Here are some links for discussion…

Here is a nice overview of Pitt’s prospects going into the 2018 season from The College Football News. Of course their premise is that we need to play every game the way we played against Miami last year.  However, while that could, possibly, maybe happen more likely we’ll see the same things that we saw after we beat PSU, and Clemson and that is starting the season with no real push from the previous year’s big wins.

Don’t get me wrong – those big upset wins are one of the things, a big thing actually, that is keeping the fans opinion of Pat Narduzzi pretty high.  If not for those three wins we’d have a whole different view of the football program at this point.

But we won those and they were great to watch unfold. I did think we’d get a bit of a recruiting bump in the next recruiting class after the PSU and then the Clemson victories… but I’m still waiting for that to happen with the Miami win also.

The publication Athlon Sports kicks in with their Pitt overview also:

Georgia Tech and Pitt: Sleepers in the Coastal Division

Miami and Virginia Tech were the clear picks at the top of the Coastal during Athlon’s ACC prediction meeting. Pitt and Georgia Tech led the next tier and both teams should improve after posting losing records in 2017.

The Panthers feature rising star quarterback Kenny Pickett, and the defense should take a big step forward with seven starters back. However, coach Pat Narduzzi’s team faces a brutal schedule. Pitt catches UCF, Penn State and Notre Dame in non-conference action and catches swing games against Wake Forest, Virginia and North Carolina on the road.

Athlon is a bit more optimistic than most in this regard.  We may be sleepers but the money is, at this point, showing an over/under for Pitt wins at 5.0.  Remember it has been at 5.5 then dropped last week as money flowed into the negative side of the equation.  That sounds about right to me at this point.

In a bit of good news for Pitt football alumni TE Scotty Orndoff was just picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s hope he sticks around there for a while.

Orndoff originally signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in May 2017 after going undrafted out of college. However, he was waived by the team three months later and was picked up by the Detroit Lions for a brief stint to close out the preseason. He then moved on to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad during the regular season but didn’t manage to stick there either.

During his college career, Orndoff developed into a solid receiving option for former Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman, and the pair played an integral role in Pitt’s 43-42 upset victory over eventual national champion Clemson at Clemson Memorial Stadium in November 2016. In that memorable game, the tight end compiled 128 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches.

That season, which was Orndoff’s best at Pitt, the former Panther amassed 579 yards and five touchdowns on 35 catches. He also proved himself as a big-play threat, given his 55-yard touchdown reception against Clemson and a similar 74-yard score against Georgia Tech.

Huh. We need to get back to that sort of production from our TEs.  Last season with Clark and Flanagan, both transfer players, we had a total of 33 receptions for 282 yards and 1 TD.  Big damn difference there from what just one TE did the year before. Let’s hope we can start grooming and growing TEs out of our own recruits instead of looking toward the bottom of the transfer barrels.

In some nice news (from PSN Sports)  for Pitt’s past football players we have two of our own nominated for College Football’s Hall of Fame.  Both Matt Cavanaugh and RB Iron head Heyward are listed but its a longshot for both of them I believe.  Take a look at who they are up against.

Raghib Ismail from ND, Ray Lewis from Miami, Troy Polamalu from USC, etc…  This might not be their year and I wonder if they will make it at all. Let’s hope they do.

This is an interesting website that break down the teams’ productivity as the season rolls along. I’ll include it here for the 2017 season stats as reminders for when we start discussing ’18’s versus ’17’s teams this summer and fall…

And here is Rival’s listing for Pitt’s 2019 commitments. I’m not trying to be funny here – I add it because you can use this page to see past recruiting classes Pitt has had or to check on how other team’s are recruiting at present (I don’t think it is behind a paywall…)

We have a few kids coming in on June 15th for official visits. One 4* recruit is Daniel Carter who is the 5th nationally ranked RB in the ’19 class. He’s out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and would be an excellent get if we can swing it.   Getting him up to Pittsburgh is a feather in Charlie Partridge’s cap.

Here is his video and he’s a good one…

Have to say though – looking at his offer sheet it’s a long shot but maybe Narduzzi is due for some success with the best of the best.  Here is a listing from Rivals’ website of the visitors we’ll have on campus on the weekend after next.

'19 2


256 thoughts on “Football Bits & Pieces; 6/5/18

  1. Just to add here. All the recruits coming in for the 15th are from the deep south. Brown and Mack are from Alabama and Beville is from South Carolina the rest all from Florida. Interesting recruiting tactic I’m guessing.


  2. Well the wait is over folks Pitt just got a 4 star graduate transfer from Arkansas TE Will Gragg to commit today. But I’m guessing most on this board will not credit this 4 star with the same 4 stars coming out of HS this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Position of need. Ike, this shows that both Narduzzi and I didn’t have the good faith you did in the existing TE group.

    “He played sparingly, catching just five passes for 61 yards in 10 games last year as a redshirt sophomore, his first season of game action.”

    So, yeah – That 4* HS ranking is pretty much history. No future at Arkansas so looked for better chances. He’ll help out I’m sure but I do hope he can block well because more often or not he’ll be the 6th offensive lineman.


  4. So now we have two ex-Arkansas Razorbacks on the roster; I guess both Town and Gregg were there the same year back in 2015.

    Arkansas went 4-8 last year so for Gregg this is a one win step up.



    1. He also is a grad transfer – smart young man?

      His older brother played at Arkansas and in the NFL.

      A 4 star is a 4 star in my book. With Clark leaving, Pitt needed to fill that spot with somewhat of a veteran.

      Good for Duzz!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The plus is that he will immediate eligibility since he graduated .. and 2 years left to play (a la N Peterman)

    However, I can see the negative aspect here …. since we already have 3 TEs (I assume both Sear and Reeves will also see plenty of snaps)


  6. Apparently Reeves is not showing what many thought he would with his athleticism and size. Hope he gets it together. Sear looks like a lumberer who can help. Carrigan was projected to be the TE to be moved to the O-line ala O’Neill. I feel this all comes back to what I read when Watson arrived and that is he really doesn’t use the TE’s as an offensive threat.


  7. This also will be the second year in a row Narduzzi has turned to multiple graduate transfers on offense, after getting one season each out of Flanagan, quarterback Max Browne and offensive lineman Brandon Hodges last season.”

    This isn’t supposed to be happening in the 4th year of a HC’s time after having now almost four full recruiting classes.


  8. Sorry Reed, I was posting my comment while you were posing yours. Although it looks like we are thinking somewhat alike.

    Honest disclosure. It takes me a good while to collect my mind together enough to form a thought or expression. Seriously and if I get interrupted it may well take me 45 minutes to write a one paragraph comment. I’m a little off these days. ike


  9. Maybe a PhD candidate?

    For IMMEDIATE Release
    June 6, 2018

    Pitt Football Adds Graduate Transfer Will Gragg

    LINK: Gragg Joins Panthers

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi announced today the addition of tight end Will Gragg, a graduate transfer from the University of Arkansas.

    Gragg arrives at Pitt with two years of immediate eligibility remaining. Owning a bachelor’s degree in recreation and sport management, he will pursue his graduate studies in Pitt’s School of Social Work.

    “Our tight end room just got an immediate infusion of veteran talent with the addition of Will Gragg,” Narduzzi said. “He is a tremendously smart and tough competitor who will help us in the run and pass games. Will had a number of options following his graduation from Arkansas and we’re thrilled he picked Pitt to continue his academic and athletic careers.”

    Gragg played in 10 games for the Razorbacks as a redshirt sophomore last season and caught five passes for 61 yards (12.2 avg.). A native of Dumas, Ark., he was an all-state performer and rated a four-star prospect out of Dumas High School.

    Gragg owns strong family ties to the National Football League. His older brother, Chris Gragg, spent the past five seasons as a tight end in the NFL (Buffalo Bills and New York Jets). His cousin, Jarius Wright, played wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings the past six years and recently signed with the Carolina Panthers.


    I figured the narrative would be Gragg is no good, Narduzzi sucks, etc. But if you read the links you will see he was just buried on the depth chart behind two future NFL tight ends. Rivals listed him as an impact transfer. The other impact transfers they listed were also coached by poor coaches who can’t recruit from-Tennessee, Florida State, LSU, Florida, etc.


    1. Just trying to understand the thought process, you weren’t happy with what you found on a Pitt blog so you went to two other blogs to find more favorable treatment?

      Did you read the part in the Arkansas blog where it talks about RS-Jr Gragg being buried at #4 on the Hogs depth chart for the upcoming 2018 season?

      Gragg wasn’t buried on the depth chart at Arkansas behind NFL tight ends n 2017. Both of the cited NFL guys were in the NFL last season. I add that Sprinkle only caught one pass for the Redskins in 2017.

      I assume that you also read the comment that the one commenter didn’t like Gragg’s speed out of high school but figured he would become faster in college. Apparently didn’t happen. He went on to say that he still feels that Gragg could be successful in the right system. Perhaps a system with a sophomore QB with one career start, an offensive line with 3 new starters and 2 new starters at wide receiver?

      Not sure what the snarky point is about the other impact transfers. None of that has any bearing on Gragg or Pitt. However I will indulge. What do those programs named have in common recently?


      1. Yeah I read some other blogs to get some perspective rather than just spouting off about a kid none of us know anything about. I am saying this is a good pickup for Pitt. Is this kid Gronk? Of course not.
        Everybody uses grad transfers. And if you think Pitt recruiting should be good enough in recruiting to never use them you are in a dream world.


  11. I agree that Narduzzi’s OL/TE recruiting thus far has been sub par where most of the transfers have been occurring. Of course, it is too early to judge the 2018 class which looks like it has some promise.

    On the other hand, the defense appears to have pretty good depth; we’ll see about the talent this coming season. wwb


  12. 99% of Narduzzi’s recruiting class from 2018 hasn’t attended one single practice yet. Are we really going to count them?


      1. I don’t get the “freshman play all the time elsewhere” comment. If they play elsewhere it’s because the more upper classmen were not good enough. So then the “elsewhere” school is missing good recruits above the freshman. Does that mean the “elsewhere” schools have better recruits than Pitt has because Pitt doesn’t get freshmen who can replace their above freshmen players?


  13. I hope Will Gagg works out but I think Narduzzi reliance on transfers is hurting the chemistry of the team. Other than a qb or a stretch the field skill position player a good staff should be able to develop their players and decide on a clear cut #1 guy at that position. Reeves was a 4 star recruit, cardigan a two or three and same with Sear. You can bet one of not two of these guys are doing the best in their group give that guy a shot than. Now you guys that lose belief in themselves and look for a transfer after this year.
    I believe when duzz brought in brown dinucci was pissed he had worked his tail off to get a shot only to be told yeah you have been in our program but you still not good enough. Let me know what you think do all these transfers fracture the locker room chemistry.


  14. Narduzzi recruited 3 TE’s last year. He’s bringing in a transfer TE. Interesting. HC’s across the country don’t mind sprinkling in a few transfers here and there but they are very careful on the number of transfers. It can damage team chemistry….especially if they are head cases like Kam Carter and Clark.

    I’m sure Reaves, Sear and Carrigan are thrilled with this news today….


    1. Reaves Sear and Carrigan were also joined by Clark last year. Clark, a projected starter, flew the coop. Why should those guys be upset that someone else is joining them when Clark should’ve been there and starting anyway???

      If they don’t like to compete, then football is not for them either.


  15. Do a google search on graduate transfers in college football. You would be surprised by how many of the BIG named schools do accept graduate transfers into their fold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Other than Peterman has any transfers to Pitt played any better than a recruited kid would have?

      This is what we are talking about with team chemistry…Pitt has had a lot of early departures lately.


      1. Question #1: What Pitt players left because of graduate transfers?

        Question#2: What Pitt players left because of graduate transfers that matter?


  16. Pitt should take all of the graduate transfers it can get. They need to win NOW, and don’t have the luxury of worrying about bruising a few egos. Let the players actually compete for the position.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This year is a pivitol season for Coach Narduzzi. THREE TEs on the roster is the bare minimum in a run oriented offense. Double TE formations need more. This is a position of need.


  17. Transfers are obviously the norm these days. Peterman got us two eight win seasons. Savage was pretty good. Most of the others have had little impact. Hopefully Hendrix and the O-line transfers have good seasons, we need them. You never know about anyone until they do it on the field.

    Results are still going to come down to Pickett behind a makeshift line. Some impact plays from the defense could help a whole lot. Will this be the year we get those timely plays? We need turnovers and third and fourth down stops this year. It has been a long time since we could count on many.

    On paper recruiting has not and is not that impressive. We need quite a few of these three star guys to turn out to be gems. So far we haven’t seen many. Hopefully this is the year we see some.

    Unfortunately, other than PSU, our home schedule is abysmal and will hurt attendance. Not much to jack up enthusiasm for the program. Another Narduzzi big game upset could really help.


  18. Taking transfers here and there is OK. Taking transfers that are head cases like the names I posted is not OK. Hell, Clark tried to commit to Syracuse a few weeks before committing to Narduzzi and Scott Schafer said thanks but no thanks. He knew Clark was a problem. Kam Carter was a complete disaster.

    Again, no problem with transfers, just gotta be careful on the risk/reward scenario and the total number of transfers. Team chemistry is a fine line.

    This current TE grad transfer has 2 years to play. Narduzzi doesn’t feel comfortable in his own recruits, Sear, Reaves and Carrigan. Just the same on the OL when he was scrambling trying to bring in grad transfer OL. He doesn’t feel comfortable with his own OL recruits.

    The better situation is actually recruiting quality players out of HS and developing them.


  19. If this grad TE transfer would have pick another school to go to, more than half this blog would blame Narduzzi for being a failure. In some eyes, the man cannot win.


      1. Not on this blog one of the many “downbeats” would have reported that Narduzzi can’t even sell the grad transfers on coming to Pitt. As Ike said we have many who just enjoy posting about Narduzzi’s failures and even IMO just can’t wait to doing so.


    1. But what has narduzzi won? No bowl wins. No division titles. Just three high profile wins which mattered little except for bragging rights.


      1. It’s been a long time since Pitt had three high-profile wins from a coach.

        Can we let the man just build and see where it takes us? Learn from the past and not fire a guy at the wrong time, like with Wannstedt.


  20. I had already read he was interested in PITT and others last week. He picked PITT and PITT beat out other prospective schools. Plus if he had been a 2* coming out of high school? Then that would still be his ranking and not forgiven and forgotten. I don’t find all this hard to follow, it all leads me back to Narduzzi sucks land.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Transfer busts:

    Browne with only one TD other than the Rice game…4 games with none.

    Kam Carter we should never have taken for many reasons one being it made us look desperate as hell.

    Clark was a head case and did nothing.

    Flanagan did nothing really.

    Hodges was not much on OL and we could have given a younger OL the experience needed for this season.

    Hendrix has been average at best and could be replaced if we had any recruited talent behind him at all…

    It’s one thing to take transfers as depth, but a whole other thing to be forced to take them because your recruiting hasn’t paid off.

    Now we get Town, laden with questions as our QB2…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If PN played freshmen at OL we lose them as 5th year seniors. If we play them as sophomores then one has to ask “when?” Like the Miami game? How about the 4th quarter of the North Carolina game? The 3rd quarter of the Syracuse game? Hey, I have a good idea, the last minute of the VT game. The fact of the matter is that we stunk last year principally because we lacked a sufficient number of seniors and 5th year seniors. Playing freshman OL kids would not have made the team better and we needed to be as good as we could be just about all the time.


  22. The grad transfer failures like Clarke and Carter had “failure” written all over them. Just look at their histories. Flannigan was a good gamble even though he didn’t end up doing much. They need to be more conscious of the head cases and character flaw types and not just take anyone. But I will take a guy who is caught in a numbers game but has some experience and maturity (and hopefully some talent) any day.


  23. I will wait and see what the future holds in terms of recruits and on field performance. If we don’t get the recruits ( some star power) and get 4-5 wins then the heat is turned up big time. A solid 8 win season with a bowl victory and he gets more time.

    Has Pat endeared himself to the community,??..Capel seems to have a way with the casual fan just from reading his twitter feed.


  24. We had the DL from Michigan State in Duzz’s 1st year who contributed until he was injured. Think he came here to go to med school.


    1. Scarapino had 7 tackles in almost 8 full games Bernie…not so good for a D L who started some games.

      I don’t know guys. It seems to me these transfers smack of filling holes that should already have good recruits playing there. If we don’t have those and we have to rely on transfers then I think we have real problems


      1. The transfers are definitely about filling holes. No argument there. Holes because we had so few seniors and 5th year seniors. And yes because recruiting is just OK. No argument there. Argument is over whether recruiting is bad. I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s “let’s see how they play this and next year”.


      2. We have real problems when these transfers don’t perform well at positions of need. That’s why we picked them up in the first place. DUH!


  25. You know it cracks me up that Pitt fans kept saying Narduzzi was “building a program” by recruiting the specific kids he wants on roster, but then as time goes on they shift and applaud him for bringing in transfers to “win now”.

    It wasn’t just transfer Peterman who won those first 16 games…it was also a solid supporting cast on offense with good RBs, good WRs, good TEs and good OLs.

    Now that we haven’t been able to keep up that quality of starters all of a sudden we love his transfers when what they really are is shouldn’t be needed.


    1. So Potato Skins actually was building a great team and Narduzzi walked into that game with a full house. When it comes to his own merits they don’t hold up. I was wrong on Paul Chryst.


  26. I think I remember that he missed on the tight ends he really wanted and settled for Carrigan and Sear.

    I think that has been the story, the many misses on the top guys wanted.

    The second part of the story is the decline in WPIAL prospects, although two years ago, when there was a good class he whiffed on most. That was when I recognized that he wasn’t the master recruiter that we hoped for and that the Pat Signal was just hype. All we hear is excuses. He has had three years to recruit this class and still we hear crickets.

    Four and Five star guys that fail at their first school should be reclassified as two stars, when they transfer. Also, how do these guys graduate in three years while playing D-1 Football?


    1. gc,
      How can you be so negative? Just because we are the only power 5 school to have zero recruits what right do you have to be SO negative. Everything is GREAT, don’t you know?


  27. Pitt might as well get used to the BC, Wake and Cuse model. Every ten years they catch lightening in a bottle and then they become the cream that goes into puffs.


  28. Reeves was a four-star. Sounded like a 3-year starter type player. But after watching him in the spring game, I’m skeptical. Looked like a guy learning to dance and still counting the steps in his head instead of cutting loose. Hopefully he cuts loose eventually.

    Plus we’ve lost at least one decent TE recruit to a late flip – wasn’t that in the last class?

    I’m glad to hear Coach Duzz brought somebody in.

    Kind of shows that getting a four-star doesn’t necessarily solve your problem…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Here is an email from Ike to me a couple of months ago and I never followed up…

    Reed: Here’s a recruiting idea you can do what you will with.. Feel free to mold it any which way you think it should be ike

    Here’s a quick look at PITT’s 2019 recruiting strategy.

    In an attempt to get away from some family issues that have cropped up, I went over to PITT’s recruit offer list just to check it out and found a few interesting facts that surprised me and at the same time didn’t take me all that off guard. Seems that HCPN has quickened his recruiting targets from PA to a generally speaking, east of the Mississippi River territory. I think we all realize that WPA has practically fallen off the cherished recruiting hotbed list but man oh man I didn’t think 2019 would be this shallow of talent.

    Let me back up a moment, my rough count has PITT extending something a little less than 165 total outstanding offers. This blows my mind a bit but proves the theory that all the offers are not commit-able at first glance. This is just a rough look at what is going on right now on the PITT recruiting front. “Wasting Time” in other words. I could play the Dave Mathews video but I’ll spare you all this time.

    I considered the WPIAL from the rest of Pa as two separate entities as I just don’t think eastern PA is a major target for PITT recruiting. The WPIAL is. Ready for the offer list for WPIAL? Answer … 3. That’s it for right now. I feel this is real bad for PITT’s next years recruiting class. Jayvon Thrift, Andrew Kristofic. and Joey Porter jr are the 3 and all 3 are three stars. I do like all 3 of the players and hope they come on board as I think they are quality recruits. Have to mention that PITT and Narduzzi have to keep up local recruiting ties with the younger players and with the local high school coaches. BTW, I believe Kristofic is a legacy recruit.

    That leaves the rest of PA as having a total of 13 more players including Kyri Wright from Farrel who for whatever reason is not a part of the WPIAL. I do remember going to a high school football game up there and it was quite a ride in the snow. The Eddie McClusky days. So where that leave PA in numbers across the board in terms of total recruits? Well PA ranks 3rd. There is really no surprise in the top 4.

    )4. New Jersey with 12
    )3. PA with 16
    )2. Ohio. with 21
    )1. Ready for this? Florida with 46 That’s right, 46 offers to Florida high school football players. I can’t say what the numbers looked like in years past but that seems real high to me.

    Another surprise to me is Michigan with 12 followed by Maryland with 11 and Georgia with 9. We will see which players commit or not but it looks like Narduzzi has expanded PITT’s recruiting territory to nationwide. This is also punctuated by 7 offers to the state of California and 4 to the DC area. I’ll also spare you guys from the ZZ Top song “Nationwide”.

    Finishing up, a look at the star power of these offers. Of the total, 2 are 5* young men. Devyn Ford from VA and Chris Steele from Cali. Looks like around 70 4* offers are out there around the country with only 4 being from the state of Pa and none from the WPIAL.

    The reason I bring up the 4* offers is that last year there was a big uproar on the lack of PITT recruiting a 4* player until the last day and also the question of how many 4* players offer that PITT supposedly “missed on”. Seems at the rate of offers out there compared to scholarships available we should all plan on PITT missing out on a lot more 4*’s this coming year.

    The point of this comment is….. ??… ike


  30. Pitt needed to bring in an experienced TE and a SEC caliber TE is a good get in my book. Narduzzi is recruiting exactly what a program that wins 6 to 8 games does. A top 40 ranking mid 30’s is not bad relative to what the program has been with three coaches before Narduzzi in 5 years. Pitt will be very competitive with a much improved D and that is a start. But at ND. UCF and PSU with the ACC schedule is simply to much to expect more than a good year. The schedule is more favorable in 2019 and that is the year Narduzzi shows he can be that difference maker or not.


  31. safe to say Narduzzi is on the hot seat next year.
    This year its 5-8 wins
    Next year the target should be 9 wins min plus a bowl win or BUST
    I’ll place the odds at Narduzzi being fired at next year’s end at 3:1


  32. CBS Sports ranked the pre-season top college QBs (top 34 QBs) for the 2018 season. CBS ranked them within tiers and I’ve added the tiers consecutively, only including teams that we play.

    Overall ranking by CBS Sports:
    #1 – McSorley, PSU
    #3 – Milton – UCF
    #6 – Finley – NC St.
    #14 Jackson – VaTech
    #17 Wimbush – ND
    #26 Dungey – Syr
    #33 Rosier, Miami

    Seven of the twelve QBs that Pitt will face are ranked by CBS in the top 34 (pre-season).

    Most of the above are dual threat to some degree. The Pitt D had better be much improved.


        1. Kenny is probably # 35

          So McSwirley is the #1 ranked QB and the nits are ranked # 10 in a poll I saw today.

          Can’t wait for that September evening in Pittsburgh when the Panthers smack Franky and his 4 star contingent back to # 11 in the polls.

          Pitt with the win will remain unranked until they beat UCF in Orlando and head to South Bend for a showdown with the Irish.


  33. I’m wondering how many players have had campus visits so far for this 2019 class. It needs to be higher than last year at this time after the poor on-field performance last Fall just to finish with a decent class. The extra recruiting time in the Fall plus the Miami win should have combined to get more kids to visit. The past stats show that a good percentage of commitments comes from the on-site visits, but I’m not hearing about large numbers of visits so far.


  34. Zero official visits so far.

    10 scheduled for 6/15 along with two unofficial visits.

    For comparison PSU has 19 so far with 9 already committing.

    Let’s hope we can beat them on the field because off it is a lost cause.


  35. Who the he** cares how many visits we had this year versus last year? All that counts is what will the recruiting class look like at the end and how will they play in the future. You guys can make a contest out of whether or not the Pitt Panther can out run the Nittney Lion and if not be critical of the guy that recruited the Pitt Panther.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fictitious nittany lion has our panther in a death grip. Franklin needs to teach recruiting 101 to narduzzi and maybe Barbour needs to teach AD 201 to Lyke.



      1. Recruiting 101

        — have a $70M annual budget
        — get a home crowd of > 100K even if you play LaRoche College
        — take helicopters to HS games to recruit
        — have a spacious campus with state-of=the-art facilities that aren’t cramped into a small area
        — have an > 50k on-campus student population .. and don’t compete head-to-head with pro teams

        piece of cake … wwb


  36. jrnpitt, things are ugly on the recruiting front, admit it. Miracles don’t just happen. They won’t just suddenly finish with a great class. I’m leaving now for the john, I’m about to puke.


  37. No Frank, they won’t. We beat them two years ago as well as Clemson and it really didn’t help our recruiting. The lack of high quality recruits should be of worry to any fan. Getting two and three star kids is like leaving yourself 4 foot putts all day. You have to hit them all, but the law of averages say you will miss a high percentage of them.
    Over the past few years the trend has become alarming. The inability to recruit is one thing, the approach and attitude of the staff is another. You can only get away with treating people poorly for so long. The tactics and approach they are using wears thin. I’m concerned, but like most things, when a negative trend goes so long, it results in change. I believe this is getting close to occurring.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. psu knowingly allowed an assistant coach to repeatably openly molest young boys while turning a blind eye. They are not a team I want PITT to aspire be anything like. Let’s just say PITT does not have any commitments at this early point in this recruiting season and that’s a bummer so far.


    1. Ike – I generally agree with you on the Paterno/Sandusky issue. And, I agree that many PSU fans are unrepentant worshipers of JoePa. That’s sad.

      Be-that-as-it-may, the current PSU football staff and student athletes had nothing to do with it. Their current football staff is kicking our butts in recruiting. Sure they have an easier sell (stadium/campus), but they had to overcome the scandal as well. I think that Franklin might kick our butt’s in recruiting if he was at, say, Syracuse. Some folks are just better at developing relationships.

      And, comparisons to other in-state or nearby schools is normal.

      And, yes, Pitt’s slow start is a bummer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s interesting that we are learning Chryst, for all his flaws, was a better recruiter of offensive talent. Narduzzi’s defenses have been awful, with some improvement last year. So what is this staff’s problem?


  39. Last I checked there were seventeen 5 star recruits in the country. That’s it.

    The three closest to Pitt are from Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. Think about the schools we need to compete with just to get one of those three.

    Getting a rivals 5 star is no easy accomplishment.


    1. Blame the administration. Then listen to fans, some of who are on here, say Pitt is an institution of higher learning first and foremost and athletics neeeds to be put in respective.

      Those same fans want 11 wins on a shoestring budget with 85 angels.

      Not happening.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Hey Tx, can you list those 5 commits for Holy Toledo? Before you even do, I’ll make a prediction. The cries would be loud and long if they were PITT’s commitments. Just saying.


    1. Pitt historically has played down to their competition. They would have found a way to go 6-6 in the MAC. There would have been less pressure and Pitt would have taken advantage of it…in the worst way
      Pitt is recruiting like a MAC team right now


  41. Toledo has 3 commits (3 star, 2 and unranked)
    And yes they have an easier schedule
    But wouldnt it be nice to win for a change
    I’d rather play easy teams and win than play elite teams and lose (upsets and moral victories aside)
    Its no fun losing as many games as you win

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Recruiting speculation interesting, but 2018 won-loss record will be indicative of how long Narduzzi will keep his job

    Sorry cool-aid drinkers. Look at the past when coaches reach year 4. Majors won a national title. Sherrill had the the #1 team for a few weeks and finished 2 or 4 depending on the poll. Wannstedt went to the Sun Bowl. Harris went to the Insight Bowl with seven wins. Majors 2 finished 4-7 and was fired. Fazio finished 5-5-1 and was fired. Hackett didn’t finish the season before he was fired.

    Just out of curiosity, tell me why Narduzzi is being treated like royalty. Coaching trajectories that go backwards usually don’t end well.


    1. because many on here have hope that he will somehow turn things around and lead us to the Promised Land. And we long for stability after the suffering we’ve gone through wandering through the bleak football landscape. We pray he is Pitt’s Savior despite the telling signs that he is nothing but a charlatan.


    2. Because most Yinzer’s connect with him because he grew up close. Plus he screams at everyone and is a buffoon.


    3. Majors and Sherrill benefitted from Pitt letting them cheat, but “cheating” is a dirty word on here and at Pitt in general, so bad examples. Reaching seven wins to tie what Walt did I expect despite the schedule. Getting to nine wins like Wannstedt is a bit more difficult due to the previously mentioned schedule. Narduzzi would likely give his left nut to play the 2008 schedule.


    4. You got it. This season is Narduzzi’s litmus test. Less than 6 wins spells coaching search sooner rather than later.

      8 wins, Narduzzi has some breathing room.

      9 or more wins & the recruiting issue forthis season disappears with a late influx of acceptable recruits.

      The life blood of any program is it’s recruiting pipeline. Right now an infusion of plasma is necessary to settle the natives down. The fully oxygenated erythrocytes still will be required in the final assessment but for now we need some commits, any commits.


  43. Hey Ike…can’t open the video. Says “not available in your country”. Where the hell did you find it? Haha. See ya in a few days my man.


  44. Thanks Tony but I can’t see where Narduzzi is being treated like royalty whatever that means. and as far as the coaches that had the good 4th year has been my point and I agree with you. Keep a coach in place and let him establish himself and the program he wants to run. Let’s stop the musical chair coaching carousel.


  45. “Coaching trajectories that go backwards usually don’t end well.”

    Other than Majors first stint at our University, what has ended well for Pitt since then?


  46. 5-6

    Wanny’s chronological record

    last time Pitt was ranked in the final poll was 2009

    wanny was fired for generally going in the right direction and had a pain in the arse for a boss that wanted him to fail. Quite remarkable he achieved what he did.

    Nard Dog is going is the wrong direction and has a boss that allows him to close practices, will not tarp Heinz because the Dog is against it, rewarded him with a contract extension, and uses kid gloves in managing him…Hell, the Dog calls all the shots. Lyke is so intimidated by him.


    1. Maybe Gragg never plays, I don’t see the fuss and negativity about him coming onto the team.

      and Tx, No Narduzzi is not going in another direction from Wanny. Their record in year 3 are identical. Plus Narduzzi won more games his first two years. That doesn’t make sense to me? Sorry and no offense intended. ike

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Narduzzi inherited some good players from Chryst. Experienced more so over talent. He had a momentary genius in Canada. And an NFL caliber QB and RB yet still only won 8 games since his D was the worst ever at Pitt in 40 years. Yes – worse than Majors 2. After the 2 years ran its course, he reverted to the mean. Lets see if his coaching and his recruits can get to 9-10 wins. Wanny got that in years 4 and 5. Thats the standard. I highly doubt he sniffs those numbers.

        there is no excitement and no momentum with this program. Its dead man walking.


  47. What kind of recruiter was Narduzzi at Michigan State? Did he recruit the defensive players that gave him such a good defense? I don’t recall that his reputation coming from MSU was of being a solid recruiter.


    1. correct
      and how difficult is it to defend against those high octane Big Ten offenses
      didnt Baylor put up 40 in that bowl game?


    2. Narduzzi grabbed two of the top D-Backs from the WPIAL he’s not supposed to be able to recruit from?? and both still in the NFL today as far as I know


  48. You know Tx, I can see you being right and I can see me telling you that you were wrong. The football program is in the balance. Isn’t it more exciting to be a PITT fan than an Alabama fan? PITT is like the proverbial box of chocolates. I like surprises, I guess that’s why I like PITT!


    1. I hate biting into a chocolate and having it ooze orange or pink. Thats a surprise I spit out. Give me caramel all day.


    2. Ike – the part about it’s more exciting to be a Pitt fan is exactly why I like Pitt. Not that I wouldn’t like to be Alabama…

      This upcoming season is going to be full of surprises, both good and bad. Can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

  49. Pitt’s women’s team did fine this year getting to the ACC championship. All the more disappointing since they blew a 3 run lead going into the last inning against the eventual champs. A game they needed to win to go to the NCAA tourney. I dont feel any better or worse that FL St are national champs. A loss is a loss and this loss for Pitt was a game they had in hand but the coach didnt pull the pitcher. The Pitt coach that somehow got ACC coach of the year. I watched the game from start to finish. Knew in the 5th that the pitcher was missing the plate and losing steam (look at the velocity and count). She was totally gassed come the 7th. I still dont know why the coach kept her in. I blame Pitt’s coach for SOP and Pitting in this game. Girls deserved a better fate. And I’ll stand by that until Pitt gets their OCS.


    1. what is more depressing?
      1 10 win football season in 36 years
      a 25 game basketball losing streak in ACC play
      zero high school football recruits thus far and an avg 3.02 star rating over the past 7 years
      33k yellow Heinz seats on avg at Pitt home games last year
      the bottom 20% in directors cup rankings since ACC entry
      Pitt’s athletic department since Bozo Bozik

      Take your pick


    2. MM – let me share a little optimism with you. Pitt FB will exceed most fan expectations in 2018.

      First, the D will have good, serviceable depth for the 1st time in Duzz’s time at Pitt. There will be three 4 star players upfront in the 2-deep, only one 4 star LB in the 2-deep but many good LB-WRs and two 4 star DB’s.

      On the O side, of course we start with everyone’s favorite star in Kenny “don’t” Pickett at QB. The backfield is loaded, regardless of the negativity you read on this blog.

      We start with Captain George Aston with 10 TD’s in 2017. Then there is 1,000 yard rusher Q. Ollison, with three 4 star RB’s named Hall, AJ Davis and Hudini (sp?) competing for time on the field.

      At TE we now have two 4 star studs in Reeves and Gragg.

      The WR corp will have 4 star Paris Ford, speedy Shocky Jacques-Louis, Ffrench and Mr. Florida Michael Smith backing up starters RaRa Lopes and 6’4″ 215 lbs Aaron Mathews.

      The Oline will be better than last season, even though most writing about Pitt FB say the line will be weak. From left to right, my projected starters are LT RS SR Milan, LG RS JR Chase Brown, C Morrissey (with 3 others pushing him for playing time), RG 4 star RS SR Alex Bookser and RT RS SO Bryce Hargrove.

      This O will generate 31 points per game while the D gives up a stingy 19. Speculation, IKR.

      Win and they will come? Not in Pittsburgh unless you are a pro team. Wait, aren’t the Pirates winning in front of sparse crowds this year? YES!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Life is what you make it MM. Antidepressants are needed by millions in the USA. The Pitt POV consumes it’s fair share.


  50. I really love severe electrical thunderstorms as well. I use to sit on the front porch as long as I was allowed to in one of those cheap aluminum chairs. Still love them to this day. (storms) I just don’t sit in those chairs anymore.


    1. Interesting read, txpanther. Thanks for posting it. It’s a mystery to me why the bottom fell out of Pitt football. This is another clue. – Hobie


  51. It seems unlikely to me that Heather was in a strong enough position when interviewed for the AD job to force a commitment from the Chancellor or BoT to spend more on athletics. I’m thinking that either the Chancellor and BoT made this decision first before hiring her, if at all, or Heather took the job with no major upgrade commitment. When Majors first came to Pitt, he forced policy changes that lead to a national championship. If Heather did the same, I haven’t heard about it.

    You are right, ike, that the Pitt athletic programs are full of surprises. But the fans that are comfortable with this uncertainty probably also love hitting their heads against the wall because if feels so good when they stop.


  52. Not tonight and after hearing our recruiting coordinator left it makes you wonder wtf. Is that just more mismanagement or a get out of town now because he could not shoot straight. I join the confused and disheartened but I still bought a group package for my family for the Cuse game today and hope it all gets sorted out by then.H2P—–I think.


  53. I don’t feel my hopes are false and I really do believe PITT football is headed in the right direction but I guess at the end of the day it wouldn’t change me in any way. I understand we all get through life in any which way we can. We knock ourselves out in different ways. I reached out to this song tonight as I’m going through some tough times but I will persevere. It takes more muscles in our face to frown than it does to smile.


  54. I’m going to mark my golf ball with 4 stars while at the POV golf outing as a reminder that Pitt FB ain’t got any – so while I’m golfing and not reading the blog (which reminds me often that Pitt ain’t got any 4 star recruits) I’ll feel connected to those POVers not at Champion Lakes.


  55. EE… mark 1 ball with 5 stars. That will be me in spirit. Wish I could join you guys but JoeL and myself are hooking up for
    a little golf on the Outer Banks.


  56. To lighten things up a bit from all this downside chatter, I loved Beano Cook’s witticisms. He was the SID at Pitt for a while, including during the great 1963 season. When the 52 Americans who were held as hostages in Iran after the 1979 revolution were released and returned to the USA in 1981, after 444 days of detainment, the longest hostage crisis in recorded history (according to Wikipedia; but how about Helen of Troy?). Bowie Kuhn, MLB Commissioner made this offer to the returning former hostages: a lifetime pass to all MLB games. Beano had this comment: “Haven’t they suffered enough?”


  57. Ike, I went back and looked at a few years of MSU recruiting and checked the defensive players and saw that Narduzzi recruited only one of them…a 5* DE who committed early.

    He didn’t do much recruiting there as the DC and that, I think, is part of his problem here.Times change in recruiting and it may have been a long time ago he was involved in the nuts and bolts of it. But I looked at a small sample.

    The lower staff coaches do most of the actual recruiting and the HC is usually the closer. He’s struggling with that part here.


    1. Oh how I wish Pitt would have hired a proven HC – but we didn’t and Duzz is cutting his teeth as the Panther FB CEO while the fans agonize.

      Learning on the job can be painful – I believe Duzz learns from his mistakes, corrects them and moves on to win FB games. Last year was very painful as a Pitt fan. This season has to be better (IMO) or I start getting negative. Right now, he is on a better trajectory than Wanny (whom I am a fan of) and I see some similarities in the two.

      One to point out – in Wanny’s 5-7 fourth season, he ended it with a HUGE win over wvcc, knocking them out of the NC hunt. In Duzz’s 5-7 fourth season, he pounded #2 miami for a fitting win on national TV to close out the season.

      Wanny went on to bring in a very good recruiting class after that 5-7 season – some think Duzz did not, some think he came close, but the play on the field for that (Duzz) class has not been evaluated yet. Time will tell us all – stay tuned…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If that is true, then it would be his assistants mostly struggling. Consider that a lot of 4 stars tend to commit to Pitt once on official visits, which is where Narduzzi should close.

      If the other coaches do most of the recruiting, then they are mostly responsible for getting the recruits on campus.


      1. And yes, Narduzzi is responsible for who his assistants are, and he holds the responsibility for a good or bad recruiting class.

        Just saying based on what you said, the coaches need to learn to be masters in recruiting as well as coaching.


  58. For those who wonder about how Pitt sees future recruits and makes initial contact with them this should help clear things up.

    We’ve heard a lot about the football camps that Pitt puts on; well we are not allowed by NCAA rules to invite kids to the campus for free and give them anything if they might be our recruits in the future so what they do is they invite kids and have them pay a fee to come to a camp. That way we can feed them and run them through drills, etc.

    And that way Pitt gets our eyes on them and the kids get a little bit of instruction from the staff coaches… here’s a link that shows the camps:


  59. Recruiting aside, I think Narduzzi has this year and next year to prove himself. It really is going to come down to how good Pickett is, and whether Borbely can cobble together an O-line this year and next. There will be no continuity from this to next year since Bookser, Herndon, Dintino will be gone, unless some of the young guys are productive by the end of the year. So another rebuild next year.

    Pitt will also lose three starting linebackers and Hendrix from the D next year.

    So, if we have a losing season this year, which leads to another weak recruiting year, how many games does Narduzzi need to win in 2019 to keep his job?

    Yeah, I know that is really negative, but not out of the question considering the schedule and lack of known impact players. We can hope that Picket, Wirginis and Ford will make a difference, but we won’t know until the games are played.


  60. Narduzzi IMO has at least 5 more years to prove himself at Pitt much to the dismay of many posting to this blog. The too many coaching changes in past years is the reason behind my belief that Narduzzi will be given at least that amount of time,


          1. He was making peanuts, thus easier to fire. Nordy had his wish of a cheap coach and still let Stevie screw it all up.


    1. Will they keep him with three losing seasons in a row, average recruiting classes, and very poor attendance?

      They fired Wanny after 3 pretty solid seasons.


  61. Recognizing that the two sports are different, what is Capal doing to close that Narduzzi does not or cannot do? The answer lies in the comments that the BB recruits make upon signing. They cite the ability for Capal to relate to them and talk plainly about expectations and their role on the team. PN cannot seem to close on recruits, and he needs to change his mannerisms and approach.

    Regarding Reed’s comments on the camps, I wonder if Pitt is getting the turnout at these camps that is needed to assess and offer recruits. By year 4 of the coaches tenure, the camps should be turning kids away due to high interest. Is that happening at Pitt?


    1. You can’t change your personality. The guy is very defensive and unless he has a good year, the pressure will mount from the fans and media. He does need help with the scheduling, but it may be too late.

      College Football is an offensive game. It is going to take a miracle to have a decent O-line this year and next.


  62. Notice on the link Reed provided: in big letters its says “NO REFUNDS!” Talk about negativity. This alone suggests the camp is not that great, and will drive kid away. Who handles the PR at this program anyway??


  63. The difference is that Pitt has everything any elite BB player is looking for — good school, good city, good facilities, fired-up packed arena, etc. So it comes down to the coaches and where the player fits in.

    But in football, since we’re missing a very big piece — the packed stadium — the elite FB players have eliminated us from serious consideration before even getting down to how they feel about the coaches. Coach Duzz doesn’t get the chance to close.

    I don’t understand why you guys don’t see this. When Pitt runs out of the tunnel to that polite welcome – I feel embarrassed for them. The players have worked all year for these few games — they want those games to be special.

    Under the circumstances, Coach Duzz’s recruiting has been pretty solid, IMHO.

    GO Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good article – you are right, we knew this, but it needs to be part of Pitt’s marketing plan right now – billboards, press clippings, advertising in nitter country and key recruiting territories. Here are two key clips from the article –

      “But as far as the 10 toughest Power 5 nonconference schedules, only three of the five leagues are represented. The Big Ten and SEC are noticeably absent. The ACC leads the way with four of the top five toughest slates out of conference and five of the top 10. The Pac-12 is right on the ACC’s heels with four of the 10, and Texas is the lone Big 12 representative.”

      “The top spot was a no-brainer (Pitt). The Panthers are the only Power 5 team to face three nonconference teams ranked in Mark Schlabach’s latest Way-Too-Early-Top 25, including No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 18 UCF on the road. The trips to South Bend and Orlando are part of a stretch that includes three road trips in four weeks for Pitt, which also travels to face ACC foe North Carolina on Sept. 22. That’s not to mention a home game with No. 13 Penn State the second week of the season.”

      HC Duzz has a tough row to hoe in 2018 – but I hear he is a tough hoe…

      Liked by 1 person

  64. If we can beat PSU, UM and Clemson then our 2018 schedule is just fine. After all the more optimistic Pitt fans point to those three wins as markers for HCPN.😀

    I will be happy when we start beating teams like Navy, Northwestern, NC & SYR in 2017. That to me is the important issue. A NC win last year and we are 6-6 and looking at a bowl game.

    And can we forget about the lack of this or the lack of that for our poor recruiting so far in the last 3 years. What impacts the lack of recruiting more than anything else is losing two bowl games then not getting into a third one. For the people who think bowls aren’t important I’ll say you’re wrong- dead wrong.

    We could have been 9-4 and ranked above #20 in ’16 had we beat NW. That right there started the decline in recruiting IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. ^^ That’s true Reed yet also if PITT would have played and beaten Akron and Georgia State instead of psu and OSU they would have been 7-5 and went to a better bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. This is why I don’t believe anything coming out of the camps at all from the coaching staff to the media.

    “Flowers is flooring coaches with his improvement” is the headline right in the middle of last year’s fall camp…

    Fast forward to the season with Flowers getting zero catches and we see this:

    I don’t believe one single thing the HC or his staff says about any player on the roster. It’s all bullcrap

    “Pitt lost a wide receiver Monday when Ruben Flowers III, who would have been a sophomore in his third season on campus, announced on Twitter his plans to transfer.

    Flowers, 6-foot, 200 pounds, played in six games last season without a catch after redshirting in 2016. He had five catches for 58 yards, including a long of 29, in this year’s spring game.

    “Flowers was one of the five Pitt recruits rated a four-star prospect by in 2016. That class was ranked 29th in the nation by Rivals, Pitt’s highest ranking since 2008.

    The only two of that group still on the team are safety Damar Hamlin and defensive tackle Amir Watts. Aliquippa’s Kaezon Pugh and Flowers left the team and cornerback George Hill never played due to a medical condition.”


    1. Flowers leaving is all on Flowers – the coaches are not to blame on this one – great source for this insider info.

      4 star Ruben Flowers was passed on the depth charts by a bunch 3 star young men. Ruben decided it would be in his best interest to go elsewhere to play where he wouldn’t have to work hard to be a starter.

      I usually don’t speak ill of specific players, but this one is not on the coaching staff…


  67. Reed I agree with you that pitt losing to NW hurt recruiting and might have been the difference with a few of the elite wpial kids from the next years class. That game was the first bad loss for Narduzzi imo.
    The problem with pitt recruiting is that there is just no room for error. Most programs can sustain bad losses like that in recruiting. Pitt can’t and that’s not all Narduzzi’s fault.


  68. If Heather pulled the plug on Stallings and ate 7M in the process, I doubt she’ll allow HC I-can’t-beat-UNC to continue after another losing season AND poor recruiting.
    Pitt has a lot to offer, despite poor attendance, and I see no tangible reason why WVCC can attract quality recruits and we cannot.


  69. So we can’t recruit because of poor attendance and we have poor attendance because we can’t recruit.

    Catch 22 anyone?

    There are always obstacles, success requires overcoming obstacles.


  70. And if you are looking for another turning point in recruiting, you can look at the Duke attendance after beating Clemson. That was pathetic. Chris peak mentioned that on his podcast.


  71. Question? Have any past FB coaches mentioned what prevented them from excelling at Pitt? Off the record of course.


    1. I’m sure the AD was a reason
      Lack of a significant coaching and recruiting budget
      Too big of stadium…yellow seat syndrome

      Excuses that can all be overcome

      Perception is everything with recruits

      Here are the major knocks against Pitt
      Mediocre program going nowhere
      School not committed to winning
      No recent history of winning and getting invites to big time bowl games
      Bland game day atmosphere

      Again why would a four star recruit want to go to a three star program


      Liked by 1 person

  72. Adding WV and Wisconsin to the OOC is great as long as you don’t add another tough one, especially when you get ND on the schedule. How far ahead do you know when you get ND? Still hate the set up with ND.

    By the way, we only had 38,000 show up for OKST, 2000 over the 36,000 average. Not much of a draw.

    Why are we playing the toughest OOC? Morons! Boy I hope Heather is smarter than that.


  73. If memory serves, the weather for that Duke game was not an excuse either. I recall it was a pretty nice day for late in the year.


  74. If Coach Capel brings in a top 10 or 15 class next year, I would think that alone would sell out the Pete.

    Go Pitt!


  75. For football, winning alone won’t fill the seats. You need an exciting team, a heisman type player and a place where it’s fun to hang out and do stuff before and after the game. Winning is icing on the cake. Fans won’t show unless it’s a rivalry game or if it’s a chance to win the division. That’s Pittsburgh. Recruits see the yellow seats and are turned off. Why would a four star want to attend a three star program.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!!!! This why I’ve been saying we have had no “star power” on the team since HCPN started his recruiting.

      If you are not winning 10+ games a year fans want to watch star players do their thing.

      Maybe Pickett, maybe Ford but of the projected starters we are lacking that.


  76. The Pete will sell out early next season just on the excitement built up around Capel. If his coaching turns to be as bad as Stallings was then the Pete will be half empty early into ACC play.


    1. I think you are dreaming, attendance has been declining for some time, even before Stallings. We are still going to lose most ACC games this year and probably next. It will take a winning season before season tickets are sold out again.


  77. FYI Narduzzi signed a 7 year contract extension(raise included) ending in year 2024 after last season ended. My 5 year prediction before any firing decision is made will be pretty close to being right on the money absent consecutive 3 and 9 seasons that is. My guess also is that Pickett will get him another contract extension before he leaves Pitt for the NFL.


  78. Nice to see the good Dr back, must be a bad week for drilling molars? No the chair was one of those green and white checkerboard types or are you talking about the pills I take? 🙂

    jrn, I’m with you buddy. Narduzzi isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. but that’s not the point…. no one will want him to leave in two years. I’m going to sit right back easy and laugh when Pat, Charlie and Kenny bust the city of Pittsburgh in half.


  79. Ike, didn’t you day that last year at this time?

    Seriously your projection for ’17 was pretty damn optimistic as was your take on what his recruiting would be like for the 2018 class.

    Do you do that on purpose or just default to blind optimism no matter how things look like they are shaping up?


  80. I seriously hope I am wrong, but a first year QB behind a suspect line with no star running back or wide receiver is not a recipe for success. I think Pickett looked great by comparison last year, but to say he is NFL bound at this point is premature at best. One thing for sure, we will know how good we are after the first four games. If we are any good we should be 3-1. If we can’t beat GT and UNC we are in for another long season.

    Question: will any true or redshirt freshmen have an impact this year? It would help.


  81. No Reed. I really think the defense will be really good this year but I admit the schedule may be the greatest enemy here. Knowing that moving forward it can’t be an excuse as I am on record as saying Narduzzi’s feet should be held more closely to the fire this season. The truth in my mind is that there just isn’t any wiggle room for error like a good or better team would have. This coming season could go very wrong and the likelihood of that is probably way better than going crazy right. but I’m not going to predicate what could go wrong opposed to what it is. (cue George Carlin)

    I’m not giving away my final predictions just yet but my preliminary thought was not as optimistic as folks are use to around here. I do admit I’m already close to mid season form and ready to run through a wall at the moment and that may cloud my already cloudy brain.

    I also have zero problems with Narduzzi’s recruiting so far. I think it’s been on par with what PITT has to offer to the young men who he’s trying to recruit. You said so yourself that PITT isn’t about offering jobs to high school football players fathers to come to PITT! So what is PITT up against and what should we expect…. 5* recruits turning down jobs for their poor fathers to come play for PITT in a half empty stadium? C’mon… We all see and know the bigger picture but then turn around and want to blame the coach when he just isn’t the problem.


    1. So accept mediocrity in recruiting.

      Harris and Wannstedt (and Chryst on offense) had no problems recruiting the blue chippers to come to Pitt They didn’t have anything more to offer a recruits than Narduzzi does.

      Liked by 1 person

  82. So we as fans need to start filling the stadium to encourage the team and build an environment for recruits to enjoy.

    Then the team needs to start winning 10 games a year and we can start bringing in 4 star recruits.


  83. Well gc i guess we will find out if my high expectations for Pickett are reached over the coming couple of years. And if Savage and Peterman can make NFL rosters then IMHO Pickett has a good shot at doing so also.


    1. Thanks, add a FLSt or Clemson to some of those schedules. Tennessee and WVU in the same year, I guess we’ll never learn


  84. Reasons Why 4 and 5 Star Recruits Pick (*insert name of SEC or Big 10 school here *) over Pitt

    Opportunity to play for a program that contends for Conference or National Championships
    Opportunity to play in front of 80 to 100 thousand fans
    Opportunity to play in prestigious bowl games in attractive venues
    Opportunity to play for legendary head coaches
    Opportunity to play for schools that have an aura (see Notre Dame)

    We offer none of the above. We used to get a handful of 4 and 5 star kids, primarily due to the WPIAL kids deciding that they wanted to stay home. Well, news flash, the WPIAL isn’t what it once was. Building a program is a process. It is a process that takes time. Wanny was on his way to doing it, and the rug was pulled out from under him. Look at Wisconsin. They had a foundation in place that allowed Paul Chryst to step in and have success immediately. Paul Chryst would not have succeeded at Pitt. The failure of our football program has a lot to do with the lack of administrative support given to the football program dating back 20 years or more. Only recently have our facilities been brought up to par, and even now we lag far behind the top schools in this area. Like or hate Narduzzi, he’s coming to gun fight with a cap gun compared to the top schools. Of course, it is his job to make the changes needed to allow our football program to become elite. Before you become elite, you have to become consistently good, which we are not.

    A great QB covers up a lot of other sins. We appear to have a pretty good one. We have a daunting schedule this year, which may prevent us from winning 8 or 9 games as we might otherwise if we played a PSU-type schedule.

    I cannot refute that there appear to be some issues with recruiting. There has been a good bit of staff turnover. The results in recruiting need to get better, but by no means has it been disastrous.

    But guys, sit back and relax. Our coach just got a lengthy extension with a raise. He’s not going anywhere for at least 2 or 3 more years, absent a big scandal. He now appears to have the backing and financial support of the administration, and hopefully the BOT. Be patient. We’ve had a lot of bad coaches and AD’s over the years. We don’t yet know if Narduzzi is one of them. We will soon enough.

    Until we do know, Hail to Pitt!!!

    Looking forward to the POV golf outing on Saturday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wlat, I agree with everything you wrote (the cold, hard truth) but for those that think Penn State’s schedule is easy is lying to themselves to make themself feel better because they hate Penn State. If Pitt was in the Big 10 everyone would be saying how tough a conference it is.

      Pitt doesn’t play Clemson or Florida State this year, the two best teams in the ACC most years. Pitt has only played them each once since joining the ACC.

      In 2018, Penn State plays Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, four Big 10 teams ranked in the top-15 pre-season 2018 rankings. Pitt has three top 20 ACC opponents in 2018: Miami, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame.

      Everyone think Pitt would do well in the Big 10?

      Well, here is Pitt’s record against Big 10 teams:

      Vs. Illinois 2-6 all-time; 2-0 since 1981
      Vs. Indiana 2-7 all-time; last game 1952
      Vs. Iowa 3-4 all-time; 1-3 since 1953
      Vs. Maryland last mtg 1992
      Vs. Michigan 0-2 all-time; outscored 109-0; last mtg 1947
      Vs. Michigan St. 0-6-1 all-time; 0-2 since 2006
      Vs. Minnesota 3-9 all-time; 2-0 since 1991
      Vs. Nebraska 0-2 as Big 10 member
      Vs. Northwestern 3-4 all-time; 0-1 since 1974
      Vs. Ohio State 5-19-1 all-time; 1-6 since 1955
      Vs. Penn State 2-4 as Big 10 member
      Vs. Purdue 3-4 all-time; 2-0 since 1985
      Vs. Rutgers last mtg 2012
      Vs. Wisconsin 3-0 all-time; last mtg 1967

      That’s a combined 26-67-2 vs. Big 10 teams, a winning percentage of .284.

      Take out Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Pitt’s record is 21-40 and winning percentage is still a lousy .344 against the “weak” Big 10 teams.

      Think how well Pitt has fared recently against Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska. Now add Michigan and Ohio State and Wisconsin.

      Heather’s scheduled Wisconsin which is great and I’m looking forward to visiting Madison and you have the Chryst and Alvarez backstories but be careful what you wish for.


      1. The Big 10, like most conferences, is very top heavy consisting of a few very good teams and more pretty bad teams. No doubt that OSU, PSU, Mich and as late Wisc and Mich St are pretty good teams. Iowa, Nebraska and NW are good teams who are occasionally really good. The rest of the conference presently is crap.

        I don’t think Pitt’s all time records against these teams have any relevance here. I would put Pitt in the same category as NW, Iowa and Nebraska. Yes, we lost 3 of 4 to Iowa but all the games were 4 points or less. We lost 2 games to Nebraska last decade but both by less than a TD. And if NW suffered the same injuries as we did, we would have won by at least 21 pts in the Pinstripe.


  85. Too bad today wasn’t the golf outing, perfect weather here in the Burgh.

    Calling for possible Showers and T Storms Saturday, hope the weather guys are wrong, they usually are.


  86. Pitt, more than most schools, needs a boost from their conference. What I mean is that the rare times one of our programs does well it needs to be publicized big time. Now since we have pretty much been the dregs of the conference that’s been hard to do, but this conference needs to publicize the Yankee teams if it’s to have long reaching success.

    The ACC network could be a big help. Also, getting rid of the Shake n bake commercial sounding announcers would be a good idea. Fact is, there are more TV sets in the Pitt, Cuse, and BC markets than the rest of the conference combined. And the conferences for sh*t bowl games don’t help either. Those things are all on the conference. If it wants to be seen as big time they all need to change.

    That said, we actually need to do our part. We can’t be stuck in the 1950s when we played a national schedule and most of the teams we played followed the same rukes( give or take). Integrated southern schools not only changed college sports, but caused more of a win at all cost attitude. Schools who were forcibly barring students from attending welcomed athletes with open arms. Bear Bryan realized that early when he saw his teams couldn’t compete.

    Pitt for some reason is happy to play by the 1950s rules. Other schools have moved on, in many different ways, some legal, some not so much. But we stagnated. It is amazing. Some teams don’t win even though they try all methods. We don’t even try. Think about that!
    See you all at the course and bring your rain Gear!

    Liked by 1 person

  87. Great post missingWlat and very fair.. See you Saturday Looking forward to it!

    Reed, guess what? We disagree again. Narduzzi is not playing on an equal surface as Wanny was. Wanny was (and still is) a PITT man who was respected locally and then completely screwed over and thrown to the curb by a complete idiot egotistical narcissistic prick that was hell bent on destroying the PITT football program. Which he almost did. The local high school coaches and more importantly the high school players fathers remember what happened and the residual effects haven’t been resolved yet due to two of the worst coaching hiring’s in college football history by the same idiot steve that followed.

    Now compound that with this years lack of local talent and PITT has bupkis so far. The dedicated work done by steve to destroy the PITT football program can’t be overlooked enough. That gave me a headache..


  88. To all the folks going to the golf outing – Watch out for bad golf balls. I understand there is a recall on golf balls because there is a major defect in many of them. You’ll know you’re playing with a defective golf ball if it looks like its going to go straight, like its supposed to, then all of a sudden it breaks right and finds the nearest sand, water or trees. If you are playing with defective golf balls, you should return them to the manufacturer for a full refund. – Hobie


  89. The asst. coaches are key in initial and ongoing contacts with recruits.Have seen this first hand.I think Asst. and more important coordinater turnover has hurt and caused some of the transfers/move ons we see. This needs stabilized so a coach can stay with a recruit for more than 6 months and recruits feel confident the coach that recruited him and the coordinator and his scheme will be there while he is as this often effects his development, attitude and when he plays. As for Butthole Peterson, it will take 20 yrs to undo the damage he did. Why our incompetent Chancellor rehired him when everyone could see what he did to Nebraska, I—- I’ll quit before I have to take another Blood Pressure pill. You guys have said it all before.


  90. I agree 100% with ike and Pitt 60 that by ousting Wanny Cornhole poisoned the well with local coaches and parents of local players for years to come. This is something Narduzzi must overcome, but can be done by building recruiting connections in other areas of the country. When we even lose the Aliquippa connection then clearly Pitt’s reputation is suffering. People remember what a Pitt man Wanny as, and when he was kicked to the curb it angered many Pitt supporters and fans. I am disappointed that Heather has not begun building a PR campaign with a theme about bringing back Pitt football. They are not doing enough to help on the message selling side.


  91. Alright Reed- many people call you “commander”- I’m somewhat of a newbie on comments but have read a lot of what the POVers have to say- let’s say you’re AD at Pitt…what’s your game plan? Last year we had a recruiting class with one four star and 10 players that were a 5.7 (one iota from being a 4 star)…not including Taylor Mack who looks the part- I, for one, don’t have a problem with that and think PN has been recruiting good players with a lot of potential. I’m not saying it’s good enough to win championships in the acc or that PN is the end all be all answer, but I guess I’m more on the optimistic side considerimg the conference we’re in, the things we have to offer recruits, our recent past, and the ridiculous schedule we have ahead of us.

    Aside from this, I am a 2006 grad and really enjoy the stories you guys post detailing your Pitt past- I’m not a loyalist just to this site, but I do appreciate the realism and perspectives you guys provide. I would say I’m somewhere in the middle with regard to the current state of the football program. Also, I am a big Pitt bball fan and love the Capel hire…who wouldn’t. For that, I credit Lyke. Having mentioned Lyke, I don’t think she’ll tolerate continued mediocrity with the most profitable sport in college. If this year goes awry (i.e. Less than 6 wins) I give Narduzzi one more year to prove himself.

    H2P and may Larry Fitzgerald live forever, for the betterment of the world.


  92. I’m gonna get hammered for this and I know it. I was all aboard the Duzz train when he was hired, my faith is wavering…Reed your criticism is just,but I whole heartedly believe it’s also a bit personal and his lack of media access is the reason. This year’s recruiting is extremely concerning, couldn’t agree more with that…


  93. Another true golf story…. We were playing out at a course called Glen-Gary here locally. Just so happens they were giving away a free sleeve of golf balls that morning. BTW, all three of us were real pikers and duffers when it came to golf. I grabbed a 3 pack that was labeled accuracy or something like that and my buddy pluck another one I don’t remember what it said. My other buddy Drew picked one up saying spin control and came out to the first tee. We asked him what kind of balls did he get and he said spin control. We laughed and said you can’t control the spin of the ball because what kind it is. He agreed and was pissed off and went back inside to exchange his sleeve and came back with an accuracy sleeve. When he hit his first tee shot it went straight ahead about 2 feet. We laughed our heads off and told him to go back inside and get a sleeve of balls that was for distance! Truth!


  94. That’s a great comment Fade and much appreciated and respects to you but Reed is/was an actual Commander in the Coast Guard and respects are due to him as well. Please don’t take my comment the wrong way as I mean no disrespect. Keep the comments coming… ike


  95. Maybe Duzz needs a weekend job as a car salesman ( no insult intended to many hard- working folks who do that and do it well.)

    Maybe he would
    Learn to close the deal. Something is missing.


  96. It’s our pathetic fan base. Kids don’t want to play in a half empty stadium. Walt knocked off Miami(at the time ranked, but actually stunk), beat PSU 12-0, won final game at Pitt Stadium…Wanny had 13-9, Chryst beat Notre Dame and showed he had a pulse dancing afterward, Duzz got PSU and Clemson. They all get a signature win or 2,but this job is next to impossible. Just my opinion…


  97. Thanks but I don’t believe the job is impossible. You don’t beat Clemson in Death Valley and #2 Miami and not have any chance at succeeding. Everyone’s right here when we say better recruiting, better recruiting. The problem is the process and patience. I really can’t understand the lack of it. (not the process the patience) Frustration is the road to ruination. It destroys progress made. Talking about frustration is fine by me though. As long as I get my say in it…. 🙂


  98. We know, I think, that Pitt shows visiting recruits the practice fields (where Pitt and Steelers practice) and the campus. Do they take them to where they will play, namely Heinz?


  99. “Scattered showers” is the forcast for Saturday. Same as the Pitt Celebrity Golf Outing a few weeks ago…and we stayed dry. But of course, pack your rain gear. Can’t wait. Planning on a pre outing round with Erie and Kman today. My daughter turned 13 yesterday and I get to meet the POVerts again. Life is good.


    1. My weather alert says partly cloud from 9am to 4pm with a slight chance of a light shower.

      Storms possible late in the afternoon and evening.

      The course is flanked by two mountain ridges – most storms pass by with very little rain, per local knowledge the two times I played there this Spring.

      I’ll be there regardless of the weather – much to do amongst friends at Champion Lakes regardless of the weather, if you know what I mean…Lyke 4 star watching and wondering…


  100. One of Chryst’s final O-line recruits, Piato, ends up at Slippery Rock.

    Grimm, Connor Hayes, Paulina, Pilato and Bookser were the final five who committed to Chryst and four never contributed. Throw in the kid from Western PA who has started for three years at Central Florida and will for a fourth in 2018 and it is easy to see what Narduzzi was up against having to restock the position.


      1. Shouldn’t Morgan, Ford and Hargrove be ready? Or maybe a redshirt freshman, guys like Bisno, Johnson, Jones-Smith and O’Neil all started, or played in their first or second year.


  101. Anon… golf is never cancelled unless timeout for lightning.. mud on the golf uniform is cool….same forecast on the OBX JoeL and myself are mudders.


  102. Have fun tomorrow my friends! I intend to hoist a Bloody Mary to you all tomorrow and will be looking forward to stories and pictures from the event.


  103. Really nice article in today’s PG by Starkey on HCJC. Starkey is one of the best local guys, and also one of the fairest. He’ll rip you if needed, but doesn’t take cheap shots. Also, there’s an article about Heather doing outreach( maybe on her vacation?). Nice, positive start to the day!


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