Or “How the Pitt Baseball Team + Trees Hall + an Econ Major Helped Shape My Journey to Pitt Football Fandom!” Here is MajorMajors’ bio for all to read and enjoy…
I grew up on Mt. Washington overlooking Pittburgh’s Golden Triangle – though it wasn’t yet quite so golden when I was growing up in the 1950s. My very first memories of the Pitt Panther football team came from the local evening news on TV. When I was twelve years old, I remember seeing these dazzling highlights of guys named Paul Martha, Fred Mazurek, and Rick Leeson. When playing touch football in the playground, I wanted to be those guys, making those long, zigzagging touchdown runs, as much as I wanted to be Buddy Dial or Gary Ballman of the Steelers. (BTW, in 1963, the Martha/Mazurek led Panthers went 9-1; the Steelers had the odd record of 7-4-3.)
No one in my family had gone to college and we had no connections to Pitt. I went to Pitt as the home-town school and am a proud graduate of Pitt’s Civil Engineering program. But I attended Pitt during some really dark days for Pitt football — from 1967 to 1971. It happened that I played on the Pitt baseball team, coached for over three decades by Bobby Lewis. It was here that my connection to Pitt football was cemented for all time.
Unlike now, back then several of the football players played on the baseball team. (Though I always suspected that some of them came out just because the baseball team opened the 1968 and 1969 seasons with weeklong trips in March to play in tournaments at Riverside, CA and Miami, FL, respectively.) Back then, freshmen could not play on the varsity – so I had to play on the freshman team for the 1968 season.
I won a starting outfield job as a Sophomore and I was playing on the same baseball team with guys like pitcher Frank Gustine Jr., who played QB, and our ace pitcher George “Doc” Medich, who played tight-end. Others I can remember were Joe McCain, tailback, Jeff Barr, defensive back, John Simpson, offensive lineman, and Ray Reppert, QB.
Knowing these guys made me root for them on the football field all the more. I really wanted to play football, but as the guy in “Rudy” says, “at 100-and nothin’ and and 5-foot nothin’” that wasn’t going to happen. Even though our football team won few games during my time at Pitt, I went to every home game and rooted like crazy.
In my sophomore year, on our baseball team’s trip to the tournament in Miami, our bus from the airport to the hotel went past the Orange Bowl. The football Panthers had been destroyed by a score of 48–0 the previous fall in that stadium by a Miami team led by two-time All-American and NFL Hall-of-Famer Ted Hendricks. As our bus passed the football stadium, someone was bold enough to yell out from the back of the bus “So which end of that stadium did you guys get blown out of?” A hush fell over the bus as we wondered what reaction that comment would bring. Fortunately the football players took it in stride and didn’t beat the crap out of that player.
By the way, that Miami trip had a couple of firsts for me. First time I flew in an airplane. I still remember leaving Pittsburgh on a frigid March night and getting off the plane around midnight in Miami to a balmy, warm tropical breeze. And this trip was the first time I ever saw “bat girls.” Yes, bat girls. Instead of boring old “bat boys,” Miami, who hosted the tournament, had long-legged, well-tanned, beautiful female students in short shorts (called “hot pants” in the 70s) serving as their “bat girls.” And they were called – can you guess? “The Sugarcanes!” You can’t make this stuff up.
It wasn’t like the Hurricanes or the other southern teams in the tournament needed the northern guys to be distracted or anything. These were our first games of the season – we ended up 2 and 5 for the trip (didn’t help that one of our top pitchers became incapacitated on the trip and couldn’t pitch, but I won’t tell that story in case he reads this…). Needless to say, Upitt would not have been happy with our performance (and Annie is probably cringing about the “bat girls”).
Course we were at a severe disadvantage — aside from the Sugarcanes — given that the only batting practice we had a chance to take aside from a couple of frigid days outside where you couldn’t feel your fingers, was in the batting cage under the bleachers in the Field House. And if you ever ran the track in the Field House, you know it was kind of dark and dingy back there going around the curves (but maybe that was to help sharpen our batting eyes). Of course we had also “practiced” our fielding and throwing inside Trees Hall.
My baseball career at Pitt was nothing special, but I’m proud that I started and lettered for two seasons. I played with some great guys, two of whom ended up playing in the majors. Doc Medich, from Aliquippa, was a year ahead of me and pitched in the majors for 10 years. Ken Macha, from Monroeville, was a year behind me and played in the majors for several years, played in Japan for a few years, and then had a long coaching/managing career in the majors. (By the way, Ken Macha was at the Pitt Alumni Golf Outing back in May and he ended up having the longest drive on the two long drive holes – Go Pitt Baseball!)
During my time at Pitt, the baseball team went 55 and 30. Meanwhile, the football team went 1-9, 1-9, 4-6, and 5-5. That totals up to 11 and 29 – not a good era of Pitt football, to say the least. But there was this one quite memorable game – the 1970 Pitt-WVU game.
I was there with a certain Econ/Russian major. We stayed the whole game, even though Pitt was down 35 to 8 at the half. We were rewarded because after halftime a miracle occurred. In the second half, Pitt never punted, scored two TDs in the 3rd quarter, scored two TDs in the 4th quarter, held WVU scoreless, and went on to win 36-35.
Though it was so long ago, what I remember was Pitt grinding out each possession in that second half. No big plays, they just gained 3 or 4 or 5 yards every play and converted some 4th down plays. Quarterback Davy “White Shoes” Havern sticks in my brain. I think the winning touchdown pass went to Bill Pilconis with a minute or two left to play. What a great memory that game was – the best Pitt game I ever attended.
The Econ/Russian major was on the tennis team; I played on the baseball team. We had met in Trees Hall – I remember the exact spot. One time while we were dating, she and I went up to Trees Hall together – her to go to tennis practice, and me to go to baseball practice. As I was heading for the men’s dressing room, and she was continuing down the hall to the women’s dressing room, I called to her something about our date that evening. The guy who handed out the sweats-and-towels for baseball practice saw us and heard what I said and after he admired her walking down the hall, he turned to me with a look of disbelief and said, “She’s going out with you? Really, she’s going out with you?” This remains about the best compliment that I’ve ever had.
These many years later, the Econ major and I have been married for 45 years and are still going to Pitt football games together. She cheers and has forgotten about any loss before we get home. I cheer and take several days to get any loss out of my system. So for me, Pitt Civil Engineering, Pitt baseball, Pitt football, a certain Econ/Russian major, and Trees Hall will forever be tied together – Hail to Pitt!
Oh, and my response to the sweats-and-towels guy’s question was “Yes, she’s going out with me. Am I a lucky guy or what!”
247 thoughts on “Am I a Lucky Guy Or What?”
Great John and thanks.
If there was a like button John I would hit it a half dozen times. Great job and Thank You. I’ve met John a few times and he is one great guy. I guess like everyone else I’ve met in person that comes on the POV. I had you pegged as a second base though.
BTW John, you’ve hardly aged a minute.
I had him pegged as a shortstop…
Need photos of the tennis player.
Great story. Yeah, the batgirls were typical for that time, so now cringing here. Now if it was today…..That”s another story!
Annie – Hate to tell you this but there are still Batgirls.
Oh man, some girls will do anything to get near a guy. And some teams will do anything to put fans in the seats I guess. Same with the stupid pro football cheerleaders.
John – Great meeting you and talking shop. Love the story! Especially the Wife part and the “Sugarcanes”
To anyone who hasn’t met John, he is incredibly nice and humble.
Anyone in Phoenix, AZ tonight want to play golf at Biltmore?
I’ve stayed there a couple times – neat place.
It really is. I love Franklin Lloyd Wright Properties.
Good story! I think the towel guys name was Mouse. He was the young guy, there was an older guy too.
We probably passed each other a hundred times in Trees and at Fitzgerald.
You would put your gym clothes in a mesh bag and they would wash them for you every night, hadn’t thought of that in almost 50 years.
Those .28 cents gray tees and shorts were treated like they were gold bars.
John.. Joe MsCain.. now that’s a name from my past, if he’s the same one- really good football and baseball player from Kiski Area… PITT has Jack Dykes and Clair Wilson on team my freshman year- both Kiski grads…
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Thanks for the bio… these stories are great….
Annie — The Sugarcanes are still going strong. They were actually started in 1968, the year before we went to Miami. Check out this link:
Good thing they have a no-fraternization clause. Gee, I think maybe the women’s softball team needs some shirtless beefcake batboys….. Yeah, that’s the ticket!!
Quoting from the above Sugarcanes article:
“In 1968, former Hurricanes baseball coach Ron Fraser founded the Sugarcanes to fill the need for retrieving foul balls from the stands. As the group grew in prominence, they took on a marketing role as well. As the first group of collegiate batgirls nationally, they paved the way for other universities to have similar programs.”
I remember Pitt having batgirls for a while after we saw them in Miami…
Thanks John. Good positive stories.
Better than griping about recruits who now number 14.
Quality over Quanity
Pitt football hasn’t graduated from the beggars category to the choosers group yet. It will take time.
I didn’t notice your question in prior thread. My old man smoked Kool’s My mom smoked some crap called Now’s. Probably why I’m a menthol man. Was hacking the old man smokes when I was 10. That baby picture with me and cig and Pitt garb on, I put in high school yearbook. Kids loved it. I was a rebel anyway, so it worked..
Ground control to Major John, Thanks for the great bio! The Bat Girls/Sugarcanes reminded me of what we called Mat Maidens who were kind of like Pom Pom girls for the wrestling team when I wrestled in High School. I understand the Mat Maidens are still around at some schools too. Thanks again for sharing your story!
Weren’t mat maidens just the cheerleaders??
PITT football recruiting is again ranked # 26 in the country. It’s gone up and down a few spots. Still shaping up to be Narduzzi’s best class yet. … ike
LOL Pittpt, are you trying to lure me into playing Bowie? You didn’t get that past me.
MajorMajor’s – Yes, you are a lucky guy. Thanks for writing. – Hobie
John… awesome bio. Thanks
Major, do you remember a teammate called Scott Ross? He told me he played with Macha. He and his son (Katz MBA grad) and I have attended several Pitt FB games together over the past decade.
He once introduced me to Ken Griffey Sr who he grew up playing baseball with down in the Mon Valley. I was impressed because as soon as Griffey saw him, he yelled “Scottie”
Don’t know if it’s the tennis gal I met at the tailgates with John or not but she still is holding on to John pretty tight and he is one lucky guy.
Honest question and not trying to stir a debate. How is it that PITT would be ranked # 26 in recruiting right now with 12 three stars and 2 two stars? I realize that # 26 isn’t the greatest but it’s still fairly good.
Because we have more recruits to tally up then other school’s. Most don’t have 14.
I think when the other school’s catch up, which will be in the fall, you’ll see that ranking change…unless we pull in a bunch of 4* kids that is.
If you look at NW rated # 27 you’ll see they average 3.0 stars to our 2.86 but our POINTS total is higher due to having a few 5.7 kids.
As we said earlier Rivals changed their ranking system for this year.
I think we’ll be in the high 30s or low 40s at LOI Day…again, unless he pulls in 4* kids.
I’ve never put much stock in these rankings…I look at who will be stars for us more than anything else.
OK, I was thinking it’s because of the big discrepancy between the top 10/20 teams in the pecking order who seem to suck up most of the higher rated players? I still think this class will be closer to #30 than #40.
Ike, look at PSU. They are ranked #20 but that’s because they have only 9 recruits.
But those nine are one 5*, six 4* and two 3* recruits.
Obviously that leaves Pitt in the dust but because we have 12 3* and two 2* ( 14 vs 9 recruits) we are still close in total points.
It’s a new system and I don’t like the fact that Rivals is only using the first 20 recruits to use in measuring. That penalizes school’s who have less than 20 scholarships open.
Especially since they are using a funky weighing system also so it isn’t just rating points either. Then they add “bonus Points” for every Rivals 250 recruit a team gets. For instance PSU (again) has four Top 250 recruits and get a total of 165 extra bonus points for them. Pitt at this point has zero so we miss out on bonus points all together.
They are a full star average above us right now. The team ranking system is ridiculous IMO.
wwb – can’t say I remember Scottie; my old brain has forgotten tons of stuff…
Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us!!!
@Reed that is pretty stupid if they are only using the first 20 recruits to sign. Majority of schools sign more than 20 each year. What if a school signs 25 recruits and the last 5 are 3 five stars and 2 four stars. Rivals is saying the last 5 kids signed are not counted in the rankings. That is pretty hard to believe.
With all this said, I pay little attention to their rankings
I think I wrote it wrong – it is the Top 20 recruits a team has.
Which means if Both Duke and Pitt give out 25 scholarships and Duke’s Top 20 have one more decimal point than Pitt does they would be ranked ahead of us. Let’s say 20 5.7s for Duke but 19 5.7s and a 5.6 for Pitt. – Duke is ranked higher by points.
Now let’s say the other five Pitt recruits were low (5.4) three star kids and Duke’s remaining five were all two stars – all those wouldn’t be counted by Rivals and Duke would still end up a higher ranked class than we had… even though across all 25 recruits ours were higher ranked kids in total.
I think they did this to get more subscriptions now that they are saying the decimal point ratings matter – so fans want to read about 5.7 star kids vs 5.6 star kids.
Hell, All I care about are getting kids who play like All-ACC or All-Americans… have enough of those and you’ll win football games.
Well I agree with you guys. It doesn’t penalize anyone but the bloggers, message board and the fans who care about the rankings. he players are who they are. There is more common ground the past few comments that you realize. .1 is way to arbitrary and subjective to jump up and down for joy or care about. I think that’s what I’ve been saying all along. ike
The 20 number has been in play a few years. It’s partly why last season’s class took a while to jump in the rankings. Several posters mentioned that since it was a small class it would be penalized. I always sorted on the star rating instead of the default ranking. They ended up over 20 so it didn’t matter.
The scale part has changed for the better. I never understood why they had sub categories but only ranked on the overall star rating.
but Reed, don’t forget the same goes for a 5.7 and a 5.8 which is dumb in my book when we complain about no four stars. There is no discernible difference imo.
Nobody has signed an LOI yet. Pitt may end up 24th or 44th, and even then you still are not sure how good a class it is for at least a couple of years.
I’m much more concerned about this year’s OL right now. wwb
I ask the group what happened to that NW LB Coach we made a DC who was a Texas Guru? Where are all the Texas Recruits? Still nervous about a yes man lifelong LB Coach this year. I’m also still not in love with Watson.
It appears Pitt has offered four recruits from Texas – two have verballed elsewhere.
MM – nice bio – I always enjoy your baseball stories. You are a lucky man too. Blessed beyond your years my good friend.
I prefer an OC who like to throw to the TE more. The more guys who may actually touch a ball in a game, the harder to defend and the more options for a young QB, who will probably be under stiff pressure in many games this season.
Maybe Rivals has a data limit on their hand calculator.
If I was doing it I would find the mean value number for all of the recruit ratings. It can vary day to day. Then rank each team based their mean number against the overall mean value number.
Anybody have a computer calculator handy?
Ike, Rivals ranks on the impact they think a player will have in college:
6.0 – 5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation’s top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team
5.7 – 5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region’s top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team
So you can see there is a big difference between 5.7 and 5.8
I think the biggest X factor forgotten is that these young men still have another season to play, mature and develop. Do the college teams really know the player they are getting a verbal from at the end of the today?
Reed you wedged that in on me while I was posting my own comment, sorry. I don’t buy that though. Big difference between a 5.7 and a 5.8 but not a big difference between a 5.6 and a 5.7? How can this make sense to you. It’s way too arbitrary. You explained that reasonably but think, how do they make the final decision and then think how they change the ratings when an Alabama comes along and they bump the kid ratings up?
PITT beat Clemson plain and simple. The stars did not align that day and often they do not. I’ll take the higher starred kids all day but it’s not a science how a player is rated. It’s projection with information. I don’t doubt the 4 and 5* players ratings but many do fail. My point is there are many upon many 3* players out there who are just as good or better but just needed another year or two to prove it. It’s called maturity and growing up. ike
Hopefully, Pitt can discern and recruit the ones who will mature and grow up and stay away from those who won’t. – Hobie
What Reed posted is actually from Rivals, I think, so I’m pretty sure he’s right. It is a significant jump from high 3 star to 4 star.
Ike – I agree the stars aligned that day but we also had 3 stars that played like 5 stars. That isn’t always the case. I also believe even the best teams play ok the edge a few games a year. Clemson should of lost a week before that but the kicker (forget the team) missed a 20 yd. FG. They played with fire all year. Yes it can happen and we have caught fire in a bottle but for consistent winning and 10 wins and acc chanpionships etc you need the talent unless you have an awesome coach em up staff like Boise had in Peterson back when he beat OU. It is safe to say we don’t have that yet.
Interesting to see what plays out. I can tell you Heather is her own woman and you win or you are gone at Pitt. If Narduzzi doesn’t wins 6 there will be a ton of pressure on the program. Last chance for golf tonight in AZ?!? Erie Express??
I’d lyke to make the trip – thanks for the invite – I’ll have to pass this time.
Hit em straight!
the one caveat is that these are 17 to 21 year olds. Thus, a 4-star may have developed early and have become a man-child while in high school and dominated, whereas another may be late developer. No doubt that 4/5-stars are preferred but I would never look down on a 3-star. Heck, even 2-stars like Antonio Bryant and Dion Lewis made immediate impact as frosh … but the odds of that happening are slim.
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Ask any college coach whether he’d rather have 22 kids on the field made up of a majority of 4* players vice 3* players…and he’ll look at you like you’re crazy.
And yes, they sure as hell look at stars.
I have to agree with Ike. If the players are being rated/scored on a numeric scale, an incremental difference if 0.1 is no different between 5.5 to 5.6 vs 5.7 to 5.8. Obviously a player in the 5.8 to 6.0 group is more likely to become an all American than one in the 5.5-5.7 grouping but the amount of difference between each 0.1 rating should be the same. (Hope that makes sense…)
But Rivals thows a spin into the numbers with their text description of the players potential.
If you overlook that, and you really shouldn’t because that is the standard they set…then yes it is just tenths of a point.
But Rivals put that big distinction in for a reason.
Upitt – In order for a program like Pitt to take the next step and recruit like a top 10 team, their 3 stars to play like 5 stars … except for an entire season. That is what UCF did last season. To be clear, I’m not expecting an undefeated season anytime soon … but that’s what starts to happen for good coaches when they get to years 4 and 5.
Pitt has to put back to back years where they overachieve and beat expectations. If they do that, we’ll start getting 6-10 4 stars with a shot at some 5 stars. Recruiting is earned not given. Pitt starts earning those 4 stars now.
I’m right with everyone else this season. I, personally, believe that Duzz has to beat 8 wins … and I don’t really care about the schedule. I think UCF is overrated and living off of last season … and they lost a once in a generation coach (with the entire staff)… but it is a road game, so I do have to hedge a little. I think PSU will be difficult but we get them early in the schedule, at home with a new OC while they are breaking in several new position players. ND is a wildcard game. You just never know what you’ll get with them. They’ve traditionally, based on recent history, been one of the most overrated teams in the country year in and year out. Once Pitt gets to the ACC, it’s not a murderer’s row.
Since I don’t think the schedule can be used as an excuse, I expect a much better team. In year 4, Duzz can’t play the NFG card (will that slip thru the Reed filters?).
This season Pitt will have an inexperienced offense paired with a defense that I expect to turn a corner. We saw it starting to happen at the end of last season. A good defense can protect an offense … to a point. I don’t have anything to back it up, but I really do believe that we’ll see a very fresh offense out of the gate to help hide an inexperienced offensive line.
Next season, watch out. Pitt will have an experienced defense paired with an offense that should be hitting it’s stride with a team that has depth at every position.
Side note … many of you know I’m from Erie. I just watched Evil Genius on Netflix and my old shop teacher (Mr. Rothstein) is one of the main characters and masterminds behind the, truly, heinous crime committed. It’s a documentary about the infamous “Pizza Bomber”.
Tossing – I spent 15 years in Erie working for Lord Corp. Beautiful short summers, long hard winters. I remember the pizza bomber. – Hobie
Reed, that is why I specifically mentioned the grouping of 5.8-6.0 vs 5.5 vs 5.7 as having a different potential of making it to the next level or making All-American, since only a finite group do, but unless I am missing something the difference at any 0.1 level should be same at any rating unless it’s not a matter of pure mathematics.
TT, we are halfway through the Evil Genius series. Creepy stuff!
I remember that pizza bomber too!
We have lost three of our most productive offensive skill players in Weah, Henderson and O’Neill and almost all our experience on the OL.
We counter that with a new QB who might play great…maybe, but who has thrown exactly one TD pass in 66 attempts and a trick play at that.
We have a stable of WRs who, save Lopes, have done nothing in their careers and Lopes was a bit above average.
There is a lot of holes to fill on offense with huge question marks as to who that will be.
I think our defense is going to have to be almost perfect for us to win 7 or 8 games this season because the offense will be sub par again.
But that’s just me. Others see a bright offense ahead.
hard to argue with any of that. Based on this past year, it is hard to foresee a productive offense. The defense IMO will be above average and possibly pretty good. If somehow a decent run attack is established, it would g a long way for this team to be successful
Reed – I’m not looking at their numbers, but seems to me that Weah, Henderson and O’Neill all had disappointing seasons last year.
What those three did last season, with the exception of Henderson’s return game, doesn’t seem like it will be difficult to replace/exceed.
Agree with you, MM
Weah was not reliable and defenses learned to key on the jet sweeps with Henderson. He was not a pass catching threat ever. While O’Neill was not up to par, he was the best part of the OL and I think we will miss him a bit this yr.
I just see a young offense. Not one, necessarily, without stars. I think Pitt has several kids who could breakout. I agree, however, that Pitt ultamtely needs stars on offense to win.
I also think that Pitt cannot come out with a traditional pro-style offense and expect to win games. It will have to be a bit gimmicky to hide the youth, a la 2016. I’m really curious if Watson can break from script and generate and put together a creative playbook. There is a whole lot of boring in his resume but there are also some fireworks hidden in there.
The way Weah, Henderson and O’Neill played last season they will not be missed nearly as much as we would have thought, if we were having this conversation at the end of 2016. I’m really not very worried about losing their production since all were in decline last season. I do see your point though.
I see a good to very good defense as the season progresses. I see a middling offense with a chance to overachieve a bit with above the line QB play. Lastly, I hope to see above average special teams play to help be the difference in some tightly contested games.
I’m just not sure of that TT. Some of the recruiting service people don’t ever see the player play in person so I understand what rivals means by jumping to a 4* player from a 3* I have my doubts about how legitimate it all is. There’s all kinds of crap that goes into this including favoritism, monetary and politics.
I also have zero doubts about what a college head football coach and staff are looking for and it’s 4 and 5* players. It’s a barometer mapped out for them. Sure they are attracted to the higher rated players.
My point is that PITT will not get those players early on in the recruiting season if they are not already in love with PITT and/or local. PITT may get higher rated players at the end of the recruiting cycle with the good players that are left at the alter and jilted by the schools they wanted to go to first. This is where Narduzzi has to find the player rated lower but has that potential to grow into what would have been a 4 or 5* player.
PITT can’t and most likely will never win recruiting battles with the big boys or at least until they start winning 9 or 10 games a year and they will have to do that mainly with 3* players.
I agree ike. Think of how tough it would be to “rank” hundreds of defensive tackles or linebackers or offensive linemen. Virtually impossible – but they’ve made a business out of it.
Obviously they don’t do so well on running backs because we have a slew of 4-Star RBs but are still looking for a game-breaker…
Back when I played on the Pitt baseball team, baseball wasn’t a big deal at Pitt. I guess some would say it isn’t a big deal now.
When I started at Pitt, we had no on-campus baseball field. We used to play our “home” games at a field at Leech Farm off of Washington Boulevard. We practiced in Pitt Stadium.
While I was at Pitt, they “built” Trees Field down behind Trees Hall. Now we had a place to practice and play — but let’s just say it left a lot to be desired…
And to show how things have changed with respect to Pitt baseball — this past season Pitt was 29 and 26. In one of the years that I played, our record was 7 and 6. We had over 25 games rained out that season.
I remember us taking a bus trip to Columbus to play Ohio State and when we got to the field it was pouring. We never even got off the bus – we just turned around and went home…
Crazy old Pitt Athletics…
Major – enjoyed your story! Thanks for sharing!
A bit behind as I thought the site was going the way of the blather a few days ago. Welcome back.
Agree with Upitt. We can catch lightning in a bottle with our 3 stars and beat a team full of 4 stars, but you can’t do it consistently.
Upitt uses Boise as an example, but their 2 and 3 star guys played a schedule mainly of 2 and 3 star teams and then caught lightning in a bottle to beat the likes of OU. It is the same as last year with UCF. Had UCF played a P5 schedule every week, it is my guess that they wouldn’t have finished undefeated. Like Boise, UCF only needed to play up twice in their schedule. It aligned. Good for them.
The schedule is not an excuse for an average win year TT. You don’t consistently schedule a roster full of 4-5 star opponents when you have 3 star talent. I would guess that if you took the average stars of Pitt and their opponents, we probably play teams with more star talent, yet many push for 8 wins. That doesn’t make much sense to me. Until we win more games (schedule easier), we won’t attract 4 and 5 star talent unless it is local.
John, thanks for the article. Very well done. Thank you!
As an odd thing to do, I looked at ND’s OL recruiting of the OLine the last two years and the coming year. Tough sledding ahead for 3 star Kristofec. ND offers are great, but so is playing time. You need to play to get to the league.
Notre Dame OL – 3 four stars and a 3 star 2018
Notre Dame OL – 3 four stars and a 3 star 2017
Notre Dame OL – 3 four stars and a 2 star 2016
What happened with th Blather a few days ago?
Here is our top two perceived competitors in the Coastal – VTech/Miami/Syracuse – OOC schedule and w-l record.
2019 – 4 out of 11 4 stars.
2018 VT – East Carolina, William and Mary, Old Dominion and ND (9 four stars)
2017 VT – Delaware, East Carolina, Old Dominion, WVU 9-4 (4 four stars)
2016 VT – Delaware, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Tenn. 10-4 (2 four stars)
2015 VT – Furman, East Carolina, Purdue, Ohio State 7-6
2018 – Savannah St., Toledo, Fiu, LSU(neutral site)
2017 – Bethune Cookman, Arkansauce St., Toledo, ND
2016 – App St, Florida Atlantic, Florida A&M, ND
2015 – Bethune Cookman, Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Nebraska
Here’s Syracuse – They even get it now!
2018 – wagner, western mich, connecticut, ND
2017 – central connecticut, central michigan, middle tenn, lsu
2016 – colgate, south florida, connecticut, ND
2015 – central michigan, rhode island, south florida, lsu
Couldn’t go further as it made me ill. Say what you want about scheduling. Most years 3-1 minimums for each and a good shot at 4-0. Pitt’s best shot has been 2-2 OOC. Wins help recruiting. Doesn’t matter who it is against.
There was that crazy stat that Pitt and Syracuse are the only two Power 5 schools who haven’t gone undefeated in the non conference since I don’t remember when. Even if it was since 2000, it is still pretty damning.
John, loved your story. Sincerely written and very poignant, especially the part about the tennis player girl of your dreams. 1970 WVU game is still the best I ever saw in person. Regarding the 2019 football commitment list rankings, IMHO, I still think that that list is not worth the paper that it is not written on. Stuff will happen between now and the first signing in December and the second signing in February. Hopefully, most of it will be good stuff. You must have been quite the player, John, to play for a Div. 1 baseball team. Congratulations on your achievements, including your Pitt engineering degree and your ace in landing that tennis player. ( I aced mine nearly 51 years ago.)
Re: ranking points…
It isn’t pure math when they put that description in there of the higher potentials. That acts as a barrier of a sort.
I think they look in broad terms first when assessing a recruit, i.e. “Does he have All-American potential?” If he does they start him at 5.8 and add points depending on the kids abilities and drive.
If the scout feels he doesn’t meet that higher projection but might be “All-Region” (which is All- Conference basically) then they start him at 5.5 and work up .
That’s how it was explained to me years ago and it makes sense.
That makes sense Reed, thanks for the further explanation!
There is a perception that playing good teams is a must for Pitt to return to glory. That they must schedule these teams home and away to retain a national presence, get on TV and improve attendance. Let’s face it, wouldn’t it have been great if the Clemson win was at home where the Pitt ticket buyers could have seen it? We are victims of where we are as a mediocre program right now. OSU could schedule three cup cakes each year and it wouldn’t matter as they build towards the playoffs.
Ike, don’t drag conspiracy theories into this. That’s pretty ridiculous imo.
What these site do is have hundreds of actual scouts and paid stringers to really look at the players, the better ones in-person and other via tapes (most that the public doesn’t have access to like full game tapes) while they are JRs in HS.
This is the big difference. We fans can only see a highlights reel usually made by a HS student or a players parents and we think the kid is fantastic.
Well, of course we do but we are seeing only what they want us to see which is about 20 plays out of a whole season.Of course those plays are usually against their weakest opponents.
But full game films show every play, great and terrible and are much more indicative of the kids talents. The scouts I’ve talked to told me they try to get game film against the recruits team’s toughest opponent.
Plus the scouts are usually welcome at the colleges camps so they see the kids work out there also.
I get that the scouting sites do plenty of research and have a great understanding of the players they evaluate and are mostly accurate in their ratings. It’s when you tell me that there are hundreds of stringers I just have to wonder if even just two of them would have the exact same opinion looking at the same kid? I find it way to ambiguous and subjective to believe that they can tell me if a kid in Cali, Fla, or Texas that are fairly close in measurable that which one is the better player. That’s when other factors come into play and help decide in the ratings imo. These kids are actually commodities just like when they evaluate a restaurant or hotel. No two people see the same things. ike
You guys are paying attention to the wrong things. Pay attention to what successful coaches are doing, who they are recruiting. Winning coaches somehow find a way to recruit good players.
You guys are getting to wrapped up in a 5.6 or a 5.7 or whatever, it means next to nothing.
Well bj, that is what I’m saying. We will have to wait until we are well into this coming season and then have a better understanding if Narduzzi has a clue as to what he is doing. I keep hearing Narduzzi’s recruits have done next to nothing after four years. It hasn’t been four years yet. Let’s all wait together hold hands and hope these players produce this coming season. I think the defense looks very promising. imo. . … ike
ESPN always makes a big issue of its Top 300 …. and you will see them saying something like Bama’s class has 17 ESPN Top 300 recruits. I’ve often wondered how much worse #301 is compared to #300. When evaluating hundreds or maybe thousands of recruits, it would seem very difficult to put them in any type of order.
Then there is the art of a coaching staff picking the right athletes for its system. Pat White was a 2-star athlete coming out of high school … by the end of his natural freshman year, he was leading WVU to a Sugar Bowl win vs the SEC champ. Of course, he was doing it much more wit his legs than his arm.
While there is no doubt that ratings matter …. there are also intangibles to be considered.
Sure there is, but it seems that we are splitting hairs where they don’t need splitting.
If you look at only the numbers it is one thing.
But I look at the descriptions more so. There is a reason 4* and 5* kids are called blue chip. It is because over time (back to 2002) those players have done the best for their teams.
It is the fans of teams who aren’t getting those better players who are arguing about a decimal point here and there.
Again, I believe in “star power” players who make All- Conference or All- American and at Pitt the ratio of 4* and 5* players who have done that is higher than the three star players on roster.
To dismiss that is pretty much excuse making imo.
I think that getting only one 4* recruit last year was a blow in recruiting, and if we don’t get 3+ this class I’ll feel the same.
I don’t care what the Class Ranking is finally…never have put stock in it at all. I look at Blue chip players first then who we got at positions of need secondly.
While Narduzzi has been heating up seems Capel has cooled off. Still hoping for one more impact player.
Hopefully Narduzzi will use his last few scholarships on some higher profile guys.
Hoops recruiting for 2018 is finished. There is a chance the grad transfer from Cal-Northridge comes aboard, but he seems to be having issues getting clearance to leave by the NCAA.
Agree that the ability of the coaches to recognize potential is crucial to success, no matter the rating.
Luck helps too when you consider injury, heart, work ethic and all of the intangibles.
^^ This is what I think gc. This is what the PITT football coaches have had to deal with for years now. They are not a magnet for 4 and 5 star players that don’t live in WPA.
Anybody know what happened to the Blather??
Chas needs someone like Reed posting for him. wwb
Chad, the last few years has dipped in late May and reemerges in late August. There isn’t really much news this time of year.
Why would a 4 star come to Pitt? For early playing time, see AJ Davis, got over recruited at the premier programs, believed Nard’s bluster about winning championships.
It’s too early to expect any 4 stars, wait until after the early signing period if Pitt gets any in 2018 at all.
Without mentioning true FR. Here are the PN guys that need to step up on offense.
RB – please please can a RB step up and be dynamic. Hall and Ollison are average at best and boring.
WR – my guess is Michael Smith, I think Mathews may be pretty much an off the bench guy again.
OL – this is where someone needs to step up. Morrissey is a starter. I don’t buy that the MAC tackle is the automatic starter. It would be really bad if Ford, Morgan and Hargrove never play.
TE – I think Sear will be a do everything TE. Reeves is interesting. No so sure about Carrigan.
This year is the year PN guys have to start contributing in a big way or they prove the doubters correct.
AJ Davis SO
Tyler Sear SO
Justin Morgan RS SO
Brandon Ford RS SO
Morrissey RS SO
Hargrove RS SO
Michael Smith RS FR
Charles Reeves RS FR
Sibley RS FR
Gabe Houy RS FR
Carson Van Lynn RS FR
Owen Drexel RS FR
Kenny Rainey RS FR
Jerry Drake RS FR
Carter Warren RS FR
Butler Jenkins RS FR
Street RS FR
Carrigan RS FR
Last article on the Blather was May 18…I just figured Chas was on LOA.
Justin A. congratulations on 51 years !
Good list NRS but you don’t have enough Fords on there imo. Think big city in France. Don’t be surprised if we see Paris playing a little or a lot of O like JW did. PF could start for Bama this year he’s that good. I base that off the reports at the allstar game after his senior season and all the other allstars from down south jaws dropped when they watch him at practice and couldn’t wait to call their perspective college’s raving about him and imploring him to think about their school. True story.
The list got me thinking though. How about the veteran players who have been at PITT a few years now. Which if any of these players are going to step out of the average label and become play makers and surprise some of us? Give me Hall and Ollison. Also Hendrix, he played better than some naysayers think. Lots of substitutions.
Also Roy and not just to piss Reed off. Someone thinks the young man is good. Lastly QW, contrary to public opinion he’s not totally an idiot. I read he knows this defense inside out. Throw in Hamlin as well as he should more healthy than before his senior year in high school. .
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I just listed offense and PN recruits, but over all…
Ashton, if he stays healthy is an obvious choice on offense. His value to the offense can’t be understated.
Hendrix. Last year was like a FR year for him as far as playing time.
Reynolds and Pine. I like the depth at LB. These two played a lot at the end of the year.
Wirginis. I hope he breaks out. I think he has all the talent but much like Whitehead, he is not reliable based on his off the field BS.
Jaylen Twyman. Players pointed him out as a FR last year on the DL.
Patrick Jones. Another DL that got his feet wet.
I think Roy will be solid but not stand out. He is what he is and with the RS FR and RS SO I think his time will decrease.
Pitt needs to throw a young OL in the mix. You have to have that mix of young and old so you don’t lose the entire line one year.
POVers — I truly appreciate the kind words.
And thanks to Reed for opening the shop back up, and for all he does to bring Pitt fans together.
Hail to Pitt!
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BigB – Joe McCain was a heck of an athlete. I remember him being not that big, but fast and tough.
Remember Denny Ferris. Had some nice speed at “halfback”…
And Skip Orzalak the WR. Good player.
When we got local stars Ralph Cindrich and Lloyd Weston on defense, I remember thinking now things will get better… But it was not to be…
Skip (he should Rest In Peace) was my roommate freshman year in Tower A. Very good guy.
Enjoying all the thoughtful comments on how to make our football team better. Thanks fellow POVers very much!
As I ponder on all of the ideas of how we can dig our way out of mediocrity it occurred to me how blessed I was to be at every home game of Tony Dorsett’s 4 year career and Dan Marino’s 4 year career. Since then, in the pursuing 35 years we have unfortunately seen only mediocrity on top of mediocrity. To tell the honest truth, I for one, have all but given up and accepted the fact that we will likely never get out of this 31/2 decade rut. Personally, I am tired and worn out of me continuing a ‘rah rah’ and gung ho outlook. To quote a famous quoter:
“IT IS WHAT IT IS.”
Ike, there two things at work when filling out a starting lineup.
First is who is really good. That is the key.
The other is who is better than the rest and that isn’t so positive.
That is the case with Roy. He’s starting because the others aren’t good enough to unseat him, not because he’s so good he can’t be sat down.
If he’s starting again this season and getting the majority of playing time then there are big problems with the DL players we’ve recruited over the past three years.
After all, Pitt fans think Chryst couldn’t recruit yet we still see some of his players starting on defense with Roy and Wirginis…and on offense with Dintino, Herndon and Hall and/ or Ollison.
Roy, Wirginis, Dintino and Herndon couldn’t sniff starting jobs previously but they are going to be starting…which worries me a lot.
This is part of the reason I don’t think PN’s recruiting is as good as others think and why he has had to rely so much on transfers even at this later stage as Pitt’s HC.
Starting two 5th year seniors who never started games before, and two transfers, one from a CC on the OL is a recipe for disaster imo.
And believe me, I ain’t the only guy thinking this.
Starting two 5th year seniors who never started games before, and two transfers, one from a CC on the OL is a recipe for disaster imo.
Not all of them can start with Bookser/Morrissey playing.
I agree, at a minimum, one of the younger OL have to grab a spot.
I think the JC kid won’t see the field. He redshirts.
Young OL guard
Grad transfer tackle (I hope not, but I can see it happening with PN’s obsession of experienced players.
Also, agree that Roy’s playing time should diminish this year.
If I’m not mistaken Wirginis was slated to start last year before he was injured. I think he’s going to open some eyes this year IF he stays healthy. I heard Narduzzi refer to him as a Sunday player.
Narduzzi overinflates a lot of players so that can be taken with a grain of salt in my hjmble opinion.
TD and Danny M. set a tough standard – along with Hugh Greene and so many others from the golden days.
We have been mediocre since then, but we typically seemed to have a few players who I looked forward to seeing play. Watching Shady McCoy tote the football was a treat; Larry Fitz and Antonio Bryant were awesome; tough to beat Scott McKillop’s final two years at middle linebacker; and the list goes on and on. Kenny Pickett, Paris Ford, and Quentin Wirginis would be names on my current list – if I had a list…
But it sure would be great to have one of those magical seasons and then sustain it…
Reed I get you and completely understand where you are coming from and kind of with your theory. I also just love how you rule out the possibility that these players may actually be good. BTW, I would like to know the snap counts as you and I talked about and people would see that starting a game is only in name and not necessarily the player who plays most of the game. Hendrix did a better job that you may realize because he really only played half of the defensive snaps last year. There is a lot of substitutions going on at PITT on the defensive line for the better or worse?
Hendrix played a hell of a lot more than 50% of the snaps last season Ike – he was in there almost every time I looked.
Pittman4ever…how would you like to have been stuck in the Dave Hart era for the past 35 years…that would make a mediocre season feel great and we are definitely middle of the road averaging about .500 “4vever.”
Well, we are in the mode where 7 wins makes us feel good and 8 wins makes us feel great.
While we aspire to 9, 10 or 11 wins many peer programs have done that pretty often:
Here are our ‘peer’ programs and how many nine win seasons they have had in the last 20 years:
VT – 14
WVU – nine
UL – seven
GT – seven
Cincy – seven
BC – six
RU – four
Pitt – three
VA – three
NCS – three
Duke – two
NC – two (with six 8 win seasons)
Wake forest – two
So we’re with the likes of NC, NCS, VA, Duke, Wake Forest… and all three of ours were in the Big East.
I’m not sure when we’ll start seeing nine win seasons again but I hope its soon as possible… maybe 2019 if Pickett is all he’s cracked up to be and we find some decent OL players (and a break away rusher).
Reed .. 8 wins plus a bowl victory and we are Happy.. happy.. happy….
I like Tom Baileys saying on the back of the Pitt Panther Party bus… “ Don’t let a bad game ruin a good party” or something like that…could be our motto…
Bowls are a lot more important than some fans think and a win in one this year would help a 6 &6 record…or I guess now even a 5 & 7 record.
Which is hard to believe.
Reed, what if you only looked 50% of the time? 🙂
Yep, that pre Dorsett decade was hard for sure! That’s why I stated how “blessed” I was to see all the TD and Danny Marino home games over that 8 year period where we won 1 (1976) of our storied history 9 national championships.
You’re a good man Bernie B!
Hah, Pottman! (Geesh)
JJim… You don’t strike me as a pottman…At least not when I met you in 2017 at least not when I met you in 2017
Pottman.. I am seeing double.. ha ha
You’re killing me BigB! LOL
(Funny as all get-go)
First, I went to thank MajorMajors for his BIO. Like all the others, a wonderful read & insight into the writer, Please keep them coming.
I would like to add my two cents worth on the Pay recruiting sites. I understand the hundreds of employees & stringers reviewing & rating kids. I understand why some kids are 4 & 5*s and other 3’s based on expectations. I understand how schools are ranked & the various ways to look at the rankings.
What I don’t understand is how one site can have a kid “Not Rated” but less than 24 hours later he’s a 3* Look at the POV initial reaction to Leslie Smith commitment on 6/10. He was NR: Bad but broke the ice, Chryst like recruiting, just what we expect from Narduzzi. But wham less then 4 hours later he is a three & all is well.
It’s not like this commit was from some 1A school in Pocatello, Id. He was from a well known power football team in Miami, Fl. Didn’t one of those employees & stringers in reviewing team games see our commit & wonder why he is a NR. Or was it that it wasn’t there task of the day?
It’s just not Rivals. Rivals & the Pitt athletic department has 20 signees for the 2018 class. 24/7 for some reason has 21. The difference is a walk on Devon Davis. They have him as a 3* But he is included in their calculations.
Overall, You can not convince me that these pay sites are not geared to where their subscribers come from..
Thanks for reading my rant, I guarantee that I will not rant if you write (or expand on) your BIO.
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^^ Richard as always gets it.
off topic but Brad Wannamker reportedly finalizing a deal with the Celtics. 7 years ago, Brad played his final game at Pitt … a 1 point loss to a team coached by the current Celtic HC also named Brad\
no further comment wwb
An employee at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center is accused of secretly recording dozens of videos of males urinating in an arena restroom:
Might be a Rivals scout. So THAT’s how they rate ’em 😉
This 2018 Pitt team is really hard to handicap. There are a number of players who are potentially very good, but who have not yet shown it for an extended period on the field. Hamlin, Ford and Pickett, for example. If all of these players actually play to their potential, Pitt could end up a pretty good team. However, relying on untested players to perform key game changing roles is risky to say the least. So anyone who thinks they can predict a final W-L record is definitely smokin’ something!
VOR, I wish I was smoking something good but unfortunately I’m not. I can tell you with certainty I can predict the final record. Whether its correct or not is another story all together. 6 wins of today.
ike, you’re the man! 🙂 Your in-depth elucidation and thought provoking analysis (not to mention dry humor) are a steady source of information and entertainment on this site. I can now add clairvoyant prognosticator to the list!
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Feel free to add full of crap to the list VOR.
VOR… now you are comparing Iek to Punxsutawney Phil… that a stretch- Phil can spell his name correctly- that’s where the similarities end !
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Didn’t we hire someone on the football staff who ‘s son is a big time recruit but still an underclass man in HS ….someone fill me in please …
@bigb We hired Paris Johnson Sr.
I think Johnson is a year or so out yet. Not sure about that but not next year
Sure the recruiting sites skew things, like when a 3* kid gives a verbal to Alabama then when Rivals does their mid-SR season review he’s all of a sudden a 4*.
But that doesn’t happen with schools at Pitt’s level very often… I have a hard time remembering when any of our guys when from 3* to 4*s.
We’ve had some 2*s jump up though.
Recruiting is fun to talk about though, especially now when there isn’t much else to discuss.
Ike, you said…” I also just love how you rule out the possibility that these players may actually be good.” and that’s not true or fair. I know we have good players, but I also have strong views on who isn’t that good.
And you have to admit I have a pretty darn good track record with that over the last two years of the POV.
Reed, you know I have given you all the credit for nailing Browne and the O-Line this past year as well as Peterman being realy good before anyone. I was specifically talking about Hall, Roy, Hendrix and a few others that you are not so sure of. I guess what I’m saying is you may be surprised with these players come this year.
Roy is part of a five-man rotation at defensive tackle that is a year older and should be better. Chalk me up as one excited with the unit.
Same with Hall and Ollison in the backfield together as seniors.
Sure I’ll be surprised by some but when camp is on Ill do my take on the two deep and well see what happens.
But one thing I will say right now…even as poor as our OL was in 2017 we’ll be worse this year and that’s hard to do when we only rushed for 3.9 ypc last year.
And, again, if you take out those two big Duke runs by Hall we averaged 3.5 ypc on 458 carries. 3.5 !! Over the last four years we had 5.4, 4.8, 5.3 and 5.5 ypc with those big Chryst and DW OL players. We have to get back to that somehow.
So, yeah, I’m scared as he’ll about our run game for this year.
Now, we’ll see Sibley and Salahuddin for the first time and one of them may be that breakaway guy we haven’t had since Q. Henderson two years ago. Fingers crossed for that.my only true friend.
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Capel’s field trip…
If Capel can coach basketball the way he coaches life, Pitt is in good hands. – Hobie
Pertaining to the comment above that Narduzzi overinflates his commits ….
— what do you expect him to say — that we just got a so-so commit?
— all schools embellish their commits. I can remember when Wanny was HC, you would have thought that Pitt was a perennial top program. Yes, he did better than the average Pitt coach, but overall he didn’t do better than PSU or even WVU
I disagree. I think you are honest and you challenge them while saying the potential is there. He said 3-4 of the guys last year would be game changers and 3 of the 4 are off the team. You lose credibility as a coach when you say everyone is great then they win 5 games.
The interesting thing about the O-line is that four of them will be redshirt seniors. That would normally be a good thing except the two guards have never started a game, the one tackle is a converted guard and the other is a transfer from a lesser conference. Not to mention that the center got blown off the ball many times last year.
I am really hoping that some younger guys show up to take a couple jobs so that we don’t have a complete rebuild again next year.
Anyone that says not to worry about this is smoking the wacky tobacky or something stronger. Yes we have a long list of guys, mostly young, that play the position, but getting a cohesive, productive line together is highly improbable
QB’s don’t do well without time, and runners aren’t very productive without holes to run through.
Sorry if this is negative to some, but if Borbely is not a miracle worker, I see a lot of three and outs in our future.
I doubt the new Oline coach is a miracle worker. But I was glad to see a change in the Oline Coach.
What concerns me most about the Oline is that the young guys seem slow afoot. In the spring game the defenders seemed to rather easily go around them.
I fear that prior to last year’s class, we went for size versus mobility in our Oline recruiting.
Which is why Dintino and Herndon will be starters. They are big guys who can move. I had high hopes for Dintino when he came in because in his video, he took his first step at the snap before anyone else even moved. And remember him playing some fullback in a goal line package.
And Herndon played middle linebacker in HS — a very large MLB.
The guys who played last season had played well previously, so the staff stayed with them figuring they’d come around. Several of them seemed slow and carrying too much weight.
I’m still hopeful that this line can be adequate. But I imagine we’ll be seeing KP rolling out quite a bit (which could put some nice pressure on the defense given his running ability…).
The O-line should be fine. Three kids are Moose recruits and he was an O-line guru.
You cannot start four seniors and be porous. It sure would be nice if another Chryst recruit, Ford, stepped up and snatched one guard spot, but I won’t hold my breath.
ike, just remember that one man’s crap is another man’s wisdom! Your insights on this site are always astute and often remind me of the old Paul Harvey line after his commentaries: “that my friends is the rest of the story.”
That’s nothing VOR, I can even tell you the scores of all the games before they even start. 🙂
I’m cursed with a rare form of CRS, it’s called CRJS 😉
ike – I was scratching my head over CRS, but I should have immediately known what it was because I definitely have it too…
Gave me a laugh…
@Majors Borberly got demoted at Maryland before he left there. He lost his OL title. Its safe to say to Durkin was not happy with his performance. We still bring him here. Him and Watson are good friends. Going further down the Watson rabbit hole is a mistake.
Watson gets run out of Texas and not one single school offered him a OC position. His last job at Indiana he wasn’t even a position coach. He was a quality control coach. Due to him being good friends with Pat, he is hired.
Watson and his unit put up a major clunker last year. We cannot have this two years in a row.
Just like Reed, I believe the OL is going to be a real problem this year.
Borberly has a good enough resume as does Watson. I’ll give them both a chance. Watson has more to prove to me this year after the disaster last year.
You need to talk to Maryland fans Ike. After the 2016 season they wanted him out of town on a rail but UM didn’t want to pay his buy out so they demoted him from the OL coach.
His line couldn’t pass block to save their lives.
Is Borberly the guy who looks like the Villian from Ming Dynasty?
Narduzzi’s downfall as said before is his cronyism and hire yes men. That and Pride.
Unknown does not mean not good. This Pitt teams has too many unknowns to accurately try and predict anything. The defense has some experience, momentum and depth. The offense is very green and lost it’s three best players to the draft … but those 3 players all had down seasons … we’re also returning an OC for the first time in Narduzzi’s tenure.
This team, more than any other in the Narduzzi era, is really as close to a blank slate as you can get. We’ll know by the end of September what we have … In both Narduzzi and his recruiting … instead of assuming the worst, just be open minded. I’m not even saying to be optimistic. Just wait to see it before you believe it. Positive and negative.
Those schools everyone compares us to in getting 3* recruits…wonder how they are doing with this class and last year…
Pitt -2019 – zero 4* recruits; 2018 – one 4* total = 1
Wisconsin – 2019 – four 4* recruits; 2018 – one 4* total = 8
MSU -2019 – four 4* recruits; 2018 – four 4* total = 8
Texas A&M – 2019 – one 5* and seven 4* recruits. 2018 – 11 4* total = 19
VT – 2019 – four 4* recruits; 2018 – nine 4* total = 13
TCU -2019 -one 4* recruit; 2018 – four 4* total = five
These comparison schools have been much better than Pitt over the last two years in getting blue chip kids yet fans keep pointing to them.
We have about six or so slots open. With the early signing period kid are committing faster this year than last so they don’t get shut out of the better programs. We need to ratchet it up now.
What do those schools have that Pitt doesn’t (besides the 4-star recruits)?
They have great game-day atmospheres with stadiums packed with rabid fans. Pitt does not. This is a huge factor in recruiting, IMHO.
When it comes down to Pitt being in the top four for a recruit, you can bet the other three schools are sending photos of the game-day yellow seats to that recruit.
Yes, but I was referencing Dokish’s column where he wrote the we recruit the same as those school’s so should be able to win like them…didn’t make that clear above.
Majors – The administration is to blame for neglecting the program for 30 years.
In terms of a house. It is the one in the development. That was foreclosed and sat empty for years. Windows broke and grass overgrown. Shrubs a mess and kods broke in.
Now it was semi cleaned up but still has no shutters and grass won’t grow. Can’t blame people that wont spend money to live next door after being sold a load of garbage for years. To my knowledge none of the schools Reed mentioned ignored football and tore down their stadium and made the team play in a rental. The admin is to blame and it is now Heather and Pat’s problem to fix. Inagine just Imagine if she said they are starting a feasability study. That is all it would take to create some hope.
according to DiPaola, Capel has named Mark Ellison as captain of BB team.
Who is Mark Ellison? Does Pervis have two sons at Pitt?
^^ TT, I know many on the POV think I feel Narduzzi and others can do no wrong which absolutely false. I’m just a bit more patient than some others and maybe that makes me out a fool sometimes. This is the year I will begin to judge Narduzzi as a head coach for multiple reasons. One, this is his first time being the head coach in college football and the learning curve is steep. Two, he needed time to get not only his players on the roster but his type of players. We will see if that theory holds any water starting this coming season. Three, he now imo has a better suited coaching staff in place so this year is my year to start being more critical. You see, I feel I’m the real realist around here. That’s right It like the old game show “To Tell the Truth”
Concerning the O Line. The last time they were seen in public was at this years spring game.
Really nothing more should be needed to be said. Calling them a train wreck is too polite! But somehow 5-6 months later they are going to be fine. Whatever…..
Ike – As much as people dislike Narduzzi, I felt the same way about Chryst and Wanny. I was probably more critical of them than Narduzzi because I didn’t like them but I also didn’t let it go too far. Wanny’s pro-mentality and conservative nature drove me absolutely crazy. Chryst’s vanillaness felt like it carried over to the team. Every time I watched a Pitt football game I felt like I was waiting for the water to boil. Lol. But, I felt both needed 5 years and if both were winning in years 4 and 5, I would have been okay … if not bored.
The flip of that is Stallings, who was such a bad hire that I didn’t see the value in waiting out the grace period because I didn’t think his ceiling was going to ever even reach Dixon’s floor.
Chryst, Wanny and Narduzzi are not such bad hires as to not give them the opportunity. Of course, that’s my opinion. Some, I believe, feel that way about Narduzzi. So, I can at least understand where they’re coming from. If you think it’s a waste of time, it’s hard to be patient for that grace period.
Pittman – The spring game was a mishmash of 1st, 2nd and 3rd stringers across all positions groups based on a Team Captain draft. Stallings could have run that practice and I wouldn’t have put much weight on it. Haha. The best player in that game, Ruben Flowers, has transferred because he was too far down on the depth chart. That doesn’t even take into account that two players who will most likely be starting on that line hadn’t even enrolled at Pitt yet when the spring game was played.
The players didn’t draft the OL for the Spring Game.
Right once again Reed.
….And no matter which linemen you watched individually they still looked bad.
Couldn’t agree more tt. I pretty consistent with my approach. For instance I treated Stalling and Lyke the same way. One turned out to be a big waste of time and Lyke seems to be solid hire at least so far.
PITT had turned their backs on football for so long has taught me that it was not going to be an overnight fix but going into year 4 it’s time for the critical judging to begin. After-all, I’m not getting any younger over here.
How Scott Barnes is employed anywhere other than a hand model or greeter at walmart ( Too Smug for that role) is beyond me. I never disliked someone more. He makes cyanide steve look like a an all star.
Gallagher could screw up a one car funeral with his hires.
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Seems that our discussions center too much on recruiting. It is very important but one of a number of factors that make a program successful.
in the good years, Pitt basketball was successful because we had good coaching, recruiting, physical assets, fan support and administration.
What of the above 5 factors are we missing in football?
I say we lack 4 of 5.
We now have Admin Support
Fans – Meh
Recruiting – Meh ( Will end up being a 44/46 ranked class)
Coaching – I don’t see it. Turnover and nothing stellar on either side of ball with Watson. Defense did improve but was atrocious.
Physical assests – Nice training but shared not our own and off campus. Stadium off campus. More exciting for away team.
Fans – Nope.
Good point you brought up. Sure others will disagree.
I hear some blind faith but I have still not heard any reasonable argument for why the O-line might be even OK. If we have to rely on Pickett scrambling for his life we are in for a long year.
I think we have been focusing on recruiting for two reasons:
It is the life blood of a good football program
There really isn’t anything to talk about unless you want to beat the dead horses some more.
What was the starting OL for both teams for the spring game? Trying to remember if Bookser was on the one OL side with the other projected starters.
I believe it was straight ones vs twos…no OL are listed in the Participation Report in the box score.
The O-lines were a mess in the spring game.
Narduzzi admitted after the game the linemen should have been omitted as part of the player’s draft. It screwed the game up not having 1s and 2s working together. I’ve been a Narduzzi supporter on here but he needs to wake up and fast. Playing Pickett so late in the season then not realizing the best five should be on the first-team O-line in the spring game are two crucial errors by a coach.
gc – Not blind faith. I’m just saying wait and see. We don’t know what to expect. I don’t see the point in trying to speculate on something that is unknown.
There are a lot of knowns. None of them are real comforting.
I would never compare Pitt to Texas A&M or Wisconsin, especially with the game day experiences and long standing traditions.
The others are kind of maybe comparable because they have been more consistently in the middle of programs over a 30 year period.
If the Administration allows the AD to spend, we should start expecting more out of all of our programs in two – three years. I am a bit different in my thinking on this. I believe you recalculate expectations based on the totality of the situation. To me, if the Admin opens the purse strings today to support a program, your expectations begin to change today. To be fair, you cannot use unrealistic expectations when support hasn’t been there. I am so glad our AD whiffed on Hurley, i think!
Our AD is in her second year. The Admin is giving her financial resources our previous AD’s haven’t had, if that is to be believed. Her clock is ticking. With football, if the administration support continues, the new expectations and performance results are in play at the end of 2019. Can’t judge Narduzzi on past performance when/if his hands were tied. We don’t know that answer. Pitt does.You judge him from the point in time where his hands were freed.
Also, Narduzzi was partly responsible for bringing in the AD. People reward loyalty instead of performance all too often in all walks of life grasshoppers. Not saying it is right. Just reality.
I disagree almost 100%. Narduzzi has had better financial support in the last three years than any of his predecessors did.
I talked with Pat Bostick the eve of the Navy Bowl game back after the 2015 season and he told me flat out that the financial resources opened up dramatically once Narduzzi was hired..” It’s a new world moneywise” to paraphrase.
That happened thanks in large part to Chryst’s exit interview (which wasn’t just about canning SP) with the new Chancellor. Which is another thing to thank Chryst for as he was battling SP constantly for more funding so it was a big agenda item in that exit discussion.
I know for a fact the recruiting budget jumped PN’s first year at Pitt hence the chartered jet for southern recruiting.
This belief in an almost total lack of admin support has become another Pitt myth and another excuse for the football program. We aren’t funded like a SEC team is, but the football program isn’t totally broke either. Hell, Narduzzi’s up to 3.3M in salary now and that isn’t doing things on the cheap.
That’s a two edged sword for PN by the way. Another sub-.500 season and Pitt would be more willing to dump the higher salary because that raise came with a smaller buy-out if I’ve been told correctly.
There was a lack of administrative support from 1982-2014. Tough to overcome that so quickly, especially at a school like Pitt. Gottfried had the best support post Sherrill, but what Mike was building was torn do so quickly by the university. I’m still not sure why football was left to die by the BoT starting in 1990?
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Coach Duzz will continue to recruit with one hand tied behind his back until we consistently get in the neighborhood of 50K for home games. You just can’t hide those yellow seats or the photos that our recruiting opponents use against us.
IMHO, The vast majority of four-star kids want to be in the big spotlight. Pitt can only offer a big flashlight right now. So we are not even able to get on the short-list for the vast majority of the more elite players. Just my opinion, but if you’re in your seat for the atmosphere at Heinz when Pitt comes out of the tunnel, I don’t see how you can tell me I’m wrong.
Majors, I’m doing an article now about this topic…
The NFL is another lure to offer. Of course Narduzzi is trying to sell the re-build idea to a lot of kids, just like Capel. Hopefully the FB kids won’t figure out it’s a 35 year re-build so far…and counting.
If Pitt is winning consistently (10 wins a season), Pitt will have a great game day atmosphere.
Good point TT!
Tossing – I don’t thing that works without a re- engagement by administration to alumni and ex athletes. The alumni and lack of communication is putrid vs other schools. There are a lot of fans who are shut down by the years of embarrassing goofs ignoring them. Winning and committing to alumni and creating fun works and that needs nostagia a campus provides hence a OCS.
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Upitt – I don’t disagree. Haha. I think winning helps get that re-engagement back, however. That’s the start.
I actually think Pitt does a pretty good job on the athlete front. One of the few bright spots of the athletic department.
Stallings hurt that with basketball but Capel is making a big push in reconnecting with the Dixon era athletes.
You can’t catch Fitz, AD or Shady without Pitt gear on.
Tony Dorsett’s last tweet was this …
The bigger issue is that Pitt just doesn’t have memorable teams.
I, personally, as someone who comes from out of town prefer Heinz. So much easier to get to and from and tailgating is always easy.
It would be nice to have our own stadium but I’m so glad it’s not in Oakland … and I visit Oakland every time I’m back . A trip to Uncle Sam’s, the Cathedral and the Pitt Store are musts.
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This song kind of reminds me of the POV. For those that grew up north of the Burgh you may remember a group called Gravel. They did the “Work Song”. Hope you don’t mind this one. It’s about friends, which I feel have many here. It’s a Pittsburgh song.
Cue Narduzzi’s jet Reed.
I remember Gravel! Thx!
Reed, Can you put any kind of numbers on the budget increases. I trust your understanding but it also occurs to me that just because I can buy two you Yugo now at the dealership I still can’t buy aTesla of for that matter maybe even not a Malibu. How does our budget money now compare to programs that we believe are relatively the same as we are?
Good question. – Hobie
It’s great that PN got a big raise, and he is now in the middle of the ACC pack, but what about the assistants? Is there a way to rank the total dollar amount spent on assistants? These guys build the relationships and do the heavy lifting where recruiting is concerned. Speaking of assistants, where is Canada these days? There’s a guy who was taken off the trash heap at NC State and given a P5 OC position. He soon bails and then falls flat on his face at LSU. So where is he now? Other coaches will remember that lack of loyalty, just like with Fraud. I’ll bet a $1 million salary would look pretty good about now. Let’s see if Randy Bates is similarly stupid.
VOR do you really think Canada is hurting with his salary as OC at Maryland? I’d be willing to bet that he’s getting very close to that $1 million mark currently at Maryland.
And he hot 3 year buy out at LSU
VOR, last time I looked Canada was at Maryland.
He is but he’s making $650K. $450K base and $200K supplemental.
He got $1.7M buyout from LSU.
It would be nice if Pitt had to release salaries but they don’t.
I could retire on that. Oh wait, I already retired on a lot less….
You’re right, jrnpitt,I’m not saying the guy is broke, but he may be running out the string at Maryland. I’m probably a bit negative because he turned down $1 million to stay at Pitt after Narduzzi went to bat for him and saved his career. No class at all. He certainly has shown no loyalty to anyone or any program, and I’d never touch him if I were looking for a head coach.
When and if PITT ever decides to stop firing coaches loyal to the school and create stability long enough in the football program to have an educated thought looking and moving forward, they may have a chance to be a national consideration in the country once again.
BTW, I think that’s exactly what we are all going to see. Narduzzi can crap the bed many seasons from here on out and he ain’t going nowhere. … and if he puts together a winning team a couple years straight…. They will pay the man. IMO.
I agree Ike. I think PN will be at PITT 5 years from now no matter what happens.
Agreed, ike. This guy would have to completely tank the program before Pitt would say goodbye. We have no choice but to encourage and pray a lot. That is why the current recruiting class is so important. PN will be counting on these guys 3-4 years from now, and we will be stuck with the consequences.
Making predictions about Pitt coaches length of stay is impossible, if history is any indication.
Totally disagree with your disagree Reed, sorry. When you look at the salary paid to Narduzzi when he got here versus where he was in the top 65 programs, the answer is that he was not in the top 50. He was in the top 50% of all 130 head coaches pay. He was unproven, got it.
Totally being respectful here. I am glad that you had a nice chat with Pat Bostick. It is not a myth about administration financial support at Pitt. Although I have no reason to doubt your discussion with Bostik as being accurate, I can pretty confidently say that the overall reference point is not spot on. Although Pitt may have created a new world moneywise, the reference again is that it is for Pitt.
Loosening the purse strings may only put you on par with the number 40 team in the nation. I would suggest that Bostick didn’t and doesn’t know how much money Narduzzi’s competitors get to spend to do the same job. That’s the part of the analysis that is missing and why I always come back to, “you get what you pay for”. Having “F” administration financial support and raising it to a “C” gets you what we got. An average program. I am glad we got more money infused into the program. My support for this statement is below.
When you start paying across the board like a top 25 team, you should get top 25 results. If you get top 20 results, you outperformed the market. When you look at the salaries of the top25 coaches, most of their programs are top25. Just like everything else in life. Create a measurable over a time certain period and perform against it. Pretty simple equation.
We can pontificate back and forth that he does great or poor, but until the data is known, it’s a guess. Please see data below. This is for 2016-17. Why do we demand top25 when our coach is paid 61st overall and like 54th in P5? If the purse opens and crap falls out, it’s still crap.
Or just google Power 5 College Coach Salaries.
Please give us what you would do since you know all the problems.
UPitt — you nailed it above with your post about Pitt needing to connect way better with alumni and their former athletes…
You’d think working at Ohio State would have given the AD a good roadmap on what that should look like.
For example, the area that is curtained-off in the Great Hall for Pitt letter winners to get together before games is embarrassing…
Yes. Every guy I know says they are treated like they didnt even attend let alone give 100% to the school. That needs to stop and needs to go for all alumni.
Rosters in PDF’s. I don’t think it was 1’s vs. 2’s. for the o-lines.
Bookser was the oldest on his squad by two classes for Pickett’s team. One senior and no Juniors. Ricky Towns’ team had one senior (Dintino) and two juniors (Devon Davis/Pilato).
Huh, you are correct. When I was there they only went through some position units so the OL must have been done up by the staff afterward.
Good point and thanks.
Upitt commented and I couldn’t agree more that this part of a bigger solution and thanks for the great comment Mark. Here is his post above as I don’t like the reply function and I quote.
“Tossing – I don’t thing that works without a re- engagement by administration to alumni and ex athletes. The alumni and lack of communication is putrid vs other schools. There are a lot of fans who are shut down by the years of embarrassing goofs ignoring them. Winning and committing to alumni and creating fun works and that needs nostalgia a campus provides hence a OCS.”
Which brings me to that I could have had a V-8 or head scratching moment. I think we all understand where it is PITT is at and why they are there. PITT has mucked football up and I have the opinion that it was done on purpose somewhat. That leads me to ask a couple questions. Why are we still PITT fans yet still wondering why we aren’t Alabama or an elite team at the same time? The answers are right in front of our noses and in fact smack on out faces and we know them. The school didn’t want them to be and or it hasn’t been a priority for years.
When we all know who to blame, why do we pass it on down the line? We want to blame him or her but it’s them. The egg sits squarely on the administration’s face and the negligence they have had for the football program for so long while losing seemed perfectly ok with them. I could easily insert at least three songs here but I’ll spare you all.
The other thought I can’t fully wrap my head around is why the intense intolerance and impatience for this team and coaching staff right now after one losing season out of three so far? I get a very confident feeling that the agenda has changed and a new commitment to the PITT football program may be taking place down in Oakland? I believe this to be true. I can see things looking up for the team and rah rah ree kick em in the knee and rah rah rass and kick em in the other knee.
This season may be like dynamite on the POV on way or another. I’ve had four phone calls since I started writing this short comment so if it doesn’t make sense forgive me but my brain is fried right now. For my boys down in Texas, this is for use guys… Bet some of you haven’t heard this one.
Ike – We can’t agree or you are going to get me in trouble around here!! Haha.
Life after football?
what a great recruiting tool for Narduzzi …. yes, you may be playing in front of 25,000 empty seats but then you will be wrestling in front of packed houses in the WWE.
@FT, I think in basketball, it was addressed appropriately after the original swing and miss by our AD. We have a coach that is not paid in the low half of his college basketball peers, nor his power 5 peers. He is paid handsomely. Top 25 even? When that gets done, it changes the tide of perception. There is not one person on here that thinks Capel is a bum or a bust, but why? It’s because Pitt decided to legitimize its basketball program with an outlay of cash. We should not expect Kevin Stallings results with Jeff Capel III money. The fans should automatically expect better recruiting and better performance on the court because the Administration paid correctly to get that.
It’s the same thing with football. Narduzzi may have received more money as Reed alluded to through his conversation with Pat Bostick, but that was by Pitt money standards, not P5 standards. For now, we have a good coach and we are trying to get better results while paying less than his peers.
Schedule OOC easier. Leads to more wins, better players thru association
Figure out the gameday experience, senior walk, tradition.
Get rid of yellow seats.
4.Pick a freakin color! Why do all the recruit pictures show royal colors, but most games, we look like navy? That should tell you what the players like.
Feasability study for OC stadium
Engaging students and getting them to the games is critical. The professors and other academics have no idea how much more fun they would have with their jobs if they would be supportive of athletics. Most of them have no pride in anything Pitt except their class.
Students, especially the current and future ones, have a need to feel like they are part of something good, and have fun outside of their major. Sports brings the fun and attachment back to the school and will result in more giving in the future…and more seats sold. (see next par)
FAU president Dr. John Kelly told ESPN applications for fall 2018 increased 35 percent over 2017.
“And we haven’t done anything else differently, so it has to be Lane Kiffin,” Kelly said to ESPN. “He just gets it, both as a football coach and being able to attract attention to our university. I laugh just about every day at something he puts on Twitter and understand that he’s about the good of the institution and is thinking about what appeals to a 17-year-old kid and not a 60-year-old guy.” That’s FAU. Imagine that at Pitt! All doable.
The Pitt Admin has been run by 60-70 year old guys that have no clue about what is attractive to a 17 year old, except academics.
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Need to make Pitt hip again. Do 17 year olds even use that word today?
Pitt should not bother trying to reclaim past glory. Make Pitt Great Again is not forward thinking.
Need to come up with an identity that fits. Need to develop a plan to reach the future and not go back to the past. Be respectful of the past though but realize you can’t recreate something old in this modern landscape.
The youth are the key. Need to engage them. Listen to them. Build the future for them…not for me.
Now use my wisdom of course and use my knowledge to help with the near term.
But the new revolutionary ideas are driven by our youth. Give them a say. Give them the key.
So what I’m saying is that I agree with Huff. Gallagher is listening to the wrong audience on his leadership committee. The true leaders are in the classrooms today.
Yep. FAU is cool again. And good.
Article in this mornings Trib re: Jason Collier TE commit… 6’7” 280lbs and is only 16 yrs old… sounds like a future Tackle for the Panthers..
That is unhealthy at 16. These kids today.
Sorry missed the 6’7 part.
The missing piece in all of this is the impact, or lack of impact, that fans and alums have on sports decision making. What would happen at Alabama if they fell to a sub-.500 season (or two)? There would be hell to pay, and demands for change. Pitt just does not get the push back from fans and alums when they are sub-.500, so there is no pressure for change. So called “students” go to Alabama for the football. Would anyone even know about that mediocre school if not for football? Pitt has a different business model, and there is not sufficient pressure to improve sports visibility or performance. There are Nitter alums on the BoT because sports is not a factor at that level.
I am actually very impressed recruiting there and that goes for a few football players. Professional, Smart and classy. Now this was a Civil Engineer but I am impressed.
What I wonder about is that if successful football teams have so much of an impact on a university’s enrollment why did Pitt’s grow so much over the last 30 when we’ve had a mediocre record during that time period?
Basketball had an affect I’m sure in the 2000s. The Zoo at one time was the place to be.
Ike, your comment about Pitt being a “losing team ” is a little bit off the mark. We had eight losing seasons in the last 20 years and most of those never dipped below six losses.
One of the reasons we get nervous about the upcoming year is that Narduzzi was the first HC to have only five wins in 10 years and that is different for Pitt. Now you might say well it’s only one game different than 6 wins and that’s true. But then again when you don’t see any fives in the win column for a long time you start wondering just what’s going on.
Now you say ‘why is everyone so upset about the upcoming season because it’s only one out of three’ and I don’t think that’s the point. The point is that a lot of us are looking at the roster and the starting lineups and the two deep and we’re looking at the experience and talent level of the players… and we’re wondering how to win more than 5 Games. It is a true example of Optimism vs. Realism.
I look at the ’18 offensive line and I see a train wreck. Other people look at the offensive line and say “Well, why don’t we assume they’re going to be good instead of they look terrible.”
For me personally I look back at last season’s OL and while most Pitt fans, you included, thought experience would be the key I looked at the relative talent level, especially at Center and Left Guard, and saw problems. This came to pass big time.
With some Pitt fans there is a clear cut case of confirmation bias due to wanting the team to win so much… You look at question marks surrounding the team and feel sure they will be answered in a positive way. Nothing wrong with that at all – you want the team to win.
Others look at those question marks and say “What does this problem really entail and what are the resources to solve it?” Then if they think it will still be a problem they say so.
The casual fan, that is the fans not on blogs and message boards, just read what the two newspapers write and think everything’s going to be fine based on the non-negative stance that media always takes.
But we fans on here want to look deeper and know as much as possible about what we invest so much time and energy into following. Sometimes what you find when looking deeper isn’t positive. That was a big case in point last season.
This time last year I can remember 3 or 4 posters saying the 2017 season was going to be a tough one and we’d have a losing season. Myself, UPitt and Tex I believe, but there were one or two others. That’s why I sent out those “Keep your chin up.” notes out in August.
Everyone else thought we’d win 8 or 9 games.
We’ll have the same swing in predictions this pre-season also, but from the info from the Golf Outing more fans are looking at 5 or 6 wins than before last season.
Either way its always fun.
…..Hey, we can always change teams and put all of our energy and discussion into the Pirates!!! :>)
Beat’em Bucs. – Hobie
While I have great concern for the O-line, I am hoping that the Defense is going to turn a big corner this year.
For the first time in recent memory the D-line should be pretty good. It will no longer be young and we should be able to apply pressure from multiple sources. If Wirginis is as good as Ike thinks we should be able to stop the run with the other two seniors and plenty of depth for the first time that anyone can remember with Brightwell possibly pushing one of the seniors aside and Pine and Reynolds ready to go too.
The D-backfield has to replace two of our best guys, but there is substantial depth with Paris Ford looking to breakout and Hamlin finally healthy? Plus lots of guys with experience and speed, and some with size.
I just hope they don’t have to be on the field all day long.
If they are good enough to give the offense good field position it could help a whole lot.
Other than Pickett and Ford, I wonder which ones of the young guys will have an impact this year?
One of the young corners Mathis and Pinnix I believe will emerge, Twyman – I think alot more possibilities on D – would be nice for a young WR to emerge or OL.
First one back at you Reed. Maybe losing seasons is not literally correct but you would think that way considering what we read on social media and not just on the POV. Only 5 wins is pretty bad to be sure and should feel the way it does. This over reaction boggles my mind though Yet aside for the OSU game and the improvement on defense late in the season I feel I watched a team that just couldn’t make over the top in some games but was closer to 7 wins than 3.
From all accounts the defense looks like they will improve big time this coming year. Forget the spring game as it meant nothing and less than zero but…. The talk on the southside is they are going to be a tough group to handle. Yes, I know we can never believe when something positive is said and it’s chalked up to coaches speak and not wanting to say anything negative down there. Yet when a negative comment does sneak out then that’s considered totally believable. PITT lives on a one way street when it comes to perception. << and lots of time it sounds to me like PITT is going the wrong way. The defense will be strong.
gc I think both Hamlin and Ford will give PITT a solid d backfield this year. I also think one of the D lineman will step up. What PITT need more than that is to have some of the older players finally break out like Hall, Hendrix, Wirginis, Matthews, and Tipton… . . ..ike
With two plays during the season succeeding – Henderson’s fumble while going for the TD against UNC & any one of 4 tries at VT’s one yard line – Pitt could have been 7-5 instead of 5-7. Could have been as bad as 4-8 with a loss against Youngstown State or as good as 7-5. That’s why I’m not losing my mind over last season. This season is a another question. If they go 5-7 or 6-6 with losses against PSU, ND and C FLA, I will probably feel the same way as I do now because the OOC schedule is insane.
I will tell what would really p me off…. if we go 5-7 with wins over any 2 of those teams above and losses to UNC, Syracuse, Wake and Duke.
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Now see JoeL, this is where I am coming from. PITT has to beat the teams they should beat. That’s what moves a football program forward. i agree.
Yes, I am really excited to see Wirginis play again. He could be an animal at middle linebacker like throwbacks Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke ……… or not. We will see soon enough!
He should be. Isn’t he 25 years old.
Sad but this time of the year a Pitt fan expects a arrest or a star player not making the grades or something.
Very funny Mark but you made me curious. QW is 22 years old actually which surprises me a little.
I understand that the NCAA is considering a new rule based on a life insurance rule. If passed, teams can keep a player on their roster until age 27. – Hobie
Why – he’s been around a full five years.
You have really nailed it, Reed. Any perceived negativity on our part concerning the Pitt program comes from experience and a long time analysis of performance. Your comment “Others look at those question marks and say “What does this problem really entail and what are the resources to solve it?” is right on and applies to us POVers who try to analyze the facts staring them in the face vs. wishful thinking. Most of us agree that there are some signs the program is improving, but it has not yet been reflected in the form of sustained good performance on the field. So what should we believe, what they tell us or our lying eyes?
If we were Alabama we could not do that and say we were just reloading every year, but we are Pitt and when you see question marks you really have to wonder if and how they will be answered.
Case in point is when Peterman graduated and we got 5* recruit Max Brown from USC. Pitt fans held onto those two facts – 5*s and USC and wouldn’t believe he could be a bust… even after I wrote an extensive article outlining conversations with professional sportswriters who watched him there for 3+ years.
When you have a QB like Browne at UCS who played in 14 games and threw 112 passes – with only 2 TDs – that’s a big red flag. But Pitt fans felt that with Browne at QB we’d be winning 9+ games. That is what some Pitt fans do even if it has been proven time and again some question marks don’t get answered the way they hope they will.
2017’s TE are another good example – when a HC has to scramble around to get transfers in at starting positions as soon as they get here that’s an indication something is wrong. Flanagan and Clark were sub par players were they were before – what makes us think they will magically be better here with no competition?
DE Hendrix is another case – we waited a full year while he took up a scholarship and he gives us average play last season- something that a younger recruit probably could have given us just as well.
We’ll see that with Millin and the juco OL PN’s bringing in this season also I bet. It is one thing when a player doesn’t get any PT at his old team so you don’t know how good he might be (Peterman) but a whole different world when a player has already been elsewhere and not done that well (Millin).
When you rely on transfer not for depth but for immediate starting position we should remember that transfers are that because they either didn’t do well at their previous schools, they had other problems or in the case of grad transfers are making a last gasp shot at the NFL draft.
The beauty of college ball, especially at Pitt, is that there are new faces over all. I really like seeing recruits progress through the depth chart but with Narduzzi that is skewed sideways so there is mysteries each season.
This was a very interesting read for any college football fan, but it stings a little at the beginning.
As a reader – Just want to say thanks to Reed for his leadership. I feel the blog is headed in the right direction and we can disagree but it is being done in a much better way. Hope this can continue.
With respect to enrollment, I think you guys hit the nail on the head the other day or week when you talked about the large increase in international students. That has been very good from a revenue perspective for most higher education entities. Some schools charge 30% more in tuition for international students. International students are driving enrollment numbers up.
Demographics are a key reason that the big10 expanded to the east coast. It is all about the population growth.
Agree with Reed on optiism vs realist. On the roundtable last year, I indicated that if you have Roy, Dintino, Others, and walkons in newer positions that are starting, your recruiting is struggling. Let’s see how it shakes out this Fall, but we need to see the newer recruits beat out some of those that have been here awhile. If the players were dominating, that’s one thing. If not, and they are still starting, it’s a problem.
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