A Bit of Pitt Football History

This was sent to me via email from an older Pitt fan. It is interesting and opinions expressed are his.

I was just thinking about recruiting and fan interest in regard to Pitt football.  Here are some thoughts:

Looking back, the two periods of time that I have been most interested in Pitt football were from 1951 until 1965 (from when I first began going to games with my family, until I graduated from Pitt), and from 1973-1983 (when I was more active as an alumnus).  What was Pitt football experience that we knew like then?

1951-1965 During these 15 years, Pitt played the following teams (number of times in parentheses):

Penn State (15)

West Virginia (15)

Notre Dame (14)

Syracuse (11) (the Jim Brown years)

Miami (10)

Army (8) (Earl Blake’s time)

UCLA (7)

Navy (7) (Who can forget 1963 and Roger Staubach?)

Oklahoma (6) (Bud Wilkinson’s teams)

Southern Cal (5)

Nebraska (5)

Duke (5) (Made a powerhouse by Wade Wallace, Duke remained highly successful under Bill Murray.

The 1951 Pitt/Duke game on NBC was the first nationally televised sporting event in American history)

Minnesota (4)

California (4)

Oregon (4)

Ohio State (3)

Michigan State (3)

Washington (2)

Baylor (2)

TCU (2)

Iowa (2)

Northwestern (2)

Indiana (2)

Virginia (2)

North Carolina State (2)

Rice (1)

Boston College (1)

Holy Cross (1) 1958 (Holy Cross had finished in the top 20 five times from 1937-1951)

Marquette (1) 1959

William & Mary (1)

Other than Marquette and William and Mary, in these 15 years, every Saturday’s competition was against a good opponent.

1973-1983   During these 11 years, Pitt played the following teams

Penn State (11)

West Virginia (11)

Syracuse (11)

Temple (10)

Army (10)

Notre Dame (8)

Navy (8)

Boston College (7)

Florida State (6)

North Carolina (4)

Louisville (4)

Tulane (3)

Georgia (2)

Georgia Tech (2)

Tennessee (2)

Maryland (2)

Illinois (2)

Rutgers (2)

Kansas (2)

Cincinnati (2)

Duke (2)

William & Mary (2)

Oklahoma (1)

Miami (1)

Florida (1)

Washington (1)

South Carolina (1)

Baylor (1)

Northwestern (1)

Southern Cal (1)

The Big 10 and Pacific Coast Conference teams had largely disappeared, but there were some SEC teams, and other than William & Mary, Temple and perhaps Tulane, Pitt played good competition each week.

2008-2017  Who have been Pitt’s opponents during the last 10 years?    

Syracuse (10)

Notre Dame (7)

Virginia Tech (6)

Miami (6)

Louisville (6)

Cincinnati (5)

Georgia Tech (5)

Virginia (5)

North Carolina (5)

Duke (5)

UConn (5)

Rutgers (5)

USF (5)

West Virginia (4)

Youngstown State (4)

Buffalo (4)

Iowa (4)

Navy (3)

Oklahoma State (2)

Penn State (2)

Akron (2)

FIU (2)

North Carolina State (2)

Utah (2)

Boston College (1)

Rice (1)

Clemson (1)

Florida State (1)

There were also single games with Villanova, Marshall, Maine, Gardner Webb, New Mexico, Old Dominion, Bowling Green, New Hampshire, Delaware and Temple. (When you add to these the 4 games with Buffalo, 4 games with Youngstown State, 2 games with Akron, and 2 games with FIU, the scheduling in recent times is quite different from the prior eras.)

Penn State and West Virginia are gone as rivals.  We seem destined to play Notre Dame less frequently.  Future schedules will consist of the ACC Coastal Division teams and Syracuse (our crossover opponent), and the non-conference schedule (which will apparently have one or two cupcakes every season.)  We old Pitt football fans are certainly living in a different time.

Giving up its on-campus stadium, scheduling so many scrimmages against inferior competition, and getting only one major bowl game in the last 35 years (2004 Fiesta Bowl against Utah), it seems that Pitt has in fact done what fans long feared they would do, de-emphasize football.

Maybe Pitt could at least improve fan interest by getting games with some premier teams, becoming one of those teams’ cupcake games.  Wouldn’t it be better than hoping to eke out a seven-win season and play each year in some no-name, who-cares “bowl” game against some other mediocre team?   It might be better to lose to Ohio State than to beat Akron.  Pitt will never return to prominence on an ACC Coastal Division schedule with a non-challenging non-conference schedule.  Pitt has a mostly attractive non-conference schedule this season, but If Pitt wants to get good crowds at Heinz, I think it needs to drop Albany, Toledo and the rest of those lesser teams, and get some games with Big 10, Pac 12 and Big 12 teams.  And if we could get some games with SEC teams, all the better!

But then, what do I know anyhow?  Times have changed!

 

 

92 thoughts on “A Bit of Pitt Football History

  1. We’ve covered the scheduling thing before and I totally disagree with you. Getting a bowl game helps- exposure, extra practice, etc- although it sure would be nice to win one. More importantly, with so many bowl games, it’s a bad look to be left out.

    I’m sorry to disagree with you. I guess that makes me a “hater.” Because I definitely do hate you. Everyone who disagrees with someone “hates” them.. I read that on the POV.

    By the way, I don’t use the term “hater”.. because I’m not a teenage girl.

    https://giphy.com/embed/xw8WDeDAZFV5u

    via GIPHY

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  2. I’ve made this point many times now. I have no issue with scheduling tough non-conference games. My issue is the people here who do not seem to take this in consideration when evaluating wins and losses.

    With all of the stats thrown around here, I believe the quality of schedule is just as important as anything else (if not more.)

    wwb

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  3. Interesting article. Thanks. I fall in the play one good nonconference game and then creampuffs to get to a better (or any like last year) bowl games. Total wins are the measuring stick unfortunately and even our own fans don’t always take into account SOS when evaluating seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched a game on TV (I think in the ’80s) that we lost to OSU. I attended a game that we lost to Akron. I shrugged off the loss to OSU, but I was livid when we lost to Akron. Didn’t talk to anyone for an hour or so after the loss to Akron. So, I guess I’d rather lose to OSU than run the risk of again losing to Akron. Yoi and double yoi. Now I’m planning Pitt’s schedule based on what team I don’t mind losing to. I’m a tortured soul. – Hobie

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  5. First, let me say thanks for writing the article. The schedule is interesting. Pitt has gone from being a power in the “independent” east, to a whipping post. If anything, the schedule points out one of the reasons that Pitt has gone from power to putz. Only Pitt schedules as if we have a bunch of 4 and 5 star players. We have a 5 star schedule with 3 star players, yet people want to win. That is stupid and dumb (meant for administration).

    In the day, you could schedule tougher because PITT had the horses to back it up, not today. We do have mules in the Administration.

    Social media and a constant flow of college football news, does matter. Winning matters more than anything. Ask the Dairy college. They pulled off one of the best scams in college football for over 30 years. Schedule easy and when that gets difficult, schedule easier. Create a narrative that kids can relate to which is winning over scheduling. You don’t go to the Dairy for schedule. You go there for 8 easy wins, confidence building, and the hope that you can go 3-1 in your difficult games and have a chance at a title.

    People that think scheduling difficult gets you something, look at Pitt and Dairy. Pitt schedules hard. Pitt can’t win 8 every year easily. They can’t because elite kids don’t want to play for a school that doesn’t have a chance each year. You need to understand today’s kids. They want to:

    1, Play for a winner and be a part of something special/big
    2. Play for a school that provides a great game day atmosphere (senior walk, battle of bands, tradition)
    3. Play for a team that is relevant on ESPN TV and ESPN Radio
    4. Play for a team that knows whether their name is Pitt or Pittsburgh
    5. Play for a team that knows what their colors are, because colors and looking good are important
    6. Play in front of a packed stadium (50k on campus stadium versus 25k open seats at Steeler stadium)

    Education

    Don’t believe me? Ask an elite prospect! You have heard it and seen it play out for the last 30 years when it comes to 4 and 5 star athletes. They want to play big time football. Pitt has not provided that. It can, but makes a conscious choice not too. Pitt fans let Administration (AD, BoT and Chancellor) to go off course and not reign them in. Until the right people move the needle back, expect this to continue.

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    1. Huff – The only games Pitt will sell out are PSU, ND, and WVU. Looks like #1 and #6 are mutually exclusive. Wish they weren’t. Hope they’re not. – Hobie

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  6. Nice article but I completely disagree with the premise

    Pedo ruined it all when they went to the Big 10. That event started the seismic shift in CFB.

    Now, I want wins. If you want big name opponents, I suggest you try re-watching Ok St v. Pitt in 2017 from beginning to end without falling asleep/changing the channel. That game was a nightmare that should’ve never taken place. I was there. I didn’t see a packed house. I see a sea for yellow with a smattering of fans. Those are the same people that will show up for Albany or Ok St. If the played East Carolina or JMU, they win 6 games and go to a shiz Bowl that would have allowed for extra practice and the momentum into next year some on here covet.

    The easier the schedule, the better until you have a chance (if ever) to contend for a National title. The “fans” aren’t going to show up for any opposing team not named Pedo WVU or ND.

    More Ga St ( and Fanta) and less Ok St. please!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Oklahoma State game last year is a favorite among the play down advocates. However it represents a sorry sample size.

      Pitt drew more people to the Oklahoma State game last season than they did to the Duke or Syracuse games in 2016 immediately after beating Clemson. Those are two annual conference opponents who most would consider safe conference wins and certainly should have been in 2016.

      Pitt also drew more to the Oklahoma State game last season than they did to the Miami, North Carolina, or Virginia conference games last season. The NC State game drew only 3K more people.

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      1. The Miami game was during fall break, with the team 4-7. UNC was a Thursday night. Virginia is the only “similar” game but Pitt was 3-5 at that point.

        At MOST, Pitt drew a few thousand more for the Ok. St. than it would’ve otherwise but was it worth getting BLOWN off the field.. on National TV?

        I think the only people that benefited from that game were Rudolph and Washington– they got to show off to their future employers. In fact, during the draft I got a text from a non-Pitt fan who attended the game with me. His text?.. The Steelers scouts must’ve been at the same game I was.

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      2. Your point is valid. However, I would point to the costs of scheduling an OOC opponent to the level of OK St. vs the benefits of a Ga St. An extra 2-3k fans on a beautiful sunny 80 degree watching Pitt get curb stomped on national TV and falling asleep in the stands is not going to make that big of a difference in the atheletic Dept bottom line vs an extra victory against Ga St where the team goes to the Sandy Hand Release Bowl and maybe picks up that elusive momentum building bowl victory. That game was embarrassing on a number of different levels. You think that game was used against Pitt in recruiting? I do.

        Pedo is NEVER going to schedule a game against Ok St. It’s not worth the risk. Ok St. is not in their recruiting foot print. Why risk the loss? A few extra fannies are in the seats? 30k more fans maybe, but 3k? Not even close to worth it IMO.

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  7. You obviously get the obvious Mr Stub. If PITT schedules an out of conference foe and loses the game with it not selling out is a complete failure.

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    1. It’s only a complete failure if they tank the game as they did against OSU last year. I was very happy with Pitt’s competition in Stillwater in 2016. If they’d have held Rudolph to 450 yards, especially the long one that led to the win, they very well might have won the game.

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  8. The formula is quite simple as the Clemson’s and PSU’s of this world have followed it. You win all your conference games plus the added in cupcake games play for the conference title and if you win that hopefully you get into the playoffs. You can’t afford to lose an out of conference game to a non cup cake and still get into the playoffs. Ask PSU what the loss to Pitt cost them two seasons ago when it came to selecting the playoff teams?

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    1. I’m not sure how Clemson made it into the more typical rationalization regarding schedule. They play the same type of schedule as Pitt.

      Clemson played a home and home with Auburn the last two seasons. In 2015 they played ND. In 2014 they played Georgia. They have an annual rivalry game with South Carolina.

      Who at this point is concerned with football playoffs? I’d be very happy with winning a Coastal.

      Penn State could also point to the sound beating they took at Michigan in 2016 and a home OT win over Minnesota as part of the “cost”. I add that they lost the bowl game in which they played.

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  9. Agree with PSU going to B10 was a start but maybe that along with TV money and announcers always talking about NFL talent. They seldom talk about academics or when kids excel at school, just how good they will be in the NFL. In fact college football is a minor league NFL and the schools smell money.

    Pitt may actually have its priorities level headed but we fans need some relief so stop saying we will win championships. But I really hope we beat PSU.

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  10. @ wwb, others – If you want quality of schedule (i.e. 5 star) , don’t complain about the record with our 3 star players, 3 star coach and one star administration. We won’t get 4 and 5 star players with 6-6 records. Not to be disagreeable, but you can’t build a program and get better players by maintaining a 500 record. Fix the schedule. Our AD didn’t have a plan going into year two on scheduling. She need only look at her old employer on how to schedule 3 cupcakes and one you should beat, beat 6-7 easily in your conference and then poof welcome to the playoffs. Oh, and watch the 4 and 5 stars matriculate.

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  11. As I read this article i remembered fondly the OU game with Wilkinson , the 3yr undefeated USC, OSU Cooper coached and yes the shellacking by Davis and Baker Cuse team in the rain and many others but in the early years colleges played a 10 game schedule and even then you had a cupcake to get going ie fall 1959 Pitt opened with Marquette.

    Most of us didn’t even know where it was. But the remaining 9 games were eastern independents plus USC, UCLA, Duke etc so we had a NATIONAL schedule. I agree the conference thing , and TV money has mucked up the whole thing. I agree with others you need 2 easier games now that you play a 12 game season and that is the formula most successful schools follow to try and be successful.Pitt not only plays a strong schedule but often among the top 5 by various rankings.

    On return to Pitt I remember Wannstedt saying that he missed the NFL preseason games to get the kinks out. That might have been his presser after his 1st game of his first season home which he lost to ND. All of the Power 5 conference teams do this. It is also a matter of injuries and attrition. Lots of good thoughts on here it is just sometimes the negativity is like the plague and spreads the same.

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  12. @Hobie – yes, they will sell those games out because there will be 20k fans from those schools that sell out steeler stadium. 45k-50k OCS stadium will sell out with pitt fans for those games. 40K for all other games and you are on to something. It can be a great game day experience and an advantage for our team. Plus, the fans bond to Pitt for future giving. This isn’t difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for the article and taking the time to look up those stats…

    Oh how I yearn to watch the college game again when it was our boys and our school against your school. That’s what it WAS all about… how the game has evolved in our lifetime… I hear you and I share the mindset but those times have passed. P5 conferences have changed the entire landscape. We have to compete and strive towards excellence. We need more winning which translates into more recruits which begets more winning, hopefully, more fans and more $$$$$$… that’s how college ball is played… no more local kids trying to get into PITT to become physicians, dentists, engineers and lawyers ( think about that PITT dichotomy when it comes to athletes)

    Jay91… the poster just wrote an article for us and you drop your gloves at the faceoff………..

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      1. Thank you, Reed. You might be the most “negative, Narduzzi hating”, “glass half-empty” person in the state of Maryland but at least you can read for comprehension.

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  14. I’m going to do an article on this to get everyone’s thoughts but I surprise people when I say that my favorite season – aside from 1976 – was our 2007 year.

    It had everything it could possibly have in college ball, injuries, stars, determination and pride and ended with that dramatic win to shut the Hoopies out of the MNC game. While I love winning seasons that season showed what resilience Pitt has when needed.

    We had five OOC games that season and went 2-3 but were 2-0 going into what we would say now was our “equal” OOC game and lost that squeaker to MSU. Win that game and who knows what might have happened over the next 9 games. But it was a up and down season and I rooted hard for the kids to play their best and they did – no quit on that squad.

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/pittsburgh/2007-schedule.html

    I put that WVU win up against any win by any other HC in Pitt’s history because of the rivalry with WVU.

    But even since then times have changed in CFB. Just ask any Maryland fan about their move to the Big Ten – every single fan I talk with down here in Maryland hates the fact they left the ACC and that’s too bad because Pitt-Maryland would be a perfect rivalry game if they stayed.

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    1. That was definitely an up-and-down season for sure. I flew out from San Diego for the home opener and Stull’s thumb injury cost that team eight wins at least.

      That was Dave’s only Pitt team that had a true eight-man rotation on the D-line and perhaps his best O-line with Otah leading the way. Center was the weakness, unlike on the 2009 line.

      Had Wanny landed Thaddeus Lewis, he would have been the starter as a redshirt freshman and with his ability Pitt would have threatened for more wins. Had Wanny handled the QB position better beforehand, he could have kept Flacco around. When I say that, I mean if Dave would have lashed into the team in his first meeting with them in 2005 and said after the Fiesta Bowl showing that all jobs were open, even quarterback, Flacco would have stuck around one more year. He likely would have played since Palko was banged up early that year, namely in that Thursday Night loss at Rutgers.

      The two losses to UConn and Virginia in 2007 were blowouts due to an enormous amount of turnovers, but other than that the team battled and kept all other games close. The Rutgers game was where the refs screwed Pitt as Oderick Turner was called for OPI when he caught that TD with seconds left. That puts Pitt at 6-6 and in a bowl over Rutgers. The BE wanted its NY team in a bowl is my theory on that BS call.

      The win over Cincy was also enjoyable with Shady and LS-H both rushing for over 100 yards. That was the game afterward Brian Kelly had the line “The better team lost today.”

      With Flacco, I still say that team loses only one game. I still don’t know who it would be to.

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  15. ^^ To respond to an above post. Clemson doesn’t have an attendance problem so they could schedule just about any OOC game. The fact they play really good teams comes from having a football program that is NCAA championship quality, ratified air for PITT.

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  16. Thanks for the article.

    A couple of points:

    Time marches on, CMU, W&J and Fordham used to be big rivals, not relevant to today.

    We haven’t been an Independent for a long time.

    The biggest and most meaningful game we played in the last 30 years was vs Cincinnati at Heinz, it was a sellout and an electric atmosphere. Does anyone remember who we played in the OOC that year?

    The ACC has the poorest slate of bowl games, that is where we are.

    The goal now is to win the Coastal, then the ACC and get the best possible bowl.

    Wanting us to play the National blue bloods of yesteryear is like pining for Pitt Stadium.

    That day is over, if we ever have a meaningful game again, the Coastal or the ACC Championship will be on the line. The first could be a home game. The latter will not.

    The PSU, ND,and WV games at Heinz are our big home games for now, but they are only meaningful to us.

    Moving forward we need to form rivalries with our new ACC foes. Only when fans start to show up for these games will Pitt be back.There is good reason to hate Miami, VA Tech and UNC, the way we hate PSU WV and ND.

    Playing a USC, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Wisconsin won’t draw more than 50,000 unless we are competitive. The elite can schedule other elite teams because they are competitive, face it, we haven’t been in a long time, scheduling more than one big time OOC a year until we are competitive is folly.

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  17. Maryland going to the Big 10 or whatever was a sad move. Whether it paid off for them is another story? I can’t stand the Big 12 conference either. When the SWAC dissolve it was another sad day for college football.

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    1. Maryland made a horrible mistake going to the Big Ten financially and compete wise. I’ve talked to many MD Alums and several coaches. While they knew football would be a tough compete, basketball has also been very tough. Mostly, they forgot that not only do you have the money-making sports team travel to distant places, you have to take the girls tiddlywinks team and other minor sports to Iowa as well! The travel costs for all teams are crushing and the Terp image has been obliterated!

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  18. A little backstory on some recent recruiting; the TE Pitt was really pushing hard for in this class, Kyle Bilodeau, out of VA committed early on the 15th to Purdue who was his other top school along with Pitt…

    https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2019/kyle-bilodeau-23439#school-interests

    “Over the weekend, the Pitt coaching staff hosted a priority tight end recruit from Virginia.

    Kyle Bilodeau was offered by the coaching staff on April 29 and he wanted to come to a camp to work out for the coaches and get a feel for Pittsburgh.

    “It was great,” Bilodeau told Panther-Lair.com. “It was my first time ever in Pittsburgh, I had never been to the city so it was great to get in there and see how the city is” Even with an offer prior to the weekend, Bilodeau wanted to work out for the coaches anyway, and he developed a bond with tight ends coach Tim Salem.

    so Pitt grabbed Koontz later that day. But Bilodeau was the TE they really wanted in this class.

    Seeing as we already had four TEs on the roster I wanted this kid for four years because we’ll be moving a TE or two to the OL, but we went the JUCO route.

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  19. One thing I agree with Tossing Thabeets on is that it takes time to build a program. In the meantime it helps to win games no matter who they are against. No one remembers that JoePa built a career never losing to Temple, Wiiliam and Mary, and many other weak programs.

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    1. Exactly how long does it take, especially when you are loading up with transfers who are here only one or two years?

      Those transfer players push back the actual recruits that we are supposed to be building on so the real recruits have stunted experience or they transfer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah but Savage and Peterman got us some wins.

        What takes time is building depth on the lines.

        Longer still when you can’t get the four stars to come.

        The use of transfers should slow down when you get home grown Depth.

        But when you miss on recruits and guys leave due to bad behavior it hurts depth.

        Hopefully the churn slows down.

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  20. Remember the 1984 season when we started against BYU who really played no one until they beat Michigan for the National Championship. We ended up 3-7-1, but crushed PSU in the final game.

    BYU’s championship still counts, although they beat virtually no one. We also lost to Temple that year.

    It is not who you beat, it is how many!

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  21. If narduzzi got 6 four stars in his second and third years, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But he didn’t. And there are plenty out there in surrounding states. Penn state gets 15 of them each year and we think we can’t even recruit one. So grab threes and coach them up. Or get the threes that are diamonds in the rough. Or get Florida kids because they’re actually four stars in disguise. This defeatist attitude is sickening. But I’m a hater. Fact is narduzzi is terrible at recruiting. Four stars want to come to Pitt. They just don’t want this guy coaching them.

    Tex

    Tex

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  22. Tex-we get it. You don’t like Narduzzi and think he’s a terrible recruiter. U have said that in 30 consecutive posts in 30 different ways.

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    1. thank you. sometimes i need to repeat so people understand that our recruiting is really sub-par and that means more 4-8 win seasons ahead but few if any division titles or championships. I’m a hater and haters gotta hate right?

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  23. Later in the recruiting process when other schools back away from some 4 star kids, Narduzzi will get interested.

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  24. Reed maybe you should read the writeup PSU did on Travis Koontz today interviewing his coach at Ventura. If the coach ain’t just blowing smoke on Koontz maybe there’s a good reason why Pitt decided to go for Koontz.

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  25. They didn’t decide on Koontz, he was plan B.

    Bilodeau visited Purdue on the 12th then Pitt on the 13th two days before Koontz did… When Pitt saw that Bilodeau chose Purdue they pushed Koontz and got his commit that evening.

    Pitt would have taken Bilodeau’s commitment right away and Koontz would have been out of the picture.

    But Koontz should be good but like I said I prefer kids grow in the system and so should all the Pitt fans who say PN is “building a program”.

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    1. In year 4, Narduzzis approach will build you 6-8 win seasons
      He’s having a hard time getting elites to even visit
      Thats all on the cult of personality
      Believe me 4 stars want to visit Pitt…they always have
      Why is it now different?
      You know the answer but it hurts to admit

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  26. Joe, your Bucco experience says it all. Fans just want to know that the team is trying and is making decisions based on trying to win. When the Pirates dump a salary, they are kicking the fans who buy the tickets in the groin. Every Pirates fan knows there is no organizational commitment to winning. This is why Pitt needs to launch a marketing and PR campaign that will convince potential fans that things have changed and they are now committed to winning. Then the ticket buyers and donors will start coming back.

    When the recruiting coordinator leaves, and they then bring in mediocre classes, fans rightfully become skeptical about why he left and is there a commitment to paying good salaries and winning. TX and UPitt are not entirely wrong. Heather can change this image.

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  27. Ya, Bucco fans have finally had enough. Losing record for 19 yrs then getting decent for 3 and blaming the fans for their inability to get better is nuts.

    In my opinion, the biggest fail for Pitt is their inability to market their product, plain and simple. I have no idea who is responsible for that, but even if we get really good you have to be able to take that momentum and market the hell out of it. It’s been a really long time since we’ve done this. Sadder than recruiting, sadder than the on field record, sadder than even then coaching( well, maybe not the coaching) . Pitt is clueless on how to market. That my friends, is a fact!

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  28. Ike – You mean the SWC (8 Texas schools & Arkansas). The SWAC still exists. It’s a ten member association of historically black colleges that plays FCS football. Grambling played a MEAC team last year in the inaugural Celebration bowl. Like the IVY, The two HBC (SWAC & MEAC) don’t play in the FCS playoffs.

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  29. VOR..

    continuing on your Bucs comparison is the view of the fan bases.

    Some Pirates fans (let’s call them the “optimists”) say the Pirates are doing well with the payroll limitations, etc. And they say a REAL fan wouldn’t complain so much and keep SUPPORTING the team.

    Others (let’s call them the “pessimists”) say they’re frustrated by the status quo and have no faith in ownership (administration) and REAL fans would stop buying tickets, rather than enabling the team to remain mediocre.

    Sound familiar???

    I’m the fan in the middle. I am HORRIBLY frustrated by a school that shows sports in EVERY tv commercial and discusses Tony Dorsett as much as Drs. Starzl and Salk but makes no commitment to sports, beyond what’s required.

    Hey “optimists”, I agree– Love your team no matter what. And I do! I’ve been to well over 120 Pitt games in the last 17 years.. and I live 3 1/2 hours from Pittsburgh. And hey “pessimists”, I agree–if we accept mediocrity and continue to make excuses for it..nothing will change!

    So, I’m stuck. Like the “optimists” I keep buying tickets. And like the “pessimists” I keep bitching about the team..

    Yes, Ike, Dr. Tom, jrnpitt, Pittman2003, Tossing, etc.you probably do “enjoy” the season more than I do. I just can’t shut off the part of my brain that KNOWS we’ll never be more than an 8 win team doing what we’re doing.

    Ugggghhhh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Recruiting is NOT sub par when you look at what you are paying the guy to do when compared to his peers. You could argue that our recruiting is outperforming the wage scale. There are 65 P5 schools. Last I looked we pay our HC about 55th out of 65. As such, his recruiting should be around 55th, right? Look at that correlation and you all should be happy. This may not be exact, but it is real close. If you believe brian kelly makes only $1.6M. 56th if not.

    Personally, i think Narduzzi is okay, but when I look at how the administration handicapped him since his arrival, I think he gets the results he is paid for.

    Many expect top 20 recruiting classes when we pay top 55 salaries. Need to temper that expectation of coaches and really put the pressure on Administration. NOW, if you want to say the PITT Administration has opened the purse strings, let’s be sure we start as if this is year one, not 4. He has performed well in the old way of doing things.

    With Capel, we got it right. We expect top 25 classes because he is being paid top 25 salary.

    Whoever asked how many P5 schools there are, I believe it is 65. Overall there are 130 Division 1 teams, maybe one less, but that changes as lower division teams try to make the jump.

    P5 Conferences:

    ACC (14)
    Big 10 (14)
    SEC (14)
    Big 12 (10)
    PAC12 (12)
    Notre Dame (1)
    Total 65

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    1. I like that!..”he gets the results he is paid for.”

      We should all try that at work..

      “Sure, my work is mediocre but if you paid me more, I’d do better.” Or, “I get it boss. My reports only contain 75% accurate information. But, I only make 75% of Bob’s salary, so what do you expect? If you want 100% accurate work, I’m gonna need a raise.”

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  31. Yes the SWC, thank you. I knew I was wrong when I posted that. didn’t that conference have slang or nickname though The WAC???

    Dan: Shows how strong and united NCAA is. They got nothing. To allow WVU to be travel to Texas and the west like they do should be against the law. It makes no sense. Maryland has how many schools a stones throw away and they travel to Wisconsin. Brilliant!

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    1. Aside from the size of the school, Penn State has no business in the Big 10, either. Until they dragged in Rutgers and Maryland, their travel distances from Satan’s Cradle (State College) were from 325 miles (Columbus) to 1,075 miles (Lincoln).

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  32. Bilodeau was a low 3 star that wanted to major in a subject not taught at Pitt as I understand. Pitt may have wanted him but Jesus Christ may not have been able to recruit him to Pitt if he really wanted to study in a major not available at Pitt.

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    1. I have NO problem missing out on Bilodeau for the same reasons you mentioned. My concern? Despite him being a low 3 star, even Pitt thought he was a more desirable option than Koontz.

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  33. There are (12) DI football teams closer to PSU than is Columbus..

    P5: (7)

    Pitt 136 mi.
    Maryland 175 mi.
    WVU 180 mi.
    Temple 192 mi.
    Rutgers 215 mi.
    Syracuse 235 mi.
    Virginia 275 mi.

    G5: (5)

    Navy 200 mi.
    Buffalo 200 mi.
    Kent St. 205 mi.
    Akron 215 mi.
    Army 255 mi.

    I might be missing some..

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  34. Jay, I liked your Buccos discussion of optimists vs. pessimists. However, ardent Pirates fans know and can see where the ownership cuts corners, whereas the average fan taking his 10 yr. old to the game may not. The people who lay down the big money for season tickets, boxes, etc. follow closely, and understand why they make the personnel moves they do. When they had the 3 good years, they didn’t sign anyone to get them over the top. Had they done so, even if it didn’t pay off, fans could have put up with some down years. Same with Pitt. Joe is right that they just CANNOT market..

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    1. With all due respect, ardent Pitt fans (well, at least the intelligent among us) know and can see where the administration cuts corners, as well.

      Nutting is fine with 70-92 as long as he’s turning a profit. Our BOT is happy with 7-5 as long as we’re not losing money.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Agree with the lack of marketing. Boscov’s department store chain(regional northeast) Has all kinds of college sports ware but practically nothing for Pitt. I asked the dept. mgr. and he responded we can’t get an agreement with the University. This includes their store in Johnstown where there are 6000 Pitt students and a store that used to carry the stuff. If you are on the move you can’t pick up a football game on radio after you leave the range of Pgh. stations (going east that is even before Laurel Hill mtn.) Their radio net used to have some powerfull stations in this area that covered I-80 to Md. , now only a weak am station that cuts its power by regulation about 3 pm during the second half of the season. Where is the coaches show etc. I do have to give a shout out to their staff in the ticket office. Had nothing but the finest experiences with them forever. Hopefully Heather can do something about the mkt.. I have a cousin who is a retired prof at OSU and we have talked about this. Of course OSU is like a machine on the marketing/ business end as on the field.

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  36. I contacted Pitt after receiving information regarding coaching “caravan” stops in Philadelphia and Erie. I wondered if anything was scheduled in Harrisburg.

    Their response?? They didn’t have enough time but they’d try in the future. Really? Do you know how many alumni and current students come from CPA? A lot. But, at least the game are on the radio here.

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  37. Jay91 – The amount of stuff to complain about at Pitt is endless … and it’s all self-inflicted. I will not or cannot deny this.

    The problem is when it’s repetitive and nothing new is offered. If you’re going to complain about something offer some solutions to move the conversation along. Instead it digresses into name calling, childish nicknames and just average Joe fans being attacked for just being fans.

    FWIW, I don’t think you fall into this category. Lot’s of people complain about Pitt … Only a select few repeat the same tired tropes every single time. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

    When you criticize someone for rooting for Pitt on a Pitt blog, it’s probably time to move onto another team. I was getting accused by Upitt for being a Stallings supporter when it’s the furthest thing from the truth. He mistook me cheering and rooting for the kids on the court and twisted it into an endorsement for Stallings. Meanwhile, I was very critical of Stallings. I complained about the rumors of the hire, the actual hire, the pep rally introduction press conference, his decision to not bring in a point guard in year 1, his on-court demeanor, his off court lackadaisicalness, his all freshman recruiting class, the lack of progress from game 1 to game 30 … on and on.

    I have no problem criticizing Pitt. I didn’t like Wanny or Chryst. I liked Walt and like Narduzzi. I did not like Haywood but was intrigued by Graham. I like Jaime Dixon. I did not like Stallings. I like Capel.

    I don’t dwell on my criticisms, however.

    The incessant and persistent criticism by “fans” who haven’t attended a game since the 90’s of people who actually like Pitt is just asinine. In fact, I find it unacceptable so I’ll continue to poke the bear when I have the time and energy to do it.

    I mean, I’m pretty Pitt could go undefeated and win the national championship on the last play of the game and some folks on this site would complain that it took the entire game to put the opponent away.

    “Sit down up front! I can’t see the game!”

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  38. Tossing Salads – You are like a broken record and it is convenient now to say you didn’t like Stallings. Remember the he deserves 4 years nonsense.

    -The Bear

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  39. Ike – That was me on the SWAC – SWC, Just pulling your chain. The WAC (now a basketball/Olympic -no football) is short for Western Athletic conference. I believe the SWC was just known as the Southwestern Conference. Ah the good old days, they didn’t use acronyms back them. So sit down. I’m trying to watch the game & by the way turn that loud music off.

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  40. Upitt – Lol. I’m the broken record. Oh, how clever. A mean spirited nickname. Classy.

    I never said Stallings deserves 4 years. Terrible hire that should have been nullified by the cronyism involved in the search.

    Stop playing to your base and making your own reality.

    Keep making noise …

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    1. If you didn’t laugh at that then I’m truly sorry. It was funny.

      I’m not even a Texan so an old man yelling doesn’t even make sense.

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  41. Pitt 60, you are exactly right. Why can’t we find Pitt jerseys and gear outside of Oakland? I wanted a simple Pitt T-shirt with the Pitt logo on the chest, but I’m not driving to Oakland to get it. And the radio station situation is ridiculous. I said this before, Heather needs to clean out the dead wood in the department and get some marketing people in there. Tired of the good old boy network that does nothing and retires on the job.

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  42. LOL, I’m not going to hit like your comment Tossing because I…. I’ll get get called out on it…. I will say I know a broken record when I hear one though. 🙂

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    1. You and Tossing are broken records of all hail the great King Pat. Talk about broken records. Goes both ways Ike. Remember all the talent you loved last year that is now playing D2 ball Pat recruited.

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  43. Tossing Thabeets.

    I’d love to address your most recent post, point by point, but I’ll spare the POV. Shoot me an email and we can discuss “off line.” I’ll be kind… ask Ike!

    smithjh43@gmail.com

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  44. I will say this… the fact that you were “intrigued” by Graham is troublesome. It was obvious from the jump that dude was an A$$CLOWN. I went to the home opener in Graham’s only season, left at halftime and threw my tickets in the trash for the remainder of the season. That guy was Stallings before Stallings.

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  45. TE they want is from Florida on a recent visit.Correct the TE to Purdue had an academic interest not offered at Pitt. But he was far from a must get here. As I stated the ACC is a positive move for Pitt athletics. But it comes with conditions like actually having a quality athletic program. Heather knows and certainly the Chancellor knows Pitt has to change the narrative of egg heads and indifference. Narduzzi is been given more cash to deploy and stepped up for Partridge and did a big offer for Canada which was not close to LSU. But at least they made an attempt. Good things are happening, sorry some can’t see it.

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    1. Sorry but you are wrong here – the TE who went to Purdue certainly did have both a Pitt offer and had visited Pitt last week. He was our primary TE target.

      Also he had no ‘academic interest’ as Pitt has exactly the same academic standards as 99% of D1 colleges – the NCAA minimums.

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  46. No Mark, I have lots of problems with Narduzzi. When you cry wolf every single post and when I read complaints about this past weeks recruiting I’m caught between rolling my eyes and belly laughing. It’s like a clean pane of glass. It’s easy to see through.

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  47. The other thing about the good old days is that there were only a handful of bowl games so if you didn’t get one, it wasn’t a big deal. If you can’t guarantee a bowl game to a recruit it is a problem. Franklin can tell a kid you are going to play in the Rose Bowl. Something Narduzzi can’t offer.

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  48. Well Chet, when you recruit 3 TE’s in last years class, bring in a transfer(Arky) TE and then bring in a JC TE, what do you think…..they need to bring in a few more TE’s?

    We’ve had 2 OL visits. 1 WR visit. 2 RB visits, got a verbal from one of the two RB’s. Carter is the bigger fish, hopefully we land him. Staff needs to put a high priority on offensive recruits.

    Currently we have 8 verbals on defense and 3 on offense.

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  49. Jay91 – I was intrigued because Inrealky hate the pro-style offense in college. And at the time we had a coach with a pro mentality. Wanny was way too conservative for the college game. That’s why. I wanted a 21st century coach.

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  50. My biggest complaint about Duzz is the insistence on a pro style offense. I liked Canada’s 21st century spin on it but a classic pro style drives me mad. I’ll give Watson this year. Last year he ran another person’s offense in a terminonology he had never used before with a team that had a lot of departures. I expect more creativity this go around. I’m really hoping for more RPO and a hybrid/spread attack. If not, I agree with a lot of folks that the offense may struggle.

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  51. Concerning TE Kyle Bilodeau recruit going to Purdue instead of Pitt, his choice of majors, and Purdue versus Pitt’s Engineering schools, let’s explore some facts that are available at collegeboard.org. Average SAT (Engineering School only) scores for incoming 2017 Freshmen: Purdue 1195; University Of Pittsburgh Main Campus 1400. I’m a bit prejudice as I’m a Pitt mechanical engineering school grad; we know and we hear about having a renowned Medical/Dental/Pharmacy School program but forget what Dean Holder has accomplished in the Pitt engineering program for the past two decades.

    And to further quote Kyle Bilodeau: “And Purdue’s a very prestigious academic school. I’m looking to go into atmospheric studies, meteorology, and Purdue has like a top-five program there.”

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  52. Jay91, you missed the point on salary. Could you get Capel for $1M per year? NO. Why, becasue for his pedigree, the market is $3.5M. Same with football. You get what you pay for. Pitt is paying Narduzzi like 55th out of 65 P5 schools. Until this year, they gave him a budget in that same range. So with no support, and a weak salary structure, it is still reasonable to ask for top 25 recruiting and ranking.

    Sorry dude, that is stupid and dumb.

    If you pay Narduzzi $3M per year and he had the same results, he would get canned. He has done well and again, arguably, better than his actual pay grade.

    Trying to make some far fetched “hey boss, i will work at 75% and still want paid at a 100%” is a stretch from someone with your intellect. Assuming you are getting fair market, you would get canned. Now, if you hired a high school graduate to do my job at 40% of my salary, the administration would not expect the same results i gave. C’mon dude, tell me you were kidding.

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  53. Lincoln Riley, first time and first year head coach at OU made the N C playoffs. Just signed a five year 25 million dollar extension. Yikes.

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