SaturdaysAreBetter’s John Baranowski just publish his list of Pitt’s Top Ten Games over the last 50 years.  We old timers remember each one I’m sure and he includes some heartbreakers also (you know which one, don’t you? )

Here it is and what a great bit of work – he’s top notch and and great commenter on the POV.

Chris Peak over at Rivals did an insightful podcast about Pitt’s recruiting the WPIAL over the past ten years. Basically he looked at Rivals’ Top Ten WPIAL recruits from 2010 until this 2018 class to see 1) how many of those 90 recruits Pitt offered scholarships to and 2) how many of them committed to play for us.

Pitt offered 70 of those 90 and right now readers take a second and try to guess how many of those 70 highly rated kids actually chose Pitt?

45? 50? 60?

27… and that’s it. We are talking about the highest rated local players and we end up getting just a few more than a third of them…38% to be precise.

Is there any wonder why we had only a 53% winning rate over those years?

Of course there are some valid reasons for that and mainly because of the Head Coaches’ turnovers we have had in those nine years. Wannstedt, Haywood, Graham, Chryst have come and gone save our current HC Pat Narduzzi

But take a listen to the podcast linked above where Chris really flushes out this recruiting issue with some insightful thoughts that I would not have considered, but do agree with.

His take on this, and again I urge you to listen to it because he has unique theories on why this happens (and why we get Southern kids more easily it seems), starts at the 16m 30s mark.

Up until then he is discussing the Pitt basketball situation and the anger that the players had when Kevin Stallings was fired. I didn’t realize just how much they cared about him as a head coach and of the rather strong very negative reaction they had towards the University of Pittsburgh for firing Stallings.

That is a very interesting listen also and that BB segment goes from the beginning of the podcast up until the 16m 30s mark.

Peak posts his podcasts bi-weekly on Mondays and Fridays and they are available to listen to for free…

OK, I’ll be back home on Friday afternoon and over the weekend I’ll try to finish that Ricky Town article. I think you’ll enjoy it as I’m trying to do more like a human interest type piece on him while I also talked about his football skills.

His talent may very well be the key to the season if Kenny Pickett goes down for any length of time. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that doesn’t happen but much like the offensive line I also have question marks about our backup quarterback situation.

Then again most years we don’t see a backup quarterback having to play but as we know last year was an exception. So most probably we will have Pickett for the whole season and that’ll be a good thing.

 

 

110 thoughts on “A Few Very Interesting bits of Info…

  1. Good list of big games.
    Narduzzi has three big wins in his tenure. While they don’t measure up to the 70s and 80s they are as good as any in the last 30 years.

    He has also done sooner and with a lot less talent.

    Don’t know why it hasn’t raised the level of recruiting significantly.

    I think the bowl fails have hurt the momentum.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pitt has had 5 head coaches since 2010. Wanny, Haywood, Graham, Chyrst and Duzz. That has more to do with it than anything. Recruiting ability is not the issue, stability and continuity are. Every time a coach leaves they have build trust with WPIAL coaches again and start over recruiting kids.

    I actually guessed 24 so this came in 3 more than I was expecting. This falls on the poor leadership at Pitt prior to Narduzzi not the football program.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Stability and continuity are keys. Pipelines take many years to build with high schools. These relationships take time. Although coaches do come and go (avg tenure of college football coach is 6 years), the university needs to have a sustained commitment to sports. Its more on the university than any (coaching) individual. Pitt doesnt have a culture yet committed to excellence in sports. The value Pitt places on the front porch is only the couch.

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      1. Unfortunately Haywood’s hire does count because it demonstrated the dysfunction of the AD as it related to Pitt’s football program at that time.

        That stain remains. Pederson’s influences on Pitt football were responsible for many deficiencies.

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  3. why we get more southern kids I think is because they would rather go to a P5 school than a South or Central Florida although I think that is changing with the coaching hires there and more kids getting into the pros. We arent competing with Miami, Florida or Florida St with any of these kids. And those schools can only offer so many scholies. So Pitt gets some very tasty leftovers.

    Pitt has all the selling points for elite recruits…power conference, playing time, Steelers association, nice stadium and facilities, good school and vibrant campus/city, tradition, cool unis, path to NFL, current Pitt legends in the game today, decent coaching staff, new ACC TV network, good girl to guy ratio on campus.

    But Pitt fans (non-cultists) dont worship the program or athletes, as athletes you actually have to attend real classes and Pitt pays less under the table. 🙂 And yes 45k in a 70k stadium looks empty and bland. And once again yes with Pitt’s record and fan support, Pitt gets bowl games in crappy Detroit or Birmingham. No fun in that.

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    1. ” Pitt has all the selling points for elite recruits…power conference, playing time, Steelers association, nice stadium and facilities, good school and vibrant campus/city, tradition, cool unis, path to NFL, current Pitt legends in the game today, decent coaching staff, new ACC TV network, good girl to guy ratio on campus”

      The problem is most power 5 conference teams can say the same things. What you really need to do is figure out what separates you from everyone else and right now there really isn’t much that makes Pitt any different in the eyes of recruits. It seems to most of them we are a middle of the road, mediocre program and they look elsewhere once they come calling.

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    2. As your last paragraph clarifies, Pitt actually does NOT have “all the selling points for elite recruits…” At least in football they don’t. In BB, they do…

      Hail to Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There is only 1 asshat and it is the BoT. I really cant blame the players, coaches or previous AD’s. The BoT sets the culture and commitment. There is a deep state of Nitters and corrupt political appointees on this board. The BoT swamp must be drained before you’ll see any sustained progress. If Pitt takes one step forward and it hurts Penn State in any way, you’ll see Pitt quickly taking 2 steps back. Hows that for conspiracy theory?

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  4. I love peaks podcasts. His opinion of WPIAL was less optimistic than PSN. It is very disappointing how many recruits we have missed on.

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  5. I remember all of the Top 10 games so very well with the exception of the ’79 UNC game. For some reason, I just can’t recall it. I remember being at 3 Rivers in the ’82 opener when we eked out a 7-6 win vs the Heels, as well as losing to the Heels when Julius Peppers destroyed our OL, also at # Rivers. But I just have no recollection at all of the 79 game.

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  6. I agree somewhat on the stability issue, but when it comes right down to it, coaches close the deal. That is unless you are a blue blood.

    It is the strength of the coaches personality and ability to sell a shared vision.

    Look at Capel vs Stallings.

    Pitt has no shortage of excuses/rationales. Great coaches overcome the obstacles.

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    1. Not to excuse football, but in basketball all you need is 1-2 elite players. And really if you have very good guards, your are tourney bound each year. And in football, Narduzzi can only overcome certain obstacles. He cant make 25k yellow seats turn black or convince students to stay for Fantas.

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      1. No doubt basketball takes fewer elite players. But winning is what fills stadiums in both sports.
        It takes elite players to win.

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  7. The reason we get a decent amount of southern recruits is because their is an overabundance of them.
    Whereas in western pa there are very few high level recruits statistically speaking.

    Out of curiosity, how many other d1 colleges have 5 or more head coaching changes during the past 8 years? Has any other schools bot done this to their school too? Just wondering.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. thank god he wasnt the number 1 pick. would have never heard the end of it from nitters. but will the pedo state curse strike him like with every other creepy valley running back since franco, the poopy pants supporter.

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  9. Capel (maybe) getting another good PG. Xavier Johnson who decommitted from Nebraska.

    If true and Capel keeps this up, talk of a rebuild may be off the mark

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  10. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dbulqv0VQAEBWjy.jpg:large

    This is the first official graduating class of Univ of Pgh in 1909, after the name change from Western Univ of PA. Reed is the tall, hatless guy towards the center in the rear. Erie Express is the bespeckled guy in far left center with the white beach hat who looks like he can’t wait to get to Schenley Park to hit his mashie and niblick. Ike is in the right front who is the only one pictured with close to a smile on his face. And UPItt is in the golf cap 2nd row left with his arms crossed, obviously pissed at something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should have also mentioned that Annie nor any of her sorority sisters were nowhere to be found.

      As for me, I was at the Unclean O eating an extremely large order of ‘potatoes prepared in a French manner’ at the unspeakable price of 39 cents.

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  11. Listen to the podcast and I really don’t understand the questions about local recruiting. TT nails it early pointing out how local recruiting has taken a big hit since steve and the PITT bot’s decided football was no longer important. The firing of Wanny changed PITT football for years. A slow change has begun to gain momentum by bringing in more out of state players and in a few short years the wins will start dotting the win loss column more profoundly. At that point, PITT football will become appealing to the local talent and they will once again want to come to PITT and be a part of their local school and winning. I’m quite sure of this ike

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  12. One could argue that Pitt actually had a hand in the mediocre level of WPIAL talent that exists today. Had Pitt been a national power for the past 10 years, more athletes would be following Pitt and D1 football, going to the Pitt games as small kids and then wanting to play at a high level for the local team. How many of the top WPIAL players actually attended Pitt games when growing up? Or had season tickets? And the Heinz experience is not exactly memorable compared to the old days at Pitt Stadium where I attended games as a kid (as a kid, walking up along massive Pitt Stadium was awesome!).

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  13. The NE and Ohio are declining in numbers and there will be less to pick from. Did Pitt. miss out on some really good recruits, yes. But from here, Pitt will get some locals and focus on the growth areas of DMV, Southeast, Florida and still maintain the Ohio, NJ and whatever the North east has to offer. Pitt winning will open PA mostly NW and Philly area. In the end, Narduzzi will need to win especially in 2019 when the roster is full of experienced seasoned players.

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  14. Ray, as for this past season and worse next year you are right but the 2015-17 classes were loaded.

    VOR, you are probably right, steve ruined high school football in the WPIAL as well. He was like a tidal wave, destroying everything in his path.

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  15. The two players I think Narduzzi missed out on were Wade and Raines. The others were star struck and had their hearts set on leaving for their dream schools. I expect a couple to come crawling back.

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  16. Just listened to Peak’s podcast and face it, the lack of local appeal for Pitt program affects both attendance and recruiting. Pitt FB is just not fashionable … even with the 2016 wins vs PSU and Clemson, and the win this year vs #2 Miami. And as Chris pointed out, the FB program since 2011 has been a trainwreck …. coaching turnover, head-scratching losses, .500 records and empty stadiums.

    As strange as it sounds, I agree with the philosophy of getting recruits from outside of the area in hoping that it eventually become attractive to the locals.

    Are you aware that Pitt has not even offered 4-star MJ Devonshire from Aliquippa? Neither has PSU — my guess is that WVU has this guy all wrapped up just like the other recent recruits (although I have no knowledge of it) But think about it …. Pitt pretty much had the pipeline to Aliquippa sewn up but something has gone wrong beginning with losing Dravon Henry in 2014.

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    1. Kaezon Pugh, a Rivals 4-star and #7 player in PA, was from Aliquippa and hit campus in 2016. Red shirted one year, rode the bench one year, and transferred. Two reported position changes along the way.

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      1. Narduzzi after a drunken binge decided to have him put on 40 lbs and become a DE and play in a couple years. You know, because we had so much LB depth. (just shoot me….)

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  17. Heather has just sign a 6-year contract extension. On one hand, I like it for stability reasons, on the other hand, it may a bit long

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  18. Sort of like Foster, ike. He didn’t come back, but what kind of a college career did Foster have? And after all these years, I am still blown away that Pitt brought Pederson back after a less than stellar performance at Nebraska. I wonder what the administration and BoT were smoking.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. wwb, as I mentioned before, with fewer than 300 4 stars in the country, Pitt should offer EVERY 4 star, especially local kids, unless they must pass through a jail cell to give it to him. There are many reasons why a kid can change his mind (heck, he might even get his girlfriend pregnant and want to stick around- who knows??) I thought I heard that Capel was out in Oregon recruiting a kid, and an assistant has traveled to Europe- what a novel idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt actually visited Aliquippa HS about a week and a half ago (but no details were printed), yet still no offer according to Rivals

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  20. Not sure what the closest high school conference is in Tallahassee to Florida State, but for the entire state FSU only got 8% of the top 50 players.

    Difficult to find a comparison of other schools and the percentage of recruits they aquire from their nearest high school conference.

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  21. Rudolph killed us twice but he had WR Washington who seemed to catch everything. Maybe it is time for the Steelers to think QB.

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  22. I like Rudolph as well. The Steelers let 3 D-backs go (Gay, Mitchell, and Golden) from last year. Although they did pick up a safety named Phillips.

    Agree VOR. If PITT doesn’t get the four star players from BFE then that’s ok. I wish they had done a little better in the WPIAL though.

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  23. The Steelers have drafted Dobbs & Landry Jones in the last 6 years at the QB position, which raises questions. Colbert has gotta be one of the most over-rated GM’s in the league, but everybody loves to heap praise on him for some reason. And if they actually turn out to be correct about Edmunds and he was better than what everybody else thought, great, but they could’ve had him in the next round so it was still an iffy move. The Steelers are fortunate to have Rothlisberg, Brown & OL coach Munchak.

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  24. Back to Aliquippa … Tony Gibson has been recruiting Aliquippa since 2001 every year but 2012 … at WVU from 2001-2008, at Michigan for two years, at Pitt in 2011, and back at WVU since 2013. Stability

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  25. 1618, not saying what kind of GM Colbert is or isn’t good or bad but when the Steelers are constantly picking in the late 20’s with their picks, most people tend to think doing a good job.

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  26. If not for the Pats and Brady, the Steelers have had good success with Colbert as GM. Cowher one super bowl, Tomlin 2 super bowls and a number of AFC championship games as well. Yes the lack of going back to a Superbowl since 2010 is there. But the roster is very good and with some tweaks they can be a legit contender for a AFC championship in 2018.

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  27. Gibson is dirty.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to offer all 300-400 4 stars just to offer. That sounds like Chryst. What I have been saying for awhile is that we need to get on these kids in the 9th grade. When I see that we offered a four star from Florida thats in the 2020 class I get excited. But when I realize that the player already has offers from FSU, Miami, Flurrrida, Alabama and Auburn, I very quickly get unexcited.

    Look, Pitt needs to get to these kids first and make great impressions by making an offer early. This comes down to talent evaluation. Prospects always have a great feeling for the school that offered first. That gives you an edge. Also, offering a freshman is not commitable by the player or the university.

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  28. Feeling better about Pitt hoops this week as they can now do a three man weave. Hopefully they can close a few more out shortly. What ever happened to the big man Stone. Everything was hot with him and then poof, silence.

    If I was our headcoach I would go after a top 50 player that committed to Rhode Island. Can’t remember his name but he is from the Philly area.

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  29. ^^ Good question gc, here’s another one. How can anyone complain about the % of 4* players who do not commit or are considered a “miss” by Narduzzi when you offer everybody? << I do set aside the local recruits. The good ones are a must.

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    1. Watched replay of Ben in last 2 SBs. He doesn’t look last year remotely like the QB he was. Fat and slow now. Rudolf May be in sooner than we all think. Love the Washington pick. Sign Timmons and the def3nse is fine.

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  30. Congrats to Brian O’Neil. Really glad he went in the 2nd round. Love the Steelers getting Washington. He may be the best receiver in the draft. He sure ate up Pitt…..

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I mentioned the OK ST QB and WR earlier in the day. Never thought they would both be picked by Steelers. We played them at the wrong time.

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  32. I really like the Rudolph pick. I did think he would have gone higher but have to chuckle when the Edmonds selection was scrutinized as saying he could have been picked up in the second round. I guess that’s why no one asked us our opinions on the draft? ike

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  33. OT, Just ready to type this in when a caller on the Nightly Sports Call mentioned Timmons. Don’t be surprised if the Steelers bring him back for next year.

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  34. Going to be difficult for them to beat their personal heinz field bests!

    Joking aside, pretty creative pickup getting those two.

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  35. Weird looking draft by Steelers. Where’s the fast LB to replace Shazier?

    Nutty to take a QB in the 3rd round when they should be going all out for the gold with their old geezer QB, IMHO…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Better than taking a barely 6 foot QB with the 1st pick. Gotta love the Stains….they never give up with
      these dreadful picks. 🙂

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  36. Jackagain…hard to believe anyone knows something that we collectively don’t. Haha.
    Erie…I thought the same re: Nard Dog pic, burying SOP.

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  37. ONeill will be coached by Viking Asst OL coach Andrew Janocko, whose main claim to fame is a dropped extra point snap that kept Pitt out of the Orange Bowl.

    With the addition of Washington and Rudolph, the Steelers are hoping that Maddox and Whitehead go to the Bengals or Ravens

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  38. Ike, I still say the Edmunds pick was thick-headed, but I actually really do like both the Washington & Rudolph picks a lot. Not saying I’m confident either will pan out, QB’s are especially tough to predict, but it wouldn’t totally shock me if Rudolph turned out to be the best QB in the draft. I guess Steelers are going defense today!

    Like

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