What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017

A voice from the past, Kevin Gorman of the Tribune Review, used to be the Pitt football beat writer and a reporter who I always made sure to read every word he put out because I thought he was that good and very detailed.

He’s back with a piece looking at our 2017 season’s ultimate goal.

In this Trib article Gorman makes a point that The POV has been singing all along since Pat Narduzzi became the head coach of Pitt, and that was the main goal of any season is to win the ACC Coastal and then the ACC Championship. That is the only way we have a chance to be in the football playoffs at the end of the season. Anything else is nice but an unfulfilled season.

I love that 2016 Penn State win I love our Clemson upset also, but the bald fact is that if we don’t get it done in the ACC matches we’re not fulfilling the mandate that Pat Narduzzi has been given as a head coach at Pitt…play championship football.

The question going into Year Three of Narduzzi’s tenure is if he can pull that off. To which I say “sure he can” – if he’s what we think he is as a head coach.

There is a big disconnect from how the Pitt fans view the football program and how the coaches, staff and players view the football program. We fans love those emotional wins, and those two great OOC wins last year were certainly emotional and  were great to watch.  But, and there is always a “but” involved when comes to Pitt football, in the long run they didn’t really advance the program as much as a championship would.  Any type of championship.

We on the POV discussed the lingering positive ramifications, or lack of, with those two OOC wins in an article and discussion about a month ago and in that I said that over the offseason and after we ended 2016 on a bowl loss that mitigated some of the impact of those big wins.

What a post-season bowl win last would have done also is soften our lack of winning a division championship – and we were damned close to doing that – only one win away actually.

I still believe that today.  It’s a whole different world when you can go into an offseason and then into the preseason with the impending preseason polls and  have the voters of those polls look at Pitt as being the returning and defending champions of the Coastal Division or of the ACC.

That is a label that automatically jumps a team up in the coaches’ eyes and they’re going to vote accordingly.  Ratings matter folks. They matter in weekly publicity, in recruiting,  in TV broadcast selections,  in the quality of the Bowl selections and they matter in the perceived value of the program.

The Panthers were proud to boast that they beat the ACC and Big Ten champions — and were the only team to defeat the eventual national champion Tigers.

If you think Pat Narduzzi is beating his chest about those wins, think again. The third-year Pitt coach is singing a different tune.

“I want to win an ACC championship,” Narduzzi said Tuesday. “I would gladly give up the Penn State and Clemson wins to win the ACC championship.”

The Panthers start the season with FCS runner-up Youngstown State, followed by preseason No. 6 Penn State and No. 11 Oklahoma State — all three games without one of their top players, junior safety Jordan Whitehead — yet Narduzzi is using motivational methods such as breaking down practice on the chant, “ACC champs!”

“Taking it to the next level (is harder),” Narduzzi said, “because a target is on your back, and I have to do it with different guys. That’s the nature of college football. You have to do it with a new team.”

It is an excuse making exercise to disregard the national impact polls have in placing a program into the Top 25 at the end of the season.  It is a hell of a lot easier for a team coming of a ranking to be already ranked going into September, even if it is at the lower end of the list. Then it is also easier to stay on the Top 25 through out the season as long as Pitt wins more games than the others.

As of now Pitt is unranked nationally save one poll that has us at #25 – the majority of polls I have seen have us between #32 and #45. That is as stated above not a position of strength to start the season with.

The schools which are unranked early on have to really put on a strong and impressive run to try to get into that coveted #15 and above mark when they go into the offseason.  It helps immensely in recruiting if you can do it from a nationally ranked position and is especially helpful because when the season is over a lot of the blue-chip recruits make their school commitment choices.

So I will reiterate that the prime goal has to be to win the ACC Coastal Division then the ACC Conference championship. Now that is pretty easy to say and the thought pops up that of course it is, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want those great OOC wins either and that is true also.

But I am really talking about the fan’s point of view here. I read so often that the PSU game and the Clemson game make up for the one point loss to North Carolina or the three point loss to Virginia Tech…

acc 16

But that isn’t true especially with the Virginia Tech game as you can see above.  if we had won that game, and we well could have, we’d have taken the division with at 5-2 and holding a tie breaking win over VT.  From there we would have had a second match up with the then 12-1 Clemson… and yes, lightning sure can strike twice.

Even if we lost that ACC championship game we would have had, I believe, a great national awareness and even more importantly a greater conference awareness along the states which the ACC schools are located in – and by no coincidence that is exactly where Pitt.s expanded recruiting target areas are located.

Because a division championship didn’t happen we fell back on hoping for a bowl win to get us to to 9-4 and then ranked as high as #15 (by my figuring).  If we could have grabbed  that then Narduzzi and his recruiting staff could leverage a very nice progression from last year’s unranked 8-5 and bowl loss season and been able to point to Pitt as truly being on the rise.

So Narduzzi isn’t blowing smoke above – he’s being very honest in saying the Division and Conference championships are the goal and that’s not just to say we did it – but to be able to point to that and say we are the best team in one of the best Power Five conferences – so let’s hope we can pull that out this season.

We fans, but especially the staff and players, can’t get too down if we get beaten by those two very good teams in PSU and Oklahoma state early on. it will hurt – but really won’t mean all that much if we grab the brass ACC ring at the end of the season.

It will be a very tough task and a hell of a lot of things have to fall into place to make it happen but if Narduzzi is the coach we think he is it is reachable.

92 thoughts on “What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017

  1. I think the ACC Champion gets a trophy, that is the right priority. Others can disagree but Bowl game trophys are nice too. Would gladly give up the big wins for a conference championship.

    Some day it would be great to win both.

    It does seem that we are suffering more pre season injuries so far this year than the past several, Hopefully it is because the competition is stronger.

    The new RB’s praised in the paper this morning. My concern is having five good RB’s is not as good as having 1 great one.

    Any talk of Narduzzi being on the hot seat is crazy talk.

    Off topic but BBall averaged 8000 per game last year, what is the over/under for this year? I say 5000.

    I am also concerned that there are no rumors of anyone being dominant in practice this year. No Donald, Conner or Price, someone that is flatout unstoppable.

    Hopefully Henderson repeats his return productivity. That is our best weapon.


  2. No arguments from me, Reed. Isn’t “Take It” the slogan from this year? I hope that we beat PSU, OSU and Rice. We need to beat the Coastal teams.



  3. You are right on Reed..we were within a “gnat’s eyelash” ,as Bob Prince would say, of winning the divisionbut the “D” just gave up way too many points. We had to out-score’em. Din’t we also finish 2nd in our conference in Duzz’s 1st year??

    I think our coaching is improving and this year will be a test with all the moving pieces and parts changing. The coach has to instill the vision and the goals and obviously it is to win the ACC. Need to start at least 1-2 with competitive games against Penn State and OSU with a D that has significantly elevated game from last year…These young players have grown into men over the winter in the weight-room, they are getting lot’s of reps to learn the x’s and o’s then they will be tested under fire…

    We have to win the YSU game to build confidence and like most I don’t see us winning at Beaver Stadium or against OSU but what the hell do I know. I thought Clemson would beat us by 4 TDs last year and I was there…One just never knows how it will all turn out…but we need to turn out to support our boys..
    Looking forward to theis season with high hopes..

    Here’s a liitle look at a great running back we will be seeing soon.http://www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootball/index.ssf/2017/08/watch_penn_states_saquon_barkl_3.html


  4. Thats why i have been pounding home the point that the most important game in september is @ GT.

    Then you are looking at a nice stretch of winnable games until the tough end of the schedule against VT + Miami (not so worried about UNC this year)

    Pitt could start out 1-2 and then rip off 7 straight wins (likely will be favored in all of them but GT)

    Throw in the fact that VT gets clemson this year, and miami gets FSU (like always)


  5. i’d rather start 2-1 or 3-0 because start 1-2 then rip off 7 straight wins (or even 9 straight wins) and the narrative will inevitably be advanced somewhere that oh well the coastal is weak blah blah they lost to the 2 top teams on their schedule blah blah wait until richt and fuentes get another couple years under their belts at miami and VT blah blah blah


    1. Agreed – great points – this team CAN start off 3-0 – the talent is there, it is experience that the are lacking.


  6. I agree Reed, winning the division title should be the foremost prize PITT is going for.

    Wasn’t it you that properly pointed out the illegal formation that UNC used in their last TD play of the game? That TD should never have counted. Plus the offense had the ball two times at the end of that game only needing one first down to win the game. That didn’t happen, both 3 and outs, bleeding little clock at the same time.

    The VT game was the one that frustrated me to no end. VT like most teams had figured out the hike and heave philosophy and added their own personalty to it which included the hike, heave and push off the defender to retrieve the football play. That Hodges kid should have been arrested for assault and battery on PITT’s D-Backs.

    I know that sounds like excuse making but my point is that PITT came real real close in those games. Which should mean something and say something about Narduzzi in only his second season. Combined with the two “big win’s” the season was hardly a failure because they lost the bowl game in which the entire backfield was knocked out of the game.

    So if PITT had won that game they may be ranked in the top 20. Yet in the article we practically concede the psu and OSU games. Wouldn’t those two losses bump PITT right out of any consideration of rankings? You bet. Just because they may have started rank higher wouldn’t give them any more consideration if they won their last 9 games. Those two impending losses would certainly take them out of any national playoff talk.

    It’s all in the eye of the beholder and as I see it, PITT had one hell of a good season last year. This season looks to be the one step back year especially now due to all the turmoil on the south-side. ike


  7. I always say the same thing Reed. Any non-conf game is needed to make the team better. Improve throughout the year and win the Coastal.

    Did losing to Pitt hurt PSU last year? Nope

    They took care of business in their conference.


  8. I’m not conceding the two early out of conference games. I think with the Rivalry we could beat Penn State. It will be tough but we can do it. OSU might be a different story because of their passing game.

    But if we go two and one into Georgia Tech and beat Georgia Tech and make it three and one we have a good chance in ending up as Coastal Division Champs. So I think being ranked is important. Voters will often overlook a loss to a very good team but they won’t overlook a lost to a team that’s equal or less than. Beat the team you’re supposed to beat so Georgia Tech is big in my opinion


  9. Also if you watch that last UNC drive Maddox blitzed and whoever blocked him grabbed the hell out of his face mask right in front of Trubisky.

    Going back and watching the 1hr versions of the games on youtube i came away much less impressed with the OK ST QB, he missed ALOT of throws, and of the ones he hit maddox fell down, and early on there was a missed communication where the receiver ran free.

    Re-watching the VT game was frustrating, the offense made alot of mistakes early and the defense kept PITT in it keeping them out of the endzone. Then their receivers really did make a handful of ridiculous catches in one on one coverage.


  10. couple other notes:

    Dam, I was going to mention this player the other day as a possible replacement for Georgie at fullback. He won the Soldier of the day yesterday. He’s listed at 6’2″ 230lbs linebacker but probably will play special teams. Jim Medure from New Castle, I know the family a little and they are tough people. He’s also a walk-on I believe.

    Take this for what it is worth, I heard from a very close source of PITT that smoking the pot was the cause for some discipline. The source is a former PITT player. That’s all


  11. That was a spot on post Reed. The Duzz said when he was hired “we want to win championships here.” It can be done. It seems to me that this staff knows what they are doing. The recruiting while not being upper echelon is good enough to compete for the Coastal Title. Am looking forward to see how this season plays out.


  12. I’m going to order some of what you guys are drinking this morning. Either that or many of you Raided DK’s meds for your morning booster shot. I’m bet some of the ACC teams have got Pitt down as a win this year for their predictions. Inexperience creates many mistakes along the way I’m afraid. Pitt will not be immune to have several mistake filled games this season. Best bet is for a 6 win season and less if we lose Henderson early via injury.


  13. This is the beauty of college football, turnover. Not fumbles or interceptions, rather personnel. Every team lost key personnel. The difference is who replaces them the best. Who has the best team unity. This is why college football is the best sport right now. Uncertainty every year, except for the OSU’s and Alabama’s.

    @EE- I don’t think there is too much negativity at all on here. It is fair to say that most believe the bracket for Pitt is between 6&9 wins and 6&4 losses). That isn’t negativity. It is uncertainty, especially because we don’t know squat about our qb mainly, our DL, and our DB’s.

    For that matter, we know diddly squat about our field goal kicker. Many of our games were won or lost with a point differential under 7. The KICKER is critical, yet we know nothing of him. I hope he is as good as Blewitt. No matter what you guys say, Blewitt did really well for us. He just did!

    The point is that in Blewitt’s 4th year we knew what he was about. We don’t know anything about our 4th years at any position, other than DB’s. I hope so much that they youth in the defensive backfield pushes Maddox to a nickel back and Briggs to a dime. That means that the coaches have newer players that are better, thus an improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. @gc, agree regarding hoops attendance. I renewed and am already getting calls to “improve” my seating… that’s never happened before because the seats were never available before.


    1. Lastrow – You deserve Panther of year award. How you can sit through a hoops game under Stallings let alone do it by choice and pay is something I’d love to learn. Happy for you I just couldn’t do it. It is more like a prison sentence. Haha


  15. I think since there is a consensus on PITT’s first priority that it should be the ACC Coastal Championship. This is good news as the two toughest games on the schedule this coming season will be OOC’s opponents, psu and OSU.

    I am not conceding those two games as I still believe PITT beats OSU and gives psu a good game up in state college. I just hope PITT doesn’t lose more players through attrition and injuries in the mean time.

    Getting back Whitehead, Wirginis and maybe even Aston will be huge. Saw Wirginis practicing and speaking of huge? He’s a big boy that can really move. Hold the fort down kids, hopefully the reinforcements are on the way.


  16. Hearing that there may a surprise coming atop the Cathedral of Learning in the near future? I once read on a message board that it would be the perfect spot for a new on campus stadium… BTW, both of the comments I made are true but only one of them I believe.


    1. i will support a stadium on top of the cathedral of learning

      but only if the stadium can SPIN


  17. Agree we want to win the ACC Championship, it is the first step. Playing devil’s advocate as to OOC games, do you think Franklin who poo poo’d the PItt game last year would like to have won it? Probably cost him a spot in the NC Playoffs. Sweet.


  18. Anonymous – couldn’t agree more. We gotta win the ACC to get to the big dance. But if we have 2 losses to highly ranked teams, we will go to Fla Bowl, not Playoff.

    UPitt – here’s a great honeymoon idea. Delay it until B-ball season, and get tix to a Tuesday / Saturday home stand. I’d be glad to call Rockports for you, and set up a photo op for you and the little woman.

    Wouldn’t that honeymoon pic look great on the mantle for the next 30 years??

    Just trying to help you out, Buddy!!


  19. I see Ezekiel Elliott was just suspended by NFL for 6 games for hat he did at OHIO ST. Yet, Elliott received no disciplinary action at OSU and led them to national title. Same thing happened at FSU a few years before when the local police turned a blind eye to Jameis Winston.

    Just remember the double standard when you are expecting a program like Pitt to reach the higher levels. As we all know, the Pitt coach already has natural restraints.

    To be clear, I don’t expect and don’t want Pitt to stoop to the level of these FB factories … just asking for some perspective


  20. Say PITT goes 1-3? Do they shut down Georgie? Is he eligible for a red-shirt? Does PITT pull a USC and bench Browne after only a few games?

    Who’s planning on coming to the POV tailgates?

    I’m liking Heather Lyke more and more and you all will lean to like her as well. The woman is on the beam imo!.. .. . . ike


  21. @ike – I am not sure what Heather Lyke has done to elicit your blind faith other than hire one of her folks from EMU. Talk is just that, talk. Steve Pederson and all other AD’s before him yapped about championships and getting to the next level. What has she actually done? Football team to a hotel? C’mon now. That is a mid-level manager decision that most P5 teams already are doing.

    I want to be proven wrong, believe me. She turned me sideways when her acceptance speech for our job was the same speech she gave with the EMU job. Look, she spent so many years at OSU. That should tell everyone that she was not a shining star in her field. As with all professions, the shining stars get promoted and then leave to lead within 5-7 years. If you aren’t leading you are following. Come up with a novel issue and execute.

    Pitt is not OSU. We can’t do what they do because our BoT and Chancellor want to be some grand academic institution. I would venture to say that the test scores to get into OSU are more difficult if not equal to Pitt. They have figured out that excellence in athletics leads to excellence in academics and not the other way around. OSU used to be the catch all university for the academically challenged to attend as little as 15 years ago. You can have it both ways when an Administration and BoT are all pulling in the same direction. Her job is to convince THEM to buy in, not us.

    Saying you expect to win championships in all sports, especially football is just AD speak. They all say it. Some actually achieve it. Look at WVU, the Dairy High School and OSU as three very local universities that have figured that out. They are not an embarrassment to their alumni when it comes to athletics.

    Many here say they don’t want to be like those schools. Candidly, I wouldn’t mind…except for the morgantowners. They completely miss on academics. My apologies to all the 4th year freshman from morgantown.


  22. Thanks guys.

    The main reason I like Lyke is that she has come into her new job and acted like a professional should. Keep her opinions buttoned down and to herself all the while listening and understanding her surroundings.

    PITT had a filibuster who did his best to ruin the PITT football program when he knew nothing about the university. There are some newer plans in store and they will come out when appropriate. Not saying earth shattering but a better attempt than steve ever offered up.

    Now, not trying to be a smartie here but what should or could have Heather have done to make you all happy in a half a year?

    Having said that, I do get the skepticism and caution. Again, my point is by doing little but listening and learning was the right thing to do. Something I wish our previous AD would have done. …ike


    1. Listen my A$$ Ike. It doesn’t take poles or committees to fix Pitt’s issues.. It takes balls and action and consistency and firing the deadbeat government workers that line the coaches hallway. How about actually embrace fans. She is a puppet and a bad dressed one at that.


  23. Upitt, imo, any new boss in town that goes and makes decisions before they know the lay of the land would be the definition of a monkey. Why? The new boss would be making decisions based on others opinion’s.

    You didn’t like the new AD from the beginning and haven’t given her a chance. Which to me? Makes you shallow minded. Sorry bout that .. . . ike


  24. On another note, I had the pleasure to treat a fellow Pitt grad/FB fan/season ticket holder today. It was so nice to be able to talk Pitt FB with another rabid fan (there seem to be so few of us). Naturally, I shared the Pitt POVweb address with her and her husband.


    1. If they were rabid fans, they would’ve/should’ve already had the POV web address. Probably just rabid so guessing you knew how to treat or referred. ;.))


  25. Ike – this doesn’t take 6 months. All she had to do was ask gallagher and some athletes or Im sorry watxh a game with 3/4 of stadium empty or watch Rockports coch while trying not to LOL. Yes that doesnt take 8 months.


  26. Haha UPitt…not panther of the year. We drink pre and post games for hoops. And football too. Helps a lot.


  27. My wish was Tressell. We’d be ranked #1 in pre season ball by now. Both football and basketball. I jest of course but one cannot underestimate the power of the Force. Tressel has it. Heather has something else.


  28. I agree with UPitt on this one. Call me very unimpressed with our new AD at this point. But I knew this coming in. MAC school. Compliance all her life. Pitt goes for cheap and accepts mediocrity once again. You get what you pay for. For God’s sake I hope she eventually does something. At least I hope she doesnt burn things down like our previous 2 idiots. And rest assured, they were idiots in the politest terms.


  29. Wouldn’t be a football season without good ‘ol upitt. Here’ a guy that would win the $100 M powerball and complain about the taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Have to agree that that was an unfortunate blouse that Heather was wearing in a recent interview. Looked very mountaineer-ish to me…
    She needs a big-city fashion consultant.

    Heather certainly has the AD-speak down. I’ll wait a while to see if she has a positive impact.

    At least she recognizes what Pitt has in Coach Duzz. I’d sign him up for 10-years right now.

    Go Pitt.


  31. I for one like Lyke for two reasons 1) The Hotel. That’s roughly a $100k investment (85 kids / 2 per room * $100 a night * 21 nights). With zero guaranteed financial return. Shows that the administration is investing in the program a little more than before an not treating it completely as a bottom line-driven business. This is a good sign.

    Second I believe that as a woman (dangerous territory here…) Lyke believes she has something to prove (this is my opinion…right, wrong or indifferent). There is no doubt that College athletics is a boys club. Just the nature of the beast. I counted 24 women on this list, with Lyke by far holding the most prestigious position. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NCAA_Division_I_athletic_directors). Now you can argue with me and say Lyke doesn’t have talent. That may or may not be true. But she had enough talent to turn a MAC school with an entrenched losing culture into a winner, and a moneymaker. That may or may not translate at Pitt, but little things like hotel for training camp are signs that it does. As far as I’m concerned this is a what have you done for me lately business. Lately, Lyke has invested $100k of the university’s money in player well-being. I like that call.


    1. EMU is barely paying bills. Money Maker??? It was talked about how her spending screwed EMU. Look in all the articles.


  32. Hey AP, Upitt would complain about the tax and then promptly lose all the winnings on silly bets. 🙂


  33. Yes – a good call. Maybe a good investment. One thing to point out over her first 6 or so months. But nothing ground shaking. And at Pitt, you really need that to wake the giant. Quite frankly, an easy call on her part. Not to disparage but Pitt went after someone who wouldnt majorly screw things up and who would walk the walk and stay for a bit. I dont see her as a true leader, visionary and one that can transform the culture and shape Pitt’s future. Again, for true change, the BoT must have NO say in athletics. My opinion but Pitt has been doing this for the past 30 years with the same results. Thats insanity if you ask me. Tressell would have blown things up. Thats what Pitt needs for long lasting stability and a path towards athletic excellence. BoT = Swamp. Pitt Athletics Dept = Mediocrity. No other way to spin it. We get what we deserve.


  34. Everyone bitched about her wrestling coach hire who went right out and brought back two Star WPIAL State Champions. Yet she really hasn’t done much yet and nor should she have.

    It is the dumbest thing I have ever read on a blog or message board that she should have fired Stallings by now. That is really a ridiculous thing to post. If you want to be consider legitimate then make comments that are. …ike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In business you admit the mistake and fix it. You don’t live with it. Tell that loser he is being fired for mother f in a player on live tv. You are giving him 3m to go away. Settle at 4m and this turd retires and watches his south play minor league ball in Hickory NC. Done. Oops that takes actually caring about hoops.


  35. I dont hate to say it but Pitt kinda needs a dictator right now with Pitt athletics. I know I’ll get flack for this but if you really want Pitt to excel in sports you need a leader that is empowered to change the culture without having to report to the BoT. This ‘dictator’ reports to a much smaller committee but this committee is comprised of people who actually care about athletics and have integrity to guard against selling ones soul for a championship. Right now, we have an illusion that Pitt actually cares about the front porch. People need to wake up.


  36. ike – she probably will fire KS after a 10 win season this year. Her hand will be forced. My bet is that he loses control of the team and the Zoo turns on him without mercy. Wake me up when the carnage has been cleaned up.

    I do like the Dog and our AD’s support for football. At least she isnt getting in Dog’s way. Give her credit for that.


  37. And I support a revolving OCS on top of the Cathedral. I wish I would have thought of that first.


  38. Tex…where do you get 10 wins? I see 6 at best. Lay off UPitt…he’s getting married…life soon to be over! UPitt…where do you see 9 wins? Rockports couldn’t beat Carlow with this group!


  39. OK Dan, you’re right. Upitt will soon enough be brought back down to life again. Heck, I hope he will still be allowed to post on the POV when it’s all said and done. …and I wish him well in this great adventure…. ike


  40. Ike – UPitt will do REAL well in “this great adventure”! Why isn’t anyone wishing well to the Estonian Bombshell? She’s the one who’s gonna need our support!!


  41. But that isn’t true especially with the Virginia Tech game as you can see above. if we had won that game, and we well could have, we’d have taken the division with at 5-2 and holding a tie breaking win over VT. From there we would have had a second match up with the then 12-1 Clemson… and yes, lightning sure can strike twice.

    That’s why I believe with Virginia Tech and Miami both improving and their recruiting is significantly better than Pitt’s at this point, we will look back at 2016 as a lost opportunity to win the Coastal. The stars were aligned last year in so many ways and Narduzzi’s defense, even if it was just mediocre, that’s a win over North Carolina and VT. Pitt has North Carolina dead to rights on the road and let that game get away.

    Pitt goes 8-4 and 6-2 in ACC play (loses to VT and Miami).


  42. The hotel is small potatoes and is not an investment in the players. It was for management control. With the dope smokers who put themselves before their teammates and such, Pitt had to do something. The result: Keep them under one roof 24/7 for three weeks. That ain’t AD worthy as most do it regardless of whether they have an on campus stadium or not.

    The powerhouse colorado State just opened their new stadium, right?

    So who else shares a stadium with a pro team in the ncaa? We are close to a trivia answer on this. Steve Pederson’s biggest decisional failure. Go against what 127 other division 1 programs do because you have a great idea! Foolish!

    Pitt should privatize parking and pull in a 1/2 billion dollars. Give some for scholarship and some for a new athletic and academic campus. Commercialize the technology that some of our brainy researchers invent. Get with the program!


  43. As for the football program, I’ve said this before, I do not think we’re there yet, no way PN could possibly have the right guys combined with reasonable experience on D (not to mention new OC), so yes, as Reed said, the goals outlined above are spot on in my opinion, but building a program is the only way to do, and that will take more time.- this is not the old Big East football schedule…. Thinking we have enough talent to (hopefully) get us 7 wins this season, right about where all the outsiders have us pegged.

    I have no problem with the Lyke hire, we’ve hired bigger names before that flopped. I don’t think its fair to judge her yet one way or the other.

    Looking forward to today’s scrimmage notes…

    Liked by 1 person

  44. considering our last two ADs, thus far Heather has been Johnny Majors (1973 version). I don’t understand what you guys expect an AD to accomplish in 4 months … except for UPitt of course who is never happy (at least on this blog)

    Liked by 1 person

  45. saturdaysarebetter, you are correct and throw in the Carolina game which we lost with 2 seconds left ( we only needed to make 1 first down to seal the deal) and we finish with one in conference loss and Coastal Champs we would have been.. what coulda been… then just re-run those pass D lo- lights in ones mind…UGGH….


  46. Just read a Harry Psaros tweet regarding 2016-17 Maryland wide receiver/Track and field champion Kollin Smith coming to PITT to play football and run track…no PITT is it from Duzz… must be a walk-on


  47. Great comments on here but I’ll throw in my fever dampening 2 cents.

    First off Pitt will never hired a “dictator” in athletics – they fired the last guy who tried to do that in football then a few years after that fired the AD who tried to do that overall in athletics. Pitt wants employees first and foremost – not firebrands who will overstep their position.

    And I believe any fan who has any sort of pulse on Pitt athletics knew Jim Tressel was never once a candidate for the Pitt AD position. Pitt is not going to throw big money at anyone – especially one who drags baggage along with him. Thus we pull a MAC AD who we can get on the cheap until she leaves for a better job and more money.

    This has been Pitt’s Bot and Chancellor’s MO all along. They want the safest guy (or gal) they can get for the least amount of salary. Hence Wannstedt coming here for a pittance salary; Graham as a fill-in (and that is all he was supposed to be for a few years) then Chryst and now Narduzzi.

    All pretty run of the mill, and no negative headline producing men who will be well behaved while they are at Pitt until they take the next better paying and more prestigious job.(Graham was the exception).

    Believe me Pitt is absolutely content with 7-8-9 wins as long as the University is able to avoid negative publicity. It is budgetary minded and wants safety and they are going to stick with that.


  48. Sad but true Reed, no risk takers in that bunch.

    An article today about Jazzee Stocker fighting for Whitehead’s position.

    How many position battles are there? Certainly a double edge sword. Good for depth but

    not good that we have so few clear cut starters at this point.

    Wonder how many of these battles are real and how many have already been decided in the coaches mind?

    Just like to hear that more of these guys have stepped up and separated from the pack.


  49. I think it is important for the O-line to know the starting 5 so that they can work together.

    The O-line is a unit and timing is important. Last year they were great as a group. Rarely off side, and
    intricate maneuvers were done with precision, especially on the jet sweeps. Biz and DJ worked together for 4 years.


  50. Recruiting has to get to a level that brings in talent. Narduzzi has done well in upgrading the athleticism on defense. He has expanded the recruiting base and is making inroads into areas that Pitt had little exposure. This year is about the development of a very good defense. Lots of young talented inexperienced players to learn and get better. It will happen and look for Pitt to be a tough team to play the second half of the year. Pitt will score enough to win games. But until they defend much better it doesn’t matter.


  51. Is James Connor still a Steeler? This is ridiculous. Get healthy man. This is looking like a very bad pick at *3 supplemental. I mean he practiced all of 3 days total????


  52. I dont like the idea of spending $100K on hotel rooms, unless it is for babysitting because weed consumption is too damn pervasive.
    We aren’t talking Ohio State or Texas or Michigan, we are talking cheap Pitt, who, aside from 10-year contract Jamie, has gone cheap, cheap, cheap everywhere else. Should HCPN have a banner season, he will bolt for a larger salary that cheap Pitt refuses to match. We will then be left shaking the MAC trees for girlfriend-beating coaches or 50 year old coordinators.
    So 100 Grand for hotel rooms, perhaps that could have been spent on, say, a basketball coach who will draw more than a few thousand paying fans to the Pete this season.


  53. What was the most impressive last year that the O-Line worked with another Brand new Offensive coordinator who ran brand new plays and they did that practically flawlessly. So Watson makes it 4 OC’s in four years. I just wonder if that has ever happened before in college football history.

    Not saying I am a fan of Heather just yet but I am a fan of her approach. Now she could very well be a puppet for the higher ups but who’s to say that just yet? I honestly can’t understand what she should of or could have done in the short while she has been there. I sure as hell didn’t want another AD coming to PITT then throwing their weight around when they don’t know what they are talking about.

    I just get the feeling Narduzzi likes it at PITT right now. I also am fairly sure he would have to leave if another giant offer came around. Lyke also seems to like it at PITT and I see her sticking around for a long time. If either one of those two get the BIG offer, then PITT did a fine job in hiring them in the first place. . . ike


    1. No one is pursuing Narduzzi until he wins more than 9 games. Until then he is doing what most average coaches do. Getting to the next level is when people will come after him.


  54. A win over North Carolina last year, doesn’t guarantee a win at Clemson. It’s just as possible had Pitt won, they would have been just enough over confident to lose in death valley.

    In lieu of a time machine, there really isn’t any way to know for certain.


  55. gc… I was wondering if OC Watson will continue all the shifting on the OL this year.. if he does wouldn’t it be neat to draw LSU in a bowl game….one can dream- right….

    Dr Tom … hope your not getting tons of rain down there like we have been having.. you don’t need ” coupes-up ” in the house in your ” glad half empty” mental state.


  56. Reed, when you write and speak the truth about out adminstration being satisfied with a ” clean and middling” D1 football program- it sucks the air out of my sail and crushes my hope. I have to cuss( apologies in advance)…… PHUCKERS!!!


  57. So I get the impression that Pitt stumbled into a good HC hire in Narduzzi, and it will be a pleasant surprise if the BOT and AD Dept would not screw up retaining him….see Canada handling last year.


  58. “We fans sure loved those emotional wins and those two OOC wins certainly were emotional”, Pssst Reed, FYI, Clemson is a member of the ACC. So Pitt WAS taking care of their conference business while beating the eventual National Champs.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. Conner had injured his shoulder in practice and missed 9 days or so.
    This past Tuesday was the first time he was able to being lightly practicing since the iniury.


    1. He got injured again something else other than his shoulder. Heart of a lion but his body won’t hold up a season.


  60. @gc – position battles are a plenty when you only have 5 or 7 returning starters on both sides of the ball. It’s a good thing in my mind. It could mean that the young guys are working real hard to get better or conversely, they aren’t working hard and are all middling.

    @Ike – thanks for the explanation on Lyke. Hiring a new wrestling coach is nothing. The results are what matters and there have been none yet. Moving her lips doesn’t make her a winner. EMU does not train up AD’s well. She comes with no P5 street credibility which leads to anarchy within the department and with coaches every time she makes a poor decision. Fast trackers, with great personalities are critical in this space. I just don’t see it. Candidly, I wouldn’t go to lunch with our new AD if she invited me. Not yet anyway. I hope she surprises me and actually does something creative that somebody else hasn’t done yet and it propels Pitt to greatness. I can hop. She does not command respect from the BoT for the exact reasons stated above.Not yet.


  61. Since we all know Pitt is content on mediocrity and is ecstatic over a 9 win season, why should anyone care? Shouldnt the goal be ACC championships like Reed said? I think we all agree with that. To get there, you do need a different breed of AD and a culture change. Otherwise, Pitt might get lucky every once in a while but wont be yearly contenders and that front porch will always be uninviting. No money for you Heather.


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