Submitted by Mark Kerestan (PittPT)
Imagine if you will…… you are walking down the street in Oakland on the way to The Porch for a gathering of the POV faithful, when you trip on something lying on the sidewalk. You turn around and pick it up and think, “Who left a gravy boat on the middle of the sidewalk?” Then on closer inspection you realize that it is an old-fashioned lamp, like the kind that would hold a genie in the fairytale.
Feeling a little foolish, but with nothing to lose, you rub the lamp. In a flash a genie materializes in front of you. Not Robin Williams, but in fact an attractive, tan, blond haired woman wearing a blouse in one of the many variations of Pitt Gold, and with her buff arms crossed in front of her, like Barbara Eden. She says “Greetings, I am the University of Pittsburgh Sports Genie”. Incredulous but willing to play along you respond “Great, do I get 3 wishes?”
The genie reports “Unfortunately no. I used up two of my wishes at my last two stops (OSU and EMU) and have just one selection to offer you.” “You mean one wish, right?” you respond. The genie sighs and answers “Again, sadly, my superiors have limited my resources and the best I can do is offer you three options for major sports major sports programs at Pitt. The selection you choose will determine the course of Pitts Football and basketball programs for the next 30 years. Are you ready to hear your choices?”
Thinking that you must be dreaming you enthusiastically agree. “Very well then”, the genie begins.
Before you are three paths for Pitt football and basketball. With Choice 1), The Pitt football program has a resurgence, winning 8-12 games a year, regularly competing for the Coastal Division, winning the Coastal Division every 4 years and winning the ACC every 8 years.
The FB team would regularly participate in top-tier bowl games including the New Years Six. However, along with the success of the FB program the basketball program would continue to struggle mightily, winning 15-18 games per year and never really competing in the ACC and never competing in the NCAA Tournament”
“With Choice 2, the roles reverse. The football team will struggle, winning 4-7 games per year, with very few bowl appearances, no competing for the Coastal Division, and an upset of a top ranked opponent occurring only once every 4-5 years.
Conversely the Pitt basketball team will return and exceed its previous glory days, winning 23-28 games a year, competing regularly for the ACC championship, making yearly trips to the Big Dance, with frequent trips to the Sweet 16 and a couple Final Four trips.”
“Wow” you respond. “That’s a tough decision. What is the 3rd option?”
The genie continues, “With the 3rd option both the Pitt Football and Basketball programs achieve moderate success. The Football team will win 6-8 games a year and participate in a marginal bowl every year. The basketball team will win approximately 20-24 games a year and make the NCAA tournament 2 out of 3 years. They will never win the ACC and will usually be out of the NCAA tournament by the second round, although a few Sweet Sixteen appearance may occur during the 30 year stretch”.
“Now, the decision is yours” says the genie. “What fate do you choose for the Pitt Football and basketball programs moving forward?”
You ponder this momentous decision but aren’t ready to commit yet. “May I get some clarification before I decide?” you ask. “Perhaps” the genie responds, so you continue.
“What kind of recruiting can I expect in the three options?” Again, the genie sighs and replies “ As you might expect, in choice 1 or 2 the successful program will have an abundance of blue chip recruits while the other program will have none, although the downtrodden program will hit on a serviceable transfer on occasion.
“What would recruiting be like if I select the 3rd option?” you counter. The genie pauses to think then continues…” with option 3, the Football program will get one to two 4 star recruits a year, and the basketball team will be able to recruit one center each 4 year cycle.” Just to be clear you ask “Rivals, Scout, or ESPN star rankings?” ”Rivals”, the genie replies.
“And my final question” you respond,” in terms of big men, are we talking Rozelle Nix or Steven Adams?” The genie smiles and replies “Think Aaron Gray, and no further questions. It is time for you to make a decision!”
So now indeed…it is time to voice your choice. Take a minute and let your fellow POVers know which choice you would select, and if you would, Why? Is it simply a matter of favoring one sport over the other, or are there other factors weighing in to which path for Pitt Sports you would choose.