Here is a rather long and in-depth piece, part Bio and part look at the state of the program,  by our reader and some time Commenter Troy (UlteriorMotifs). The thoughts and writings are all his…

How does the Pitt football program compare to its peers and what are its prospects?

First time caller, long time listener. Actually, I’ve commented several times on Pitt POV and Pitt Blather, but very infrequently. I’ve been a daily reader of both sites for many years and finally decided to cast off my lurker status and participate in a significant way.

To establish my bona fides (or lack thereof), let me state quickly that, apart from a pair of summer school courses, I never attended Pitt. I have, however, been a fan of the program practically since birth. I grew up in the area, went to grade school about 10 minutes away, and my father and one uncle have Pitt degrees. I started going to basketball games at Fitzgerald when Pitt was still in the Eastern Eight – not just the marquee contests, but also scintillating matchups against powerhouses like Westminster and St. Francis (PA).

I was a regular presence at various Pitt summer programs and the proud winner of the hustle award from Pitt basketball camp. For my efforts, I received a poster of Bernard King doing a reverse dunk, his head just under a rim illuminated like a halo, with the inscription St. Bernard underneath. That poster hung on my wall for many a year and may have marked the pinnacle of my athletic achievement.

The first number I ever wore in youth sports was #13 (you know why) and I attended the vast majority of Pitt football games from the time I was a toddler until I went away to high school in Westmoreland County. By this time, I was estranged from my father, yet I chose to hang on to the best memories of our relationship, which involved parking in random driveways absurdly far from Pitt stadium to save a few bucks (Dad was Costanza-like when it came to paying for parking) and walking down from the Hill into the mass of humanity surrounding the stadium.

We probably started going to the games together when I was four and it took me years to figure out why the college students mobbing all around us were acting so strangely. At the time, I just assumed they were excited about Pitt football; I didn’t realize chemical enhancement was in play.

I was years away from sampling the good stuff; I just loved devouring every morsel of information in the program guide, hearing the roar of the Panther over the PA, the steep climb up Cardiac Hill on those rare occasions when we scored a parking spot in the flatlands of Oakland, the Panther icon painted brightly on the building behind the stadium, the Golden Girls (we always brought binoculars), one side of the stadium chanting “Hugh” and the other responding “Green”,  and, of course, post-game trips to the “O” for cheese-drowned, artery-clogging curly fries.

So, I stayed with Pitt as I came of age – even though that coincided with the shockingly rapid descent of program from elite, to good, to average, to outright putrid. I’m not old enough (43) to really remember the glory days, but as someone who achieved consciousness just afterward, the glory days were recent enough to think Pitt might someday reclaim those dizzying heights. 30 years of average performance – and that’s what’s it been really apart from the national embarrassment of the Hackett/Majors 2 period – has tempered my expectations.

While I still hope against hope for the magical season where everything falls into place, I am (largely) resigned to the idea that Pitt will never win another national championship and I’d say the chance of Pitt making the college football playoff in my lifetime, if I live another 43 years, is probably about 50/50.

This may sound defeatist, but consider that the last time a team from outside college football’s elite hoisted the National Championship trophy, was in 1991, nearly 30 years ago. And even that year, the upstart team was Washington (a pretty strong program historically) which split the title with the mighty Miami Hurricanes.

The previous year, Colorado and Georgia Tech, in arguably the most unlikely outcome ever, shared the crown. But the sport has changed since then for many reasons, some of them related to demography, but most of them related to money, and since the early 90s, it’s been nothing but a stream of the usual suspects. Could Pitt break the glass ceiling? Sure, it’s possible, but exceedingly unlikely.

I don’t say this merely because of the last three decades of on-field results, although historical record plays a part. I’m not considering the team’s performance (fewer than 10 wins virtually every year) in a vacuum; looking at it in the context of Pitt’s commitment to athletics, as well as how the competitive landscape and local, regional, and national demographics have evolved in the nearly four decades since I started walking up that hill to Pitt Stadium.

There are a lot of accomplished people on this board, people who have led projects and teams successfully. Given that, I’m sure most of you appreciate the value of assessment both in setting objectives and in evaluating performance. That assessment, at a minimum, includes the organizational or group mission, allocation of resources, institutional support, internal capacity (talent), contextual or environmental factors, and unforeseen circumstances.

When evaluating the Pitt football program and its prospects, I like to use a similar process and see how Pitt stacks up in this regard against its competitors.

For the purposes of this exercise, I’ll consider Pitt’s peers to be the Power 5 conference schools and Notre Dame (as an ACC affiliate). You could also toss in BYU, Boise St. & the service academies and perhaps a couple of others, but it wouldn’t materially affect the project and it would raise the question of where to draw the line, so I kept it clean with simply the Power 5.

I then graded the Power 5 teams in the following categories:

Recent Success

Defined not merely by the most recent record, but by the period that will be memorable to a 16-year old recruit. That’s basically the last seven years or so, with more recent seasons and division/conference championships/BCS /playoff appearances weighing more heavily. I also was more forgiving of a bad season (say 4-8) if it was balanced by a couple great ones (11-2) than I was of a run of 6-6 type seasons with no positive outliers (just a personal preference).

Institutional Support

Financial support, demonstrated willingness to secure top talent and build facilities, perceived willingness to bend the rules (beyond the norm).

Recruiting Grounds

Strength of local recruiting base amplified in the case of a few national powerhouses by their ability to go to any part of the country and realistically compete for a recruit (USC, Notre Dame, etc.)

Gameday Experience

Admittedly a lot of projection here as I haven’t visited the majority Power 5 schools. I relied on personal knowledge of about 20 of these schools, along with general reputation and reports from conference beat writers.

Campus & Town

This was maybe the most difficult category to rate since people look for so many different qualities in a college campus and a college town, but I leaned toward schools that are widely acknowledged to have magnificent campuses (UVa), located in fun college towns (UNC), or generally exciting cities (Texas).

Producing Pro Players

Looked at the list showing the number of active NFL players for each school and stayed close to those rankings (which were surprising in many cases). Occasionally, I boosted a team slightly if I know it’s been putting more kids in the pros recently, as opposed to 10 years ago.

Academic Reputation

Not an attempt to determine the actual academic quality of various schools (a borderline impossible task with so much variation in school offerings and personal objectives), but an attempt to reflect how schools are perceived on a national basis. As such, I relied heavily on the U.S. News & World report rankings (which I hate) because for better or worse (worse), they have more impact on popular perception than any other institution. I did make small adjustments based on personal and professional knowledge of how snobby parents and educators view many of these schools.

Cool Factor

Hard to define, but combination of success, location, atmosphere, reputation, and perceived appeal (beyond just record), particularly to the demographic group that tends to produce the most highly rated players, young black males.

Tradition

Historical performance (21st Century weighted more heavily), plus recognizable traditions, rituals, etc. that provide a rallying point for students and alumni.

Snip ACC

 

SnipB12

SnipPac2

Summary

We will surely disagree on where Pitt ranks in relation to various schools in different categories and I’m happy to explain and debate my ratings – it’s what a blog is for! That said, I think it’s pretty clear that Pitt is a middling program in most respects and, coupled with the low-level of institutional support and diminishing recruiting base, is performing about as well as you’d expect.

The schools of similar profile that have surpassed Pitt are much more the exception the norm. No reason Pitt shouldn’t strive to be a positive outlier as well, but outputs pretty much equal inputs at Pitt and you could even argue the program has overachieved slightly. Unless Pitt absolutely strikes gold with a coach or a QB, the school will have to invest more heavily (in time, attention and, naturally, cash) to significantly improve its place in the college football universe.

An important item to note about the college football powers is that they’re remarkably stable. The elite teams of today aren’t all that different from 30 years ago and the nouveau riche are largely explained by major demographic shifts (e.g., the Florida schools), or the appearance of a major benefactor (e.g., Nike U of Oregon and T. Boone A&T/OK State), factors that are entirely or largely beyond the control of the university (yes, alumni development plays a role, but one has to be pretty self-motivated to give at that level.)

Yet, as in life, even having great natural advantages doesn’t guarantee sustained success. Over the past 30 years, look at UCLA, Cal, Tennessee, North Carolina (pretty much any year Mack Brown didn’t coach there), or Texas (also any year Mack didn’t coach there), just to name a few. Texas, which arguably has the best setup of any team in the nation (success, tradition, location, recruiting grounds, academic rep, etc.) only has the 7th most wins in the Big 12 over the last seven years!

Other luminaries like USC, Notre Dame, and Miami have had more than a few seasons in recent history where they’ve scuffled. Those schools, however, have also had outstanding campaigns when they won division titles and conference crowns and, in some cases, national championships. That sets them apart from Pitt, whose most remarkable quality is how unremarkable it actually is.

Since Walt Harris took the helm, Pitt is never truly terrible and never really good, just consistently mediocre in a way that’s hard to achieve at the collegiate level where the youth and immaturity of the players combine with high rates of player turnover to create a lot of variance. Pitt has defied the odds, though, and apart from the occasional upset, managed to be completely, consistently average.

Pitt’s defining quality of “averageness” holds true not just in terms of the program’s record, but also in terms of its public presentation – which brings us to branding. Pitt, with the exception of the recently revised script, has virtually no identity and, as a result, no real target audience for recruiting – which is the death knell in any form of sales or marketing. Who is the Pitt “customer”?

In the ACC Coastal Division alone, Miami has the bad boy rebel appeal and some of the great teams of this century to reference, Virginia Tech has a reputation for lunch pail play, rugged defense, and an intimidating home crowd, Duke can pitch a life-changing degree, Virginia can make an argument for the best public university and finest campus in the nation, UNC is not too far off that, Georgia Tech has a strong academic rep and is located in the current hip-hop Mecca and unofficial capital of Black America, Syracuse, while not in a good position, is at least different in an interesting way with the Carrier Dome. What true differentiator does Pitt offer? Consider this when pondering recruiting rankings.

Pitt, true to its Western Pennsylvania roots, is generally conservative in approach and decidedly risk averse. When Pitt takes a leap, à la Todd Graham, it’s generally because they’ve been pushed into that corner (often by previous bad decisions). The steady as she goes approach is sensible for successful programs or those with significant natural advantages – they have inertia in their favor. But when you’re trying to make a big leap, you need to be bold, define yourself, and take chances.

That’s what I’d like to see from Pitt. I’m not holding my breath for national championships, but in a league where Wake, Duke, BC & Georgia Tech can win divisional titles (multiple times in the case of the latter two), it’s not unfair to ask that Pitt does the same once in a while (unless Richt really gets it going at Miami, which would be a problem).

Finishing in the Top 25 seven years out of every 10, with two divisional titles, a pair of top 20 and one top 10 finish every decade is a good stretch goal for this program. In the (paraphrased) words of former Interim AD Randy Juhl:

“If Pitt can help cure polio and invent CPR, we sure as hell can win 10 football games!”

#H2P

In support of this excellent article here is an overview of Pitt football by the years and where you can drill down to see schedules,stats, etc for each season.

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

 

 

 

154 thoughts on “Pitt, Polio and Perspective

  1. “If Pitt can help cure polio and invent CPR, we sure as hell can win 10 football games!” — Juhl

    But a man with such a voice couldn’t convince Nordy to not fire Wannstedt as the results could be dramatic, and they were.

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  2. Troy, that was an excellent article…you need to expound more often ! Much appreciated. Lot’s to think about…hope Heather and Gallagher read this..

    Great pic of our ole beloved PITT Stadium…

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  3. Mediocrity defines PITT over the past 35 years as we have played .500 ball. How long can we maintain this upper-most level of mediocrity with a shrinking fan-base and lack of star power (at least at this point in the recruiting cycle).

    You are correct in stating who recognizes the Script/branding outside our small numbers.

    Duzz has 65k tweet followers including UPitt; Franklin has 226K following him. Dana Holgoson has 117k followers..just thought I would throw those numbers out.

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  4. Troy – read and enjoyed your post and thanks so much for the effort!

    A couple reflections:

    I noticed that you chose not to come up with a weighted average score for each school. Those with Myers-Briggs indicators of “sensing” vs “intuition” may struggle with the lack of a quantified total (haha). I suppose a discussion on the weighting of those factors could be a discussion in and of itself.
    For the most part, I think you have scored them fairly. But I did struggle with some areas, notably campus/town. Perhaps it should/could be two separate categories. As an example, no one will convince me that Knoxville, TN is a better town than Pgh. And the Vols campus itself isn’t all that impressive – I think one could make an argument that Pitt’s central campus area is more attractive – even with the traffic.
    “What true differentiator does Pitt offer?” Its an effing amazing city with great history. It has many of the advantages of major cities with the benefit of a small city footprint. Its a truly remarkable place. And I will stack up the Cathedral of Learning against the Carrier Dome any day of the week. Don’t sell Pgh short – its got a coolness factor of its own, once one peels away all the Steeler/Penguins stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it! You make some good points – a weighted average might have yielded better data. As for Pittsburgh, I’m a huge fan of the city and promote/defend it at every opportunity. I gave Pgh a 7/10, as a college location, which is a pretty good score. I easily could have bumped it higher but kept it at a 7 because I think the average recruit looks for something a little more conventional where the school is the center of attention as opposed to just one fish in a big pond. I might be wrong about that, but look at the classes some of these middle-of-nowhere schools pull in. Now, if we’re just rating the city independent of its appeal as a “college town”, then Pittsburgh is leaps and bounds beyond Knoxville and similar cities.

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  5. Pittsburgh is cool. And Oakland is very vibrant and full of character. For an urban campus, I think it’s tops and I’ve been to the few out there but I’m biased.

    Pitt will cure cancer before it returns to ten win seasons.

    Unless Pitt builds an on campus venue, elite talent will go elsewhere. Tough to sell kids on half empty stadiums that students get bussed to.

    We are a basketball school.

    Tex

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    1. Back in my student days we got “buzzed” before climbing Cardiac Hill to watch the games. These days current students get “bussed” before attending games at Heinz Field. My how times have changd.

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  6. Ulterior — A most excellent article!

    I pretty much agree with your take.

    Seems them Stillers add a “cool” factor for some recruits…

    I agree that Pitt is actually over-achieving, just a bit, based on current circumstances.

    Well done.

    Go Pitt.

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    1. 3-8 in our last 11 Bowl games and the list of our opponents in reverse order: Northwestern, Navy, Houston, Bowling Green, Ole Miss, SMU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon State, Utah and Virginia. Not exactly a list of college football blue bloods or powerhouses.

      I believe Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are.”

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  7. Really excellently written article. Thank you.

    I was surprised to see that wvu, oregon st, missouri, and south carolina had the same amount of players getting paid in the nfl.

    Also surprised to see penn st have 33% more players in the nfl than Pitt. Never would have guessed that. Thanks for giving us the numbers.

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  8. Thank you so much for the most excellent article Mr Motif’s. You got some skills in writing. << Unlike myself. Thanks

    Reed, to respond to your last comment. I get it! The one big difference here is the negative spew directed at Narduzzi in comparison. I didn’t hear all this when Lumpy was putting up 6 wins a season and he is an idiot in front of a camera. << This is my opinion. >> The utter constant, personal and complete disdain shown by some on the Blog for Narduzzi is totally obvious and again in my opinion unwarranted at this very moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ike,
      Lumpy or potato Pauly did get criticized as much as the Dog. His recruiting and game day coaching left him open to slurs. Hell I even commented about how much of a slob he looked like on the sidelines. I was shouted down for those comments. Image sells.

      Tex

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    2. You will find many commenters that are consistent in their disdain for cornhole, cheesehead, rockports, Herman, and Nard dog. Along with nerdball and atom counter.

      Only at Pitt could these individuals be known with multiple derogatory names.

      The common thread – none of these jokers were anything more than mediocre in sports results and athletic philosophy.

      Tex

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  9. really great article. Am I incorrect in calculating that we are one of four p5 schools with no OCS (Rutgers, UCLA, USC?). That said we are the only one that shares training facility with an NFL squad. My take away from your great piece is that it has taken a decent amount of (bad) effort to be so consistently mediocre. Apathy from nordy allowing poor AD’s to make stupid decisions (the longer the OCS screams go on the more I become convinced that a 35-45k multipurpose facility shoulda coulda woulda done the trick on our current hoops site). this all said no matter where you go there you are… your final stanzas articulate precisely what I think everyone would be thrilled with: regular contention for a conference title, a title or 2, a couple top 20’s with a top 10 once every 10-12 years would be oh so nice.

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  10. Tex, you and Upitt don’t count….. I won’t live long enough to hear or read a positive post from you two guys about anything PITT. << posted in fun … 🙂

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  11. One of my favorite articles thus far …. not only for the nostalgia at the beginning but for the realism at the end. Btw, did you ever think that since the focus is on polio and CPR, winning 10 games is unlikely.

    Anyway, what Pitt FB is these day is head-scratching losses and head scratching wins …. and about the only other thing is a plethora of empty yellow seats.

    wwb

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  12. Well-written article. The only item I can take issue with is the branding differentiation for recruiting. Reviewing recruit comments, I believe that 7 out of 10 gush about Pitt sharing practice facilities with the Steelers. No other colleges do that. Checkout how many gush about the potential to play in the Carrier Dome or attend the beautiful UVA campus or being part of the “bad boy” rep of Miami. Therefore, I can only conclude that branding items like those are not very important to recruits. I believe that the important items to recruits are 1. How many players get to the NFL. 2. Does the team play in big Bowl games that my “homeys” will see me in. 3. Does the team play in heavily advertised games on TV. Everything else may play a part but they are much lower in importance to the recruits. Branding is import to TV viewers and ticket purchasers but not so much to recruits.

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  13. It is ironic that most colleges were expanding their stadiums as we were tearing ours down.

    We should have applied it for historic designation and then it could not have been torn down and been eligible for government preservation funds. Backward thinking.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pittfan28 – PSU puts more of the lineman and LBs in the pros than skill players so that’s why you don’t hear about many of them.

    Pitt has more RBs, returnees, WRs, DBs etc…so they are more visible, at least to us Pitt fans, on Sundays.

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    1. to embellish the point, remember the lineman Pitt put on the field back in the glory days …. Covert, May, Grimm, Fralic, Sweeney, Brzoza, Holloway, Neill, Meisner, Green, Romano, Burley

      wwb

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  15. A major factor not mentioned is the relationship kids develop with the coaches who recruit them. Some parents are still old fashioned enough to want to make sure their kid is treated properly and looked after at the big university. Many a recruit has committed when the coach closed the deal in his parents living room.

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  16. In keeping with our lackluster recruiting, HCPN has failed to ring any bells with his hiring of assistant coaches.

    I never hated Conklin. I simply believe he was a Yes-man for HCPN ‘s defensive scheme, falling on the sword for dreadful seasons that were the result of his boss’ wooden-headed obstinance.
    But then, HCPN replaced him, not with an up and comer, a recruiter extraordinaire, but
    with a career linebacker coach.

    Our new offensive line coach wasn’t even Maryland’s line coach last year.

    Admittedly, I hope this season unfolds into more wins than losses, but Pat isn’t winning praise from heralded recruits, sought-after coaches or fans. And before someone mentions Partridge, he interviewed for the Alabama job.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That move by Partridge still puzzles me. I thought he did that to put himself in position for the DC job at PITT. Obviously, he and Narduzzi have some type of understanding.I’m guessing Partridge would want a DC job at a P5 school to help set himself up for another head coaching job.

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  17. We need more articles like this because it’s long on data (even if the data is somewhat subjective).

    Very well written as well.

    I agree with dionjag however. Pitts branding is Pittsburgh itself. Sharing the Steelers facility is huge and the coaching staff does a nice job of leveraging it. I also think that in a few years we are going to be able to brand ourselves on our defense which will be cool

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right AP. This year is the coming out party for our defense. We have a talented and maturing secondary; a solid LB corps led by QW and an overachieving DL just waiting to show all of us their worth.

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      1. Camp and Weaver will lead that DL. They flashed last year and will be better schooled and more confident in September. Here’s a side question: Is Tysir Mack eligible this year? He’s listed on the active roster.

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        1. Agree on Camp and Weaver. If Hendrix and Watts stay healthy Pitt will have a good front four. The pieces are in place to have a legit eight-man rotation, which Pitt hasn’t had since 2007.

          Mack isn’t eligible until 2019, so hopefully the receiving corps develops and then has Tysir joining the fray to put more pressure on defenses.

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  18. AP – Sharing practice facilities is a major positive for recruits.

    Sharing Steeler stadium is a major negative. Speaking of which, 25k empty seats is a double major negative. Giving their opponents a once in a lifetime experience to play a game in Steeler stadium is a triple negative. I.E. The opponent is more pumped to play in Steeler Stadium than our guys! We can’t defend our house, because we don’t have a house. Correction, we had a House, but his defenses couldn’t defend

    I read the campus/town differently and would have scored it much lower. Pittsburgh is not a college football town or we would sell out the steeler stadium. Added up the ACC and it looks like Pitt is near the bottom in total points you projected. I also think “Tradition” is over-ranked.I can’t figure out what our first tradition is, other than bussing students to a game and handing out fantas to stay. Heck, we don’t have a real team color yet or know whether we are Pitt or Pittsburgh for goodness sake. Recruiting Pool is exactly what it is. I think our local talent pool has been poor over the last 10 years. Are there a few superstars, yes. Enough to sustain a program, um, no.

    I am now wishing we were middle of the road. Been saying for a long time that I think Pitt football has overperformed for the support they get over the last 4 years. Just one dudes opinion. Overall, a real nice first effort Troy and I appreciate the time you put into it. It makes good sense, but the realities are hard to swallow.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It would still leave 18k yellow seats though and the stadium would only be at 70% capacity. Heinz is just too large of a venue for Pitt’s needs. And students still have the horrible experience of being bussed off campus.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would still leave 15,000 bright yellow seats to complain about MM. Plus that, I’m pretty sure that the attendence figures are tickets sold rather than bodies through the turnstalls so minus another 5,000 butts in yellow seats on top of that.

        The issue is a pervasive one however IMO. Anybody who has traveled to away Pitt games has seen the same issue with other ACC members. Granted, Pitt presently isn’t a big draw but I’ve been to UVA, GT, UVA, Duke & Syracuse, all smaller capacity stadiums than Heinz Field, and none of these venues were ever soldout. Especially games at Duke & Syracuse stand out as games that the attendence was simply pathetic.

        Now that being said, doesn’t give a pass to the fair weather yinzer fans from Pittsburgh who no show at the drop of a hat if the game is midweek, the weather is uncomfortable or the opponent is viewed with distain. All I’m saying is that game day attendence is a pervasive problem for many of the also ran Power 5 schools in the ACC. In our modern society, there are so many distractions &/or alternatives to showing up in person to experience a college football game, just assumming that building a 40,000 OCS will miraculously “solve” that issue is myopic at best and presents the perplexing problem of abandoning our home field advantage for our biggest games so as to take advantage of the occasional sellout that does happen when opponents like penn state, FSU, WVU & ND come to town.

        In that regard, Narduzzi has the opportunity to silence his detractors over this season’s first two games if he can pull off a 2-0 start to begin the season. If the weather cooperates for our opener, I think that there will be a decent crowd that shows up for the Albany game. There is always the pent up desire to kickoff the college football season for us diehards who have been experiencing college football withdrawal for 8+ months. And with the unexpected thrashing that the Panthers put on an unsuspecting Miami team that was looking past the Pitt game, I anticipate more than a few casual Pitt fans will show up just to see if that victory was an aberration or not. Plus there’s always the unwrapping of a new team in the first game to hold a fan’s interest. And with Kenny Pickett & Co. determined toprove that they’re for real, it should be interesting. Add to that the carnival atmosphere produced by the annual RibFest celebration and I wouldn’t be surprised to see 40,000 showing up to see the Panthers compete against the lowly FCS Great Danes of the SUNY of Albany.

        The next week of course is a whole nother deal altogether. A nationally televised night game against our arch rival in a game that we may never see again occur in Pittsburgh, will be a standing room only event for sure. If we get the ESPN HOME DEPOT GameDay showing up for that contest as well, then expect an electric atmosphere that we usually only see with the elite matchups that have NC implications usually.

        The Pittsburgh football fan is both demanding as well as fickled. You want attendence figures to jump, then you better put a winner on the field or else in Pittsburgh. 2-0 spells interest and vibe that builds on the huge upset from last year. In fact, I find it interesting that so few have drawn comparisions between this Miami upset and the 13-9 game from a decade ago, very similar.

        Thankfully, we are playing Albany & not ND to open up our season in 2018. Hopefully with such a warm up week we will have a better chance to knock off penn state in week two than we had against ND, where we squandered that ton off off season hype by getting manhandled by the Irish in our home opener then.

        Yeah, I know, penn state is the better team, so was the 2016 penn state team, as well as Clemson was & Miami was too. That ladies & gentlemen is why they play the games.

        Hail to Pitt!

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    1. Thanks, Huff. I always appreciate your perspective. I agree I probably overrated the tradition, but old habits die hard.

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  19. Well, we will have less to complain about with negative press coverage this fall. No, the attitude didn’t change, the PG is only going to publish 5 days a week! New publisher brought in new editor and circulation dropped like a rock, so looks like they might go the way of the Trib. Very sad. On line stuff. Wonder if kids will ever hold a book or printed paper in their hands again. Does missing that make me old?

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  20. For all you star gazers out there, Tiawan Mullen the Florida player who visited but didn’t commit got bumped up to a 4 stars. Interesting he put out the one pic of him and his mom facing each other like they were ready to go at it. It was a good picture, his mom looked like an athlete. Narduzzi himself retweet’s a lot of these players pictures but he chose not to retweet this one.

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  21. Happy Fourth of July!

    Good thought provoking article. I think it identifies areas that can be enhanced and areas that very little can be done about.

    I am hoping that the 3 for administrative support is being addressed. This is obviously the area that has held us back the most and is imminently changeable. This is the action that can change the whole dynamic. The beginning of a cultural change giving athletics more value. More money for coaches,facilities, recruiting etc.
    Generating more fan support. Changing the image from SOP to one of respect. Taking full advantage of and embracing being part of the ACC. FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVES OF BEING PITTSBURGH RATHER THAN THE NEGATIVES.

    Eliminating the negativity toward the program will take time and multiple years of success but can be done.
    Constant lamenting about the loss of Pitt Stadium and the epic fails on the field do nothing to eliminate SOP.
    They are in the past and if Pitt is to ever change for the better must be left in the dust heap.

    Pittsburgh has shed the specter of its industrial past, no more a dirty steel town. It maintains some of it with manufacturing, chemicals, metals and banking, but has now added healthcare, robotics and high tech.

    Pitt needs to do the same, shed the past that hurts, remember the good stuff, and move forward. Make the changes that can be made, and overcome the ones that can’t.

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    1. cultural change at Pitt has to come from within. Gallaghers leadership team has 2 Penn State grads and ZERO people with any sort of degree from Pitt…even a graduate degree. Tough to change the culture when his team has no experience of the Pitt experience as a student.

      If several wealthy benefactors demanded change, there would be change. But Pitt’s benefactors place their bets with academics. Cant blame them since the athletics department has been mismanaged throughout all these years and Pitt has won ZERO national championships in any sports since 1976.

      Students can also be the instrument of change. If enough students valued athletics in their college experience, Gallagher would at least listen.

      Recent Success – mediocre, no division titles, poor bowl record

      Support – lip service only historically but Narduzzi was extended as well as Lyke so the money should not be an excuse (although Pitt’s spending still significantly trails the 30 elite schools)

      Recruiting – the WPIAL will never be the same hence I like the focus out of state; plenty of good recruits in OH, MD, VA and NJ as well as FL

      Gameday – pro stadium and all the amenities, plenty of tailgate places…for now; But too large of a stadium and doesnt have any Pitt charm or character

      Campus – doesnt matter since football is played off campus therefore you cant showcase the campus on gameday; check out the link above I posted on urban campuses

      Path to NFL – better than most schools; players like Fitz, McCoy and AD make Pitt proud

      Academics – good school…nuff said

      “It” Factor – Pitt has lost the “It”; this is more about attitude and of course results

      Tradition – many former players in the pros, high number of HOFers, but I’m not sure what fun traditions exist for the students the day prior to the game and on game day; Doesnt appear to be much that engages students and helps connect sports with a students experience

      Brand – thats one that I threw in since its the most important thing when it comes to the streaming environment (revenue sharing) and kind of sums up everything above; Pitt’s brand ranks in the 60’s (posted a link on this before). Coincidentally, Pitt’s overall athletic budget also ranks in the 60’s. You get what you pay for.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Good article. Thanks.

    A couple thoughts and questions for POVers.

    If Pitt won regularly, no one would care about Heinz Field. There would still be empty seats, but recruit would see wins, players getting drafted and Pitt playing in big games on national TV. The last thing being the most important.

    Maybe local recruiting talent is down, but that is not an excuse. Recruit elsewhere.

    Narduzzi’s recent hires are proof the budget is not where it needs to be.

    Good question. What is Pitt’s identity? What do they sell? They have to sell the urban campus and they do if you listen to Capel, PN and the recruits. A city tour is a big part of visits. I mean, where the F can they take you in a college town. “Here is Main Street, that concludes our tour.”
    I know Capel sells Pitt academics. Pitt could do better as a University bragging about academics, research, etc.
    As far as teams. Pitt basketball had the blue collar reputation under Dixon. The reputation was known and the word spread because they won. Football? Besides upsets I have no clue. They haven’t won enough or had the same coach long enough to have a reputation or identity. That goes for coordinators also.

    Like

    1. Football doesnt have an identity. The image creation is up to Narduzzi. I think he’d like it to be one of tough defense but that hasnt worked out yet. Not sure what the identity will be like on offense with a new unproven QB.

      Pitt will always have a yellow seat issue so I dont know why Narduzzi is so against tarping.

      And its easier for Capel to sell campus since the Pete is actually on campus. When PN sells, he’s selling an ugly ketchup bottle of a stadium that is home to the Steelers.

      Like

  23. Pitt recruit Hill is a 4 star with ESPN and a 3 star with Rivals. Because he committed to Pitt, his rating will stay at 3.

    Regarding HCPN’s time at Pitt – he cut his teeth in the 1st three years, learning the ropes of head coaching. Mistakes are ok if you learn from them and improve. A few things happened at season’s end in 2017 –

    – 1. Coaching changes were requested – the D was so bad that Conklin had to go, albeit a year later than what should have been. Same with the OLine.

    – 2. HC extension was made to help recruiting – by my calculations there are 5-1/2 months left to see that ROI.

    – 3. Partridge had to be retained, as he is the only “real” P5 D1 FB coach on staff. Bumping his pay and promoting his position with the team was a must.

    – 4. Duzz is now officially a HC and this is his team after 3 years of building a system. He is the Chess master and he must strategically move the pieces and win a FB games.

    IMO, #1 above was done on the cheap (Pitt admin driven? You bet!). Duzz had a small # to work with and replaced Conklin with Bates, a lifelong LB-eras coach with a Duzz-Lyke firery attitude. Borberly and Watson had two successful P5 runs together and that Hire was a stretch, again because the budget was tight. Hiring the two MAC DB coaches was cheap, and will take a few years until they can attract 4 star talent – NO GOOD. But the cheap Pitt budget dictates what Duzz can do.

    For 2, 3 and 4, Duzz had to seek off-season mentors to help him to fine tune a program smothered in mediocrity. We’ll never know who he’s talking to, but I’d guess Dantonio, Tomlin and Fitzgerald.

    To win 8 + games this season, Duzz must trust his staff to do their jobs well and even exceed expectations along the way. That is a huge stretch, but all that was available on a tight budget.

    So, as an optimistic Pitt fan (POV words not mine), I’m counting on Watson, Borberly, Sherman and Powell to score 8 to 10 more points per game. On D, I see Duzz and Bates locking arms and having a blast beating opposing offenses.

    I’m with Reed, the unknowns keep Pitt FB intriguing. For me though, I need Pitt FB to win for it to be entertaining.

    H2P!

    Like

  24. Pitt’s campus is a very very small urban campus compared to other P5 schools. Totally different and smaller than most schools they are compared to on Urban University lists. Most of those schools have hundreds of acres. I am pretty sure CMU has more property.

    Like

  25. He was born on the fourth day of July
    So his parents called him Independence Day
    He married a girl named Justice who gave birth
    To a son called Nation
    Then she walked away
    Independence he would daydream and he’d pretend
    That someday him and Justice and Nation would get together again
    But Justice held up in a shotgun shack
    And she wouldn’t let nobody in
    So a Nation cried

    Oh oh
    When a Nation cries
    His tears fall down like missiles from the skies
    Justice look into Independence’s eyes
    Can you make everything alright
    Can you keep your Nation warm tonight

    Well Nation grew up and got himself a reputation
    Couldn’t keep the boy at home no no
    He just kept running ’round and ’round and ’round and ’round
    Independence and Justice well they felt so ashamed
    When the Nation fell down they argued who was to blame
    Nation if you’ll just come home we’ll have this family again
    Oh Nation don’t cry

    Oh oh
    When a Nation cries
    His tears fall down like missiles from the skies
    Justice look into Independence’s eyes
    Can you make everything alright
    Can you keep your Nation warm tonight

    Roll a rock across the country
    Everybody come along
    When you’re feelin’ down yeah yeah
    Just sing this song yeah yeah

    Songwriters: John Mellencamp

    Like

  26. Pitt has won three nationally televised big games in the last three years so there is that.

    Unfortunately we have blown two bowl games that offsets those wins in the public mind.

    Draw there.

    That 20 worst stadiums ranking were only on-campus stadiums if you noticed that. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons Heinz wasn’t on there although I don’t really mind Heinz Field except for the terrible tailgating.

    For watching the actual game I think it’s better than Pitt Stadium with the exception being its size compared to Pitt stadium so with that some seats are farther away.

    Every at the Athletic director we have had has tried to involved the whole city into the Pitt football program and to fall the Pitt football team. Steve Peterson got raked over the coals for changing the name to Pittsburgh but that was a solid attempt to try to get the citizens of the tri-state area and western Pennsylvania behind the team.

    It failed miserably but it was an attempt. I don’t know how to solve that problem because we have Penn State right to the east of us and with their winning traditions and their alumni, more alumni in Pittsburgh then Pitt has actually, then that’s a real problem.

    I truly believe that unless we capture lightning in a bottle, like we did with Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino, then we’re destined to be just pretty much what we are now – a team that lives so long as an average football program and every so often bumps up to eight or nine wins and then settles back down to around .500 ball. That has been our history in the last 35 years and I think that’s going to be our future again unless we get a superstar that carries the team for four years.

    I also think that if Pitt doesnt drop to 5, 4 or 3 wins in successive years, then the university feels we’re doing okay and it doesn’t really matter who the coaches. What Pitt wants to do at all costs is avoid a prolonged losing record series of years because that’s when we really lose everything; we lose recruits, we lose the small level of donations we already have and we lose any kind of support the media and the citizens of Pittsburgh might have given us in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt begins to care when the program starts losing money. It probably did last year with avg attendance at 36k. During the Dixon era, basketball actually generated a tidy profit. I saw one ACC article that mentioned $16M in one year. I would think Pitt football would need to be at 100% of Heinz capacity to match the profitability of the basketball program. Breakeven is the goal of most schools. The ACC check keeps Pitt sports afloat. Without that check, Pitt would be forced to cut programs or raise student fees.

      Like

    2. Reed – we’ve already lost all that you state in your last paragraph. Winning is necessary and Pitt must find a way or the small amount of us that do support the team will begin to wander away.

      I’m almost all in right now – when I say almost, I mean full fledge donation dollars. Right now I’d rather be generous to other non-profits with my money because Pitt FB has not turned the corner and gotten serious with building a winning program in my mind. Hiring assistant coaches to be HC is the wrong approach IMO. I hope I’m wrong with Duzz – right now HCPN has my support, if not the rest of Pitt nation (admin included).

      H2P!

      Like

    3. Pitt never gives itself a chance to be successful because it always changes coaches. Gottfried would have been a steady 8- or 9-win coach in the 1990s but was fired. What is wrong with going 8-3 versus those schedules in the days of just 11 games?

      Same with Wannstedt, who had Pitt at an average of nine his final three seasons. Deal with any negative press, let it blow over in a day or two then press on. Not at Pitt though.

      Pitt reminds me of these bad NFL franchises who are always firing its coach because the owner treats it like a toy, instead of a business, and enjoys any press it gets firing then hiring a new coach. Pitt keeps doing it and it kills recruiting that first year, then a player purge follows and round and round we go.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. specious is right
    Pitt is not ACC worthy and theres probably some buyers remourse
    And I’m pretty sure thats why Pitt is suddenly stepping up their game

    Like

  28. steve’s attempt to incorporate the whole city of Pittsburgh with PITT was indeed a well thought idea but his plan to implement it was typical of him. It sucked. Pretty much the banishment of the word PITT and the Dyno cat. What a dick! << That was for you Reed so you know I’m keeping up with my can’t stand the steve bashing.

    Tailgating is drying up down at Heinz so it’s a good idea to belly up with great people like Fran and JoeL for a place to stop by before and sometimes after games. Hope to see you all there this coming season.

    BTW, Heinz Field was ranked very high for an NFL stadium I think 3rd or 4th

    Like

  29. In attendance numbers were not much different than BC, GT, UNC, Duke, Wake, UVA, Miami and Syracuse. It just looks worse for us due to having a much bigger stadium.

    But here is the thing, Pitt gets a killer deal to play at Heinz field….as in a cheap price…the Admin loves when there is a major discount attached to something.

    Like

  30. Anyone get the Trib last Sunday. That was a picture of my son and grand-son swimming at the Youngwood park and pool on the front page. Yes I’m a proud pap pap.

    Like

    1. link in article says $85M revenue and $85M expense
      So Pitt submitted some mumbo jumbo figures to the government that makes it look like the athletics department is a non-profit

      Like

      1. Good guess.

        In my opinion, athletics is probably losing money given the state of the men’s BB program these past three years.

        I believe the ACC is monitoring this debacle Lyke they are doing with the mess at Louisville. The big difference is the Cards have the financial backing to correct it’s debacle and Pitt simply does not.

        Like

  31. My dad was also nuts(frugal)when it came to parking. An Ohio State game in I wanna say ‘84 he refused to pay $10 and then we couldn’t find a spot anywhere else, went back and they were sold out. We had to go home. He lost his friggin mind. Only time in my life I thought my dad might hit me

    Like

  32. I doubt there is any buyers remorse from the ACC with regard to the University of Pittsburgh’s inclusion…Probably a desire to see improvement from “Pitt” FB and BB, but I am sure the ACC is quite pleased with the “University” of Pittsburgh’s presence in the ACC. If it was all about sports, then WVU would have received the ACC invite that went to Pitt.

    Like

  33. I’m guessing your dad was from the depression era? My parents are from that era and I’ve had similar experiences, lol.

    Like

  34. Pitt must go the VT route and keep a head coach for 8-10 years before it can produce steady winners. I believe that Heather understands that and that is why she extended PN. As much as I like to have stars on the team for entertainment and promotional purposes, Pitt will become good when they have solid, above average players at every position. A good QB is always the exception, and Pitt should bring in a good one every year.

    Continual upgrades in facilities, developing relationships with high school coaches around the country and upgrading assistant coaches will eventually produce results, but not as fast as we would like (building a decent brand for promotional purposes would help as well).

    Also, I firmly believe that Pitt was invited to the ACC for its academic standing and for its BB program. Someone must finish last in the FB standings, and the ACC doesn’t care if the bottom dweller is Pitt.

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  35. Happy 4th.

    A little negativity. We gave up football for basketball and that worked until the last 2 years. Now both are struggling along. We had to upgrade some other facilities (maybe ACC said you better do it.)

    So where are we really? I venture to say we are in an average place with little admin incentive to move up while other universities are moving up. We will be left further behind eventually.

    Like

  36. We had a really down year, one. Two in Basketball. You guys obviously don’t remember the late sixties.

    The problem with Heinz is that we have not been very good. The Cinci game was as electric as any game I have been to since Dorsett’s 303 vs ND. The PSU game two years ago was mighty fine too, except for too many Nitters.

    In the long run, when animosity builds with ACC teams and if Pitt is competitive, Heinz is going to be fine.
    Most people that hate it will be dead.

    Like

    1. a stadium at 90% capacity produces a better atmosphere than one at 60-70%
      the problem with Heinz is that its too big for Pitt’s needs outside the Penn State game every other year

      Liked by 1 person

        1. but its perfect for Pitt’s fan base. Pitt is small time. A 50k stadium is just fine. Thats why I favor tarping. Thats why I favor an OCS. You can always play big time programs at Heinz.

          Even when Pitt was elite and big time, the avg attendance at Pitt Stadium was 52k. That old stadium could hold up to 56k. 92% capacity.

          Last year at Heinz, Pitt was 52% capacity

          Like

    2. Nobody likes Heinz. Even Steeler Fans are unimpressed. Take a look at stadiums with identy out there. Sadly, Steelers told HOK to go cheap. Way different than the Pirates. Heinz has zero identity. Sad because it could of shown off the city and it’s beauty.

      Like

  37. By the way, I remember many more games a Pitt Stadium with no atmosphere than ones with great atmosphere. Nostalgia is great, much better than the actual experience.

    Like

    1. GC – I’m sorry but 95% of my age people think Heinz sucks and want a OCS.

      Happy 4th everyone. Hot as Stallings Head in the Serengetti here.

      Like

  38. Now you are making stuff up. Steelers fans are fine with Heinz. People that want an OCS are a very small minority. That is why it won’t happen.

    Like

    1. BS. Not the 25 I know that can’t stand it. If you aren’t part of the solution you are the problem. Facts are those in the business know it was built very cheap and without a identity. Go to other NFL stadiums and see for yourself. As far as OCS only old farts don’t want that.

      Like

      1. They are all pretty small time programs, other than a couple. Do we want to be Boston College or Wake Forest? I’ll give you Stanford or Oregon. But none of those schools have the obstacles of Oakland and few have the gift of a Pro stadium on the cheap.

        Everyone would like an OCS, but start a GoFundMe site and see how you do. Better still stand in front of Heinz with a petition for an OCS, tell people they need to kick in 10 bucks to sign it.

        The only discussion on an OCS is on these blogs by a few people that are obsessed with it. I have never heard it come up in casual conversation with Pitt people I know, Certainly not Pittsburghers with no affiliation to the University.

        Like

        1. Sorry that was for Huff. Although you and Tex should stand in front of Heinz with a petition and collect the 10 bucks toward the new stadium if you feel that strongly about it. Be a part of the solution.

          Heinz is no Taj Mahal, but is that really needed for Football games. It is still 1000 times better than Pitt Stadium.

          Like

          1. But Heinz is not better than a new Pitt stadium. Make it part of the Victory Heights campaign.

            Tex

            And I’d gladly go from gate to gate or tailgate party to tailgate party to collect sigs for a feasibility study. That comes first. And Btw, populous already presented one to Pitt anyway last summer. You just won’t hear about it. Ask any student or anyone under 50, majority support is there for an OCS. And don’t tell me that some of you geezers really like those cramped seats and the steep gradient of those stadium steps.

            Liked by 1 person

  39. @GC – I wouldn’t worry about national championships. Alabama has won 5 NC’s in the last 9 years. Pitt needs to worry about the division of a conference before anything else. Pulled a few of the smaller on campus venues and their last 10 year results if we want to look at how you can do it correctly.

    TCU at 45,000 capacity seems to do pretty good gc. I’d take their results over the last 10 years, W98-L32. Ranked 2,4,3
    Baylor at 45,000 w65-54
    Stanford 50,000 w98-35 Ranked 3
    Northwestern 47,000 77-51
    Oregon at 54,000 W91-32 Ranked 2,2,3,4.
    Kansas St. at 50,000 79-49
    Houston at 40,000 86-44
    Navy 34,000 77-41
    Utah 45,000 86-42 4th
    Boston College 44,000 – last won ACC Division in 2007-2008(?)
    Wake Forest- 31,500 2006 ACC Champs

    TCU gets it. Northwestern, Stanford, too. Utah & KState is a good Pitt measurable.

    Happy 4th folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Im sorry we have 4B in endowmants. You use that money and look at UCF and TCU and Baylor enrollment after they started winning in football. Money sitting in a bank does little good. I would redo all of Oakland in a 10 year plan and quit making excuses. Start by buying up the cesspool that is South Oakland Housing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The endowment is untouchable for athletics. Just ask the pretentious Pitt savants who think it should only be touched for academics only, thus, your athletic mediocrity across the board since the 1980s.

      Like

      1. Mate, I doubt there are very many schools who will use endowment money for athletics. That money is endowed for academic and infrastructure at every big universities. Start using it for athletics and those big donors will start to dry up.

        On the other hand the best athletic schools make so much dough in addition to conference money they don’t need to. He’ll, I bet schools like Texas, ND, OSU, PSU, Alabama, etc…make almost as much on apparel sales as we do apart from ACC money.

        Like

        1. Per Business Insider (2016)

          Texas A&M — $192.6 million

          1-year change: +61.2%

          5-year change: +132.7%

          Donations: $92.1 million

          Licensing/Rights fees: $47.0 million

          3-year avg. football revenue: $57.9 million

          3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.6 million

          3-year avg. women’s basketball revenue: $1.5 million

          Most schools on the top 25 list had $25M in donations, $50M licensing rights (merchandise, etc), and $60M in revenues.

          Pitt revenues are $40M from the link I published. I doubt donations are more than $10M. Licensing is probably around $20M. So the shortfall in money is approximately $65M every year.

          What Pitt could do with an extra $65M each year…after 5 years it would pay for an OCS.

          The disparity between Pitt and other schools is very large.

          What can Pitt do about it?
          Selling out Heinz is only another $10M in revenue per year
          Donations could double with a good fundraising campaign but that yields only another $10M
          Maybe licensing can be increased 50% with new colors and script ($10M)
          But, Pitt would still fall $35M short

          Pitts fan base is much smaller than the top 25 schools and students do not have good experiences with Pitt and sports historically
          Pitt needs to cultivate new fans and provide students and alumni with more positive experiences
          It will take time and require a fundamental cultural change

          Liked by 1 person

  41. Happy 4th everyone. It’s hotter here than Narduzzi’s seat after a 3-9 season and another embarrassing bowl loss.

    Like

  42. Might as well throw my 2 cents in:
    Do I want an OCS, yes
    Do I hate Heinz, no
    Will I see an OCS in my lifetime, probably not (65 and counting)
    Will I continue to attend games, yes (something more posters should try to do at least once a year)

    It seems that no matter how many times it is mentioned (with supporting data by some diligent contributors), Pitt rarely (if ever) sold out Pitt Stadium. There were probably as many empty splintery bleacher seats percentage wise as Heinz. Even in the glory days attendance was mediocre except for ND, PSU, and WVU. And those increased numbers were mainly because of the visiting teams fan base.

    Happy 4th to all…

    Like

  43. Thank you Troy (UlteriorMotifs) for all your time & effort put into this project. I could argue about some of the SEC scores but they are “opinion” type scores. Maybe if we ever meet, we could discuss.

    As for Pitt’s reported income/expenses. It is not mumbo jumbo figures. Look at the linked article. At the bottom of the report is a list of what is included in revenue/expenses. One the items is ‘institutional support”.
    It’s to make for revenue/expense over/under to balance figures. Governmental – Non profit accounting is not the same as business accounting.

    I had to do governmental reporting. I got used to it and kept monthly records of what was requested. Every few years the government (either state/federal) would ask for something new. That’s when I had to scramble to meet deadlines & sometimes I would guesstimate. (but just for that year).

    Like

    1. so in this government reporting, how can a non-accountant determine if the Pitt program is making money??

      I’m pretty sure Pitt lost over $20M last year given the KS buyout and lowest basketball attendance since 1982 along with only 36k in football attendance.

      So how does one get a transparent picture of Pitt’s athletic finances.

      The only time Pitt does something is when Pitt loses money or fears that athletics will somehow take over the university.

      In my humble opinion, Pitt and Lyke are making changes due to economics and a talking with the ACC commish.

      And I also agree with the sentiment that Pitt is happy just being mediocre as long as the university image isnt tarnished with scandal and as long as the athletic program breaks even.

      As an alum and fan, I find this philosophy to be disheartening.

      Like

  44. Excellent article Troy. Hope you can make it to a tailgate. My buddies used to park in Shadyside and walk to the games so our car would be near the Mardi Gras where we went post game…genious!

    Like

  45. gc, you asked about last time a team with 45,000 seat stadium won the national championship. Miami won in 2001 while playing its season in the way-off-campus Orange Bowl stadium (much larger than 45,000). Their average attendance that year was only 46,162. Their average attendance for the last six years playing in the Orange Bowl stadium was 52,935. In the six years since moving to their “on-campus (??) stadium is 49,473. Just saying….

    Like

    1. Dion – You know the Orange Bowl was closer than Sunlife right? Although the new roof has Sun Life looking sharp.

      Like

  46. Upittbaseball, no, I did not. I just assumed. But now I see that it is 22 miles from the campus and no the Hurricanes DO NOT practice in the Dolphins’ facility. PS., I think it is now called the Hard Rock Stadium, but it has been known as Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Land Shark Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium and TBD stadium :).

    Like

    1. Yes!! Hardrock. Haha. We have a job coming there I should know. Haha. It does look sharp now. Roof helped make it intimate.

      Like

  47. Pitt football has underperformed relative to spending over the past decade
    https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/3/24/11283338/ncaa-football-teams-costs-spending-expenses

    its a good baseline for comparison but like the article says each school has different accounting practices
    the schools on the list make intuitive sense however
    but one will never find out the true profit or real revenue vs expense that these schools generate since the accounting is not apples to apples

    bottomline – high correlation between spending and winning

    Like

    1. Rated lower than Koontz. If Narduzzi landed this kid the story would be another three-star recruit, the program is going down the toilet.

      Like

    1. 3.82 avg star = Pedos
      2.86 avg star = SOP

      Thats nearly a full star difference in recruits
      Talent wins on the field in the end

      Like

  48. Using Miami as a comparable is not a good idea. Miami and south florida generally has more 4 star football players than we have in all of PA. Secondly, the hurricanes compete with more other professional sports than we do. In Miami, they have professional baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer and beaches.

    Maybe some OL help next? Something, anything, Buehler?

    Like

  49. Well, it seems the some of the National guys are saying what some of the POVers are about the Duzz. Yard breakers has our schedule as the 3rd toughest in the country, but also says the Duzz must make a bowl to keep his job! Lots of luck on that one, although I personally feel he will just squeak by at 6-6.

     It’s super disappointing he is getting crushed by the Nitters. As much as I hate them, that staff can recruit, all of them!!  Joe killed us by not playing us. Franklin is doing it by recruiting. Sad.
    

    Like

    1. If Duzz were the Head Coach at PSU, he’d be cleaning up in recruiting too.

      With Pitt’s situation, the vast majority of elite recruits are not going to have us on their top 5 list, or even seriously consider us.

      PSU offers everything a recruit wants; Pitt does not. Not that difficult to recruit to PSU.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  50. I was going to discuss recruiting, but after the Dunmore anouncement I’m too disgusted to comment. Do you think you can bring in even ONE decent OL recruit, Borbely? What is the point of hiring this guy? I’m still wondering.

    Like

  51. Rudolph was the last Pitt coach that could recruit OL.

    I am still not seeing results from Partridge. I thought he was a super recruiter. He is getting three stars. He is getting paid too much not to bring in some four stars.

    PN has stocked the squad with three star RS FR and RS SO. Many of which, probably could have contributed last year and did not play. It is obvious his strategy is to develop players in the program for two or so years and expect them to produce. Not saying I agree with this method but he is banking on it.

    That being said, if we don’t see a bunch of these player emerge this year, some as potential stars, then he is screwed. If they do emerge, then his model will provide stability and good players for years to come.

    Like

  52. Most 3 stars are not game ready. Even if they are talented, they have some flaws such as under weight for their position, HS injuries or late start on football. So most of them are raw at best. It is not surprising that they need a few years to develop. By recruiting 3 stars, this is what Narduzzi must deal with- more time to develop with transfers to plug holes. If they never develop, it has been 2-3 years of a wasted scholarship..

    Like

  53. Franklinburger is using the Wannstachian approach to recruiting which seemed to be, we will take your commitment, but if you even hint at visiting another school or even being in contact with another school, that means you are not committed and therefore the schollie opportunity is gone. I like that approach. You can’t be committed to anything if you are less than 100% all in. Good move. 1% out is all out.

    Many excuse makers will say that “these are kids and they don’t know what they want to do because they are young, and should have a chance to change their minds”. Haagen Das! They can change their minds up until the point they give their word.

    Which brings me back to my original thought. Pitt will continue to struggle until the Administration, Faculty, Students, Alumni, Coaches, Donors and Players all get on the same page and commit to greatness. That is what a great Athletic Director does.

    Like

    1. Penn State can afford to do that, Pitt cannot. Beggars can’t be choosers.

      My guess is that Wanny didn’t say that to Shady.

      Like

  54. You need coaches that recognize talent and potential, no matter what the rating. Then it is a matter of percentages of which guys produce. Then you need coaches that can coach em up and bring out their potential.

    It is a lot easier when you are able to recruit mostly elite guys, obviously Pitt is failing at this right now, for all the reasons previously stated.

    Narduzzi must get lucky with some of his young guys, first and foremost is Pickett. As a group he needs to get lucky with his linemen.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Right VOR and I agree. This is the way it’s has to be at PITT for the time being. Narduzzi and company need to find the 3* players that have the potential to grow into a better player after a few years to develop. That’s one reason Narduzzi has relied on transfers to supplement his team. He’s waiting for his 3* players to mature physically and mentally. It’s why I stayed patience with the program for three years. This year will be telling and next year is a given for HCPN. He probably doesn’t have to win many games this year to keep his job, hell maybe he doesn’t even have to win one. But he will. This years defense will be too good not to win at least 5 but I’m still stuck on 6 for the regular season a of now.

    Hopefully with more wins that comes with a softer OOC schedule and his players blossoming in a few years the 4* players will come earlier. For now, PITT is regulated to the 4* players who waited for their dream offer that didn’t come to sign on at the last moment. ,,, ike

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  56. Everyone must get lucky with recruits. McSorely,I believe, was a three star. Without him the Nitters would not be close to where they are. But to constantly hope to get lucky is a fools errand. I would imagine the number of 3* flops is a lot higher than 4 and5* flops.

    I do think, despite it all, that Pitt actually has better coaches than PSU. Ya, I know, but I really think so. They can cover a lot of game day mistakes, because, despite it all, talent usually wins. But look at the MSU and OSU games. They should have never lost them. And Iowa should have beat them. I am convinced Franklin is one of the great recruiters in the country. Coaching that talent, not so,much.
    

    Liked by 1 person

  57. You can’t compare Pitt and PSU.

    Well, you can, but you may as well Pitt and Michigan or Alabama or Ohio State. If you want to compare them, compare athletic budget and you will stop there realizing that PSU is in a different universe.

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  58. Maybe this is the time for all Pittsburgh fans to take look in the mirror, great articles have been written in the last couple weeks. Time to reflect on them you have heard from great Pitt fans on why they are Pitt fans and the comments after have been a reflection on their stories . Both Reed and Ike amougenst others have voiced their view on how they feel let me voice mine. The University of Pittsburgh is and has been as it always will be one of the greatest educational institution in the world , yes the world. All you have to do is look at is how many students from other countries come here for an education. They come not for sports but for the knowledge they seek to make a better place for all people,let’s face it sports are fun but that’s it there fun.Most big time donaters as you folks like to say care little about sports they are by the way just a little bit more involved in decisions than you think bottom line they care about the University of Pittsburgh not the brand that is only sports. I’m not a graduate even though I paid my share for my daughter to attend the university I have been a football season ticket holder since 1976 and basketball since sometime in 80’s. I have friends and colleagues who give vast amounts to the university who have never been to one sporting event it’s just not important to them. Reed put in a article awhile back about the university’s original and only mission statement it has never changed no sports are mentioned that should be a great message to all Pittsburgh fans education is number one all else like I tell my grandson is first loser ,a baseball player,he understands striving to be the best takes hard work. What I’m trying to say here yes to some we live and die for Pittsburgh sports the university is not and never will go all in as some say. Little history on me my grandfather who never attended any school he was an indentured servant at the age of 5 was Pitt fan because it was Pittsburgh saw all 9 national champions teams play him and his friends would hop the train in Tarentum get off and hike up over polish hill he like me cared about Pittsburgh sports if it isn’t a local team playing I don’t waste my time watching it . So after this post some will think I’m ass but my point was Pittsburgh is what it is so enjoy for what it is it will never change education first tmc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good post, tmc. Keep them comin’.

      Bless you for being a season ticket holder for so long in both FB and BB. You’ve seen it all ( well, except for “The Pickett Era”!!!).

      Go Pitt!

      Liked by 1 person

  59. To shed one small light on the above comment from Mr Anonymous. I can assure you all that he is certainly not an ass. He know of what it is he talks about. That was a great comment about perspective. Which speaks to me as most of my comments are made with the knowledge of how the playing field is slanted in such a way that PITT is mostly playing uphill. This is not to say I ever feel PITT can’t win that game, I just know it’s a lot more fun to see PITT win a game the right way! .. Thank You tmc Ike

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  60. Amen, ike. I always want to see a clean program, it’s no fun if they win by cheating. However, I think we all agree that high academics and winning football are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Pitt has often stated that they want to be winners in everything they do. That should include FB, BB and other sports.

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