Q&A: The latest on Big East expansion

Pitt football Q&A with Paul Zeise

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Q: If Pitt was to ever get its own stadium again ... Where the heck could they put it? Is there any room anywhere in Oakland? I made the trip to Syracuse last weekend and was severely jealous. Not diggin' games at Heinz Field anymore.

Brad Bednar, Bethel Park

ZEISE: No, this is a joke right? It can't be a serious statement -- what in the world were you jealous of about Syracuse? Geno Auriemma once said it best: "outside of Jim Boeheim, I'm not exactly sure what the attraction to Syracuse is." And he is right. The Carrier Dome is not a very good facility. In fact, if I were ranking the venues in the Big East, (all things, atmosphere, amenities, accesibility), I'd rank them like this: Papa Johns Stadium is the best, followed by Mountaineer Field, Rentschler Field, then Heinz Field, Raymond James Stadium (or whatever it is called these days), Rutgers Stadium, Nippert Stadium and the Carrier Dome. I've said it a thousand times -- the coaches who recruit for Syracuse are the best recruiters in the country because I have no clue how in the world they get anyone to sign up to go there.

Q: What -- if anything -- is happening for the addition of a ninth Big East football school?

Dom Lombardo, Middletown, Conn.

ZEISE: A week ago, I talked with some people from the Big East and the bottom line is the league is in the process of trying to figure out which direction it really wants to go. They have had some overtures and preliminary discussions with TCU but that process is in the most premature of stages. It is clear that the Villanova solution is one that they are looking long and hard at as it would solve some -- but not all -- of the problems. Before anything can happen, the league really needs to figure out what it wants to be, and what it really wants out of expansion. I don't know that those questions have been answered.

Q: Do you think that since Jon Baldwin has not been able consistantly produce in the passing game, his draft status will fall?

Mark Schilajew, Erie

ZEISE: Not really. Maybe a few spots, but Baldwin has enough good film already and he will be an absolute combine freak. Plus he has a good attitude and has really improved as blocker. Let's not forget -- while he should have made a few more catches than he has, the bottom line is he hasn't really been given much of a chance thus far because he and the quarterback just haven't been clicking. With six games left, I think he's going to turn it around as the deep ball is sort of the last thing Tino Sunseri needs to really improve on. Baldwin has been open a number of times down the field and has been overthrown or underthrown, or had the ball thrown to the wrong shoulder.


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