CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy is reporting that while the Big East will announce today that West Virginia is leaving for the Big 12 in time for the 2012-13 season, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not be joining them in a Big East mass exodus in 2012.
"Sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won't try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013. Unlike West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not pursued any legal action to get out of the Big East's 27-month exit requirement and leave before 2014.
The main reason Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not trying to leave the Big East this season is both schools don't want to be "any more disruptive to the Big East" for the coming season. If Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC this summer, the Big East could be down to only five football members."
Unlike the Big 12, who desperately needs the Mountaineers to join for the 2012-13 season to fill the schedule and existing TV obligations, the ACC doesn't have the same need for Pitt and Syracuse straight away. But Pitt and Syracuse will try to negotiate its way out of the Big East in time for the 2013-14 season, which makes sense considering the conference will then have reinforcements in the form of six new members -- Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.
From the ACC's perspective, this timing is probably better for all involved. This will allow the ACC to finalize the 2012 football schedule and not be forced into playing just eight conference games with 14 programs to honor existing scheduled non-conference obligations.
Gene's move to swap home dates with Army for the 2012 and 2013 seasons now looks rather prescient now given that the Eagles may be forced to go on the road for their ninth conference game in 2013 should Pitt and Syracuse successfully join in time for the 2013 season.
Currently BC has seven home games and five road games in 2013, with the Eagles hosting Army, Stony Brook, Syracuse (previously scheduled non-conference game), Wake Forest, N.C. State, Florida State and Georgia Tech. Road games against USC, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. If Cuse and Pitt are able to successfully join in time for the 2013 season, BC will simply cancel its non-conference series with Syracuse and play the same conference opponents.