I was enjoying a brief respite this weekend from what has been a far busier fall than I anticipated. Of course, when you have a smart phone you are always sort of at work. An e-mail flashed into my inbox. Pitt and Syracuse were joining the ACC.
You'll notice that I left Syracuse out of the title. It's not a snub at their recently departed swimming program. It's more at their University for shamefully dropping swimming. Although the details have yet to be hammered out, it appears that Pitt will be the newest ACC team.
This morning, I figured I would rouse myself from my Gustafson-level posting frequency to comment. Major media outlets will focus on the football and basketball implications. But you don't care about that, right? Well, maybe you do, but you at least sorta care about the swimming right?
Pitt will fit in very well in the ACC right now. They have traditionally competed against ACC teams (UVA most frequently), they bring another nice facility into the league, and academically they are very comparable to the rest of the schools in the league. The geography will be a little strange, but they are way closer to the rest of the league than BC is and could\probably swim Virginia Tech, UVA and Maryland each year.
It also will provide a nice bolster for the ACC, which is saying goodbye to Clemson after this coming season. The ACC is probably fourth out of the five "power" conferences, and could be "last" if the Big East ceases to exist.
From a recruiting perspective, I think that Pitt gains more from entering the ACC then the rest of the league gains from their presence. Western Pennsylvania has always been a strong recruiting area, and UVA in particular has made a killing recruiting in that area. I don't expect that to change. Pitt, however, will gain from being in a league that has a presence up and down the east coast.
Everyone seems to think that Pitt won't be forced to wait the compulsory 27 months to switch leagues, so we could see them at the ACC championship come 2013. From what I'm reading today, there could be more. I only wish we could get a cooler team like the Screaming Viking's alma mater Missouri State, but you can't get everything you want.