By Chris Dokish
With the news that both Pitt and Syracuse have applied for membership to the ACC, it looks like Pitt and the Big East will be no more. There's no way that both schools would apply for membership without already getting the word that they will be accepted. Consider it a done deal.
In my opinion, the Pitt fans should be ecstatic with this news. While it's sad to see the Big East basketball conference change forever, Pitt will still be in the best basketball conference in the country. It will just be a different conference that was best the past few seasons. North Carolina and Duke in a conference game? Now that's exciting.
But the real benefit for this move is for the football program. True, the ACC is not a good in football as it should be, but it's still better than the Big East. Games at Heinz Field against Cincinnati, UConn, and Rutgers, or home games against Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech. Is there any doubt which is better?
More money means a better football program and this will be more money. I don't know how much, or how little, kudos should go to Pitt's administration. The truth is, they would have to be idiots not to find a better fit in this current state of conference realignment. On the other hand, Pitt made themselves a good fit to go to a better conference by having strong football and basketball programs, both on and off the field, as well as the great academics that the ACC requires.
LATE NOTE: From a source at Pitt (meaning NOT Tom Herrion so you people can stop emailing me that question), who is very close to Dixon, Dixon is NOT happy about this at all. This is not surprising as Jim Boeheim was very much against leaving the Big East a few years ago. For Dixon, it was something that he has mentioned in the past and that's that the NYC market was very important to the Pitt basketball brand, and now that will change. Don't take this as saying that Dixon is going to leave, just that he's not happy about it.