The time has come for all the warbling and pontificating and high confidence and major doubts to be set aside and for the readers of the POV to lay out their season predictions. It has been a very interesting offseason in that we got surprised with some big news, but none of it was positive.
Between the dismissals, suspensions, and injuries the prospective 2017 team we discussed after the previous season ended was thrown into disarray. We have a lot of new faces in the two-deep now and with that we need to take a hard look at who we will have to field against our opponents this year – but it really is almost a different squad than we saw last season.
First we will look at our season prediction over all – regular season first than final 2017 record if and when Pitt plays in a bowl game. Here is who and when we play in our regular 12 games.
I’ll start the guessing off and after long consideration and really studying this two-deep (even though that will undoubtedly change throughout the year) I’ll go with 7 wins and 5 losses in our regular season combined with another bowl loss to make our 2017 final record 7-6.
I believe there are just too many question marks on defense, and some big ones on offense also in fact, going into this season and I’m not sure all of them will be resolved into success by the Miami game. We’ll go into that home game with seven wins, lose to the Hurricanes and then drop the post-season bowl game.
Just as things turn out really well for some untested players, sometimes things will go far south with others. The key to this season; for us to get eight or nine wins, is that almost every one of those untested players will have to come though with big and quick success because they are surrounded with some more experienced guys who never have played all that well in their own careers.
We see that writ large on defense – our ‘returning’ regular starting players are Briggs, Maddox, and Idowu. Only three out of 11 first team players have any regular starting experience at all – and truth be told only Idowu played decent ball of those three. That does not bode well for a big winning season.
As I have said before I’ll believe that Pat Narduzzi’s recruiting is as good as most Pitt fans say it is when those recruits show up and play good, winning football at the D1 level. Until then they are pretty much names on paper to me.
However, I do not believe that a one game dip in Narduzzi’s seasonal record can or will necessarily be attributed to his coaching either. I think he’s saddled with personnel issues that even very good coaching won’t be able to overcome.
He’s not a great coach yet but he’s a good one – at least so far and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he can take my seven win projection and add a win to it, much like he surprised us with the ‘extra’ Clemson win last season. So I can see eight wins to better my seven when the dust settles… but as I said I’m personally going with seven.
I absolutely do not see us drifting lower than seven wins on the year though. If we deviate from my predicted seven wins it will be upward and not downward with more losses.
That’s my take on the wins and losses – what is yours?
Throw your predictions on these questions also:
Who is your Offensive MVP on the season?
Who is your Defensive MVP on the season?
Who is your leading scorer and how many points?
Who is your leading tackler and how many?
Who leads in sacks and how many?
How many points per game will we score?
How many points per game will we allow?
What will our ACC record be at the end of the regular season?
What place will we be in the Coastal Division at the end of the season?