Byline: Dr. Tom Richards

I hear from other Pitt fans all the time; “you’re dreaming, what a naïve cheerleader you are, Pitt will never win another National Championship again”, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Well you know what, nobody, not one of us is truly clairvoyant, so spare me your criticism concerning my enthusiasm for our University’s football program.

Like you, I can’t see the future either and I’ll be the first to admit it when my optimistic predictions for success of this team fall flat.  That being said, I do know history and in studying history, trends and tendencies present themselves, and when identified, they can shed light on those factors that had a bearing on that history that was previously created.

So when I hear the arguments that the big money in college sports is an insurmountable hurdle for all of those “also ran programs” that prohibits them from ever being able to win championships, I call that out as BS!

That idea was shown to be invalid in this year’s NCAA basketball tourney, where Gonzaga beat out USC for the opportunity to bring down the Tarheels in the championship game. David against Goliath and they almost pulled it off too. But I already hear the rebuttal:

“… yeah but that’s basketball, football is different that’s where the BIG $$$$ is generated. No way a program like Pitt could possibly match up with powerhouse elite programs like Alabama, OSU, or Florida State”!

Once again I call BS.

If you know your history you would recognize the fact the this year’s NCAA FBS champions are relatively new to that rarefied air of both big time elite college football programs as well as past National Championships. Clemson did the impossible this season, and they did it against the very best of the best in defeating Alabama for the crown.

Clemson in their entire history of over 120 years of playing football has only won two National Championships. They have only had three undefeated seasons in that long history as well. And we all know who spoiled their “undefeated” National Championship season this past year, don’t we?

So spare me the pessimistic, “It can’t be done” attitude. I know Pitt will win another National Championship for us, I just have no idea how long it will take to happen. The difference maker isn’t the money honey, the difference maker is and always has been the people!

The  difference makers for Clemson start with Dabo Sweeney.  It’s his leadership, passion and enthusiasm that was and remains as the engine to this Clemson football machine. Now he’s surrounded by an entire organization of administrators, coaches and players who are also all on the same page as him. But without that inspirational coach at the helm like Sweeney, the championships will rarely if ever materialize.

On that note, here is a great video piece that was produced locally back in 1989 that honored Pitt’s first 100 years of Panther Football history.

It is a very prolific history with many a legendary coach playing an essential role in Pitt’s football successes. Names like Pop Warner, Dr. Jock Sutherland (a dentist by professional degree, BTW), Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill.  

There are multiple undefeated seasons, multiple National Championships, and numerous HOF players.  Overall we have a very rich and storied history to our University’s football program.   It is a glorious tradition to aspire to.

Like I said it’s about the people. That very concept was verbalized in this presentation by then AD  Cas Myslinski, when interviewed about the details of bringing in Johnny Majors, he stated “it’s not about the money, it’s about the people”.

And Johnny Majors was the right guy for the job, and back in 1972 that job was an enormous one!  A seemingly impossible task just to produce a winning program again let alone to get Pitt it’s ninth National Championship in the span of four short years! But it happened!

If you are a Pitt football fan, do yourself a favor and find the time to watch the above hour-long presentation about Pitt Football’s first 100 years, you will not be disappointed.

But who cares what the hell happened way back in the 1930s when Jock Sutherland was crushing the competition and winning multiple national championships? That was then, this is now. What bearing does such a historical perspective lend to modern times?

Well, it demonstrates in no uncertain terms what our University has accomplished on the football field in the past. And in evaluating that history, it portrays exactly what is required to become a champion. That analysis produces the same conclusions today that were apparent back in Jock Sutherland’s time, in that with the right people; possessing the correct attitude, willing and determined to prepare and determined to win, with a man at the helm providing the inspirational leadership, success can be the result!

In essence the formula always remains the same, determination, dedication, preparation and will.  A team possessing a winning attitude creates success.

Money is not part of that equation my friends.

That doesn’t mean that money isn’t required to aid in that endeavor, it is! It’s a necessary component but not an absolute requirement that guarantees it.

And Pitt right now has that money required anyhow. It comes from a home run by the ACC this year by capturing both the football and basketball National Championships. As you probably know, the ACC shares all of that money evenly with all Conference members. Believe me, it was a Godsend when Pitt was invited to join the ACC a few years ago, that alone initiated an entirely new era in Pitt athletics that we should all fully appreciate.

Now, here we sit in 2017, with a brand new female AD in the person of Heather Lyke, a Chancellor that has committed to putting the emphasis back into our University’s athletic programs and a Conference affiliation that is second to none. Pitt is on the verge of being “it” in football once again. I can see it on the horizon.

I believe!

This coach of ours understands Pitt’s history too.  Coach Narduzzi comes from a football coaching family, right here in our own backyard of Youngstown, Ohio.  He grew up during those years of Pitt’s last heyday period when Pitt WAS the elite program, not just dreaming to get to that level.

Coach Duzz knows what it takes to become a champion and he is forging that attitude of knowledge, preparation and tenacity  in this team of his.  That is how you end up being the only team to beat the National Champions in their own house.

They call it Death Valley for a reason, and Pitt went in there and played a game for the history books bringing home a fabulous signature win for Pat Narduzzi.

I wonder in a couple of years from now will historians be reflecting on that second Pat Narduzzi season, back in 2016, when the Panthers once again renewed the rivalry with hated Penn State after a 15 year hiatus and came away with a victory. Then followed that six weeks later when he shocked the world with that Clemson win.

Will they mark that season as the launching point when this new era of Pitt Football found itself.  Will they decide that we were going to once again ascend to the pinnacle of the college football world for another round of fame and glory?  Who knows? I don’t, you don’t, Coach Duzz doesn’t nor do his players. No one can see the future.

But one thing this team is beginning to do is to believe in is itself and in so doing something special is starting to come into clear focus as well, that being the vision that Coach Narduzzi has for his football team.  It isn’t a novel idea; it’s been accomplished many times before, right here at Pitt, in becoming a championship team.

Great Pitt football coaches from the past, for sure, have impressed that championship vision on their charges and the results are self-evident when their teams internalized that vision and decided to do what it takes to become champions.

Does that mean that this squad will do the same.  Who knows? But don’t ever tell me that this squad can’t accomplish the impossible! I’ve seen it done with my own eyes back in the 70s and it was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Being in the stands of Death Valley after that Blewitt kick secured the Pitt victory at Clemson rekindled a feeling in my soul that I have not felt for many decades, since those Pitt Football glory days of my youth. 

I’ve waited, patiently, while this football program has hibernated in mediocrity for far too many years. Could this coach be the next Jock Sutherland or Jackie Sherrill? We will see in time.

But while we follow the progress of his tenure, let us not forget the first requirement of being a champion as demonstrated by history;  first you have to believe!

So when we get together as a Pitt POV group to play some golf, tip a few beers and break bread together, let’s just permit ourselves some freedom to dream.  Release your own imaginations to fantasize of the good fortunes that could befall our beloved football team in the near future.

This Spring game will be fun to attend, especially in light of us being able to observe all of the unknown talent that will be on the field of play this Saturday.  That potential is significant as Narduzzi has recruited well. The experience is absent for so many of these new recruits however.

That’s where the anticipation factor comes in. Allow yourself to imagine how this team is going to develop over the next year or two rather than dwelling on so many of those disappointing seasons from the past. Pitt’s future is now bright, maybe exceptionally bright, only time will tell for sure. But to fully enjoy and appreciate that process first you have to do something, first you have to believe.

I believe. 

Hail to Pitt!

(Editor’s note:  Here are the historical records for both Clemson and Pitt to fill in info and support Tom’s ideas)

100 thoughts on “Appreciate the Past – Anticipate the Future

  1. First thought, great article Dr Tom, what wall do you want me to run through?

    Secondly while I group my thoughts together. How ironic is it that the kickers name that beat the pending national champions was Blewitt? Here’s your sign.

    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    H2P! ………………………ike

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  2. Dr Tom, yeah man.. phuck I feel like punching someone – I’m so pumped… you need to DELIVER pre-game pep talk to our Panthers at the “Beaver”
    See you POVerts Friday!

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  3. Difference is Clemson committed resources and paid the money to play in the big leagues. We haven’t made 1/3 of the committment they made. Follow the money or lack there of on Pitt’s case. Winning is everything at Clemson and other Big Name schools. Winning is nice but not at the expense of A, B and C at Pitt. Nice write up Tom.

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  4. As a side note I want to believe but Heather Lyke’s salary tells you where Pitt’s committment to Athletics stands.

    Trying to get up there for golf. May be a last min show.

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  5. Let’s not forget that the Majors led charge was able to,hand out 100 scholarships that first year. Plus had a few coaches on staff named Johnson and Sherrill. That was a pretty strong recruiting group and the “Golden Panthers” made sure they had what was required to get the job done.
    I don’t see the new administration supporting that kind of effort today.
    As dismal as the basketball program has become, I think it would be easier to bring it back to the top level than football. Spending on a big name coach could turn things around in two years with some one and dones and a few transfers. Look what our local boys are doing in Arizona and Kentucky. Football is a much harder rebuild.

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  6. You’re a real pip Upitt, and I mean that in a nice and funny way. Like the Beatles once wrote a song about “Don’t Bring Me Down” ELO also did a song of the same title, different song… jus don’t bring me down!

    The real devoted PITT fans, as we all are on here at the POV, need to let it go. No blue and gold glasses and all the hyperbole crap but plain ole rooting for our team. I read all the complaining over two eight win seasons. How far has Narduzzi brought the program in two short years? WTF?

    OK, so PITT could have won the bowl game and YES it would have made for an even better season. An unexpected better season…

    Look to the future and imagine, do not be afraid my fellow PITT fans. I find it incomprehensible that others don’t see the change that is taking place right now. Get on the PITT train!

    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    H2P! … …ike

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  7. PITT has raised tons of endowment money on the academic side.. shame they( Feeing a bit disenfranchised from athletics- thank you Nordy and Pedo) can’t get their $hit together for athletics… boy the BOT pisses me off!!!

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  8. Dr. Tom,
    Nice article. Do you follow the Pitt BB team? I’d really love to hear your perspective about what’s happening on that side of the house right now and what we might hope for in the near future as well as long-term.

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    1. I’m a diehard Pitt Football fan. Basketball, I follow but meh.

      Hated losing our OCS to a basketball arena. Would have much preferred a covered dual purpose Stadium like what Syracuse has than what we have now. That video above brings back many a youthful memory of good old Pitt Stadium. It was a ^&^&^ hole in the end, but it was our shit hole.

      Kevin Stallings & the Pitt basketball team? No Blue & Gold glasses on me for this analysis. Stallings has lost the old team, both figuratively & literally. Can he rebuild it into a winning program in order to compete in this tuff ACC conference? I doubt it. If he is given enough rope, he’ll hang himself. By that I mean by 2020, if he hasn’t been fired already, the proof will be there for all to see. By then it will be his team and I suspect we’ll still be looking from the outside in to the NCAA March Madness party. Dismal forecast I know but that’s the way I see it.

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  9. Guys – We have Conklin as our DC. If that doenst tell you want you need to know. Today Clemson got #1 player in 2018. Our victory there was unbelievable. If we play them 20 times do they win 15-18?

    My point is to want more than 8-9 games a year is great but you will be dissapointed more so than not. I never see us winning the ACC let alone making a superior Bowl let alone a NCAA. If Pitt even made a Top 5 Bowl Game I’d give a handjob to a goat on the back of a Harley in Rush hour on the Liberty bridge. Narduzzi isnt even proven and our schedule is actually pretty easy this year and we can at most win 9.

    As far as winning big our recruiting better step up as well.

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  10. On Blewitts winning field goal, I saw a No 41 Radakovich in for Clemson. He should be playing for Pitt . His father is from Alliquippa.

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  11. Nice article.

    Being the eternal pessimist by nature who tries to project optimism…I predict a 10-2 regular season with a spot in the ACC championship and a NYD bowl bid. D will improve and the O will have enough horses to win the Coastal. The twin Quadree’s will provide the offensive and special team (a part of thegame sometimes overlooked in the discussion here) wild cards imho. On defense, Whitehead moving to FS will make the backfield stronger, and the LB’s are going to be a half step faster inside.

    Btw wifey gave the ok and we will stop by the Spring Game POV tailgate next weekend…look forward to meeting some of you there…please let us know general area it will be in…

    H2P

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  12. Yes Jim I do. It is next year. It is Q2 of 2017 already so it is kinda inportant. His recruiting is weak. Not sure how that doesn’t matter.

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  13. Amen Upitt. When consulting, I often ask the client ” Do you want an “A” program when I am done, a “B” program, or a “C” program. Each has a cost associated with it. Unfortunately, the Pitt Administration has expressed a desire to have a “C”program and that is what they have. You cannot have an “A” program with “C” support. You just can’t, sorry.

    I hope Reed was wrong when he suggested we will not have an administration that supports an “A” program. Candidly, that is why I always wandered about EJ staying and for that matter anyone in the athletic department. At some point in a “C” program, if you believe you are better, you leave for a “B” or an “A” program. That is why so many thought for years that Pitt was/is a stepping stone program. Unfortunately that is also why so many diehards are diehards. We were there when Pitt was it and had a commitment to an “A” program.

    Doc Tom, you go kind sir! The old diehards are the ones that were around when Pitt was a power and we want it back because it felt greater than anything else in our love for the school. When we landed great jobs, it wasn’t so much that we gave all the credit to Pitt. Some of it, we earned on our own. But athletics, now that is a place of pride for all of us because that is how we are most identified now. We don’t root for our engineer graduates on Saturdays. We wish them well and try to help them get jobs when they graduate, but we ROOT and give money because we most associate ourselves with the athletic teams we grew up on! Well, at least I do. Many of us are way past using our college name to get a job! You want 300,000 alumni giving money, have EXCELLENT Sports programs. Something that draws the alumni back to their roots. Oh, and build a stadium on campus so the current students have a place they can call theirs!

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  14. Sorry, missed this. Narduzzi just quoted as saying “I Love This Team”. That’s because its mostly his guys now. The coach is loyal to his guys. That should answer questions when people question why the new kids are playing instead of the older kid. All things equal or close to equal, the coach goes with the ones he loves.

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    1. Huff, you think he may just love this team because of the talent and attitude he is seeing displayed currently this spring practice?

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  15. The Clemson program was one of the worst of the worst almost at the same level that Pitt was in the late 60’s when they had several 1 and 9 seasons. And South Carolina is not one of the most fertile of recruiting area’s in the country. However I will them credit for one major thing and that is their ability to fill their stadium on a regular basis. That’s something I believe Pitt sadly may never be able to do.

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  16. Huff,

    Looks like you are a Consultant that has a built in excuse already to go for doing a poor job.

    You have the exact opposite attitude of Narduzzi.

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  17. I’ll direct this at you Huff rather than Upittbaseball simply because I see him as a lost cause. Poor mindset produces failure. If you can’t visualize the goal you’ll never recognize it when it begins to materialize. That’s his issue.

    So interview me and you’ll hear that I want an “A” program. But the problem is, I’m not running the show. So what’s the answer? It begins with a grassroots campaign that hammers home all day long that athletics does deserve priority treatment at the University.

    Just last month I tied my commitment to contributing to the University DIRECTLY to the football program by telling the person who was asking for my donation that my contribution goes up as I see the Administration’s attention to the football program go up. And I told him to push that comment up the food chain. Same opinion that I screamed when Pitt sent out their survey last year.

    Expect more, demand more and then you just might get more. It’s a process, but first you have to be constructive not just a destructive pissy moaning complainer all of your he time.

    Go to games, talk up administrators when you meet them, give them their kudos when they do things right and then ask for more of the same from them.

    Otherwise you can just accept mediocrity and whine like a little bitch about it like Upittbaseball likes to.

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    1. Potential team captain. Winslow is definitely an athletic punter. Sounds like he could help Stallings fill out the BB roster when FB season ends.

      Doc – nice article – I plan to get more specific with my donations to the university in the future.

      HTP!

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  18. Off to another sport but remaining on the same subject of aspiring to greatness. Very appropriate for consideration today.

    What do you get when you combine the heir of a sewing machine company, a wealthy southern administrator, an accomplished golf course architect and the most gifted amateur golfer of all time?

    The answer of course, Augusta National Country Club and thus the Masters. Know the history? The most improbable of ideas to build a new golf course at the height of the Great Depression.

    People didn’t have a job, many standing in a soup line waiting for a handout to make it through another day. In this environment a golfer retired from competition decides to build a course from a nursery in the little Georgia hamlet of Augusta!

    The names are Clifford Roberts, Alister MacKensie, Alfred Bourne & the inspirational leader with the vision, Bobby Jones.

    Improbable that this idea ever got going in the first place considering the trials & tribulations that our nation was immersed in at the time. Unlikely that the project, once initiated, would ever be completed, & even more impossible that this concept blossoms into the major tournament that the Masters has become over that 80+ year history since it’s inception.

    How did it happen? The People involved made it happen.

    Get the right people at Pitt all pulling in the same direction and the impossible not only becomes probable, it becomes destiny.

    It’s happened at Pitt more than once before. I ask why not again?

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  19. Dr Tom, You’re dreaming, what a naïve cheerleader you are, Pitt will never win another National Championship again.

    Seriously, I enjoy your cheerleading and continue to do so …. but if you can’t realize the difference between the advantages of the Clemson FB program and the limitations of the Pitt program, then I am wasting my time by writing anything further

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    1. When the limitations are self imposed, all that is required to find a new way begins by just deciding to out of your own way.

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  20. In any sport you need elite players if you want to be a winner. To get them you need a commitment from the top, and quality people all the way down the line. This happened for a short time period in Pitt’s modern history. I was an athlete on campus ( in a lesser sport) when it happened. The commitment was for only one sport. Sorry, I don’t see it this time.

    Pitt administration allowed the complete collapse of the basketball program, that doesn’t happen at the elite programs.

    While I like what Narduzzi is doing, the embarrassments of the last two bowl games tells me we have a long way to go. To beat Clemson, then bellyflop vs Northwestern is just sad. I also think Pitt Admin is satisfied with a C grade and ecstatic with a B.

    With all the uncertainty and inexperience, I see another 8 win season at best, unless Browne turns out to be the real deal.

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    1. You only need to feel embarrassed when you fail to play the best game that you came with that day.
      In 2015 a very good Navy team beat us. Give credit to them. Could we have played better and won? Sure, but make no mistake we got beat by a good football team in Annapolis, & of course, that was a home game therefore for the Midshipman.

      Now the Northwestern game was different. We got beat again yes but tell me that there wasn’t some gremlins working against us that day!?

      Key plays that just didn’t happen, major injuries to key players and how does Orndoff drop that pass right on his helmet from DiNucci?

      Next year? Who knows? Give me a 3-1 start and all hell breaks loose for the Panthers in 2017. Don’t laugh at me!? It could happen.

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  21. I can’t believe my eyes when I read that many of you really think it’s impossible for PITT to ever win another national championship. They beat last years national champion at at their house nicknamed “DEATH VALLEY” which is considered by many as the toughest place to win a road game in the country.

    Many of you have a thought that PITT actually blew 4 other games last year, leaving PITT with a final record of 12-1. Good enough for the national championship. Of course not all of that happen but it shows just how close PITT is being a national power again.

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    1. You speak the truth.

      And last year it was done with “want to” more so than with talent. When you combine both young upcoming talent with that same “want to” attitude then you just might catch lightening in a bottle. That’s why they play the games, gentlemen.

      The biggest issue that I have with so many Pitt fans is that they consistently discount the accomplishments that actually do result from our previous “C” type program.

      Excuse me, but please understand that if you fail to fully appreciate things like how we have seemed to own VT for more years than not over the last decade (& there is no rational reasoning of that), our 13-9 WVU win, or our 10 victories that culminated in beating UNC in the Meineke Car Bowl, beating Miami convincingly in 2015, and last season’s two signature wins against both PSU & Clemson, then just go screw yourself because you are the problem, )&)(&). Let’s be realistic here?

      No hyperbole, I’m just keeping it real, if you can’t enjoy smelling the roses along the way to the top of the mountain then you simply suck! Learn to enjoy the high points.

      I’m out of here. Gotta go watch the Masters

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  22. Pissy little bitch isn’t talk becoming of a professional just because someone disagrees with you. You thinking anyone in Athletics even carees about your opinion is problem #1. #2 is you think Narduzi is Johnny Majors. His defense wouldnt win the Coastal let alone a major bowl lets a lone a NCAA. You do watch the games right? Clemson almost lost multiple games rhis year. I remember 3-4 where they won at last second. Again, you would have more clout if you didnt react like a baby when people don’t agree with you. So keep giving and think your money goes just to Football but don’t cry to much when the 19 year old you talked to laughed his ass off. Yes, he immediately went to Heather’s office (puppet hire) and said the great Dr. only wants his money to go there. Meanwhile she gave it to Rockports for hairplugs. Narduzzi isnt even proven. Let’s win 9 games before you crown them. And watxh your mouth or I will embarrass you in golf.

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    1. Whaw, whaw, whaw, 😪😪😪I’ll supply all your Visine required to keep your eyes from becoming bloodshot from the ass kicking in store for you at Quicksilver. That is, if you have the cojones to show up in the first place you cocksucker Upitt. 😏 OOPS time out for Dr. Tom!

      Remember to bring along a couple of Benjamins to pay the tuition required at Rivers Casino to learn how to play the craps table!💸💸

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  23. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. The Clemson win was great, but you have to have the horses to win week in and week out. In the Marino years, when we had the best personnel in the game we still lost a game each year. Pitt is a long way from being an ACC power let alone a national power.

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  24. Ike – If you think Pitt at 12-1 gets one of the top 4
    Bowls you are high on bath salts. It is Pitt there is no way in hell that happens. Pitt needs to go undefeated and hope there is no SEC team or another great team from a great conf that has one loss. Pitt has been a narional
    Embarrassment for 25 years. Now everuone looks the other way bc we won one game? You guys live in another universe of reality. I’m a realist and since
    i started watching Pitt football they stunk. There were a few 8/9 win seasons but history tells you that is what tomexpect and what they are happy with. Admin and School can care
    Less about a NCAA. Looks at the teams. Name me
    A good
    Sport other than wrestling. Most
    Below .500

    No coaches fired. Baseball a disaster. Extend the coach. Womans hoops suck. Mens hoops national embarrassment. Football worst D in nation and DC is kept. That doesnt happen to winners. Oh wait clemson use to suck. They committed tom winning. We rent a stadium 5 miles away. The admin is a D+ C- as far as committed.

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    1. You sniffing model airplane glue these days Upittbaseball? Your texting is becoming strangely similar to FRANKCAN’s as of late, & that’s NOT a good thing!🤣😂🤣😂🤣

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  25. And we are in the terrible side of the ACC. Imagine the FSU and Clemson and L’Ville Side. Miami and VT will get better while Narduzzi does the beat he can with new coaches every year. Yes a nee OC bc Pitt and this mysterious committment let Canada go. I don’t want to hear about they offered him 1m. It was only after he came back with 1.8M in his pocket. Counter offer loser mentality. That is who you are puttkng your faith it. New OC and. Ew QB spells problems even against a weak schedule less PSu and okst

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  26. I will agree that it takes a commitment to succeed, and a will, which I don’t think we will ever have in my lifetime.
    But strange things happen. I am old enough to remember that Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU, Clemson, LSU, Miss and Miss. St, OK St, Kan. St, Oregon and most Northwest teams, and fit that matter most of the ACC and BiG were not just bad, but terrible. Much beyond where Pitt is now.
    I just picture our BOT as a bunch of old farts sitting in leather chairs smoking cigars and having martinis talking about the boys giving a good effort,pip pip and Cherrio you know.
    For me, the last line of The Count of Monte Cristo will be what I hold onto.

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  27. You guys want it both ways, You guys scream that PITT should have won this game or that game but when it comes down to the Clemson game, oh that was pure luck. PITT beat the Ben Ten champs and the eventual national champion last year. My point being, that it’s not all that great of a distance to where we all want PITT to be.

    and yea Upitt. If PITT would have went 12-1 last year, why wouldn’t I think they would have been in the final four? That schedule was difficult enough by a mile.

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  28. Ike – Good points but it is because our name is Pitt!!!!

    Look
    At the Dog Poop bowls we get!!! Why??? Because we are Pitt and our AD’s are wussies.

    No fight and no balls so to speak.

    We can’t even get a good bowl because we poop the bed. That is my point.

    I see yoir point but I disagree the distance between 8 wins and 12 is huge. Stud recruits. 4-5 stars and lots and legit coordinators not ex FIU garbage and lifer OC’s.

    A stadoum that sells and we dont have to talk about the disaster of heinze it sucks and will be razed in 10 years and then we will play on a farm
    Near southpoint.

    No was if we were 12-1 last year donwe get in over the 4 who got in. No way. Herman would of got us some garbage bowl
    Like the 2 previous ones where we lost.

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    1. Your posts are just one step above our President’s tweets as of late, WTF did you get a new Rx for OxyContin this week?

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  29. Dr. Tom is not saying that Pitt will become an Alabama or Ohio State. That is not going to happen. But it can have a magical season. And It can have national football relevance again where it is a perennial top 20 team and during those perenial years that magical season can happen. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just saying I “think” that won’t happen which is fine but thinking is not knowing. Dr. Tom chooses to believe. Others choose not to. It’s no more complicated than that.

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  30. I believed in Santa and the tooth fairy and realized they were fake. Pitt committting enough to win at anything other than a Science Contest is the samething. Show me proof. Heather Lyke – Sorry that hire alone proves we are happy in Double AA ball.

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    1. Show you proof about what? We are talking about reasonable beliefs. You want proof that it is reasonable to believe that Pitt can be a nationally relevant football power (defined as a perennially top 20 team)? That’s easy enough. Pitt beat both Penn State and Clemson last year. Still choose not to believe?OK with me.

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  31. Dr Tom – Wow! One of the most inspirational post I’ve ever read! And still we get a plethora of negativity. One of the main reasons I read this blog is to get a laugh out the negative comments. It really must be a tough way to go thru life! I, like you, am a “Glass half full” guy. In fact as I have aged, I see myself approaching the “Glass All the Way Full” Syndrome. This will most likely be fully revealed when we do our Prediction Post at the close of fall practice. Not at all worried about predicting incorrectly. More concerned with enjoying “The Process”. I am on board the “Narduzzi Express”, and plan to savor every mile of this ride – bumps and all!

    Keep the rose colored (Mustard Colored) glasses on, and please stay close to your keyboard!!

    Like

  32. I never said they can’t be a top 20 team every few years. I said they wont win a NCAA. Show proof the athletic dept is committed to that goal bc it isnt there. Reread my comments.

    Like

    1. When they provide the proof, you’ll propose that it was a fluke and demand that they repeat again next year just to prove that’s it’s a trend. You’re a contrarian and are so up in your own $hit that you can’t even realize that fact. How do you spell, H OP E L E S S?

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  33. I love some of you Pitt Fans. We can’t win 9
    Games now we are going to the Championship. Puppies and Rainbows. Maybe you guys should
    Run the AD Program
    You guys care more than our AD and BOD.

    Like

  34. As a moderate I believe the truth lies somewhere between the most optimistic and pessimistic views. There is a big difference between 8-5 and 12-1. I believe if Pitt can win ONE more game than last year, we are continuing progress toward where we want to be. 8-5 or less = C+ Tier= SOP.

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  35. Upitt, I do feel the same exact way as you do about the commitment of the PITT athletic dept. That said, look at what actually happened on the field last year. The results are the proof in the pudding.

    Before you go jumping up and down disliking Lyke. Give the woman a chance. You are not stating opinions about her but rather you get all lathered up and immediately jump to conclusions and facts based only on your opinions. History sometimes is not the greatest barometer of the future. Otherwise, why we would need weatherman who can only correctly tell us all what yesterdays weather was.

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  36. Ike – She was a compliance person. Most hires at EMU were bad ( I read their Boards) and she is 0-3 on hiring a wrestling coach. 0-3

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  37. Neautral since he elevated to 8 wins. That is his ceiling until he gets rid of Conklin, pays top assistants. Brand new OC and New QB who really never played much.

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  38. PittPT – This is probably it. Doesn’t get anymore controversial or bonkers than this. As a side note, I’m going to sleep with a Victoria Secrets model tonight because I want to. 😂 No difference than 2-3 stars winning 12 games.

    Like

    1. Jackingoff with a Victoria’s Secret catalog wrapped around your Johnson is the closest you’ll get to that Upitt, me I prefer using that Spring Pitt Football preview that Reed sent to me.

      Hhhaaaiiilll to Pitt! I’m done.

      Like

  39. UPitt , I will disagree with you on the star rating of recruits. It was 2-3 star under Chryst but the ratings of recruits unDer Narduzzi has steadily risen, with our recruits getting other bonfire Division I offers instead of primarily MAC offers.

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  40. PittPT – I say Pitt FB is trending upward. This will be the third season in a row I believe the team can win 10 games – even with three different QB’s to start each season and three different coaches in the OC position.

    There is a new attitude towards excellence on and off the field that hasn’t been there in a really long time. And the coaches seem to be building depth. As one example: The DLine will have the potential to rotate 12 players – that equates to having the best of that group, with fresher legs, at the end of games (and season).

    I’ll spend more of my entertainment $’s in 2017 to see the results of my beliefs.

    Regarding BB – I saw that Stallings attended the Pitt vs psu baseball game and the Narduzzi pre-game BBQ. Must mean he is sticking around and trying to fit in. Boy, I sure hope he finds a way to get Pitt fans to like him. Here is one suggestion: have a plan, communicate the plan well and win!

    HTP!

    Like

    1. Erie, how many wins do you think Pitt would have had last year had Peterman gone down in the first game and was lost for the season? Now ask yourself this, if Browne is injured in the first game and DiNucci comes in to replace him for the remainder of the season would you still be predicting 10 wins?

      Like

      1. I’ll base my prediction on the perceived starters. But, the back-up players are looking more talented each year.

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  41. lol Upitt, beauty truly is in the beholders eyes. That’s what a light switch is for. In my wife and PITT’s case, I choose to leave the lights on. Kinda of Lyke that motel slogan.. 🙂 …ike

    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    H2P

    Like

  42. Doctor Tom good article and some very strong comments on status of Pitt football. I feel they are trending up. Narduzzi coaches hard and players work for him and believe in the system. We will never fill the seats because we play Thursday nite games at home. Friday after thanksgiving and hold spring game on Easter Saturday. This is when most families come together. You see no penn state games on Friday. They refuse to play since fans travel They don’t play the day after Thanksgiving scrimmage the day before Easter Their administration fights for that ours accepts the money and runs. Pitt makes it tough for people like me who travel a long distance to keep coming back every year. I believe we are better but until the administration support backs us we will have difficult times filling the stadium and winning the conference. I believe and I’m positive but I’m also getting older and am more realistic. Family god first. No spring game for me sorry fellas H2p

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  43. Trending up and talk of a NC are two different things all together.

    I think we are getting better, but a top ten team is a long way off.

    A National Championship a pipe dream, and Dr Tom is smoking the good stuff.

    Nothing wrong with that but it’s not for everybody.

    Like

  44. gc – you telling me that if Pitt beats psu and OK State, sitting at 3-0 to start the 2017 season and that doesn’t propell the Pathers into the top 10 like the Wisky bump last season after the LSU win?

    If you don’t believe Pitt can accomplish that, you did not watch the games last season.

    Pitt is primed for a miraculous season. Why not 2017?

    I know, the DB’s and Conklin. But, both should improve in 2017. They can’t get any worse, right?

    Like

  45. EE, seriously, PSU has everyone back including their middle linebacker who did not play against us last year. We have a new QB, a new left side of our O-line, and no James Conner. We had a disgustingly bad defense last year, so suddenly it is going to be great this year? Pitt is primed for a miraculous season, really, you must be toking on Dr. Tom’s pipe.

    If Max Browne has an All-American year, we could be very good, but he got beat out by a freshman last year.

    By the way, I think the pass rush is much more important than the DB’s. Also the linebackers. Lots of new guys playing everywhere. Not a recipe for success.

    Like

    1. gc – Brown got beat out by a very good FR QB who beat psu.

      Pitt fans don’t make excuses as to why psu lost to their non-rival.

      Enough said…

      I’ll watch and root for my university to win each and every week. You say psu has all their players back from a team that lost to Pitt. I say good. And they have coach Franklin who has yet to beat Pitt (ever).

      HTP!

      Like

  46. gc, woah, PSU lost their best wideout, there best olineman, a very good db as well as recent season injury to another db. I also think a starting lb as well. Yes they do have almost everyone back, but not all. And they still have HCJF who can, and will screw the pooch at least once, just hope it is against us!

    Like

    1. Still not equivalent to losing a starting QB and the most prolific RB since Dorsett.

      They still have an experienced QB and Heisman candidate RB.

      We have a new QB and first time starters on the road.

      Sure, we can win, that’s why they play the game, but we certainly won’t be favored.

      Like

  47. In the article in Pttsburgh TribLive by Jerry DiPaola, he cites a piece of Pitt coaching history that I wasn’t aware of, so thought I would share:

    “[Jon] Gruden, who was Pitt’s $30,000-a-year wide receivers coach under Paul Hackett in 1991… That staff included three future NFL coaches (Gruden, Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy).”

    What was it about Pitt in the early 90’s or with Paul Hackett that made Pitt desirable for these up-and-coming coaches??

    Like

  48. Does upitt really think clemson spends 60 million a year on football?

    Pitt spends somewhere around 20. 3 x 20 = 60.

    Penn state spends somewhere around 35 million a year btw.

    Like

  49. Pitt can catch lightening in a bottle. But for sustained success, you need money and commitment. Our AD needs to raise the funds and our BOT and Chancellor have to show us that sports matter and winning matters. To this point, they have not and probably never will.

    Like

  50. Deep – Dabo makes 5M. Narduzi makes what 2.6M??? Look at Clemson’s Dac salary and then look at Conklins who cale from the powerful FIU. The info is in the lack of money spent.

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  51. @EDR- I don’t make excuses. I deal in reality every day. I also get compensated on performance. I am not negative about Pitt at all. I find those that think there is so much negativity on here to be comical. There isn’t. There is a strong dose of reality.

    Look at MLB, NBA, NHL,NFL. I haven’t, but my sense is that for the most part, the teams that spend the most, win the most. That is a management commitment to excellence. Now look at the NCAA. The teams that spend the most on their programs, seem to have the best programs. Ohh, we are talking NCAAA. Pay for staff and travel and facilities like OSU, MICH, Alabama, Clempsun, Dairy College, and then you can start expecting 10 win seasons. How many netjet hours does narduzzi have each year for recruiting? Helicopter? Exactly.

    Pay a firm 20k for a job and you get a certain level of expertise. Pay a firm 100k, and you aren’t getting my recent graduate, you are getting a solid, experienced professional. Mock all you want, but that is the way of life cupcake. OJ didn’t have the public defender represent him (not a shot at my friends at the public defenders office, just for emphasis of point). Pay for an “A” program, you should get “A” results. Pay for and commit to a “C”, you get a “C”. We have been mediocre because that is what we pay for. C’mon now, use that degree big fella.

    UPitt isn’t off on his assessment, he just types it differently. Name a program that has won an NCAA title, or an ACC title since we have been in the league? That is not a negative statement. It is the truth. Oh wait, do not count participation trophies. Many here are saying the same thing about commitment by Administration and BOT there snowflake.

    Like

  52. Pitt pays for mediocre results. Middle of the pack results. Always hires on the cheap…see latest AD hire. Over-pays for retread basketball coaches. Hires football coordinators and hope they get lucky that he’s got head coach material. Elite programs dont do this. Elite programs dont play in off campus stadiums. Pitt will never be elite until it changes its culture. That takes money and leadership. It will take an AD that raises enormous funds. It will take a different reporting structure and abolishment of the BOT for athletic decisions. Pitt will never go there. It makes enough money for being mediocre and has determined that this front porch really doesnt enhance the brand enough to make it worth the investment.

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  53. Until I see otherwise , I think Shawn Watson was a decent hire for OC. Pitt did much better with an OC that Narduzzi had a relationship with (Canada) than one he didn’t (Chaney). I am with UPITT in not understanding why Conklin was not made to pay for the poor play of the defense. I’m going to assume if the defense doesn’t take a step forward this year, Conklin’s luck will run out.

    Like

  54. Many of us oldtimers have watched the Pitt football program for many years, and after the national championship year thought that another one would soon follow. 40 years later, we must admit that Pitt was just not that interested in becoming a football power. There never was any interest by the top powers to have athletics dominate or outshine the academic side of the school. We have had good coaches such as Jackie Sherrill that could have won another one, but internal disputes and lack of commitment have caused the good ones to leave. Not paying Jackie, and interfering with his program, were not a surprise, looking back.

    Pitt doesn’t pay top dollar for coaches because they don’t want to become a football factory, not because they can’t afford it with a multi-billion dollar university endowment. I believe that long ago a calculation was made that having a good but not great football program that competed but didn’t win section titles or national championships was in Pitt’s best interest. Coaches (and ADs) come and go for a reason, because they get here and see the lack of commitment at the top. Jamie stayed so long because they built the Pete and made a commitment to basketball. So ask yourself why did he leave? Why couldn’t he recruit?

    This can only change with a new Chancellor, which we now have. It will be evident in the next few years if he is committed to winning, which will be first revealed in Pitt’s relations with Narduzzi. Will he extend the contract by 10 years or so? Narduzzi, in turn, would probably only agree to an extension that long if he felt the asst coaching budget would be sufficient during that period to win. At Narduzzi’s age, he may only get one more bite at the apple if Pitt doesn’t work out.

    Like

  55. That’s a good post V.O.R. and you raise a great point about commitment. Only time will really tell the tale but are there signs?

    First off, is there any doubts that the PITT basketball program has been de-emphasized? Telling the former basketball athletic director to hit the bricks was a good first step.

    I don’t care what anyone says or thinks. PITT stepped up and offered a larger amount of money to keep Canada on the staff than they may have ever offered to any asst coach.

    With all the hub bub about PITT not having any available money while actually having money is key here. I believe that people in the know may have finally gotten through to the higher up PITT people and have made a convincing argument on why having a competitive football program can help all aspects of the university.

    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    H2P!

    Like

  56. Thank you Dr. Tom for all that and love the highlights.

    You wrote, “There are multiple undefeated seasons, multiple National Championships, and numerous HOF players. Overall we have a very rich and storied history to our University’s football program. It is a glorious tradition to aspire to.” Despite all that, we have no on-campus stadium. That is so wrong.

    There is a University of Phoenix stadium yet they have no football team.

    Like

  57. i love the post. i am a buckeye fan but i know about heart and u have it. one thing though coming from a big school, it isnt really the money but it is the program. give your coach a couple years to get the program rolling to get those top 100 players coming to your school. like i say, the best players go for the program not because that school has money. but as of now i see the bamas and the buckeyes and the wolverines of football dominating in scholorships all due to THE PROGRAM. and im sure you watched the movie before lol

    Like

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