Q&A: On Big East expansion ... again.

Pitt football Q&A with Paul Zeise

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One other thing -- my weekly live Pitt chats will take place Thursdays at noon.

Q: What are your thoughts on the teams mentioned for Big East expansion?

Stan Jaworski, Columbia, Md.

ZEISE: None of them do much for me -- well except for Temple, of course, which won't get an invite because the other conference presidents know the Owls are for real and will roll right over the rest of the league ;-) -- because there doesn't seem to be a legitimate plan in place.

I'll say it again: the Big East needs to decide what it wants to be -- a big-time basketball conference with some schools who play football or a legitimate football conference.

It seems clear to me that every decision which is made is to preserve the basketball conference and as long as that is the mentality, all we are talking about is window dressing and the league will fall further behind. I mean, seriously how does adding Villanova and Central Florida upgrade the profile of the football conference or improve it even a little bit?

The football conference has enough excellent basketball schools -- Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia (and even Cincinnati has been a good program in the past) -- that if they broke away and formed a 12-team football league they'd still have a marquee basketball league.

Again, it is going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out but I'm not convinced the powers that be are really that concerned about becoming a big-time program.

Q: What do the Panthers need to do, (other than win) to not fall into the parity black hole that is the Big East of 2010?

Blaise Novotny, Ebensburg

ZEISE: Continue to do the things they've done the last three games: move the ball, don't turn it over and play great defense.

Pitt has given up a few drives in each of the game, but the thing that has gone unnoticed a little bit in these games is that the Panthers are playing great defense and when they do that, they will always have a chance.

The only thing that this team has been lacking is a consistent deep passing game but they'll keep working on it.

Q: Is it wise for Greg Romeus to come back -- obviously the team could use a healthy talent of his caliber but is it worth risking getting hurt again? How will the defensive line change once he is back in the mix?

T.J. Sutton, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

ZEISE: He won't come back unless he is 100 percent ready to play, nor will he be cleared to play. But the back surgery was successful and a lot of players have returned from that surgery to play.

The key will be how is he used. There is no way, at least inititally, he will go back to his normal spot in the rotation. Greg Gattuso has talked about using him in a limited role until he is back in game shape, but with only four games left, I'm not sure what kind of shape it is realistic to think he'll get into.

But coaches have talked about 20 to 25 plays or so. Also, the play of both Jabaal Sheard and Brandon Lindsey will make it tough for Romeus to step right in unless he is productive because both are playing so well right now.


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