University of Connecticut head coaches Jim Calhoun and Paul Pasqualoni are not being shy about their desire to see UConn join Syracuse and Pittsburgh in a move from the Big East to the ACC. Here's Pasqualoni using a supposed rivalry with his former employer to get his current employer into the ACC:
"If you are going to keep that relationship with Syracuse and try to build that long-term rivalry, and build it with Pitt, that type of thing, then the only way evidently that would happen is if Connecticut went to the ACC," he said. "That's one of the factors. I think that's a big factor in what you do."
Indeed, a Syracuse-Connecticut football series that dates all the way back to 2004 must be saved at all costs.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun was a bit more direct, and has been in UConn president Susan Herbst's ear about becoming a member of the "best conference."
"That decision will be made at a presidential level," he said. "I've talked to Susan about this and very simply, we need to do what's best for UConn. We need to look at where we fit best and what's the best for us.
We have one of the most successful athletic departments in the country and a Top 20 school academically," he said via email. "We will be in great shape."
I attempted an internet search for "Jim Calhoun's 2012 Best Colleges Rankings" to verify UConn's claim of being a Top 20 school academically with little success. I could only find some bogus rankings from US News & World Report that listed the University of Connecticut as number 58.
President Herbst reportedly does not see remaining in the Big East as a viable option, as it doesn't sound like UConn wants any part of a rumored Big 12-Big East merger. Whether or not UConn is invited to the ACC remains to be seen, but if Syracuse and Pittsburgh really don't begin ACC play until 2014, it's hard to see an invite for 15 or 16 coming down the pike in the next few weeks. This thing may move much, much slower than UConn wants it to move.