With the firing of Suzie McConnell-Serio from the Pitt women’s BB program yesterday, and the earlier booting of Kevin Stallings, there have been some wonderings about this new Pitt administration’s limit for poor or non-performance.

Since Pitt hired Chancellor Pat Gallagher four years ago, and AD Heather Lyke last year, we have seen some major changes happen in our athletic department.  AD Steve Pederson gone; Narduzzi Hired; AD Barnes gone; BB HC Jamie Dixon gone; BB HC Stallings hired; Stallings gone, BB HC Jeff Capel hired and now the firing of McConnell-Serio.

Clearly there is a tolerance level in place for non-performance at Pitt these days as well there should be.  When that happens it usually entails an across-the-board standard for all parties involved, but in the case of a college’s athletic programs that isn’t always feasible or even wanted.

First is because not every principal leader has the same amount of quality of resources available to them to effect success in what they do.  Secondly, and this is true in almost every college in D1 especially, and in the Power Five P5 division, many times both sports don’t have the same amount of importance attached to it by the administrations itself.

I believe that imay be the case at Pitt.  I have stated many times over the years that Pitt is a “Football School” and I say that regardless of how well either football or basketball teams have been playing.  When we discuss Pitt athletics we talk about Pitt football all year around, 24/7 and 365.  Aside from the drama of this last BB season Pitt fans talk about, and I believe really care about, Pitt BB only when it is actually being played.

Again – as I said this BB season was very different from any we had seen since Dixon was hired back in 2003.  For 16 years we’d follow Pitt BB from Midnight Madness prior to training camp and then for maybe a week or two after Pitt got thumped out of the NCAA tournament (if indeed we made it that far).

So from early November until sometime in March Pitt fans care about BB  – but even then not as much as the FB program while the FB team is still playing out their own schedule. C’mon – you know that’s true.  Things were overemphasised lately because of the firing/hiring drama but most years it plays out exactly that way.

In addition whenever we talk about past Pitt athletic mega-stars (I can’t bring myself to call any athlete a ‘hero’)  from the past the first names who crop up are always football players.  That is just the way it is at Pitt – good or bad we care and follow Pitt FB more than we do Pitt BB over the long run.

Which brings us to the questions asked by fans after both Stallings and McConnell-Serio were fired; what would it take for Pitt to pull the plug on Pat Narduzzi’s tenure at Pitt for non-performance or otherwise?

It is an interesting question albeit one I don’t think we have to worry about right away, but for discussion’s sake – what would be the lower limit of production for a Pink Slip to be issued?

Personally I feel that without any sort of illegal actions or scandal attached to a head coach each should have a full four years in play.  That is unless a program has tanked so badly under the coach that changes have to be made for the long-run health of the program itself.  We just saw that with Stallings’ firing – the BB program was in danger of losing much more than we did with his quick termination – and it was quick after only two years.

With football we have seen a different sort of parting of the ways.  We’ve seen Pitt usher out the door (well, fired for cause actually) the two best and winningest HCs in modern program history with Walt Harris’ departure in 2005 and then Dave Wannstedt’s firing in 2011.

Harris was the only HC to take the Panther’s to a BCS bowl in 2004 and we have yet to have a HC take us to the new four-team NCAA playoffs so far.  That may not happen for some time at Pitt.  So we see the older Pitt administrations making moves not so much based on winning percent – after all Harris was 52-44 (54% wins) overall and 28-27 in Big East Conference play and Wannstedt was a only a titch better at 42-31 (57%) and 24-18 in the BE.

Yes friends, unfortunately a mid-50% winning percentage is considered good at Pitt which really shows just how inept we have been since our Glory Years 40+ years ago.  But those administrators kept the reputation and proper actions of the program first and foremost in their decision-making with those terminations.

In the interim from Wannstedt to Pat Narduzzi we ran through a botched hiring and subsequent quick-firing of wife beater Mike Haywood; a trip around the grease pile with Todd Graham and then a settling in time with Paul Chryst.  Both Chryst and Graham left on their own accords but the circumstances were different between the two.  Pitt fought hard to keep Graham under contract (thank goodness that didn’t work out!) but then we pretty much knew all along that Paul Chryst was coming to Pitt for on-the-job training in anticipation of the head coaching spot at Wisconsin that was being groomed for him.

Graham’s record as the HC at Pitt was an even 6-6 in his one season and Chryst’s three-year record was 19-19 for another .500 average record.

Which brings us to the current HC Pat Narduzzi.  Narduzzi was hired after Chryst left us for Wisconsin as mentioned above.  He started off rather strong with 8-4 regular seasons in his first two years – the best we had seen since DW’s nine and 10 win run over 2009-10.  However, post-season bowl losses in those first two years capped the win total at eight with five losses in each season also.

In his third season Narduzzi hit a rough patch – but the question is how far along the Pitt highway will that rough patch extend?  He went 5-7 in 2017 but was looking at a four win season until the last game of the year where he pulled another rabbit out of his hat in beating #2 ranked Miami at Heinz field.  He’s good at that isn’t he?  Beating one team a year no one gives him a chance to.

That kept Narduzzi from being the first Pitt coach in 19 years to win less than five games… but he did win five with the Miami win and good for that because it was about the only true bright spot on the year.

Getting back to the original question here then is this; since we see Pitt has been firing other head coaches for under-performing what would be the lowest limit to the football program’s results before a head coaching change is made there?

My thoughts are these: I don’t think we have to worry about any sort of extremely bad publicity or negative personal actions on the part of Pat Narduzzi to force Pitt’s hand in firing ‘for cause’ in that way.  He’s a good leader of young men; recognizes and take disciplinary action when needed and is a good person all-around.  So whatever changes made would be based on his on-field performances I believe.

But some questions remain such as how long a leash does he have and what would be the ground floor if the team really tanked a season – let’s say three or less wins in 2018.  Would I as the AD feel that things were going to change back around to winning football under his coaching?

That is the crux of my long-held argument which states a HC in football gets a full four-year pass, then is given a truly harsh evaluation for assessing the future of the program.  As AD I would have to look at just how he succeeded in those first two seasons and then why after those consecutive successes did things go south over the last two years? Again – this is a theoritical  question based on if we have another poor season, or even worse, in ’18.

Forget about any extensions that were done on a contract, initial or re-drawn – those are for recruiting purposes mainly and there are always descending amount buyout clauses attached.  ex-BB HC Stallings’ buyout was so large because his termination was in the middle of his initial contract. Narduzzi’s, after four years, would be a lot less.

Let’s be clear that I am not advocating firing Narduzzi now nor have I ever done.  I do think that, as stated above, you have to look at lots of different angles before deciding to cut someone loose – especially a fan favorite like Narduzzi.  But where does the realization of diminishing returns kick in?

Again in our post-1970s & 80’s history we look back to see how failure in the football program has been handled by previous Pitt administrations.  Most newly hired coaches do less well in their first few years rather than later on – Dave Wannstedt is a good case in point.  Pitt stuck with him – the university’s Favorite Son – through a rather horrible first three years when he went 5-6, 6-6 and 5-7 again and that after inheriting an 8-4 BCS team from previous coach Walt Harris.  Given the high expectations we all had with Wannstedt’s hire that three year run felt a lot worse than it was.

But Pitt had faith and extended his employment during that losing 2007 season with a new contract signed the very night before the infamous 13-9 win against WVU.  That proved to be a good move as he then went on to have the best winning three-year run Pitt had in 30+ years.

But then there is another Panther Favorite Son in Foge Fazio who took over the reins from highly successful Jackie Sherrill (who was 33-3 in his last three seasons at Pitt) and slowly sank from an inherited 11-1 Sherrill team to his own 9-3 then 8-3-1 and 3-7-1 before a slight rebound to 5-7-1. But by then the handwriting was on the wall and Pitt felt we needed new people in place to right the ship.

Should Narduzzi drop down below .500 ball again I could see the same type of situation shaping up – at least the idea that Pitt would have to really take an unbiased look at what transpired over his last 2017 and 2018 years should that happen.

Many times when a new HC comes in and does well right off the bat you can point to two distinct things that caused it.  One is that he is usually left a good nucleus of returning players to build around.  That certainly was the case with Narduzzi’s 2015 and 2016 years – especially on the offensive side of the ball with a great OL, WR Tyler Boyd, RB James Conner and FB George Aston.

Another is that he grabbed the team by the emotional strings and led them to victories.  I think Narduzzi has done that well also, but the question remains that because of the poor showing in 2017, and it sure was a poor season, if that replicates itself in 2018 doers he still have command of the team the way he did in his first two seasons?

And of course the big question being ‘has his own recruiting been good enough to get the team back to an eight win season’?  That is a huge question mark going into this September.  Personally I don’t believe it has… by a long shot.  I believe we saw the lack of star power and talent depth on the team last season contribute to a poor year and I very much wonder if it is going to be much better in 2018 when even more of the two-deep are his own players.

And tagging along with will be the burning question of just how well did his Narduzzi’s own vision of the team in Year Three and Year Four come to fruition?  This is a fundamental basis for keeping or firing a head coach.  Did he do what he told you he was going to do once he started getting his own recruits populating the roster to execute his schematic approach to winning football?

We know Narduzzi has failed in that on the defensive side of the ball, which was supposed to be his great strength he was bringing to the program.  Parse it any way you want to as a fan but his defenses have been average at best and more often horrible.  Last year wasn’t an exception much either except for a few games at the tail-end of the year – but by that time we had already been assured a losing season.

If that trend continues into his fourth year at Pitt, that is fielding a defense which was supposed to carry the team to victories based on his prior professional work that isn’t playing anywhere near anticipated and we strill lose more games than we win – is Pitt supposed to sit back and twiddle their thumbs wishing that things may get better?

Because fans that is exactly what we were promised when we hired Pat Narduzzi; a strong defensive team that would carry us thought times when the offense wasn’t up to par and he hasn’t delivered that on any sort of consistent basis since he’s been here.

So there are a lot of moving parts that have to be reviewed and talked about by the administration before a decision is made to fire a HC.  Stallings was an easy decision for AD Lyke – in truth she’d have been on very thin ice herself had she not done it.

But that is basketball at Pitt not King Football where there are a lot more fans with investments in season tickets and travelling to away games than we have in BB. Factor in that a lot more money is at stake with FB (conference payouts and possible fan and alumni donor income) and it isn’t as cut and dried.  But it may well have to be addressed if Pat Narduzzi follows this last year with another disappointing season.

What would I personally do?

Well, considering the fact that I believe the football program is being handled the best it has been for some time concerning off the field issues such as fair, quick and strong disciplinary actions, along with a very positive emphasis on leadership of these student/athletes as evidenced by continuing rise in out graduation rates for football, I would take all of that under very serious consideration on the plus side.

Even more so than the won/loss record which apparently sets me aside from the majority of Pitt fans who live and die by the Won / Loss column.  I would have to look at what sort of losing season it was – should we dip down to four, three or less wins and considering I think his recruiting isn’t going to turn that downward track around I’d take that fact seriously also.

But all said and done I feel that I would err on the side of good leadership and positive experiences by our Pitt football players and give him a single year more.

Anything past that is truly even more wishful thinking than college football usually is (especially at Pitt) and I don’t hold with the belief that it has to be Pat Narduzzi at the helm or the program will slip backwards.  He’s already shown us that he can win more games than not in any given season – and that he can lose also win fewer games than his predecessors for the previous ten years.

So let’s not put Narduzzi on a pedestal.  He’s a football coach who is also an employee of the university – and as such has to prove his worth to the university on a continual basis.  I wouldn’t be shocked if after another poor, or  worse even,  season Pitt would fire Narduzzi just as I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t – but save any scandals or truly negative reflections on Pitt, which I very much doubt would happen with him I’d keep him around for that 5th year.

But after doing that and if not seeing a dramatic upswing in wins the next year… then it’s goodbye.

2nd Annual POV Golf Outing!!

test3

We are starting to finalize the details for the 2nd annual POV Golf Outing. Here are the particulars as they stand right now so placehilders into calanders please and let’s have another great day… and it really was one of the most fun times I’ve had in years…

Location: Champion Lakes Golf Course in Western PA near Latrobe. (15 hotels located within 17 miles of the course)

Date: Saturday, June 9th

Time: 1st tee time is 11am

 Cost: $89 (includes golf, cart and a sit down dinner after the round is completed).

The POV Golf Committee (really just Erie Express) asks that you get him your fees by May 19th – I’ll do an article on this with more details later this week.  It was a blast last year and should be better this year also.

I am trying to arrange a tour of the Southside football facilities if possible – and will keep you all informed on that also.

159 thoughts on “Where is the Lower Limit for Football?

  1. Pitt Spring Football Day 11
    April 5, 2018
    Post-practice Interview Session Videos & Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript

    VIDEOS
    Coach Pat Narduzzi
    Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Charlie Partridge
    Cornerback Paris Ford
    Tailback Darrin Hall
    Linebacker Kyle Nunn

    COACH PAT NARDUZZI TRANSCRIPT

    Opening comments:

    “Practice number 11 in the books, really a good day. Last Thursday and Tuesday were just okay as you watch the tape, just kind of hit a plateau a little bit. Today we cranked it up a little bit more, had some great situations and the guys are competing. Looking forward to watching the tape.”

    On his excitement for Saturday’s upcoming scrimmage:

    “No doubt about it. We hope that the weather is good. I don’t know if the weather is going to break here in Pittsburgh yet or not, but hopefully we’re in Heinz Field. Weather permitting, should be a good one. Playing for the jerseys.”

    On sharing the football in the rushing attack:

    “We’ll find out. We’ll go through August and find out who are the guys, who’s reliable, who’s going to get the yards and playing with good leverage, who’s holding onto the ball and not turning it over. Darrin Hall is doing well. A.J. Davis, [Todd] Sibley have had a great camp so far as well. So there’s a lot of competition in the backfield, and Darrin Hall is our guy right now without a doubt. He’s proven that every day in spring ball. But those other guys, it’s like ‘Who’s going to be that second guy?’ That’s still yet to be said.”

    On if this Saturday’s scrimmage will impact the depth chart more than the April 14 spring game:

    “It does. It’s that last real, real scrimmage where your one offensive line is with your quarterback and your tailback. So it’s the one-on-ones, and it certainly will be the better scrimmage of the two.

    “It certainly will be a big scrimmage and will show where people are on the depth chart going into August.”

    On promoting Charlie Partridge to assistant head coach:

    “A former head coach, Charlie, he’s a guy that really has been there, done that. As far as head coaching, he’s got a way with everybody on the team, he’s not just a defensive line coach. That’s really what it is. You can kind of see it. I think our kids feel it. He’s a leader; he’s a great coach. And it’s something he deserved.”

    On receiver Taysir Mack not being available until 2019 due to transfer rules:

    “You never know, that transfer rule is coming out. I don’t know what’s going to happen there. Some rule changes may happen with headsets and some blocks down field five yards. There’s a lot of rules that we still don’t even know, going through spring ball a lot of places around the country… they don’t vote on some things until I want to say April 6th. There’s some things that needed voted on I believe and some stuff in June. So we’ll find out about that.”

    On Taysir Mack’s impact in practice:

    “He’s been playing really well. He’s going to be a wide receiver who plays a lot of football here and makes a lot of plays. There are some other guys that are doing well as well. Tre Tipton is playing well, Rafael [Araujo-Lopes] is doing well as well. There’s a lot of talent. Darian Street is getting better every day so, there’s some talent out there and we will see.”

    On potential legislation that would allow transfers to play immediately:

    “For college football, I would say I don’t want that rule. If it does happen, we get an immediate impact player for us right now. I still would vote it down. Not to not let Mack play, but for college football. It ain’t about Pitt or me, it’s about what is good for college football.”

    On decisions regarding starting quarterbacks last season:

    “You know it’s hard. At Syracuse and Max [Browne] is laying on the ground, at that point right there, Kenny Pickett was on the scout team for five weeks or whatever it was. When he got in that Syracuse game, he hadn’t taken a rep since preseason camp in August with an offense. He had no regrets and I think that things worked out the right way. I think Kenny has a lot of confidence going into 2018, and that’s really what matters. You can’t look back and say, ‘What if we did this,’ or, ‘What if we did that.’ Max Browne was our best quarterback a year ago; he went down and we had to make decisions.”

    On if people underestimate what it took to prepare Kenny Pickett after the Syracuse game:

    “Yeah, I would say so. I don’t think anyone would have wanted him to get in the huddle right after that week. It would have been tough to put that on his shoulders, and that’s not fair to him or to anybody. That led up to really what happened against Miami. So you play one game at a time and try to play the guy that gives you the best chance to win. It gives everyone else a chance to be successful.”

    On Kenny Pickett’s progression after the Syracuse game:

    “He’s a smart guy. There’s a lot going on out there, and it’s a lot harder than you can imagine. I just watched Ricky [Town] out there and it’s just tough with a new offense, and it was a new offense to Kenny as well. So there is a lot going on. Ricky is just going to continue to get better too with time.”

    On how Kenny Pickett reacted to NC State’s blitz:

    “Yeah, if you watch the whole second half of the North Carolina State game, they blitzed just about every down. He made plays with his feet, but probably wasn’t as prepared for it as he would have liked to be.”

    Like

    1. Never is a long time. One thing is for certain(since it already happened)….Pitt kept Pedo State from being in the 4 team playoff.
      And kept WVCC from playing in the NC game with the 13-9 game.

      And I doubt if WVCC will ever win a NC. Pitt has won 9 NC’s.

      Like

  2. Lots of good stuff, Reed. Can’t read it all right now, but will this evening. I will say, though, I care just as much about pitt bb as fb. I suppose I’m in the minority.

    Like

  3. I don’t buy that Narduzzi failed on defense thus far one bit .. and never will. Tell me … how does a defensive guru have such a great offense like he did in 2016 and such a bad defense? For that matter … how does an offensive guru do just the opposite? In 2015, Wisconsin finished 79th on total offense but 5th in total defense. In 2015, how does Narduzzi go into Iowa which went to the Rose Bowl that year and score 24 .. while Wisc scores only 6 against the Hawkeyes at home?

    As always … these stats are a function of talent and schedule.

    wwb (BTW, I am not the Anon directly above)

    Like

    1. Well then you are crazy…seriously.

      You must think Pitt is the only team that has to line up against other teams who might have good players on them and play football.

      Everyone has to face good teams sooner or later the fact is that our defense has been below average and mor really horrible over the last 2 years and for you not to at least recognize that then you’re the biggest apologist there is for Pat Narduzzi.

      how can you say our defense was’nt horrid in 2016 when we gave up over 35 ppg?

      And everything isn’t PN vs PC as you keep presenting it.

      Chryst’s offenses at UW were not as nearly as highly rated as PN’s defenses were at Michigan State. In 2010 PC had the 21st offense, 2009 – 30th offense and 2008 the 37th offense all good but not up in the single digits or close rankings like Pat Narduzzi’s MSU defenses were.

      Good God , we’ve given up an average of 30 ppg during his time here.

      You know Narduzzi’s rep as a defensive guru coming to Pitt and if you can’t honestly say he hasn’t gotten even anywhere close to it at Pitt then you’re wearing blinders.

      Like

      1. I’m just making the analogy that Chryst despite being an offensive guru has had much better defenses when he came to Wisc … still does, and it’s just the opposite for Narduzzi at Pitt. It’s all about the talent that you are left with when you take over at coach … not to mention the opposition.

        Like

  4. Man oh days, that is some article Reed and I’m not blowing smoke. Lots to take in there and I’ll have to read it a few times with my ADD and all. Looks like I’m in agreement with most though. That’s scary.. iek

    Like

  5. Funny , I didn’t care that much when Pitt was average in Bball but cred very much when they were/are a complete embarrassment. I consider 5 wins the lower limit for Pat Narduzzi as I don’t want the non-bowl game trend to continue .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Warriors kid is transferring from Pitt. Which opens up another slot for Jeff Capel.

    So this is good news, since the kid was a one trick pony, and was terrible on defense and couldn’t rebound
    at 6’4″.

    IUP needs some players.

    Like

    1. Davis is staying, so that is good. Need Carr, Brown, Ellison, Luther and Peace to announce the same. Hopefully Golden comes aboard and Capel offers Stone.

      Like

    2. I agree to an extent. I don’t see Stewart adding anything to his game but better three point shooting. However it’s always helpful to have a threat from deep.

      Speaking of shooting, Ryan Luther finished the season as Pitt’s best 3P shooter by percentage (38.7). I don’t count Starzynski (1 attempt). It was the first season that Luther has shot under 40% from the arc. If Capel can land a legit center (or coach Brown up if he remains) Luther may finally be able to play the stretch 4 for which he seems well suited.

      Like

  7. I’m glad Stewart is leaving. Adios.
    More spots for Capel to find his kind of players. I hope Carr stays. I think he may be a capable player in a year or so

    Like

  8. 3 years in a row of sub-7 wins is where I’d draw the line on Narduzzi.

    So 5-7 last year
    6-6 or worse this year
    6-6 or worse next year

    That would be a program that is not improving and more likely than not not going to improve

    I don’t expect that to happen as Narduzzi had two good teams when he had a good QB and one bad team when he had a bad QB (whether it was Browne or DA NOOCH). QB play has been the determining factor for Pitt football since Nordy and Smiler decided to take a stab at revitalizing the program with Wlat and I see no reason to think that QB play won’t continue to be the determining factor

    Like

    1. Agree, especially since he will have nothing but “his guys” on the roster.

      I am hopeful of a fairly good defense in 2018, particularly in the back 7. I suspect the offense will struggle a bit with 3 new linemen, new starting receivers and Pickett with one complete regular season game under his belt.

      Like

  9. Seems a little premature to be discussing firing Narduzzi. Had one bad season but played a tougher schedule than pitt has played in some time. Injuries and dismissals didn’t help either.
    I thought Narduzzi did a poor job last season but talking about firing him is way premature. Especially when the thought from many is that 9+ wins and he’s gone to a better program.

    Like

  10. The Dog has two years. This and next. I don’t see more than seven wins this year. Hopefully nine or ten next. If another 6-7, he will be on the hot seat but I don’t think he’ll get fired. Pitt needs stability. And if Pitt can upset a top ranked team every year, that is very meaningful. As well as getting players to the pros. Attendance is key. I know winning helps but it’s also how you play ball. An exciting offense will draw fans in. Pitt will be ok. I do think the D will be more dynamic and the offense will be more fun to watch. Hoping for a pizza bowl in Detroit against a MAC team. I’m being real.

    Like

  11. Anything but a complete Stallings type meltdown and Narduzzi has 4 years left. Won’t be an issue though. Already getting my told you so speech ready.

    Like

    1. 3 years….Lyke doesn’t like mediocrity…..and she didn’t hire him. They do seem close though. It will all come down to attendance. If Pitt is bleeding red, Narduzzi will be a DC somewhere else.

      Like

  12. I’ve been as critical as almost(almost) anyone concerning football. But I will say, barring injury to qb or decimation at some other position I think much more optimistically about this years team. I see 7 wins, seriously, I do. I think they will surprise, and be competitive in almost every game. Last year the schedule early sucked, and they just weren’t very good. The defense will be barely adequate( which in itself is a major step up), and the offense will do just enough. Lots of close games but we get some breaks this year.

    Like

  13. Don’t comment often, question is who would YOU hire. Sounds like the Pirate blog.
    Easy to pile on but as usual, no suggestions.

    Like

  14. One thing we talk about often is Narduzzi’s assistants. If he had a bigger budget, which coordinators would stay? I say definitely partridge and salem. Maybe harley.

    Like

  15. I think Narduzzi will be here for a good while if some of his younger recruits are for real.

    He also needs to have a stellar recruiting class soon. Average classes will not get it done.

    I think this year can be OK, seven wins if the O-line comes together, if it doesn’t it could get pretty ugly again.

    Don’t forget, if not for an improbable Miami victory, we would be coming off a 4 win season.

    Pickett needs to be the difference maker, but if he is running for his life, we are in big trouble.

    Hall doesn’t make his own holes and is pretty ineffective when there aren’t any.

    I think the D will be a lot better. There is more experience and depth.

    We may see some two tight end formations with a full back to get the running game going.

    We could have a 2100 lb line.

    Like

  16. If Narduzzi can win 7 regular season games this coming season with a starting QB with one start, one TD and little P-5 college football experience under his belt, he’s good for the next decade. Seriously this PITT football team is built for years to come. Sit back and enjoy… ike

    Like

    1. The stats may not back you (Ike) up but I agree with what you see. I also see PN growing as the CEO head coach he says he wants to be. But make no mistake about it, this year will be a real test for our OC because it’s going to be one of those years that the offense is going to have to exploit its strength’s and minimize its weaknesses.

      Like

  17. Just saw on the ESPN news scroll at Dino’s (Ike, MissingWlat, and Annie will know) that Georgia Tech has extended Paul Johnson for 3 more years.

    Like

    1. Continuity rules, except at Pitt. It prefers making headlines by firing and hiring coaches. Lord knows it has no desire to make headlines by actually winning where it matters most: on the field and not the classroom.

      Like

  18. While Pitt is indeed a football school you underestimate how popular Pitt basketball was (is). It was not relegated to just in-season on the Blather. Camps Dixon was visiting in the off-season were routinely discussed as was the summer league at Green Tree. Plus any recruiting news. Even in season, at its peak, Pitt basketball was the sport drawing Steelers players. Football clearly gets more run but don’t sleep on basketball.

    Like

  19. With the two latest terminations, Pitt has announced the bar has been set a lot higher.
    Hoping HCPN reaches and surpasses it.

    Like

  20. Pitt will return to a BB school in the near future. Pitt Fb hasn’t been relevant since the mid 80s …. save one game or so a year

    You people just don’t want to accept the inevitable.

    wwb

    Like

  21. BTW, Tomorrow nights HBO movie on JoePa has all the Nitters panties in a bunch. There is the rest of the world, and then there are the ?Nitters. JoeKnew!

    Like

  22. IMHO, Pitt would really struggle to find a better FB Coach than Coach Duzz. I hope he’s here a long time. Think Beamer.

    Think about your own career. Were you a more effective employee in year five than in year one? In year 10 versus year 5? So why are coaches judged to be either good or a failure if they don’t win 9 games in their 4th year? Makes no sense to me.

    If a coach continues to work at making the program better, and has shown that he can win big games — please keep him!!!

    Fix the scheduling and find a way to get more fans so that we can recruit better…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Tossing has it right. Look at BB performance over the past 10 years vs. FB, and to think that BB is not right up there in interest with FB is just crazy. Maybe some old timers around the university remember the Ditka days, or even more recently the Dorsett/Marino days, but that was a long time ago, and we just lived through the golden age of BB as Bill Hillgrove phrased it, and (aside from a couple bad years) BB is still king until FB actually does something worth remembering again.

    Like

  24. The only reason there was to think pitt basketball overtook pitt football was smiler didn’t like wanny and at the samw time gave the money necessary for pitt bball to be a top program while he routinely resisted giving wanny the money he wanted and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to increase the football budget after 13-9

    Narduzzi has his players filling almost all the defensive 2 deep and a qb that looks like he checks all the boxes, hes got the unqualified backing of the AD and chancellor and the increased budget that goes along with that, if it doesn’t result in big wins and more wins in the next 3 years then it will be hard to argue that he will ever elevate the program to where it should be. I think he will but if he doesn’t then again it will be hard to argue that it will ever happen under him

    Like

      1. Twice for bball…last time in 2011. We have finished in the Top 15 in football like once in the last 35 years. We haven’t been relevant in football since Marino left for Miami.

        Like

      2. Football only sells out when the visiting team buys the tickets. Ever see a BB game rock with a full house of Pitt fans and the Zoo going nuts? Used to have several a year.

        Like

  25. And all of you “Pitt is a football school” people, including Reed…why did we join the Big East back in the day if we were a football school?

    Like

    1. Pitt joined the BigEast way back in the early ’80’s for basketball. And we spent over $150 mil for a basketball arena and demolished the football stadium. And Capel is getting paid more than nard dog.
      To me that says we’re a basketball school.

      Like

    2. Because we sucked and no other conference would have us basically… and we had to scramble around and if you get left out of the conference back then you were screwed so the only conference that would take us was the Big East

      Like

  26. Btw Reed, I do like the graph that you used and the proper, but exceptional use, of the word effect. I guess I’m a nerd.

    Like

  27. Panther 94… Pitt is not a football school but rather a school followed by people who love football, namely, western Pennsylvanians…. basketball was something to do for fun during those winter weeks when the ground was covered with snow. After 35 years of mediocrity a lot of us old POVerts,who witnessed the period from ‘75. 83 when PITT was It ( a football power), are hoping and waiting til we take our final breath to see Pitt once again become that FB school…

    Like

  28. There is not a snow ball chances in hell that Narduzzi is going to be replaced at any time in the near future. Come back in 5 more years and we can discuss Narduzzi’s status at Pitt. Like he said this year he thinks he might have been the only coach with a 5 win record to get an extended contract with a raise this past season. That should tell all that absent personnel problems with players he’s here for a very long time even with a couple of more 5 win seasons.

    Like

  29. Pitt women’s softball split a double header last evening with #13 FSU and in 1st place in the ACC Atlantic Division. Keep in mind Pitt is unranked, but in 1st place in the ACC Coastal right now.

    The loss was 2-1 with the noles scoring 2 in the bottom of the last inning. The night cap was a 1-0 win in extra innings.

    Today they play the rubber game – the Pitt women have yet to loss an ACC series this season. And the game is at #13 FSU in Tallahassee today at noon.

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  30. Reed, local KDKA TV news had a nice story on the Veterans Place you mentioned a few months ago. The Steeler organization donated 15 refrigerators and 25 TV’s to the apartments. Villanueva helped deliver them. Regarding the football / basketball school discussion, I understand all the opinions and all have good points depending on the metrics used. I wonder how are we perceived by non Pitt people both local and nationally?

    Like

  31. Following up to my above posting @ 8:22 pm ….

    The inevitable is the following:

    Pitt does not have the resources or the intangibles to ever compete with the major powers in FB. Budget, recruiting, NFL city, attendance, exposure … and there are more. Just consider this …. look at who the current NCAA titleholder is in FB versus BB. Also look at the past several playoff participants
    Yes, just because Pitt may never contend for a national title again doesn’t mean it can’t be a FB school, however, as late as 2009 and 2011, Pitt was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA. The fact is that in this millennium, the BB program has kicked the FB program’s butt.
    Pitt was brought into the ACC because of BB, not FB. That is well documented

    When the announcement of Pitt’s entering the ACC was made back in Sept 2011, I vividly remember national FB analyst Paul Finebaum saying that Syracuse and Pitt leaving the BE in BB was like Bama and LSU leaving the SEC in FB. That is the reputation that Pitt BB had as late as 7 years ago … Pitt hasn’t had anything near that reputation for over 30 years.

    Like

  32. I don’t disagree that Pitt FB has a much more glorious history than Pitt BB …. that is an absolute no-brainer. But things change — 80 years ago, Duquesne, Fordham and Carnegie Tech were all common names in the FB rankings.

    More recently … UConn was never perceived as a national BB power until the late 90s … never. Same goes for Butler, Gonzaga, and a host others. Heck, look how good traditional FB powers Clemson, FSU and Miami have done in BB recently …. I don’t recall any of them ever mattering in BB

    Like

  33. One last rant ….. the high today in Morgantown is predicted to be 38. Certainly not ideal weather but not blizzard conditions either. The Eers who have been ranked in the FB Top 25 the past few years still had no reservation whatsoever in calling off its spring game as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

    Yes, when I lived in Pgh, I would attend the Pitt spring game when weather was nice and it wasn’t played on a Friday night at a HS stadium …. but it was only because I never had anything better to do. wwb

    Like

  34. To fix football, Pitt must understand and rethink the issues that caused the program to slip to mediocrity over the years. What happened after Majors and Jacki Sherrill left? Go back even further to the ’63 team. Why did the program slip after that? I believe it was the BoT and a new emphasis on academics. After Sherrill, I think it came down to a control issue (and the long term contract from A&M). But why didn’t Pitt then go after a topnotch coach from a proven program? I think most of the problems were self inflicted wounds over the past 30-50 years, and the current administration can and should learn from them. PN needs time to overcome the internal resistance from the academics and budget people, but with Lyke as AD it can be done.

    Like

    1. Yet the football graduation rate has never been as high as it has been these days… and we have never had as many Academic All-Americans and Academic All-Conference players as we do now.

      I think the ‘higher academic standards’ has been the go-to excuse at Pitt for a long time.The fact is that the administration back then didn’t like the overwhelming attention Pitt was getting for athletics and were pissed about it – remember that was when Pitt was lobbying to become one of the Ivy League schools so it was pretty much just inter-university jealousy.

      Here is an interesting fact about Pitt’s Academic Progress Rate:

      “Implemented in 2003 as part of an ambitious academic reform effort in Division I, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.

      The APR emerged when Division I presidents and chancellors sought a more timely assessment of academic success at colleges and universities. At the time, the best measure was the graduation rate calculated under the federally mandated methodology that was based on a six-year window and did not take transfers into account.”

      The NCAA records go back to 2004 and from DW’s first year to his last year our APR rate went up from 948 to 949 – six years and a rise of only one point.

      Under Paul Chryst’s three years the rate went from 961 to 970 – a jump of nine points and:

      Under Narduzzi’s first year of 2015-2016 it jumped from 970 to 975 -a big jump of five points in a single year.

      This is what I mean when I say that my thoughts about Pat Narduzzi’s value to the university lies in his success in off-field issue as well as his actual coaching (even more so actually).

      Like

  35. Which program pays the bills? It’s football. Over 300k in attendance each year. That’s $21 million in monies to support all programs at Pitt.

    Basketball has under 200k in attendance and barely scrapes $10 million. Plus Pitt owns the Pete. Basketball probably doesn’t generate a profit. It lost over $10 million last year. Football does make money.

    But if it wasn’t for the ACC check, Pitt would be broke.

    The ACC chose Pitt because of basketball results and football tradition or potential. It was a basketball conference then. It’s more a football conference now.

    So it may be semantics or how one looks at things but Pitt will forever be a football school until some other sport pays the bills.

    Like

  36. Like a lot of you I go back to the mid sixties with both basketball and football. The question that asks what kind of school is PITT? FB or BB? I remember Carl DePasqua and Dave Hart to Buzz Ridl all the way to the present. So when I stop and ask myself the question, the subliminal answer has always been football.

    Now steve did try and change that and PITT can seem as a BB school to the younger fans. Reed is right though when he says football is on the minds year round of the more ardent followers of PITT sports.

    The article seems to be setting the stage for a lets fire an hire another coach in two or three years. Ain’t gonna happen Reed. I think PITT has learned two things recently One is continuity is the spice of life and two, money. Yep spend mo money honey if you want to be competitive with the big dogs. Some didn’t think PITT would pay the next BB coach well over 3 million a year with the extra large buyout for KS but looks like the are.

    Narduzzi is PITT’s man until he decides when to leave not PITT and he could see a hefty pay increase in the meantime and probably two or three times to try and keep him at PITT. I have no worries about Narduzzi and the PITT football team moving forward and now I feel the hoops team is in great hands as well… ike

    Like

    1. If PN doesn’t average 7-8 wins a year, we will see him differently than we see him now just like we see him differently now that the team did not win 8 games as they did the first two seasons. The optimists won’t be optimists then. They will have to be comforted with the reality that utter mediocrity is all we can expect because it will mean that PN is just mediocre as a HC. The drumbeat we hear will then be very different than the one we hear now. But I get ahead of myself because I still believe in PN.

      Like

  37. txpanther, it comes down to how you define it. Even a mediocre FB program can bring in more money than BB. But what does it do for the university’s brand? Does Pitt benefit more in terms of image, donations, and applications from a winning BB program or a lousy FB program? I think a school can do both well, but there are not many programs that have successfully done it. It seems that those who do started with FB first.

    Like

  38. Ike – Is 5 wins SOP in football? Are underwhelming recruiting classes SOP in football?

    We just had one of the worse football seasons in a while – worse even then with Todd Graham and Paul Chryst (who some fans love to hate) yet we are saying SOP is dead.

    We have a HC with a only a 55% winning percentage going into a season that most fans think 7 wins is the ceiling and your saying SOP is dead.

    From where I sit Narduzzi has been pretty much just like all the other HCs Pitt has had but without the recruiting successes needed to sustain winning seasons – but we’ll see about that come September.

    He’s an average football coach who has yet to prove he can win a lot of games with his own recruits. When he starts pulling in 8-9 wins with his own roster then I think we can crow about him.

    But what will happen if we have another below .500 year is that Pitt fans will say – well his first recruiting class aren’t 5th year seniors yet so what do you expect… just like someone tried to blame last year (and this year’s) poor OLs on the previous coach even though the current HC is in his 4th season here.

    Boy – that and the “I don’t buy that Narduzzi failed on defense thus far one bit .. and never will.” comment above makes my head spin.

    Like

  39. To be clear, in the pecking order, it’s football then basketball … as it should be if you want a sustainable athletic department.

    But, if the rumors are true of a $3M contract for Capel, that says all you need to know regarding how important Pitt views basketball.

    I believe Pitt basketball has more casual fans (non-grads) than Pitt football does. At least living in Northern Virginia, I see more Pitt basketball gear than football … and when I approach them about going to Pitt, I’m always amazed how many are just from Pittsburgh and didn’t go to Pitt.

    And when people approach me in my Pitt gear it’s almost always about basketball (pity recently) … and when it’s about football it’s always about our pros. Shady, AD, etc.

    So, while football pays the bills and Pitt will always be a football school, basketball is much more than a niche sport and fills the hole of no NBA in Pittsburgh … and really fills the void for those of us who have no interest in club sports like hockey. 👀

    Like

  40. I agree that both can be strong. Much like Michigan. The brand is overall sports. But football is the big dog across most programs because it has the most fans and generates the most money. So by my definition Pitt is a football school. If we go by results, Pitt was a woman’s volleyball school last year.

    Like

  41. On another note, rumors (emphasis) are picking up that Zion may follow Capel to Pittsburgh. Remember, he verballed but never signed.

    Unlikely, in fact, highly unlikely, but fun to speculate … and I want to prove we can talk college basketball in the offseason. Lol.

    Like

  42. Mediocricy is frequently about pursuing the easy route unless you pursued the wrong route because you just weren’t smart enough to pursue the current route. To my mind PN has already demonstrated that his lack of HC experience has been significant to this point. But I do think he has core HC strengths and that he is growing as a HC. There have been some things “conspiring” against him such as OOC schedule strength, a general strengthening of ACC Coastal programs, a diminishing of the western PA recruit pool and the re-emergence of the Dairy College as an apparent national power.

    Like

    1. But which HCs at any schools don’t have outside issue to deal with except for the Biggest Dogs like PSU, Alabama, OSU etc..

      We Pitt fans look at Pitt and make every excuse in the world for what has been average at best program over the last 40+ years (and still is) when there are others schools with less resources, tradition, etc… that get up into the Top 25 way more times than Pitt does.

      You can’t tell me Boise State has a more fertile recruiting ground than Pitt does – Idaho is in the middle of Bumf*ck, USA.

      The #1 problem for Pitt football is that we always pay our HC and his coaching staff way too little and thus never meet fans high expectations. You can’t have championship football on a bare-bones budget and Pitt tries to decade in and decade out.

      That doesn’t mean we cant float to the Top 25 every once in a blue moon – or as we see win 8+ games every once in a while. A great recruiter can get the kids in to effect short term success as DW did in his last three years, but there was no guarantee that success lasts.

      You have to really and truly invest resources into a football program to sustain success and at Pitt that hasn’t been of high importance.

      Like

      1. Boise St plays, which gets a lot of Calif recruits (r at least used to) plays in the Mountain West Conference. I believe they finished ranked last year despite the fact they lost to UVa at home last year by 19 … the very same UVa team that lost to Pitt by 17.

        Once again, schedule means so much

        Like

  43. For a short while Pitt was a school that was pretty good in both sports.

    But it all goes back to money, which goes back to fan and donor support.

    It should be easier to compete in basketball because it requires less money and takes fewer

    great players to be good.

    Success in Football is largely connected to the size of the budget.

    However, there is plenty of evidence that success in both sports has been connected to the willingness to break the rules. This is why so many championships have been vacated. And those are only the ones that got caught.

    Pitt has shown a reticence to break rules and has exhibited a semblance of higher ethical standards as far as we know.

    The combination of smaller budgets and higher ethics makes it much more difficult to be competitive.

    It all goes back to recruiting which is a costly and in many cases dirty business. You have to get sufficient star players to be competitive.

    Like

  44. Reed – Last season was rough but between injuries, a higher than normal attrition of starters to graduation or the NFL and a very common third year drop off (dreaded transition year), Pitt still had positives. We found our QB of the future, started running the ball better later in the season and, by the end of the season, there were big strides being made on the defensive side of the ball. That’s doesn’t even take into account that Pitt was also breaking in a new OC running an offense he never ran before in a terminology he had never used.

    I don’t like excuses, but there are reasons and they were plentiful. But, unlike Pitt basketball, there was tangible progress as the season went on.

    This is the season Pitt has always been building towards under Narduzzi. If I don’t see progress, this is the season where I turn. I have confidence, however. I like the swagger and confidence coming out of camp.

    Admittedly, I’m not sure what counts as progress yet. Wins and losses have to be better than last season but until I see how the season unfolds and what unknowns pop up, I’m unsure how I will measure the success of this season.

    As a fan of Duzz and a Pitt football fan, I reserve the right to some fan bias. 😉

    You harp too much on recruiting. Yes, it’s a constant for top 10 teams to have consistent top 25 classes but Pitt isn’t a top 10 team yet. They are building towards that. And even if the stars don’t align to what you expect, they are recruiting higher quality (based on offers from other schools and sub-class of the star system) and with MUCH more balance across the position groups.

    Pitt was always going to be a patient build. Chryst and SP over-purged the program and Chryst had terrible recruiting balance across position groups. Duzz took over as average a team as you can inherit … literally, 3 straight .500 seasons.

    Yes, that last paragraph was meant as a trigger for Reed 😊

    Like

    1. Well – there are rights and wrongs in your thoughts.

      Recruiting is the life blood of college football, it is pretty much the way a program like Pitt gets to 8 wins in the first place and that is one the back of superior performers like Boyd, Conner, Rotherham, Johnson, Orndoff, Bisnowaty, Price, Holtz, Jarrett, Whitehead, etc…

      Those were some starting players Narduzzi inherited in his first year at Pitt and all were bona-fide stars, or pretty darn close and all recruited and committed to the previous HCs.

      Where are the HS recruits of Narduzzi’s that have come anywhere close to playing at the level those kids did? Maybe Quadree Henderson but that’s it. Peteman as a transfer of course, but high and long term successful programs build from the ground up via recruiting classes not scrambling around to get transfers all the time.

      There wasn’t one player on last years team who played “star level” football and aside from possibly Pickett there isn’t one player we can point to and feel comfortable saying they will play at star level either without major speculation this season.

      That doesn’t worry you? Knowing that every single big season Pitt has had has been done on the shoulders of real star performances?

      Recruiting is everything when you don’t have all the other positive infrastructure in permanent place like the big successful schools do.

      Like

      1. Chryst finished only 1 game better in his 3rd year despite a total crap schedule where the best OOC team played was Iowa which finished only 7-6. They lost to Akron mid season by double digits at home. If you are going to hold PN to the fire in his 3rd year, do the same for PC.

        The Sagarin ratings had the ’17 Pitt team rated over 20 slots higher than the ’14 Pitt team. SCGEDULE MATTERS!

        Like

        1. Exactly. The schedule last year and this year is way worse than any schedule of the last 10 to 15 years. But people that want to hate on Nardozzi ignore such facts .

          Like

  45. Tooooooo much is being made of the 5 win season last year. Always ready to pounce on Narduzzi. Funny thing to me is when he won 8 games during the regular season (twice) it was always tempered by, he can’t win a bowl game and they weren’t his players. Reed, face the facts, your coast guard boat is sailing in “the Nile” when it comes to your buddy Pat. ike

    Like

  46. No doubt, regarding whether Pitt is a BBall or Fball school, 95% of us will not be able to argue for something other than what we love the best. Reed you are totally incapable of coming to any conclusion than Pitt is a Fball school. And that is just perfectly fine and respectable and OK in my book!

    Even though I completely disagree. 🙂 Of course it is a question that is time-dependent. Me, I went to Pitt 87-92, and have been closest to Pitt coincidentally when Dixon was king…so of course, I am a Bball fan having experience its two greatest successes. (Even though in 89 I think it was, me and my buddies broke the play clock at Pitt stadium pounding on it (lets go Pitt!!) from the front row of the student section against Notre Dame…ended up getting hauled away by the cops for apparently being too much of a fan…but that is another story!)

    Bball has the Pete…what does Fball have? Heinz ketchup. Bball as the Zoo…what does Fball have? 3rd quarter student departures. ’nuff said. 🙂

    To each his own…and HTP!!!

    PS…admittedly, this is perhaps the most trivial, non-important question ever…in the end I love both!

    Like

  47. Pitt made the change in basketball for several reasons, one of which is attendance approached 10% of capacity,on several occasions. If we got 7000 for football change would occur, along with the bucks to hire good coaches. As long as we get 60% or so they will gladly pay nothing and be happy with the results.

    Like

  48. Ike, huh? Too much is made of a 5 win season? That stinks, no matter how you cut it. Fact is he needs to improve. We should, and do, expect more.

    Like

  49. This rumor concerning Zion possibly thinking about attending PITT is crazy yet still not out of the realm of possibilities. I’ll tell you this though, if he does come to PITT he will be one of the top 5 recruits to commit to PITT …..EVER! maybe #1

    Like

  50. When you add a ridiculous strength of schedule you are really swimming up stream.

    When in any given year you can add Clemson, FL St, ND, or Louisville to your schedule of normal foes, there is no need to add two Power 5 OOC games. Even if you had a really great team you might never know it.

    Pitt needs to start scheduling only one tough OOC and if somehow they get two of the above in a given year, they really don’t need any.

    I think you make exceptions for PSU and WVU since they are traditional rivals and fill the stadium. An Ohio St game would probably fill the stadium as well.

    This year we have PSU, ND and UCF, games that are probable losses and will physically beat us up and cause probable injury to number of our guys. Sure, you can get injured in any game, but it is much more likely, when the other guys are bigger, faster and stronger than you.

    Fans say they want to see the better games, but they surely didn’t show up for OK ST last year.

    Face it, at best we are a middle of the pack ACC team right now, until we get better, these schedules are counter productive.

    The only positive is that Narduzzi has somehow won three big games in the last two years.

    Like

  51. What’s missing from the FB discussion is the impact of continuity on a program. Changing head coaches creates problems in many areas. Existing players must adapt to new coaches and terminology, and the New HC must develop relationships with the fans, boosters and area high school coaches.

    Reed, you focus so much on recruiting that you minimize the other elements of a good program. A HC needs time to develop all of the subtle nuances that are necessary in all areas, including administrating and developing relationships. In PN’s case, he also had to learn how to be a HC and handle the personnel issues that go with it. This was understood when he was hired, and he deserves more time to develop.

    This is why perhaps the biggest mistake Pitt made in the past 30 years was firing Wanny after his 10 win season. So he had a few problems with academics and discipline. He could have cleaned these things up without being fired, and the program would be a consistent top 25 by now.

    Like

    1. Gottfried was the first huge mistake, then Wannstedt.

      Doesn’t matter Dave had some discipline issues that were dealt with, Pitt’s administration and some fans demand 85 choir boys and 11-win seasons. Anything less and you’re out after three or four years.

      And if you somehow win, Pitt will let you leave rather than pay.

      Like

    2. Changing the Head Coach usually leads to a scramble to get a recruiting class together, and more turnover of players, both of which come back to bite you in later years.

      Remember Toddy’s class…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  52. Just watched the day 11 videos, Partridge saying really good things about the D-line.
    We haven’t had really good D-line play in many years. I think the potential is there this year.

    With an upper class linebacking group, should be a strong front seven, also something that has not occurred for a long time.

    Like

  53. Reed – His first class he had 30 days to complete. Doesn’t count against him. So his fist full recruiting class is mostly going to be red shirt sophomores or juniors, which means last year was Red shirt freshman or sophomores. They haven’t gotten much play yet so we don’t know. That’s why this year is the make or break. We’ll finally know/see what type of team Duzz assembled. Too much instant gratification expected. Plus, he won 8 games back to back and has two top 5 wins in back to back years.

    Recruiting is the lifeblood and he’s been recruiting as well as Wisc and MSU for the most part. Pitt has to be a top 25 team before they are a top 10 team. It takes time. We’ll find out this season how good his first real class is.

    Like

  54. Ike – I know what I’m doing. Lol. I already carry that scarlet letter. But seriously, all we’ve mosty seen are Chryst players and a 30 day recruiting class. The next two seasons are make or break beginning now. We’ll know what we have by season’s end.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 1 at gc for finally coming around to the scheduling problems that our AD’s have had for years. The talking heads of ESPN have been saying you got to have strength of schedule in order to be considered by the committee to make the playoffs. That is complete garbage and the majority of people believed it, including our AD’s. ESPN has a vested interest in promoting great games because they benefit most from a viewing audience.

    In reality, a difficult OOC schedule only penalizes an institution when you are in a P5 conference. One of the most important points of being in a P5 conference is allowing it to carry your strength of schedule. I am against playing Dairy College or WV High each year in addition to a ND. We should always schedule for a minimum 3-1 and in good years 4-0. That sets up a basement of 7 wins per year at the worst. When you start winning a minimum of 7, the recruiting gets better. Just ask the Dairy AD. They and most others have mastered the OOC scheduling. For some reason, Pitt’s AD’s have thought they were smarter. They aren’t. Michigan just cancelled a series with VT (2020, 2021) because they didn’t want VT and Washington in the same year! Brilliant!! Why don’t we do that?

    Our current AD should look at her old employer again for confirmation on how to schedule OOC. Maybe there is an Eddie Fogler consultant that can teach her how to schedule easier. Better yet, look to the BC AD she used to work with. That was his primary job at OSU, finding a schedule with one difficult OOC game and the rest creampuffs. That was it. OSU always schedules down, by alot. They use the games as a pre-season, except for one. Their first goal is to win the big10 division, then championship, then national championship. Losing 2 OOC games never gets you in the conversation. Pitt needs to be in that conversation in order to recruit better.

    Athletes will notice when you are 6-1 or 7-1 going into November. They don’t care when you are 4-4. Athletes want to be the missing piece on a 6-1 team that could have gotten you to 7-0. Recruits don’t care if by having them you could have gotten to 5-3. They want to make a difference and get the team to a championship. Our AD hasn’t started to fix the schedule yet but she needs to get that done for 2019. That should be her next charge after finding a women’s hoop coach.

    Like

    1. I agree. We should schedule good teams when we’re a perennial 8-10 wins team. Pitt’s delema is putting fannys in the seats though. Pedo fans would sellout a game against Appalachia St. because there nothing else to do there.

      Like

  56. @Voice – best continuity example is right across the complex (steelers).

    @gc – tried to give you a plus 1, but the computer wouldn’t take it. My keyboard is showing gc +1 bias. Sorry!

    This year will not be all narduzzi. If you look at the 2 deep, how many are not his guys. I can think of several lb’s for starters, although I will argue that by now, if his recruits can’t beat out Chryst’s, than Chryst’s guys in those positions are better and that Chryst out recruited Narduzzi. Not a stretch for an argument.

    All of our AD’s have handicapped Pitt football with scheduling and budget. We are seeing a change by the chancellor with budget, so now we need an AD to change the scheduling philosophies, just a little. Every piece of the organization needs to pull in the same direction.

    Like

  57. Pitt BB is the path of least resistance. Pitt can have a really good BB program and gain positive cash flow and in fact the ROI is far superior to football. But football revenue is real money as well so getting fannies in the seats for both is the goal here. Winning does that especially in BB. If ACC network can generate anything remotely close to the SEC and Big Pretend, that is real coin in addition to the 26 million now. So the decision to move forward with costly terminations is going to be made up over time. BB is a big deal locally and football needs to win and win 9 to 10 games before the casual fan will show up. But it can happen and Narduzzi will give Pitt the best chance for that to happen. To many questions to project anything right now. But I like the direction and the upside is good. PSU, ND and UCF are just one to many tough games for Pitt this year. But it will help mold the team the second half. I wouldn’t pick the nits or domers to win at UCF this year. Pitt will show up here and give teams a run for the money. But if things break their way, PITT can surprise here.

    Like

  58. Carr leaning toward leaving, Golden could end up at Syracuse. Not good news and there still could be more players bolting. I wasn’t thinking another awful season in 2018-19, but it likely will be just as bad as Stallings’ last season. Capel better be some God on the recruiting circuit because four straight losing seasons would sure suck.

    Like

  59. I believe most of us fans want Pitt to be both a football school and a basketball school. And given a choice of one or the other, I would think most fans would choose football.

    Previously, the administration has shown it wanted a basketball school. And with the recent firings/hirings in the sport, it sure appears that is still the case.

    However, in football, at the very least, they appear to have provided a larger budget for recruting, as evidenced by the amount of out of state flights taken the past two years. So there may be a bit of a trend to slowly back football as well. Additionally, I get the feeling Pitt has allotted more money to be paid to the football assistants than they had been in the past. If that is the case, then hopefully that trend continues.

    I believe if football can sustain some level of success on the field, that the administration will start to support football much more as well.

    The University fully supporting both major sports may sound like a hope and a prayer to some, but with a couple of good football seasons, I feel it would be hard for the entirety of Pitt to not be drawn in. They would be compelled to be fully on board both financially and emotionally with a rising football team and it could lead us to becoming an annual powerhouse.

    Wishful thinking? Maybe. But in the land of opportunity, anything is possible.

    Like

  60. How could anyone make the argument that Pitt is a FB school, when our leadership made the decision to tear down our FB stadium and replace it with a palace of a BB arena?

    Like

  61. that decision was made 17 years ago by a guy run out of Nebraska
    its a mistake Pitt has to live with each day
    that decision helped elevate the basketball program
    it also helped cement the mediocrity label on the Pitt football program and buried the Pitt Spirit since I havent seen it since they put it in that tiny box on the final game against Notre Dame

    Like

  62. TxPanther, I was there for that bit of unfortunate Pitt FB history as well…Brinks truck and all…That Brinks truck was really a hearse meant to carry away Pitt’s status as a “FB school”.

    For the record, I think Heinz Field is an excellent football venue…It is just not Pitt’s venue.

    Like

  63. I have all of you beat. 93’-98’. LMAO … Johnny Majors 2.0, Ralph Willard, 72-0 … I always joke that I stayed 5 years to see a bowl game … that only happened because of a multiple OT win vs. WVU. A very special thanks to Pistol Pete, Hoffart and Terry Murphy.

    Like

  64. In the 60s Pitt always played one of the most difficult schedules in the country. PSU, on the other hand played one of the softest. How did that work out for the two schools. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!! I’d enjoy the Steelers playing New England 16 times a year also, but it wouldn’t do much for their record.

    For the record, I hope the next thing Heather learns is how to soften the schedule and perhaps buying her way out of a couple games. Winning is the only thing that will increase attendance, not getting your brains beat out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, but I’ve read many Pitt fans say they’d rather lose to a good team than beat a bad team.

      Sort of tells you the mentality of the fanbase since a majority have seen Pitt lose more than win.

      Like

  65. Ya, all 28,000 of them! It takes a longer period of time to build up a fan base. Hell, PSU drew fleas in the 50s and early 60s and played in a “stadium” which had two large sets of moveable bleachers. Once they started winning big from mid 60s on it became the event to go to. They learned how to schedule.

       I think it would take 8 years to do this. Your attendance wouldn’t suffer any more than it has been, and then you’d see an uptick. The Pens are a great example, when then sucked no one came and they almost were sold and moved. Didn’t matter who they were playing. Now they hold the record for consecutive sellouts. Not exactly the same but you get my drift.
    

    Like

  66. A little rain really softened Augusta. Heading south tomorrow.

    Should be able to play in the POV Outing.

    Heard that the new greenskeeper at Champion Lakes is doing great things.

    Always been a good track.

    Like

    1. The line is an issue but sacks are misleading since QBs can’t be tackled. Narduzzi blows a quick whistle when a defender is near or touches the QB. Too bad Millin isn’t here for spring ball.

      Like

    1. I agree. Hall, Ollison and Aston make up a terrific set of running backs. Pitt needs to run the ball a lot this season and be physical.

      Like

    1. Emel,

      Thank you so much! I was at many of these games. I took my girlfriend to Annapolis to see him break the all-time rushing record at Navy. We ended up with 4 kids; 2 went to Pitt.

      Like

  67. Need a little bit more than 4.1 yards per carry without the sacks.
    Overall was glad to see the secondary didn’t lead in tackles and Pickett seems to have had a solid game.

    Like

  68. Reed, you often talk about how Pitt is too cheap to hire good assistants and doesnt care about athletics as much as image. you even said Narduzzi would be gone with a good season this year due to a bad athletic department. Yet u still have such vitriol towards Narduzzi. It just doesn’t add up. I don’t think Narduzzi is Nick Saban but given Pitt’s recent history he has done a decent job. How do u justify ur dislike for him given what hes up against and given we need stability?

    Like

  69. Jack @ 9:32, sorry for answering way down here. I just don’t like to use the reply function all that much. I think I may have a few blurred memories of that bowl game. Was that the one where PITT played Northwestern and came out flat but at the same time dominated the first quarter? Was it the game when Georgie fell down untouched going in for a sure touchdown? Is it the one where Nate threw a pick at the goal line in the first quarter? Was that the game when Henderson put the ball on the ground? Could that be the game where DJ, Peterman, and Conner all got hurt? Nope, can’t say I remember that game. ike

    Like

  70. I meant to put a smiley face in there Jack. Yeah that game could qualify as SOP. I do get defensive when I hear that PITT looked flat. It sure was a game that PITT should have won.

    Like

  71. @PittMan2003…never heard Reed say Duzzi was gone this year. IMO he’s been fair with his criticism and his compliments. Ike, you are just over the top, man. I always thought Upitt was my nemesis, but damn, man. Just damn.

    Like

    1. Panther94. Reed made a comment during the pitt bball search (when it was dragging on) that if Narduzzi would win like 9 games this year he would go to a better program.

      Like

  72. @panther 94 you might as well put me on your nemesis list also as I find myself agreeing more and more with Ike’s point of view on Pitt athletics currently. Narduzzi is here for the long term unless he himself decides to move on. Frankly I think he’d be happy to retire as Pitt’s head coach in about 20 more years or so.

    Like

  73. Thanks jrn, not saying I’m right but I do have a good feel of the bigger picture which is PITT athletics. I think more than anything I try and use perspective. That being how PITT is not willing to match the big boys dime for dime so my expectations are muffled accordingly, yet at the same time thinking 21 regular season wins in three years isn’t too shabby for a team like PITT. Looking out the front windshield I can see more of a concern by the PITT administration then in the recent past. I do like Narduzzi and my optimistic outlook does bubble over at times, I just don’t understand how that bothers people so. Oh well 94 you’ll have to get in the back of the long line of people who don’t like to read anything good about their favorite college football team..

    BTW 94, I remember you from Scout. Pretty sure I bothered you even back then. sincerely waltspappy.. ike 🙂

    Like

  74. Reed, good article. If Pitt has another five win season, even Ike will be questioning Narduzzi.

    He has to have a winning season this year. For me, it has to be back to eight wins.

    Like

  75. Capel nailed the presser but you know who else did. Heather. She was really good with her opening remarks and putting things in the proper perspective. She is all business in that regard. She also has been a athlete and coach as to her background so she knows a dud when she sees one. Pitt has the right staff to do some really good things and the talent is now mostly in place as well. OL and WR who can be a surprise performer is where Narduzzi is needed most. Spring ball is glorified practice so some good some bad.

    Like

    1. Spring ball is also where you see what your team and coaching staff need to work on during the summer leading up to the new season.

      The key there is, you do have time to work on improving what you have.

      Like

  76. It would have been nice to see some of the last scrimmage, 1’s versus 1’s. Will there be a two deep depth chart released sometime before fall camp? Is that in the realm of possibility?

    Like

  77. some thoughts:

    Reed likes Narduzzi but……

    Tired of the always closed practices. There has to be a happy modicum. I can see why they are necessary though but let Reed in..

    Spring practices are not very telling even if the practices were open but the real spring game was played yesterday.

    PITT is very lucky to have EJ, the man is a true professional who just loves PITT.

    Never said Heather was going to be a good AD, just wanted her to be given a chance. Now that she’s had that chance? She looks like a good AD.

    No hidden message here but the PITT baseball team has been coming on strong and thanks to my man EE who is keeping us all updated.

    I hope Heather goes on vacation when she hires the women’s BB coach.

    Wondering if Reed is planning another podcast? The man is burning the candle at both ends and all for others. I think a little fundraiser for him would help all of us come time for the fall camp. Maybe he’ll be able to get up here a few times when PIIT gets back together?

    17–22, KP looks ready to go as he played well against a good defense yesterday. Yes I think the PITT defense will be much better this coming season. I guess that will outrage a few and they’ll want to hang me from a goalpost.. ike

    Liked by 3 people

  78. To each his own, this is after all a message board, but talk of Narduzzi’s ouster at this point is so stupid it doesn’t warrant a comment, I’d much prefer discussion of how the team is coming together, or not, though I understand it’s tough to evaluate without being able to watch practices, etc. Regarding “Narduzzi’s defense” thus far through 3 full seasons, I will say that evaluating him based on total defensive stats thus far is a product of whatever agenda you want to serve. For those that don’t like Narduzzi because of his approach to the media or whatever, there’s ample evidence suggest he’s not getting it done, and for those who like him, they can pull just as much out of there to find plenty of support for him. With regard to PN & Staff recruiting to date, I think we agree pretty much across the board there that we need to do better.

    Agree Special K regarding Pickett, I hope we are right, and I hope (given his propensity to scramble) he stays healthy.

    Like

  79. I have said before 2017 that if Narduzzi won 9 games I wouldn’t be surprised if he left to go somewhere else for more money. Pitt pays peanuts for a head coach in football. I still feel that way…

    I don’t believe for a second he’s locked his future to Pitt, nor vice versa.

    As to an “agenda” that is a smokescreen someone throws up when they disagree with what I write. But anyone who can say with a straight face that our defenses have been anything but mostly poor, and in ’16 totally horrid, and that we haven’t seen what Narduzzi was hired for and explicitly promised on the defensive side then I say take your blinders off.

    Just because I I00% disagree with closed practices doesn’t make bad defenses any better… Every media person and many fans and people at Pitt feel some practices should be opened as in the past also. But really, you guys make it seem like I actually and personally care what Narduzzi does with that and that just isn’t true.

    Like

Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s