Are We Accepting Averageness?

For years I have been stating that the University of Pittsburgh’s football program has held a place in the echelons of college football that was sort of like being in limbo.  Setting all the excruciating concise details of that concept aside it basically means we had died and been on the verge of hell forever.

But that was a bit harsh, so I modified my thinking to us being akin to a long-range airship that never had clearance to either land safely nor soar above the clouds – sort of like being on a solar powered dirigible that just kept going around in circles for years no matter how hard the crew tried to make it do something different.

In plain English I feel the program is solidly ensconced in the bottom of the top half of the 128 D1 football teams in America.  We hover between the 32-64 team rankings almost every week of every year we play football. Almost every week that is.

Some seasons we do rise above that – this year was one of them. Last year was also, at least for a while. But we never seem to be able to make that sustained push to get us into the Top 20 rankings on any sort of regular basis.  This remains the case with numerous changes in head coaches, staff coaches, athletic Directors and Chancellors… no matter how good or bad they are; how well-liked or hated,  it stays about the same.

Here is the last 12 years of Pitt football with the weekly AP polls listed:

pitt-last-12-years

Take special note as to the number of times we were ranked during the season as opposed to the end of the year.  Seven times we were in the Top 25 during the playing weeks – only twice were we after the final game.  Does that sound familiar?  It should – it just happened over the last two years.

But this year we were poised to do something really good and let it slip away again.  Now, people who know me from here or on the Blather or a long time ago on the message boards might be surprised to hear me say that – given my thoughts that an eight win season is about what Pitt is good for.

But things change year-to-year and during every week during the football season.  And in this season I watched our kids come out and start scoring points like it was going out of style. After the Penn State game I thought to myself that this could be one of those magical seasons where dreams start to come true and we rise above our less-than lofty historical heights.

We put up 60 points in our first two games and that was with a James Conner who wasn’t in true form yet and with a lopsided emphasis on the running game anyway.  I felt that once Peterman was allowed to start airing it out and Conner regained his beast mode then the sky would be the limit.

Unfortunately no one told Josh Conklin and the defense that. So we watched Pitt score points galore and then start to lose games – back to back against OK State and North Carolina where we gave up 81 points in two matches.

That started a trend where we were forced to have our offense maintain an almost unreasonable level of point production to win games because we allowed an unheard of amount of points at same time.

I put that there for a reason and not just to ruin your day. What we have seen lately is a bit of a resurgence in the program under Pat Narduzzi who was hired over the 2014-5 off-season to inject some desperately needed energy and excitement into the program.  He’s done that so far although I think he’s supplemented it a little bit more with off-field tools (twitter, internet, videos, dog and pony shows) than he has on the field of play.

But his on the field accomplishments need to be given real credit also.  Last year he broke through the seven win barrier by going 8-5; this season he replicated that record but had also sterling wins against our rival Penn State at home then against the eventual national Champs Clemson in Death Valley.

Let’s applaud him for that as that is something this program has needed in a big way. 

But the fact of life in college ball though, at least on the national scale and with the national polls is a loud and strong “What have you done lately?” and with Pitt that meant our ending the season with a resounding thud in our bowl game.

If anyone on here thinks that Pinstripe bowl game and the 9th win it would have represented wasn’t important as any of the regular season games, even Clemson and Penn State, they are mistaken.

A 9th win would have put us in the Top 20 (not just Top 25 but Top 20) instead of “receiving votes” and it would have given us real and viable national recognition across the board.

We all saw how long that Clemson win stayed in the national conversation – less than a month because no one talked about it during the championship game run-up hardly at all. It wasn’t mentioned during the actual game once.

We fans love that upset win but it was truly old news to the rest of the college football world by the time the championship game rolled around.  But had Pitt finished up around  #19 or maybe even better, at the end of the season? That makes people sit up and take notice.

Going into that bowl game we were at #22 and were trending upward.  A win would have given us something we have done only once in 14 years when we were #15 back in 2008,  then again way back to 2002 when we were #19 at season’s end.

That bowl loss was a huge blow for us and to think it wasn’t, to minimize it as I’m hearing Pitt fans do now,  is truly SOP in my opinion.  It was a chance at real national recognition, better recruiting leverage and would have had us going into the off-season with three win’s momentum.  All of which are vitally important to a program trying to shed it’s rather mediocre past reputation.

Instead all I hear about the bowl game now is that is was a ho-hum minor bowl, unimportant really and good only for the extra practices for the kids (seriously, I just read someone allude to that)… when nothing is farther from the truth.

It was a chance to be what fans have wanted us to be for years – nine wins again, with real and sustained progress shown in the win column. It would have been a break in our bowl game losing streak,  a record which now stands at 1-5 over the last six bowls, and a chance to be more highly ranked than we have been in a long time.  Not just at this season’s end but we would have been ranked above much higher going into next season also.

Funny thing this defeatist attitude. Everyone hates the phrase Same Old Pitt until we slip into it again, then they make a million excuses for why it happens.  But it really isn’t the loss itself that is SOP – it is our fan’s post-game attitudes in that we’ll just gloss over the importance of the game itself and act like it was no big deal to, again, end a season on a definite down note.

After all, we’ve done it so many times before. Well, we get what we wish for, don’t we?

Walking into Heinz Field on the Saturday after our great Clemson win and seeing all those empty seats should have slapped me in the face with the truth behind Pitt football.  No one really gives a crap except to talk about the program and the team.

Everything else on the majority of the fans’ part is just window dressing and blown smoke.  Average?  Sure, we’ll take it, as long as we don’t have to actually do anything to help make the program better… like actually sitting in seats for a game you already paid for.  That would be a damned good start.

 

 

189 thoughts on “Are We Accepting Averageness?

  1. JoeKnew — “Have you been on that street during rush hour?” Memo to Joe: Pitt games are not played during weekday rush hours. Thought you might know about that. What Country do you live in?

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  2. Sam Houston: Bruce Feldman of FoxSports reports former Nevada OC Tim Cramsey will be the new OC at Sam Houston.

    Pittsburgh: The search continues to find a replacement for former OC Matt Canada.

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  3. ike – you mentioned earlier today that Pitt FB exceeded most everyone’s expectations this past season.

    I was on record before the nova game “expecting” a 10-2 regular season record. I was one of the disappointed (way back at the VATech game).

    Pitt did beat the pedos – that satisfied and eased the pain of the other losses.

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  4. Pete, if you don’t know the point I was trying to make with that statement then you are truly clueless. Second Ave and the grid around that area cannot handle the volume on a game day, any urban planner or transportation engineer will tell you that. Don’t get all pissy.

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  5. Good for you EE. You were certainly not one of the most. Dr Tom is looking to sign you up for the PITT optimistic fan club! We see the glass as half full.

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  6. As reported by Andrea Adelson of ESPN –

    Most disappointing end to a season: Pittsburgh. The Panthers went into the New Era Pinstripe Bowl ranked No. 23, with wins over Clemson and Penn State. But with a chance to win more than eight games for the first time since 2009, Pitt came up short against Northwestern. Its record-setting offense stalled after James Conner and Nathan Peterman both got hurt (starting guard Dorian Johnson also was injured), and the usually stout run defense couldn’t slow down Justin Jackson (224 yards, 3 TDs).

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  7. Nebraska: Sources tell FootballScoop Mike Riley has decided that he will not renew the contract of defensive coordinator Mark Banker.

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  8. I totally agree with Reed that the loss to Northwestern had a much larger impact than most Pitt fans realize. Lots of momentum lost. Potential negative impact on recruiting. ACC as a whole being lauded at this point, and we moved towards back of the train.

    Also as Reed pointed out, and as I’ve stated here before: the attendance at the Duke game following the Clemson win was an embarrassment. It shows why we may never return to national prominence on a regular basis. No school (except Miami years ago) can be consistently competitive nationally when drawing 35,000 fans per game on average.

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  9. I agree that the loss was just as painful almost as the NC loss. It’s about capitalizing on opportunities. We battle with the kids we have. I don’t think this negatively impacts recruiting, but I do think we could have done better at recruiting had we won the game.

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  10. So, I’m a Pitt fan!? Shoot me. I know what we can be, and I might live long enough to see it again. Play ten seasons with a team and coaching like we had this year, we’re in the top 10 two or three times, and in the final 3 once. We’d also be 5 and 7 once, so 8-5 while really disappointing given what might have been (VT and UNC really hurt, and NW was the worst loss of all), it’s OK and not “average.” And we will get better.

    Bowl games matter. The Rose Bowl was terrific. The playoff is so overhyped.

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  11. Pulled this from PSN –

    This weekend (official visit) will not answer all of Butler’s questions, though. One thing does disappoint Dontavius heading into his visit, although he will not allow it to ruin his weekend.

    “I wish I could meet the offensive coordinator, but obviously he’s not there,” he confesses. “So I’m looking forward to spending time with Coach Narduzzi, coach Salem, Coach Sherman, and just meeting everyone else on the staff.”

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  12. UConn: Auburn offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Rhett Lashlee has joined the UConn staff as offensive coordinator. Lashlee has been at Auburn since 2013 and took over offensive play-calling this season. UConn athletic director David Benedict previously worked at Auburn. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports Lashlee will have a 3-year deal worth $350,000 annually.

    Pittsburgh: The big fish of an offensive coordinator that Pitt is trying to reel in, sure is taking a lot of time to get in the boat. Must be really BIG…

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  13. The recruiting dead period just ended yesterday, so it is time for the Pitt coaches to get very active over the next 2-1/2 weeks, minus the OC.

    To finish strong and top 25 we will need to hang on to P.Ford and T.Sibley, plus flip someone else’s recruit or two. JMO…

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  14. Narduzzi has clearly failed on this OC search. My guess is that he has been burned twice by Chaney and Canada and he is very gun shy about hiring anyone that’s not likely to stick to the program for multiple years. By the way the search is going he may end what with a “Conklin like OC” with the end result being Pitt being a dismal failure on both the offense and defense in the coming year.—I know Narduzzi has only been here for two years, but has he fired any assistant coaches as of yet? He certainly has ample grounds to do so on the defensive side IMHO.

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  15. jrnpitt – I hope we are both pleasantly surprised. And the answer to you question on whether HCPN has fired any coaches in his short 2 years at Pitt – no, unless you include Chaney.

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  16. I wouldn’t say Pitt failed with Canada. If you could make a del where the team sets records on offense but you’d only have the coach for one year, I think you’d take it and hope that the success wold help make it easier to hire the next OC…although I’d probably trade a couple fewer points per game for multi year stability .

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  17. I’m assuming the AD cluster has slowed the OC hire situation . .can’t imagine why else it has taken so long. Job should be attractive to an up and comer seeing what Pitt has coming back and how the job benefitted Canada.

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  18. Would it be better if Pitt when down a notch to D1-AA and be a big fish versus 8-4 to 5-7 range we have been in for 30 years?

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  19. Pitt in Tampa – simple answer is NO.

    UPitt – are you quoting a legitimate source? There are numerous decent candidates left – unfortunately, the recruiting dead period ended yesterday and we have 2-1/2 weeks to close some deals with NO OC.

    If Enos truly did turn Pitt down, he was done with his season two weeks ago –

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  20. To say HCPN has failed in his search for an OC before one is actually hired is typical Pitt fan cynicism … always seeing the the glass half empty. After 4 years of .500 ball, we have back to back 8 win season .. INCLUDING PLAYING TWO TOP 10 OUT OF CONFERENCE TEAMS IN ‘BOTH’ SEASONS … and you would think we are Rutgers by reading these comments.

    and BTW, we looked bad in the bowl game last year but still closed the recruiting period with a flourish .. Camp and Mathews were last week additions to name just a few.

    Now who knows what will happen with recruiting and the new OC in the nest few weeks, but who in the hell are we as Pitt fans to act like we are privileged …. we with the 25,000 empty seats just about every freakin’ game. WISE UP AHOLES!!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sources said 5-6 days ago he told them no. Money probably was part of it as was him wanting a better job. Probably wanting in pro ball. If that doesnt come he stays at Arkansas.

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  22. There may be a lot of reasons that nobody has come to Pitt as the offensive coordinator so far and one of them is that it’s a pretty hard act to follow from Canada and his 2016 season.

    But another factor could also be the head coach himself. I don’t think he’s the easiest person to get along with and I know for a fact that the offensive coordinator of last year Chaney, couldn’t get out of the Southside fast enough.

    Plus the coordinator budget is probably not all that high.

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  23. wwb – I won’t take offense to the name calling – I am attempting to wise up and am considering whether to renew my season tickets (plural) and donations.

    I was doing the same thing last year after the BAD bowl game loss – Conner help the decision to stay positive.

    Again, BAD bowl loss to end the season – what could possibly change my mind this year? Certainly not you…

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  24. Here is how Pitt closed last year AFTER the bowl game (RIVALS ratings)

    Name Pos Location Ht Wt Signed Rating Committed
    Rashad Weaver DE Cooper City, FL 6’5″ 245 5.4 2/3/16
    Keyshon Camp DT Lakeland, FL 6’3″ 274 5.7 2/3/16
    Damar Hamlin DB Pittsburgh, PA 6’1″ 179 5.9 2/2/16
    Aaron Mathews ATH Clairton, PA 6’4″ 188 5.6 2/2/16
    Amir Watts DT Chicago, IL 6’3″ 275 5.8 1/25/16
    Elias Reynolds LB Brooklyn, NY 6’2″ 227 5.3 1/24/16

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  25. ERIE, while it is certainly your right to not renew your tickets … if you do not renew, you are only adding to the problem. In fact, you are the problem .. and I can’t emphasize that enough.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have been averaging just 3 games per year … but at least I don’t bitch and moan at every little thing …. and above all, I don’t have unrealistic expectations for a program that has a large handful of issues, some of the important ones being out of their control

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  26. Do you think that if OSU and PSU had 1/3 the numbers of alums that they do have, and played in a city with a successful NFL team, that they would draw > 90k every game … and recruit as well as they do … and rake in the income that they do.etc?

    Quit comparing us to these programs … it is unfair

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  27. Rkb — I’m pretty sure that city/county police training center is not planned to be built at the Oakland VA next to Pitt’s campus, but at an old VA facility site in or near Homewood. As far as I am aware, there are no plans to replace the Oakland VA hospital.

    With respect to accessibility of an OCS, it does seem that Pitt plays a game a year on Thursday night (it was the home game against VT this year), so there actually is a concern about fighting rush hour traffic to get to a game — either that or someone needs to push for different scheduling.

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  28. Look around..

    Fedora just finished his fifth year at UNC, and had a QB, RB and 2 receivers declare for the NFL draft early .. and had 5 losses.

    Ok St, who we lost to by 7 at their place, beat the then 10th ranked team in their bowl game, 38 to 8. WVU finished 18th ranked yet was 0 and 3 vs the top 25, outscored by 162 to 40 in those games. We were 2 and 3 vs Top 25.. Miami finished at 20th in the rankings, 2 slots behind WVU … yet trounced them in the bowl game.

    Quit expecting an overnight sensation … we don;t have the means for that. Yes, we can always do better but for us not to appreciate progress is silly.

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  29. There may be a lot of reasons that nobody has come to Pitt as the offensive coordinator so far and one of them is that it’s a pretty hard act to follow from Canada and his 2016 season.

    — If a coach thinks like this, then we certainly don’t want a guy like that on Narduzzi’s staff.

    But another factor could also be the head coach himself. I don’t think he’s the easiest person to get along with and I know for a fact that the offensive coordinator of last year Chaney, couldn’t get out of the Southside fast enough.

    — Chaney was average and the results at Georgia in 2016 proved it. The door was held open for him to leave and we should be thankful he left.

    Plus the coordinator budget is probably not all that high.

    — Different times at Pitt now. Basketball is being ignored and football emphasized. Canada’s offer reached $1 million.

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  30. wwb – I was in school with Marino. I’ve waited a long time – I have contributed and been through some really lean years.

    The trip to Pitt home games is 4+ hours – one way. I was at all of them but one or two for the past ten years – your crawling on the wrong guy – by the way, your not invited to the POV Spring golf outing…

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  31. Erie, so let me get this straight … you have been to almost every home game the last 10 years, through all of the turmoil, etc …. and now you are considering not attending any more after two straight 8 win season versus a very credible schedule?

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  32. one final entry, Erie. My initial post this morning at 7:42 am was not intended specifically for you but instead to all of the cynicism I am reading on this site. But since you took it so personally, I guess it was for you.

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  33. You all do realize Chaney and Canada were announce around this time when hired. It is not taking longer than usual. I think Chaney was January 15th.

    Typical SOP fans making up negative shit to bitch about. Jesus, do you all roll out of bed in the morning and start fucking complaining.

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  34. Guys, I think it must be the winter doldrums settling in, we are getting a bit chippy. No need for anyone to justify there POV. I have always had a back of the mind feeling about Narduzzi, but will attend every home game no matter who is the coach or what the record. I just like going!
    To clarify a previous post, the heavy traffic during rush hour is similar to that of a game day crowd. It overwealms the grid. The Hot metal bridge is a narrow 2 lane which backs up at all times of the day. Don’t know of any river transportation that would be economically feasible from downtown. The SH tunnels back traffic up at any time of day, seldom have I come from Monroeville direction and not been backed up, weekends included. Trains have been tried and failed. Traveling thru the Southsde has always been a nightmare,again, any time of day. Light rail would have to be massive to transport needed volume, and park and rides would need to be established.
    Where the light rail exists(south hills) it is used but becomes easily overwealmed. We in Pittsburgh actually live in a 3rd world country transportation wise. The simple fact of the matter is that most people want to drive to games, Steelers, Pens, Pirates. Parking becomes a challenge, with most people having “secret” spots. So please, go to that area anytime traffic is “moderate” and come up with a reasonable, realistic, alternative route. I’d follow it, but you’d probably keep it a secret!

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  35. with the key injuries incurred during the game, I think we should have lost to Northwestern …. and I believe this with every fiber of my being.

    Two of the top defensive players: one DNP, the other just 2 series
    Our star RB missed the entire 2nd half
    Our A-A OG and starting QB in the 3rd quarter after we finally

    And we still retook the lead early in the 4th after all of that .. and turnovers from reliable sources

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  36. Seems like we are all a little cranky this morning. Probably a function of being stuck inside for too long.

    We will get an OC soon. My bet is within the next week. Of course, I am totally guessing.

    Erie—Where and when is the “golf outing”? I will be happy to ride with wwb. Maybe a foursome with Dr Tom and BigB.

    Upitt—Do you play golf? You would be a treat to have along for commentary on my poor play.

    H2P

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  37. LOL — Pitt offered Matt Canada a cool Million / year or more to stay — so “Cheap” is no longer an issue. The Chancellor had to OK that, so that is now a ‘Precedent’.

    It’s probably Alex Van Pelt as the new O.C. — the man who’s a Pitt Legacy and who has helped Aaron Rodgers play the best QB play in the history of football. That’s happening right now in the Playoffs.

    LOL — I read comments about, “Pat Narduzzi being Gun-Shy because of Chaney and Canada”, and what-not….. Wow, NO, Pat Narduzzi ain’t “Gun-Shy” ever, he is not that person my goodness, lol.

    Alex Van Pelt did call the offensive plays on two separate interem NFL occasions when the Offensive Coordinator was fired, and he did as well as could ever be expected. Gotta do some research (i.e. 20 second google search and, Pow — Stats, Seasons, etc. all there 🙂 ).

    Alex Van Pelt is the Man I Hope 🙂 — as possibly evidenced by Narduzzi not bringing in any other potential OC prospect as of yet, even after Chancellor Gallagher showed that he will pay up to a Mil / year for a top Coordinator.

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  38. pmdH2P – the golf outing will be sometime around the Spring game – mid-April at Quicksilver Golf Club near the Pittsburgh Airport.

    Arrangements are in process – UPitt has 2 foursomes reserved (for golf).

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  39. Chaney couldn’t get out of the southside fast enough for Narduzzi’s liking. and mine either for that matter.

    I really was expecting the hiring of an OC late this week and it can still happen.

    Juhl is a competent acting AD along with EJ who suddenly you hear nothing about. I had heard he really didn’t want the job. I wonder if that’s true? Back to Juhl, he really wants PITT to field a very competitive football team and he will find a great AD eventually. imo

    Ever since REED ask us to calm down with the expletives I seem to be reading more of them…go ffffffffffffff figure

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  40. FWIW … I hung up my golf clubs 5 years ago after my game became embarrassingly bad (think Rutgers’ FB.) I used to be a bogie golfer, now it would be a miracle if I came close to breaking 100.

    I remember playing Quicksilver about 15 years ago .. long and hilly. A really good course (used to be a Senior PGA Tour stop) but more importantly, it has a very nice 19th hole as I recall.

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  41. All you guys still clamoring for an OCS, you do realize that virtually to a man the incoming recruits cite playing and practicing where the Steelers do is a big attraction for them. You guys just got to get over it. An OCS ain’t happening. Accept Heinz for what it is, and I say this as a season ticket holder for most of the past 30 years.

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  42. The Bowl game was the first under Narduzzi where Pitt beat themselves and could not make plays in the red zone. Then the two concussions to our two offensive MVPs. Yes it hurt, but should not be looked at as a measuring stick for the program.

    The measuring stick is 8 wins, including PSU and Clemson, and against one of the toughest schedules in D-1. The program is heading in the right direction. It won’t be a straight line and there are always bumps in the road.

    Narduzzi needs to finish this recruiting class with some difference makers, especially on the D-line, to keep that momentum heading upward.

    They talked about how Alabama has had five OC’s under Sabin, It is obviously the players that win games.

    Our two OC’s left for Georgia and LSU. We all said good riddance to Chaney. Canada got a great raise and a platform from which he can make his next move to head coach.

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  43. I believe before Quicksilver it was called Falling Timbers or something like that. The Seniors used to play there but decided not to anymore because it was too difficult for them. A challenging track for those that don’t hit too long as well as some significant rough as I recall.

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  44. How tough was our schedule? Second game vs PSU then on the road vs OKST, on the road vs UNC, A Thursday night game (never attended well) vs VT, Miami on the road and Clemson on the road. All the toughest ACC games on the road or on Thursday night. The easy ACC games GT, Duke, Syracuse at home.

    Eight wins was amazing.

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  45. Darkie – They offered him 1M after he had a 1.4M deal
    LSU. They are still cheap and not proactive. Give me more money after I got a new offer is bush league. Barnes was busy cutting his own deal. Terrible Admin. Canada was more important than Tweetduzzi.

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  46. But we would rather whine about Heinz Field and how long it is taking to find an OC.

    Our fans are what is less than average. Not all, a great turn out by the faithful in NYC.

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  47. One rumor being Enos may have turn down the job but I think he had just had his contract renegotiated just last year.

    2 other names being thrown about Billy Napier and Streeter.

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  48. OK, Ok, I see the light……….
    Winning the bowl game and closing the season 9-4 on an upswing and being ranked between 15-18 in the country is CLEARLY NO BETTER than losing the bowl game, going 8-5 and ending outside the top 20 at 33!
    Thanks for straightening me out guys. What in the world was I thinking????????

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  49. I miss Pitt Stadium as much as anyone, but Heinz is not all that bad. I have read some great ideas from previous posts to make it even better. Hopefully ‘the powers that be’ are reading also. I think an OCS would be a traffic & parking nightmare. We just need to get more butts in the seats at Heinz…period! Then let’s talk OCS.

    As a die-hard fan, I think this season was a success. A couple plays here & there and we could have been Top 10…a couple plays here & there and we could have had a .500 season! An 8-5 season is better than 6-7. Now with 2 decent seasons in a row, we as fans want more…that’s just human nature. Our expectations are now higher. Is it that ridiculous as Pitt fans to expect 10 or 11 wins the next couple seasons? How about an ACC championship? How about the playoffs? I want to see another National Championship before I die…am I being unrealistic? No…I am a lifelong, die-hard Pitt fan who remembers the ‘glory days’! I expect the best & will not settle for ‘averageness’. We have all been waiting a long time for our return to glory, we don’t just want to be ‘teased’ with a couple above average seasons! We could have been 14-0, lose to Alabama on a last second field goal, and still hear about ‘SOP’…that’s just the way it is. That’s what 30 years of suffering will do to you as a Pitt fan.

    Thanks for reading! Hail to PITT!

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  50. UPitt a guy that throws his arm out in college is just an old frustrated athlete. Someone that should know how tough it is to succeed in sports. I hope your world view is not as negative as your opinion of your alma mater. Not sure how you get up in the morning with all the darkness. From my experience, guys that bitch and moan and whine all the time rarely accomplish much.

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  51. Pittman4, I consider you re a great contributor at POV like all the guys and gal here…but again, I don’t think anyone has said they didn’t want PITT to win the bowl game. It’s all the negative comments that followed the loss, making it sound like the entire season as a whole became a failure over the one loss…I guess we all see things differently even with people we often agree with..

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  52. Altoona – well said.

    Dabo Sweeney said after the NC game that attitude, not money is how you change your FB culture into a winner.

    I believe HCPN is on the right track, but losing the bowl games is NOT acceptable.

    I’m sorry if you disagree – you can cuss at me all you want – if Reed allows it…

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  53. In sports you sometimes win an upset and sometimes you lose. That is why they play the games.

    We were the only one to upset Clemson was that acceptable?

    NW was not chopped liver. We played a poor game and suffered devastating injuries. It happens.

    NW won 10 games the year before and played tough in all their games this year.

    They have a great coach, good QB, Receiver and running back, also a solid defense. Their lines were good. They made fewer mistakes than we did.

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  54. Erie, Glad things worked out at Quicksilver. Nice course, lots of parking, great clubhouse and nice staff. Never give advice on the course, but a pre outing warning: keep the ball BELOW the hole on 1-4. If not you WILL 3 putt at least! Oh, I don’t think they have a cart girl, but I can ask Karl if you want. Maybe it could be a medication cart with Upitt and Darkie (if he gets a weekend pass) lol

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  55. Narduzzi has us on the right path. I think he is changing the culture & the attitude.

    The stakes were pretty high going in to the bowl game…A chance to get to 9 wins, a top 20 (maybe top 15) ranking, national respect, and a chance to beat a Big 10 team…and we crapped the bed! That was unacceptable to me. I know…a couple plays here & there, the injuries, etc! I was expecting them to win, and finish the season on a high note. But by no means does the bowl loss mean the season was a failure.

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  56. I like Kevin Johns and Van Pelt. Either one works for me. The downside of offering $1M to O Canada after it was too late is that going forward, any candidate knows that the ceiling has gotten a little higher at Pitt. So if an OC was making $400k, they know they can ask for a big raise, which may put the HC in a quandry.

    Long suffering, you are a PItt fan loyalist because you got sucked into Pitt Football when you could see it on campus. You identified with Pitt because of it. Recruits have more interaction at the practice facility shared with the Steelers than at Heinz field. If anything, the opposing players get more hyped to play against us at Heinz, than we get for playing at Heinz. There is no home field advantage, sorry.

    If the Admin says no, so be it. I have told many a ceo that they are making strategic mistakes only to be told later, that I was right. Unfortunately I have also been told, that I was wrong. In the M&A world, the wins outnumbered the losses so far, so that is good. A 10 year OCS strategic plan addresses the shortcoming with our program and that is our own place to play. I never ask a ceo for a 10 year plan because most don’t last that long. That is why so many struggle with their vision and legacy. This comes down to Gallagher defining his legacy. He can be average and Pitt has accepted that….or, he can be a game changer. His call. He has more power than individual board members so he just needs to understand how to use it.

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  57. The unacceptable part of Noel game losses is this:

    We do it most every year / loss to a mediocre team.

    That has to stop or when we do get to a New Year’s Day bowl, the coaches and players won’t know how to win and the fans will probably not show up –

    Practice winning for the future – it looks better and it is that simple.

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  58. Pitt did crap the bed. You have to wonder how much knowing Canada was leaving affected the focus of the offense. Conner was awful, even before he went down. Aston has got in the end zone almost every time. Peterman throws a totally uncharacteristic redzone INT. Orndoff drops multiple passes. Henderson fumbles twice, loses one and ruins the opening drive with the other.

    And NW was a very good 6-6 team. Solid on both sides of the ball, unlike like our Jekyl/offense-Hyde/defense team.

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  59. This year for the first time you could hear and see a Pitt fan presence at the away and bowl games. That is good! The lack of a good turnout at home games is the problem.I think that is a problem of being in a middle market city with a nationally supported NFL team. Back in the 80s when the NFL went on strike Pitt stadium was full every game until the strike ended. In 1957 Pitt opened against a top ranked Oklahoma and had standing room only while the Pirates had a full house 2 blocks away in Oakland. The Steelers still were not a dominant force in sports in Pittsburgh. We do not have the alum base of the big state Universities and have tough local comp. for the other sports fans. Also Penn State has 3 centers in the Pittsburgh area.We can only get fans with consistant excellence and national recognition. Which comes first the chicken or the egg.

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  60. Altoona – I liked your 1225pm post. I’ll add my own thoughts. Its completely unrealistic to:

    expect that Pitt will be a perennial Top 10 program
    expect that an OCS will be built within the next 10 years
    expect that we will always win games we “are supposed to” (no upsets – ever!)
    expect that 65,000 fans will attend Pitt games on a regular basis

    Having said that, I think that we can reasonably and realistically expect Pitt FB to be “Above Averageness” in the following ways:

    consistent (i.e. 3 out of every 4 years) finish in the Top 25
    finish in the Top 20 half of that time (1-2 times every 4 years)
    finish in the Top 10 occasionally (once every 6-8 years)
    win the Coastal Division 1 in every 3-4 years
    have 40,000-45,000 in regular attendance after achieving the above for 2 more years

    We have certainly had our chances to pull ourselves out of averageness. Why we sh1t the bed when on the doorstep of Above Averageness is confounding. The past two bowls games are still fresh in everyone’s minds, but there are plenty of other inexplicable losses under different coaches….

    Marty Gilyard
    Two onside kick miscues in Ft. Worth
    Phantom PI call in South Bend
    Chryst running Voytik to the right late against Duke at home
    Two come from behind losses in Chapel Hill
    An insistence by Cavanaugh to call fade patterns in high winds at El Paso
    …..and so on

    We win those games above and we’d be standing on the verge of getting it on with Above Averageness. (with apologies to Parliament).

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  61. The last time I played Quicksilver, I noted the course was in rougher shape than in the past. Anomaly?

    Given the opportunity, I’d rather play with the cheerleaders than the cynics. Golf is after all, a game of confidence. 🙂

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