers and Maryland added nothing of value athletically to the Big 10 and you're right, the move has been questionable for Maryland. Sure they get a paycheck, but was that worth being irrelevant and losing all of your ACC rivals?
     
  25. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    UMD has received over $66 million in up-front loans that is coming out their future Big Ten earnings. Neither they nor Rutgers have yet received a full share of revenue. Neither school is ahead of where Pitt and SU are as far as actual conference payouts. For instance, in the last actual real numbers released for conference distributions, FY 2018, UMD received $26.1 million and Rutgers $11.7 million from the Big Ten. Pitt received $28.3 million and Syracuse $28.6 million from the ACC for FY 2018. Now that doesn't account for the B10's $31 million loan to UMD that year and a $14 million in loan to Rutgers, but again, those are loans coming out of their future earnings. When you account for MD's $31 million exit fee, and the fact both Pitt and Syracuse received full conference shares from day 1, in cumulative net conference earnings since realignment, UMD and especially RU are millions behind Pitt and SU.

    Over the first five to ten years of UMD's move, it doesn't even look like a much of a financial boost to UMD except those loans to help keep them from having to cut programs. The long term may be different, but that depends how much the gap between the conferences' revenue is narrowed by the ACC Network. But it isn't exactly how UMD sold the move or what is typically reported by sloppy bloggers.
     
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  26. joefromlancaster

    joefromlancaster Redshirt
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    Sounds like Maryland got sold a bill of goods with very little
    financial gain in the short term for sure and maybe even in the long term.
    The b10 made out by getting the dc and ny markets but the schools got played.
     
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  27. Dr. von Yinzer

    Dr. von Yinzer Athletic Director
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    I agree with Paco that it’s going to be a long time before Maryland and Rutgers catch up to Pitt and Syracuse. However, I also think that over the long haul, Maryland is very likely going to be glad it made the decision it did.

    I also agree with Paco’s earlier point that Maryland leaving really hurt Pitt a lot. The Terps had real rivalry potential for us. However, again, from their standpoint, now they play Penn State and Rutgers, so they still have some regional rivalries.
     
  28. pittdan77

    pittdan77 Heisman Winner
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    Rutgers made out on the deal because they made the P5. But MD will never get any more love that PSU who is still treated like an outsider.
     
  29. Dan1911

    Dan1911 Scholarship
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    On a tangent, I wish the ACC Realigned its divisions into Old ACC vs Big East. That would be almost as good:
    Pitt
    Syr
    BC
    VT
    Louisville
    Miami
    ND( i know)
    I’m much more interested in playing these traditional rivalries than wake or UNC, etc.
     
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  30. recruitsreadtheseboards

    recruitsreadtheseboards Lair Hall of Famer
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    Yeah, I really wish Maryland would have stayed. Just a perfect geographical fit for us (and the ACC). I understand Maryland wanted the money, but they basically are getting paid to be a patsy in football.
     
  31. happjack

    happjack Sophomore
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    The ACC divisions make no sense, North Carolina and Wake Forest are playing non-conference games in football because of how goofy the divisions are! The set-up above makes the most sense with every team getting one locked in "rivalry" game.
     
  32. pittmeister

    pittmeister Senior
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    Another interesting question would be; In regards to conference expansion, what would the conferences do differently? Would they expand at all? Would they expand with the same teams? Would they choose another school besides the ones that they did?

    For example, would the Big Ten still choose Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers?
     
  33. Pitt79

    Pitt79 Chancellor
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    How did SMF not think of this first?
     
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  34. Pitt79

    Pitt79 Chancellor
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    No success. I remember when the BE football conference first started, I thought Pitt would win a ton of BE Football titles. then 25 years later they never won even one outright, they shared 2 and went to just one BCS game. On paper at the start it seemed like Pitt along with Miami would be the dominant BE football teams, never happened for Pitt.
     
  35. Pitt79

    Pitt79 Chancellor
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    EXACTLY! I live in Maryland, and I was all pumped up to go see Pitt at College Park, then as soon as Pitt gets there, Maryland leaves!
     
  36. gary2

    gary2 Assistant Coach
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    My ideal 10 team league:

    Pitt
    WVU
    BC
    Syracuse
    UConn
    Louisville
    Cincy
    Memphis
    Miami
    FSU

    Football play everyone every year
    Basketball play everyone every year home and away
     
  37. ameoba defense

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    Nice hoops, but that's a pretty weak football league. Get rid of Cincy, Memphis, and Louisville. Add the Nitters, VT, and Rutgers for a real eastern league. If Maryland wants to join, add them, and get rid of UConn, or just go to 11. Could never happen, but it's a nice dream.
     
  38. Pitt79

    Pitt79 Chancellor
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    My ideal EASTERN league we should of gotten in the 1980s:

    Pitt
    WVU
    BC
    Syracuse
    Rutgers
    Louisville
    Cincy
    Penn State
    Miami
    Temple
    UConn
    VT

    At that time, all these schools where independents, JoePA of course messed that up
     
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  39. PITTF2

    PITTF2 Scholarship
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    If the BigEast ended up like this would Florida St have joined at the expense of maybe UConn or Temple or Cinncy
     
  40. gary2

    gary2 Assistant Coach
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    PSU thinks they deserve to run things. Vir.Tech belongs in ACC, so does Maryland. Rutgers is big, but brings nothing.

    My leagues is designed for TV coverage. It is city oriented and breaks down into three traditional and geographical sections.

    It was a monster for basketball.

    Miami and FSU give it respect as a football league. Every team has had some degree of success in football. UConn is the weakest football school.

    Replace UConn with Rutgers if you must. UConn basketball without Calhoun was always going to be problematic.
     

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