The Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers have met every year since 1995. At 7:00 they'll meet once again, only this time it will be for the final meeting as Big East conference foes. Not matter your feelings on the role of either school and their respective administrations roles in conference realignment, it's worth a nostalgic pause to reflect on the Big East losing one of its most permanent annual games. Nevertheless, here we are. The question we've received most this week, who do we, the rest of the Big East, want to win in this battle of teams bailing on the Big East at year's end?
Big East fans should probably root for Pittsburgh to win tonight's game. I know, that sounds crazy given the karma angle and all, but here me out. I know Pitt primarily shanked the Big East and then left, convincing Syracuse to come along. Then Pitt sued the league to get out, only to drop the suit and just pay more like West Virginia did, but there's no use getting upset about that stuff anymore. Syracuse is 1-4, likely not headed to a bowl this season, and won't be of much help to the remaining schools in terms of strength of schedule. Though, I confess I really like Doug Marrone, and I fear a total collapse beginning tonight could see him ushered out of the job and that would be unfortunate. Few appreciate the job he's done rebuilding Syracuse from basically nothing.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, still has a pulse. The Panthers recovered from losing to Youngstown State and getting blown out by Cincinnati to beat Virginia Tech (impressively at that) and now look like a completely different team. In terms of helping Cincinnati, Rutgers, and Louisville, the Big East's most likely BCS representative, a good Pittsburgh team only helps buttress that strength of schedule factor. If the behavior of their leadership is just too much to handle, well, you can always root for a never-ending scoreless tie.
We'll morph this into a storystream so with highlights, observations, .gifs, and so forth throughout out the game, so be sure to drop back by and catch up on the latest.