It's official. The Atlantic Coast Conference has accepted the Pittsburgh Panthers along with the Syracuse Orange. They will join current ACC member institutions: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and NC State. Pitt is the first Pennsylvania school to join this conference.
What will this mean for Panther athletics?
Football will gain some very valuable competition in Clemson and Florida State. Clemson knocked off defending national champion, Auburn, this weekend 38-24, posting an impressive 624 yards of total offense. Quarterback, Tajh Boyd, who was 30 for 42 for 386 yards and 4 touchdowns, led the Tiger offense. Clemson is also 3-0 on the season. Florida State put up a formidable fight against number one ranked Oklahoma before eventually falling 23-13. The Seminoles were all tied up at 13 in the fourth quarter but allowed the Sooners to score ten in the final seven minutes. Florida State will take on Clemson next weekend in a head-on ACC battle. In addition, the following ACC are ranked in the AP Top 25 (as of week four): Florida State (11), Virginia Tech (13), Clemson (21), and Georgia Tech (25).
It'll mean tougher competition in basketball for sure. The Panther squad will be going against perennial powerhouses, Duke and North Carolina, but that could be a great experience for a team that has consistently had trouble going deep into the NCAA tournament, even when they've been a number one seed. Since Syracuse switched conferences too, they'll still have good competition from them.
Overall, Pittsburgh is pleased with the ACC's acceptance. University Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, said, "This is an exciting day for the University of Pittsburgh. We have a long history of competing and collaborating with the distinguished universities that already are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and have enormous respect for both their academic strengths and their athletic accomplishments. In looking to our own future, we could not envision a better conference home for Pitt and are grateful to the Council of Presidents for extending an invitation to join the ACC community."
It sure will make travel easier than it would have been had Pitt joined the Big 12. They would have been looking at long flights to Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. All the way around, the ACC just seems like a better fit.