Two days ago we posted up the verrrrry early look at a possible two-deep for Pitt’s 2018 season.  We concentrated talking about the offense in that article.  today let’s look at the defense.

Here are the graphics I included in that last article:


And here is the prospective ’18 two-deep:20184

OK – let’s start breaking this defense down.  First we’ll start with the Defensive Line.

At one DE position we see returners 4* transfer Dewayne Hendrix, who transferred in from Tennessee, and 2* kid Rashad Weaver.  Weaver is, to me, the better of the two players. Hendrix hasn’t shown us much at all while after his rsFR year in 2016 Weaver came on strong in starting five games.

Over the season Weaver was very productive for a kid who spot-played until the last quarter of the season: 28 tackles, 6 tackles for loss (TFL) and 3 sacks – then he had 3 pass breakups to boot.  Really pretty impressive for a first season of play.

Again, Hendrix not so much and he was sat down numerous times for James Folston. He played in 11 games, started 10 of them and did this: 21 tackles, 5 TFLs and 3 sacks.  We Pitt fans were truly expecting way more from Hendrix, given the hype surrounding him when he transferred in, then he gave us.

So I think Weaver ascends to the starting role on that right side and Hendrix backs him up.  But Weaver is a player to keep an eye on as he may just bust out to stardom this year.

The DE spot on the left side is a bit worrisome to me though.  Right now I pencilled in 3* rsSR James Folston in as starting with Patrick Jones as the relief help. But that could change in a hurry.  Folston has speed but he’s never really put it together to grab a starting position. Now he was a LB for the first part of his career before being asked to move up to DE but I wonder if he’s the best we can do there.

2* rsSO Patrick Jones will be in the mix more this season than last and his track record as a part-time player isn’t bad, just nothing jumps out at you. He’s young though and if he can beat out Folston for a lion’s share of the playing time he may well surprise.

Our DEs didn’t play all that well last season.  we were 74th nationally in sacks with only 23 so that really has to improve.  As with all of Narduzzi’s defenses the main thrust is pressure on the QB and that wasn’t happening on a consistent basis last year – and the DEs have a lot to do with generating that.

Our interior linemen on defense have to be a lot better than they were last season.  I have said this many times but every time I see 3* Shane Roy out on the field I have to really wonder how good Narduzzi’s recruiting in this area has been. He’ll be a rsSR this year and having started every game at nose tackle last year was seriously unimpressive. He ended up 15th on the defense in tackles with only 14 and had only one sack on the year.

Granted a nose tackle’s job is to grab and hold the OL from getting into the ‘second level’ so that our LBs can execute tackling ball carriers but that wasn’t going all that great either.  However, of all the team stats on defense our rushing defense was the best at 41st giving up 142 ypg so some things went correctly – I just believe that if we can’t get a real honest-to-goodness NT to replace him in ’18 we’ll be in trouble.

The best bet to do that would be 3* rsSO Rashad Wheeler, a local kid out of Central Catholic.  He played sparingly in ’17 and didn’t tally up stats much but I think he should usurp Roy and get a real chance.  One kid to watch maybe 3* rsFR Jaylen Twyman.

The other defensive tackle spot will most probably be continued to be held by 4* JR Amir Watts.  He never red-shirted and took over the starter’s job for the last four games in ’17 doing a pretty darn good job rotating with 3* rsSO Keyshon Camp who came to Pitt amongst great hype as the nation’s 17th ranked DT. Well, he’s only played one year so far but has a long way to go to meet those expectations.

Thankfully our transfer Problem Child DT Kam Carter has been dismissed from the team.  What a ridiculous action in the first place – with all that baggage all he did was take up a roster spot and a scholarship from a DT we could have recruited who would have lasted for more that one year.

I especially hated the fact that the kid was kicked out of Penn state then we begged him to come to Pitt.

So those are the linemen I think we’ll see get the bulk of playing time as 2018’s two-deep.  I’m two-blocked on stuff I have to do this afternoon so we’ll get to the LBs and DBs in a couple of days.


⁂  Yesterday I had a back-and-forth with an “Anon” poster who did some good research and refuted something that I had commented on about recruiting.  That was a good thing to do and I learned something from it – rather important also.  But what really was uncalled for was Anon’s attitude when I didn’t respond to his post right away.

There we a couple of reasons for that but the main thing is that any post with more than three links in it gets flagged by WordPress and sent to me via email to approve. That’s what happened with his post. Then I didn’t check my email until 6:00 am this morning so I didn’t have a chance to approve it earlier.

As I have said many times once I write an article I am not tethered to this blog to jump at any little thing. Of course had I seen his post in email earlier when he posted I would have approved it immediately.

But the icing on the cake is when he wrote this when his post didn’t show up right away:

“Ask reed why he won’t let the facts be released. The response i wrote explaining my sources and findings is still “awaiting moderation”

The man asks a question and then censors the response.”

Which is childish and a load of crap but you could tell he was loving writing it – because he followed up with another zinger.

wow you’re really going to ask me to explain my post and then censor my reply? niceeeee

So, two things – if you are going to insult me, and that sure was personally insulting, then do it to my face – do not hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

feature_projectcensored_andrewyzametalovSecond,  do not ever assume or believe I censor posts because I do not agree with them or if they prove me wrong.  Again, that is very insulting and infers I’m petty enough to do something like that. I have never censored anyone when it comes to Pitt football talk nor have I banned anyone on here.  But the fact that you so quickly jumped to that conclusion makes me wonder if you yourself may be the type of person who would do that, after all it was the first thing that came to your mind and you seemed to enjoy it.  Glass houses buddy….

BTW folks – no one is actually “Anon” to me on here… you are anonymous to other posters but not to me.

⁂  Just noticed that every scholarship QB Pat Narduzzi either inherited or recruited so far, save Pickett, didn’t finish out their careers at Pitt. They either transferred or were dismissed. Strange that and we need to really work on getting at least two but preferably three decent QBs on roster all the time..


166 thoughts on “Real Early look at the Defense Two-Deep

  1. Erie Expresses’ most lyked AD Heather Fawcett-Majors had this to say about BB:

    ““It has obviously been a challenging year in many ways and certainly no one is more disappointed in the season thus far than our men’s basketball coaching staff and student-athletes,” Lyke said. “However, it would not be supportive or productive for our team’s daily efforts to engage in a public evaluation of the program while the season is still in progress and the second half of our conference schedule still remaining.”

    In other words don’t ask me again about BB, I’m really sick of talking about it…


  2. Of course Jerome told the truth:

    “There’s somebody out there that can pull somebody in here if coach Stallings can’t do it. That’s what you gotta do,” Lane said. “You gotta get somebody up there that can get those great players to come here. Hey, just think about this: When we first got here, Pitt was a football school. We turned it into a basketball school.”


  3. I’d take that disease infested monkey that escaped than Stalling’s. At least the monkey has a zest and energy.

    If Heather replaces Rockports with Crene or Matta it will be an even worse day.


  4. I agree that Pitt needs to improve its sacks / pressures total for this year. Otherwise, I see a pretty solid unit. I see more experience / depth than what we have seen in a while … and you would expect that all the youth that played for the first time last year will improve.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If we get 3 decent to good QB’s on the roster the 2 non starters are apt to be looking for another school to be their starter. In fact it could be said we had 2 non decent QB’s bolt for greener pasturers right after a freshman on the roster had one good game under his belt.


  6. Myself? I don’t put as much stock into who actually starts a game. Roy finished 15 in tackles for a reason. He didn’t play all that much. There was a constant streaming of substitutes in and out of all the games last year. It is and should be considered an award for being the best but then again… it may be a reward for being on the team longer than the backup?

    I swear I watched Weaver standing up in the middle on the defense many times last year and more towards the end of the season. I still think Hendrix played better than Reed does but he did fall short of the lofty expectations placed on his back. I do think he will be much better this year though.

    Reed had me on edge all off season concerning Wirginis. Nice to see he placed him in the starting lineup. I know there are some that point out how he wasn’t able to crack the starting lineup previously but it seemed like every-time he came into the game good things happened.

    BTW, that line-backing unit looks like the have valuable experience going into next season. That’s a good thing as they are much more athletic than previous LB groups. The secondary could be iffy but Jackson played very well last year. I like the unit but the safeties are inexperienced if not very athletic. Hope Hamlin comes in completely healthy.

    Like last year. I see PITT’s defense improving throughout the season and coming on strong towards the end IF NOT a large part of the entire season. ike


  7. Reed, maybe you should re-think your analysis about the importance of stats for the DL. Wisconsin had the #1 rated defense last year …. and note that only one DL was in the Top 10 when it came to tackles.

    now you can make a case that they (UW DL) were better in setting up the DLs and DBs for making tackles but I believe you will find in most cases that LBs and DBs are usually the leading tacklers


    1. Yeah – it is hard to be able to tell the impact of lineman because for that reason – stats don’t really come into play.

      So for lineman it is more like their influence on Team Stats like I showed with our running defense last season. Better than before but not great.


  8. I like the look of the defense this year. Seems like a pretty solid 2 deep but no star players. We don’t have that one game changer going into the season but I think we look OK. Whitehead would have made the defense look pretty stout I think. Oh well. I think Watts and Weaver will have good years and I expect Ford to have a Whitehead type Freshman year. Idowa didn’t look like the same player as two years ago..real nice player on the blitz.

    QB – Like jrnpitt said, the idea of having a good QB wait his turn for two or three years is the thoughts of the past. I don’t know if DiNucci was pushed or not but if he wasn’t and he decided to leave I can’t see anyone sitting around waiting his turn.

    Didn’t Georgia and Alabama just lose two QB’s each after the freshman took the starting job.

    QB recruiting is a tricky business to say the least. To have one on the roster for 4 years you almost have to have the perfect storm where he plays year two and plays well enough the rest of his career because if he loses his job during the year at anytime he won’t fight to get it back, he more than likely will transfer.


  9. Upitt commented in the last article: “He got rid of Jamie’s guys.

    He did inherit a Tourney Team and proceeded to alienate them.

    So yeah Stalling’s still is atrocious.

    Narduzzi with his guys went 5-7.

    Next year does he win 6? YEAR #4

    Now Upitt, that is purely opinion. My point was when I said Narduzzi gets not love for winning 8 games twice because they were PC’s recruits. Stallings gets blasted for losing with JD’s recruits. << You see here, there’s no winning for these coaches. If you turn those senario’s around they still get criticized.

    Example? Narduzzi has two 5 win seasons to start his career at PITT, what happens then? He gets criticized for losing with Chryst recruits. They can’t win either way if you have a problem with them. It’s digging deep to fit your argument. imo


    1. May I suggest that we stop looking backward and judge the current coaches on what they’ve done with their programs? It’s an exercise in futility and in some cases sophistry.

      That said Narduzzi and staff did a very good job in coming in and utilizing the resources they had available to put Pitt in contention for the ACC Coastal in his first two seasons. There is therefore evidence that with the right coaches and resources that Narduzzi can be successful (ACC Coastal). We’ll have to wait in see whether he has the right coaches and resources. He has hopefully rid the program of the wrong resources.

      It’s very different with Stallings. This year he’s playing a very inexperienced team and failing in what is trending to be historic fashion. It is arguable as to which, if any, players are developing. That shouldn’t be the case more than 2/3 of the way into the season. Last season he had a very experienced team (including tournament experience) and failed in historic fashion. If simply taken at face value, Stallings is a failure at Pitt. If you look at Stallings’s last 7 seasons as coach his record is 120-103 (.538), 49-66 in conference (.426) with 2 NCAA appearances (1 Sweet Sixteen) and 1 NIT appearance. There is little evidence that he will ever be successful.


  10. ike.

    A couple things..

    While you and I agree a bit regarding the offense, I think the compete opposite when it comes to the defense. I think the DB’s may be the best unit, the DL’s the weakest and the LB’s the most “confusing”, as they have great athleticism and greater experience but make too many mistakes. I also think Weaver was one of the few play makers on the DL last year. He was pushed back at times, but should hopefully add more strength, as he’s only going to be a RS soph.
    I think you CAN fault a guy for losing with another guy’s players and not give credit to another for winning the same way. It’s the same logic as criticizing for losing to a good team and not giving credit for wins versus bad teams. It actually makes perfect sense. Let me illustrate..

    Your players + Wins= credit
    Their players + Wins= credit maybe (was it you or the inherited players?)
    Your players + Losses= criticism
    Their players + Losses= criticism maybe (was it you or the inherited players?)

    Make sense?

    So, in the Narduzzi example, seasons 1 & 2 fall into the “Their players + Wins= credit maybe” and season 3 in the “Your players + Losses= criticism”. By MY count that means he has yet to prove himself a winner when it falls on him alone.

    Stallings, however has “Their players + Losses= criticism maybe” in season 1 and “Your players + Losses= criticism”, illustrating that he hasn’t won with Jamie’s players or his own.

    Now, Narduzzi and Stallings may go on to become the greatest coaches in Pitt history but to this point, any argument that either have been successful on their own merits isn’t just incorrect but disingenuous.


    1. But what year is it his players or your players? In 2014, there were just about as many previous players for Chryst as they were previous players for Narduzzi this past year


  11. There is an argument on both sides there Jay. But mostly, it depends on how each poster considers the recruits left behind. That is a subjective debate. Then throw in the difference of difficulty in schedules and other ways that each game was won or lost. I don’t disagree with you Jay we just think differently of the players that were left over for the two coaches.


  12. In Chryst’s 3rd season, 5 of the top 10 tacklers were holdovers (1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th) while this past year only Briggs (7th) and Maddox (10th) were holdovers

    In passing … all passing yards in Chryst’s 3rd year were from holdovers (Voytik, Anderson) … while there were no holdover QBs this year

    In rushing …. of course J Conner dominated in ’14 but Voytik and Bennett were 2nd & 3rd. This year Hall (PN) was leader and Ollison (holdover) was next

    Now these are only partial stats but it does indicate that PC was probably benefited more from holdovers in his 3rd year than PN did.


    1. I think that is valid, but how about each guys first two years? By year 3 you have had adequate time to get a lot of your own guys on the field if you are recruiting well. We all know that Chryst did not recruit many good defensive players.


    2. It was mostly Chryst’s guys that made up our best offense in years. Peterman and Henderson were the two Narduzzi guys that made a big difference. I do agree that Chryst left very little talent on defense.


    3. Why are you comparing Narduzzi to Chryst? I never said I was happy with the direction Chryst was heading in, either.


  13. Pitt needs a closer in recruiting if the head coach cant do it
    It needs the budget to host recruits and go out of state to find them
    It needs to develop pipelines into schools which takes time
    It needs to find recruits outside WPA since its experiencing a down cycle
    If recruits really want that packed stadium, Pitt cant compete because on a good day its 45k in a 70k stadium instead of 45k in a smaller 50k stadium
    Thats a big difference in atmosphere.
    Recruits will come to old, smelly, dinky venues; Fitzgerald didnt stop Jerome Lane. It was packed and had charm and character. It did give Pitt a true home field advantage. It was intimidating for other teams.
    Much like the Pete did in the beginning when it was packed
    If you cant pack a venue, you need to downsize
    Easier to pack the Pete (12k) than Heinz (70k)
    So if Pitt checks all the boxes for recruits except for stadium experience, tarp the upper deck. Move people closer to the field
    But its probably also the lack of a closer and disorganization in the recruiting process thats holding Pitt back from getting 4 stars


  14. I have never understood the its “year 3” or “year 5” comment so you should do this or that.

    This is not professional sports. There is no draft where you can pick the blue chippers for a few years and then make a run for a decade (Quebec/Colorado – NHL – Sakic, Forsberg, Nolan, etc…), there is no trading players to stockpile picks and make a run once a decade (Marlins model). It’s not even College hoops where one or two players can make the difference between a 22 win season and a 10 win season. Even the schedule is pretty much unknown three or four years from now as we saw with conference realignment a half decade ago when we went to the ACC from the Big East or even on a smaller scale where UCF looked like a sure win against a team that was one year removed from a winless season to an undefeated probable top 15 team next year. Our 2020 schedule isn’t even finalized yet so if Narduzzi got fired this afternoon would it be fair to say the newcoach should have “x” amount of wins in year 3. Is Pickett here in 3 years? In the NFL people don’t really look at a QB as a given until he has had at least two good years back to back, in college, because they are gone in a heart beat, the timeline is condensed to 2 games.

    If by year 3 you must win 8 games like some say then I guess year 4 must be at least 9 wins and so on. National Championship by what year 7 or its a failure. How does that work exactly.

    The fact is in college football, you have just as much chance as having success in year 2 as in year 6 because not only does 25% of the team roll over so do the coaches. If Canada stays does that affect this year, for the better or the worse?

    There are way too many variables in college football, especially PITT football, to predict how things should pan out.


    1. No one out there expects a coach to regress after a bigger commmittment has been made. An occasional bad season but in year 3 and year 4 a coach wins 5 games and 5 games that is grounds for termination if winning is an actual priority which we all know at Pitt it isn’t.


    2. I think the issue is by year 3 you are playing with a lot of your own recruits, by year 5 almost all of your own recruits. In the first two years you are almost exclusively playing with the other guys recruits.

      The problem with changing coaches is that you almost always lose good recruits in the transition. Guys that decide to go somewhere else and guys that don’t fit the new coaches plans.

      It is all about recruiting and maintaining a pipeline, so that you always have enough quality guys as they mature, and replacing them as they leave.


  15. I am hearing a rumor that a Pitt Stadium is in the works. Everyone call me crazy but (they) say it is a go. Didn’t hear location.


  16. Well wwb shot a rumor out there that PITT will be moving on to the Big 10 or maybe I didn’t get the joke? Of these two news breaking stories I would take the stadium. I really like the ACC and would hate to move over to snob country.


  17. I’ll give you my thoughts on “his” players versus “not his” players. If a coach is in his third year, and he LOSES, or they don’t play well, they are all “his” players. The reasoning, if he is playing “bad” players from the previous staff, he hasn’t recruited well enough to replace them. Hence, they become “his” players. Not so for “good” players he didn’t recruit. We’re not talking about his first year. In fact, all players on the roster in a coach’s first year are the previous coach’s players- unless the new coach was hired early enough to find a new kid, recruit him, sign him and get him on the field. As the seasons progress, any bad performances or players fall on the current coach, definitely by the third year. Narduzzi had three classes prior to last season and if Chryst’s players were still starting- some will start again next year- then that means Narduzzi hasn’t found anyone better.


    If you are a third year coach playing a senior Dan Marino, he’s the previous coach’s kid. If he plays well, you get no credit in my book, as you had nothing to do with him getting there and he was good before you arrived. If however, you are playing a senior Tino Sunseri and he plays poorly, you can’t say, “he’s not my player. The last coach recruited him.”, because you’ve had three recruiting classes to find someone better and couldn’t.

    I guess that’s my opinion on it. If I’m incorrect, we have to wait a full SIX seasons to evaluate a coach.


  18. By my very quick count in 2017 11 of 22 two-deep players players on the offense were PC recruits with 6 of 11 starters being recruited by PC.

    On defense 9 of 22 of the two-deep were PC’s and of the starters 6 of 11 were PC’s.

    Keep in mind that I consider both Henderson and Whitehead PC’s recruits. If you don’t see it that way then those numbers skew over to PN’s players more.

    in 2016 20 of 22 players on offense were PC’s.

    On defense all 22 two-deep were all PC’s recruits (again counting Whitehead as a PC recruit)

    Again this is a quick review and my numbers may be off.

    Bottom line is that the more PN’s recruits started player the worse we played. That really isn’t in doubt. Of course you can also point to a specific position failure like the QB debacle of last season which had a lot to do with our losses but they also were both PN’s players and that.

    But I think what is being overlooked here is what the fans felt was going to happen in 2017 with more of PN’s recruits playing. Almost to a man on here readers were stating that we’d play better the more PN’s recruits got playing time.

    This is all so subjective really – although I do think that Chryst, in part, won those 8 games in year 1 and year 2 because he had those good Chryst recruits on offense.

    But I already hear excuses being made for 2018 when fans are pointing to the schedule and stating it will be hard to win games playing who we are playing, which as you know, I don’t put a lot of stock in.

    Pitt fans want wins and that is their bottom line. we’ll see how ’18 shapes up but right now – looking at the offense in particular I don’t see it being all that much better than 2017’s. Certainly not good enough to carry games if our defense doesn’t get much better right away.


    1. No excuses for 2018. Not the schedule, not youth, nothing. PN needs to get back to 8 wins.

      I want 8 wins and above to be the norm.


    2. If Pickett plays when Browne first went down Pitt reverses its record of last season to 7 wins 5 losses. One player especially a good QB changes the whole ball game. Then this whole never ending discussion on recruiting takes on a far different narrative.


  19. Something we all agree on. Love the ACC.

    I do believe we will have a new 40 to 45 seat stadium within 10 years.


      1. it would be at 100% capacity and would fit on campus
        Bigger games can be played in the Steelers new domed stadium with an 80k capacity


  20. Too have a great team, especially at Pitt, you need at least three excellent recruiting classes in a row. You also need mature upper classmen on both lines. Maybe Alabama or Clemson can recruit freshmen to start on their lines right away, but most 3 star guys are not ready. They just are not physically mature. Our D-line should be better because it is one year older. It looks like our O-line is going to have to rely on too many young guys, which could be a big problem.


  21. I don’t expect linear progression that some on here anticipate and expect especially after the post DW debacle, recruiting issues (sounds like F-troop) andthe BoT reputation lacking commitment to athletic excellence……. kinda like cleaning-up the Kiski River polluted for soooo many years…Need a strong visionary leader in administration to get this school’s athletic act together.

    UPitt..I hope that is true…that would make a bold statement to commitment and certainly increase fans interest and donations. Need the Golden Panthers !


  22. Upitt – I’m not going to call you crazy, nor am I going to call you not-crazy, I’ll just tuck away your little tidbit of info. and hope it’s true. Hope is under-rated.

    Reed – I agree with your assessment of Roy, he’s just not impactful as a DT. Unfortunately, our interior line is very young, I’m hoping a few guys bust through this year. I really like have a true NT like Jarrett in the middle of a defense, and that’s what I’m hoping we get in a guy like Twyman. And with regard to your QB assessment related to PN, I can’t help but think that the revolving door OC position couldn’t have helped matters, but the spacing issue others have pointed out rings true too.

    Ike & Others – I don’t think you can all of a sudden in year 3 PN was playing with all his players all of a sudden, that’s really not true, and there’s no way to assess Narduzzi based on last year. I do like that the team improved a lot toward the end of the year, though obviously that was due in part to the new QB. In a world where everyone wants instant results and gratification, the reality is we won’t know how good Narduzzi is for a few years yet, particularly since this is his first HC job. I would think that analyzing a guy like Urban Meyer (just one example) and seeing how he puts together a staff, organizes, works, communicates, etc., would be a good study for comparison and learning purposes. I suspect PN has some tweaking to do, regardless of budget. This is a very different scenario than the Stallings situation, where you only have 10 players on a team, and you have a long coaching history to evaluate (Vandy). I guess I’m echoing Barvo here, I thought he made some great points.


    1. Here’s your comparison..

      In his first ever season as a head coach Meyer, took a team that went 2-9 the previous season and went 8–3. The next year, Bowling Green finished with a 9–3 record.

      He took over a Utah team that has gone 5-6 the year before and went 10-2 then 12-0 the following season.

      At Florida, he followed Zook’s last season at 7-5, with seasons of 9-3, 13-1 (NC), 9-3, 13-1 (NC), 13-1, 7-5.

      He went to Ohio State following Fickel’s 6-7 season and has gone 12-0, 12-2, 14-1 (NC), 11-2 and 12-2.

      I’m not expecting Meyer-like results (although Utah and Bowling Green paid him far less to coach there than the $2M Narduzzi is getting) but I don’t see a rising trajectory. Improvements, and declines are rarely linear but a third-year decline, followed by a 50th ranked recruiting class is not “trending up” in my opinion.


  23. I forgot to add Steve P to the list of contributors who have caused the crap that we have to live through and witness as Pitt fans.

    I anxiously await to see if Coach Scott Frost Ken in the curse of Steve Pederson at Nebraska. If his cursed can be brokenthere, dammit, it can be done here.


  24. If Schedule doesn’t matter…why do the teams playing for National Championships generally only schedule one tough OOC game.

    If schedule does not matter why is UCF not the National Champion?

    Schedule matters. You think when Vegas puts out the PITT over/under for wins they don’t look at schedule. That is what the look at first, second and third.

    You think it wouldn’t be different if Penn State and a road game against UCF weren’t changed out for Gardner-Webb and Buffalo?

    In a 12 game schedule a 4 game OOC schedule is probably the single biggest factor in W-L.

    You take any PITT coach the last twenty years with next years schedule and do you automatically say we win at least 1 more game, probably 2. Nope.

    You replace Penn State and UCF on the road with Gardner – Webb and Buffalo and without question I expect at least one more win, maybe two only because I think UCF is winnable but we won’t be favoured.

    At the end of the day the difference in wins due to schedule is about as great as having Pickett (if he is as good as the last two games of the season) and DiNucci. over a 12 game season.

    I believe Narduzzi’s 5 win season is at least equal to any of Chryst’s six win seasons due to schedule alone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What?

        Five wins is not six wins no matter how you parse it.

        Also, how many Pitt fans do you want to NOT come to home games with cupcake OOC opponents?

        Every Pitt fan knows we need better attendance so we need to keep the good, tough OOC teams on schedule. Narduzzi has shown he can win big games so let him have them. Because lets be honest if we didn’t beat PSU two years ago we’d be looking at things a bit differently.


        1. Reed, probably your biggest ally here in this argument is Barvo. Barvo used the Sagarn ratings last week when looking at SOS. If you look at his 2014 final ratings, he has Pitt’s 6 win team rated 61st with a schedule rank of 64. He has the 2017 5-win team ranked 45th overall with a 28 schedule ranking.

          UCF was undefeated this year … are they better than Alabama who has 1 loss?


        2. I never said I wanted a PSU or Chryst OOC type schedule…just that it is a major factor when determining what should be expected.


  25. With all the breaking news lately I thought I would share this. Tom Hanks to play Mr Rogers in a soon to be made movie.


  26. “I believe Narduzzi’s 5 win season is at least equal to any of Chryst’s six win seasons due to schedule alone.”

    Agreed!.. and both were $h!t..


  27. I guess Brad Pitt was to busy to be booked for that movie. Now Latrobe needs an Arnold Palmer movie to top it off. 2 famous Latrobians and one infamous one?


    1. Congrats! He’ll be close enough to home that you’ll get to see him play some more.

      I’m having to post as anonymous (1st time mind you) not to be confused with previous.

      Since the avatar attack, I haven’t been able to post as Erie Express…1st comment since 1/27.

      The ghost of JoePa???


  28. Jay91, that’s not the Meyer comparison I suggested. I suggested something for productive use, not baseless amusement.


  29. I’ve been disappointed that Coach Duzz hasn’t found a real bad a$$ DE.

    It was a nice try with Hendrix; hopefully he shows more this season (as usual, I haven’t given up on Hendrix yet – we’ve had some players come out of nowhere and have effective senior seasons, and Hendrix has made a few plays…).

    Wanny had key players in Shady, McKillop, Sheard, and Romeus. We haven’t had players as good as these guys at these positions in a long time… How good would next years team be if you added players like these guys…

    Maybe Weaver and Jones develop…

    Go Pitt.


    1. I agree with Reed that Weaver showed promise last season.

      It does seem improbable that we’ll suddenly see solid production from fifth year senior Hendrix. Perhaps NFL aspirations could help to properly motivate. He seems to have the physical tools.


    2. I would put Conner and Donald in that category, Boyd and Henderson at their positions. There is a real question if we have any of those level players this year.


    3. MM, note that Sheard and Romeus were 3 stars from FL. And if you look at Pitt’s recent recruits, you will see a lot of 3 stars from FL. I have long held the impression that possibly 3 stars from FL are the equal to many 4 stars from PA (not kidding.)

      Bryant, Lee, Blades, Cox, Sessions, Mustakas, Gordon, Harriott …. and that’s just from the top of my head


  30. BTW, Coach Duzz’s poor year-3 was completely due to the lack of a competent QB. Coach ruined the season by his mid-guided gamble on Browne, and his timid, play-it-safe approach with DiNooch versus Pickett…

    Hopefully Coach has learned a big lesson. Fortunately we somehow stumbled into KP, and we hope Mr. Patti is in the same mold.

    I don’t think arguing about whose players they are makes much sense. Having an effective QB is a much bigger factor. So many of the players are otherwise so interchangeable, IMHO…

    Go Pitt.


    1. I wouldn’t say completely. Perhaps primarily? Certainly a persistent problem.

      Sometimes it included, in no particular order, poor blocking, dropped passes, turnovers, poor defensive pressure, and pass coverage lapses. It seemed like last year there was always something in the losses, and even some wins, and the problem could shift within the game. It was all on display in the UNC loss.

      That’s why the Miami game was such a surprise. Pitt put it all together there. The team play and watching Pickett successfully go wire to wire rekindled the optimism. Otherwise Ike might have become the only Narduzzi holdout!


  31. QB is what matters in football
    And both lines

    Pitt may have found their QB
    O-line looks bad
    D-line may be above average

    5-6 wins again

    Breakout year could be the following
    But where are the 4 stars?
    Need at least 6 per year
    Need to hire a recruiting director with experience

    Biggest thing holding this team back is talent. Removed the D coach so no more excuses there
    Like Wanny once said” ‘We need to run faster.’
    We also need to get bigger, stronger and more experienced
    Pitt doesnt reload like other teams
    Its a constant rebuilding process around here


  32. I think all the D-linemen should improve with a year of experience under their belt and another year in the weight room.

    A solid QB should also make a world of difference, especially if the line is decent.

    If we are lucky maybe a couple of red shirt freshmen make an impact.

    We should be a lot further ahead than last year.


  33. Bret Bielema is getting a $11.93M buyout from Arkansas in monthly payments thru 2020. If Heather can convince Stallings to get his $10M in monthly payments thru 2030, then she is doing a great job


  34. I disagree. I would NEVER give him near 10M. Give him 4M and over 5 years. If not fire him for berating players and just cause. She does that then she is earning her money. Bielema was a Stud at Wisconsin. Big Difference. Stallings as you know never did a thing at Vandy.


  35. Just cause? You have heard of lawyers right Mark. Actually if Heather tried that you would get your wish. Both Stallings and Heather would be both long gone. and PITT would be broke..


    1. He motherf’ed a kidnon live TV. Told another one he would F’ing kill him. Ever hear of Rutgers Basketball Ike???!

      Any judge would look at his sad act and see by his coaching he is ignoring his duties. Watch a game. The old fart is collecting a check.


      1. Funny, the kid Stallings said he’d kill committed to Pitt then when his dad talked to Dixon, hung up the phone and said no way would he let his son play for that coach.

        Hence, him playing for Stallings.


  36. If you can spread it out over two years, you can pay for a new coach and stop the bleeding.

    Remember, Pitt loses $500k at a minimum per home game with KS. That’s TEN Million per year. Attendance numbers don’t lie despite the fudging by Pitt. The Pete is at 20 percent capacity. A new coach could get to 80. KS next year is maybe 40 percent.
    Plus KS is destroying the Pitt brand. That does incalculable damage.

    If you know he’s not the future, start finding a coach now. If all these freshmen leave, you really think it’s a bad thing. They may be good once they’re juniors or seniors. They are not ACC caliber frosh.

    Start over and build for a good future before the Pitt brand is branded as a loser and a joke.


    1. How did the program slip after all those years of sell outs? Nordy didn’t invest, Dixon hired bum assistants, all that money made must be piled up somewhere because Nordy was cheap. Use it to pay off Stallings and hire a new coach. Who is this savior heading to Pitt if Stallings is fired?


  37. I don’t hate KS. I hate Pitt for hiring him. I hate what Pitt basketball has become. I hate thinking about Pitts future.


  38. Some data I collected while doing previous study on OOC scheduling.

    PITT OOC home announced attendance by year since 2012

    2012…..Youngstown State….40,837
    …………..Va. Tech………………48,032

    2013……New Mexico………….40,249
    …………..Old Dominion………..38,462
    …………..Notre Dame…………..65,500


    2015……Youngstown State….49,969
    …………..Notre Dame…………..68,400

    …………..Penn State…………….69,983

    2017……Youngstown State….40,012
    …………..Oklahoma State……..38,952

    I am in the camp of 1 FCS, 1 MAC, 1 Conf. USA /Sun Belt & traditional rival. A P5 non-rival doesn’t really move the attendance needle. As I previously commented our 58% OOC winning % over 2015 – 2016 stunk & probably contributed to missing a bowl game last year.


    1. I’m for that as well. Just remember that these attendance figures are relative. No way in hell Pitt had 45k for some of these games. Pitt and fudge go hand in hand.


    2. You mean it isn’t “moving the needle” as long as it’s not ND or PSU right? Seems like 48+ isn’t half bad considering Pitt struggles to draw that for conference games.

      Unanswered question. Will you purchase season tickets and attend all of the scheduled cupcake games? If not, you’re not in the camp.

      BTW, Pitt won the 2013 ND game. Pitt won the 2016 PSU game. Victories against prominent programs are huge to the media and fans.


      1. Okie State’s reported attendance of 38,952 for Okie State is the 4’th lowest of the 17 home OOC. Higher then only Rice, Old Dominion, & Gardner Webb.

        You have to put this in context of the 25 teams I compared based on Joe L excellent Jan 19’th article. There was a total of 75 team years. Of the 75 team years, only 18 had included two p5 opponents in one year. PITT was tied with Georgia Tech as the only teams that played two P5 opponents in all three seasons. PITT’s winning% in OOC was the lowest & guess who was next lowest? Yep, Ga. Tech.

        I had season tickets for South Carolina (not getting them this year due to death of wife). I was at all home games including FCS, Sun Belt / Conf. USA, AAC.

        Winning games & consistently winning games also draws fans & media attention.


    3. Good stuff. Only PSU, ND and WVU really move the bar. So why play OKST or Iowa for 8,000 tickets when it costs you a bowl game. Attendance will rise incrementally as the team gets better. It would be great if we could get one of our three rivals every year, but too tough to schedule that way.

      But with the ACC Coastal schedule and a chance to get ND FL ST, Clemson or Louisville, Two additional Power 5 teams is one too many. As we found out last year. Without the big upsets the last two years things would look much darker.

      Also need to win some competitive bowl games if we want to stop being a has been. Our overall bowl record is pathetic and also hurts recruiting.


    4. So Pitt plays a top 10 team on a September day and only 38K show, that’s another reflection on the fickled fan base, just like the poor showing against Duke after the team beat Clemson


  39. Again, does PITT use turnstiles or actual tickets sold? I do forget. If it’s tickets sold then are we sure that Nutting doesn’t own the team?


      1. and obviously those tickets arent resold or given away at a high percentage so Pitt misses out on parking, concessions and merchandise sales.

        whenever Pitt announces attendance, drop whatever figure by a good 30%. Those 45k games are really more like 30k. I credit Cornhole for this math.


  40. My guess it does. Add this as another problem with playing the tough rivals like ND and psu. Those folks only attend one game through the season and the problem is worse when they play multiple times in a row like this latest psu series. Lots of psu people bought season tickets this past year even though they didn’t attend one game, reserving their season tickets for this coming season, in which they will only attend one game.

    So there is money being made on football through the unused tickets sold but makes PITT look like chumps with a poor looking attendance. It’s still good that tickets are sold but the money isn’t being transferred over to the football program. It’s a lose lose for the PITT football program……


      1. And Pitt doesnt make money on football attendance, it makes money from the millions received from ACC membership.


    1. Pitt doesnt go to good bowl games against good teams that are watched on national TV. I dont think winning bowl games in Birmingham or Detroit against MAC or Conference USA teams helps much with recruiting.


  41. I got that gc, my point was that some fans want to schedule tough opponents to buff up the attendance for one game but all PITT gets out of most of them are losses. The OSU game last year was a very very big mistake. It was a terrible decision.


    1. I complained when Steve scheduled the series and was mocked for it.
      Schedule a home and away with a PAC 10 or SEC and you have a road trip worth going to and a home draw. But not the year you play PSU or WVU.

      Schedule a big time name that is a draw not OKST.


  42. To piggy back off the great bean counter Richard (Pitt-cocks) 38,952 for that OSU game last year. Now that’s getting sold down the river.

    … and thanks so much Pitt-cocks for all the numbers that you continue to crunch. I for one greatly appreciate the knowledge you bring to the POV table.. ke


  43. This assessment of the defense is sobering, if not unexpected. A look at the roster as a whole offers glimmers of hope, and you can dream your way to an 8-win season, but an unusual number of factors would have to resolve in Pitt’s favor for that to play out.

    The long-term view is rosier as Pitt appears to have found an answer at the sport’s most important position, but a young, inexperienced quarterback armed with pedestrian running backs and receivers all working behind a potentially porous offensive line is not a formula for success.

    As we sit here today, there are three position groups that one can reasonably rate as significantly above average for 2018 — secondary, QB, RB. Maybe if you twist my arm I’ll grant that, in the 90th percentile scenario, the defensive line could be a difference maker, but the defensive line requires A TON of projection and fairy dust to reach that level.

    Elsewhere, I don’t think the running backs that have seen action are anything special, the secondary is green and could fall short of its promise if the front seven fails to get pressure, and the QB is basically a first-year starter with minimal weapons, a tendency to run, and no one to take his place in the event of injury.

    None of this is comforting. What’s worse, is that there’s no real identity or one aspect of the game Pitt can depend on. The defense has some upside potential, but even in a positive scenario will likely take time to gel. The offense is even more concerning. Schools that recruit at Pitt’s level need a strong offensive line, a gimmick offense, or a tailback who makes his own yards to score consistently. We have none of those attributes right now. That’s a lot of slack to ask Pickett to make up for in his first full season as starter.

    I can see relief coming in 2019, but a winning season and a minor bowl bid in 2018 would be a considerable accomplishment with this roster.


    1. Great comment Ulterior, I believe your analysis is right on the money. One very exciting RB would help Pitt greatly this year. I’m not sure he exists on campus at this point in time.


  44. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention for the regular and part-time readers that although I disagree with virtually EVERYTHING he says, I’m extremely fond of Ike. He’s a true Pitt man.


  45. Thanks Jay to you my POVer brother and rkb….. . . Welcome back to you, don’t go getting lost again. You’re family… ike


  46. I don’t know big guy. My first thoughts are collision, tampering and the rich get richer. Let me think further on this but it would make a team think twice about firing a coach or letting him walk out the door without a huge buyout I would think? iek


  47. Cam Johnson scored 32 pts last night but UNC lost at Clemson

    Here are attendance figures for you

    11/19/16 – vs Duke 35,425 (the week after the Clemson upset)
    11/25/16 -vs Syracuse 34,049 (after beating Duke 56-14)


  48. Cherry picking on Cam wwb – during their loss to ncst. Cam missed all of his final shots in the last two minutes and had a critical turnover and no defense. That said, he stroked 2 nice fouls shots to put the game into OT.

    Scheduling – Attendance doesn’t suffer Reed. We get 38k-42k no matter what. You schedule 2 cupcakes, 1 even type team and one rivalry type game, period. Nobody talks about schedules to recruits. They talk about wins and losses. Change the culture and perception of a program. Diary college executed that strategy and had the media support that they were “BACK”. Noone questioned their cupcake schedule.

    I have been saying this for years since I now see strategic planning in P5 sports and how it pays off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe not, but as a fan I’d much rather go to games where were playing quality opponents then we’re playing Akron or Bowling Green or someone like that.

      I just believe personally and professionally that you go up against the best if you have a chance to, that’s how you test yourself and that’s what sports should be about… It shouldn’t be about just getting a win, but getting a good win.


      1. Let’s do that at the end of the year in a bowl game. Teams much better than Pitt use the softer OOC schedule so no shame in it.


    2. “Attendance doesn’t suffer Reed. We get 38k-42k no matter what.”

      According to what was written earlier, which I didn’t verify, this isn’t true. It was stated that Pitt sold in excess of 48,000 tickets for Iowa and VT (out of conference at the time). Pitt sold out for ND and PSU. I’d imagine they’ll sellout for WVU too.

      You’re comparing apples and oranges with PSU. PSU plays 9 conference games. Pitt plays 8. Pitt is obligated to play one P5 team. I believe all the B1G schools also have this obligation. So PSU can schedule 2 cupcakes.

      What do you consider to be an “even type” team? Pitt hung with Ok State at Stillwater in 2016.

      Don’t forget these schedules are done a few years out. PSU and Ok State were announced in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Things change. Narduzzi wasn’t at Pitt. Franklin wasn’t at PSU. PSU had been sanctioned.

      Beating good to very good programs would change the culture and perception of the program a lot quicker than beating patsies year over year.

      Looks like we’ll get to try out your version of scheduling in 2019 with PSU being the only P5 team on the schedule. It appears that the schedule will be further diluted in 2020.

      However, be prepared. Pitt will have ND and Tennessee in 2021. Pitt will have Tennessee and WVU in 2022.


  49. BTW readers, our favorite poster Erie Express hasn’t left the house. WordPress is screwing with him and auto-blocking his comments by mistake (really).

    Is this happening to anyone else?

    Erie keeps getting “Account not activated” which is strange because I have the only ‘account’ on here.


    1. every once in a while, I’ll get an odd message but it is always temporary. Maybe he should try a browse change.


  50. Hate to say it but Cam Johnson could have made a significant difference at Pitt.
    They probably win 4 or 5 ACC games with him.


  51. I can’t remember leaving any Pitt victory angry or upset that the opponent wasn’t good enough. Actually, can’t remember reading any other university football blog after their team crushes Pitt and reading how the masses are upset with the victory, due to our ineptness. Nobody cares about opponents until you get into playoff consideration.

    ^5 @ rkb – welcome back brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  52. In my one game trip this past season to Pittsburgh. I picked the Rice game knowing we would win and there would be less attendance. Was I alone in that thinking?


  53. FWIW I take little issue in having a tough OOC schedule. However, it amazes me to no end when someone does not acknowledge that

    1) playing the likes of PSU and Ok St back to back in much harder than FIU and Iowa, and

    2) a harder schedule has no impact on W-Ls

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is certainly understood…but your #2 is confusing. I think you meant that it DOES have an impact.

      I’m not all about Ws and Ls. For me I want to see good teams out on the field; both us and the opponent.

      But maybe I’m different. I applaud good plays when made by players on both teams. When a RB on the opponent’s team make a great run or a WR a great catch I acknowledge that.

      Now I don’t applaud them for scoring a TD or winning, I reserve that for Pitt, but truly great plays ill recognize andgivecredit for.

      But the whole deal about sports for me is great competition, good solid play to the best of ones ability and giving 100% in doing so… and good sportsmanship.

      The last of those is the most important to me.


      1. While I agree in theory, it is just not how it is done anymore. Total win/loss record is the most important thing. That is what gets you to the best possible bowl game. Maybe when you have a top ten team but even those guys schedule cupcakes. If you are competitive fine, but I don’t find getting crushed by PSU or OKST fun or entertaining.


      2. Amen. When you desperately need to be able to brag to your friends, it’s tough to do after fighting the good fight and coming away with an L.


      3. Reed.

        While I would prefer beating good teams, at this point I’d settle for beating mediocre ones consistently. We are not a “premier” team, looking to ascend to the top. We are a “mediocre” one, looking to build to something bigger. I say, do as PeeSU and Wisconsin do.. get to a minimum 8-9 wins every year. Then, you’ll have opportunities in bowl games or early-season OOC contests to play “the best.”

        The City of Pittsburgh simply doesn’t care about Pitt football. Marquis teams don’t bring attendance. The team needs to become “relevant.” Only winning will do that. While SOS SHOULD matter, does anyone remember WHO teams beat 2 years ago? 5 years ago? Does anyone remark on how many of JoePa’s wins were against Temple, Army, Maryland, East Carolina, Rutgers,Navy, Illinois, etc.? Nope. What they do know is that he was 409–136–3 and won 2 NC (and that he was a pedophile enabler but we’re talking football here.)

        Pitt needs to add more games against Air Force, Army, Rutgers, Illinois, etc. and winning games (we might not beat those teams currently but you get what I’m saying) rather than taking on the “big boys” and getting SMOKED on national TV. That certainly doesn’t help recruiting either. Recruits say they want to play the best.. and that’s true to a point. But more so, recruits want to play for a winner..


    2. Acknowledged. Playing PSU and Ok State back to back will typically be much harder than FIU and (insert typically decent to good P5 team here).


    3. The problem I personally have is that I still get more pumped up for good OOC opponents than the ACC schedule. Hopefully time will fix that and some rivalries start to heat up.


  54. gc you my be right about Cam’s help but the young man decided he was ready to move on so must we move on. One think my pap taught me was you remember the past you don’t relive it,I think alot of Pitt still live in the past remember you can’t change the past but you can affect the present and help shape the future that’s up to you.tim


  55. ^^ I agree with the above. Sure Cam could have helped but he didn’t want to be at PITT any longer. That big Nix kid may have helped and he was a fan favorite but how many more wins are we talking? I would rather these young kids that want to play at PITT get their playing time while taking the lumps this year. It will greatly benefit the BB team moving forward.. ike


  56. I understand, and I supported Cam’s decision. I guess irony doesn’t travel well, but two me no difference between 4 wins and 0 wins. We still stink. Unless he could have got us to the dance who cares.


  57. Jay91 – agree with your scheduling post above. Illinois! I’m all in.

    And something that I like, but we never see at Pitt, is an opportunity to play the backups – especially the backup QB and backup middle linebacker. This is another good reason to play a couple of teams where you can expect to have a nice lead in the 4th quarter. We never have that now – ok, Rice…

    I think this is how teams get better. More players get to play and the backups actually gets some snaps to augment their practice play…

    I’m hoping Heather will “fix” the scheduling…

    Go Pitt.


  58. I would like to see Temple as a future opponent, and we can all check out their OCS. Would also like to see Maryland where Reed can host a weekend bash.

    Wouldn’t mind going to West Point either … beautiful place, especially in the fall


  59. So many, as I am, are upset about a 5 win season last year. I ask, how many teams did PITT play last year in the top 25 either at the time the game was played or any other time of last season. Well one of them was OSU who drew a crowd of 38,000 plus. Pretty lousy for a top ten team.

    Another OOC team played was Rice, I don’t have the attendance figure on that game as I wasn’t there but it’s probably similar to the OSU game. So they are opposite ends of the spectrum. One really good OOC team and one horrifically bad. Same attendance basically. << That was a scheduling mistake big-time.

    So this new debate is beginning to rage about whether to schedule attendance buffers or cupcakes to buffer the record. Some want both. Is this realistic? If one wants to see teams come to Heinz that are very difficult to beat at this time in PITT football and to see a good team play and have the great experience of a super large crowd, then I can’t understand the logic of being upset over a won-lost record.

    I point out all the time how PITT was able to beat highly ranked teams like psu, Clemson and Miami. Most of the time it was poo pooed because PITT also lost to UNC and the likes of others. I watched the games and could see PITT has been very competitive in almost all the games played the past 3 years. (a few aside of course) So PITT beating teams of any caliber falls on deaf ears to some that are looking for ways to pick at the PITT football program when we all agree that the support is not behind the program.

    If you want PITT to win 9 or even 10 games they need to stop scheduling more than one big-time OOC team per season and make that one game a local rival. psu, WVU, Notre Dame OR maybe a team like Ohio State if one of the others are unavailable. Fill the remaining OOC schedule with eastern service academies, Interesting games and teams like Rutgers, Temple, MAC teams and YSU who travel ok.. or go ahead an bring in the top guns and expect your 8 or 9 wins.

    I say this fully expecting the PITT football program to become increasingly better in the next few seasons but for right now? It’s unreasonable to think that PITT can load up their OOC schedule with top ten teams and win more than 6 or 7 games.


    1. OK then if you do that then every Pitt fan who has cried out “Settling for mediocrity” time and time again better shut up – because that is what you do when you pad your schedule with teams that you are almost 100% sure you’ll win.

      Sports is supposed to be about competition – not image.


      1. So Penn State and Wisconsin settle for mediocrity? Alabama? I guess you can argue that Penn State could lose to Pitt but pretty sure the fans (and coaches/players) think they are playing three OOC guarenteed wins the next two years. Wisconsin, well they are not even trying to be challenged. I get your point Reed and agree with the sports mentality of taking on the best but if instead of Ok St last season Pitt played Kent St they likely went bowling. In 2016 they would have won 9 games likely replacing Ok State and a better bowl game as a result. Alabama plays ONE tough OOC team per year (next season it is Louisville) and three patsies. Pitt is one of the very few in a power conference that schedule two power teams a year and gets nothing out of it really.


      2. Reed, it doesn’t seem right to complain about the number of wins and quality of recruits and then advocate a schedule that prevents improvement in either, t least at this juncture. That is setting yourself up to fail. You won’t here any complaints from me with a softer OOC schedule.


  60. We need to play Navy every year if possible – it is a great road trip from PGH, and great city to go to and the stadium is fantastic… plus we have played Navy for many, many years.


  61. Complaining either way. Pitt needs to find a way to rotate PSU, ND and WVU each year. ND is at ACC scheduling so PItt already is working with a known. PSU sold out for Michigan and Pitt last year. Yes the numbers are higher but the facts are with better scheduling management and stadium seating, and winning. Pitt can be successful as a football program. Stallings will be gone after next year with the buyout manageable. No reason to eat 10 million here as firing him will not change the dynamic next year. Get the football program to a position of strength and then fix the BB program. Pitt is one very good hire away from having two really solid successful programs. BY 2020, money will be there to hire and support the BB program


  62. Most of the top ten teams must have settled for mediocrity then… not all. and I’m talking OOC schedule..


  63. As to the D, I posted last year Pitt would begin to improve after the GTech game. They did. Pitt D will be much better and maybe even carry the O for the first 3 or 4 games. I can see some tough losses with two hard away games ND and UCF. But I am not giving any team automatic wins here including the joebots. The improvement of the OL and QB play will go a long way next year in how successful the team is. But the D will be reason for hope.


  64. If you look at other big school schedules you will see at least 2 if not 3 fodder FB teams. Look at the SEC in particular. This is what the bowls/NCAA wanted to save face. We need to get with the program.


  65. After a 8/9 win season I always want to play the best to see how we stack up. After 5/6 wins I want a soft OOC, but schedules are done way in advance in football so it is what it is.

    I am usually pretty black and while about most issues but schedule is not one of them. I must admit I never took into consideration the fact that a softer game in OOC leads to a “better” game come Bowl season. That said, if Henderson doesn’t fumble at the goal line we play a soft Bowl game and it all evens out.

    I don’t know what I want in the average schedule, but this upcoming year, if UCF was what UCF was supposed to be when the Contract was signed looks like a nice OOC schedule.

    PSU – At home, not much you have to say about that game although I was much more up on that game a couple of years ago because I thought a win against PSU would be great for recruiting but it did nothing for us last season. Plus, they were on sanctions (well, sort of) when the Contract was signed.

    ND – Always a great game.

    UCF – When the contract was signed, it looked like a road win in Florida where PITT recruits, just like the last time we played them. Not to mention a nice holiday if you could swing it. I think most people at the time loved the idea of this game. I know I did.

    Albany – at home – Should be an easy win.

    At the time the contracts were signed I think most people would say we would go at least 2 and 2, with a better chance of going 3 and 1 than 1 and 3 with the slight possibility of going 4 for 4 and no chance of going 0 and 4. For me that would have been the perfect schedule.

    That for me is a nice schedule but trying to make that happen years in advance is impossible. Ped. State and UCF are just looking way better than what was expected when those Contracts were signed.

    I think what I would try to do:

    Game #1 – FCS to start the year, every year.

    Game #2 – Rotate every 4 years – WVU, Ped. State, ND and Cincy (get the trophy out). If one or two aren’t interested replace with Temple/Navy (not a fan of that offense but I understand why the game is good for a lot of reasons).

    Game #3 – A MAC school. Should be a win but we will lose some.

    Game #4 – The wild card. This can be anything from a Florida school (FIU, FAU, UCF, South Florida) to maybe New Jersey (Rutgers), or Maryland where we try to recruit to teams that are traditionally on par with our program like Iowa and even once in a while someone we just never play like the MSU game a while back. The OK. State game on the road was pretty interesting and would have been awesome if we could make one defensive play.


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