Post-National Championship Football Updates

Hi gang. I probably should have posted a championship game thread last night but I didn’t, so sorry about that.

As we can all see Pitt’s defense is better than Alabama’s (just kidding!) and Narduzzi apparently does know how good Clemson is because he’s the only coach to have voted them #1 prior to ” last night’s game. (This according to Twitter so if anyone wants to fact check this pls let me know the truth).

Also there is this:

In other news Chris Dokish, a known Pitt Homer (nothing wrong with that, just calling a spade a spade) published a lengthy and detailed article about where Pitt is today. I don’t think there is any groundbreaking news in here but now that we are in the off-season it’s good food for discussion.

There is no update on the OC search but…

Paris Ford looks to be sticking around

Last but not least be on the lookout for a couple of hot takes over the next week or two from a “Special Guest Poster”, and if you have any thoughts on off-season articles post them in thread or email me michaelangelo.monteleone@gmail.com

Hail to Pitt!

Michaelangelo

Update: Some Atlanta perspective on Jim Chaney:

Also if you think the Pitt program has problems…

233 thoughts on “Post-National Championship Football Updates

  1. then there’s this

    Brett McMurphy@Brett_McMurphy
    2 Dec 2018
    In final @USATodaysports regular season coaches poll, only two coaches did not vote Alabama No. 1: Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi & Alabama’s Nick Saban. Both voted Clemson No. 1 & Alabama No. 2

    Like

  2. and then, there’s this

    Andrew Fillipponi@ThePoniExpress
    Follow @ThePoniExpress

    Narduzzi is the only coach in America who voted Clemson #1 over Alabama? Bet the house on the Crimson Tide. ACC stinks and Notre Dame was overrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does the smiley face with the zippered mouth imply Paris cannot say what the big things coming means?
    He’s not allowed to say…more Secret Squirrel?

    Like

  4. (I posted this on the last thread but it belongs here) I only turned it on after Clemson went up 21-16, but some of my thoughts are:

    The 3 yards and a cloud of dust, time of possession controlling, run based offense simply doesn’t work against elite teams. Bama needed to abandon the run but refused (Did they watch the Pitt tape?).

    The fake FG was even worse than Pitt’s fake punt/jersey against ND. At least maybe if Ollison didn’t fall Pitt could have converted, and Jeff George had enough time to potentially make something happen. Instead, Bama thinks their kicker can be George Aston and lead block for an off tackle run against Clemson’s base defense with that D line … are you kidding me?

    I didn’t see Tua start the game 12 for 14, but he was unimpressive during the part of the game I saw. I have serious concerns about Pickett like a lot of you, but when you are constantly getting sacked or have guys right in your face like Clemson could do to both Bama and Pitt, it’s hard. Lawrence also got pressured, but I don’t think it was ever a guy right in front of his face — it was mostly guys coming from the edge … he had a pocket, albeit a collapsing pocket on many plays. Borbley needs to coach up the guys to give our QBs a pocket like that.

    You never see elite QBs try to run bigger, stronger defenders over. I get that Tebow did this and he is probably Pickett’s hero, but it’s not smart. Pickett does it way too much. Quite frankly, if Dungey doesn’t get hit as hard as he does by our defense, I think we would have lost the Syracuse game.

    Pitt managed to score 10 1st half points against Clemson and didn’t score again. Bama only got 16. Granted, Bama moved the ball way more in the 2nd half and had a more balanced offense, but still, the end result wasn’t all that much different.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tua, like most QB’s, had more difficulty when they got behind and had to lean on the pass. Clemson never overly committed to the run with the lead so BAMA was able to move the ball but sputtered inside the red zone. Tua’s int’s were bad. The 2nd was more like a punt, IMO, however and didn’t really hurt them.

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  5. Bama gives up 44 to Clemson. Oklahoma gives up 45 to Bama, Michigan gives up 62 to Ohio St, …. Ohio St gives up 49 to Purdue?? (last week, Purdue lost to Auburn 63-14)

    welcome to the current world of college FB

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  6. Michaelangelo – nice work on the “tease” at the end of your article. You’re a fast learner!

    Didn’t see the whole game but enjoyed watching Saban scowling and pacing on the sideline knowing he was letting down all the Bama fans.

    And a small thing, but in the pregame, when they showed Bama coming out of their dressing room door into the tunnel, Saban chooses that moment to spit on the floor. It was a real good look for Coach Saban…🤮

    — We need Coach Duzz to make a splash hire for OC. There are no secrets – let’s do what other successful teams are doing on offense.

    — And we need a details-oriented type hire for WR. I think our WRs have shown, or at least teased, that they can be better than they have played….

    Fingers and toes crossed… 🧐

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good on the ACC, does this help overall conference recruiting, not sure but it can’t hurt. Something else for Narduzzi to sell. Too bad the ACC bowl slate is so weak.

    Narduzzi need to get the right coach and finish this recruiting class with gusto.

    Recruiting is the only thing that ultimately gets the big wins.

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  8. One thing they noted in the broadcast was that Ross, the true freshman wide receiver making all the one handed grabs for Clemson, was #1 ranked player in the state of Alabama. He picked Clemson over Alabama because of the stability they had with the coaching staff (at least relative to Bama’s staff). On the other hand, here we are heading in to year 5 of Narduzzi and we’re going to have a 4th offensive coordinator. Hard to sell that to elite recruits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you think Pitt has even a shred of a chance with guys like Ross you are dreaming. And it isn’t because of coaching instability

      Liked by 2 people

          1. I remember Walt talking about recruiting LF at the LOI event that year. Walt said LF had called him the night before and they talked, but Walt went to bed still not knowing whether Larry would sign with Pitt.

            Imagine Walt’s joy when that fax came in the next morning!

            Go Pitt.

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    2. Bama is a running team too. Any receiver will want to play for Clemson at least for the next 2 years. I wonder if any Bama recruits flip to Clemson before the signing? They can’t think Bama will beat Lawrence now…

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  9. As I posted last night during the Game, the DIFFERENCE was obvious.

    Trevor Lawrence had plenty of time to throw the Ball. On the other hand, Tua did not.

    The surprising thing was, for the most part… Tua did not handle being UNDER DURESS very well. Made him look less than perfect which many have thought he was.

    I’m sure NFL Scouts took notice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Probably Tua’s first experience with being under duress.
      It is a lot easier, reading defenses getting open and throwing a nice pass when you have plenty of time to do it.
      Kenny Pickett is a lot better with time to throw, just watch the Wake game.

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  10. Kudos to Clemson for that beat down last night.

    However, watching that game revealed that we remain light years behind both of last night’s participants in terms of skill, ability, preparation, etc.

    Particularly notable was the QB and receiver play.

    Read a great article yesterday about the commitment to winning made by Houston, who hired Holgerson away from WVU. Read it and you’ll be jealous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But what other claims to fame do Alabama, Clemson and Houston have?

      A lot easier for them to give football the highest priority and get buy in from their constituents.

      Same with big state schools like PSU and tOSU, when they are pretty much the only game in town.

      Pitt has competing forces both internally and externally that fight giving Pitt Football any love.

      Pitt Football has mostly been an afterthought to the University and the City and Region.

      It is just one of many product lines competing for attention.

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      1. Unfortunately— true…

        But with a knock-um-dead hire for OC we could get on the right track, not to be Alabama, but to be the best we can be…

        Go Pitt…

        Go Pitt.

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      2. Let me add this: I have now lived in Houston since 2002 and the city in general could care less about U of H atheletics (or Rice for that matter.) It is the 3rd largest city in the country (passing Chicago) and Cougar and Rice football mean very little – much less than Pitt football in the Burg. Yet, they still pay the big bucks to land Holgorsen! Meanwhile we hire the guy with zero HC experience and it is quite clear he is still learning on the job (OJT) at our expense.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Michaeangelo, I don’t think that PITT having any chance of getting Ross was Newbk’s point. It was stability and continuity that helped Clemson get that young man.

    Now all this while since the end of the season I debated with myself about PITT winning the coastal division. Was it a good thing or did getting beat up by Clemson on national TV and setting the stage for a 500 season more of a punishment of some sort? For those of you who know me and even the ones that don’t already know what my answer is. Of course winning the ACC division title was a great thing and here’s why.

    Next years and years after that, (hope many more along side it) there will be a banner proudly displayed somewhere on the PITT Panthers grounds. It will say. PITT Panthers, ACC Coastal Division Champions! What it won’t say is, PITT Panthers football team ACC Coastal Division Champions but had a blow out loss in the ACC Championship to the eventual NCAA Champion Clemson. It also won’t say. PITT Panthers, ACC Coastal Division Champions in a very weak division. There will also be no mention of a 7-7 record on that banner….

    What it also won’t say… is that the PITT football program and coach Narduzzi hit a milestone and the goal they set out to do day one of spring practice this past year. We all know the schedule that awaited PITT this fall and somehow accomplished something only Frankmd predicted. Yet many are still disappointed. That includes the PITT administration as well as Narduzzi himself as evidence shown in firing two coaches.

    I do understand all the built up frustration over the years but I don’t get the hand wringing and fretting over something that was good for PITT football. When something good comes and sits down beside me. I put my arm around it and embrace it as long as it allows me to. ike

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Ike — yes, that was my point. Listen, it’s hard to argue that parting ways with Watson wasn’t the right move. And you can make a good argument that Pitt handled Canada’s departure in a reasonable manner. I still don’t think I know the whole story about why Chaney bolted. Nevertheless, you need to have as many selling points as possible to persuade a 4 star kid to play for Pitt when he is also considering PSU, WVU, peer ACC schools, and/or comparable level Big 10 schools. Heck, you need as many selling points as possible even to persuade the 3 stars that you really want (like Brandon Mack). Sure, the facilities and Steelers connections are a nice selling point. So is our history with putting players in the pros and in the Hall of Fame. We have a solid academic rep and some nice academic programs. But what else do we have? We don’t have a true campus. We certainly cannot sell our game day atmosphere at Heinz. And we can’t sell continuity with coaching staff. Some of these things are controllable, others are not. But it doesn’t mean we should be ignorant of them and not strive to improve.

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    2. True. Sorry newbk didn’t mean to jump down your throat. I agree that stability ultimately helps the program

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    3. I also agree that an acc coastal champion banner is a goos thing. Even if it is perceived as a crappy division

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      1. No worries, I know your point. You are spot on that we are not getting anyone of the same caliber as Ross. Of course, 10-15 years ago, you probably could have said Clemson wasn’t getting anyone of that caliber, but they have built themselves up.

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  12. “Light years” away? We are not Clemson, true, but we did beat Syracuse who did beat Clemson & just a couple seasons ago we beat the national champs as well. All I’m saying is Pitt can be competitive with the big boys if/when the Pitt administration decides that’s a priority to be addressed. It is doable. Question is will it be done?
    It will be telling who gets the OC & WR nod as our new coaches. Personally, I’m not holding my breath for two splash hires.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Upsets happen, but it takes great players and coaches to consistently be in the top ten or even twenty and Pitt is light year’s from that.

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  13. Off topic, so don’t read this and get mad, but what a mess the Steelers have on their hands.
    Appear to be stuck with Tomlin, much maligned coach for some real reasons and some racially motivated reasons. A hot and cold future HOF QB in his declining years, and a future HOF receiver who is now a problem child and wants out. This after losing a great RB for financial reasons and a great linebacker to serious injury. They have now gone from having all the assets to having lost a big opportunity.

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Pitt will always be second fiddle in this city, but may benefit from a Steeler slump.

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  14. Just read the all to early depth charts on PSN and the O and especially the O-line does not make for any confidence whatsoever. Looks like we need some senior transfers very badly at tackle and TE.

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  15. There is no question that any QB is better with good protection …. and that especially goes for giants like Brady, Marino and Manning, all 3 with little mobility.

    There is a super elite level in current college FB that a program like Pitt’s will never reach. I honestly believe that currently only 4 teams that can win a national title …. Clemson, Bama, Georgia and Ohio St. Note that I did not include PSU, Mich, USC, ND or Oklahoma, although I believe OK can get there if they ever get some good defenders. Note that when OK won it all under Stoops, they did it more with defense than offense.. They won title game over FSU 13-2.

    I do think if all the stars align, Pitt can have double digit wins, but the odds are against it (no matter who is coaching).

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  16. Final AP Poll — Syracuse 15th, PSU 17th, WVU 20th

    Opponents with 8+ wins

    Pitt 8
    PSU 6
    WVU 4
    SYR 4

    Combined records of teams lost to

    PSU 40-13 .755
    Pitt 66-25 .725*
    WVU 37-16 .698
    *UNC loss dropped Pitt from .771

    Combined records of teams beat

    Pitt 42-40 .512
    WVU 46-53 .465
    PSU 52-61 .460
    SYR .448

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Speaking of stability, hard to be stable when you constantly shoot yourself in the foot, but a lot of it is because Pitt has always been a stepping stone to the big time. So when we get good coaches they leave for greener pastures, when we get not so good coaches they are dismissed.

    The one time we had an above the line coach who would stay (Wanny) they didn’t give him the support he needed and then fired him. Dixon stayed the longest but even that ended somewhat mysteriously, with the Barnes fiasco.

    Have we finally turned a corner on all of this? History tells us no way, but only time will tell.

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  18. Do we want mediocre assistant staff stability or quality coaches that get hired away by bigger wallets? Lots of articles online about Alabama’s revolving door.

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  19. ACC Coastal is a feather in the cap..but the best Blue Chip recruits are going to look at stability in the coaching ranks, wins & losses and final national rankings before giving any real weight to us winning the Coastal.

    Sadly we sorely lack in those three items lately.

    12-14 in PN’s 3rd and 4th years is going to be the takeaway for anyone but die hard Pitt fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I wonder if the Pitt administration has any regrets over firing Wanny. I think Pitt football would be in a much better place now if he had stayed as coach. Not sure Wanny was so big on the academic side, though. And Gordon, you are right about Alabama, Clemson and Houston. They are mediocre institutions that rely on football to have any name recognition at all. I certainly want Pitt to win, but any Alum will tell you that they value the entire reputation of the university, not just the athletics side.

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    1. He was well-suited as a DC and a recruiter, but not a good head coach.

      Roughly had a .500 record as a head coach at the pro and college level.
      He was not good on game day.
      He won one bowl game and had one season with 10 wins.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They are TX. My daughter just got accepted to Pitt Engineering and is waiting to hear from Clemson. She’ll likely get in, but it’s not a slam dunk.

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  21. Would love to see a highly thought of and dynamic OC hired — but the thought occurs to me that the new guy is coming into a touchy situation.

    Pitt has 3 offensive coaches on staff who have all been long-time coaches and a couple probably think they deserve the job. So if Coach Duzz hires a young whippersnapper, there may be some resentment…

    On the other hand, based on Pitt’s offensive-side results the last two seasons, perhaps these guys are fortunate to have jobs at all…

    Still, the head coach has to consider the chemistry on the coaching staff. I hope Coach D. is BOLD with this hire.

    The hire needs to stir some excitement after the way we finished the season…

    Go Pitt!

    Like

    1. Narduzzi hasn’t been bold with any of his hires. There is no reason to think he’s going to be different this time around. Woody Hayes is the name that comes to mind when I think about the Narduzzi’s coaching philosophy on both offense and defense. Run the ball on and O and stop the run on D.

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  22. If you look at the final W/L records of the Coastal teams you’ll find four teams with better overall records than Pitt.

    In the full ACC conference nine teams had better overall records than us… out of 14 teams.

    https://www.foxsports.com/college-football/standings?season=2018&group=9

    Our .500 season and seeing things like the above make fans look at that championship with skepticism.

    Kind if like ‘Yeah, we did it but… well… OK I guess’.

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  23. Perhaps Pitt would have had a better record than many of those 9 ACC teams if we had replaced the games against PSU and Central Fla with Bowling Green and the Road Island.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. National letter of intent day gathering is on Feb 6th. Just got my invite. Who is going? I Know Fran will be there. I will be there. Hey its free beer, why not!

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    1. Richman — after the way we finished the season, and given that just about the whole class is already signed, I’m having trouble mustering much interest in the LOI event, something that I’ve attended since the Walt years.

      I’m hoping the OC and WR hires give my psyche a boost!

      Still might go… Enjoyed talking to a couple coaches last year — and seeing you and Fran, of course!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  25. Since Pitt joined the ACC 3 NC’s in each of the major sports.

    Pretty good at the top.

    Huge difference in recruiting after the top few in each sport.

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  26. I follow Pitt women’s basketball since back when Agnus Beranato had some teams that were fun to watch.

    Here’s some background that has given me just a tad of hope for the OC hire.

    When Heather canned Coach Suzie, she hired Coach White. He never had head coaching experience, but had been “Assistant Coach of the Year.”

    I like Coach White and see improvement – though this will be another tough year until he gets some better players in. BTW, he has 5 recruits and one 6-4 transfer signed up for next season.

    But here’s what I really like about Pitt’s women’s BB — Coach White hired Coach Mitchell as one of two Assistant Head Coaches. The other is an up and comer who had worked with Coach White at FSU.

    But here’s the thing — Coach Mitchell was the Head Coach at Minnesota for something like 16 years. She won over 340 games there. She took them to post-season play all but maybe 3 years.

    Now that’s finding an assistant coach. And to top it off, Coach Mitchell went to Duquesne…

    Did Heather have anything to do with that hire. Maybe not. But Coach Duzz needs to keep pace; he needs to find a Coach Mitchell-ish, touch-all-the-bases OC. 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Dan – That’s good to hear. I got to meet Coach White briefly – seemed like a great guy. But what I like best about him is that he’s bringing in post players.

        Coach Suzie seemed like she wanted a whole team of 6-foot tall stand-still 3-ball shooters – her recruiting was really disappointing given her impressive credentials…

        Coach White has them playing with lots of energy and attacking the basket. The talent level just isn’t there right, like the men’s team, to win anything more than a couple games in the ACC…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  27. Watching the playoff games confirmed what we all thought.
    Alabama and Clemson are a step above everyone else in college football. No end in sight for this trend.
    Clemson is just a beast this year.
    Notre Dame and Georgia were overrated as usual.
    College football is so muck more fun to watch than the NFL.
    If Narduzzi doesn’t hire an OC that runs plays from this decade or for that matter this century, I am adopting a new college team.

    Like

  28. Coaching does matter, look at Florida, won championships in both sports, not that long ago. Both coaches left, since then nothing.

    Recruiting is still key, Dabo keeps rolling in stellar classes, as does Saban.

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    1. nrs, pretty good site — thanks. You have the love the following:

      Wartburg College (D-III – IA): Wartburg College is searching for an Offensive Intern (Skill), $12,000 with some meals included. Submit letter of application and resume with references electronically to: hr@wartburg.edu. See http://www.wartburg.edu for further information about the college

      wonder what meals are included?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey kids…go to college for 4 years and make 12K a year! Includes Big Macs!

        Try paying off your student loan & car payment with that salary.

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  29. Alabama and Clemson had players suspended for performing enhancing drugs during the playoffs. Those players were simply the dumb ones who got caught. College football is NOT played on a level playing field…. and that’s not even counting cold hard cash, luxury vehicles and jobs traded for a signature on the dotted Letter of Intention line.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Cliff Kingsbury spent the last 6 years as HC at Texas Tech with a 35-40 record, 19-35 within B12, despite having Patrick Mahomes as QB for 3 of them. As such, he was fired at the end of this past season. Apparently this qualifies him as an NFL HC candidate as he is reportedly being hired as HC for the Arizona Cardinals.

    This has nothing to do with Pitt (except for Larry Fitz connection if he doesn’t retire.)

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  31. Seems our opponents and teams ranked ahead of us know how to play the weak OCS game while we consistently think playing tough opponents will fill a rental off campus stadium.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not to beat a dead horse but they also know how to beat bad teams re NC. Those are killer games to lose, and this program will never will reach a high level of success if we continue to lose to the weak team.

      Like

  32. Louisville is favored by 1.5 vs Pitt tomorrow night which seems low to me

    BTW, I see that AT&T SportsNet which is local ACC affiliate is broadcasting Ga Tech and Va Tech tomorrow night instead of Pitt. How could that be?

    Like

  33. I’ll never get why transfers aren’t considered recruited? couple cases in point. How many O-Lineman visited PITT last year and then decided on another college to go to? Had to have been at least four that didn’t commit to PITT. Millen finally said yes to PITT but the others were recruited to other schools.

    Also about Peterman and Chaney. I feel he was definitely recruited to PITT by Chaney because Chaney was the coach who recruited Nate to Tennessee.

    OT: decided to clean up my CPU tonight and get rid of some unneeded files and so forth. I figured I would clean up my screen page as well and delete some shortcut icons. Came across the Blue Jeans shortcut and had to pause and reflect. Made me a little sad to hit the delete button. I thought about Reed, Jim, Richard, Richman, Eric, Mark, Mark, BigB, Huff III and all the others who participated in the round-table discussions that we all had so much fun in. Such is life I suppose.

    Thinking about not renewing our season tickets next year. Maybe I’ll just come to Frans tailgates see all my buddies and watch the games on TV? << Hoping this is the January blues talking in my head?…

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      1. Ike and John – here is a little bit of sunshine on a rainy day for you two from PSN –

        https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2019/01/08/part-2-way-too-early-look-at-pitts-2019-depth-chart/

        Now if that defensive 2-deep doesn’t get you smiling a little about Pitt FB, I’ve got nothing else. Not a lot of studs, but a solid group of players that should gel well at a team sport.

        And think about this on the offensive side, Pitt had one of the worst “production” years in my lifetime and most of the starters on O will be moving on with their life’s work – wish them well, but the O will get a new look, fresh faces, hopefully a successful set of coaches and a renewed spirit amongst the fan base (how could it be any worse? ikr).

        The QB position has a full year starter returning, decent competition, a 4* recruit who enrolled in school early and a new OC who knows no one yet. The WR’s have talent in Ffrench, T.Mack, A.Mathews, Shockey, V.Carter, Tipton, Butler, Smith, Cameron O’Neil and a new WR coach to teach them proper technique for good route running to get open. At RB we have three 4* studs with very little experience – we started 2018 with a gloomy outlook at RB (by some) and look how that turned out. The OLine seems similar to 2018 – see RB comment above. The FB position will be tough to fill with George Aston moving on, but I believe he was under utilized by Watson anyways. With the TE position, did I mention there will be a new OC?

        All in all with the O there are a lot of unknowns, unlyke Clemson who seems to have everyone coming back on offense. For now, I’ll take an optimistic approach to next season and work hard to get that bad taste of the final three games out of my system. Duzz and Heather did the right thing to can Watson and Sherman. For that, I want to see what Duzz does with ALL of his own players.

        H2P!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think the defense is going to be very good next year. Second year under the new DC, and the new young guys are arguably more talented than the outgoing seniors, and they are experienced

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I realize Pitt isn’t in the league as these guys, but Alabama’s 2 deep on defense was a lot more impressive than ours, and Clemson could have hung 50 some points on them. Back to my earlier point, the whole philosophy that we’ve seen from Narduzzi so far — playing good defense with a run oriented, ball control offense — doesn’t seem to be the answer for the world of college football at the present time and in the near future. If Bama can’t do it with their recruits, it probably isn’t going to get Pitt much better than a .500 record.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree. Here is the difference between our game: Clemson basically ran on us at will, and didn’t ask Lawrence to pass. And they still hung 40+ on us, doing exactly what our defense was designed to stop. If Dabo has wanted to he could have hung 60 on us easily IMO

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  34. Hang in there, Ike. Just renewed my football tickets and parking passes a couple of days ago. Have eight more home basketball games to enjoy. And about the time that is winding down, we’ll be hitting that little white ball (or my preference, yellow ball) around. Life is still good.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Responding to a post of newbk1 from earlier today… where he asked why Chaney left Pitt. He was/is a carpetbagger, who followed the $$$. Which is what he’s now doing again. Leaving Georgia for Tennessee, where it is being reported that he’ll be one of the highest paid OC’s in the Country. Someday he and Fraud Graham will coach together at Gannon or Edinboro.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe that is at least part of the story. But I thought I heard grumblings that Chaney couldn’t get along with Narduzzi and that’s also part of the reason he left … of course that could have just been the Narduzzi haters talking.

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      1. Well Chaney has now jumped jobs three times in what? Five years? If there is a personality conflict maybe it’s his…

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  36. A little late on this but someone mentioned that Alabama and Clemson are not comparable to Pitt academically. That’s not true. Both do really well academically. Both used sports to drive an increase in applications, which drove an increase to accepting a better student. Most schools get this process and support sports because it leads to a higher academic reputation. Pitt doesn’t get it.

    ACC = Another Clempson Championship.

    Ike – it’s not all bad, relax! Womens basketball only lost 100-44 this past week. Last year, they don’t eclipse 40 points. LOL, too funny.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. MM: I posted something earlier, but I can say as my daughter navigates her senior year of high school, that Clemson specifically has very good academics. My daughter was accepted to Pitt Engineering. She has a 4.35 gpa, and very good SATs. She is expecting to get in to Clemson, but she’s nervous. Their average SAT is pretty high, higher than Pitt for some academic programs.

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      2. USNews takes a lot of different things into consideration when doing rankings that can be manipulated to get a better score/ranking.

        I would stick to GPA and ACT scores as a good gauge. Interesting information. Clemson seems higher, Alabama slightly lower.

        Clempson: The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Clemson University was 4.18 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A students are accepted and ultimately attend. There’s no absolute ACT requirement at Clemson, but they really want to see at least a 27 to have a chance at being considered. The 25th percentile ACT score is 27, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 31

        Alabama : 40 percent of UA’s freshman class scored 30 or higher on the ACT, and more than 36 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The entering class in 2018 carries an average high school grade-point average of 3.71, with more than 34 percent having a high school GPA of 4.0 or higher. The class’s average ACT is 27.

        Pitt: The average ACT score composite at University of Pittsburgh is a 29. The 25th percentile ACT score is 27, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 32. Average GPA is 4.0.

        Like

        1. You also have to take into account the South Carolina and Alabama public school systems where these GPA’s are being achieved. ACT score is more and an equal playing field I would hope

          Like

    1. Not sure why people are talking about academics because WHO REALLY CARES? And if I did care, what is Pitt doing so great as a university to wow me? I read on here the school has dropped in the rankings, whichever those rankings are and so what.

      Who talks about academics during a football game?

      I know if I was sitting near people during a game who were discussing academics and research I’d try to move seats.

      Like

      1. sports helps with branding
        it helps a schools reputation and identity
        which in turn can drive applications and better quality students
        sports can also impact a students college experience which is directly tied to university engagement and donations
        Pitt fails to connect through sports

        The ACC is a very good conference in both sports and academics. Its just too bad that Pitt is in the bottom 20% in both within this conference.

        2018 Directors Cup (only 2 ACC schools worse and 60 spots away from #48 Miami)
        USNews – ranking in the 70’s tied with Fl State and only 3 schools worse; Louisville is the outlier

        Tough to compete academically with small private schools in academic rankings
        But Pitt is a very good public school…actually its semi public since only 8% of its funding now comes from the Commonwealth so for all intents and purposes, its a big private school.

        Can always do better particularly on the sports side.

        Like

  37. Ike and John, the last few games got all of us down to some degree.
    I’m with Erie and Farmer’s (sounds like 2 insurance companies) lots to be hopeful for.
    More importantly I would miss you guys.
    I will be at the hoop game tonight and I will attend the LOI event.
    Golfed 18 yesterday so I’m feeling it…haha.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Golfing …. in mid-January …. in western Pennsylvania. I’m impressed, Fran! And people say global warming is a bad thing. (That’s a joke. Not looking to start that discussion.)

      Like

  38. As we wait to hear about the OC, there was one BRIGHT spot from the past Season.

    I think DC Randy Bates showed very well for himself as the Season went on and it started to become obvious that he was assuming more and more control of the Defense.

    Future Pitt HEAD Coach?

    We shall see.

    Like

    1. I agree that I thought Bates showed some good growth and I’m optimistic to see what his unit can do next year.

      Head coach material? Might be a little bit early for that POD…

      Like

  39. Jim Chaney, PN’s first OC in 2015, has just left Georgia for Tennessee. He was making $950k at UG, and was well regarded.

    Like

  40. Both Clemson and Alabama are ranked in Top 100 academic colleges by US News & World Report. In fact Clemson is usually not far behind Pitt.

    Furthermore, this past year Pitt and Clemson were among 6 colleges with perfect APR scores for their football programs. I don’t expect that for Alabama

    Like

      1. like college FB rankings, these are to be taken with a grain of salt a sit all depends on the criteria being used. NTL, it does give a general analysis

        Like

      2. I just had a discussion the other day about BAMA. Apparently, they’ve been investing a lot of sports money into academics and have a focus on becoming more prestigious. My co-workers kid got a 1530 on the SAT’s and I was surprised he didn’t have any full rides. He said he could have probably got one from BAMA. That they’re making a big push on getting “smart” kids into the school from out of state.

        Like

        1. same goes with the states of Oklahoma and Louisiana.

          they make a hard push for Texas kids

          you can pretty much pay in-state rates via the financial aid they provide

          Liked by 1 person

        2. My son had a full ride offer from Alabama based on SAT score. We as parents may be nuts for not pushing for it but we weren’t comfortable with him that far away and we were able to steer him to Pitt. It was problem the right decision as we were able to help him ride out some rough times which he got through, graduated from the Engineering School, and has a great job in the DC area.

          Liked by 1 person

  41. The ESPN pundits were discussing this morning how several P5 schools are looking for OC’s this offseason and the competition will be fierce. (Not good for Pitt, IMO) Only two names were mentioned in the half hour segment I listened to on XM84 radio – Cheney and Canada. Go figure…

    Like

    1. XM84 is all about college sports, especially FB, with a lot of knowledgeable people. But just like its TV counterparts, they spend 90% of the time on 10% of the colleges. The most commentary I heard about Pitt over the past few years was on just how bad the Stallings’ hire was. (They praised the Capel hiring.)

      I guess Canada is a possibility since he’s been here but I doubt we will get a big name. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be a good hire. Never heard of Chaney or Canada before being hired at Pitt — but also never heard of Watson.

      Like

  42. Chaney is a terrific OC and QB coach. He has had great success wherever he has been. Would love to have him back as our OC. Unfortunately, looks like he will be heading to TN…

    Like

  43. I don’t think Chaney would coach under Narduzzi ever again and Canada has too many ants in his pants. I’m still thinking most people will like this next hire though….

    Like

    1. And the next guy will also be criticized, like every other hire Narduzzi has made. It is a Pitt Fan’s tradition.
      By the way what has happened to UPitt, he has missed a great opportunity to bash over the last three games?

      Like

  44. I still have my eve on this David Yost character for a couple reasons. One, that’s what he is, a character. Two, he’s well known as a QB developer. He’s not that old but he’s not young either. He’s a west coast guy but he has had a stop at Toledo… Plus he doesn’t like to do interviews. << perfect fit for Narduzzi? Although I think he’s likely low on the list of possibilities.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/…/who_is_dave_yost_5_things_to_k.htm

    Like

    1. All good news is reported in Fridays. So if no news this Friday then it will be at least a week…

      Like

  45. Well my above link didn’t seem to work so a few more tidbits on Yost. He was the QB coach for Brad Smith, Chase Daniel and Blane Gabbert.

    He’s coached under Mike Leach and Mark Helfrich

    He also was a kicking coach while at Missouri coaching QB. Two kickers were named all American under Yost.

    He played at Kent State and again coached at Toledo so he may come east

    Finally and most importantly, he started out as a kindergarten teacher. << Maybe why he relates with college athletes so well?

    Like

  46. PSN has a source mentioning Brian Wright as a candidate. I think unnamed sources are usually full of crap but you never know.

    Like

  47. Wright does seem like a strong possibility if only because he makes something like $147,500 per year. Larry Fedora remains #1 on my wish list as splash hire of sorts. Plus I think his recruiting sends him over the top in candidates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Larry Fedora would be a great hire but I also think there is not a chance to get him. He beat Narduzzi every time they played each other. Do you believe Narduzzi would hire someone that could hold that over him when Fedora starts installing his offensive system which is in conflict with Narduzzi’s “vision” of what the offense should be.

      Like

  48. Who was Kingsbury’s OC at Texas Tech? He should be someone who is pretty offensive minded with a good understanding of the passing game. If another week goes by without an OC being named, I think we can count on getting a lower profile, less experienced coach. The obvious big names will be taken, unless some out of the box selection is made such as a current HC at a smaller school.

    Like

    1. Didn’t they hire him to be the next HC? I “think” (not researching this one) that they hired the OC already on staff as Kliff’s replacement.

      Like

  49. I think Texas Tech ran a version of the Air Raid offense, like WVU. I may be wrong.
    That is one system PN would not gravitate too. I wouldn’t mind, but it would be shocking.

    Like

  50. Thanks, notrocketscience. It would at least give Pitt an advanced passing skill set that PN may or may not use. The question might be for the right price would the guy be willing to adjust his style to fit PN’s running inclinations. And it would likely help with recruiting some good WRs.

    Like

  51. VoR, I wouldn’t want a coach who is willing to adjust his round coaching philosophies to fit into Narduzzi’s square coaching inclinations. PITT needs a coach who is good at what he does and he does it with conviction.

    Like

  52. One reason the defense looked much better this year is because the running game helped control the clock, keeping the D on the bench more. High Octane offense puts much more stress on the defense, So doubtful that Narduzzi goes in that direction. Pitt needs a more balanced offense with a strong running game. A strong running game also is less susceptible to turnovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. The rich may be getting richer. In addition to acquiring Chaney, Tennessee is also in serious talks with former Vols QB and USC OC Tee Martin to join the staff. He is considered a strong recruiter.

    Why be concerned about Tennessee? Because they play Pitt in 2021 and 2022.

    Like

  54. Guys, I think my point is that we saw what happens with no passing game, and the running game and run blocking skills should already exist at Pitt. What is needed is an infusion of passing knowledge, route running and pass blocking techniques to provide a more balanced attack from we saw this year. The guy should also have the skills as a QB coach to further develop Pickett or the other young QBs if a QB coach is not hired.

    Like

    1. The question is whether we have the talent, coaching can only do so much. If the tackles don’t have good feet or any of the line aren’t strong enough to stop the bull rush, coaching technique is irrelevant.

      Hall getting knocked on his but is a perfect example, he had four years to learn technique.

      Bookser going offside repeatedly and not laying a hand on his man is a lack of capability not knowledge.

      KP underthrowing or overthrowing his receiver isn’t on the coaches.

      Anyone expecting a miracle worker will be disappointed.

      Like

        1. They lose 4 linemen, 2 rb’s, a fullback, and Lopes. Not sure how you come up with roses. Plus a center coming off surgery and little other line game experience. Running backs with little to no game experience.
          Not to mention a QB that doesn’t give most people much confidence, but oh yes guaranteed they will be better. With a new playbook as well.

          Like

    1. PItt should hire him to teach Nard some pointers…maybe he can put a bounty on James Franklin too during next year’s game…I love a good sideline injury.

      Like

  55. My guess Brian Wright (Toledo)gets the OC job after reading the PSN writeup. Worked as OC for Charlie Partridge in Fla and more to the point he’s only making $147,000 at Toledo. If Pitt gives him $400,000 he’ll think died and went to heaven.

    Like

  56. My guess is that Pitt is looking to get lucky on an unknown bargain. And since Wright likes to to run the ball quite a bit that would seem to fit right into Narduzzi feel good sweet zone.

    Like

    1. Well I’m on the record for wanting Canada back. As long as Narduzzi ties him into a multiyear contract (at least 3)in which Pitt would be reimbursed for his salary if he bolts for another offer.

      Like

  57. Doing some demo work today so I’ve had a radio on the past couple hours. Put on the Fan to see if any Pitt talk…

    Unfortunately, aside from a mention of the OC search, at every 20 minute update when the guy mentions Pitt playing Louisville tonight he reminds everyone that Pitt has lost 23 conference games in a row, plus that Pitt is 0-8 versus Louisville in the ACC…

    I’m turning to some oldies right now…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  58. Here is the only way I want Canada back (no that Pitt cares).

    Lyke: How can you grow Kenny Pickett and our offensive units ability to Pass downfield

    Canada: Here is my 15 point plan that I will cover in detail over the remaining two hours of our interview…

    note: I have no idea what he has, but it has to be detailed and impactful

    if he can do that…hire him in immediately.

    Dave

    Like

  59. Poll

    A. Matt Canada
    B. Brian Wright
    C. David Yost
    D. Other

    Please don’t vote. I don’t even know if any or all are candidates …. but I have a feeling that D. would be the favorite since any known candidate would be ripped here. We’re looking for ideal candidate … right?

    I can remember Canada being ripped because he had just been left go by NC State.

    Like

  60. I join the “just say” no crowd when it comes to rehiring Canada. He is a money grubbing egotist. Hope he gets his head coaching position so I can watch him fall flat on his face. Apparently even Maryland did not want him.

    Brian Wright from Toledo has been mentioned by some. I think that would be a good hire. Some on here proposed the Toledo head coach for a Narduzzi replacement but all we need is their offense.

    Some of the names being thrown around outside of this forum have been ridiculous. The New Castle paper proposed Mark Mangino formerly of many places including Kansas. Mangino has a bit of luggage following him around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe we have a few money grubbing egotists posting to the POV. I’d bolt to LSU also if they offered me a $1.5 million salary. Would I be correct in assuming you would decline that offer and remain at Pitt if you were offered the same contract John. If so your a hell of a better man than I.

      Like

  61. Oh Canada may fit the bill with KP who clearly is a better RPO QB than he is a drop-back QB. He has no field vision, an inaccurate arm, and lacks pocket presence.

    Problem is, Beville may not relate well to the RPO offense, which doesn’t appear to fit his skill set. I think Beville is the future, so would love to see an OC who can devise an offense suited to him in the long-run. I think KP is a stop gap, based on what he has shown over the past season + 2 games last year.

    Pitt will never get over the mediocre hump until it finds a quality P5 QB. Also would be nice to see some highly ranked OL recruits. Borberly may be a decent teacher of technique (at least run blocking) but recruiting results are terrible, with this latest class.

    Like

  62. I’m going to go ahead and vote wwb as I don’t know a thing but I vote D because, when was the only time Narduzzi or PITT hired anyone we thought they would. ANSWER: never

    Like

  63. jrnpitt

    I think Peterman was the best of both worlds at Pitt, accurate arm, good field vision, but also a decent runner when called upon. I don’t think that describes KP, but maybe Beville. Just too early to tell, IMO.

    Like

    1. How did Peterman look and do in his first two years at Tenn.? Not so good.

      Do you think there’s any chance that KP improves from the experience he’s gotten this past season?

      Right or wrong, Pitt has invested it’s most precious resource, playing time, in Kenny Pickett. Next season is the time to reap the reward.

      And I know that some QBs come in and tear it up as freshmen or sophomores. But not all QBs do – some take some time to develop (like Nathan Peterman).

      We shall see, but I’m not writing off KP…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  64. ^^ John, I’ll answer down here. Yes I think hiring Fedora is a possibility…… Not that I totally believe it was Heather who demanded Narduzzi to fire Watson but she sure could have had a hand in it. That hand could also play a big part in who he hires for OC………. and maybe she could procure/provide the $$ if she is on board with who it is Narduzzi wants to hire?

    Beville is at least as mobile and smart as KP along with a stronger arm and perhaps a bit more touch on the ball.

    I look for Narduzzi to hire someone who lives in the present and not the past.

    Like

      1. Actually had a short conversation with Narduzzi about Cavanaugh. Surprised to find out that they really have ZERO relationship. Surprised me, especially considering both from Youngstown.

        Like

          1. Hear, hear!

            Matt C. would have to be high up on the list of disappointing coaching stints at Pitt. You’d think he would bring in a good QB recruit or two. But we got zero.

            Matt was good at calling plays to score in the red zone though – at least when he had Palko and his threat to run. Many easy TD passes to the TEs that season. Coach Duzz should go back and look at those tapes for red-zone plays for a run-threat QB (and to see what a TE looks like…).

            Go Pitt.

            Like

  65. BTW, of the candidates most mentioned here, Canada is actually the youngest 46. He is an Indiana alum so he may well end up there. Wright is 48, Yost is 52, and Fedora is 56.

    It would be nice to find someone younger but if successful, PN will be hiring his 5th OC in 2020

    Like

  66. Taxingmatrs…. loved your comment KP would be a better RPO QB because he has no pocket presence, no field vision and inaccurate arm..that is hilarious…just the kinda guy we need to “ repeat” the Coastal … I am not mocking your comment .. I totally agree with your assessment of his skill or lack of….

    NP might end up in coaching sooner rather than later.

    Need a recruiter from the southeast who knows the lay of the land as our next OC… maybe Duzz should treat himself to some “ strange” and hire outside his comfort zone- his box- his inner circle of friends….(That’s old guys locker room talk for you newbies!)

    Duzz’s coaching search theme song just popped
    Into my head…. to follow…

    Like

  67. there is a story in PennLive sports section today about a 4-star RB that flipped from Auburn to PSU entitled “Story behind Penn State coach James Franklin’s last-second phone call to land Noah Cain”

    My guess is that the call went something like .. ‘we will match Auburn’s 125k and throw in a Continental SUV”

    Liked by 3 people

  68. Reed, I’m telling you that your “dice Dragons is a basketball school

    6A PA State Basketball Rankings

    Roman Catholic (12) – 8-4
    Kennedy Catholic (10) – 5-3
    Abington (1) – 8-1
    La Salle College HS (12) – 12-0
    Upper St. Clair (7) – 11-0
    Emmaus (11) – 9-2
    Norristown (1) – 10-1
    Lower Merion (1) – 9-1
    Allderdice (8) – 8-2
    Wilson (3) – 10-0

    Like

  69. Of course Canada is going to say he is interested in Pitt. He is currently out of work! BigB is right that Canada probably has no ties to recruits and would bring in about as many as Watson did (Zero!). I say avoid this guy like the plague. At 46 he is desperate for a head coaching job, and Pitt would become the first team to be stiffed twice by the same guy in a 4 year period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to sources Watson was instrumental in getting Beville to commit to Pitt. Before the signing period last month Narduzzi and Watson both visited Beville.

      Like

  70. Canada – Let’s be clear about something here. Maryland was going to clean house and not appoint anyone from the staff to the head coach position because of the fatality of a player. It couldn’t have been an in-house replacement for fear of additional reputational harm. Rightfully or wrongfully, that is the state of the college presidents and board members, just ask Greg Schiano, Bobby Petrino, Joe Paterno, etc. When you get associated with something bad, you are done, period.

    Every day that goes by without an announcement makes my brain move towards a mediocre hire. I am pre-conditioned now……

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Duzz operates with a short list of replacements in his pocket… just take him F’n Fo’eva to make the hire….(apologiesMM if Icrossed the line)… I expect we will here in mid to late February…Heather is definitely keeping her eye on the Duzz process… she hit a home run with Capel to get him to take over that dumpster fire …Hope Duzz knows she is evaluating him….

    Like

    1. Abbreviations are permitted although not encouraged. Lord knows I’ve gone there a few times. Carry on…

      Like

  72. Noted some comments concerning the academic standing of Pitt, Clemson, and Bama. The latest Math & Verbal SAT composite scores for entering Freshmen for these schools are Pitt 1330, Clemson 1305, Bama 1165 (reference: collegeboard.org). Concerning a comment concerning Pitt and Clemson Engineering, on August 15, 2018 Pitt’s new Engineering Dean is African-American James Martin, former Chair of Clemson’s Civil Engineering Dept. How apropos.

    I graduated Pitt mechanical engineering in 1974 and can only remember 1 African-American student in my engineering classes and I believe he dropped out. But my memory (hopefully) could be wrong.

    Pitt Engineering has grown with the times and my latest Pitt Engineering Swanson School annual report states that the average SAT of Pitt Engineering enrolling freshmen is 1400.

    H2P

    Like

    1. Great intel Tony. It’s nice to see that we are beating Clemson in at least one area and arguably two. It’s also good to see we are poaching top talent from the Clemson staff.

      Like

  73. POV Service announcement (at least for locals)

    Andrew Stockey@astockeyWTAE
    Tonight’s 8pm game between #Pitt and #Louisville can be seen in Pittsburgh on @COZITV on free, over-the-air channel 4.2 and cable TV Comcast channel 204/188, Verizon FIOS channel 461, Armstrong channel 90, Consolidated channel 15 and Atlantic Broadband channel 110 #WTAE

    Like

  74. I’m skeptical of Oh Canada’s return because he never unpacks, but I must say that the offense was really well coached when he was here.

    Very few penalties or mistakes and the unit ran the plays with good timing and crispness… Impressive coaching job that season.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

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