Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chryst Not Opposed to 'Power Five' Idea Coach Votes 'Yes' to Only Playing Major Opponents

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chryst Not Opposed to 'Power Five' Idea Coach Votes 'Yes' to Only Playing Major Opponents

Article excerpt

As the NCAA voted earlier this week to grant the conferences known as the "power five" autonomy to make rules independent of the rest of the NCAA, some coaches have started advocating that teams within these conferences only play one another.

According to an ESPN poll earlier this week, a plurality of power- five coaches -- including Pitt's Paul Chryst -- said they would be in favor of power-five schools -- which also includes Notre Dame -- only playing one another. In the poll, 30 of the 65 coaches voted for playing exclusively power-five opponents, 23 were against it and 12 were undecided.

Chryst expounded on his thoughts Friday, saying he thought it could be a good idea, but only if it were the standard across all five major conferences.

"There's a lot of neat places to play at, going on the road," Chryst said. "Teams coming here, I think that would add to it. If everyone's playing by the same rules, I'm great with it."

Chryst was also quick to point out he has a bit of a unique history playing minor programs. In his first game as Pitt's coach, the Panthers lost, 31-17, to Division I-AA opponent Youngstown State.

In his two years on Pitt's sideline, Chryst is 5-2 against teams from non-power-five leagues (not counting Pitt's Big East games in 2012). The Panthers play three non-power-five teams this season with games against Delaware, Florida International and Akron.

"Whatever the rules are, we'll play with them," Chryst said.

"And that's not to say that I don't respect and appreciate every opponent we play. ... Whatever they come up with, I think there's value to that. But I'm not in charge; I'm not going to be a spokesman for that. My first game, we lost to a I-AA school, so I don't want to come off like that."

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