As I commented yesterday Mr. Chris Peak, lead writer for the’s “Panther Lair” Pitt beat, has just published a new book about the circumstances leading up to, and Pitt’s winning of, the 13-9 win over West Virginia University back in 2007.

If you remember we went into that game in Morgantown 28 point underdogs to WVU who was a lock to play in the 2008 BCS National Championship bowl game for the national championship.  We stunned the football world and ended that WVU dream very abruptly – to the delight of the Pitt football nation.

Here is a lead-in to the book:

In 2007, the Pitt football team upset its hated rival, West Virginia, in the regular-season finale to prevent the Mountaineers from playing in the national championship game. That win – a 13-9 victory for the Panthers – is well-known among Pitt fans, but what often gets forgotten is what happened before that game. Because in the three months leading up to the West Virginia game, Pitt, under head coach Dave Wannstedt, encountered adversity, challenges, and sheer bad luck at every turn. The win over West Virginia was a triumph, not just of one team playing well on one night, but rather a triumph of a team persevering through a difficult season and finding redemption in the greatest way possible. This book is the story of that game, that season, and that team.

Chris Peak is, in my opinion, by far the best writer covering Pitt football around, bar none.  His articles on are well thought out, timely and very well written.  I have referenced him and his work hundreds of times in my past Pitt Blather and now my POV articles and have always said that if you want to have the latest and best in-depth info on Pitt football a subscription to to read his stuff is well worth it.

That Chris sat down and wrote this book is not surprising and I can’t wait to get my hands on it – I just ordered four copies for late Christmas presents.

Here is the link to the Amazon website. It looks as if the books are going fast but you can get it on Kindle for free if you subscribe or for a very low price of $2.99 if you don’t.  Hard copies coat only $6.99 each – what a great deal from a great writer.

Here is another bit to wet the whistle… This is a graphic snapshot (hence the bad formatting) of his lead-up to set the stage for the rest of the book. This part discusses the hiring of Dave Wannstedt.

13-9 book

I cannot wait to get this book in the post. I even bought extra shipping and handling to get it in my hands as soon as possible.

Congratulations to Chris for writing it and my thanks also for bring back those great memories of a season that was headed to the 4-8 dustbin but instead turned out to be the very best 5-7 season Pitt has ever had. Isn’t it funny that this last 5-7 2017 season turned out much like that 2007 year – but we Pitt fans don’t have anything like the drama of the Backyard Brawl we have with WVU when it comes to playing Miami – and so the grand exclamation point to the season is the subject of this book.

147 thoughts on “Can’t Get Enough! New 13-9 Book!

  1. Shocky commitment inspires me to name the preferred beer of the first tailgate next year…Shock Top. Thanks Reed. I’m sending some books for Christmas gifts.


  2. AS most of you know, by Pitt beating WVU, the Eers don’t make the title game, allowing LSU to make it. Thus, Les Miles who was at LSU doesn’t return to his alma mater, Michigan, to replace retiring coach, Lloyd Carr, as planned. Instead, Mich hires Rich Rod from WVU …. and Miles goes onto win the title.

    Asst Bill Stewart was named temp coach at WVU, and then after the Eers destroyed Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, he was named HC.

    Also, if WVU beat Pitt, they would have faced Ohio St in title game (which instead lost by a couple TDs to LSU). The Tressel-led Buckeyes was a typical Big 10 powerhouse back then, but had no experience playing against fast paced spread teams. … and would have likely lost, and thus propelling the ‘new’ Big East team as a national champ. Whether this would have elevated the league from its financial woes is debatable.

    Regardless, 13-9 had a major impact on college FB in general


  3. BTW, I agree Peak does a great job covering Pitt, and I go to his twitter daily to catch up on anything Pitt. He was the first to announce that Jacques-Louis committed last night. I also enjoy reading his ‘free’ articles


    1. BTW, a free article from yesterday …. Peak points out how every commit that was announced yesterday by Pitt had a graphic of the player wearing a retro uni. And he thinks that the retro has a good chance to once again become the norm


  4. That would be nice.

    I just wish we’d pick one uniform and stick with it but ever-changing uniforms make for more apparel sales which Pitt needs desperately as that and ticket /concession sales are about the only income we make outside of the ACC sharing plan.

    And donations of course but we are so low with that it is a drop in the money bucket a school needs to build a continually strong program.


  5. Ten of Pitt’s recruits were 0.1 points away from being a four-star recruit. I wonder if that 0.1 will matter come fall camp when the pads are on?


  6. Strong finish to the class. Carter and Brentley are good late flips. Jacques-Louis is a big time athlete. Even if the two JUCO QBs only add depth, we will at least have enough QBs to run spring ball scrimmages.

    Sucks about Alaimo


  7. In his presser yesterday, Narduzzi said “This is just a step,“Now, there’s a lot of learning to go through.” …. which confirms the general thinking that these players will likely not immediately contribute

    But he did say that the 2 JUCOs (OT Brown and QB Town) will enroll in January, which certainly is a plus . Another guy that may see some action in 2018 is Jaques-Louis as a return guy

    OL Kradel also will enroll early but likely will redshirt IMO


  8. You can’t mention 13-9 without remembering Shady McCoy and Scott McKillop.

    McCoy was Wanny’s biggest recruiting coup.

    McCoy is having a borderline Pro HOF career, playing on marginal teams.

    Also Pat Bostick who played in the two biggest wins of the Wanny era.


  9. Our competition:

    Miami 2 five star, 13 four stars

    Clemson 4 five stars 4 four stars

    VT 9 four stars

    NC State 5 four stars

    NC 5 four stars

    Don’t say it does not matter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sure it matters, no doubt. and it hurts not getting the area’s only two 4-stars (Jurkovec and Raines). There is a chance that a few 4-stars are still available, and since the elites have completed their allotment, Pitt may have a chance …. but certainly no guarantee.

      But there are 4 stars in the last 2 classes that hopefully can develop and progress. They will get their chance this year and the next ….. and then maybe success can breed success. But Pitt will never recruit the quantity of studs they had back in the late 70s


  10. It does matter. Pitt needs to avg 3.5 stars to win division titles or conference championships. A 3 star avg wont cut it unless the coaching is outstanding and the scouting services missed on the rating.


  11. Most of the 4 and 5 stars seem to be in the south. Maybe we can get a geographical analysis. Does that mean that they go to schools where it is warm or near hometown.

    Dare I say we need a domed OCS. Not in my lifetime.


  12. Good teams are strong from top to bottom at every position.

    The great teams have several marquis players on both sides of the ball.

    Are there any in this class? On the team? Hopefully Picket, who else?


  13. Just downloaded Peak’s book from kindle. There chapter titled ‘F***king Pitt!’ Can’t wait to read it tonight.


  14. I don’t think the final rivals recruit star rankings are out yet, so expect a couple of our 3 stars to move up. Maybe 3-4 in my estimation.

    I don’t mind a solid 3.0 – 3.1 class at all with what the Admin has paid for. Look, until this year, our head coach was paid around 62nd of 130 head coaches. He just recruited to #42 according to rivals (our measuring stick). He is outperforming his 2017 pay grade with regard to recruiting.

    Next year his pay grade goes up, so his recruiting success rate should go up proportionately. Go back to the basics fellas. The Pitt Administration has been paying like a “C” program pays, yet many on here expect “A-” results. That is just not reality. It’s also not settling for something less by fans. The Admin and BoT are responsible for this predicament.

    The secondary problem is that we got a “C-” AD and paid her like a “C-” candidate. To make things work, you need to pay a HC and AD “B” money and if they are good/great, they will achieve “A-” results.

    You all mock franklinburger at the Dairy College and how he got recruits that average 3.5 stars. It’s because their BoT and AD pay the coaches more than we will ever pay ours. The dairy college understands that if your football program wins, applications go up, which leads to a better applicant pool, which leads to better researchers, which leads to more funding, which leads to more giving. Our group of BoT morons (including past players) want to better fundraising without going through the entire process. Loco en la cabeza! El stupido!


    1. I think we expect “A” performance while the admin expects those checks from the ACC

      We are in no shape, way or form comparable to PSU … except for hopefully on the field (and in the classroom)


    2. The tax reform bill that was passed yesterday includes a 21% excise tax to be paid by non-profits for employees making over $1M. Nick Saban, whose photo was at the top of the article has an $11M package will cost Bama an extra couple million going forward.

      At the same time, the bill makes entertainment, including luxury boxes, club seats,etc at sporting events nondeductible (they are now 50% deductible).

      Not bringing up the merits or problems with the tax bill – only wanted to show that the economics of paying B or A level salaries for coaches going forward just got a little tougher.


  15. Agree Huff
    Pedos get their recruits from Central and Eastern PA
    Plus more ‘national’ But they do well in MD, VA and NJ typically
    Retractable domed stadium is the answer


  16. I’ll give Franklinstein the credit he is due, as he reeled in another terrific class. But it has more to do with the school and the game day experience than it has to do with him. Penn State recruits itself. All the fans nauseate me, and the Sandusky matter was pure evil. But at the end of the day, it is a great atmosphere for a college football game which very limited number of other schools can match.

    I laugh at those who are critical of this staff’s recruiting efforts. How do you sell kids on a program that plays in front of 30,000 on average? With no recent championships of any importance. It appears to me that they got a number of the top WPIAL kids, which will always be the linchpin of their recruiting. It happened to be a down year for 4 or 5 star kids in the WPIAL.

    Jurkovec was ALWAYS going to ND, and Raines to WVU (due to the family connection). Sometimes you just are not going to get certain kids no matter what.

    Of course it is disappointing that there are not any eye popping players in this group. But when you look at offer sheets, these kids are pretty good. I suppose many of you forget the recent years where we were getting kids who were turning down Akron, Bowling Green and Marshall.


  17. One other thought…I would be interested in seeing a breakdown of the 4 and 5 star kids who have come to Pitt over the last 10-15 years. I’d guess that a very good percentage of them are WPIAL kids. Given that the WPIAL is producing less of this quality player, it provides at least some explanation for why we didn’t land any this year.

    I remember back in the days of Majors and Sherrill, we were getting kids of that caliber (although I don’t seem to remember recruiting “stars” as we see now) who were from out of state. Even under Gottfried we landed some. But more recently I think a good number of the top recruits are from Western PA.


    1. you have to give this staff one thing …. if there is a need, they go out and get people — maybe not elite players, but they bring them in


    1. I believe Pitt is now at the 85 schollie limit …. but of course, more deletions are possible (whether initiated by player or staff)


  18. Critical or not, if you want to compete at a higher level, you must recruit at a higher level.

    Based on what he has to work with, I don’t know if he is under or over achieving regarding recruiting.

    It depends on future performance.

    He has definitely overachieved in winning big games.


  19. gc noted: “Our competition:
    Miami 2 five star, 13 four stars
    Clemson 4 five stars 4 four stars
    VT 9 four stars
    NC State 5 four stars
    NC 5 four stars
    Don’t say it does not matter.”

    Based on previous comments noting that many of Pitt’s recruits were .1 away from being 4-stars, to properly evaluate gc’s comment, we would need to see the actual rating score for each of these other schools 4-star candidates. Possibly, several of them are .1 over the 4-star low-end cutoff, which (in my view) becomes purely subjective. Also wonder for the ACC teams, was the 4/5 star recruiting from mainly in-state players?


  20. Somebody correct me if my memory has gone awry. The article starts out above saying that the game was at Heinz – but I remember Shady getting so mad as the WVU fans stoned the Pitt buses going to the WVU stadium that he decided right then that Pitt wasn’t going to lose that game. I also remember the Panthers going wild in the visitors locker room after the game as RichRod weeped during his post game interview.


    1. The 13-9 game was absolutely in Morgantown. It’s part of what made it all so wonderful.

      Pitt also won the return at Heinz in 2008 (thanks again Shady!). Pitt should have won in Morgantown in 2009 but didn’t seem to be inspired for some reason.


      1. Yep definitely in Morganhole….still remember how stunned their crowd was. At the Hillbilly’s ineptitude, stumblin & fumblin that day.

        Has WVcc ever played Ohio Fake ?


  21. Cooking away in the kitchen, listening to music, getting into the spirit of the holidays. Wanted to shout out to my Jewish friends even though I believe Chanukah may have just ended.. Merry Christmas and happy holidays… to all


  22. according to PickSix, whoever they are, the following are the number of 4 & 5 stars per state …. look at the difference between the top 4 and the rest

    60- Florida
    49- California
    44- Texas
    41- Georgia
    12- Pennsylvania
    12- Ohio
    12- Louisiana
    12- North Carolina
    11- Tennessee
    10- Alabama
    9- New Jersey
    8- Maryland
    8- Michigan

    8 of the 12 were mid-state or eastern PA (2 from Erie both to PSU)


    1. The top 4 states in population are Cal, Tex and FL but then NY and PA. Georgia is 8th

      Over half of NY population is NYC, which doesn’t appear to have a good HS FB program (despite today’s commit). Kind of like Pittsburgh. I bet there is a lot of talent wasted


      1. Yep and there has also been a big drop in basketball talent coming out of some of these cities, like NYC, Pittsburgh and others.

        Teens are influenced by many more factors today, and it is hip to be in a gang, doing no good. Courtesy of those that make things hip……


  23. I’m confused on the new transfer Mack. Why only 2 years of eligibility left? He was red shirted in 2016 and he played this season thus he would be a freshman red shirt this year. He has to sit out the 2018 season on the transfers rules but that still should still leave him with 3 years of eligibility remaining shouldn’t it?


    1. PSN answered my question on eligibility rules. It looks like you lose a year of eligibility when you have already red shirted and need to sit out another season because of transferring. It would be interesting to note what the reason was behind his decision to lose another year of playing time just to come to Pitt. Perhaps the QB’s on the Indiana roster gave him little confidence that they would be able to highlight his talents. Maybe the Pickett highlight reel from the Miami game helped him to make his decision.


  24. Lots of dissention in the ranks about this year’s recruiting class. Some cherry pick the data as if denigrating Pitt recruits somehow can make a Pitt fan feel better?!? WTF – not sure how that works. Some say it is only ranked in the 40’s. Well yes, when you only take 16 recruits it is going to be low because you know what – the services basically multiply their raw score by the number of recruits (I am being simplistic here). So if Pitt takes 27 recruits next year, their score will be off the charts. (BTW, schools that have lots of kids go pro early end up with LOTS of recruits every year so, of course, their scores are awesome.)

    But Pitt Engineer, you say, we had no four star recruits. As I noted yesterday, Louis was ONE slot away and Danielson was TWO slots away. Williams by the way, was THREE slots away. And the two best recruits in this class may well be Patti and Bentley. Note you heard it here from me FIRST. These are quality kids who will contribute in future years.

    I believe this will be viewed as a solid class with the perspective of time. Patii, Bentley, Danielson, Louis and Williams will all do great things. Williams played as a DB island against a five star receiver in a high school game earlier this year. He shut him down and came away with 2 INT’s. Would you not want that guy on the field playing for your team? Patti rallied his team in the NJ playoffs against a top high school on strength of will and grit.. Who doesn’t want players like that?

    I get where UPitt is coming from. Structural issues (like an out to lunch BOT or no OCS) are keeping Pitt from achieving some degree of greatness. It means, Pitt football will have to earn it through hard work and grit. I think most of these kids get that and will deliver. My question is whether the staff and HCPN have the stuff to take them there. Oh, PN bring the fire just fine – but he needs to brings the smarts as well to get there.


    1. we can continue to argue, and probably will. about how good or bad this class is … but it won’t mean a thing. 3 years from now, we will actually know how good or bad this class was


    2. I’ve already adopted Blake Zubovic as my favorite in the bunch. OL with a great Eastern European name, hails from the Mon Valley. He’s a blue collar working man. His grandma (on his dad’s side) probably has a great hluski recipe and makes pyrohi from scratch.

      We should call him “lunchpail”.


    3. Penn State took 20 recruits and is ranked #15.

      Lots of PG bashing by Vuckovcan and Dokish among other local “media” (actually Pitt boosters) today. PG Pitt FB beat writer had a sub head over his article that said “No big name in Pitt’s class”. Heavens we’re sensitive. I’d say the sub head is accurate. The article itself was well done IMO.

      I guess if the local media isn’t pumping Pitt it’s against them.


  25. I would say Pitt is much more hated by WVcc than most of us hate them.

    Cause I usually pull for them to beat whoever in their Bowl Game,

    I don’t think the reverse applies. And a lot of the hate is from kids from the Pittsburgh area who
    matriculated down to Morganhole.

    Perhaps because they didn’t have the academic requirements to get into Pitt. Or got the letter…saying
    Thanks…..but No Thanks.


    1. Agree Emel. I rooted for them against Oklahoma that year. I tend to root for them against most other other opponents. And the reverse does not apply.


    1. I did too and was very happy to see them wax Oklahoma…..mainly because of all the heat the BE was taking back then. I loved it when they beat SEC Georgia I think the year before that.


  26. Kid needs work on mechanics and sloppy footwork, all fixable, but boy does he have a quick release. A little funky, but I like it.


  27. Speaking for myself I apologize to Blake Zubovic family and friends for the post directed at Blake. Welcome to PITT my good young man.. ike


    1. Ike, if you are referring to my post, I’ll need to think about that as the intent was not to insult. I’m pulling for him.


  28. Overall it’s an average class. That’s it, average. If he adds a couple studs late, as he has before, then it could get a little better. Sometimes you just get average and that’s OK, just don’t come in below average. Always said, 20% of recruits will get better without you doing anything, 20% won’t get any better no matter what you do. It’s the other 60% that will only get better when you work with them that’s important. Earn your money.


  29. Watching the victory celebration Jacksgain posted just shows me the “spirit”
    that could be in Oakland with an OCS… oh to imagine…..


  30. ^^ Depends on who you are but I doubt that it was you anonymous? I have no idea if recruits and or their parents read this or that blog or message board but to get personal and rain on a good young man’s parade doesn’t sit well with me.

    Not policing, just being myself.. thanks ike


  31. I also agree B and Jack. I don’t like the comparisons to the late 70’s attendance. That was 40 years ago in a run down stadium that was never kept up. The Pirates won a world championship in that little congested neighborhood and everyone got home just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. He is soft and out of shape and lives on the internet. Get his butt to the gym and turn pudge into muscle and turn into a man from a boys body. If he spent more time in the gym and less on twitter he could have good potential. You are to soft Ike with these kids. You have a full ride. Take care of your body and do the necessary things to get ready. God you are sensitive. If he was my own son I’d tell him the same thing.


  33. TE from Patti’s school didn’t sign. TE from Springfield, OH is a target for Pitt, but no scholarships left. Some more kids may have to leave if any more kids can be signed. I ordered 3 of the 13-9 book, one for me and two for my my brother and brother-in-law who like me live and breathe Pitt sports. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.


  34. but he’s not your son Mark. I think he’s a good kid as far as I know. Point is, we both don’t the young man or his family. Go ahead and talk about Otis but we should leave the kids out of it. << but that’s just my opinion?

    I’ll take you up on the drink offer next year though. Make plans to come to a PITT game next year as well. You freaking maniac. btw, love Florida I have to get moving before it’s too late to get back down there.


  35. Keep the house back in PA and just spend December to April down there buddy. I’m probably hard on him but now is the time to get ahead of the pack. He is on twitter nonstop. Haha.


  36. Upitt hit on something regarding the new recruits and their bodies. The kids Pitt gets and Dairy College gets, etc. are bigger and stronger and faster than the kids in their respective high schools. They can get away with just that and be stars in high school.

    When they sign on the line at Pitt, PITT needs to change them mentally, which will then change the kids physically. That is what separates elite programs from average programs. Elite programs have kids in them that embrace the new kids and teach them a work ethic from day 1. That is a culture of winning.

    Pitt has made a huge error in their OOC scheduling for years. Dairy College did that immediately during and after their sanctions. They scheduled the easiest schedule just about in the NCAA so that they could give a perception of them being back. They weren’t back. Quite the contrary. They scheduled easy in order to get wins. The more wins they got, the more momentum they got on the recruiting trail. Nobody knows who state penn beat on the recruiting trail. Recruits only saw wins and ESPN saying what a remarkable story State Penn is because they are back….after such a horrific incident.

    The media is a sham for the most part. However, Pitt can use the sham that is the media to their advantage….if they have a strategic plan. We have none. We will always be chasing our identity (kind of like uni colors, Pitt vs. Pittsburgh and script). We have no identity/brand. Dairy college never lost their stupid colors and their dull uni’s. They scheduled easy and nobody called them on it nationally. They then started to recruit better and continued to play inferior competition.They got confidence and have taken off.

    It was their plan. I met with several members of their BoT, their president and entire executive team over three days last summer and it was clear that they all signed off on the athletic rebuild and began pulling in the same direction. You can do great things when you work as one.


  37. PSU has always had an easy OOC schedule, typically with the exception of one game a year. They also play too many home games. That’s been their formula for success for decades now.

    Quite frankly, Pitt had its best records in the recent era (under Wannstedt) when the schedule was relatively easy.


  38. Yup, That has been their plan ever since the Great Satan coached there. Play nobody and win. Takes years, but all they remember is the wins. No one cares if you play the hardest schedule, only they wins. People who want tough OOC ha e no long term vision. Media want hard OOC, gives more to write and talk about. Give me Jamie and the wins over JMll any day. Long game here, really painful, but the only fix.


  39. I received an Alumni Impact Study survey from the University of Pittsburgh in my inbox this AM. If you received on I highly suggest you complete it. More about the survey is below.

    Universities struggle to measure the impact their alumni have on the world. As Pitt research faculty, we have developed a novel approach to measure “lives touched” to better understand the broad impact of a university education on society. We want to know about your and other alumni’s experiences – both big and small – and invite you to participate in a 15-minute confidential survey.


  40. Last time I said that , people jumped all over me. But there is one difference, PSU fans show up for those lop sided wins. Of course OKST didn’t seem that well attended either.

    But no doubt it is easier to get a bowl game or NCAA bid when you have enough sure things.

    Especially now when all ACC games are competitive, and there are no sure victories.


  41. GC, not at first. They played at old Beaver stadium with two sets of bleachers. Once they started winning then went undefeated two years it really took off. That’s why I said it will be painful. No one will show up initially, but Attendence will not be that different from now, only difference is we will have more wins. Then, and only then, will a culture be built. That’s the blueprint, it’s as simple as that. Pittsburgh loves and supports winners, not teams that are average and play hard schedules. Simple!


    1. PSU has a substantial higher amount of alums than Pitt

      PSU has an on-campus population of 47k

      PSU is located in the middle of the state with no immediate competition with pro teams

      PSU is within a 3 – 3.5 hour drive from Pgh, NYC, Philly, Baltimore and DC

      As I keep saying …. quit wasting your time with any comparison between PSU and PItt … it’s futile.


      1. Wwb,
        So why are their alums willing to drive 3-3.5 hours from Baltimore, DC, NYC, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh to the middle of nowhere and yet Pitt alums won’t drive an hour to Heinz Field?


  42. Back to the recruiting class, I really like the emphasis on linemen the most about this class.

    Narduzzi filling the pipeline and taking the long approach, we won’t know how good this class is for at least three years.

    Also stockpiling DB’s seems to be a Narduzzi thing.

    Hopefully the WR’s help a lot sooner.

    Disappointed we only got one Linebacker and no RB’s. For a school that has a history of great RB’s we appear to be at a low ebb. In my opinion, we have rarely had great linebacking. All the great local guys go to PSU. Has a Pitt linebacker ever been the best player on the team? (Rhetoric)


  43. Fans will kill me for this but there is a big difference between football at Pitt and PSU and it starts with recruiting and on the start of the kid’s time at Penn State.

    When those kids get on campus they are inundated right off the bat with the PSU football culture. Their student body is 100% behind the football program and team and those players are treated as special people there so those kids tend to stay at PSU.They have one or two transfers a year but not as many as we do and way fewer dismissals for cause…

    Not so much at Pitt. Football players here are treated differently and some are pretty much in it for themselves and that is why, with very few exceptions, the best Pitt players tend leave the program at the earliest opportunity through the declaration for the draft or others by transferring out at the drop of a hat.

    I’m not saying PSU is better than Pitt with these issues or not but that the whole atmosphere and mindsets are different there. Of course when that type of immersion by all the Nitters gets to a saturation point you get the deal they have produced with the Sandusky scandal!.


    1. see my post above @ 9:27. There is no comparison between Pitt and PSU except in the classroom and occasionally on the FB field ….. that’s it.


    2. Reed, UNC which basically admitted academic fraud for over 2 decades continues to keep its BB players on campus whereas all its competitors (even Duke) has one player after another leave early for the NBA. By competitors here, I mean elite BB programs that always finish in the top rankings annually.

      I remember being stymied going into 2008-9 season why nobody on that squad opted for the NBA. They went on to the national title and then had 3 first round and 1 2nd picks in NFL draft. I contend it had to be even more than not having to go to class


  44. Nobody should be upset with that Reed because it’s the truth. Winning is the only thing (over a longer period of time) that will fix that. PSU provides one of the best atmospheres in college football and that will always be an advantage over us.


    1. I remind you …. Pitt finished in Top 10 from 1976 thru 1982 (except for ’79 – 17th). This includes an undefeated season as well as 3 straight 11-1 years.

      Yet, the only sellouts at a 53k stadium were vs PSU, ND and WVU.

      No doubt winning will help big time with attendance, but there will always be constraints


    2. Yes and they created it. We sit and make excuses and play in someone else’s stadium. We only have overselves to blame. Create a culture. Create a campus. Make sports important. Not at sake of all else but put value on it and then kids will graduate and donate. Zero forward thinking at Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Yeah, no one is going to be upset at that comment Reed. If fact it is an understatement. Never in my wildest nightmares would I think PITT officials would cover up child rape for the sake of the football program.

    “I have a football season to get ready for”

    “Get off my lawn” etc etc etc…….

    and the craziest part? He’s still a legend up there. We don’t want that at PITT.


  46. The dynamics of being in the city also came into view. During the time frame WWB mentioned, it was also the pinnacle of the Steelers and Pirates, in fact, they had their best teams ever. We had nice Attendence, but not a full house. Ask yourself, if our on campus stadium was so great, why were the big games played at Three Rivers.
    Pitt stadium crowds maxed out at around 50k. That’s all we were ever going to draw there. We won’t ever draw 60k consistently at Heinz. Our max is going to be around 50k. Live with it, build for it, create atmosphere for it, and they will come.


    1. and guess what … the Steelers and the Pens continue to dominate the Pgh athletic landscape

      many, many, many constraints


    2. JoeK, PITT stadium had become a monument left out in the cold. It did suck and left to rot on the vine. The old girl had great bones though and needed to be brought to date on the inside. Just like we keep up our own homes PITT failed to keep up there’s. PITT stadium was more than a crappy football stadium to many.

      I stayed at the Springhill two years ago for the psu game. 2 and 1/2 hours after the game traffic on the north shore was still at a stand still. Point being… traffic is always a problem after a football game..

      Liked by 1 person

  47. gc, if the roster remains the same, PITT will have 4* senior RB in Hall, a former 1,000 yard rusher in Ollison, a 4* sophomore in Davis and a 4* rs freshman in Sibley. Yes, I wish PITT could have added one running back to this class but that is a daunting group for a young man looking for a team to overcome.

    Remember the type of kid PITT is looking for? Plus the running back position was a little on the light side in the WPIAL this past year… ike


      1. Oh geez, I guess I missed that by one decimal point. jus kidding. I think he may have been 4* on some other scouting site? My point is he’s a good RB.


        1. Ike we have no idea how good Sibley is. We do know AJ was the freshman that Watson and Narduzzi gave the ball to first in that class. My guess is neither AJ or Sibley have sprinter speed and that’s why Narduzzi tried desperately to recruit Beck at RB this year. My hope is that Pitt might find a Beck look a like still available come February to include in this class.


    1. Ike, none of those guys are from the WPIAL and none look to be more than good.

      With the long history of great backs and Shady, Deon, and Conner in the NFL, you would think

      recruiting a back or two would be priority and a fairly easy sell.

      Maybe they can move Pugh to RB or have guys lined up for next year.

      In any case, none of our current guys make you say “wow” like Shady, Deon, Ray or Conner did,
      The first time you saw them carry the pigskin.


  48. Pitt made a conscience decision that they could not compete with PSU financially in sports.

    The powers that were left Pitt deteriorate almost to the point of no return. The low was the return of Johnny Majors, but worse no money was put into facilities during that period.

    Say what you will but this decline is what allowed SP to come in and do what he did. He did a lot to save Pitt athletics and bring it back to a reasonable level of competence. Saving Pitt Sports required new facilities, whether you like the way he did it or not, he got them. Very easy to second guess at this point, but without the upgrades, the SouthSide training facility ,The Pete, and Heinz Field, no athletes would come to Pitt.

    We are now in the ACC with solid cash flow, no not in the financial league of the big boys but reasonably able to compete on a solid base.

    It may take a while but we have the ability to get back in the top twenty in both football and basketball.


    1. I had thought that for a long while but now I wonder … at east on an annual basis. The quantity of quality WPIAL recruits (both FB and BB) continues to dwindle. Attendance in sporting events including college football is dwindling overall …. except for a handful of places (PSU, OSU, ND, etc) Brand revenue for the elites continue to thrive.

      There is definitely a larger chasm between the haves and the have-nots than ever before … and it’s getting worse


      1. True that wbb, the chasm is greater in all walks of life. I went into Larrimor’s the other day and saw quality suits are now 5-10K. when did that happen?

        Surely it is a lot easier for the big boys to compete, year after year with double the budgets. The decline in the Wpial requires Narduzzi to recruit nationally, which he seems to be doing reasonably well.

        He did much better in the WPIAL this year than last and hopefully that starts a trend.

        The wins vs PSU, Clemson and Miami should help nationally.

        I think the trend in football is still up. Basketball is hitting bottom this year, nowhere to go but up, it just may take a long time.


  49. I can’t speak for the late 70s/early 80s glory years for Pitt football, but I can tell you that when Dixon fielded winning teams year after year, Pitt basketball tickets were hard to come by. It wasn’t even that easy to get tickets for non-conference games against the cupcake schedule that he favored, although it was easier to get a ticket for A cupcake game in comparison to he games against the big east heavyweights. Fielding a winning team matters — it might not sell out Heinz, but it will help fill some seats.


    1. no doubt …. Pitt opened an amazing venue right at the time it start getting hot while playing CBB’s best and most watched conference..

      But you can’t compare CBB and CFB. Gonzaga, Butler and UConn can still make it to the Final 4 these days .. but you don’t see that in CFB. Boise had its run some years back but that’s about it


  50. Also, I don’t know the stats, but I’d like to compare the stats of PSU basketball attendance and Pitt basketball attendance. If PSU fielded a winning basketball team, I imagine they would do well attendance wise. But they don’t. On the other hand, they are committed to having a winning football team and, with a winning team, they fill the stadium. Trust me, if their football team achieve the same level of success (or lack thereof) as their basketball team their average football attendance would be a fraction of what it is right now.


  51. @wwb – the attendance point is factual for the past. What isn’t factual and let me float this out there is that today’s college student is not like the college student of the 70’s and 80’s. Not even close.

    The kids today WANT to belong and place a higher emphasis on “feelings of belonging” over anything else on the college campus. The Administration is missing this. They are using the numbers from the 70’s as a predictor of what will happen the the 2020’s with respect to sport. That thinking paralyzes growth and opportunity. The Admin needs to tap into the “Feelings Mindset” of the student body and use that to build the brand.

    Our current ACC alignment provides an opportunity for the football program to thrive quickly and become relevant without an exceptional effort. We just need above average effort and a strategic plan to include the students and their feelings of belonging. They will give back in huge numbers if we cultivate it correctly. Old school thinking is slowly crushing that opportunity.

    @Reed – that was my point about Pitt and Dairy. They have established a football culture of winning. Their kids get indoctrinated early and are pushed to success as a team first and then as individuals. That culture drives accountability. There is a big difference between football at the two programs but there doesn’t have to be and why should there be? P5 sports is a business. Treat it that way and you will thrive. Treat it as a bolt on to a higher education experience and you are left with a disconnect. In a way, everyone that visits this site is looking for a way to connect to something that Pitt continues to try and destroy. You all are to be thanked for your perseverance…or committed because of your lack of sanity. Dilly dilly!

    Peace on earth good will towards men…..


    1. Huff – Agree that I came to this site to try and connect with something that happened with Pitt football from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s. I want it back. – Hobie


  52. When you went to Pitt stadium you went for one reason, to watch a football game. No amenities, no food courts, no great halls. Just football. It’s the fans expectations that have changed. They want an “experience”. Football is almost secondary. Well, I went to a tech conference not so long ago, and they were concentrating on making the home TV tech so that it would be virtual so you didnt actually need to be physically at the game to have the experience, think about THAT for awhile!
    While teams may be soft so are fans. Of the 100k cultists who attend games, how many actually know or care what’s going on?


    1. ^^ Well JoeK, I think we agree on that and that is exactly what Heinz doesn’t give the fans. A college gameday football experience.

      Busing students to football game is just plain stupid. Only the biggest idiot in the world would have thought that it was a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Busing students to Heinz is not the problem, filling the rest of the seats is.

        The Cincinatti game was as good of a football experience as I have ever had until the last drive.

        The PSU game a year ago was amazing.

        A quality product is more important than the venue.


    2. I agree. Attending the FB game at Happy Valley is THE THING to do … no doubt. But knowing what has to be done and getting to that point are two different things.

      Pitt cannot go out and recruits 85 players in one year like it did in 73. And Western PA is no longer the hotbed of FB recruiting … not even close.

      But even a larger barrier …. attending Steeler an Penguins games are THE THING to do


  53. Newbk, I would hope we can all agree with you that winning is good for the football program and would boost attendance. I think there is more to it than that though.

    First off, The Pete was brand new and consider a state of the art BB arena. Secondly, yes it was on campus, does that change anyone’s opinion about Oakland? Another thought is that when the BB program started to win it was obvious what the administration was trying to do. Make PITT into a basketball program and they did.

    Here’s where commitment and continuity came into play. << and where the PITT football program has been lacking. PITTs football problems aren’t necessarily a chicken or the egg deal, it’s has to be all hands on deck. This is why I’m a little frustrated with some fans that are so impatient right now. I get it, it’s been a long while but I really think there has been a swing in the administration’s attitude lately.

    In order to have continuity things need to remain stable for some time. << See, going to PITT for 2 semesters payed off with that logic. Seriously, I believe it’s easy to see the change in the way the PITT higher ups are viewing the potential of having a successful football program. I’m thinking the BOT may have added and economics graduate?

    Sorry, but it looks like more patience may be required.. ike


  54. Has anyone here been to beaver stadium, the giant erector set with zero amenities? It’s a cold uninviting piece of crap. I’m actually shocked the place has collapsed on itself yet.

    I travel rt 22 around east Westmoreland County area a good bit and on a psu gamedays you can obviously see a good bit more traffic and the bumper stickers give them all away. There is a reason PITT sells out for the psu game at home and the reason isn’t PITT fans… ike

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Bottom line ….. Pitt cannot reach the level as described above overnight. It would take (1) a continuous commitment by the administration to do so as well as (2) continuity and stability in its athletic department. And Pitt has failed miserably at both


  56. Basketball is much cheaper to compete in.

    I still wonder about the demise.

    Was it Jamie’s inability to attract quality assistants or was it a matter of support from administration that lead to the poor recruiting and eventual demise of success?

    His performance at TCU tells me it was support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (1) I just don’t think he adjusted well to the ACC. He seemed intent on going after more elite players which he continuously failed to get … while ignoring what got him to the the success he realized.

      (2) his hiring decisions made little sense in the past few years. For a chief recruiter, he hired a guy with a midwest background. I don’t believe he had an assistant who had a network within the ACC footprint … while Brandon Knight had trouble acquiring the NYC/NJ recruits

      Meanwhile … shortly after JD was hired to TCU, it hired a super recruiter away from LSU (I’m sure money was an issue)


  57. You got it gc. The direction was beginning to change. The ACC didn’t help either as Jamie had trouble recruiting the south.


  58. Filled out the Pitt survey. Way to long. Overly redundant.

    ACC is the best conference across all sports and we need to step up or …


  59. I have yet to weigh in on our current recruits. I say this is a solid class. Is it great? No. Is it lousy? No. But it is solid.
    Considering the MANY obstacles Pitt atheletics face, the Duzz and his team worked hard and honest to land this Group and I say “Men, welcome to Pitt – we are glad you are here!”


  60. About the PITT running backs. Why did Davis play at all this past year? I am in no way an insider by any means so I give my opinions, some may call them scenarios but I feel Moss and his troubles had Narduzzi preparing for an injury or two. << Justin Case.

    Next question. Why Davis over Sibley? Another guess but I would think the player who was most confident with the playbook would get the nod? Again a guess? Either way or any scouting service you like to refer to has both players highly regarded. Do they have Beck’s speed? Hell no but the same could be said about 95% of all the running backs in the country this past year. His speed is elite even for Tony D.

    Make no mistake that Davis and Sibley are slow in any definition of the meaning. PITT may have 4 quality running backs for next year with 2 lower class-men. This is not weak unit but PITT could have used another running back in this past class. Let’s hope Georgie comes back strong and returns to his form of 2 years ago.

    Next year is not the year to worry about the RB’s as there is only one ball to go around. I think the simple fact that Narduzzi didn’t really reach for a back bodes well for all the backs to return. Gosh I hope so.

    .. and a BTW’er, I understand there is a really outstanding back up in NWPA running for much daylight…


  61. Ike and GC. To your comments above concerning running backs. Here is a really neat little fact. Pitt and Miami are the only two school to have produced three running backs who gained 10,000 or more yards rushing in the NFL. Of course Pitt with Martin, Dorsett, and McCoy. Miami has Gore, Edgerrin James, and OJ Anderson. A lot of schools with 2 and It doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon for anyone getting to 4.


  62. Yes – the mindsets are different between Pitt and Penn State. For good and bad.

    Penn State believes in sports and how it enhances their brand and the students college experience while giving their alumni an identity and association. Pitt believes not. No front porch for you.

    For the bad, it created an atmosphere at Penn State that was winning at all costs even if that cost was child rape.

    For the bad at Pitt, it created an outlet like POV where we fans can bitch. But it also has diminished the Pitt brand, diminished applications and student quality to some degree, and has resulted in a very poor donation rate.


  63. Ike. I believe Davis was the home run hitter as a RB and Sibley the power back. Davis’s offer list was great and it included Auburn, Clemson, FSU, Georgia, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Michigan State. Not too shabby. He’s a big time back. It will be great to see what he does when he get 10 or 15 touches in a game.


    1. I can see either of two being transfer candidates if they don’t get much PT this year … especially Davis. But the expulsion of Moss did help the situation


    2. The home run hitter didn’t get many opportunities and also blew his freshman red shirt with those few opportunities. Maybe it was his youth, maybe it was our weak offensive line, but whatever it was I didn’t see any home run type running style. I’m hoping with more touches this spring that so called “home run” capability may surface and continue into next season.—The other 3 backs IMO are simple power backs and as such provide very little excitement at the position(exception Sibley a complete unknown).


  64. We need one of these guys to take the top job and not look back. Even the best backs need multiple carries.

    Putting Davis in for a handful of carries was a waste of a redshirt.

    Conner got about half the carries his freshman year.

    Hall finally broke some big runs because he got enough carries.


  65. Wake Forest with it’s 2 and 3 stars, wins the half-empty Belk Bowl. Dishonest ESPN used their tight low angle camera views to try to hide all the empty seats. So Duke and Wake are the only 2 ACC winners so far.
    Funny since Duke had to beat Wake to become Bowl eligible.


  66. Pitt travels to Wake in 2018, but luckily it loses its quarterback while Pitt has Pickett. If Wake has a kid in the pipeline that’ll be a really tough game with the Deacons returning 19 starters.


  67. Agree Austin Tex…wow 19 returning starters..that’s incredible since there are only 22 players on offense and defense total.

    So we get Wake next year with 19 returning starters and another tough road game at Central Florida coming off an undefeated season (possible) and their first trip to a New Year’s Day Major Bowl game, so they will be on a high note as well.

    Add in Notre Dame and Creepy Valley State and Pitt is going to have to vastly improve to get to 7 wins next year. To get to 7, we will have to beat the Tar Holes in Chapel Hell.

    Health allowing, hopefully will get to meet some of the Pov’erts in Winston or aforementioned Hell 🙂


  68. Emel, do you live down in North Carolina? Someone asked me and thought you did. You don’t have to answer this. Sounds like you do but I’m a crazy fool. I’m not old though.


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