POV: Recruiting & FB Bits & Pieces; July 11th, 2017

Recruiting The Top 10 Pennsylvania players year by year.

A while ago Rivals.com Chris Peak was asked what he felt the Pitt coaching staff would say when asked if they were satisfied with their 2017 recruiting class.  His candid answer was that he though they were disappointed in the final class as they missed too many of the blue chip players who went elsewhere… some from right in Oakland itself.

Let’s start with last year’s Top 10 PA players, then look at the Top Ten in this current 2018 class… then bounce back to Narduzzi’s first year of 2016 ( which was the best so far in my opinion).


1.   **** D’Andre Swift, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) RB- Solidly built at 5’10” 208, very fast, great feet and vision, and he even has very good hands. He’s the total package and that’s why his top five  right now is Penn State, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, and Florida State.  GEORGIA

2.   ****  Lamont Wade, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) CB- At 5’9″ and 185 pounds, he doesn’t have ideal size for the position, but he’s very strong, fast, and quick. He also has the fire necessary for the position. Ohio State and Penn State seem like the most obvious leaders, and Pitt is a bit of a sleeper. PENN STATE

3.   **** Paris Ford, Steel Valley HS (Munhall) FS Thin, but has room to grow at 6’1″ and 175 pounds. Excellent speed and athleticism. Plays with a lot of emotion. Projects just as well at wide receiver. Has committed to PITTSBURGH.

4.   **** David Adams, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) LB- Typical rugged western PA kid that was born to play linebacker. Good speed and athleticism. Has the range to make tackles all over the field. Committed to NOTRE DAME.

5.   **** Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls Area HS (Beaver Falls) DE- Big, strong, and athletic at 6’4″ and 265 pounds. Shed some weight so that he can play defensive end, but he could also be just as good at defensive tackle. Pittsburgh appears to be the leader with Penn State probably second. Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Notre Dame are some of his other offers.  MICHIGAN

6.  **** Mark Webb, Archbishop Wood Catholic HS (Warminster) WR- Good size at 6’2″ and 195 pounds with the frame to add more size. Has steadily been on the rise with impressive camp performances. At one point he seemed like he was destined for Penn State, but Georgia may lead now. Alabama and North Carolina are also heavily involved.  GEORGIA

7.  **** C.J. Thorpe, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) OG- Short and stocky at 6’3″ and 320 pounds, but has good feet for his size. He could also move over to DT if he doesn’t pan out on offense. Has committed to PENN STATE.

8.   ****  Josh Lugg, North Allegheny HS (Wexford) OT- At 6’7″ and 290 pounds he has great length, and he also moves very well. However he appears to be this year’s candidate for overrated PA lineman that national recruiting services do every year. At least for now since Lugg has yet to perform at a high level. He does have great natural attributes, though, so that still may come. Has committed to NOTRE DAME.

9.   **** Kurt Hinish, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) DT- Probably the biggest surprise prospect of the season because nobody expected him to get the attention that he has. But he’s a solid 6’2″ and 285 pounds, and he moves well for his size. Has already committed to NOTRE DAME.

10.   **** Kenny Robinson, University Prep HS (Pittsburgh) LB- Maybe the most under recruited prospect in the state, but that’s often the case when you play in Pittsburgh’s City League. At 6’3″ and 205 pounds he has a strong, athletic frame to go with his good speed and quickness. When it all comes together for him he could be a special player. It’s believed that Pittsburgh is the strong leader.  WEST VIRGINIA

So – one out of 10 blue chip players decided on Pitt after we were very much in the race for two more.  What hurts even worse is that three of the 10 were Pittsburgh Central Catholic players and committed elsewhere way early in the process.


1.  **** Phil Jurkovec, Pine-Richland HS (Gibsonia) QB- Started as a sophomore last year and already dominated. At 6’5″ and 190 pounds he has the frame, and if that’s not enough he’s a big time athlete. Could be the national No. 1 QB in the class. Committed to NOTRE DAME.

2.  **** Micah Parsons, Central Dauphin HS (Harrisburg) DE- Already 6’3″ and 235 pounds and he’s still going to fill out a lot over the next two years. Big time rush end that could be the top DE in the country for the class. Committed to PENN STATE.

3.  **** Isheem Young, Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia) FS- Currently just 5’10” and 180 pounds, but he hasn’t started his junior season yet so he still has a lot of time to grow. Plays like a high school version of Ed Reed with great range and hard hits. Pitt, Penn State, Florida State, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina are some of his very early offers.  Strong PSU lean (95%) and Pitt isn’t in top five.

4.  **** Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa HS (Aliquippa) S- Already 6’3″ and 190 pounds so he may eventually grow into a linebacker, but wherever he ends up he has a chance to be the next great Quip thanks to his speed, athleticism, size, and toughness. Pitt has to be considered a major player because of the connection between the schools.

5.  **** Matthew Bauer, Cathedral Prep HS (Erie) LB- Typically tough PA linebacker that flies all over the field and makes great hits. Has the frame to add to his 6’2″ and 200 pounds. He seems destined for Penn State.  NOTRE DAME

6.  **** Zack Kuntz, Camp Hill HS (Camp Hill) TE- Very skinny at 210 pounds and because he’s 6’7′ that means he has a lot of weight to put on. Despite doing well as a track performer he’s not highly explosive and he has to learn to be a tight end since he’s more of a wide receiver now. These reasons are why I have him a little lower than others. But 6’7″ is still 6’7″ so if it all comes together down the road, look out.  PENN STATE

7.  **** Darryle Simmons, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia)- Already a very immersive 6’2″ and 200 pounds with good speed and athleticism. Early offers include Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, There will be many more.  VIRGINIA TECH

8. *** Kevin Doyle, Malvern Prep (Malvern) QB- Currently a solid 6’3″ and 190 pounds but he needs to get stronger, including arm strength. But he has a lot to work with including accuracy and very good mobility in the pocket. Has early offers from Pitt, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Kentucky, among others.  57% PITT at this time, but we just had Nick Patti commit to us – doubt we’ll take two QBs but who knows…

9.  *** Shaquon Anderson-Butts, Harrisburg HS (Harrisburg) WR- Explosive and speedy at 6’0″ and 160 pounds. Early offers include Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, and Rutgers.  No sites show a Pitt offer…

10. *** David Green, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) DE- Already a very solid 6’2″ and 250 pounds so he may grow into a defensive tackle. Very athletic and tough. Has the potential to move way up in the rankings. West Virginia and Iowa State are his first two big offers.

So we pretty much have been striking out of the best 2018 in-state talent also to this point.  We very much want S Kwantel Raines to come aboard as his work might be needed as early as his freshman year next season.  

Now lets jump back to our 2016 rankings…


top 10 16

Now hold on – we did get three more high-ranking players within the next five slots:

PA 15

Bottom line for me? These have been average type recruiting classes so far and will be good for playing at the level we are now – but for us to really get this program moving upward the word “PITT” has to show up next to a lot more blue chip players’ names staring with the rest of the 2018 class.

Here are two articles about the age-old problem of how to attract more fans and alumni to Heinz Field for the Pitt home games… good luck with that.  It is a recurring problem but AD Lyke has changed things up a bit to allow alumni who just graduated a discounted rate on season tickets.



… And some interesting news about our WR Jester Weah being named the #4 WR in the ACC for 2018.  Interesting because his 24.22 yards per catch was over five (5!) whole yards better than the #2 guy, Miami’s WR Ahmmon Richards’ 19.06.

As Rodney Dangerfield says “We don’t get no respect!”.


From the POV’s Politically Incorrect Vault; here is a blast from the past:


161 thoughts on “POV: Recruiting & FB Bits & Pieces; July 11th, 2017

  1. a few small notes to the above list. 2017 – I don’t believe Pitt ever offered Kenny Robinson; 2018 – Micah Parsons has decommitted from PSU, although he is still considering them.

    Note that Pitt lost these recruits to the heavyweights …. Notre Dame, PSU, Michigan, Georgia, etc … and they lose Kwantel Raines, it will be to PSU or Florida

    Reed, for those who follow recruiting, this is all old news. In fact, for many blue chips in the eastern part of th state .. Pitt doesn’t even try.

    Reed, many of us have been saying for a long time that Pitt is not going to recruit the blue chips, as long as there are 20,000 empty yellow seats for most games. What can Pitt offer except for being local?

    The most blatant example is Donovan Jeter. He has been going to Pitt BB games for nearly 3 years and had great relationship with HCPN (as acknowledged by Jeter himself). Then this past September, went to a ND game, was blown away by the game atmosphere .. and committed immediately. Then a month or so later, he went to a Michigan game and did the very same thing …which is where he ended up.


    1. I realize Pitt competes with the professional teams in Pittsburgh but one thing I know for certain is Pittsburghers love their football and will fill up the stands if Pitt wins ten games or more. Just win baby and they will come!! The Nard Dog is on the brink of making that a reality!!

      What are the convincing sales pitches that Pitt can offer these PA blue chip players…immediate playing time and NFL exposure. Seems enticing to me.


  2. Write on it in 2 or 3 years to see if any of these kids did anything and compare who Pitt recruited in the same positions after missing out on them.

    I don’t consider kids in Eastern Pa misses. Not a strong area for Pitt recruiting.


    1. FWIW, Brandon McIlwain (# 6 on ’16 list) has already left So. Carolina & transferred to Cal in the Pac 12. Both parents were Gamecock alum & sports letterman. He started two or three games as a true freshman & replaced by another true freshman. Should have red shirted.


  3. Facts are facts and many of these young men above did decided to play somewhere else and not PITT. Is that the whole story though? Many may call what I’m about to say “excuses” but I call them justified reasons.

    2017– This was a special class for the WPIAL and PITT did very poorly with this class.

    .1. Swift. from Philly. This kid is fantastic but PITT never had a look or a chance in heck to get him.
    .2. Wade. He jerked Narduzzi around and ultimately his parents decided for him. (one of them may have a connection to psu/legacy)?
    .3. Ford. Committed very early to PITT
    .4. Adams. Committed almost the minute he was offered by ND. He got his desired offer and PITT didn’t have that chance I talked about earlier.
    .5.Jeter. This kid really jerked PITT around and I say good luck to him but don’t come a knockin or calling in a couple years.<or crawling back!
    .6. Thorpe. legacy recruit that PITT had zero chance with, ZERO!
    .7. Lugg. Severely over-rated, especially to get a ND off. No great loss here.
    .8. Hinish. loved this kids motor and work ethic. Again, PITT didn’t have a chance with him.
    .9. Robinson. I liked him but PITT didn’t pursue him.

    I left out Mark Webb as I have no clue who he was but he wasn’t from the WPIAL. I really don’t feel a second year head coach and his staff should be criticized when the kids that did not come to PITT they had no chance to change their minds. If in a few years PITT and Narduzzi have the same response with local recruits, then I will admit he’s not making any headway, but that class wasn’t his fault. Those kids not coming to PITT was the athletic dept’s doing a few years before.

    Also, Narduzzi did get a nice bunch of out of state players to come and lessen the blow. PITT won a national championship with a bunch of out of state players if I remember correctly?

    Losing players from Philly and other eastern Pa players is not the right term, imo. TYhose kids don’t want to come to PITT for the most part. Wade and Jeter were two tough losses but I won’t blame HCPN for not getting a kid with his mind made up a year (the others) or so before he arrived at PITT. ..ike


  4. FYI… just ordered 4 tickets in section 8 on the 40 yard line at $40 each- includes a drink and hotdog or popcorn, from Duke ticket office (919-681-2583). Come join us. Wallace Wade is a great stadium to see a game. She hosted the 1942 Rose Bowl where Oregon State beat Duke 20-16.


  5. Pitt has very little chance of getting many top rated Pa stars east of Harrisburg. And about a 15% to 20% chance in the Central Pa area for those top rated stars.


  6. Reed – you nailed it by following up your recruiting misses with info about trying to fill Heinz for Pitt games. The two are directly related, especially for the 4 and 5 star players.

    Coach Duzz is recruiting with a Big-Bird-colored yellow seat tied behind his back. Elite players want it all; Pitt is missing consistently having big crowds. That’s a major hindrance to Coach Duzz.

    This leads me to two conclusions:
    One, Coach Duzz is doing an outstanding job of recruiting — putting together the best overall roster we’re had in many moons: and
    Two, Coach Duzz will be gone after 2 more seasons at Pitt. His whole life is football – like the elite recruits, he wants the whole enchilada…a job where he can recruit at the top.

    Pitt fans can fix all this by heading to Heinz to support Pitt – but will they???

    Go Pitt.


    1. Well said MajorMajors – I hope you are wrong about coach Duzz leaving in 2 years. I’m betting on his eye for talent and that these 3 star prospects he recruits turn into a championship team.

      If that happens, coach Duzz stays at Pitt.



  7. One other shortcoming of this article is that it doesn’t factor in out-of-state recruits. We got two four-star recruits in 2016 – Keyshon Camp from Florida and Amir Watts from Illinois. And we also got one four-star from Florida in 2017 – A.J. Davis.


  8. You folks really don’t get it. Pitt will never fill Heinz outside of the ND, PSU and WVU home games. And even in that case about 20% to 30% of those seats will be filled by fans from our opponents. Heinz in no way contributes to the college football experience of playing in a campus environment stadium. So with every Pitt game today either broadcast on TV or via the internet you can bet that Pitt would almost have to give away tickets for most of the games in order to fill Heinz. And I’m not even sure if giving away tickets would bring in a capacity crowd for those games.


  9. I mentioned a couple of threads ago that we could turn the page in recruiting if there was a rowdy crowd there for each game. We need a Pitt version of Bill Veech, someone with an imagination and flare, to fill those seats. Just read a article on very poor attendance and possible contributing factors at the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays paralleling our Heinz situation. Our situation certainly isn’t unique. What is so damn frustrating is it’s the same ole -same ole every year. Being in Heinz accentuates the issue, that feeling of emptoness- although the stadium seems less empty when we don the canary yellow. Great Heinz camo…


  10. Pitt is recruiting better than MSU rankings wise when Narduzzi was there. If Pitt can stay competitive with salary, I wouldn’t worry too much. If Duzz leaves it won’t be because of anything besides Pitt not stepping up.


  11. Win and they will come!!! Pittsburgh fans love winners and that is easily seen with pirates and attendance when they have playoff team and this year. We are building getting faster and better attitudes. It’s our time to step up and win this year. Recruiting has been good not the greatest but he has done a good job trying to change the culture. All we need to do is sweep September and rest of seasons games will be filled. We face many factors in playing hot in September freezing in November and few games ever at home in the nicest month October. Pirates no threat for playoffs so now we just need a few good breaks like the farmers had last year. H2P. BEAT PENN STATE


  12. Hey BigB, are you saying Narduzzi and PITT should recruit a midget (small person) to play quarterback?


  13. several national articles last week on attendance at NCAA.football games. Solutions offered included bringing in more young HS kids and college kids. Pitt’s attendance problems are so numerous and complex, DR Phil could do a years worth of shows on the cause. 20,000 empty seats are almost guaranteed for Pitt games save for PSU, ND UVA. I have no answers…winning will not do it. I’ll be there…


  14. Ike… we could have midgets dressed like Steve Pederson, Todd Graham,former AD Barnes and possibly throw in an opposing coach or 2 ( Brian Kelly and Paterno come to mind) and have them race around Heinz. Maybe the crowd could pay extra for water filled balloons to toss at them.
    Should definitely have a Zambelli shoot after the North Carolina game to celebrate the 1st Pitt victory over the Heels since we joined the ACC.
    Free hot dog and drinks for young people.
    Lots of good minds on the POV…what do you think regarding promoting ideas. Maybe AD Lyle might see something innovative on the POV worth trying


  15. I think this would be more pertinent if it was the top 10 WPIAL guys, all this says is that PITT doesnt get highly rated guys out of the east side of the state very often, which we knew.


  16. What Pitt has always been, and somehow always seems to be at an astonishing-rate, is just a Football Program that from the Big East Days ’til now in the ACC just is as great of a Pro Football spring-board school as there can be.

    Pitt Football also produces (even in the dark days) Stud NFL players, not just guys who hang-on in the League. STUDS and Hall of Famers

    Larry Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis, LeSean McCoy, Aaron Donald (soon to be greater than JJ Watt level compensated 🙂 ) — two first ballot hall of NFL Famers, and 2 guys who have been the utter Elite of their positions in the entire NFL. Tons more — just fun to acknowledge Pitt’s recent straight-up Gold Jacket level talents.

    Of course only Pitt fans / alums / supporters / Football fans grasp this, WE know —– But for recruiting, these kids just oftentimes have zero clue about the Football Landscape except what they’ve seen on Sportscenter/ heard the talking heads blab-about etc., so they just don’t yet Know / Appreciate Pitt or understand it’s #1 if you want the NFL.

    So many not local recruits only know Pitt as well as some average joe Football fan and it can be hard to educate them about how truly special Pitt is. **Look at how INFURIATING it is when these JOE-SCHMOE writers and talking heads spew their ignorance about Pitt. Pitt is just a one of a kind, unique place versus the other generic kinda Football Factory programs with flat bleachered seat “on campus” stadiums and such, which of course Pitt Football’s insanely-illustrious former players all know — but now with the awesome Script Pitt needs to Push It’s brand hard to wake these young-kids UP.

    Pitt needs to make gear with the script on cool colors too —- So much National Appeal Potential: charcoal black with a shiny, magnetic script (atheltic shirts, hats, hoodies) would seel gang-busters. Pink Script on the classic, beautiful blue for the Ladies….That Script is magic.

    Dunno what is in the water in Oakland but Pitt will always be an absolute Premier creator of NFL top talent. That’s a fact. I think right now on this Pitt team, there are at least 10 future NFL starters on this roster from Frosh to RS Senior.

    Now — for attendance, REMEMBER, please, that Pitt is only TWO seasons removed from (sigh): 7-5 (Wanny fired), 6-7, 6-7, 7-6 (Pizza Bowl win, woo-hoooo!) …. 6-7 !! That’s weak-sauce records and those teams were often a struggle for even the most ardent Pitt fans to keep rooting for. Those were teams that made non-Pitt fans change the channel and rather watch Oregon State vs. Cal, Iowa State vs. Kansas / Indiana vs. Illinois or something, it was a sad sad time struggling starting out in the ACC.

    People forget that Pat Narduzzi has come in and —- maybe not star-ranking, National Rating recruiting wise superficial-upgrade, but he has recruited full-on, way faster and athletic players (most definitely Talent-Wise huge-time ugrade for us big Football fans, WE SEE for sure!) on offense AND DEFENSE —- and most importantly Narduzzi has established just as passionate as Paul Chryst’s High Chacracter demands, but he’s beefed-up the program’s National-Rep too by bringing so much passion, energy, and Style to Pitt!

    Now — Cream Rises to the TOP — and I think Pitt being in the ACC we slowly but surely regardless would rise-up to the high levels in our Football and Basketball programs — even despite losing ten years, and say, low-ball estimate, (!!) $100 million dollars or so of Sports Program growing income that Virginia Tech, Maimi, and (yeesh!) even freagin’ Boston College got in jumping to the ACC 15 years ago while Pitt wallowed in the Big East.

    Pitt has only been a ‘Big Conference’ program for 4 years or so —- which frankly means Pitt in College Athletics Pitt was like a 3rd-level, “Developing” World Country which has just gotten into the international Dinner Table.

    I love thought that Pitt fans here want Pitt to ELITE, NOW though. Because, It’s Time! 🙂 — especially Football, ASAP — because Pitt Football I think we all feel, is RIGHT THERE this year to ascend-up right now into a top 20, National-Competing program.

    10-3 this year with a Bowl Win —- a few have predicted this, and I also think that’s just about right!


  17. Yeah Narduzzi isn’t going to leave because of attendance. That’s crazy. Coaches don’t care. They care about how much they get paid and how much control over the program they have.

    I 100% believe Narduzzi said yes to Pitt because he thought (and still thinks) he can win big at Pitt, and because he saw the opportunity at Pitt to carve out his own football empire where he is unquestioned God-Emperor. If he gets to consistent double-digit wins, nobody at Pitt or in the fanbase is going to question him, none of them are going to tell him no, none of them are going to get in his way, for a long time. Pitt football will be HIS even more than it is now, and it’s pretty much HIS already.

    He has a ton of ambition and a ton of ego, as long as the money is right, as long as he succeeds, a place like Pitt that has been starved for success is perfect for him.


  18. LOL! BigB. Although I’m really sure that the idea of dressing midgets up to run around looking like past PITT villains while being pelted by water balloons could just maybe be frowned upon in today’s society, I’m also as sure that the promotion/stunt would sell many many tickets.

    Hells bells, The perogie race gets the fans into it. Just imagine little people dressed like “the steve”, poopy pants and Barney Barnes running a gauntlet of water balloons?


  19. First off Pitt is not going to pay Pat Narduzzi anything like what Dantonio, the head coach of Michigan State, makes now which is 4.3 million dollars. Add to that $650K he was paid last year to make it $5M. We are paying narduzzi about 1.9 million now. You’ll never see 3.5M to $5M in a Pitt salary per year – we just won’t.


    As I wrote in an article a few weeks ago Pat narduzzi’s salary would rank him around #60 out of 128 teams and would put him 12th in the ACC (out of 16 teams) as far as base salary goes and bonuses.

    I’ll go as far to say that even if Narduzzi wins the Coastal Division, and gets in the ACC Championship game and wins that this season, his salary will not go up to 3.5-4 million dollars. I truly believe Pitt will look for another head coach before that happens.

    As far as attendance goes the commenter above is correct in saying that Notre Dame West Virginia and Penn State are the big games where we’re going to fill the stadium. The games other than them are not going to be highly attended and they never have been unless it’s a one-off game where we might be playing somebody important at the end of the season.

    The recruits with stars in his eyes and who wants to play in front of 100,000 plus football fans and have beautiful new locker rooms every two years and crazy crazy alumni who fawns all over them are going to go to the biggest programs, and the bigger schools. That’s just the way it is and that’s the way it has been almost always.

    The ones who feel like they want to play for their hometown or they want to play for a HC who has a chance of getting them into the NFL… those are the kids that we get from out of state. Pitt has a rep for that that goes back years and our recruiting has always been in the thirties and forties at best.

    But if we’re going up against a school like Michigan or Notre Dame or Ohio State that does all those things above in most cases we are going to lose out.


    1. i’ll take that bet. If PITT wins the ACC this season they will have to pay Narduzzi double (3.8 mil) to keep him here. He would be a bargain at that price.


  20. Ike and Big B – we tried the short person route. Tiny Sunseri. Didnt work. But Pederson, Graham, Nord, Barnes mascots in a steaming poop race, hmm.
    Is that guy in the Van Husen ad UPitt?
    For college football Heinz sucks, I’m not gonna rant about our lightly chalked field till the YSU game, I’m not gonna rant about….


  21. The last time Pitt had any success west of Greensburg was in the days of Majors/Sherill. Win and they will come.


  22. rkb, not to nitpick but Chad Reed from Latrobe was the first recruit to commit for ole Walt Harris back in 98, I think? A whopping ten miles further east 🙂


  23. What I think you guys are missing is how disappointing it has to be to Coach Duzz to get his team prepared, get his team fired up, and then lead his team out to a two-thirds full stadium with glow-in-the dark yellow seats…

    This is a man who thinks FB 24/7. Why would he not leave for a job where there’s a full stadium, with the advantages a full stadium brings?

    I don’t think it’s the money; I do think it’s the game atmosphere.

    Pitt fans like to stay home and watch the game on tv. That’s what I mainly did up until 20 years ago when I realized Pitt needed me in the stadium –and I’ve only missed one home game since then…

    Go Pitt.


  24. Shady McCoy, Ray Graham, Henry Hynoski, Jeff Otah, Devin Street, TJ Clemmings, Gerald Hayes, Larod Howlings, Aaron Berry, Jared Holley, Kwaun Williams, Alex Officer, and Marc Spindler all come from east of Grennsburg


    1. and there appear to be some very promising young guys from Jersey on roster … and hey, Ffrench and Q Henderson are from both east of Greensburg


  25. In 2017, was Kenny Robinson really a 4 star? I heard Pitt never offered him.


    Let’s compare who Pitt landed compared th the top 10 in PA for 2017 –

    RB Swift to Georgia – Pitt gets two 4 star RB’s in AJ Davis from FL and Todd Sibley from OH
    – Pitt win

    CB Wade to psu – Pitt loss

    FS Paris Ford to Pitt – win

    LB Adams to nd – Pitt gets Cam Bright from Alabama
    – Draw

    DE Jeter to Michigan – Pitt gets Alexander from FL
    – Pitt loss

    WR Webb to Georgia – Pitt gets Michael Smith from FL
    – Draw

    OG Thorpe to psu – Pitt gets Jerry Drake from FL
    – Draw

    OT Lugg to nd – Pitt gets Carter Warren from NJ
    – Pitt loss

    DT Hinish to nd – Pitt gets Jaylen Twyman from D.C. and Kam Carter
    – Pitt win

    LB Kenny Robinson to wvcc – Pitt gets Albert Tucker from FL
    – Pitt win

    Pitt 4 wins, 3 losses and 3 draws

    Pitt wins the recruiting battle in 2017! It’s ALL speculation…



  26. Anon… my father, his brother my grandad and his 7 brothers, all PSU Grads, have turned over in their graves so many times they need an electric spit to stay up with the perversions and scandals coming
    From State College!


  27. Looking at 2017 recruiting gains/losses now not valid to me. Wait for 3 years to see how these players perform. Look at how many of our players were drafted or landed on NFL teams this year. The star system used to value players before they even take a snap is somewhat questionable.

    HCPN knows what he wants and how to evaluate his team.


  28. Narduzzi always wants to recruit locals who are Div 1 players. Pitt did offer and recruit Adams and others especially Jeter. In the end Pitt ended up with a very good class. I also think the ND recruits were more name than talent. Adams peaked his sophomore year. Never got faster bigger or explosive. Lugg is a nice specimen. But he really under performed at NA and he may still develop. But Warren and Drake are simply better. As to Hinish. He was a hustle tackle who will be the try hard player. Good for him. But he had a far better junior year than a not noticeable senior year.. Pitt got Danielson who is far better, Kradel who is better. The guard from Bell Vernon who is will be a nice guard. Thorpe projects to be a good OL but he was a PSU legacy with his dad . I am not caught up in who Pitt didn’t get. When Kelly is fired and ND brings in Stoops, that chocker will lose as well.


  29. The Miami Hurricanes are in the same predicament as Pitt sharing their stadium with the Dolphins. However, last year their home attendance increased by 15% averaging at 58,500. Is that solely due to the big name hire of Mark Richt? Why can’t the same happen at Pitt?


  30. It’s a real bummer to lose Tipton. Great athlete coming from a smaller school but just as athletic as all heck. The young man can’t catch a break though and I really wish him the best moving forward.

    The fortunate side for PITT is this is a particular position that PITT has some decent depth in. Henderson would be great in the slot with Ffrench and Lopes providing some depth there.

    Matthews and Flowers can handle the other WR spot in certain situations when the jet sweep isn’t an option.

    One player, who if he can’t crack the top 2 deep at the D-Back unit ( which is loaded with young depth) is Henry Miller. I think he needs to see the field this year in some capacity and could be an option at WR @ 6’3″ 205 lbs? ….. ike


  31. ^^^ @Eddie Lowen too —>

    Heinz Field is right-on-the-dot, just 5 miles from the Cathedral of Learning (epicenter of Pitt’s Campus).

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/University+of+Miami,+Coral+Gables,+FL/Hard+Rock+Stadium,+Miami+Gardens,+FL/@25.8389213,-80.4019066,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x88d9b7f09fb8d29f:0x83e4c105b8fb1da9!2m2!1d-80.2792843!2d25.7216374!1m5!1m1!1s0x88d9af0497b5f3a9:0x5815e194c60bf9db!2m2!1d-80.2388604!2d25.9579665 —-> Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Hurricanes’ and Dolphins’ home stadium, IS 25 MILES FROM THEIR CAMPUS in Coral Gables!!

    The hurricanes just kind of accept it, it is what is is, and try to make the absolute most of it. Mark Richt alos fully embraces it, and just says let’s win and pack our house like Pat Narduzzi also articulates. They are the exact same student body / Alum size as Pitt too, so Miami is the exact-match for Pitt in the stadium situation — except their stadium is 20 miles farther from their campus.

    UCLA fans go the famed Rose Bowl — no where remotely close to their West LA campus — 25 miles away across the ferocious traffic of Los Angeles. But their fans are fiercely loyal and enthusiastic—- when UCLA is even remotely decent — i.e. 6-6 or above lol — they pack the 100,000 person capacity and embrace their stadium (but obviously UCLA is 2.5X the enrollment size of Pitt so a way huger school).

    Tre Tipton done for the season 😦 😦 — Young Sophomore Aaron Mathews is now the #3 hope he’s ready to rock.


  32. Get the HS kids, they bring family, then give them half time recognition. Cheerleaders, bands , scouts any group. Pitt did better with their own student body when we were a step above a commuter school—-more western Pa students and family. Pitt now touts its international student body but family from Thialand won’t be there, maybe not the student. Pro competition does hurt. Steelers/ Pirates first half and Steelers Penguins second half of the season. But it is also the chicken or egg. If we win they will come——-If it’s not Thursday night! H2P


  33. I’ve been saying for years (and continue to say) fill the upper bowl with Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Indian Scouts (if there are any left), Brownies, Campfire Girls, YMCA kids, Little League football kids, grade school kids, inner city kids, etc. etc. etc. ALL FOR FREE!
    The future generation of the Burg will be Pitt fans from these memories and the seats are empty anyway. I think it’s a win/win scenario and also shows a legitimate concern for the kids of our city!!!


    1. Also, another idea would be to reach out to the students at the Pitt branch campuses. Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville are not too far away – Bradford a bit far. Solicit corporate money for tickets, transportation, tailgating, etc.


  34. Love us Ptt Fans. We get 1 out of top 10 and most from Pittsburgh and we say Narduzzi is better because he has the 3 star diamonds n rough. 1 out of 10 sucks. There is no atmosphere. My ex buddies and athletes combined have been to 4 games over last 10 years and all live n Pttburgh. These are ex athletes. They say atmosphere is garbage and no connecton to Pitt playing off campus. If I go to Heinz it is for NFL. I want rather watch Pitt on road at a actual college campus. Don’t hear GT making excuses about traffic or land for stadium and they are in Atlanta. 3 times bigger than Pittsburgh.


    1. I’m sorry, but if you want to support the team, you’ll go see them play at Heinz Field if you live in the Burgh. Sure, I’d prefer an on campus stadium. But I’m a Pitt football fan – I drive 4 hours one way for every home game. There is plenty of entertainment in Pittsburgh.

      Tailgating alone creates a fun atmosphere if you make the effort.

      Pirate games – Penguin games – concerts – great dining options – previously good men’s basketball. And the campus is 5 miles from Heinz Field (we usually always find time to visit when Pitt FB has a home game – and I live 250 miles from campus).


    2. Well at least you’ve identified the issue, guys like you from Pitt not going to the games to support your university.


  35. Pittman – That would take an actual AD wth a brain not puppet Heather and her compliance team of nerds.


  36. I would hope the Pitt braintrust is looking at what Miami is doing (transportation, tailgating, in-game experience, etc) to attract more students to their off-campus stadium.


  37. There are numerous options the Pitt administration could do to increase attendance, boost excitement & exposure for the team. But there seems to be no interest in doing that. Now, let me be clear, HCPN has interest and I’m sure he is in Ms. Lyke’s ear about changing the culture/administration support going forward.

    Supposedly she did that at E.Michigan – let’s see what she can do at Pitt.

    This 2017 season will be a very tough one to boost attendance because the home schedule does not include psu, nd nor wvcc.

    If Pitt can be in the Coastal hunt come November, will the fans flock to Heinz Field to see the UNC and Miami games? I have my doubts…

    I’m done with the attendance issue for now unless Pitt contacts me for ideas.


    1. Your doubts are well founded. Pitt still had a decent shot at the Coastal when they played VT at home and drew 39K for a Thursday night game broadcast by ESPN. They lost that game by 3 and then went to Miami where they were pounded. However they remained mathematically viable in the Coastal even with those losses.

      Pitt then beat Clemson on the road. They returned home to even more dismal crowds against Duke and Syracuse. The Steelers were out of town on both of those home weekends.

      I am a season ticket holder residing in Pittsburgh and filled my 5 seats for every home game last season. My assertion for improving game day at Heinz follows. Pitt needs a far larger presence on the field such as end zone markings and mid-field markings. They need more than a few banners on the lower bowl that are obviously temporarily masking Steelers stuff. They also need to dump the cacophonous speaker music and emphasize the Pitt band and student section cheers. They should also do their best to improve the out of town college scoreboard and regularly announce happenings at other games. Particularly games involving conference foes, PSU and WVU. While at the game rooting for Pitt also spew some hate at rivals.

      104 year old Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta in located north of downtown Atlanta between the GT campus and I85. It is only a few blocks from a MARTA station and Olympic Park (1996 Summer Games). The lone common home opponent that GT and Pitt had last season was Duke. GT drew 43K for their game. Pitt drew 35K. GT’s game against Duke was in October.


  38. “Pitt sophomore wide receiver Tre Tipton will miss the 2017 season due to a non-football knee injury.
    Tipton (Apollo, Pa./Apollo-Ridge) was expected to contend for a starting position this fall. He played in nine games last year, totaling 12 receptions for 142 yards (11.8 avg.) and a touchdown. He also rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries (5.5 avg.).

    “I know I speak for the entire team in saying we are all disappointed for Tre,” Coach Pat Narduzzi said. “He is an absolutely outstanding young man and teammate. Even though he is unable to play this fall, we know Tre is going to be an invaluable figure in our wide receivers room while he rehabs. That’s the type of person and competitor he is, and he’ll have our fullest support as he works for a full recovery.”


    1. By all reports, Tipton is an upbeat guy who is well liked by his teammates. I thought he showed much promise in his little PT … and can only for a full, speedy recovery. Some guys are just injury prone but sometimes it works out in the end … we all thought Ejuan Price was never going to play a full season after his 4th year here.


  39. A pair of Pitt football juniors has been selected as preseason candidates for the prestigious Maxwell Football Club awards annually presented to college football’s finest players.

    Quadree Henderson is on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has been given to college football’s Player of the Year each season since 1937, while Jordan Whitehead has been touted as a contender for the Bednarik Award, a coveted trophy for the sport’s Defensive Player of the Year dating back to 1995.

    Henderson, a wide receiver and return specialist for the Panthers, earned his place on the 2017 Maxwell Award watch list as an all-purpose player. Last fall, he became the second Pitt player to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season, joining Pitt Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, who accomplished the feat in 1976.

    The dynamic Delaware native was a consensus All-American in 2016, making him the first Panther to receive that distinction as a return man. Henderson’s standout sophomore season concluded with 2,083 all-purpose yards coming via a Pitt-record 914 kickoff return yards, 631 rushing yards, 286 receiving yards and 252 punt return yards.

    Whitehead, a native of Aliquippa, Pa., and Central Valley graduate, earned a place on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award for the second consecutive year.

    A two-time All-ACC safety, Whitehead accumulated 174 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Whitehead has tallied a defensive touchdown in each of his seasons with the Panthers—a 22-yard fumble return against Navy in the 2015 Military Bowl and a 59-yard interception return that keyed Pitt’s win at Virginia last year.

    Whitehead has also been utilized on offense, rushing for 220 yards on 21 carries for an average of 10.5 yards per attempt.

    Both of the Maxwell Football Club’s prominent honors have been awarded to Pitt Panthers in the past.

    Running back Tony Dorsett (1976) and defensive end Hugh Green (1980) are past recipients of the Maxwell Award, while defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Bednarik Award (2013) before becoming a perennial Pro Bowler with Los Angeles Rams.


  40. Since the Heinz Field topic has reared it’s head once again, my 2 cents:

    Any local fan that uses the venue as a reason to not go to the game is making a specious argument. They just don’t have any interest to support the team/school. I drive up from Virginia Beach and try to make most games.

    Reasons to go to the game are to see the game and meet up with friends. You don’t need to be in Oakland to do that. BTW, I’m all for an OCS, just don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

    Heinz Field positives are easy access, parking, plenty to do on the North Shore. Negative, not Pitt stadium (which was a dump when I was there in the early 70s, can’t imagine what is was like in the 90s). Other than the “O”, I’m certain all my stomping grounds in Oakland are long gone (fraternity house, the Keg, Wolfarths, Luna, Frankie Gustines, the Strand, Sunny Days etc.) so any walk down memory lane would be mostly… memories.

    Most of the ACC games I watch on TV in the stadiums some POVerts drool over, the attendance seems to be on par with Pitt or worse. And for what it’s worth Navy’s stadium is not on the Academy grounds.

    Game day experience? Still trying to get my arms around that. I see plenty of tailgating, Pitt stuff going on, probably more than I saw in Oakland. We are who we are, an urban school fighting for entertainment $ with successful pro franchises, not some in the middle of no where school.

    Probably more than 2 cents, just my thoughts. For those local people (less than 3 hours drive), quit whining and get off you duffs and get to some games. Who knows, you might enjoy it.


    1. Preach Larry V!
      Football, like life, is what you make of it.
      Pitt’s season last year was exciting. Their home record was great with only one loss.
      Turn off the TV, get off your ass and go to some games and enjoy yourself. Then at least half of the commenters on here who haven’t been to a Pitt game in person for years, could actually have a valid first person opinion about attendance.


  41. The injury may actually end up being a good thing for Tre as long as he fully recovers. He didn’t redshirt so will have two years of eligibility left. He gets a year to work on upper body strength. He would not have much playing time with Weah and Henderson in front of him and FFrench, Lopes, Matthews, Flowers and incoming frosh fighting for playing time. Weah, probably Henderson, I think Lopes will be gone next year, if Tre builds up his strength and size he still has a shot. No doubt his size and injuries have kept him off the field.


    1. he did redshirt tho… He would have to apply for a 6th year to get another redshirt. This is a possibility tho because Tipton’s first redshirt was allegedly due to injury


  42. ^^^ OOO that was an awesome idea @Barvo

    Whoever is in charge of the music for a Pitt Football, College Gameday in the Barnes tenure (FULL Upitt here) is a FREAGIN’ JOKE. Stop playing garbage rock and middle-school dance rap at the freagin’ Pitt Football games, EVER. Have some pride, it’s pitiful.

    MIC-UP the Pitt Band, and PUMP-IT through the speakers. That’s College Football, and why not use the acoustic technology to the let the band fill the whole North Shore with the Pitt Fight song, and their brass n’ winds.

    And — although the kids might get too crazy — also mic-up the student section. WHY NOT? — The Seattle Seahawks at Mic-up their whole crowd! It’s AWESOME! — A even half-way decent sound engineer for Pitt, unless they get plastered during the game, can help totally augment the experience by pumping-up the students going-nuts and making cheers and of course get the Band’s sweet-noise pumping through the stadium.

    Totally right earlier comment —- The paid members of the Athletic Department need to get off facebook and their instagrams, because why are POV posters pointing out these Tangible, OBVIOUS improvements that can be implemented IMMEDIATELY and yet it seems like they may just sit on their hands and have totally ZERO pride in the Pitt gameday experience, like Scott Barnes did??? (Full-Upitt mode, OFF 🙂 ) hahaha


    1. ^^^ AND PERCUSSIONS obviously for the Pitt band lol. Love those drums! Maybe if the band is all mic’d up and pumping through the stadium, they’ll get all hype and perform on the Swag / Enthusiasm level of the HBCU marching bandsSteal the Show! This would be an easy-to-implement, TRUE game changer for Pitt gamedays!


  43. Anon – disingenuous you are. East of Greensburg did not refer to other states. Heck Australia is east of Greensburg. Grow up.


  44. I have stated my opinion on attendance many times. It is the culture of the University that has to change. The overall attitude of the students, faculty, employees and alumni is very ho-hum. Football and athletics in general are not as high a priority as they are for the elite programs. That rah-rah spirit is held by a small percentage, the majority of Pitt Grads I know could care less or are lukewarm.

    This is what has to change if we are ever to see raucous crowds of over 50,000 at the average game. Heather should see this as her job and an opportunity. It won’t happen over night. Narduzzi is doing his part by fielding a competitive team.

    I agree that the optics need to be changed by canvassing the upper deck in the endzone and visitors side of the field and by getting TV to shoot the game towards the Home side of the field.

    I also think that students should be given priority seating behind the teams bench, and buses don’t leave until 30 minutes after the game is over, not after the third quarter. Their tickets should also include a sandwich and a drink.


  45. Increasing attendance/turnout aside, you have to really question the administration’s inaction on addressing the perception of Pitt football home games. I don’t understand why they haven’t tied tackling some of the negative perceptions of home games by making the most of what fans do show. How many more half empty stadiums during home games will make them finally realize confining fans to the lower bowl (for real bad turnouts), or away from the end sections (for normal fan turnouts) is necessary because it’s not going to fill for the less meaningful games.

    I’m not sure the actual fan turnout is what drives this negative perception as much as the administration’s inaction on it. They should know by now that historical attendance is around 45k (only 66% capacity of Heinz). As I stated in the article above, if you throw that type of crowd in Baylor’s new stadium, attendance is a non issue.

    I know moving fans into other paid for seats is could irritate those ticket holders, as the fans are being moved pretty much are getting a bargain deal at someone else’s expense. But how irritating is it that those fans were no shows anyway. Pitt should reserve the right to confine fans or create some type of check in system for fans to notify the university if they plan on attending.

    I’m sorry I just don’t understand what more evidence is needed and why the school won’t do anything about it. Time and again, recruits cite the lack of turnout for Pitt home games. Other fans make fun of the stadium all the time. Hell, we are a weekly feature on the Empty Seats Twitter account. You know it’s hurting perception. Do something about it is all I’m saying.


  46. We have talked about a mic-up band for years and lowering the volume on the sound system.

    The A dep’t needs to put the college atmosphere into Heinz but they don’t listen.

    It is great to have the Pro facilities, but use them wisely. The volume needs to be high for Steeler games, not so much for Pitt games. The Pitt Band should be the focus, not overly loud typical pro stadium music.


  47. Timmeh, you are so right, there has to be a way to fill the lower bowl, allowing fans that actually show up to fill the empty seats. If the owner shows up the usher can handle the logistics. It is pathetic to see 30,000 spread over a 70,000 seat stadium. It may take an effort but it would be worth it.

    At the Pete, during a holiday the announcer invited the crowd to fill in the lower bowl. My daughter and I got to join the Zoo and jump up and down. One reason my daughter chose Pitt and is now a loyal and successful alumni.


  48. ^^ I’m just piggy-backing off of recent ideas here that were great, realistic, tangible…and could be done fairly easily by YSU—>

    A sick Pitt script tarp on the North End Zone upper-deck there — size it perfectly and it would look slick. Honestly Pitt Football should already by now — and at least before next season — get Sexy Looking Pitt script tarps made that will make the stadium look great in person and on Television —>

    *** WHILE calculating to get the seating down to a very specific number like 50,000 so that a new seating-system is clearly established for buying tickets, without shifting seats ‘on-the-go’ which is sloppy / unfair —— THEN with this organized, create packages / ticket availability for the “High Demand” games where tarping would be removed for this additonal seating. Durrr so obvious now.

    Heck — if Pitt starts killing it and demand for these “extra room seats” builds up, then it’s as simple as moving a tarp from these “less desirable anyways / not previously bought seats” for these games. NOT THAT HARD, SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE ALREADY — AS ERIE EXPRESS SAID PAID EMPLOYEES NEED TO GET #AMBITION

    Then, obviously this can be implemented and perfected NOW for BETA testing in the YSU game —– Awesome idea — crazy new technologies #Acoustics, microphones ‘n stuff totally-‘Space Age’ — mic up the band!!! YES!!! Why is this not being done, Yesterday??

    The more these conversations go on…….look, Steve Pederson, basically a thief we know….but Scott Barnes is a huge, zero creativity dude too. He let us all who were excited for the new regime, down Big-Time, just a huge disappointment…

    These ideas are obvious and would help transform the gameday experience in a wonderful way and are just not that hard to make happen — especially for week one vs. YSU, Mic’ing the band. 🙂


  49. @AD Lyke — Design Supper-Sexy Pitt Design Script tarps that fit on the Heinz seats like a two-piece set on the Models during Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show — and calculate a new seating sytem where the tarping creates 50,000 availabe seats for purchase, but the tarping is beautiful and looks awesome on TV and even sexier in person — that is *So Freagin’ Possible and I can already SEE IT. BOOM! For 2018 season ticket purchasing this should be implemented.

    Make the recruits come in and see those huge “Pitt Script Adornments” (that in-turn create a 50,000 available seat set-up 🙂 ) —- and say, Oooh-Weee….. that looks BAD-A$$!!


  50. Dressing Heinz field up to look more like a PITT home field is like putting lace or lipstick on a bowling ball, it will never go together. That type of stadium needs to have close to 70,000 behinds in there to make it look, feel and be your home field.

    imo, winning won’t change the attendance very much, it wouldn’t hurt though and that’s coming soon. I hate the tarping idea but I am coming around on the issue more and more. I hate the defeatist attitude that comes with it.

    I think culturing the student body is a good way to go and they should be given first class treatment for all the home games. After games the students look like they are being herded like a bunch of cows in Kansas City into those sweat boxes. All things considered I think the student body has done a decent job but PITT loses to many of them after graduation.

    I’ve been to games and have seen the PITT players on the field pumping and waving their hands asking the fans to stand up and cheer and all the while I kept hearing “DOWN IN FRONT” The atmosphere needs to be looked at and again, give the students better tailgating and seating to watch the game. Giving them vouchers of some sort is a good idea although a sandwich and drink at Heinz field may not fly but they need to get something nice after the game.

    Obviously I don’t have a clue as to how to get more people to come to the games outside of a better home stadium the fits college football atmosphere. I have season tickets to the games in the club box and only a few games feel like real honest to Gaad college football game-day.. ike

    We All We Got
    We All We Need


  51. Pitt should give a ticket to any PITT student who desires one… it’s their team… increase the numbers if possible.


  52. gc.. like the suggestion of mic-info up the band! Needmore volume to fill the void. Next the AD needs to restore the long-banned (by Peterson) chorus back into the PITT victory song- da. Da. Da. Da. Da Da… Fight PITT Fight (Penn State Sucks) . Let us sing and joyfully bond in the spirit of our dear ole PITT!


  53. I am very lazy concerning research, however maybe others will do this.
    In my opinion, there have been basically two periods of time when Pitt football was elite, from 1910 to 1938 and from 1974 to 1983 or there about. Now, during those times the chancellor and the BOT either gave full support or stayed out of the way. Things changed rapidly in the early 80’s. Does anyone know who came on board to the BOT in that era who may have started this downward slide? We are all saying Pitt does have the support from the top. Is there a list of BOT and when they came on board? Could be interesting to see if there is a correlation.


  54. I missed the idea of mic-ing up the PITT band. One of the real college game experiences is having school band get you going. The visitor side really can’t hear the band, great idea.


  55. Tim meh… good post- did you write a thread on Cardiac Hill regarding attendance?

    Larry V enjoyed your 2 cents worth. Good to have more opinions on here. FYI we were at Pitt during the same time period.


    1. @BigB I did.

      I think about the first game of the season against FCS. Students usually show up in full force. The university should better harvest that, which I think can be done by filling the entire endzone with students. I think most college fans who attend games would agree that great students are what really make an atmosphere, and the rest of the stadium feeds off that energy.

      Pitt really shoots itself in the foot by putting the students in a barely visible corner. Even if the energy still sucks even by rearranging seats, at least we know they are at least trying to improve things.


  56. Selling all those season tickets to PSU fans may have helped the bottom line but it really hurt the optics when those seats went empty for the rest of the year. Not sure how to deal with the problem other than allowing people to fill in those lower bowl seats after the 1st quarter. Would create some logistical problems but the ushers could deal with it. Same goes for the corporate owned seats that go empty during average games.


    1. Maybe better to allow just the one game purchase at a higher price and not have the remaining home games unattended….


  57. Back to the topic of the article for a second. I like stats enough and what and how Narduzzi has recruited like his first 2 1/2 years are the facts. I just think it’s the old paralysis by over analysis.

    Have we allowed for a first time head college head coach in his first couple years and getting to know the recruits and high school head coaches? I keep going back to this but to me, it seems the expectations for Narduzzi was especially higher than some of the recent head coaches at PITT.

    Then not to mention, he won 8 regular season games his first two years. I’m liking what I’m seeing and feel great moving forward. PITT didn’t get the big WPIAL kids two years ago but the coaches went out and recruited down south and all over. PITT’s footprint just got a whole lot better and bigger and the dividends will start to show very soon.

    I still approach this coming season with a little trepidation. ….ike


  58. FWIW, I’m all up for filling the bottom bowl first of the stadium first. Pitt season ticket holders and students should fill both sidelines seats, and the rest end zones should be GA. But then again, there will still likely be a number of yellow seats for season ticket holders who won’t go to YSU or Rice, etc

    It’s a complex issue


  59. I don’t understand why OCS always means “build in Oakland”. Why can’t they be looking somewhere down E. Carson St? Build a 50K stadium (or less) and everyone is happy.


    1. @John – I agree.

      I’ve perplexed as to why the university has never considered purchasing the big lots across the river from the Rooney Practice complex, south east of the Hot Metal Bridge. Beautiful location along the river and certainly enough space. Absolutely within walking distance to campus.


  60. im fearful of what the attendance will be like for the OK State game.

    If PITT goes and gets spanked by PSU i wonder how many people will actually show up for another top 5 opponent, then even worse if PITT starts out the year 1-3 attendance could be ugly for the rest of the year


  61. Did a little research, can’t easily find dates, but one tidbit. Did you know Tommy Richards is on the BOT. Now, I’m sure that has no bearing on fact his son is a Pitt assistant men’s bb coach, and his daughter is a women’s assistant bb coach. Just sayin, I’m sure that we’re the most qualified, and BOTH just happened to end up at Pitt.


  62. I vote for the corporate sponsored tickets to the boy scouts, youth leagues, etc. Those experiences will stay with the kids as they grow up.

    Also agree about filling the whole lower end zone with students.
    Great ideas.


  63. If people don’t show for the OKST game we have a real problem. I spoke out when the games were scheduled that they did nothing for us and most everyone said they wanted a tougher out of conference.
    Hopefully people show up.

    There is no interest in any sort of an OCS from the powers that be. The admin and the big donors are very happy with the deal with Heinz as are the vast majority of people that attend the games. It is only on these blogs that you hear anything about it. Pitt has a sweetheart deal with Heinz which saves the U mucho dinero that is hopefully put back into coaches salaries other facilities and consumables.


  64. I complained months ago that our local recruiting was going very poorly. It says a lot about where we stand with the local kids. It is a done deal now and hopefully the national recruits will make up for it.

    The sad thing about losing the local guys is that you also lose their family and friends that would have attended games and might have become lifelong Pitt Fans.

    Hopefully next year is better and Narduzzi keeps more quality kids at home in the future.


  65. gc: PITT has landed and will land the biggest star recruits this year aside from the Jurkovic kid.

    Does PITT pay a flat fee to play at Heinz or is it some sort of a cut from game-day attendance?

    Also and I’ve asked this before. How much would the tarp cost and the maintenance of putting it on and taking it off cost? Fairly sure that it’s more expensive than some may think. I believe that’s a union job as well?

    PITT will beat Oakie State… ike


  66. Tom Richards is qualified to be on the BOT at Pitt .. or just about any other college for that matter


    His son Jason who was a starting PG and teammate with Steph Curry at Davidson is qualified to be an assistant in addition to having connections within the ACC footprint. And if memory serves, his sister played at Iowa, and was a member of Susie’s staff at Duquesne before following her to Pitt.


  67. Webb, yes they were fine players, and Tommy is a very bright and qualified guy, but when daddy is on the board, and both kids end up on the staff at the school he is a board member it smacks of nepotism, and that is a real perception. Seriously, don’t you see how that looks. I can understand one kid of a board member, but both??? Really?


    1. Note that Jason was hired by Dixon about 4 years ago, and is currently the video coordinator (or something like that) .. so he is not exactly been placed on the fast scale


  68. Ya, and your point is? Neither seems to be moving, and not exactly in demand elsewhere. BTW, Linsdsy and family moved from USC when she was 11 or so.
    If you have a staff of 7 or so and each has a child of a board member………. gee, maybe they are our versions of the Paternos ?


    1. Jay Paterno never played big time FB and was QB coach. Jason Richards was a PG for an Elite 8 team and is Director of BB Operations. Don’t tell me about him having any privilege … he started in the mailroom. And again, Lindsay was hired at Duquesne and came here after 3 years when her HC was hired at Pitt. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.


  69. Because Pitt does not want to own something that will be used 7-10 times a year and have to pay insurance, maintenance, etc.. for it.

    I wrote on the Blather two years ago that I had discussed an OCS with Nordenberg and he told me that an OCS isn’t in any long-range planning at all for Pitt and that they “won’t ever do it as log as Pitt can rent a facility”.. Pitt is way more concerned about acquiring land and buildings to support academics and research than athletics.

    The truth is that Pitt does not see athletics as a prime driver in the college experience for their students – for one reason being is that the demographics and social lives of students today are far away from where Pitt students were before technology and new social mores changed.

    We are not a university where the football team is THE sporting events of the year for the surrounding community. I bet if we look at other urban area schools with football programs like Pitt’s that also have professional teams in the vicinity you’ll see the attendance matches the problems we are having.


    1. If this is all true why has the past administration been so ridiculous when it comes to firing football coaches? Pitt could have had Gottfried throughout the 1990s then Wannstedt even earlier than when he came in 2005, and both would have provided continuity to a sport that desperately needs a face attached to it. Why no one knows this at the school is pretty sickening. I can understand Pitt fans being clueless also when it comes to a football coach, but the school shouldn’t be.

      Oh, but those past administrators had no problems cashing those conference checks now did they? These schools are pretty funny when it comes to money though.


  70. Please, no more Nordenberg visions of the future. We all can look up those stats and see he was football blind. I don’t give two craps what he said. The idiot hired the same idiot twice. Fool me once…..


  71. Reed, I understand and agree with that POV, but isn’t it funny, that the two eras in which we took football seriously we were very, very successful on the national seen, and we were not seriously hurt academically, nor our reputation tarnished. Seems you can do both at Pitt if you have commitment from the top. My experiences in the 70’s were not diminished by athletic success.
    I would have made the same arguements in the 70’s as you make now. We cant do it financially, the students today are different, the long haired hippies don’t care about athletics, etc. Yet, with all the constraints, all the disadvantages of a small, urban research university, when the leaders had vision and will, they actually were successful. When they retired or were forced out, it quickly fell apart.
    I’m honestly not sure if it will ever happen again, and I’m not 100 percent sure it should, but it could , of that I am sure. Until then, I’ll continue to go to the games, wherever they are played, root hard, drink to the wins, drink more with the losses, and look forward with hope to better times.


  72. An OCS is just wrong in so many ways. Not only is there no room, accessibility is a nightmare. My guess is that attendance would suffer even more if Pitt stayed in Oakland. The student attendance makes up such a small percentage of the overall gate.

    Back in 76-82 when Pitt was an annual Top 10 team, you can still buy a ticket at the ticket window 15 minutes before the game unless WVU, PSU or ND was playing … aside from that, not an issue.


  73. Loving all the ideas, especially mic-Ing up the band, percussion, and student sections. As mentioned ad nauseum more Pitt decor around the stands as well as in the end zone and a better midfield logo are musts! There has to be some other viable ideas to get the students to/from the games more efficiently, as well as to make attendance more compelling! Maybe onfield contests for students during commercial breaks might help more than the Pitt Dance team is?


  74. Anon, if that was a response to my comment, I’m not exactly talking about an OCS but more about the direction of the PITT football program and how it may have changed moving forward.

    Nordenberg put his faith in the former AD and the basketball program in general. Now “The Pete” will be half full for the foreseeable future. This is after overtaking the valuable real estate on that hill for a Taj Mahal waste of space. That’s a fail and it never paid the bills for the other athletic programs that Ms Lyke has been talking about. The money for those programs will have to come from somewhere and as far as I know it’s usually from that college football program.

    Things have made a slow turn down in Oakland from what I’m hearing (without a source) and the brain forces have become awoke. Football is revenue. Believe it or not. .. ike


  75. @AD – Look back at OSU. They have 30,000 students buying tickets at a discounted rate every year. Each kid graduates and has great experiences to reflect upon at their “On Campus Stadium”. The alumni then give back and for those that stay in the area, buy tickets because they miss going to the games.

    So the question is : How many kids apply for tickets each year at Pitt? Of those, how many get them? Pitt needs to concentrate on the professional colleges second, after getting all undergraduates, first. When we make it a priority for the students to want to attend games, the fruit will be borne in donations 5-10 years down the road. For a new AD to not say that an OCS is not even on the radar, is clearly not a strategic thinker. Pederson couldn’t think ahead 10 years and that is why he is gone. Barnes, same thing. New AD doesn’t need to study the empty seats any longer, or send surveys!

    Surveys reveal what you want them to reveal on college campuses. Empty seats at Heinz reveal the same thing. Fix it! We have ranted for years about tarping off upper level sections. It is not hard. Create a supply and demand situation, Economics 101. KIDS, KIDS, KIDS! That is where everything starts. Get 10-15k kids at every game, not just one or two. It will payoff when they graduate. Not as much as if you had an OCS though! You guys wander why we are diehards pitt footballer fans? Because we attached to the university through the team while ON CAMPUS! Wake-up!!


  76. @Anon @ 5:43- No OCS is short-sighted for the reasons stated in mine above. Students attach long term to their universities thru their sports teams. If I mention Alabama, what do you think of? UPitt don’t answer that. If it is Florida? Baseball, Football and Basketball and Golf. Duke? Basketball, Lacrosse, Football.

    It’s about building a brand. When you think of Pitt, what do you guys think of? What are you most proud of when you talk around the watercooler at work? It is usually about the universities sports teams because that is how we are identified and that is what gives you pride. That is what makes you want to donate money! OCS is all about future giving. Pitt is either a trendsetter by having NO OCS or stupid. I go with stupid!

    Want to have a lot of fun? Build a 45k OCS and put so much technology in it that all kids want to attend the game. Put an interactive Madden College Football type playstation in every suite where the suite ticketholders can call the play they think should be run on offense or defense and then have immediate feedback in poll percentages of who got it right and who got it all wrong!! We always do that from the stands or at home anyway, don’t we? Interactive Playcalling in the suites. The coaches would hate it when they are wrong! Make the game fun!


  77. Thanks EE. Boy if you want to believe this ranking and web site, sounds like PITT might be in for a great season. According to such, PITT won’t be playing a team with a higher rated QB than Browne going into the upcoming season. Doubt if that could have been said last year with Peterman?


    1. Ike – believe it! Mad Max is inheriting a talented supporting cast.

      Projection of scoring in this coming regular season:

      10 TD cast of Aston, Weah and Q.Henderson
      5 TD’s for TE Clark, Mathews and Q.Ollison
      2 TD’s for O’Neil, Whitehead, Ffrench and Lopes
      4 TD’s for other RB’s
      3 TD’s for the defense
      3 TD’s for the special teams
      12 FG’s

      That’s an average of 39.75 points per game. Down slightly from last year, but not by much.

      Doable – yes. If the D gets on track, this could be a special season – last year was close, but the D couldn’t compliment the O.



  78. Tremendous discussion with a high level of interest and participation … obviously the subject of filling our stadium, creating a great gameday atmosphere and ideas to make it happen touches the hearts of so many on here… I hope EJ and AD Lyke are tuning in…


  79. I love the passion you each possess and bring to this forum to present and discuss. Wish our management had the same commitment.


  80. In my obsession for an OCS it is hard for me to believe that we cannot even study the possibility of building one. I see vacant spots of green around the campus – even behind the Peterson Arena.


  81. I like almost all the ideas for handling the yellow seats at Heinz and enhancing the game day experience. Mic up the band and the student section! My wife is a Michigan grad and we go to A2 for a game every year. She was shocked at how good the Pitt band is now compared to what it used to be, more like the U of M band than the old Pitt band. Well designed tarps particularly over the north end zone upper deck, sponsored tickets for boy’s and girls clubs, scouts and if allowed elementary and middle school kids. Something like the dugout clubs that some major league baseball teams have might work. You pay a set reasonable per kid fee before the season starts and each kid gets tickets for say 6 people for (we’ll say 4 games out of a choice of 6 for certain select seats.) Each person attending under the program gets an included hot dog and soft drink or even possibly several hot dogs and soft drinks. I also like the idea floated earlier of a game type interactive play calling section or option. There is no reason that couldn’t be implemented at Heinz. In fact how about developing an app so the experience could be provided on cellphones. Get a few software engineers on this and Pitt could have a patent marketable product. I don’t know how much the University of Florida makes from Gatorade but this could be just as big. Get it in the hands of Pitt fans first. Provide some enhancements that are only available at Heinz on game day and it could be a seat filler. If Pitt wants to do this somebody better hurry before our friends down the street (cmu) get onto it. If somebody there likes it those guys don’t mess around. And by all means win the games! H2P, opfm (old pitt fan in Maryland)


  82. I have an idea for how psu could have nipped the psu/sandusky scandal in the bud while it was just rumor and there was no hard evidence. Representatives of the bot, the administration and JP could have gone to him and told him he had a new position on campus. He could keep his comfortable salary, retirement benefits etc. However he had to give up any affiliation with his children’s facility and foundation and have no further contact with it , the staff the clients or the board. Moreover he must sell his house immediately and move into a very nice on campus house that was ready for him. His new job would involve his considerable relationship skills with a population that is under served. Who could this possibly be you say, my God you are enabling him to continue committing abuse with his perversions. Now just a minute, what population does psu have that pitt has none. Cows! His new home would be next to the dairy barns and his new job would involve bringing comfort to the cows, helping them feel appreciated. It would be a fertile environment for transferring his perversion for boys to cows. Animal abuse! you cry. Now just a minute. In my farm boy days I observed the artificial insemination of cows. They didn’t appear to mind it at all. And I can assure you that jerry sandusky has nothing even a fraction as large as what was used for artificial insemination. If the gender of cows hindered js’s work (after all he liked boys) that could be easily fixed. He could be assigned to work with bulls. If he didn’t like this, objected or was becoming a problem that could easily be fixed as well. Tell him there was a bull that especially needed his special talents. Put him a stall to comfort this biggest, baddest, meanest, crankiest bull and latch the door. Problem solved and psu could go back to pretending they have a squeaky clean image. Those poor folks that run that University, they just aren’t forward thinking. With a little creativity they could have spared themselves so much grief and even prison time. Tsk, tsk.

    I just read this whole piece. I am posting it even though some of you may be contacting WPIC regarding my admission. HTP opfm


  83. Regarding the band, I attended a Pitt game at ND a few years ago and it was like going back in time. In a good way. No blaring music from the scoreboard. The focus was on the football game and the ND band and cheerleaders. No side shows needed.

    We lost the game, but I found the atmosphere refreshing.

    Go Pitt.


  84. Already have the App idea covered. Thanks for the support! There are so many opportunities if the Admin would understand and embrace risk, versus being afraid of it.


  85. You want an OCS? Figure out a way for the University to make a bigger profit on it then they do on renting Heinz field. That’s all there is to it. And short of renting it to the Steelers, that probably isn’t going to happen.


  86. Maybe the issue of student attendance at Heinz should be dealt with in the admissions office.
    Recruit students based on their likely attendance at sports events. Assign star ratings to applicants. 5* kids, rated most likely to attend, get scholarship aid and lower SAT requirement. 2* kids, the ones that prefer to spend weekends in the basement playing XBox games, these are your walk-ons.
    The 5*s would need to have their attendance at games certified to keep their scholarships.
    Why not? It works so well for athletes.😂


  87. For the umpteeth time …. the student attendance at Heinz is not a big issue.

    (1) the student probably makes up less than 20% of the overall gate, and
    (2) Pitt, more than most schools, has a higher percentage of commuter students

    so what if you are able to attract a few more students … all it means is that instead of 20,000 empty yellow seats, there are 19,500 empty yellow seats.

    FWIW, I would love to see a 50,000 seat stadium built somewhere near Oakland (but not an OCS). But all this talk about students when it comes to attendance issues is like saying the problem with the Pitt defense is how short Maddox is, and if we get a taller CB, we’ll be fine.


  88. Read the link below. Pitt has a total undergraduate enrollment in Oakland of 18,908 of which 56% lives off campus. Even if you add another 5 or 6000 grad students, I’ll guarantee that a much larger percentage of those live off-campus.


    Yes, I realize that a percentage of the off-campus students live near and around Oakland but the overall numbers are still small.


  89. I don’t know if your argument holds completely up here wwb. Everyone other than an on campus student commute to the football games unless you’re talking about computer students who take all online classes?

    If I can drive 50 miles one way to a game, which is very short compared to many, why couldn’t a student. More to my and many others points, there has to be a starting point. A culture of attending your schools football game has been kind of lost at PITT. People like to point out that PITT didn’t sell out games in the 70’s and 80’s. That was 45 years ago. How many students attended PITT since then?

    imo if PITT had just kept up with renovations with old PITT stadium every once in awhile, we wouldn’t have lost it and maybe some more fans would have shown up to games with undated facilities. The move has cost PITT many graduated students over the course of being at Heinz as it just isn’t a college football atmosphere. That’s is what to change. Cultivating and keeping students going to football games in the future is the way to grow a fan base.. ..ike


    1. you totally lost perspective here, ike. The discussion in a large handful of posts above is about the need for an OCS. If anything, your post just above shows how unnecessary an OCS is


  90. Student attendance is very good, it is just getting them to stay till the game is over. Leaving after the third quarter is a phenomenon that I just don’t understand.

    Make Heinz a 50,000 seat stadium by tarping the upper endzone and upper visitor side, and only sell those seats when needed for the “Big Games” Shoot the TV coverage from the visitors side to make it look better on TV. A filled lower bowl will improve the atmosphere immensely TV showing the home side with a mostly filled upper deck will look 100% better.

    Is this too much of an effort for our vaunted athletic department?

    Make lemonade out of the lemons. Even 35,000 people in the lower bowl would be a much better atmosphere.


  91. Also, give the students preferred seating like we do at the Pete. Seating them behind the home bench so that their cheering is heard by the players would go a long way to improving the atmosphere.

    Face it, the corporate types and old farts (I”m one of them, but not a quiet one) that have the preferred seating because they can afford it, don’t add much to the atmosphere. If you want a college atmosphere put the kids where the do the most good and have the best experience so they come back as alum.


  92. Ike, your last paragraph is why Heinz is a better option. If Pitt put no money into Pitt Stadium, why would you think they would pay for upkeep on a new one? Where would the money come from? Pitt pays a percentage of the gate for the use of Heinz, a sweetheart deal with only upside and no fixed costs. It should give Pitt a real competitive advantage vs. schools that have to maintain and operate large facilities. This is why we will never see an OCS or Pitt only stadium.

    PA just passed another budget without income to support it, do you think they are going to build any stadiums in the near future?


  93. The Penguins had attendance problems years ago, but overcame that with good marketing and winning teams. Pitt should talk to the Penguins and try some new ideas. Look at Pitt basketball. For the winning years they were selling out, but the past few years have been more difficult. TV is the major culprit, but the number of weekday games in basketball make it difficult for working people to get to Oakland on a workday. For football, more effort should be made to get out-of-towners back to Pittsburgh for games. They need to come up with a game by game draw that will bring the out-of-towners back.


    1. I used to work and live in Morgantown when the Penguins won their 1st two titles in early 90s. I went to a downtown bar with a big screen to watch some of the games in the finals … it was packed with penguins’ fans.

      The point is that just about everyone who has an interest in sports roots for the local pro teams …. all of WPa, northern WV and SE Ohio. That is not the case for Pitt. Allegheny County used to have the highest concentration of PSU alums than any other county in the world .. maybe it still does. There is also a large concentration of WVU fans in SW PA.

      Lastly, women who are not Pitt fans have very little interest in college sports (unless they are alums of other schools.) How many women you know that claim to be FB fans but can care less about anything else but the Steelers.


  94. I’m not exactly fixated on the idea of a PITT only stadium as I know it may never happen in anyone’s lifetime let alone this old man’s. I just lament the loss of an iconic building that should have never been in such disrepair in the first place. I also don’t like the non college football atmosphere at Heinz.

    I do think and give credit to the student body and how well they attend games. Apparently there isn’t the regular spill over of diehard fans from this group over the years. By theory the fan base should have been growing over the past 4 decades but it doesn’t look like it has. Excuse the word but I believe playing at Heinz Field has retarded the process of building a student carry over fan-base.

    I guess we all agree that there are somethings that can be done to help attendance but for a massive upswing it’s going to take a PITT administration jihad to hold people hostage to raise the numbers. ike


  95. If you are not winning forget about attendance. Our problem is that even when winning (Clemson) attendance at the next two games was abysmal. Agree that Pitt needs to get creative. I have said before, create a package for out of towners with hotels, campus tours etc. pre and post game festivities and make it affordable, not like Pitt Bowl packages. Make alumni want to come because it is so great.


    1. attendance would have been better for the two games after clemson if pitt hadn’t already lost in infuriating fashion to UNC, VT and OK St earlier in the year


  96. It is time to get over the loss of Pitt Stadium, I miss Forbes Field too. Pitt Fans need to embrace Heinz if we are to make Pitt Football relevant NOW. Quit whining about what might have been and what could be (an OCS) and focus on what we have and how to improve it.


  97. It’s just talk gc, I’m not sitting here in Latrobe bawling like a baby over the loss of PITT stadium…. 🙂 ike


    1. Glad to hear it Ike, but others keep bringing it up. The real issue is having a football team we can be proud of and having a decent showing at Heinz.


  98. How many years has Pitt been playing at Heinz? There are already a growing number of Pitt graduates that never attended a game at Pitt Stadium. These folks can’t even make a real comparison since Heinz is all they know. The Heinz Field experience needs to stand on its own with appropriate draws that will attract both Pitt graduates, both local and out-of-towners, and other local college football lovers. The Pitt graduates want to see farmer and hillbilly games, but most others just want to see a good game with a good college team.


  99. I may be wrong but I believe that the top 6 attendance years have been at Heinz … and likely even more.


  100. Generally, a few big attendance games will push the average up for the season, but the appearance of the empty seats on TV for some games is a bigger problem. Businesses need to create a demand for their product, and Pitt is no different. If tickets are scarce, people will buy the early, and give them away if they can’t go.


  101. Reed needs to chip in his 2 cents worth. He has brought a large group of fans together through his efforts and I would guess we are a large group. Reed has given us a place to express our POVs. That seem to be one of the disconnects with our management. They have open hands for the pesos but do they really give a damn and care what we think? I know Nordy and arrogant Stevie didn’t.


  102. What’s the first thing Lyke and company need to do to fix the PITT game’s sporadic attendance? Ask the people who don’t go to the games. Seems like everyone on the POV go to the games or would if they could. Maybe collect ideas from the jolly jackers who don’t and won’t attend games?

    I think this is it guys. This could be as good as it gets?? ike


    1. I don’t go to games unless it’s maybe one per year. I probably never will go to games consistently. Driving 5 hours to Pittsburgh every other weekend is not really on my to-do list.


  103. Agree that the North Upper Deck seats should be covered along with the very ends of the side upper decks. Ridiculous to spread people all over the stadium to make it look less crowded. Who the heck wants to sit there anyway?

    Many pro teams do it or have done it. The Devil Rays, Jacksonville Jaguars, Athletics, Raiders, etc. Just google ‘tarped stadium seats’. As mentioned, this will be a union job that the university will have to eat the cost of each game.

    The Steelers will end up renovating Heinz before another is ever built. Too bad they don’t have the insight to do it like Miami. Hard Rock stadium is pretty nice now compared to what it was when it opened as Joe Robbie and the reduced the seating.


  104. To increase attendance for the smaller market games, do you know if they have ever offered a buy two get one free deal? I can’t imagine their revenue would be affected negatively since only 30-40k will be there at those particular games.


  105. All the gimmicks have been tried. Pitt’s AD must look at new ideas. It shouldn’t be about the price of a ticket. They need to find a way to get the football fans that live in outlying communities to the games. Maybe have programs for local alums of the visiting teams to get them to come and see their schools play Pitt. Maybe transportation is a problem from the suburban communities that might have people who would like to come to the games, but are afraid to drive in heavy city traffic.


  106. One thing that controls attendance more than anything is to win when your supposed to win. I don’t care where the stadium is, but winning is everything when it comes to attendance.

    We never seem to be able to do so. In 02 and especially 03 Heniz Field had very little empty seats because we had the best receiver in football and a pretty good supporting cast. Sadly when the house was packed we often Lost. Then to compound the matter if we have a good home crowd and some excitement we often blow a huge game on the road when we are favored which impacts home attendance of the following games. How about the slide game at UCONN, or the Toledo debacle in the egg bowl. How about the home loss to 1AA South Florida in 01. These games kill interest from the casual fan.

    Move forward to the Wanny years. We opened the 05 campaign as a Top 25 team that if I recall was favored to beat ND. We got blasted in front of a Sell out crowd as J. Jones rushed for a single game ND record. By the end of the 09 season every home game was actually enjoyable with 50k plus. All excitement was lost when we blew a 21 point 4 qtr lead. This loss killed attendance and was really the end of Wanny. Remember The momentum and excitement to start 08 was great but we laid and egg at home to Bowling Green. In front of a packed house with all the marbles on the table we fumbled and bumbled the Cincy game away like only a Pitt team can.

    Move forward to Paul Chryst. We open with a home loss to a heavy underdog in 1AA YSU. This game still upsets me. How about the lame effort at home when the Akron Zips (you know that team that is never even a contender in the MAC) dominated us on the line of scrimmage. Their tailback had a career day (the only one of his career) because the Zips line just manhandled us.

    These games were killers.

    You want good attendance at this years games here is the fastest way to do it. Stream roll YSU in the opener in front of the typical 35K. Then beat PSU on the road. Then come home and spank OSU in front of 45 to 50k and the attendance problem will disappear.


    1. reconstructed history — we blew a 21 point SECOND period lead vs Cincy in 2009, and while attendance deceased in2010, it didn’t decrease by that much. 2008 thru 2010 are among the top attendance years along with 2002, 2013 (ist year in ACC and fSU and ND at home) and 2015.


  107. Timmeh, you would fall under the category of those that would if they could. A 5 hour drive is too far for anyone to expect you at the games. Some may do it but circumstances are different for everyone. Like I said I only drive 1 hour to get to Heinz and I still stay overnight. It’s my vacation spread out over an entire football season. (my wife made me cut it down to only one night) ………………………. ike

    We Are All Brothers
    We Are All From Different Mothers……….

    We all We Got
    We All We Need


  108. FWIW, I attend 3 to 4 games per year — a 2 1/2 hour drive. However, I’m not sure I would go to that many if I had to get into Oakland on game day after that drive (at least for some of the less attractive games)


  109. One other factor worth mentioning: the team played a pretty ugly, uninspiring brand of football under basically every coach they’ve had in the last 20 years, too, until PN arrived. That hasn’t helped, either. Even when they won, which didn’t happen enough, it wasn’t terribly fun to watch. Too much sloppiness and stupidity.

    Think about it. From Harris’ overly complicated scheme that led to an illegal procedure penalty on every fourth play to Wannstedt’s “running to the outside is too risky, let’s have Shady run a dive for the 12th play in a row” ‘fraidy cat conservatism to the idiocy of Todd Graham trying to run an offense he clearly didn’t have the personnel for and Paul Chryst’s inability to get either his offense or his defense to play a full 60 minutes, it has been a cavalcade of WTF Are They Doing Out There Buffoonery through four successive coaching regimes.

    Season tickets become a hard sell after about year 5 of that kind run of unsuccess. By 2014, we were on what, year 17? All the while the Steelers are winning two Super Bowls and nearly adding a 3rd behind one of the top five QB’s in the game and numerous Pro Bowlers on both sides of the ball. This gave the unmistakeable impression of Pitt being kind of a minor league team which, when there’s major league ball on the tube 24 hours later (sometimes less), why bother with the minor league stuff? Maybe now that Pitt is actually providing some entertainment value, people will begin to show up and be willing to pay for it?


  110. Increasing the base of Pitt fans who will actually go to the stadium to see the games will take years of work in the local communities. Pitt needs to build relationships with local fans – it will take time and Pitt needs to keep at it.

    Johnny Majors used to go to local schools and had a Pitt show which school kids attended. Might sound crazy, but we need to go back to the kids. Give them a Pitt T-shirt and get them saying “Hail to Pitt.” In other words, brainwash them into becoming Pitt fans.

    In the Gottfried years, Pitt used to have a couple of coaches do “Chalk Talks” at local high schools. I took my 10-year old to one of them at Mt. Lebanon HS. I loved it and so did my son. He never went to Pitt, but he’s a diehard Pitt fan. (Not because of that one chalk talk, but because I brainwashed him – in a good way…)

    So Pitt should get back to the local schools. I really enjoy the chalk talks and love to learn the inside poop on football coaching. Wanny’s chalk talks at Heinz seemed to be well received too.

    It will take years, but start by getting the kids wearing Pitt gear and saying “Hail to Pitt.”

    Go Pitt.


  111. No doubt the comments about failure are on the money. Pittsburgh only supports winners.

    The fact is that there are not enough alum to fill the stadium so Pitt needs the average fan to show up.

    That will only happen if you win consistently.

    How many will go to this year’s bowl game after the past two?

    If Narduzzi can keep winning some big games attendance will increase. Especially as ACC rivalries develop and games become more meaningful. We played ND, PSU and WVU for a hundred years, it takes time to develop rivalries.

    Villanova, St Johns, Georgetown also took time to hate.

    Both Players and Fans need that emotional response to get up for a game. It will come with time.


    1. According to the Pitt alumni association, there are 307,000 Pitt alumni worldwide and 130,000 living in Southwest Pennsylvania within an hour’s drive of Pittsburgh and that’s not counting current students in a major metropolitan area of over 2.2 million people. Count the alum’s spouses, significant others, girlfriends, boyfriends, kids, friends and relatives and Pitt has enough people to have at least 50,000 people at every home game especially in a region that’s known for its love and passion for football.

      Click to access FactBook2015.pdf


  112. A full stadium leads to a much better environment in which to recruit the 4 and 5 stars. I think most of us here realize that’s the case that has some key recruits choosing to go elsewhere. So understand it just ain’t going to happen at Pitt and Narduzzi will just have to recruit around that fact. Right now his best recruiting pitch has to be the possibility of early playing time for those highly rated players.


  113. I just loving going to the games and so do my kids. They are now teenagers, but I have been taking them for years, just as my Dad did for me growing up.
    8 hour drive one way. Go to 3-4 home games a year + 2-3 away. Also, bowl games.
    Pitt football is my vice. My wife is a saint!
    Hail to Pitt!!!


  114. Altoona, you and Jeff put up some pretty depressing memories 😦 If/when Pitt gets to be nationally recognized there will be more people willing to make the hour or two drive to get a seat for a good local football game. And get more away team fans into the stadium to watch their schools play a ranked power 5 school. When I lived in Shenango years ago, Chuck Tanner lived not far from there and when they were winning divisions there would be bus loads of fans coming down to Three Rivers for the baseball game. When winning gets Pitt more of a national reputation, the fans will come.


  115. Haven’t noticed if above included this – Available 150 Acres of Land in Oakland. The mayor of Pittsburgh as I posted several months ago has indicated he plans to purchase the VA Hospital from the feds. This facility has several sports fields. Further Pittsburgh is in distressed status – gotta see where that money comes from, I smell private pockets being enriched. Finally, the City and County already have the facilities for training etc so this is a boondogle of some sort. There will not be this much land available in Oakland again. Calling Gallagher and Lyke.



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