Big Lead Sports Bar



Penguins staying busy: What do millionaire hockey players do in their downtime, you ask? Would you guess "stuffing the strength and conditioning coach's Trailblazer with packing peanuts in broad daylight"? Neither would I. [Empty Netters]

Polamalu, Kemo scratched for Sunday: The weekly Mike Tomlin press conference offered lots of the usual Tomlin Talk but few answers, other than a casual throwing of butterfingered rookie DB Joe Burnett into oncoming traffic.

As for this week, S Troy Polamalu and OG Chris Kemoeatu will both have a front-row seat to The Most Disappointing Team in Football as they deal with nagging injuries - a knee for Polamalu and a knee and wrist combo platter for Kemoeatu. C Justin Hartwig and WR Hines Ward will be limited in practice but are both expected to play against Green Bay on Sunday. [Trib]

Steelers Grant a Wish
: With all the bad news circulating around the Steelers, do yourself a favor and read this. The results may not be there this season, but the Steelers continue to prove that they can make dreams come true off the field. [Big Ben News]

His knee hurts, but he's not standing still: In other Troy Polamalu news, the long-haired defender recently signed with mega-agency William Morris for off-field work, endorsements, and other opportunities, including crossing over into television. Just imagine how the endorsement checks would come rolling in if he was actually playing. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

Suitors lining up for Matt Capps: There are supposedly 16 teams who have contacted the agent of Matt Capps, including...the Pittsburgh Pirates. But don't fret. I'm sure they'll outbid 15 other franchises for a guy they just nickel-and-dimed (at least in baseball finances). [NBC]

Panthers, Nittany Lions, Mountaineers named to All-American Teams:

On the Associated Press team:

Pitt- RB Deon Lewis (2nd Team), TE Dorin Dickerson (3rd)
Penn State- DT Jared Odrick (2nd), OT Dennis Landolt (3rd), LB Navorro Bowman (3rd)

On the Sports Illustrated team:

Pitt- RB Deon Lewis (2nd), OL Jason Pinkston (2nd), WR Jonathan Baldwin (Honorable Mention), TE Dorin Dickerson (HM), DL Greg Romeus (HM)

Penn State- LB Navorro Bowman (2nd)

WVU- DB Bill Hogan (HM), P Scott Kozlowski (HM)

Big Tenleven to get even bigger? Talk of expansion in the Big 10 is again in the air, so I'll throw it out there: what would be your thoughts on Pitt jumping conferences? (For the record, SI identifies four top candidates as Pitt, Syracuse, Missouri and Rutgers.) [SI]

Pitt/NBA update: Sam Young stock is up, Dejuan Blair stock is down in December. Aaron Gray stock has hit a flatline. [Bob Smizik Blog]

Rob Pettiti lives again: The much-traveled former Pitt Panther o-lineman has signed with the Carolina Panthers, taking the place of IR'ed RT Jeff Otah, also a Pitt product.

Originally a 6th round pick of Bill Parcells and the Cowboys in 2005, Pettiti has since bounced around the league, spending 2006 with former Parcells assistant Sean Payton in New Orleans, 2007 with Scott Linehan's St. Louis Rams, and 2008 on the Rams' IR list with a torn achilles. Most recently, Pettiti suited up for the UFL's Florida Tuskers and head coach Jim Haslett. [PFT]

Draft Re-do: SI Snap Judger Don Banks must have been bored today, because he re-drafted the entire 2009 first round, and in this one, Shady McCoy is a first-round pick (to Washington). I'm sure Mr. McCoy's bank account wishes that Banks would have been in Daniel Snyder's ear a few months ago. And with the 32nd pick in Don Banks' Fake Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select... Ole Miss WR Mike Wallace. That was rather anti-climactic. [SI]

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Adam said...

IF Notre Dame isn't gonna buckle, I think Pitt is an attractive option to the Big 10 for a couple of reasons:

#1 Academically (yes, this plays a role), Pitt is a good match for the league. Believe it or not, the Big 10 does have an academic wing, and bringing Pitt into the fold would be a very nice addition, what with it's medical programs and all.

#2 Pitt has a strong basketball program, and even in rough times, a better football program than say, Indiana. Competitively, they're probably the best of the options named in the SI article.

But I think unfortunately the disadvantages outweigh whatever Pitt could offer us.

#1 Pitt is already in the Big 10 footprint. They don't bring anything to the table for the Big 10 Network. Rutgers, Syracuse, and Mizzou all offer the chance to expand the network's reach and that means more $$$$$, which is the whole point of the expansion.

#2 SI's list is pretty much based solely off what Paterno has said. I'm not certain the Midwest roots of the conference would be as high on the eastern teams as a Mizzou, or even Nebraska, Texas, or Oklahoma St. The chances of snagging one of those schools might be remote, but I think the Big 10 will see what they can get before looking at eastern schools.

And let's face it. Pitt picked basketball over football years ago when they spurned Paterno's all-eastern conference for the Big East. At best, the Big 10 is horizontal move in basketball, and I'm not sure Pitt is interested in that. Would it do a world of good for the football team? I don't think there's any doubt, but I don't think Pitt cares.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Adam, that is a a good point about the Big Ten and Big East's Academic standards vs. SEC/BIG XII/Pac-10.

I just don't see Pitt leaving the Big East for any reason. The Big East is every bit as good a b-ball conference as the Big Ten, plus factor in the rivalries with WVU, UConn, and Syracuse.

Adam said...

For any reason?

Even the uber $$$$ from the Big 10 Network, a would be championship football game, and ticket sales for Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan?

I think that statement is a little absolute for my liking. I think Pitt puts and inordinate amount of pride in it's Big East basketball ties, and I think it'd be tough for them to leave (tougher than it should be) but ultimately, I think the money would talk if they were offered an invitation.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Just because that is your thinking doesn't mean it's right or wrong.

I don't think there is anything wrong with taking pride in the basketball situation and it's rivalries but that is just one man's opinion.

Adam said...

Nothing wrong with it, no, but is it right enough?

I guess we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Big Ten TV payout is ~$18 million per school.

Big East TV payout is ~$7 million per school.

The question is, would Pitt be interested in the extra $11 million dollars?

And would the Big10 be interested in dividing their TV money 12 ways instead of 11?

Adam said...

Well clearly the Big 10 is if it's discussing expansion...

Anonymous said...

"Well clearly the Big 10 is if it's discussing expansion..."

Discussing expansion is not the same things as expanding to a school that does not bring additional revenue. Remember that the big ten network charges cable ~$0.80 per subscriber in states that have a big ten school. So Pitt would not bring any additional TV money, because PA cable subscribers are already being charged that amount. If Syracuse was added (for example only), then the entire state of NY and the 10 million people around NYC would get charged $0.80 each. That's a whole lotta change that Syracuse brings to the table that Pitt does not because Pitt is already inside the geographic footprint of the Big ten network.

Steve said...


Adam said...

O no, I agree with you 100% there, I just misunderstood the scope of your question.

Would the Big 10 want to split up the money 12 ways with a team in the footprint? Probably not. But they'd probably love to add New York State or Missouri for the reasons you just named.

JW said...

If we look at it objectively from the Big 10 perspective, there is really no obvious reason to take Pitt. What they might gain by rekindling the rivalry with PSU (which isn't all that much, quite frankly) is the only truly unique quality Pitt adds. Their basketball prowess can be matched and surpassed by Syracuse, and with them you get NYC. Even Rutgers would give them the NYC market if that's their priority (along with a somewhat competent hoops team and a 12th football team for the conference title game).
I really don't see them trying too hard for a midwest team (Mizzou, Iowa St, etc) because I can't imagine that market isn't already tapped in some ways by Iowa, Northwestern and Illinois.

I am a Pitt guy, and I would be all for the move--as much as we are now a "basketball school," it really is all about the football when it comes to money.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

People are overstating geography here and cable network, yadda yadda yadda.

Look, they basically just want a 12th team so they can have their conference title game which is a freakin cash cow. Period.

Doesn't matter if the team's just a doormat or warm body, as long as the school fits academically and it won't cost an arm and a leg to travel the non-revenue sports to the new town, the Big 10 is all for it.

Whether this means they'd take Pitt, I dunno. WVU and Cincy don't fit academically, ND rakes in cash being an independant, and Mizzou would have a hell of a time getting out of the Big 12.

Travel-wise (because sports like volleyball, men's tandem rowing, and women's underwater breath holding cometitions don't make a lick of money but rack up crazy travel expenses) Pitt makes a lot more sense than going out to Rutgers or Syracuse.

Now if a new market for their TV Network is a big deal, then maybe Rutgers or Syracuse in the faint hope that people in New York City would give a crap.

But the main thing is, they just want that 12th school for the cash cow of a championship game, and to (at least they think) enhance the chances of Ohio State and Michigan getting to the BCS title game.

Then again, the ACC obviously thought that FSU and Miami where going to play in their championship game every year when they drew that one up and... umm... yeah....

Whichever of those 3 Big East teams gets offered a slot in the Big 10 first (if this goes down) has no choice but to take it. If the BE loses anymore teams, the dominoes are gonna start to fall FAST.

WVU would probably get snapped up by the SEC or ACC. USF and Louisville would have a chance at the same thing. Or they could just replace the defector with another team and pray it works again.

Steve said...

Don, Didn't the Pens have a big game last night, or is too positive an event for Pittsburgh sports fans to handle right now?

Adam said...

Dear Steve, contribute to the conversation and maybe someone will talk about the hockey game.

Louis Lipps,
Good points about the "give a crap" factor of NYC. It's a pro town, much like Chicago but...couldn't you say the same thing about Pittsburgh?

Granted there aren't nearly as many pro teams in Pittsburgh as in NYC or Chicago, but Pitt fans often cite the competition with the pro teams as reasons Pitt doesn't draw as perhaps they should.

For that reason, I think Syracuse would probably be the best fit of the Big East teams. It brings NYC into the fold, but pretty much all of New York State as well if NYC fails to care.

For what it's worth, here's my wish list (some are unrealistic, but I hope we inquire).

1. Notre Dame
2. Texas
3. Nebraska
4. Mizzou
5. Syracuse
6. Pitt
7. Rutgers
8. University of Phoenix Online (They have a new stadium you know)

BURGH08 said...

It's another story blown out of proportion, and can be simplified in two quick steps why it won't happen:

1. Leaving the Big East for the Big Ten isn't really 'greener pastures' for Pitt and...

2. Paterno would cause enough of a fuss for Pitt not to be picked.

Adam said...

BURGH you're a straight idiot.

``Let’s get a 12th team -- Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt -- we could have a little bit of a playoff.’’-Joe Paterno.

And the Big Ten is LITERALLY a greener pasture for Pitt.


Good Day.

BURGH08 said...


Feel free to give details other than your letting your autistic symptoms take over the "$" key.

Actually, If one smelled your breath, you could tell what Joe Pa crapped into his diaper that day. Typical from a life long student.

The best line that details Pitt's move to the Big Ten is from an article from the Chicago Tribune and I quote:

"Penn State might balk out of fear it actually might have to play Pittsburgh."

Enough said.

Adam said...

For as much of a smartass as you are, you don't pick up on others sarcastic tendancies.

BURGH08 said...

I pick up that you are dumb as a box of rocks.

I'll let you wonder if that's 'sarcastic' or not.