I’m not going to write a lot about this as I have put up a few articles related to Pitt’s musical chair theory when it comes to our football uniforms already.
But now our new AD Heather Lykes has done what seems to be required of each new Pitt AD in that she is revisiting, yet again, how they should look.
Could old school become the new normal? For now, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke wouldn’t rule it out.
In an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh media, Lyke was asked about the possibility of the athletic department returning to its royal-blue-and-yellow color scheme and said, “I’m not going to say the conversation has not happened.”
Lyke cautioned nothing was imminent, but the news of a potential return to the program’s historic colors is welcomed with open arms by many Pitt fans.
The chorus of voices calling for Pitt to scrap its current palette of navy blue and gold has intensified since August, when the athletic department first released images of the retro uniforms the football team wore on Oct. 8 against Georgia Tech and Nov. 19 against Duke.
Of course this is all crap to the nth degree.
Remember just ten months ago in August when we jumped on this merry-go-round and ended up with the uniforms we have now? And remember how these were the ones the Pitt administration stated were going to be the uniforms of the future so that Pitt could create the all-important “brand” and eye recognition that the most successful programs have?
Think of Alabama, Penn State, Nebraska, Oklahoma’s brands to name a few – one look and you knew right off the bat who those teams you were watching when flipping through your TV channels.
Well – rather than rehash everything related to this subject here is the link to that POV article I referenced if you’d like to be reminded of what we went through back in August of 2016.
Here is good Sports Illustrated article about colleges and their brands. This point they make is interesting:
How did Oregon build a perennial national title contender in a remote, sparsely populated state? By building a readily identifiable brand of football that draws 18-year-old athletes like moths to light reflected off a “liquid metal” helmet. But this brand wasn’t built by the marketing department or by a consultant.
The staff at Nike, one of the best brand-building companies in America, had a hand in the process, but the people most responsible were the coaches and the players. Like anything else, a football team’s brand is mostly defined—for better or for worse—by the quality of the product.
Bottom line? If you don’t have the players, staff and schemes in place to win football games, and a lot of them, you’ll never create a “brand” for your program because no one would care.
Hence the brands that Alabama, Penn State, Nebraska, Oklahoma have created for themselves are not due to their school colors but due to winning football games and churning out championships seasons year in and year out and that makes their colors and uniforms special.
That article also has an interactive feature where you roll your cursor over your school’s logo and a text window pops up. If that doesn’t work for you here is what the authors said about Pitt:
The brand: The Panthers haven’t had much of an identity for a while, which is odd considering this is the program that produced Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Dan Marino and Larry Fitzgerald.
What it should be: New coach Pat Narduzzi should swipe a page from his last job and use the same model Michigan State has used in the Big Ten: Out-evaluate rivals on the recruiting trail and play ridiculously stingy defense. Narduzzi has a great eye for talent, and living in the middle of a football-crazy region should give him plenty of options. The Panthers are in the perpetually wide-open ACC Coastal, so they can win quickly if Narduzzi can transplant the brand from East Lansing.
This makes 100% sense as it is exactly the same thing Pat Narduzzi said when he was hired here… that he wanted Pitt to have a blue-collar defense and get the best and the brightest recruits from the tri-state area.
I have to say that since this article was written it 2015 Narduzzi hasn’t held up the ‘stingy defense’ part of it hardly at all. The bits in red show our defensive regression from 2015 to 2016.
|Team Stats – Through games 01/11/2016|
|Passing Yards Allowed||54||214.7|
|Team Passing Efficiency Defense||66||126.97|
|Team Stats – Through games 01/09/2017|
|Passing Yards Allowed||127||333.2|
|Team Passing Efficiency Defense||106||143.57|
Plus, we’ll see this year when a lot of his recruits start playing if he’s “out evaluating” his recruiting rivals but I’d say that is a stretch to say that has happened either but time will tell there… if we can figure out who our ‘recruiting rivals’ actually are.
I wish Pitt would pick a decent uniform (I like what we have now) uniform and stick with them but that will never happen – not when 1) the school needs boosts in apparel sales income every time something changes and 2) the apparel companies keep breathing down Pitt (and other schools’) neck to change the uniforms as frequently as possible.
Oh well, a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do…
NOTES: No roundtable Call-In tonight. we’ll skip this week due to the Kohbergers having dinner guests.