Originally Posted by nmculbreth
Despite proximity did anyone view Pitt as a rival? UC played Pitt in a primetime game to kick off the season last year and it wasn't a sellout, in fact UC drew more of a crowd for the victory bell game vs Miami. In 2010 UC played Pitt on senior night and drew their smallest home crowd of the year, behind stalwarts like Indiana State and Miami.
Louisville and WVU were obviously better draws but how many people would show up to those games if UC were a .500 team? Probably not many and certainly not as many as if a team like Oklahoma, Florida or OSU came to town.
They need to win (a lot) to stay relevant but then again they'd have needed to do that even if they were playing Louisville, Pitt et al.
I'd argue that one of the best games in UC football history was the game against Pitt in '09. I completely agree with you that they need to win (a lot) to stay relevant, but it's going to be an immense challenge to stay nationally relevant in this new conference. That wasn't the case as much in a BCS qualifier with name programs like WVU, Pitt, and Louisville.