Big Lead Sports Bar



Thanks to Paris for the into, although the implication of death to those who don't vote seems rather harsh. Anyway, it's time for some poll questions. But let's take care of some business first, namely the final results of last week's questions.

1. Who will you be rooting for in Olympic hockey?

USA 66.1%
Canada 29.3%

Sort of surprised at this outcome. So if the US is facing Canada, 29% of you are really rooting for a country other than your own? And 34% of you are rooting for other countries in general? That seemed kind of high.

2. When do you think the Super Bowl should be played?

Saturday night 51.2%
Sunday night 48.8%

Personally, I went with Saturday night. People will watch anyway, and you still have Sunday to recover. Plus, businesses don't get a nation of employees going at half-speed at Monday.

3. Do you support Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle buying the Pirates?

Yes 92%
No 8%

No surprises here. This would be a dream scenario, but I think the Nuttings aren't going away anytime soon, let alone going away cheaply.

4. Does the NCAA need to expand the basketball tournament to 96 teams?

No 93.7%
Yes 6.3%

Practically everyone wants this to stay the same, so of course the NCAA will do the complete opposite. I've never seen a business operate with less regard to what their consumers want than the NCAA, and this will be the latest example.

This is a money/TV-driven agenda that will also supposedly make coaches "look better" as they can get more tournament appearances on their resumes. But are teams #66-96 really going to be contenders to win it all? This is going to do nothing but screw up bracket pools and dilute the field. No, no, no.

5. Will Pitt eventually end up in the Big 10?

No 54.7%
Yes 45.3%

The longer I think about Pitt joining the Big 10, the less I'm into it. Right now, they have an easier ticket into the BCS and play in a more prestigious basketball conference. Both of those things go away when you join the Big 10. And who knows where basketball recruiting goes, but I can't imagine it gets better.

That being said, there are still some fundamental problems with the Big East, most notably a football conference that's too small and a basketball conference that's too big. Something's going to have to give in one way or another in the next few years.

6. If you had your choice of QBs to win the Super Bowl, who would you pick?

Ben Roethlisberger 88.2%
Peyton Manning 11.8%

Not surprised at the result, but pretty surprised at the margin of victory. And to think how people were anointing Manning as the greatest of all time the week before the game. How quickly things change.

And now, on to this week's polls...

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Adam said...

Ok, you folks REALLY need to stop regugitating the ESPN hype and talking points and start living in reality.

The Big Ten got 7 teams into the NCAA tournament in 2009, and the 8th team won the NIT.

Explain to me how a conference that offers that is some how a downgrade?

Is the competition deeper in the Big East? Sure. But let's quit pretending the sky will fall and Pitt will suddenly turn into Northwestern or Penn State in basketball if they switch conferences.

johnny said...


As part of the surprising 29.3%, as much as I'm a fan of Free Candy and harbor no ill will to Malone for wanting to get paid, I am just a bigger fan of Sid and want to see him and MAF win the Gold.

I don't particularly see it as unpatriotic, since one's allegiance to a national ice hockey team seems a pretty lame proxy for patriotism.

That said, if it were something more important like a contemporary Space Race to be the first country to plant a flag on Mars, or some other impressive feet of engineering, the arts, or science, then I would be giving it up for the USA.

BurressWithButterflywings said...


Adam said...

You can't spell Nittany without NIT.

But that's not the point. The point is you people seem to think Pitt would become the Flint Tropics if they moved the the Big Ten, which is a complete and total joke.

Adam said...

If Pitt went down the pooper in basketball in the Big Ten, it'd be their own fault, not the league.


jmarinara said...

For the first time in history, I find myself agreeing with A-Bomb.

If I'm Pitt, the ONLY way I don't move to the Big 10 (provided the opportunity is there) is if Jamie Dixon outright quits. Of course, I wouldn't tell him that, but I would make sure that I involved him as much as possible in the decision to make him more comfortable with it.

On second thought, if Pitt were to loose the Backyard brawl in both sports, I would probably lean away from the move too. It's really something special to have one of the top five rivalries in college sports, and I don't want my college going down in history as the one who ruined it.

All of that said, if Dixon stays, and the brawl goes on, I make the move to the Big 10 in a heart beat. The possibility of playing teams like Ohio State, Purdue, and Michigan State in the regular season is very enticing for basketball, and it is a CLEARLY an upgrade in football.

BurressWithButterflywings said...
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BurressWithButterflywings said...

20 wins again for Dixon and Pitt.

He has got to be national coach of the year contender, I don't care if he won it last year or not.

I am not sure what good it would do Pitt to play in a league where the 8th team won the NIT. I mean, that is just plain terrifying.

-....- said...

Don, don't assume all of your readers are American!

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Just a note regarding the Big Tenleven putting 7 teams in the real NCAA tourney last year:

Record By Conference:

Big East 17-7; 5 teams in Sweet 16, 4 in Elite 8, 2 in Final Four.

Big Ten 9-7; 2 teams in Sweet 16, 1 in Elite 8, 1 in Final Four, 1 in National Title rout.

BurressWithButterflywings said...
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Steve said...

I agree with Johnny. I'm old enough to remember clearly the Miracle On Ice triumph and will always pull for the US teams and players in every other event, but the Miracle team was different as it was a David versus Goliath type of thing made of young amateur US players against a still hated "Evil Empire" super power of players in Russia. Not only did Americans root for the US team, but the rest of the free world did also.

Maybe it was the Mario effect when he was in the Olympics, but I too would rather see Crosby win gold for his country and be a key factor in doing so, even if it comes at the expense of the US losing. Plus, I just can't get that patriotic about our countries team of professional millionaire sports stars beating someone elses.

Because of Malkin, I would probably pull for Russia to win silver too if the Great Ape wasn't on the team.

NickDawg said...

GO USA and suck it to those of you who are not on board with this country....

PITT hoops will not be near as good going into the big 10 for the fact that they wont get the same types of players and will lose recruits from their traditional areas ie the northeast. Those kids go to the big east schools for hoops to play in MSG and in front of their family and friends...with that said, the football team will get better reruits and perhaps expand their recruiting areas....but if dixon is not on board, I dont even consider it. He will leave quickly if pitt goes into the mediocre big ten in hoops

Steve said...

Yup, I also don't drive a Ford or Chevy, I guess that makes me anti-American too. You know, just like those auto workers who build Hondas in Ohio. I wonder when they'll get "on board"?

jmarinara said...

BwBW, NickDawg, et. al.:

I agree that the Big Ten isn't quite at the level of the Big East in basketball.

But come on guys, it's not like it's the Horizon league, or even the SEC. They did have a team make the final last year, and might have one make it this year.

I think Jamie Dixon instantly becomes the best coach in the big ten. I think if they can keep at least close to the talent level they get than they'll dominate the Big Ten.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I never meant to imply the Big Tenleven was like the Horizon League, just saying it is not as good as someone on here thinks

BTW Congrats to the defending NIT Champs on breaking their Big Tenleven Cherry wednesday night! I don't think a 207 RPI will quite get you into a post season tourney, but I am sure you could round up 37 bus loads if the CBI comes calling!

Anonymous said...

I understand it would be a small step down from the #1-2 B-ball conference to one that is probably right around #5 most years. But conference rank doesn't matter much in basketball. The top 35 or so teams make the tourney, the top 10 have a legit shot at a championship. If Kentucky was in the Sun Belt, their chance of winning would be almsot the same. Pitt can do the same in Big 10(obviously this doesn't factor in recruiting implications just the fact that conference doesn't matter as much in b-ball).

Joining the Big 10 would give be a huge football boost, in recruiting and in money. Pitt finished 3rd in the Big East and got a payout of $1 million for their bowl game. Minnesota finished 8th in the Big Ten and got $1.25 million, Northwestern got $3.1 million and Pitt probably would have been in their spot if they had been in the Big 10. Factor in splitting 2 BCS payouts instead of 1, plus additional TV revenue and these are huge dollar amounts.

I understand the competition and rivalries are better in Big East and losing the WVU game (which isn't a guarantee) would suck but college sports are about money and this move (if it is on the table) would result in a lot more money. Money that could be used for better athletic facilities and recruiting trip that could offset any loss in basketball recruiting.

Adam said...

You're insane if you think anything would change in recruiting if Pitt switched conferences. Insane. No kid is gonna sit in his living room and thing "OOOOOOO Big Ten? NOOOO WAYYYY I'm playing there."

NickDawg, reality is waiting for you.

NickDawg said...

Adam - the farm county conf also know as the big ten doesnt get the city kids that dream of growing up and playing in the big east and MSG. they prefer city schools. You my son are insane and naive to think these kids dont want their audience to be the big northeast cities such as NY, DC and their conf tourney to be at MSG. And yes the kids that go to the big east schools do sit in their living room and say "why would I want to go play against a schol like PSU and Northwestern when I can play against Georgetown, Uconn, Pitt and Cuse in the best conf in basketball. Plus the style of baseketball they play is way different in the Big easy compared to the big ten. You are obviously not very keen on big east hoops or ncaa hoops..stick to corn husking, jock sniffing, and polishing NIT trophies

Anonymous said...

Well it's kind of unfair to pick 2 of the worst big 10 teams. You could use Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, or Illinois.(3 of those schools have played for a championship in the past 5 seasons)

NickDawg said...

well my point was the 2 conferences play different styles of hoops which equates to having to recruit different types of players. Many if not all the big east kids in their interviews say they play in the big east so they can take the big stage in NY and play against their peers and have family and friends watch them. Pitt or any other big east team will NOT get these kids if they jump ship to the big ten...and just to be fair, the big east kids dont want to play against Mich st, Oh st or any other team in the big ten regardless of what they have accomplished..they would rather play Rutgers and st. Johns....thats just how it is

jmarinara said...

"the big east kids dont want to play against Mich st, Oh st or any other team in the big ten regardless of what they have accomplished..they would rather play Rutgers and st. Johns....thats just how it is"

I disagree. I think they want to play against good teams and build a resume for the NBA, build up the teams RPI, and compete in tournaments. The one downside to Pitt hoops moving to the Big Ten is that it isn't the BEST conference, not that it is a bad conference, and not even that it isn't one of the best conferences. It's just not the best.

Adam said...

The conference discussion is irrelevent to basketball because there's a post season tournament to figure it all out.

Like I said, the Big Ten got 7 teams in, and its 8th team won the NIT. I don't know what more you can ask of your conference in basketball than to provide that opportunity.

The conference discussion is worth having in football because you can only take 2 schools into the championship game, and measuring the overall strength of the league is important in figuring out who deserves to play for the title, but in basketball, it's largely irrelevent because all of your leagues biggest contenders are going to make the dance anyway.

And NickDawg, I laugh hearing a Pitt fan complain about the style of play in the Big Ten because Pitt plays more like the stereotype of the league that you paint than about half the teams in the league. Pitt's bread and butter has always been tough, physical defense. You'd think you'd consider yourself a natural fit other than, you know, losing to MSU and IU the past couple years.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Drink everytime Adam says "and the 8th team won the NIT"

BurressWithButterflywings said...
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BurressWithButterflywings said...
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