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An extreme take on Pitt
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CrazyPaco Offline
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Post: #281
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.

Finding things in print from these behind the scenes things from back then isn't always possible, otherwise they wouldn't be behind the scenes. That said, here you go: https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootba...te_20.html
05-30-2020 12:31 PM
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XLance Online
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Post: #282
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.


The ACC even as a 12 team conference was made up of 4 privates, 4 small state school that acted like privates and 4 larger (by ACC standards) state schools.

No where was there any school in the ACC that had the massive student body that was present at Penn State, and for sheer size alone Penn State was never a "fit" for the ACC in an era when "fit" was of the utmost importance.
05-30-2020 01:58 PM
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esayem Offline
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Post: #283
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 12:31 PM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.

Finding things in print from these behind the scenes things from back then isn't always possible, otherwise they wouldn't be behind the scenes. That said, here you go: https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootba...te_20.html

Thanks. That’s interesting. I know Pitt and Nebraska reached out to the Big Ten over the years as well.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2020 03:34 PM by esayem.)
05-30-2020 03:34 PM
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NJ2MDTerp Offline
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Post: #284
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 01:58 PM)XLance Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.


The ACC even as a 12 team conference was made up of 4 privates, 4 small state school that acted like privates and 4 larger (by ACC standards) state schools.

No where was there any school in the ACC that had the massive student body that was present at Penn State, and for sheer size alone Penn State was never a "fit" for the ACC in an era when "fit" was of the utmost importance.
Maryland had a larger enrollment than Penn State main campus until early 1990s. Enrollment is now exploding in College Park with 30,000 undergrads and 11,000 grad students. I believe Rutgers is experiencing this as well. I call it the Big Ten effect.

Here's a link to Penn State's historical enrollment data:

https://factbook.psu.edu/factbook/Studen...PlusIndc=N
05-30-2020 05:06 PM
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Statefan Online
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Post: #285
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-29-2020 07:22 PM)NJ2MDTerp Wrote:  
(05-29-2020 06:24 AM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(05-28-2020 02:12 PM)NJ2MDTerp Wrote:  I'm not sure why Miami thought it had a chance of receiving an ACC invitation in 1990. Quite frankly, I don't think the school has any supporters other than FSU, and they didn't have a vote, even though Bobby Bowden correctly lobbied on Miami's behalf.

Yeah, they seemed to sour their share of programs. It didn’t stop them from the almost cringeworthy obsession of getting into the conference, though. The AD following the school leaders across the country to lobby at their one meeting...

IMO, four certainties to pull from the 80’s were that Miami was dead set on getting into the ACC, it being known UMFL wanted in, their name being a commodity, and their location.

I agree in that I don’t fully understand how their candidacy was so high. I think it was overstated based on the name recognition. There were others out there who seemed to work much better with the ACC schools, like Pitt, who I could see having more support, even if they weren’t trending as high as others by 1990ish.

WVU and PSU aside, I’ve wondered about Navy football having an association with the ACC. If you’re Pitt, you’re in a conference now with Cuse, BC, Louisville, Navy, Miami, ND (here and there)...it’s not *the* ideal schedule, but it sure looks a lot more like a schedule from the 80’s.
Navy could probably hold its own in all sports but basketball in the ACC. But their football stadium is small, similar in capacity to Wake Forest's BB&T Field. Otoh, with Navy onboard, the ACC would have another national brand and a physical presence in the DMV again.

The top school that should've been on the ACC's radar is Penn State. In the 1970s, the Nittany Lions played against Maryland and State pretty regularly. Not sure what went wrong there. I don't recall coming across any article where Bob James, the ACC Commissioner 1971-1987, expressed interest in Penn State. During his era, basketball dominated, and I suppose expansion was not on the table. And by the time Gene Corrigan took over, it was already too late; Penn State was on the path to joining the Big Ten.

Out our courtesy to all, the ACC never talked about expansion in public or those issues until years after the fact. It's just the way it was.

James didn't want MD, because MD didn't want Penn State in the conference that MD had created twice. Play them yes, share conference governance with them - no.
05-30-2020 09:20 PM
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Statefan Online
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Post: #286
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
Folks forget MD formed the SoCon from the SAIAA. They formed the ACC with Duke and Clemson after VT and West Virginia pissed them off. Folks forget that PSU was above the Mason Dixon line and integrated. Only NC State and MD had any black ball players in the early 1960's. https://gopack.com/honors/nc-state-athle...-holmes/47

The racial history of Duke, UVa, and UNC-Ch is "whitewashed" to say the least. UVa didn't have a black athlete on scholarship until 1971, IIRC. Culturally, the ACC could not get the votes to invite a "Yankee" school until the 1980's

From 1953 to Penn State's entry to the Big 10, VT, West Va, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Florida, South Carolina, Syracuse, Miami, Florida State, and Notre Dame all came up from time to time. Some extended stronger feelers than others, especially VT and SC. But as long as an ACC Basketball Tournament Book was in jeopardy and as long as MD, Duke, and to a lesser degree UVa were peculiar, expansion was not happening.

Carolina gets more credit than it deserves for screwing the Conference when it comes expansion or non-competitive rules. As back-stabbing as they can be, Duke and MD have always done more to screw the ACC.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2020 09:39 PM by Statefan.)
05-30-2020 09:35 PM
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CrazyPaco Offline
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Post: #287
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 03:34 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:31 PM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.

Finding things in print from these behind the scenes things from back then isn't always possible, otherwise they wouldn't be behind the scenes. That said, here you go: https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootba...te_20.html

Thanks. That’s interesting. I know Pitt and Nebraska reached out to the Big Ten over the years as well.

Immediately following Pitt's pinnacle of success under Pop Warner and Jock Sutherland, Pitt pushed out its most legendary coach and instituted a bunch of purity rules that eliminated recruiting, athletic subsidies, and severely restricted practices. Then Pitt went all out to join the B10 in the 1940s trying to become the replacement for Chicago. They played essentially a full Big Ten schedule and subjected themselves to all Big Ten purity rules even when none of the other schools were doing so. The result is they got pummeled and almost destroyed the program, and to add insult to injury, Michigan State got the slot anyway. Pitt was talking to the Big Ten again in 2010, but besides not providing the right media market addition, was blackballed by PSU. Pitt, and I really believe this, is better off in the ACC.
05-30-2020 10:03 PM
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esayem Offline
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Post: #288
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 09:35 PM)Statefan Wrote:  Folks forget MD formed the SoCon from the SAIAA. They formed the ACC with Duke and Clemson after VT and West Virginia pissed them off. Folks forget that PSU was above the Mason Dixon line and integrated. Only NC State and MD had any black ball players in the early 1960's. https://gopack.com/honors/nc-state-athle...-holmes/47

The racial history of Duke, UVa, and UNC-Ch is "whitewashed" to say the least. UVa didn't have a black athlete on scholarship until 1971, IIRC. Culturally, the ACC could not get the votes to invite a "Yankee" school until the 1980's

From 1953 to Penn State's entry to the Big 10, VT, West Va, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Florida, South Carolina, Syracuse, Miami, Florida State, and Notre Dame all came up from time to time. Some extended stronger feelers than others, especially VT and SC. But as long as an ACC Basketball Tournament Book was in jeopardy and as long as MD, Duke, and to a lesser degree UVa were peculiar, expansion was not happening.

Carolina gets more credit than it deserves for screwing the Conference when it comes expansion or non-competitive rules. As back-stabbing as they can be, Duke and MD have always done more to screw the ACC.

You’re leaving out ECU and Southern Miss (bizarre as it is they actually applied). Possibly William & Mary too.

Why do you think UNC went to bat for VaTech and WVU back in the inception days?
05-30-2020 11:41 PM
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Post: #289
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 10:03 PM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 03:34 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:31 PM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.

Finding things in print from these behind the scenes things from back then isn't always possible, otherwise they wouldn't be behind the scenes. That said, here you go: https://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootba...te_20.html

Thanks. That’s interesting. I know Pitt and Nebraska reached out to the Big Ten over the years as well.

Immediately following Pitt's pinnacle of success under Pop Warner and Jock Sutherland, Pitt pushed out its most legendary coach and instituted a bunch of purity rules that eliminated recruiting, athletic subsidies, and severely restricted practices. Then Pitt went all out to join the B10 in the 1940s trying to become the replacement for Chicago. They played essentially a full Big Ten schedule and subjected themselves to all Big Ten purity rules even when none of the other schools were doing so. The result is they got pummeled and almost destroyed the program, and to add insult to injury, Michigan State got the slot anyway. Pitt was talking to the Big Ten again in 2010, but besides not providing the right media market addition, was blackballed by PSU. Pitt, and I really believe this, is better off in the ACC.
Fascinating background on Pitt. There are good similarities to other ACC schools’ athletic programs. I believe that the ACC Coastal is under appreciated and unfairly derided.

If Pitt joined the BIG, it would struggle dramatically to keep-up with the resources of Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State. Michigan State is a good barometer of the competitive ceiling for football...and that would still be a significant challenge. When UMD announced that it was leaving the ACC, there was a lot of speculation about UVA’s long term interest. UVA does not have a storied football history like Pitt, but with the right coach and administration UVA has been able to field competitive teams. Last season was a fluke...but it proved that if you invest in football, then the ACC Coastal can be a stepping stone for more meaningful national games. There is no doubt that UVA football would be worse-off in the BIG.

If Pitt went independent in football, UConn is the likely benchmark for football. UConn’s AD has done a phenomenal job creating a schedule...but UConn is no longer going to be able to command home-and-home series with PSU, ND or possibly even WVU. At this time, independence for anyone other than a blue blood program means self relegation.

The current problem at Pitt is that they are not winning enough games to create meaningful rivalries with their partners. For a few nostalgic fans, they are remembering the great rivalries of the 1970s and 1980s...but somehow forget that Pitt was also fielding great teams (and that their competitors have moved to different rivalries).
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2020 10:36 AM by Wahoowa84.)
05-31-2020 10:34 AM
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XLance Online
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Post: #290
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 05:06 PM)NJ2MDTerp Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 01:58 PM)XLance Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:57 AM)esayem Wrote:  Nobody really thought outside of the box in the early 80’s. It would seem laughable for Penn State and FSU to be in the same conference, until the late 80’s when the Metro with Raycom was the first conference that actually tried to do something that ambitious. You might find mention of a smaller Eastern Seaboard Conference predating the Metro super conference, but it was never seriously considered.

I highly doubt Penn State and the Big 10 were in “discussions” in the early 80’s.

Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.


The ACC even as a 12 team conference was made up of 4 privates, 4 small state school that acted like privates and 4 larger (by ACC standards) state schools.

No where was there any school in the ACC that had the massive student body that was present at Penn State, and for sheer size alone Penn State was never a "fit" for the ACC in an era when "fit" was of the utmost importance.
Maryland had a larger enrollment than Penn State main campus until early 1990s. Enrollment is now exploding in College Park with 30,000 undergrads and 11,000 grad students. I believe Rutgers is experiencing this as well. I call it the Big Ten effect.

Here's a link to Penn State's historical enrollment data:

https://factbook.psu.edu/factbook/Studen...PlusIndc=N

Maryland had 23,375 UG students in 1990 https://www.usmd.edu/IRIS/?view=UMCP
05-31-2020 03:40 PM
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Fighting Muskie Online
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Post: #291
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
Pitt is safe in the comfort of the P5 for now but if a future shake up occurs it would be wise for them to start currying favor among the leadership of Big Ten institutions.
05-31-2020 06:19 PM
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NJ2MDTerp Offline
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Post: #292
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-31-2020 03:40 PM)XLance Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 05:06 PM)NJ2MDTerp Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 01:58 PM)XLance Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 12:28 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 10:25 AM)CrazyPaco Wrote:  Penn State actually approached the Big 10 in 1980.

I’ve read that here, and also that they had interest in the ACC (or some in the ACC had interest). I’ve just never seen it in print anywhere else.


The ACC even as a 12 team conference was made up of 4 privates, 4 small state school that acted like privates and 4 larger (by ACC standards) state schools.

No where was there any school in the ACC that had the massive student body that was present at Penn State, and for sheer size alone Penn State was never a "fit" for the ACC in an era when "fit" was of the utmost importance.
Maryland had a larger enrollment than Penn State main campus until early 1990s. Enrollment is now exploding in College Park with 30,000 undergrads and 11,000 grad students. I believe Rutgers is experiencing this as well. I call it the Big Ten effect.

Here's a link to Penn State's historical enrollment data:

https://factbook.psu.edu/factbook/Studen...PlusIndc=N

Maryland had 23,375 UG students in 1990 https://www.usmd.edu/IRIS/?view=UMCP
I used the following link to obtain undergrad enrollment data at UMCP going back to 1978:

https://www.usmd.edu/IRIS/DataJournal/En...Attendance

1978: 29,422
1979: 29,835
1980: 30,314
1981: 30,002
1982: 29,564
1983: 29,510
1984: 30,231
1985: 30,556
1986: 30,362
1987: 29,549
1988: 27,902
1989: 26,863
1990: 25,671
1991: 25,365
1992: 23,680
1993: 23,331
1994: 23,724
1995: 24,373
1996: 24,529
1997: 24,454
1998: 24,776
1999: 24,717
2000: 24,638

The total includes F/T and P/T undergrad students. I read somewhere the declining enrollment was due primarily to the end of the baby boom generation. I'm sure the death of Lenny Bias contributed. And the area surrounding College Park experienced significant white flight.
05-31-2020 07:31 PM
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Post: #293
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
Pitt seems like a natural fit for the Big Ten. I thought for years it would have been them, Nebraska, Kanas, Iowa State, and Missouri not Rutgers or Maryland. I thought they would have gone after the Midwest AAU schools but tv changes all of that. I think long term conferences go back regionally and culturally.
05-31-2020 09:44 PM
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Statefan Online
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Post: #294
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 11:41 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(05-30-2020 09:35 PM)Statefan Wrote:  Folks forget MD formed the SoCon from the SAIAA. They formed the ACC with Duke and Clemson after VT and West Virginia pissed them off. Folks forget that PSU was above the Mason Dixon line and integrated. Only NC State and MD had any black ball players in the early 1960's. https://gopack.com/honors/nc-state-athle...-holmes/47

The racial history of Duke, UVa, and UNC-Ch is "whitewashed" to say the least. UVa didn't have a black athlete on scholarship until 1971, IIRC. Culturally, the ACC could not get the votes to invite a "Yankee" school until the 1980's

From 1953 to Penn State's entry to the Big 10, VT, West Va, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Florida, South Carolina, Syracuse, Miami, Florida State, and Notre Dame all came up from time to time. Some extended stronger feelers than others, especially VT and SC. But as long as an ACC Basketball Tournament Book was in jeopardy and as long as MD, Duke, and to a lesser degree UVa were peculiar, expansion was not happening.

Carolina gets more credit than it deserves for screwing the Conference when it comes expansion or non-competitive rules. As back-stabbing as they can be, Duke and MD have always done more to screw the ACC.

You’re leaving out ECU and Southern Miss (bizarre as it is they actually applied). Possibly William & Mary too.

Why do you think UNC went to bat for VaTech and WVU back in the inception days?

VT was done dirty by MD and Clemson. It's that simple. VT's President was under the gun from the Va Legislature to do something about the cheating scandal at William and Mary and football in general. Jim Tatum had made football bigger than the University at MD and he had Curly Byrd in his pocket. This is the same Jim Tatum that had NC State's playbook stolen before the 1946 Gator Bowl.

VT had been a charter member of SAIAA with Carolina, State, MD, and others since 1907. MD and Clemson wanted blood. MD and Duke re-recruited UVa to come back (they left in 1936) and had them back on board as the 8th. That caused the split vote on VT with NC schools forgiving and SC joining with Clemson.

West Va was just dead on arrival.

Here's an old snippet: https://www.greensboro.com/southern-acc-...89b8b.html

The Greensboro News and Record is the de facto newspaper of record of the ACC that time.

That ECU wanted in the ACC is true, it is also true they could never even get a vote. There was no point to a vote on ECU and no reason to humiliate them or W&M. While it's true you need 3/4 to get in, you can't be opposed by a prior homestate member - that's unwritten but it's real. UVa would not allow any other Virginia school into the league. Carolina, Duke, and WF would not allow ECU into the league. No one is going to vote against another schools existential feelings, and Duke and UNC deftly avoided that with VT in 2003 by announcing they would oppose any expansion - giving VT the leverage they needed over UVa through the Governor.

Money might have changed the unwritten existential rule but it's yet to be tested. If Pitt opposed Penn State, I suspect that Pitt might get rolled. However, BC is not going to get rolled on UConn. If SC wanted back in the ACC, not that they do, it has to be okay with Clemson first and foremost. Clemson had to be okay with GT, first and foremost, and of course they were.

The ACC has operated like your quintessential cotillion or other private club for most of its existence. It's the formative cultural model of the area. Even when doing business that underlying history colors decisions.
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2020 10:20 PM by Statefan.)
05-31-2020 10:05 PM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Post: #295
RE: An extreme take on Pitt
(05-30-2020 03:34 PM)esayem Wrote:  Thanks. That’s interesting. I know Pitt and Nebraska reached out to the Big Ten over the years as well.

Yeah, for Nebraska, it goes way, way back. Both schools were supposedly considered to fill the spot Chicago left that ultimately went to Michigan State.
06-01-2020 05:57 AM
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