Let’s have a conversation about change.  First off this has to be framed in the hypothetical because we fans really have no idea how the rest of this season will play out and in this debate we’ll take any financial considerations out of the conversation.  But in light of what we saw happen over the first two weeks of play let’s assume (again for debate’s sake only) that we’ll have another .500 season or worse.  OK?  That’s not saying it will happen but if it does…

I keep reading Pitt fans saying ‘we can’t, shouldn’t, won’t’ fire Pat Narduzzi because then “We’ll have to start all over again!!” whatever that means.  But a head coaching change is not a bad thing and that it actually ‘sets back‘ the football program has been proven to be a Pitt fan urban myth.  Let’s explore that.

Take a look back at Pitt’s football history in the modern ages… let’s take from Majors II in 1993 until now. That is a full quarter century, 25 years, of modern Pitt football history encompassing six head coaches’ first two years at the helm after the change.

Here is the season info for the head coaches and what they accomplished in their first two years…and what the season record was year before by the outgoing HC:

Coaches 20Red is worse, Black is same and Green is better.

Here you can see that there isn’t a big drop off between the outgoing and incoming coaches. The bottom line with Pitt football is that it is neither really great (10 win by Wannstedt max over this chart) nor really low (five wins by Narduzzi).  In other words we have started over six times without any major negative impacts to the program.

But here is what you have to ask yourself as a Pitt fan; is ‘starting over’ in 2019 going to hurt the football program or help it?  Well, I’ll state my opinion on this and you’ll kick in with yours I’m sure.

Staring off I’m not advocating firing Pat Narduzzi at this point nor have I done so at all.  I’ve left that up to others.  But I do feel that if it would happen it would be a plus for the program – again assuming we have a poor season.  Here are my reasons:

First off I truly don’t see the football program getting stronger under Narduzzi’s leadership and feel that the opposite will continue to happen. I based this on a couple of facts and some strong opinions. The fact is that in his first three years we have not won a bowl game and then in 2017 didn’t qualify for one.  A fact is that for the first time in a full decade we had the lowest win total with only five – worse than either Todd  Graham and Paul Chryst.

A fact is that in his third year of coaching he dropped from eight wins to five. That’s almost half the win total of the year before with pretty much the  same Strength of Schedule as the year before (3.51 to 4.13 – very close).

Those are the facts.  My opinions about this are as follows.

Narduzzi’s recruiting has been sub-par from the get-go.  In this, his full 4th year of coaching, the starting lineups should be heavily populated with players he recruited himself.  Instead  we just saw a starting lineup for the Penn State game that consisted of 15 out of 22 starters who were not recruited by Narduzzi.  Eight of those were on offense where his only recruited players were Sear, Pickett and Morrissey. In addition, seven of 11 on defense including all starting linebackers, one of the defensive ends, the nose tackle, and two of four defensive backs.

What we have seen in his recruiting classes is that every year we get less Blue Chip players (From five 4*s in ’16 to three to one to zero so far in the 2019 class) and more run of the mill kids.  Those recruits haven’t been able to beat out even average ballplayers left over from Chryst’s recruiting classes and that does not bode well for future teams.

Ands his recruiting isn’t going to get any better.  This HC has alienated local high school coaches to the extent that we are having a hard time getting even 3* local recruits to commit to play for us let alone the cream of the local crop.  I believe this recruiting situation has to be one of the main considerations for the Athletic Department when looking at their plans for Pitt football’s immediate future.

When whoever it is takes over from Narduzzi – and it will happen sooner than later – is going to be inheriting a roster that is full of average at best players.  There will be a few kids that are good or maybe even great (although I can’t point to any at this point in time) but as we are seeing now the majority of the players are just…average and that is what Narduzzi’s replacement will have to work with his first two years.

The longer it goes on the worse the roster is going to get because if the way things go as I think they will Pitt is not going to be a destination school for the better players – just as it isn’t now. It’s tough enough for a new coach to take over and worse if he’s handed crap to start building with.

We saw the opposite happen with Narduzzi’s first two seasons.  It is now evident that he won those eight games in ’15 and ’16 mainly on the strength of the great offensive players he inherited from Paul Chryst.

O’Neil, Johnson, Boyd, Conner, Aston to name a few.  Take a look at the difference between the two starting lineups of the 2016 Penn State game and the 2018 game we just watched:

16 offense18 psu


Every single position with the exception of QB Nate Peterman had committed to Paul Chryst.   That isn’t all that unusual in Year 2 but look at that talent level across the board Narduzzi inherited for the ’16 season!  Not one starter in 2018 is as good as the same position two years previously.  Folks – that’s why we had that record-setting offense in 2016 – Peterman was a great get for Narduzzi and kudos for that but his supporting cast was one of the best we’ve seen at Pitt going back to the 1980s.  Again- the longer Pitt waits to make a move regarding the HC position the worse it get personnel-wise for any new HC.

You can make the point that Walt Harris also slid in the W/L record in the beginning of his term but let’s be completely honest here – he inherited a very poor roster from outgoing Johnny Majors and then he righted the ship with some darn good recruiting of his own.

I do believe when the dust settles on the 2018 season Pitt’s administration is going to be faced with a very hard decision.  Stop the bleeding immediately and find a new head coach who will turn around the downward slide – and I do feel that is what Narduzzi is creating between last year and this – or stick with a HC who hasn’t been able to move the program forward and upward with his own players…which is the HC’s main job when it comes to the football games.

Editor’s NoteWe’ll have Georgia Tech articles up starting tomorrow… take a shot at writing something if you feel like it.






150 thoughts on “Why Not Start Again?

  1. What has HCPN done, or failed to do, that has alienated local coaches?
    Is it the snarky behavior he exudes, the lack of access, or his treatment of subordinates (Ox)?

    In any event, with his stewardship, I don’t see a light at the end of this pit.


  2. Narduzzi is a coach that needs good assistants. Young assistants with high ceilings. Those that are creative and innovative.

    All he has been able to hire are retreads that nobody wants.

    He also needs assistants to help sell the program.

    So this is a huge problem. I don’t see it getting better unless the AD makes the hires and has the money for top quality coaches.

    But then narduzzi will have to manage them.

    That’s the name of the game. It’s management of people. I just don’t think he’s a good manager.

    Narduzzi needs help. Is he willing to accept it?

    If so, keep him. If not, cut him lose.

    His assistants and recruiting have been problematic despite what dokish just tweeted. You need young, ambitious and creative coaches. You need four stars to win.

    If I were AD, I would cut bait. Narduzzi is a dog that won’t change. Hire a coach with head coaching experience from a lessor conference. Give him the money for assistants and recruiting.

    Really understand his recruiting strategy and tactics. Understand the schemes he plans to run. Recruit players for that scheme and identity.

    Problem is Pitt has no identity.

    But I’m afraid Pitt won’t have the money for a much larger buyout than Stallings. And will give narduzzi more time just given the financials.

    I’m not afraid of any instability. The avg tenure of head coaches is 5 years and The program isn’t all that stable now. Moreover I believe it is heading in the wrong direction based on the last game and recruiting thus far.

    I have little confidence in narduzzis leadership.



  3. Reed,
    Thank you once again for a well thought out article for all of us to digest and share our thoughts.


  4. Here is Dokish’s tweet: He’s wearing his cheerleader skirt all the time now. Funny that Dokish doesn’t follow this up with an article stating that if Narduzzi’s recruiting is so good then he’s the absolute worst coach in history to get recruits to play to potential. But really – Narduzzi’s a poor judge of talent and it’ killing him.

    This is why I say it’s ludicrous to say that you can’t have a top 25 team at Pitt. They’re already recruiting equal to, or better than, a third of the top 25. They can’t compete in talent with the top 10 teams, but they certainly have talent for a top 25, or even top 15, team.

    2 replies 3 retweets 10 likes
    Reply 2 Retweet 3 Like 10 Direct message
    Show this thread

    Chris Dokish

    3h3 hours ago
    Avg. Rivals recruiting ranking last 3 years

    No. 16 Mississippi St 28.7
    No. 15 TCU 29.7
    No. 13 Virginia Tech 33.0

    PITT 34.3

    No. 6 Wisconsin 36.7
    No. 24 Oklahoma St 38.7
    No. 14 West Virginia 40.7
    No. 17 Boise St 58.7
    No. 18 UCF 59.0


    1. Doke needs to look at avg stars and offers.

      The teams to beat in the division are typically Va Tech and Miami each year.

      One of the reasons is because they recruit a bunch of 4 stars.

      Miami has 7 already. Pitt with zero. Miami’s avg star at 3.5. Pitt’s avg star is under 3.0

      Duke, NC and Ga Tech are the only other teams to win the division. All had high powered offenses that year. And NC cheated.



  5. Great analysis once again. Narduzzi has been a disappointment. He was supposed to be a defensive genius and yet every year our defense stinks. If we lose the next two games, let a coordinator take over the team for the rest of the year. The search for a new head coach could begin immediately and hopefully we would have one in place as soon as possible after the end of the season. A good recruiting history is a must for the new coach. I would also hope we recruit a head coach at some level that can bring his whole staff with him. After hiring two assistants and watching them scramble to assemble their staff, it is evident that having a staff you can trust when hired is a huge plus.

    Things have gotten so bad with the football program that there is once again there is a faction wanting to de-emphasize football at Pitt and go down to the FCS level. Clearly change has to occur with the leadership of the football program.


    1. agree 100%. Need young, energetic coach who has HC experience and has been successful restoring programs even if program was not in major conference.
      Neil Brown, Troy coach is perfect fit. Pitt will have to get him next year and since it will be a step up for the young Brown his salary will be affordable. If Pitt doesn’t act quickly he will be coaching at another major program next year, stay for 5 years turn that program around then move on to his desired position being a HC in the SEC.
      Pitt can be the school that fills in the five years getting a motivated young coach who at Troy has beaten major programs. He is a good recruiter and an excellent field coach. Pitt also needs a clean sweep among assistant coaches. They are terrible. Be willing to pay top money for assistants they do most of the recruiting and position coaching. Without strong assistant coaching staff no program can move forward. Often this means overriding the HC’s choice on a coach who is hired because he is friend of HC.


  6. Fairly obvious, at least to me that Narduzzi was a fair coach when he won 8 games in his first two season, with Chryst’s players. His achilles heal is that he cannot recruit. No one can win without good enough players.

    So the question is he the problem or is it Pitt. It looks like all of the above to me. No one except Wanny for a while has been able to get enough quality players to come to Pitt since Sherrill and to a lesser extent Gottfried.

    Since that era is long gone and now with a significant downturn in the WPIAL it will take a miracle worker to get Pitt into the top third of the ACC.

    Chryst had the benefit of the PSU scandal and penalty, brought in some quality offensive players, very little defense and still only won 6 games a year.

    Narduzzi’s recruiting seems to be trending downward and few of his guys have broke threw to become starters. We are a team of fifth year seniors and transfers in his fourth year.

    I am not basing my opinion on one lousy game. I still hope that these young men can somehow turn this thing around, but that is my heart talking. My head tells me there just are not enough big time players on this team to succeed against the toughest schedule in the land.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reed with all due respect this article is basically a retread of what you have been saying for the past two years.

    Now I will agree that the embarrassing loss to PSU has put a whole new light on the Pitt program going forward. Recruiting going forward will not be an easy task after the dismal performance of Pitt on Saturday. The Joey Porter Jr announced commit to PSU two days after the debacle should really be a telling sign for all connected to the alethic department.

    That said Pitt and Narduzzi still can turn things around somewhat by playing competitive football and winning at least 6 of the remaining 10 games. How likely is that to happen? Not very IMO but in reality the GT game this week takes on a whole new meaning. Lose it and the entire season may and team may be lost for the year.

    And yes I agree it may well end up being that this will be Narduzzi last season coaching Pitt football if this season ends up with 4 or 5 wins or less wins.—-For what it’s worth I kind of like some of the young blood on the Pitt defensive line that Narduzzi recruited.


  8. A very sad thing is that we could really have used Q Henderson this year. What in the world was he thinking? Was he one of the guys that had to leave because of the “Miami incident”? He could have been adding to his own Pitt record book this year. Certainly was not ready for the NFL. You can’t make the NFL on kickoffs and punt returns alone.


  9. The GT game is huge, we have to win one of the next two and an ACC victory would be much more meaningful. I said before the season if we start 1-3 it will be a very bad year.


  10. If we win the next 2, there is hope and the players will have confidence – and that sometimes is a lot of it.
    If we lose one of the next 2, then the levy is ready to break and that may be the end of the season.
    if we lose both of the next 2, then it’s definitely over and most likely a 1 win season with about 57 people showing up for each game.
    It’s not as simple as showing him the door – the financial implications are huge for Pitt especially after Stallings. I don’t see PN going anywhere at all unless maybe there is a 1, 2 or 3 win season this year.


    1. Cuban will pay for the $20 million dollar buyout.

      As long as you give him 25 percent of the football profits and place his name on the new OCS.


  11. Will we have an offensive line show up that gives Pickett some time in the pocket? If we see many more games with the offensive line being shoved back into to his face then it may well be time for the fat lady to turn out the lights on this season and possibly on Narduzzi. We desperately need a passing game to offset our running game. And as Reed pointed out a passing game is needed that also posts a threat of the long ball from time to time. We need the opposition safeties well off the line os scrimmage to give both our running and passing games some room to execute underneath plays.


  12. From what I read here, if PN is this bad, no way he gets to 4 wins this year.
    I was going to write more, but why bother.


    1. He’ll somehow win 6. Go to another bowl game. Lose it. Heather will extend him for another 5 years while she leaves to become the new AD at Michigan State. SOP.


  13. IMO Pitt adm doesn’t care enough to make the change for one or two years or more.

    I think the extension was the signal that they will ride this out for a while like VT did hoping that Narduzzi will eventually get it together. They really don’t want to continue the coaching merry go round which has got us to where we are. They will suffer mediocre results on the field for a clean program that graduates kids.

    There is no pressure from the BOT or the community at large to anything different. Apathy rules.


  14. Heather should go on Shark tank and see what she can get for this mess, but then she’d have to present a long term plan. Oh, one of the major assets has a long term deal and a big buy out, and you don’t own the facility for your primary potential money maker? Naw, I’ll pass.


    1. Exactly. Cuban would never say yes to that.

      And Gallagher doesn’t want the drama. Pitt doesn’t have the buyout money. Pitt is fine with mediocrity and some bowl appearances.

      Those are pretty much facts.

      Unless the program loses money, nothing will happen.



  15. Pitt made a commitment to the program bu extending Narduzzi. Sorry folks he is here for at least two years, this year and next. But it doesn’t mean he is left to his own devices as the program. all will be reviewed after this year. I do anticipate some very hard conversations and expectations to be set in stone. Look 2020 Pitt has ACC money with the network cash approx total of 33 million as well. Also I expect the BB program to be a positive in cash flow and not the drain of the last three years. But one thing to consider is the buyout. The second is Pitt is in much better shape with that cash to spend. ,If Narduzzi doesn’t have the program where the brass expects it to be as to 2019, yes I can see a change.


    1. Remember Pitt also had to spend $12 million upfront for that network which is projected to generate an extra $5-7 million each year.

      Moreover, Pitt has been on a money spend lately with hiring new coaches and extending you know who. Actually both Heather and narduzzi got lucrative extensions with approval from our Nitter controlled BoT.

      But Even with all that ACC money, Pitt’s expenses are outrunning revenues most likely. They won’t be able to sustain that deficit without making cuts. Say goodbye to some Olympic sport programs.

      By the time Heather leaves, the department could be in a major financial hole. She’ll be gone shortly to the big 10 since they need compliance people.

      Football really needs to generate a profit. It’s looking more like it will become a huge drain much like basketball.



    2. So what brass ? The Psux Board members ? If the last 35 years of treading water, or slightly above treading is any indication of what the brass expects…the young guys on this site are going to have
      a duplication of what the older guys(girls) on this site have had to witness the last 3.5 decades.

      And it ain’t pretty !


  16. NC cancelled Game and has 2 weeks to prepare for Pitt. Even with half the team suspended it could be a close game.

    Being a pompous ahole caught up to Narduzzi. I bet there are 24k at GT Game.


    1. Carolina doesn’t need 2 weeks to prepare for a high school offense.

      Pitt could prepare all year and they won’t be able to stop Tech.


  17. Reed – I agree with your assessment of HCPN and where the program is headed down the road. Although you’re not advocating firing him at this point, you make a strong case for doing so at season’s end, assuming only 4, maybe 5 wins. Since we’re in hypo land here, would you say Pitt should pull the plug then?


  18. Why NOT make a change? Because change has been bad at Pitt for an awful long time now. This university won’t spend the big money necessary to reel in a head coach from another school, which is a shame. The school prides itself on its Mission Statement yet appears to be slipping in the rankings in that department.

    I’m not ready for another coaching change, another lost recruiting class, a new coaching hire that generates all this buzz because the next guy is this great assistant who will be just like the old boss: he is stubborn and has no balls.

    Narduzzi for the first time will have an easy non-conference schedule in 2019 and could have another in 2020 unless the dullards at the university decide to add some strong opponents because the school has been mishandling its scheduling for 80-plus years now.

    How about the university gives these kids stability with the same coach? Aaron Donald was given three coches in four years and if I was him, I wouldn’t give a penny to Pitt for a long time just for doing that to me.

    P.S. No coach worth a lick would take this job with Pitt’s mediocre past, its crappy pay, playing in a rented NFL stadium and work at a practice facility that the players need to bus to.


    1. Pitt’s mission statement should state the treasured value of mediocrity in both athletics and academics because Pitt is in the bottom 20% in BOTH within the conference. Might as well tell the truth.


  19. Reed… You make very clear how VERY BAD Narduzzi is when it comes to recruiting. But truth is… a similar case can be made for just how VERY AVERAGE he is when it comes to coaching.

    Despite the talent he inherited from Chryst for the first Penn State Game, that game came down to one DROPPED pass… otherwise Narduzzi is 0 and 3 in the series.

    As for the Clemson upset, I’ve watched the replay of that game at least TEN times. Sure others including yourself have too. Ever notice how so many HUGE penalties went Pitt’s way?

    Of course, there were also the INCREDIBLE efforts of the above mentioned Chryst cast of Players including Conner, Galambos, Peterman… and of course Mr. Blewitt.

    “Average” is actually being nice. This is in consideration of how many times we have witnessed Narduzzi’s Defenses, especially the Secondary… get TORCHED by lesser teams than Penn State or Clemson.

    Start Over? As I made abundantly clear on the Pitt Blather after Chryst decided to head home to Madison, the Narduzzi era should NEVER have started.

    Think how much BETTER we surely would be at this point.


    1. Ever notice how so many HUGE penalties DIDN’T go Pitt’s way in the last 35 years?

      I’ll take whatever I can get and NOT apologize.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The most important piece was not a Chryst guy: Peterman.

      Had Narduzzi never landed Nate his win total is 5,5,5 and he has no contract extension and is likely being fired with another losing season in 2018. Landing Nate landed Pat that extension.

      Not that it matters. Fire him and watch some gutless assistant at another university get the job and suck just as much.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. If PITT decided to fire PN after this season I would be ok with that. Since everyone sees my name on the comment they automatically think its something that it really isn’t. I don’t get that. The problem talking about firing Narduzzi is that it just isn’t going to happen most likely

    Problem is, PITT will very most likely not fire Narduzzi unless he does more stoopid stuff to alienate himself to the university. That’s how I think. To pout about all this negative stuff is a waste of time in my book and it really makes me tired.

    There is also 10 more games to figure out where this PITT football team stands. So shoot me if I’m willing to stand pat and let the season play out and not have a melt down because I do like someone. ike


  21. I am one of the “we can’t, shouldn’t, won’t’ fire Pat Narduzzi” because he is in the first year of a seven year deal.

    Think of how much we all loved Ben Howland and Todd Graham after they split town one year into a long term contract. But, it’s OK for Pitt to fire a coach one year into a long term contract?

    I think his job is safe for at least 3 years. Also, Pitt will not pay a six year buyout, nor should they.

    On a side note, Paul Chryst did not win 8 games with Paul Chryst’s players.

    For the record, I am not the biggest fan of Pat Narduzzi and in particular his secondary defensive scheme. I just don’t think firing him anytime soon is the answer.


  22. Nate #4… Absolutely correct on Peterman.

    He came in as a result of his prior connection to Jim Chaney who was hired by Narduzzi. So, I guess Narduzzi can take credit for that one.

    However, I do get your point… interesting one it is.


  23. Guys. Time to cut bait he has burned bridges with all local and regional coaches. Ask about the Nick Bowers recruitment. He acted like an immature kid whose girlfriend dumped him.


  24. the wheels began falling off Stallings when he couldnt keep the team together. He couldnt recruit players. He blew up at courtside and yelled at fans. He carried an arrogant attitude. He had some losses that were the worst in decades. And scored 7 points in 1 half. But his players did get good GPA’s.

    You’re half baked if you dont see the same thing in Narduzzi. The similarities abound.

    Fire his ARSE now. Dont wait until season end. But Pitt doesnt have it in them nor do they have the money to buyout their mistake. Pitt has always had the wrong people running athletics.

    Most posters on this site know mediocrity when they see it. But at Pitt, mediocrity and downright embarrassment is to be cherished in sports.


    1. Oh come on PoD, if not for one of the most Pitting moments of the last 35 years, the incredible last half of the 4th quarter Bowl meltdown against Houston (i think upitt was there), Pitt would have won 7 with Chad V that year. Saban couldn’t win 1 more. lmao


  25. I thought he’d get it rolling after the 8-5 seasons but he’s not a great coach, the team doesn’t seem to make adjustments. I’m still fuming at using the same formation on 4th and 3 after the timeout. Also, he love of sticking with less talented upperclassmen is enoying. Play your talent! I really wanted to believe he’d be the program changing coach.


  26. Reed, you’ve never said anything truer than above when you said it’s not going to get any better.

    You know, I strongly feel they will only win 5 , but I don’t know if anyone who is brought in will do any better. Unless that perfect coach is available this year I would spend the next 12 months doing my homework, identifying who I want, and wrapping them up. Take the time to actually come up with a long term plan. No knee jerk half a$$ deal. Know what you want, dumb down the OCC.

    Hire the face of a program then allow him to get great coordinators and coaches who can-flat out recruit . Realize attendance might drop short term for long term improvement.

    Get your act together as far as what our colors actually are. No more throwback crap. It either is or isn’t. Make a plan and stay with it. Get your branding together. This should not be that difficult, it’s not putting an undue impotence on athletics, it’s just what smart people would do.

    And above all, for once, think of the students and come up with a better plan than those damn busses and the endless ques.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The thing with the students waiting. Wow just how dumb or lazy are these students ? You walk across the bridge, hop a one of the many PAT bus’s that go up to or thru Oakland and you’re home.

      How long could that take, 20 minutes max. And you can stop downtown at The Wheel or some other cheap bar and have some fun.


      1. And I think ike said the T thing…stops right at Ketchup Bottle, so you don’t even have to walk to get to Fifth or Forbes to get the PAT bus to Oakland.


        1. It’s kinda amazing to me at least, they with Pitt being the largest employer in Pittsburgh, that there isn’t a T connector going out to Oakland.

          Again Pitt shows very little ability to get anything done, to connect Oakland to Downtown.
          Leadership is lacking on all fronts it appears.


          1. And yet UPMC can get everything done with ease. No one gets in their way. Yet Pitt athletics is the poor step-child


  27. Getting the right head coach is obviously the key. This is what Heather should (and Lykely is) be investing whether for this year or beyond.

    I vote for a change. It just isn’t going to get better or at least better enough and it’s doubtful a change would be worse so what’s to lose?

    Interesting that Coach Canada had his team rally in a nice way under difficult circumstances. Some people just have it naturally. I am not advocating for him however.

    In reality the Pitt job is a difficult sell so there would need to be good money available to get a good prospect. Even alower division coach would need more money for high level assistants.

    In the end, someone who can be high energy, has a plan, is creative, and is engaging would be ideal. Would also need to be disciplined which might be harder to incorporate.

    So, who’s out there?

    Ain’t gonna happen at Pitt but I’d look at Lane Kiffin. That could be some ride….


  28. Never wanted Narduzzi. However, once he was here… the first Red Flag was Notre Dame at home.

    Maddox was left completely on an ISLAND with Will Fuller who at the time was widely considered to be the Nations No. 1 Receiver. Proved to be the difference in the Game.

    Afterwards, Narduzzi REFUSED to say he should have brought a Safety over top to help out Maddox.

    First Red Flag… Defensive “Guru” who prefers to LOSE doing it his way rather than win making an adjustment that most Defensive Coordinators would likely choose to do.

    I’ve read comments calling Narduzzi “arrogant” and a lot of other things. How about HARD-Headed? Not exactly a desired trait for a successful Head Coach.


    1. Yep. Add to that the loss to VA Tech two years ago and that ludicrous game against Syracuse that ended 78-70 or whatever it was. The defensive guru who wasn’t.


    1. lol….End of the World…coming this weekend. Wow I better not say anything since I’m in the Cone of the Hurricane glide path. But I don’t think I’ll melt from the rain…..unless it’s the Devil’s Rain


  29. Emel – you need to know that PoD never had a good word to say about Chad V. Always wanted a backup to play. Backup left program.


    1. Let’s have an stricken on WHO would you hire. Everyone wants change, but no solutions. Also, wait until B.B. season starts and there are no new recruits.


      1. I named a couple, off the top of head. Jason Candle of Toledo. Gary Pinkle, winningest(sp) Coach ever at Mizzou and Toledo.

        Winning at Mizzou is akin to winning at Pitt.


    1. Nope, not even close. And this kid is also on Pitt. How about Ricky Town. It’s not even close.
      Voytik was better than Pat Bostick as well.

      And weren’t you really high on Adam Bertke 🙂 I think u called him Baby Ben


      1. Bertke has a better arm than anyone one our roster now and a great deep throw. I watched him in about four full practices and was impressed

        Narduzzi made big mistakes when he never gave eithe MacVitte or Bertke a fighting chance. Never a snap.


  30. Emel… Voytik was picked as one of the “Elite 11.” Doesn’t get anymore OVER-rated than that.

    Factor in that he played at a small High School program in rural Tennessee that never won a championship while he was the Quarterback.

    As I said, arguably the most OVER-rated High School Recruit at the position. And thanks to Todd Graham, PITT was the lucky one to get him.


  31. Did anyone on this site notice that the highly paid Steelers lost to er I mean tied the. Cleveland Browns on Sunday . That was more of a disaster than the Pitt game . The Steelers blew a 14 point lead.Once again that was to the Browns .Some of you on this site need to get some perspective.


    1. The Steelers are still possible Super Bowl winners…..next year too. Pitt, well….getting to a crap bowl game over the next 3 years is a pipe dream.


    2. A tie isn’t as bad as that Pitt blowout when players appeared to have quit.

      Steelers were over confident, were not focused and were undisciplined. Much like Pitt.

      Tomlin though has done less with more.

      Narduzzis issue is his recruiting and management.

      Pitt literally cannot afford to fire him. The buyout would be cost prohibitive. Heather now owns it. And narduzzi ain’t going anywhere.

      Depressed Pitt Fan


  32. How about Florida State losing to D2 (or is it D3)Samford (mind you not Stanford), but Samford (& Son), losing to them thru 3 Q’s….. well into the 4th Q, before scoring with 4 minutes to go in the game to finally take the lead.

    The VT win over them, doesn’t look nearly as impressive now, does it.


  33. EMel, you really have no idea what you are talking about. If you could see the disaster following games ,especially last Saturday you would be shocked. You make it sound simple. It’s one of the most screwed up things I’ve ever seen. Come to a big game, and go see for your self. I guarantee you you will be shocked how bad it was. BTW, try to catch a PAT bus on Sat. night at midnight, then have around 6000 plus students do it at the same time. Amazing , you usually have good perspective. As far as the T, it took over an hour for my wife and I to get downtown on the stupid thing. Totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. PAT Buses to Oakland for thousands of people, seriously!?!? Lazy students? You must be kidding, you obviously have never seen this clusterf#$& in person!


    1. I forgot it was a night game. Hey I didn’t even know there was a T, until ike mentioned it.

      I grew up in the city and we took PAT bus’s into Downtown and back when I was in Grade School.
      I took a PAT bus to High School every day for 2 years.

      So maybe cause of that, I look at things at little differently. I would never stand in line for hours waiting
      for a bus….that’s just me.


      1. Actually I took 2 PAT bus’s to HS for 2 years. As you took one to East Liberty (Sliberty) and then caught the Negley Ave bus, I think it was the 81 Negley…..if i can remember that far back


  34. Again how about some perspective . Penn State was 11 and 2 last year . The Browns were 0 and 16. The Steelers blew a 14 point lead. Some of you need to get a grip.



  35. I guess I should have explained what I saw, maybe it will put some things into a better perspective.

    My wife and I left late 3rd quarter. Our seats are in Sec514, so as the weather was so bad we decided to try the T for the first time. Usually, as we park downtown we walk, as the river view of Pittsburgh on the way back is great.

    Well, it took around 40 minutes just to get on the T. Ramps and stairs were closed, couldn’t cross streets due to very, very cranky traffic cops. Barriers prevented easy access. While walking, we went past the que of students, not hundreds, but a few thousand!! They were waiting in that crappy weather to get on crappy school buses to get back to campus.

    And that line was NOT moving as the busses couldn’t get thru the traffic. Thank God they didn’t try to take the T. We got onto the T, then waiting around 10 minutes before it moved. It slooowly goes to the 1st stop at PNC Park. Wait, and then go under the river. Got off at Gateway, which is the first stop. Town is basically deserted. Strange.

    Got to garage, then car, and drove home, avoiding the traffic mess because I luckily know how to avoid that from lots of years of experience. Mind you, this was after the game and I was so very, very, pissed. It was really no different than getting out of Oakland!

    EMel, I promoise if you saw those kids and the weather and what they put up with weekly it would be an eye opener. Heck, I’d leave early to avoid the cluster, hell, I probably wouldn’t even go!


    1. Hey Joe, don’t know how old you are. But remember when Pitt played Psux at 3 Rivers in both 1975 and 1976. Did Pitt provide any buses from campus for the students to get to 3 Rivers ?

      I had a car and we’d all pile into my Dodge Charger and find some free spot on the North Side. So I can’t really remember if Pitt had had student buses back then for the 3 Rivers games.


  36. Oh, my wife’s from Carrick, her family never even owned a car, so she took busses or walked everywhere. Even she was appalled!


  37. Pitts game Saturday can’t help his recruiting. I see the Porter boy committedto psu. Wonder why.

    It was nice Pitt hosted him for the game and he commits to the opponent. If you watched the game would you come to Pitt ?? I truly was excited for this season. I looked forward to psu game and losing the game and the way we lost upset me.

    Georgia Tech not only runs uptown well but has good passing game. Will the team be ready. It’s the coach who gets them ready. Very poor excuse by our head coach that we weren’t ready. Why. Why. He had a year to practice

    He will be here until he chooses to leave in next five years. Prepare yourself for his way or no way. When did you ever think 5-7 would be acceptable. Long season and a lot of smart a— replies. And blame to everyone. I’ll be at game again Saturday but those days are quickly ending I’ll drive three hours to another game.



    1. Some good news today FoP:

      Georgia Tech will be without one of their top players for the remainder of the season.

      Today, the program announced that starting running back KirVonte Benson will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s loss to South Florida.

      Benson rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and was an All-ACC selection.

      Will take anything atm


  38. No team I’ve ever seen can recover from a blow out like Pitt faced on Saturday. They have NO chance … None… to beat Tech this weekend.
    This was a disgrace on every level for Pitt.

    However, today I read in the PG late .. about our tight ends coach who has not left his office since the game. I LIKE this guy! At least there is someone coaching Pitt who gives it all. And gives a crap! Fire Narduzzi… hire this s guy!


  39. The death spiral has already begun. It will feed on it’s own inertia. Better to cut bait quickly to minimize the damage. Losing this recruiting year won’t be much of a loss given that our recruiting is terrible. The biggest unknown…. assuming Pitt cuts Narduzzi loose, do they have a serious plan to upgrade the coaching staff? Getting rid of a coach can be either good or bad…. it all depends on how you handle the new hire (see Steve Pedersen for an example of what NOT to do).



  40. A friend of mine who is friends with Donna Sanft, Pitt Executive Assoc. Athletic Director (2008-2014) and Assoc. Dean of Students (2014-2015) said that she told him that when Michigan State Assistant Coach Pat Narduzzi walked into the interview room, he started pounding the table and said, “I want this job!” She said he blew the Pitt panel away at the interview. When you’re a big talker, at some point you have to produce. It’s called “Wins.”

    I’ve read the above comments and agree with most of them. I’m still shivering from sitting in the rain with my wife and watching that train wreck at Heinz last Saturday.

    It is all so sad; we were conned again. I had a chance to meet Coach Narduzzi and AD Heather at a meet and greet. She can not be happy with the situation she put herself in.


  41. Line in Vegas tonight is Pitt +4.5. Up a full point from yesterday. I think it closes at 5.5 at game time. I already got Tech at 3.5. Might as well make some money off Pitt’s Jr. high coaching staff!

    Need to recover my wasted season ticket money of $600+


  42. Don’t lose all your money Dan. I don’t know if our bet is still on but there will be players from last years PITT basketball team on a D-1 or P-5 team next year.


  43. Based on size and arm strength I realized last year Pickett was no QB of the future. He gains most of his yardage by quickly leaving the pocket, not looking down the field for an open receiver but checking for any seams in the rush so he can run the ball.
    Narduzzi knew this and this is why Denuzzi started before him.
    Narduzzi is going to have to turn to either one of the QB’s on his roster that have the size and arm strength of a D1 QB despite their short time learning Pitt’s offense and their past history. Either of the two transfer QB’s.
    They are the only hope between an 8 or 9 game losing season.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Pitt can get rid of Narduzzi if they want to without much financial exposure if our AD handled her contract negotiations and language properly. There are “outs” if you know how to negotiate language properly.

    I am afraid that this may be another example of our AD not being ready for the position. Of the things we know about, she missed and was used by Hurley thankfully, and extended a football head coach, based on his pushing for her hiring. Why else would she have extended him for soooooo long??

    She has fired and hired a lot of coaches so far but none of the new ones are proven yet. As such, she gets a free pass for several years.

    Maybe he goes on a win streak. Schedule sets up well for the next four weeks. Pitt defense better substitute their cover cornerbacks with tackling cornerbacks asap.


  45. Two posting above make a lot of sense to me:

    Ike is right. We are 2 games in this whole conversation is just really moot and irrelevant at this point. When we are 4-8 lets talk! Of course at that point the hard truth will be staring us in the face…but we can;t do anything anyway until then but support this team.
    txpanther you struck a nerve with me comparing Nards to Stallings. I have to admit….you have a point. I cannot rightly have felt so strongly that Stallings needed to go and then not feel the same way with Nards for the same reasons. I mean, Nards is not AS oafish, is not AS bad a in-game coach, etc etc…but all the similar negative traits are there.
    Reed I would love to hear you elaborate on Nards alienating of local coaches. I don’t disbelieve you…I just want to know more rather than take it on faith.


  46. Tight ends coach hasn’t left his office yet? Despondent over not using the tight ends in the game? Agoraphobia? Uber hard worker?
    Emel, I walked to Central Catholic and later Pitt from Lawrenceville in nice weather. My mom in her 60s would walk from Lawrenceville to the North Shore for Pitt games.
    In high school streetcars ran out to Oakland …the 77/54. Rege Cordic called it the flying fraction. Haha.


    1. Wow that was a pretty good walk. How long did it take you ? I’m guessing you went up to Penn Ave, thru Bloomfield and over the S.Millvale ave little bridge into Shadyside/North Oakland and then probably up Neville Street to Fifth Ave.


    2. Fran:
      When I got kicked out of prep school I had to ride the bus from Shadyside to downtown. I would then pick up the 6a to Troy Hill to get to North.
      Watching the Cops talk to the hookers in front of the Edison was a long way from blue blazers in Connecticut.


  47. Next change we make, whenever that happens, should pitt look to change it’s identy to a triple option team? That way we arnt competing with all the other schools for the same personnel, if recruiting is truly an issue.


  48. Some people work long hours because they can’t execute during regular hours. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the TE coach is a go getter and is better than another te just because he put in mre time. It just means that he is there longer. There could be many explanations of why, from he works hard to he has nothing to go home to……or he wants that reputation to get out into the coaching ranks so he will be a better candidate for another team soon.

    It could be a host of things but trying to impress with amount of time at the desk is not one of them for me. I argued that out of college during my first job when a 15 year fellow on the job got promoted. I said to the boss, Just because he is here 15 years, doesn’t mean he can do his job better than someone here 6 months. He was just here longer. Boss said that was right. Promoted the guy anyway because it looked like he earned it from the periphery. Reality, there was a long list of folks more deserving.Just saying that time in the office is meaningless to me. It’s what you do with that time. If our coach was bringing in 4 stars or having an uber productive year from his te position, you can then say that he earned it because he spent so much time in office.

    Re: Franklin. Franklin panders to the cameras every chance he gets. It wasn’t an unclassy thing he did against Pitt. His point to future recruits was ” i will coach to the end and do the right thing, no matter the circumstance”. It resonates well for recruits and in the coaching profession. The media eats that stuff up. That is why he challenged a call. Many Pitt fans thought he had poor sportsmanship, but for franklin, he was working the pandering opportunity to hopefully resonate with his next recruit, media member or family member.


    1. Well Franklinstein’s actions might have included those reasons….but imo it was also to rub Pitt’s nose in it.
      And of course that would include Nardo’s.


  49. Excellent article in my opinion, by Reed. I don’t agree with some of the meat of it, the % of Chryst players still playing to me is overblown for obvious reasons like Narduzzi’s conservative nature of playing veterans (multiple examples of this every year) because he’s afraid of making mistakes (which I don’t agree with by the way, it’s a soft mentality), but the premise of the article concerning coaching turnover is spot in it appears, especially now that we have the Graham/Haywood debacle far enough behind us. And even more important, the long term trajectory of the program is in question strictly due to recruiting alone; I think the disturbing aspect of this is the TREND in recruiting, where it appears that more and more quality local players are opting to go elsewhere. Chet’s comment above (I think it was him) struck me as reasonable though, I can’t imagine anything happening that would result in him being cut loose prior to 2019, and that would assume this year and next are similar to 2017 results. Like I said a few weeks ago, before the season even started, I think that 2-game stretch of GT & NC may be the key to this year; well, it is now upon us. If Pitt goes down to one or both of these teams, I could see things getting ugly fast and the wheels being put in motion a lot sooner. Whatever happens with regard to Narduzzi’s future, I just hope we are blessed with clarity, the last thing we need is a churning in mediocrity just far enough above the line to keep him, but without moving the program forward. And the only way I could see him succeeding at this point is if he is forced to upgrade his supporting staff, and suddenly learns how to delegate and lead like a pro. Do I think these things will happen? I guess not, but what do I know.


  50. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2018/09/11/college-footballs-most-valuable-teams/#fa791586c647

    only 1 ACC team in the top 25. This looks at football only.

    I figure Pitt ranks towards the bottom of P-5. Maybe around $30M in revenues (tickets, donations, merchandise, licensing/sponsorships, conference money, etc). Obviously hurt by its small fanbase that cant fill up a 70k stadium and its paltry donation rate that is second worse in the ACC. Football like I’ve been saying breaks even at best.

    The big picture is if the football team doesnt generate sizable profit, Olympic sports at Pitt will be hurt. In addition, Pitt will not have the money to go after elite coaches, pay good money to assistants, invest in facility upgrades, and have a robust recruiting budget.

    It will also be forced to incur debt or launch fundraising campaigns for initiatives like Victory Heights. Penn State could pay for something like that based on just 1 years worth of football profit. It would take Pitt 10 years to raise half of that.


      1. I’d like to see the football profit though. Penn state makes 50 million. Their ticket sales are at least double Pitts. And they get more in merchandise and donations. Plus they get a $60 million check from the big ten which includes the network. I don’t see how Pitt is profitable.

        And the $27 million from Pitts check is spread across all 19 programs. But you could probably allocate around $20 M of it to football using accounting based on program revenues.

        Pitt isn’t broke but it doesn’t make enough money. That is a huge problem. That does impact Pitts coaching searches, recruiting budgets, facility improvements.

        Pitt will be forced to eliminate programs if football doesn’t make money. Keeping narduzzi will impact donations and season ticket holder renewals.

        Heathers goal should be finding ways to make money on football just like every other school. Football breaks even at best in non penn state years.



  51. Part of the problem with Pitt right now is that recruiting has been geared towards a pro-style offense. No point in switching coaches if we hire another pro-style proponent. Additionally, if we hire a spread guy, it will take a couple of years to recruit players for the system. So replacing Duzz really just kicks the can down the curb. It’s too early in the season to worry about that. Let’s see how this plays out. Too much weird crap happened last game … which is on Duzz … but makes it hard to really gauge what the hell happened.


  52. I am just as pissed about this team as anyone, but let’s stick to facts if you want to bash Narduzzi. We can do it by just looking at his record, schemes, stats, etc. Another bad year, he needs fired!

    Stuff listed below is a non-factor to me. I think we reach to find negatives to bash PN and you really don’t need to do so, LOL. No offense to anyone’s opinion, just my thoughts.

    Narduzzi is too brash. – There are tons of successful coaches just like him. Ever hear of James Franklin?Narduzzi hires his friends. – Ah, this is common practice at every level of football. Look at Franklin’s staff. It happens all over the country. The problem is he hired guys on the cheap. Is that his doing or his budget restraints. Obviously, budget. IMO, he needs to hire a DC with a totally different scheme. Not sure about Watson yet.
    Narduzzi has alienated local high school coaches. – This is an assumption based on bad local recruiting. Bad local recruiting is because Pitt football has underachieved. And please don’t say you heard it through a source. This isn’t CNN.
    Narduzzi won with Chryst’s players. – Okay but Chryst didn’t win with those players and Narduzzi is also losing with Chryst’s players.
    Narduzzi hasn’t developed his players. – He developed those Chryst players to play better than they did for Chryst. That argument makes no sense. Oneil, Conner, etc.

    The facts:
    His coaching, schemes, adjustments, philosophy are just not good enough.
    His W-L record is not cutting it.
    His recruiting is below expectation.
    He has to finish this recruiting class strong (which will not happen if they continue to suck).
    His team stats and rankings generally suck. OC and DC not getting it done right now.

    I will be the first to say he needs to go if this year ends up bad and the number one reason will be lack of W’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. We could hire a super staff. That’s the solution. Todd Graham’s high octane offense, his wife Penny’s delicious baking, Nard can be DC guru extordinare, Mike Haywood and Wanny can teach our players about values and life lessons, and Tino can be quarterback coach.

    In all seriousness though, there is one logical replacement on the cheap for Nard Dawg…there is a man living in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh who once turned this program around. BRING BACK WALT.


    1. Walt’s house is on the market. He is moving to Florida. That ship has sailed though it was never back in that direction.


  54. Speaking of irrational, anyone wasting their breath talking about Narduzzi being fired does not have a firm grip on their surroundings. So many of you are wallowing in this PITT loss it’s obvious that some of you were going to pounce on Narduzzi at some point in time eventually no matter what.

    Believe when I say, the chicken will come home to roost. Heather was not on vacation, Huck Huck, same difference here… ike


  55. Bring back Walt and Wanny name them co heads pay each a mill a year ur still further ahead than paying Duzz 3 mill.


  56. I just don’t know anymore.

    The team is progressing. Pitt wasn’t expected to win last weekend, but most didn’t predict such a blow out and worse such unpreparedness and well, just terrible.

    I guess we’ll see if Narduzzi ekes out another mediocre season, but what is the point IF he isn’t recruiting better?

    That hasn’t changed. Western PA isn’t the be all of college recruiting anymore, but it is important and especially important given its Pitt’s backyard and top talent is going to PSU or OSU or wherever.

    Pitt won’t win all of those recruiting battles, but it did win some.

    Wannstedt was a mixed bag, but he certainly did better a recruiting, was passionate and capable at times.

    I can only imagine had he not been fired…. what if he was able to recruit while Penn State was in the middle of the Sandusky mess.

    What a missed opportunity. Worse, Pitt had even worse stability. How in the world was that possible that Penn State came out of the this decade much better than Pitt?


    Again, if there is no recruiting pipeline, what is the point?

    The AD should be quietly looking at prospects for a change.

    I know that a change is unlikely, but this is year 4. Yes, they have the toughest non conference schedule, but the division isn’t strong. Between that combination, everything is out there to see.

    The least wins that should be acceptable for another year is 7 in my opinion… and that isn’t a high bar. That’s kind of sad.

    Few of us expect that to happen and what will happen next year with more mediocre recruits…???

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Almost seemed like Pitt was made more unstable than the Pedders…..on purpose. Unless you think all that stuff ……….just happened.


  57. The TE coach was probably locked in his office all night sending out his resume to D1 and D2 schools in the country! :>)


  58. Would it be safe to say that from a Financial Analysis standpoint that the Pitt folks have decided that their is a win inelasticity that the minimum attendance/renewal of seasons, (coupled with the bringing in of big powerhouse teams to ensure that number stays inflated – vis-à-vis a Penn State/Notre Dame must by seasons in order to get those tickets) coupled with the big payout being in the ACC is enough to marginally throw the diehards an occasional bone (hope for a better tomorrow) at as low a cost as possible.

    I contest that the Nuttings know with regards to the Pirates win elasticity attendance figures that anything over a certain player salary budget will reduce their profit margins (so going from $70 million to $80 million for example would not create enough buzz to recoup/increase the overall win output to generate a greater than or equal revenue/profits of $10 million).

    Cynical, yes but can it not also be true?

    Dave Dellett


    1. After reading this, then thinking for a bit about how much Pitt cares, then reading it about 5 more times to make certain I know what you mean, I will summarize my thoughts.


      They don’t care that much about sports.


        1. Kidding just a bit. The incoherence usually is my fault on the receiving end. 😦

          Too many parentheses and back slashes for me, or are those forward slashes?;)

          Truth is, money has to be a big part of their concern and only when a certain losing threshold is breached will that change…..hopefully Lyke is better than that and up to the task Pitt presents in football. She appears to have given it a good shot in basketball though that dumpster fire turned raging inferno could not be ignored.


  59. I feel a lot better about our chances on Saturday after reading that walk on J. Vardzel is mimicking TaQuon Marshall in practice.


  60. 2nd string QB for Tech can execute the O, is a really good runner and much bigger than Marshall… Marshall injured his ankle last week but came back in during the 4th quarter in passing situations when they needed to pass


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