Pitt is a top candidate not only because of the rich history and tradition of the football program and being a perennial power in basketball but because Pitt is considered for its academic excellence and reputation as a top research and medical institution.
Football drives college sports, but Pitt does not need its football program to support its entire athletic department, like Penn State does. (Ever tried to buy Pitt basketball tickets? Good luck!)
Joe Paterno turned his back on Eastern football when Penn State joined the Big Ten almost 20 years ago because he didn't get his way in creating an Eastern football conference. Why would Pitt abandon their Eastern roots and do the same?
Some Pitt fans would like to see the rivalry with Penn State renewed but not at the expense of West Virginia and the "Backyard Brawl."
Pitt could easily replace some of its developing rivalries in football, but what about basketball? Would Pitt give up its rivalries with UConn, Syracuse and Georgetown for Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois?
Penn State might be considered a rivalry, but they are no where near competing at Pitt's level. At least Penn State could bank on a sellout when Pitt came to town. And what about the hint that Jamie Dixon would leave if Pitt joined the Big Ten? Would Pitt want to risk losing one of the best coaches in college basketball?
The Big East has done well in resurrecting itself after the defections of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College by adding some up-and-coming teams like Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida. The Big East is still the best basketball conference ever created.
Now the Big East needs to position itself better to become less susceptible to raids by rival BCS conferences. The Big East needs Pitt, and Pitt needs to remain a member.
Traditionally, the Big Ten has been the better conference in football, and obviously pays out more money.
But the two conferences have remained equally competitive on the gridiron.
The Big East actually has a better bowl record over the last few years and had three different teams reach No. 2 in the polls over the last five years (West Virginia, South Florida and Cincy). Not that the Big East is the better conference, but they are competitive, and they do have an automatic BCS berth for the conference champion.
So why would Pitt leave? And what did Penn State gain by joining?
They are still going to sell out their home football games no matter what conference they play in. And it hasn't made the basketball team any better. In almost 20 years, Penn State still hasn't developed a rivalry that the fans crave like it once had with West Virginia, Syracuse and especially Pitt.
Pitt plays in a pro sports town so it is not going to sell out every home game. (Neither did Miami when it was winning national titles). Joining the Big Ten doesn't mean sellouts for Pitt football. They played host to six Big Ten teams since 1992, and only sold out twice (Penn State and Ohio State). Pitt's paydays will come by winning the Big East consistently and in the quest for its 10th national title.
The Big Ten has been down the last few years, other than Iowa, Ohio State, which is usually overrated, and an occasional run by Penn State.
I mention Penn State because it seems to be content on scheduling non-conference cupcakes at home, beating the mediocre Big Ten teams, then losing to the one or two good Big Ten teams that year and then considering themselves an elite program by getting to nine or 10 wins -keeping JoePa off the hook.
The landscape of college football is constantly changing and allowing more teams to become competitive with the usual perennial powers. So Neil Rudel and Cory Giger: let's not put the Big Ten and Penn State on such a higher pedestal than Pitt and the Big East.
The Big Ten can keep its money and look elsewhere. Pitt will be fine. And if Penn State needs the money that bad, couldn't JoePa just auction off a few more pairs of glasses?
PSU women lacking
I am glad the United States did very well in total medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the Games have taken my mind off Penn State basketball temporarily.
But listening to the Lady Lions' 72-39 thumping that Wisconsin put on them in their last home game brought it all back to reality of just how depressing this program has become.
Tim Curley went out and brought in an unknown, unproven coach to lead the Lady Lions out of mediocrity to at least play respectable basketball. Coach Coquese Washington is still training on the job and paying a very expensive price in the learning process. The women's basketball team once prided itself on "protecting the home turf" during coach Rene Portland's good years.
Losing to Wisconsin the other night showed this goal was lost on this program.
Oh, well, baseball season is around the corner and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be shooting for an 18th straight losing season.
Tiger's apology laughable
I got a big kick out of Tiger Woods' apology, saying he is sorry he let everyone down.
The only reason that he is sorry is because he got caught and lost all those money-making contracts. The only people he let down are the ones he signed contracts with and his family.
As for the rest of the world, he shouldn't flatter himself like that. Most people could care less about him.
There is only one word to really describe him. He is a real "jerk!"