Here is a thoughtful article on Pat Narduzzi’s tenure by Thomas Eicher…aka “Ike”.

 

It’s been four years now since Head Coach Pat Narduzzi (HCPN) has taken over as head coach for the Pitt Panthers. So where is this football team right now?  And what kind of immediate future does the team have? I’m going to break down these questions two ways, One: Narduzzi’s entire 4 years at the helm, and Two: This past year.

Of course this is strictly my opinion.

First the overall:  With one game to play this season, Narduzzi’s overall record stands at 28-23. No, I do not think that’s the kind of record to stand atop a mountain and sing his praises about….at least not until we all look back at all the previous PITT head football coaches since Jackie Sherrill.

Believe it or not, 28-23 is one of the the best four year records since Mr. Sherrill.  I know, that’s not saying much, but it does say something.

Yes it’s true, Pitt football hasn’t inspired a whole lot of jumping up and down since Sherrill left for Texas A&M in 1982, so I will say that HCPN is at least on par with previous head coaches at PITT since their last heydays in the early eighties….

First, Narduzzi has a 16-10 record in his first two years.  This was with Paul Chryst’s players and transfer QB Nate Peterman.  Luring Peterman into the fold was probably Narduzzi’s best move so far, and it really helped get his tenure off to an impressive start.

Then the proverbial 3rd year slump hit, resulting in a not-so-good 5-7 record and a missed bowl game.

That put the ‘Duz at 21-17 which is a .552 winning percentage, which is basically what he stands at now.  (28-23 is .549).

Editor’s Note:

Ike is directionally correct.  By the numbers, Narduzzi has the best winning percentage through the first four seasons for any coach since Jackie Sherrill, except for Mike Gottfried.  Narduzzi just barely beats out Foge Fazio.  Note that if Pitt Loses the 2019 Sun Bowl ‘Duzz’ winning percentage will drop to .539, and if we win it will increase to .558

2015 – Present Pat Narduzzi:      28-23         .549

2012 – 2014 Paul Chryst:          19-19         .500

2011 – 2011 Todd Graham:          6-6         .500

2005 – 2010 Dave Wannstadt:     25-23        .520

1997- 2004 Walt Harris:          20-26        .430

1993 – 1996 Johnny Majors II:      12-32         .270

1981 – 1992 Paul Hackett:          13-20-1     .295

1986 – 1989 Mike Gottfried:      27-16-2     .600

1982 – 1985 Foge Fazio:          25-18-3     .543

1977 – 1981 Jackie Sherrill:      39-8-1     .810

While we are on the subject of bowl games…Narduzzi’s record is  0-2 in bowl games. That fact sticks in a lot of peoples’ craw and I can kind of see why, but in reality, it’s only two games and one was against a seriously more talented team in Navy.  The Northwestern game was much more controversial and much more hotly debated so I’m not going back there. I just don’t think we need to harp on Narduzzi’s bowl record until we have more criteria to go by.  

So now we are on to year four. So what do we know about this past year?   It was said Pitt had one of, if not the toughest Out Of Conference (OOC) schedules in the country. I’ll buy that, mostly because of the way Pitt got blown out against Penn Sate and Central Florida. Those two games were hard, but the Notre Dame game gave us all a little hope.

The tough schedule was punctuated by the QB’s PITT had to face.  Two early Heisman trophy candidates in Penn States Trace McSorely and UCF’s Milton McKenzie.  They both handed us early losses, along with highly regarded Ian Book out of Notre Dame, who handed a close loss but a tough one. Tack on Syracuse’s veteran QB Eric Dungy (a PITT win) and PITT face some really great talent to start the year.

Facing such stiff competition probably wasn’t the best way for Kenny Pickett to start career as a P-5 quarterback and it may have set him back a little. A couple more easier games like Albany would have been nice. Kind of like Syracuse’s schedule.

Editor’s Note:  Syracuse went 3-1 OOC . Wins were against Western Michigan, Wagner, and UConn.  The ‘Cuse’s lone loss was to Notre Dame. Pitt went 1-3 OOC and played Albany, Penn State, UCF and Notre Dame.  PSU, UCF and Notre Dame were ranked in the top 20 (if not the top 10) when we played them. Syracuse finished the regular season 9-3. Pitt finished 7-5.

Starting out the season with a 3-4 record left a very disgruntled fan base breathing down PITT and Narduzzi’s neck.

Then he comes out and boldly predicts that he would see all the media down in Charlotte for the ACC championship game.  The laughter could be heard all the way to North Carolina, by the way.

And yet, Narduzzi’s stated goal at the beginning of every season is to win the Coastal Division and go to a bowl game. These two goals go hand-in-hand of course. They win the division there’s no doubt about a bowl game.

Yet if we are all honest with each other the goal was more of wish with a prayer, and after that loss to the Irish, the season began to look bleak at best.

Still, Pitt somehow managed to accomplish both goals, and found itself in the ACC championship game.  So I guess Narduzzi was right after all.

PITT didn’t fare very well in that game against Clemson. Actually the last two games were rather pathetic including the last regular season game against Miami. So here we are, PITT standing at a average 7-6 record and that’s how they arrived.

So what kind of job has Narduzzi done so far at PITT and more importantly, what does the future hold for this football program?

I think a better question to ask is, where would the PITT football program be if they left Narduzzi go and started over?  Probably a step behind where they are now, in my opinion.

But onto evaluating the coach…and the program.

The PITT football program is not nearly where I would like it to be at this point after 4 years of Narduzzi, but I also understand we’ve had to overcome the past 40 years of poor management and mediocrity.  What Narduzzi has accomplished it isn’t all that bad.  Moving forward I do see a dim light at the end of the table.

All things considered, battling through a tough schedule, breaking in a young starting QB and overcoming an early losing record, (i.e. keeping the team together in the face of adversity), and keeping his promise of getting to the ACC championship game is impressive to me.

Do I give Narduzzi an A+ since he’s been at PITT and this year? Heck NO! Am I excited to see what the future holds the next few years?   Heck YES!

I’m giving Narduzzi a solid B as PITT’s head football coach

…Ike

 

 

65 thoughts on “Soooo….Evaluation Time?

  1. I remember reading somewhere that Pitt is only behind Clemson, FSU and Miami in number of ACC wins since 2015. Also, since 2015, Pitt has played two OOC teams per year that finished in the Top 12, except of course for this year when they played three.

    Thus, while 28-23 is nothing to jump up and down about, it’s also nothing to sneer at. All things considered, I give PN a B … at least record-wise as he is beating his peers (except UNC of course.)

    As I have stated a handful of times here, evaluating someone depends quite a bit on your expectations. Pitt has been an above average program at beats for much of the 3 decades, and maybe it is doing better than expected considering it has had 4 different HCs in the last 8 years, I would expect program stability plus finally spending almost the same as many of its peer programs will keep it pretty competitive in the Coastal moving forard

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  2. Another point — if Pitt went 3-1 in out-of-conference every season, by scheduling “correctly,” then Coach Duzz’s overall record would be 32 – 12.

    It’s not Sherrill’s 33-3, but would give a whole different perspective on Coach Duzz…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thats a big ‘if’, but I get your point
      whats important is for Pitt to win these ‘meaningless’ bowl games so they can be ranked come seasons end
      thats very important

      My grades would be:
      recruiting: C+
      player development: C
      hiring assistants: C
      game day coaching: B
      intangibles (graduating players, running clean program, good leader of men): A
      overall: B-

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How has Narduzzi done in his first 4 years? I’d call it adequate at best. Last year was really bad, but two 8 win seasons were OK. This season has play out, but if we beat Stanford and get to 8 wins, it would represent a nice, if unspectacular, improvement from last year.

    All that said, I don’t think you can judge solely on the record. How you win or lose also is revealing. This is where I have a problem with PN. We’re still not even competitive with teams like PSU or even UCF. We were man handled by an offensively inept Miami team and run over by Clemson. We’re still having the head scratcher losses to teams like NC. We did have some very nice wins against VaTech, GTECH, and Wake. So it’s really a very mixed bag.

    Where are we headed? Absent an uptick in recruiting (which I don’t see), we can expect more of the same. If we ease up on our OOC schedule we should consistently be in the 7-8 range. Maybe we get to 9 or 10 every few years. We still will not be truly competitive with the top teams in the country.

    Bottom line is that Pitt is very likely to continue to be a slightly better then average program.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tx, I think your ratings are very reasonable, except that I’d rate the recruiting slightly lower. They are just not getting the big play guys that Reed would talk about. This shows up most when playing the better OOC teams on the schedule, and the Miami and Clemson games are ACC examples as well. They simply don’t have the depth they need, and constantly moving players around to fill gaps is evidence of it. And unfortunately, scottsvalleypanther is right that this year’s class, which appears to again be mediocre, will continue to produce average teams for the next few years.

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  5. Narduzzi’s enthusiasm certainly is in his favor as opposed to watching Chryst sleep walk the sidelines. But Narduzzi’s teams are ill prepared going into many games. When you trot out the same offense and defense each and every week without any variations for different teams suggests to me at least his (and his coordinator’s) game planning leaves a lot to be desired. For sheer raw raw excitement he’s got that but he’s not the innovative head coach that I want to see running the Pitt FB program going forward.—But folks we goy what we got and what we are going to get for quite a few years ahead.

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  6. So in 2014, there was a coaching shift between four P5 schools that was started by Nebraska firing HC Pelini causing Oregon State HC Riley to leave the Beavers to fill the Huskers opening.

    The Oregon State void was filled by then Wisconsin HC Gary Andersen. Pitt then lost HC Chryst to the Badgers and the Panthers were once again left searching for a HC. Instead of hiring a proven HC, Pitt chose a DC from Michigan State with NO HCing experience.

    Fast forward to today and you will find two of the four HC’s mentioned above are no longer in that HC position. Pitt’s Duzz just finished at 7-6 with a bowl game remaining and Wisconsin’s Moose is at 7-5 with a bowl game vs Miami.

    The Duzz, with his lack of HCing experience has maxxed out at 8 wins twice in 4 years, while Moose has had 3 straight double digit win seasons before his players took over the roster this season.

    I have a hard time giving a B grade to Duzz as Ike and TX have. While his players are good students and he runs a clean program, he struggles in all of the other areas of being a HC for a P5 school. My grade would be a C to and C+. (Wins matter! If the OOC scheduling is part of the issue, then fix it. Duzz needs to be a part of the solution – he did hire Heather, right? – much sarcasm)

    I was excited by the Coastal Division title run and traveled to UVA and W_F to see something I haven’t seen in Pitt FB. But then the Miami game happened and then the Clemson flop. Those two games took the excitement out of me and put me back into the mediocre Pitt FB mode. I’m sorry, but that is reality.

    I’ll probably renew my tickets, but not before asking Ms. Lyke for some changes. I expect changes to happen, by my “mediocre” Pitt mindset says the changes won’t happen. Same old, same old. The reason I’ll renew my tickets is the see this first time HC for Pitt, field a team that is100% his own players. If he wins big with next year’s roster, then my “mediocre” attitude will begin to rise again.

    Until then, I’ll plant a tree in memory of the Coastal Division title and hopefully cut it down with our next bowl victory.

    H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. EE, I would expect no less from you. You’re tough but honest and I love your passion for PITT. You and others are PITT football. Tell Mrs R we received your Xmas card today and made Mrs E smile.

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  7. I give Duzz on “B” on the “D” and trending upward….and a “C” on the “O” treading water next year or maybe gulping for air…..

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  8. Firstly, GREAT article ike! I share your evaluation and would give the Narduzzi era a B. This year very few of us gave Pitt a chance to win the Coastal division, which they did. I would like to see the OOC schedule lightened a bit to give Pitt a chance at some better recruits as their record improves. 8-10 wins a year and if Pitt could play fewer blowout losses and get more consistency on offense I’d be happy. In a word I just want Pitt to be RELEVANT nationally. H2P !

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  9. Look at all that mediocrity. That is a poor reflection on the university for not taking football more seriously.

    With the recent news on the academic side of Pitt football, I’d say the BoT and Gallagher should be very happy with Narduzzi alone for not embarrassing the school, as if people care about grades at other schools across the country.

    We saw how Stallings’ team had the highest GPA ever last season and he still got canned. So the school does care a little about winning, so Narduzzi winning the Coastal should net him a lifetime contract.

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    1. The Pete was empty with KS and Pitt was losing millions each year. It was an economic decision that got KS canned.

      Now Narduzzi can get in the same boat if Heinz doesnt reach a certain capacity each year. My rough math tells me that 40k sold tickets each year is the break-even point (based on 6 home games).

      If fans stop attending games, Pitt will start losing money and Pitt may become inclined to buy-out Narduzzi despite GPA’s and graduation rates.

      Football is supposed to help subsidize the Olympic sports at Pitt. That ACC check helps but only goes so far.

      Therefore, its up to Narduzzi and Heather to find ways to fill those seats.
      Narduzzi – by winning games, playing exciting football and having a player or two that is a ‘hero’ to the fans
      Heather – needs to find better marketing approaches than Fanta’s and Bobble-heads.

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      1. Elementary/JH specials.

        One game a year give all the area elementary schools free tickets to the upper deck. Pay to bus them in.

        Let parents buy very reduced price tickets.

        Give them the Great Lawn tailgate area and the Stage One venue for that game. Have a kids parade.

        Heinz will be full and rocking at least one game a year. (Ever go to the afternoon Woman’s BBall game that is especially scheduled for the school kids? The energy is outstanding.)

        The $$ spent would be a huge investment for the future of Pitt – both academically and atheletically. (As a tteenager we got to go to a Duke NC State football game for free – the Jr. Civitans worked with Duke to get cheapo seats – it was an outstanding event and it made for a hard choice when I was ready for college.)

        H2P

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  10. Once again …. your evaluations are based on your expectations.

    For those of you that are expecting Pitt to recruit and play with the likes of the big boys — hopefully you won’t have to wait another 35 years. But I wouldn’t hold my breath

    For those of you expecting Pitt to hold its own against the Coastal and competing for the title the majority of time, we’re pretty much there.

    For those of you wanting its 2nd 10-win season since ’82, 2020 appears to be the best chance

    Liked by 1 person

  11. wwb.. don’t we all evaluate based on our expectations… and add a little heart felt rooting for our team… my expections for the last 3 games of the year were two fold… PITT could play great ball beat Miami, maybe Clemson on a perfect and win a bowl game for a 9-10 win season… or we peaked at Wake and go on a 3 game skid…

    One more to go and on the bright side everyone will be suited up- no one sitting out getting prepared for the NFL draft !

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  12. I graded on a curve. 🙂
    The most important factor for Pitt are those intangibles. And Narduzzi gets an A there.
    Thats why Pitt feels their $3.5M is being put to good use.

    Can Narduzzi do better in recruiting? Yes. He needs to catch at least Va Tech. That means 4-5 four stars each year.

    Can Narduzzi do better in player development? Yes. Too few of his own recruits have gotten on the field and made an impact.

    Can Narduzzi do better in hiring assistants? Yes. Particularly on the offense side. Pitt needs to determine their identity, find a scheme or system for it, recruit players for it and stick with it.

    Can Narduzzi be a better game day coach. Yes. But he’s far better than Wanny and Tomlin. And thats what framed my expectation and grading. Narduzzi has some signature wins. He doesnt have any real bad losses besides NC every year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nicely done Ike. As much as I would like to argue with you, I can’t find fault in what you say and you and Mikey back it up with good data.

    I would give him an overall B- and a recruiting C-, Definitely a B this year so far, but does a third bowl loss move it to a B-?

    However, I would say next year is the year for evaluation. Next year we really find out whether Narduzzi recruits make the grade or not. I think the brand new O-line will be the real test. Doubtful we win the Coastal again since no one has done two years in a row for a long time. Do we trend up or down, or just kick the can down the road again?

    If Borbely some how works magic with an inexperience line and we somehow how get a balanced offense, I will agree we are tending upward, but I think it is much more likely we hit the wall again.

    Stanford is going to tell us a lot, it will either give us a season ending in three losses, taking all the luster off a Coastal Trophy, a third straight bowl loss, and not much to sell the final elite recruits that we need to help this year’s recruiting. OR, we get the bowl win, that helps to reverse a trend, gives us hope in the off-season and maybe seals the deal on those highly sought after recruits.

    How will Pitt do in this year’s final Exam and how much does it change Narduzzi’s grade?

    It does depend on your expectations.

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    1. For me, if we win the bowl game, I give the C+ grade.

      If we lose, C.

      Stanford will be good, balanced attack with big lineman who will get physical – ala Northwestern 2 years ago.

      How will this team respond? I say they play a tough fought game and lose a close one.

      End the season with 3 straight loses might warrant a D grade by many.

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  14. Again, I can see alums’ expectations higher than mine, However, even though I’m obviously a Pitt fan, don’t you think I may a bit more objective because I’m not as much emotionally involved.

    Pitt’s last great run was from ’74 thru ’82. There were some good years in the later 80s when Pitt still had a good football rep but still no 10-win seasons. But guess what? Pitt’s aura of a good FB school has long been over. And unlike the 70s, we can no longer bring in 80 recruits and, more importantly, can depend on the quantity of quality local recruits.

    Also, consider this. Pitt’s last good year was 2009 when they won 10 games and was ranked as high as 8th in early November. It lost out by one point in going to a BCS bowl by losing to a Top 10, undefeated Cincy team. But that Cincy team would go on to get its butt handed to them by UF in the bowl game!

    Did you know that Cincy was 4th ranked and UF 5th ranked going into the bowl? UF was leading 30-3 at the half. Final 51-24.

    Yes, occasionally Pitt can play a competitive game against a top team. Witness this year’s game vs ND. But if you think the Pitt program can compete consistently against the big boys, you are being delusional … especially when those teams are really focused.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you are correct that Pitt probably won’t ever routinely compete with the Big Boys again, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do better than it has or win 9-10 games routinely. A softer OOC and the Coastal almost guarantees that it could be done.

      I do agree that Pitt won’t compete in the real money game unless guys like David Tepper and Mark Cuban, decide to make it happen. But you need to ask yourself, why can’t Pitt be as good as West Virginia? They don’t have a recruiting footprint? They don’t have deep pockets. What they do have is a committed administration and alumni.

      Only the craziest fans would think we can compete with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State or Michigan, Penn State or Notre Dame, but we can do better. If I didn’t believe that, I would find another hobby.

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      1. WVU was better than Pitt this year but last year they finished 7-6. They of course play an easier OOC and had the same coach since 2011. They were ranked 2 years ago but played a substantially easier schedule. In the bowl game 2 years ago, they went out to a 14 – 0 lead and then Miami decided to play and scored 31 straight, shutting them out the rest of the way.

        and in the last 3 years against the Big Boy, Oklahoma …. they gave up 56, 59 and 59. IMO, they are similar to what Syracuse was this year

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  15. HCPN has done as good as any of our best coaches given our FB programs deficiencies – bad OOC schedule, no OCS, students bused to games, no home field advantage, 3 pro teams in town, many city culture events, poor publicity ….

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      1. Much more comprehensive list although I don’t recognize a substantial number of names.

        Funny that the Mellons went to Pitt, but they are associated with Carnegie Mellon.

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  16. I would be happy playing within the rules, competing for the Coastal and winning 8-10 games a year..

    .I wonder about WVU recruiting how many of the ‘EER player carry a strong 2.0 gpa (sad to write that-NCAA player needs a 2.0 to be eligible),,,we are obviously a “non-destination” program for many of kids now playing for a variety of reasons (We are not a part of the constant ESPN hummmmmmmm) and who knows what the future brings as many kids won’t play the game anymore and the numbers of participants continue dropping…the make-up of game and players have changed since we were in school….and I predict there will be continued change…

    .if we had a crystal ball…….

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  17. We need a POVert road trip to the ARMY-NAVY game…America’s game..and real(for lack of a better term) college football where academics, athletics and school pride battle on the gridiron in true valiant sportsmenship….played the way it is intended……

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    1. I’d have to root for Army. Didn’t serve but my dad retired as a Lt Colonel in the Reserves. Plus, I have a free stay; my sister lives in Philly

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  18. Expectations change constantly. In August, my season prediction was 7-5. That was my August prediction & expectation. I expected a 1-3 record in OOC & 6-2 in conference games with a loss to Syracuse & the division claiming game with Miami. So PITT & there $3.2 M or less coach exceeded my expectations with meeting my predicted 7-5 record but winning the conference championship.

    Even after the UNC debacle, I still expected a 7-5 season record. Now if you expected a 8-4 record with a division championship, I can see not meeting expectations. If you expected a bowl win, time will tell.

    But my expectation changed after the Wake game. I expected losses to both Miami & Clempsum but my expectation was not to lose as badly as PITT did. So in that respect, my expectation was not met. Did these last two losses override the division championship which I did not expect, the answer is no.

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  19. Thanks to you all for the compliments. 🙂 I’m thinking of changing Mike’s name to “The Doctor” he doctored up this article like a surgeon. (like Reed did for me). Just trying to chip in and take a load off.

    BTW, I agree with almost all of the responses.

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    1. My high school 9’th grade grandson was offered & he accepted a baseball scholarship offer from The Citadel. His dad graduated from The Citadel & he has always talked about following in his dad’s footsteps.

      My point, besides bragging, is it is not to early to offer 8’th & 9’th graders. While PITT will probably not sign these kids, the name is out there. They & their parents will research PITT to find out more about the school. The teenagers, parents, H.S., H.S. conference & county will talk about the offer & put Pitt on their radar.

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    1. That’s really sad. He was only 56.

      Also, for the old timers, Lucius Keese died this week too. He was 66. He was Pitt first “big man.”

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    1. All sad news. Bill Fralic an all-time great! Prayers to the family and friends. RIP guys.

      I looked at those condos, I could just take a boat north to visit Fran. .. of course that would blow our budget and then some. << We have a Latrobe budget.

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  20. Sad about Bill Fralic. My friend in Atlanta came to know him and told me a few months ago he was in really bad shape. Prayers to his family.

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  21. Just last week, Fralic paid for all the expenses for Penn Hills hotel stay in Hershey. I believe the ‘pancake stat’ was invented because of him. #79 is hanging at Heinz, and he is a member of CFBHOF

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  22. Ike – Thanks. The problem is that college baseball for some strange reason is limited to 12.7 scholarships divided amongst up to 35 team members. Few get a total 100%. Most are 1/2, 1/4 or even 1/8. Kid is smart and will get state lottery scholarship and other academic money.

    Proud of his accomplishment. I did tell him that his inheritance was going down because his grandmother & I always joked about the stuff we could get & do (if he went with his other sports love – football) with all that SEC enticement money.

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  23. ike, you’re the man, and this blog wouldn’t be the same without you and your many contributions! Still can’t believe Bill Fralic is gone. What a great player and ambassador for Pitt. By the way, WVU succeeds in a very difficult recruiting environment because they know how to recruit quarterbacks.

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  24. ftdix.. said he had battled cancer ….. assume you are military… Thank you for your service..

    Keep the Hunter family in your prayers.. the daughter of Jimmy “ Catfish” Hunter, a fifth grade teacher died after suffering a pulmonary embolism during a fire drill at a local elementary school… ya never know but remember this….we all have a round trip ticket !!! Give your best before you cash in on the return ticket…

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  25. At the beginning of the season I insisted that year four was the benchmark year for a new coach’s evaluation. I called for Narduzzi to produce another eight win season in order to be able to stamp this season as a success, NO EXCUSES! I still stand by that. Well, here we are at 7-6, ACC Coastal Champs, going into a decent bowl game against a quality opponent. However after the pathetic display in the Championship game, I think we can all agree that the shine of that ACC Coastal achievement has worn off already.

    So does a bowl win over Stanford in the Sun Bowl earn Narduzzi a thumbs up at 8-6 for this season? I say yes but that MUST occur, or the needle dips below “acceptable progress” for the second year in a row.

    With that being said, Narduzzi’s overall evaluation is a more difficult subject. So many variables to consider.
    -New to head coaching.
    – Assistant coaching staff changes on going on an annual basis.
    – Trepidation that he can’t land the blue chip 4 star players required to take the program to the next level.
    – As well as questioning whether the quality of his recruits that he has landed up to this point are even adequate to continue to keep producing results coasting along just above .500.

    To answer this “evaluation question” therefore, more time is required. Next season, Coach totally owns the Roster. It’s all his guys. By year five, no more excuses that he’s just getting his legs under him as a head coach. Therefore I suggest we be patient for yet another year, prior to finalizing an overall evaluation of Coach Narduzzi.

    I can say this though, the tone of this blog has changed as of late regarding Narduzzi. Maybe it’s due to the late four game win streak that earned Pitt the Coastal Crown, or maybe it’s the fact that the blog’s moderator has changed, could be that Pitt’s new basketball coach has redirected interest from football to basketball recently with their initial success & improved style of play with Coach Capel at the helm now. Who knows?

    In any case, it’s a pleasure for me personally not hearing for the call of Narduzzi’s head on a stake from the POV as a constant mantra, which after the Miami & Clemson games could have been louder than ever to be honest. So here I am back diping my toe back in the pool water.

    Anyhow, at this point let’s get one more win & wait to see what Coach can produce in 2019. Until then, we should all take comfort in the fact that even if coaching changes do occur at Pitt in the off season, they won’t be at the top. Nope, no fear of Narduzzi being lured away by one of the big boys by a lucrative contract after producing a 10 win season & an ACC Championship, nor the gossip that Lyke has his head on the chopping block after another sub .500 season. That’s just fine with me, spare me the drama.

    In the meantime, lets kill the Cardinal.

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  26. Hey GhostofDoc, I agree with the, we really do need to see another year of Narduzzi before any conclusions can be made. The reason for the article was that I made a promise to look at this season with a lot more scrutiny than I have in the past and what do you know? Many questions remain unanswered yet again for another year. Just a case were I was keeping my word but I do stand behind my thoughts on the coach. You’re right, next year it all hits the fan! .. ike

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  27. I submit that the 2019 season has already started. The Sun Bowl kicks it off. Non Championship Bowl games are always, yes ALWAYS about next year.

    A loss and SOP is back with a vengeance. Calls for coaching staff (as well as BoT and AD) heads to be placed on the chopping block will resume. We will lose another recruit or two. The area press will descend on the Pitt football program like vultures.

    A win and the mob is satiated and the Spring will be full of hope. Perhaps we get some more interest from future stars. More season tickets will be sold. The area press will be doing their best imitation of crickets.

    H2P

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    1. Tommymac, you’ve nailed it! “Meaningless bowl games” are not meaningless to the programs involved in them when you’re struggling in the midst of 50 other FBS programs, all the while attempting to obtain national relevancy & aspiring to see a top 25 ranking perhaps again next season.

      The Sun Bowl has a solid history & reputation, this Stanford opponent is also a quality program that will help us get some west coast exposure for Pitt in the process. Some may say that the OT win against Syracuse was the “win one that we shouldn’t” victory this season for the Panthers, but IMO, we haven’t seen that kind of win this year. A Sun Bowl trophy would satisfy the criteria for that to end the season I think. Going 8-6 with a bowl win like that labels this season a success. Got to get it done. Cream the Cardinal! Hail to Pitt!

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