I just had lunch with Pittman4ever (Jim G.) as we always do when he comes to Maryland to visit his daughter’s family.  As we ate we sat and thought up possible future articles about Pat Narduzzi and Pitt football that would be sure to upset most Pitt fans.

As of now we have 43 different topics to cover. The first eight are about recruiting.

Just though you should know…can’t wait till mid-April!!  How about you!!!  Which subjects do you think we can write about to torque fans off?

Thanks…

 

 

 

 

 

294 thoughts on “Great Future Articles Ideas

    1. Reed, you too much, man! Lol

      “As we ate we sat and thought up possible future articles about Pat Narduzzi and Pitt football that would be sure to upset most Pitt fans.”

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  1. Reed, recruiting is always a great topic that gets the blood boiling! It’s clear that Narduzzi is consistently coming up short in the recruiting battles. The question is why. We all know his personality is abrasive at best, so he won’t win any hearts and minds in the parents’ living room. The question is, how to counter the fact that a head coach has no personality to win over recruits.

    My first thought is to look hard at his assistant coaches to see if they are sufficiently skilled at the recruiting process. These assistant coaches should not be hired unless they have the necessary recruiting skills to compensate for Duzz’s inadequacies. And to date I have not seen it. How many top recruits are these assistants responsible for bringing in?

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    1. I think he does try to be a bit too clever at times, but I don’t know about the Doozer not winning any hearts. I see some recruits speaking highly of our head coach after a visit.

      The other day PSN had glowing quotes from a VA High School coach and parent about Narduzzi.

      So I don’t think it’s as one-sided as you are portraying it…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree. PN has his limitations and a lot of strengths as well. I don’t get POVers who think little of him. If you want to think he can’t recruit fine but the fact of the matter is that his poor recruiting may be caused by things that are unsolvable. What I do see is a very clean program that is chock full of a really good kids. Anyone want to challenge that last sentence?

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    1. Does “The Undertaker” signal the return of UPitt? 😊

      That photo actually reminds me of Lastrow – if he had a hat like that… Must be the beard.

      Go Pitt.

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  2. When I was early in sales, we had a Corporate VP that every customer hated. He had the curse of Narduzzi personality x2. Eventually we told our customers, “he was dead”! No such luck with that solution for Duzz as he is seen often on the sidelines.

    But ….HE is the one that needs fixed. Why not put he and his entire staff thru a “sales and getting along with people” course. If I’m Heather, I would demand it. Summer is a good time.

    Recruiting starts and stops at the top! Only other solution is changing the guy at the top.

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    1. Here’s what Deon Glover, VA high school coach and father of a recruit said the other day after a visit to Pitt, per PGH Sports Now:

      ““I liked the facilities, the campus, the city was impressive but Coach Duzzy is it, he’s just that type of coach,” said Glover. “It’s very obvious that he’s a players’ coach. He’s like a dad and will give it to you raw but he’ll still love you, I love that.

      “He’s not arrogant, he’s not cocky. He reminds me a lot of Gary Patterson from TCU. He’s just that type of guy. Coaches like him are able to go after great players to build a program and if you give them time, before you know it, they’re a top program year in and year out in the conference they’re in. People might say, oh they’re not getting a lot of four- and five-star players but my response is, it’s about the head coach not the high star players.”

      Like everyone on here, I want to see Pitt recruit better, but I’m not seeing too much wrong with Coach Narduzzi’s interaction with this gentleman…

      Hail to Pitt!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Dan, you’re hearing stories from people who don’t like the guy for whatever reason. Like the half concocted story abut the party cleanup. << I know the story and there is way more to it than what is known. Kind of like the story that the PITT locker-room was in chaos last year and mutiny was inevitable. Didn’t happen and wasn’t true.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Anonymous sources…yikes! They have to have a name attached and actually had firsthand interactions with Narduzzi.

          I’ll side with the players and recruits that love the guy.

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  3. Reed — the obvious answer to your question about what can you write about to torque fans off is Coach Narduzzi. Then I guess there’s the mysterious but ever present BOT…

    And don’t forget Heather and EJ.

    Personally, I’d prefer to write about or think about the players. I realize that’s tough with limited info.

    Anyone notice, for example, that in the brief practice clips we do see, WRs No. 5 and No. 88 seem to be looking good. That’s Tre Tipton and Butler-Jenkins.

    Go Pitt.

    Go Pitt.

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  4. A few ideas ideas for articles:

    Will PITT win the spring game?

    Will Heather go on vacation for this spring game or will she be handing out meaningless awards at halftime?

    Will Narduzzi rant and rave on the sidelines like a loony this coming year? << You know like 90% of all coaches in the country.

    Will Reed win a Tony Award for best actor next ceremony?

    Which golf team will win the POV golf outing?

    I joke I joke….. except I do hope Reed puts on a great show come the 13th. Good luck again Reed.

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  5. Major, not sure what you are smoking, but what you describe is by far an exception not the rule. These kids are all told to say good things about any offer until they make the choice. And Tex, Narduzzi recruits “character” as he says, which is hard to assess and impossible to refute. How far did “character” get us in the last three games? Sure, character is important but it can’t throw or catch a pass.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voice – not smoking anything, believe it or don’t. I wasn’t referring to offers, I was referring to comments after visits to Pitt.

      I realize that Coach Duzz has gotten into trouble with some people with his “either you’re with me or you’re against me” attitude. That attitude has both positive and negative aspects. He has to learn to just say “Thank you and Good Night” when things don’t go his way.

      Maybe he is learning that; maybe he isn’t. I see signs of him improving as a HC since he’s been on the job.

      Eventually we’ll see if the next guy has any more luck recruiting to a half-full stadium in an area with fewer elite recruits.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. C’mon John. You just cannot believe it if someone, anyone says something positive about Narduzzi. Even if it’s Heather. Then… she becomes the target.

        Richman, you nailed it!

        and the POV is BACK!!!

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  6. If the focus is on recruiting, then the sport should be wrestling since PA is no. 1 for wrestling recruits. The final rankings showed 4 PA schools in the Top 25. It also is the state of the national champion over the past several years.

    Meanwhile, here is a listing of FB blue chips for next year in the entire state of PA

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/search#?query=&formValues=%7B%22sport%22:%22Football%22,%22recruit_year%22:2020,%22prospect_profiles.stars%22:%7B%22range%22:%22gte%22,%22number%22:4%7D,%22page_number%22:1,%22page_size%22:100,%22state.abbr%22:%5B%22PA%22%5D%7D

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  7. Why is it when someone mentions something negative about Narduzzi there are no questions asked and taken at face value but when someone says something nice it’s nothing but a bunch of baloney? That’s not fair imo.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How about the topic about why Pitt fans are so bitter and insecure. Or why they can’t be happy with the multiple good things about the university and football team.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m biiter because Pitt has been historically negligent and cheap when it came to running a successful football program. It isnt cheap any more but its not breaking the bank either.

      I am very secure in saying that Pitt is fine with mediocrity.

      I’ll give Pitt credit for being scandal free, running a clean program and having high character players.

      I wont give them a free pass on the money being spent and the field results achieved.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Haven’t checked in for awhile. Great to see the chatter.

    It is interesting to hear what the recruits and their parents say. Guys, they are coached to say these things and they all say the same thing. How many times do you have to read it? Coach is great. Campus is great. Practice Facilities are great. Everything is great except the signature on LOI day.

    I have yet to read any comment directly from a recruit that says “I hated the place and the coach is a jerk”.

    Let’s get some perspective and understand the game from the recruit perspective. They all say the same thing just in case they end up having to pick a school that is lower on their list, because of numbers games at a position, etc. It’s a game guys, c’mon! They don’t want to burn bridges. They just had an all expense paid trip for them and a parent, mentor, coach, or handler. What is there not to like or love about that. I’d say great things about each of you if you buy me an all expense weekend anywhere.

    Show me the kid who says “that place stunk, it’s not for me and the head coach is a blowhard” and I will either respect the hell out of them for their honesty and character OR really think they are crazy for disrespecting the process, but really want them to play for me even more because they were honest.

    Reed, now that you are back I needed to jab you for a second for mocking me when I said that Wirginis would not be reliable because of injury last year…..before he was….injured! I just thought he played with bad body angles and outside his core, leading with his head and all around leaving him susceptible to injury.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Huff — I agree with your overall point, that recruits will say positive things after an offer or visit. They are indeed a blessing of some sort.

      However, sometimes there are more to the comments. I found it interesting, for example, that in the comments quoted above by Mr. Glover, he says that Coach Dooz “wasn’t cocky…wasn’t arrogant…”. Who says that unless they were told by someone beforehand that the guy is cocky and arrogant?

      I’m sure our opponent’s recruiters portray Dooz that way and can show clips/quotes to back it up. As you said, it’s all gamesmanship and salesmanship…

      And sometimes you get thoughtful comments from recruits like Omega’s comment that he was impressed with the nationality rooms because it shows the school appreciates diversity…

      It’s when the comments are not the standard recruit/ parent comments that catches my eye…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Huff the third, two things, Wirginis was leading the team in tackles when he went down and he got hurt in practice during a non-contact drill. just saying buddy. Nice to see you back.

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  11. How about a column about Pitt alums being the most cynical, and they blame everything and everyone … except themselves. Geez, a noon start …. geez, there’s 40% chance of rain … geez, the temperature might dip into the 30s …. geez, I’ve already forked over $80 to watch the Steelers on Sunday.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Spot on wwb. I’ve always said too many Pitt fans look for any excuse not to go rather than a reason to go.

      Seemingly, other college football fans make a Saturday home game an all-day event and make the most of it. The drive, the traffic, parking, tailgaiting before the game, the game itself, and tailgating after the game, etc. It’s all a part of it, expected and accepted as such.

      Too many Pitt fans simply want to drive to Heinz Field with no traffic, it’s their God-given right to park within a field goal’s distance to the gates and then after the game, hop in their car and drive home without any traffic.

      Yet you don’t here Steelers fans complaining about all that and staying away from going to the same stadium.

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      1. For those who only see the banter here, and have not made a tailgate: I echo Reed. Fran is a character, and Fran is great!

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  12. And Huff, c’mon buddy, there is what is said and then there is how things are said. I know everyone knows that so it all comes back to personal opinion, bias and/or agendas. Narduzzi has left plenty of room for criticism but where there is doubt and lack of any credible evidence, I’ll tend to give the benefit. Obviously many here do not and so the tone changes.

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    1. Of course you had a writer with media credentials and contacts on the Southside writing articles…but it is more comfortable to believe exactly what you prefer to…

      BTW – I still hold those credentials.

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    2. @PMan03 – they have been duds because he picks them up late in the process after everyone else has rung them through the ringer and decided there are better players that have passed them by during the season. The comittable offers shrink after other teams fill their respective rosters. Once there is shrinkage in committable offers, the stars go down or the 4 star remains with little activity for the player.

      When the comittable offers shrink, you are left with a 4 star or a shrinking 4 star that others passed on. I wouldn’t blame Narduzzi for that, really. If he lands them when the big programs are going after them, it would actually be exciting!

      Bookser was a 4 star and had plenty of off field issues. Hopefully he gets things together and makes a roster as a free agent. Hamlin is solid in my opinion and Ford has yet to be solid. Pitt failed in their experiment in moving him last year. That is on Narduzzi…. and probably Ford to some extent.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 7-7 last year.
    No bowl wins.
    Mediocre recruiting.
    Mediocre results.
    Them’s the facts.
    Recruits can say what they want, but until they sign on the dotted line, I’ll defer to past performance before speculating on the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Richman, that is painting with a hugely wide brush. One isn’t insecure just because they take a different view of Pitt football than you do.

    But if you are looking in any direction regarding our common interest how about the fans who don’t want to acknowledge that Pitt football, and it’s principals, are exactly like everything else in life with great, good, bad and ugly aspects?

    I’d say those who don’t want to address anything that is outside their comfort zone are the ones with insecurities.

    But that was what the POV was started for – to have a place where the 360 degrees of the issues would be written about…not just what certain people wanted to hear.

    That was why from the very beginning three years ago I solicited and published guest authors articles without censorship at all…so there would be articles that had a different point of view than the lead writer. And was why the POV had the highest readership and commenting of any non-commercial blog about Pitt football by far.

    The fact that so few readers took me up on that falls on their shoulders and no one elses. Which is exactly why I hope Mike keeps submitting articles without the feeling that he’s under any sort of pressure to do so. I really want that to happen.

    But if any fan looks at the last two non-winning seasons and their combined 12-14 record with the attendant poor recruiting years (50th thiis last class) that accompany them with our two total 4* recruits (in the HC’s 3rd and 4th full seasons) and doesn’t feel that something is wrong there then they haven’t just drunk the kool aid, they were waterboarded with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. According to FBSchedules, Clempsum & Oklahoma have schedules a home & home for 2035 & 2036.

    https://fbschedules.com/clemson-oklahoma-schedule-football-series-2035-2036/

    Yes, 16 years from now. Weren’t some on this site complaining last year about PITT scheduling Wisconsin for 2026 & 27. That it was to early & schools were constantly making contracts for games only two & three years out.

    Actually, since I am bored at night, I have been working on an excel spreadsheet of future P% conference teams (does not include N.D. schedule). I am still trying to figure out a way to write an article about it.

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    1. I’ll be 6’ deep, likely. Or hobbled, for sure. So I’m not inclined to care about:

      According to FBSchedules, Clempsum & Oklahoma have schedules a home & home for 2035 & 2036.

      I mean time just runs out for us all in the end. So it’s a darned shame that we’ve reached a scheduling standpoint with near zero flexibility.

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  16. I listened to Chris Peaks latest podcast – he talks about how Pitt is letting nothing out about practice but a 90 second clip occasionally and that is exactly what they want. He states that Pitt FB wants our attention about 15 times a year – 12 regular season games, ACC championship, bowl game and Spring game.

    Some of us on here have expressed our feelings that the Pittsburgh news does not cover Pitt sports well. Below is an example from ten years ago – catch the Xavier headline…that to me is negative on Pitt men’s basketball who just had made it to the Elite Eight.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/PGH_Sports_Date/status/1110499179829362688/photo/2

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    1. And I’d thought HCPN would loosen the reins a bit this spring and coming fall with regard to media access; it’s a disservice to fans and disables media delivery about the program we share a vital interest.

      And for what? So V’Carters of this world are untraceable 6 games into a season.

      Give it a rest, PN. It’s not Dungeons & Dragons. I’d suggest move with the times. As the fan base is locked out due the HC’s insistence that that fake punt in game 7 or ?, was altogether too valuable to divulge. (Their maybe some spies out there, sure, but the complete lack of transparency in-program on the practice field is really pretty obsessive and garners little appreciation. Or, trust.

      I say — as near everyone — give the Trib & PG (and the other hard working outlets) something to write about and report on every once in a while, allowing the program some visibility.

      It’s Lyke’s duty to engage in this discussion with HCPN. (Really, it’s not like PN opened pandora’s box on any 2018 opponent, albeit V’Carter’s appearance may be the lone qualifier here.)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Reed, that undertaker guy ain’t smiling. Never saw Fran without a smile on his face. I do see where you are coming from though. Never a discouraging word from the POV undertaker.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. @ Rich – you posted, while I wrote. You answered the question in your post. We can say a lot of good things about pitt and its sports teams, but I personally want to say a lot of excellent things. Good is okay and we are good at sports. Agreed. Good is mediocre, average. I want to be great, excellent.

    We set expectations at the top of any organization. For 40 years the tone at the top said “let’s be good” athletically. The top never said “let’s be great and commit to that”. I want them to say it and mean it! GRRRRRR!

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    1. LOL Huff the Third. It’s been very well documented right here on the POV why PITT can’t reach those high expectations as the football program has three hands tied behind their backs due to BOT priorities. You just can’t make a race horse out of a jackass. We all know the problems with the football program but we want to jump the scapegoat or his boss. Me? I’m happy to root root root on my team and be happy with small accomplishments. Like an ACC division championship!

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    2. Its a cultural thing at Pitt.
      Pitt does not want athletics to get more attention than academics
      Pitt is fine with mediocrity
      Pitt is fine with spending on par with other middle of the road ACC schools
      Pitt is fine playing in adequate facilities even those off campus
      Pitt is fine with running a clean program and graduating its players
      Pitt is fine doing the bare minimum to stay in the conference

      Pitt does not desire athletics to be excellent. That actually scares them. Because they think to become excellent that a school must cheat, a school must lower standards, a school must go into debt. They are wrong and dont want to hear the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The state of the program rests both on the BoT and the HC. So Gallagher who represents the BoT, Heather who runs athletics and Narduzzi are all culpable. The long term heath of the program rests with the BoT. The short term health rests with Narduzzi. And he’s getting paid good money for not winning bowl games and for not having the team ranked come seasons end. Poor recruiting will be his downfall. And thats primarily on him…although a half empty off campus stadium with yellow seats doesnt help yet he refuses to tarp.

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      1. The biggest problem, and you’re correct in what you wrote, Pitt wants mediocrity yet fires or let coaches walk who actually have winning records. Pitt has a good one, for Pitt standards, in Narduzzi yet gives him killer non-conference schedules, so when fans whine about his record the dullards at Pitt will listen and consider making changes.

        Pitt thinks it is cool making a coaching change because it puts the school in the news, albeit, briefly. That’s a terrible way to run a program but Pitt is one of the worst at running athletics.

        Those changes set the program back and it has been a continuous cycle since the 1980s. Fire who you have then hire the next assistant who has no balls either when coaching.

        It is time to preach continuity with a coach until there are consecutive losing seasons, then a change might be necessary. I don’t see two consecutive losing seasons happening any time soon.

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  19. Possible article: why have so many 4 star recruits been duds at pitt over Narduzzi’s tenure? I’m sure the haters will blame Narduzzi but it is an interesting question.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. BTW Huff the Third, I was LOL at your GRRRRRR, not your comment.

    Pittman2003, goes to show how important 4* players really are. Some are great, some are good and some are not. Recruiting is a science.

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  21. Tex is right about being bitter. We have a right to be when the program thumbs its nose at the alums and fans. Every time I’m about to give them the benefit of the doubt they pull a fast one, in this case shutting us out of the Spring practices and any info. Heather needs to step up and tell Narduzzi that if they hope to sell some tickets this year they should try something new: open the program up a bit.

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    1. Thank you `for making my point about Pitt alums being so darn cynical. So you are so bitter about lack of news about spring practice? What’s next … having the spring game on Master’s weekend? No matter what …. you freakin Pitt fans will find something to be bitter about

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      1. Pitt thinks whats going on at Pitt practices is something equivalent to the Manhattan Project. Pitt is just not smart in marketing its program and players. There should be news to generate interest and excitement. Pitt fans have a right to be cynical given the way the administration has run the department and program over the last 40 years.

        Its funny when one is cynical, one is then described as a self loathing Pitt fan.

        So lets not pretend that Pitt is anything more than a mediocre program. If you want sustained excellence, many fans have to first ween themselves off the Kool-Aid and become somewhat more critical.

        So yes it is my opinion that Pitt needs to do a better job at transparency in regards to practices for the sheer sake of generating enthusiasm for this year. What is Narduzzi trying to hide on the SouthSide? His 2 star players with offers from Holy Cross? So what.

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  22. Ike posts along with others about all of us knowing the reason”S” behind our mediocre Pitt football program and I agree, we all know….some continually seem to forget what they know though and some never forget what they think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. tvax1 – you’re getting pretty complex here!

      Of course we’d all love to see Pitt excel at everything they do. I do think that the administration at Pitt cringes when the newspapers publish the lists of the highest paid employees at Pitt and the leaders are the FB coach and the BB coach. I understand that, but it just has to be done now if you play big-time college athletics.

      I don’t get the argument that we should be winning more games because of what Narduzzi is paid. Huh? Is the Stanford coach paid less than the Dooz or more? I would guess more. How about the Clemson coach? If we’re in the middle of the ACC, then isn’t if pretty good that we went 6-2 in our Division?

      Those of us who may defend Pitt are said to be unrealistic. I don’t think that’s true. I think I can see the weaknesses that Pitt has. I’d like to see Pitt recruit better, what Pitt fan wouldn’t. But I understand the problems in recruiting to Pitt — principally the half-full stadium and the climate (especially when you’re forced to look for so many players from the south). (After all these years, it still honestly boggles my mind sometimes at how we get ANY players from Florida to come to Pitt; and conversely, why any local player would not want to go south to go to school…)

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Complex? Maybe. Impatient? Definitely. I simply can’t be bothered repeating all the pieces of which some have seemingly chosen to ignore. wwb covers it, iek of course too, Huff most times, and others…but some just choose to ignore reality for their own “realism”. Tiring.

        For some, if it is a problem, the answer is HCPN, no matter the question.

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  23. I’ll tell you one thing that I know. Pitt has only won ONE national championship in any sport since 1976. There are many reasons for this but one primary reason is the BoT composition and influence.

    I will argue that if you replace all 36 members with 36 commentators from the Pitt POV, you will have a national championship in at least 1 sport in less than 5 years. Moreover, you’ll have greater fan engagement, the programs will be making more money, and there will no longer be SOP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TX – I’m just curious. How do you know how much and what influence the BOT has over the football and basketball programs? And how do they hold those two programs back? I’m serious.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. The BoT sets the culture. Historically, whenever football got successful, the BoT made sure the Pitt AD clamped down. Look at what happened to Jackie. Look at what happened to Gottfried. Look at what happened to Wanny. Heck go back to the Sutherland days.

        Now all those coaches gave the BoT some little reason to clamp down and the BoT over-reacted. With Jackie it was cheating and booster influence. With Gottfried it was academics and the thuggery of players. With Wanny it was lack of discipline and players getting into trouble.

        The academic side of Pitt is very jealous and envious of any athletic success. You dont see this at other schools that truly understand the front porch concept and how sports is critical to the schools brand.

        You are aware that Nitters have always held seats on the BoT. Thats unheard of at most schools. You think any Buckeye is on Michigan’s board that has anything to do with sports.

        Pitt’s BoT is also 33% represented by state bureaucrats. I wont say anything more on that one.

        For long term program success, you need to have a governance body that understands athletics and fully supports a path to excellence.

        There is a reason why Pitt has only won 1 national championship across 19 sports programs over the past 43 years. The culture is a primary reason. That culture is set by the BoT.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I can maybe see the BOT instructing that we won’t pay recruits to get them to come to Pitt.

          But otherwise, if Heather and Dooz are given the resources, which they seem to be now, then aren’t Heather and Dooz setting the culture now?

          Unless not bribing the recruits is the hang-up and the reason we can’t get the 4-stars – in which case it doesn’t much matter who the coach is, with respect to recruiting…

          Go Pitt.

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          1. To a large extent, Heather is setting the vision and culture within the department. But she can only be as ambitious as her boss allows her to be.

            I do like her realizing that Pitt must be good across all programs. That Pitt’s facilities must be upgraded (ACC had much to say in that). I do like her wanting to celebrate success. I do like her wanting to win the right way. I do like her getting rid of the deadwood around the department.

            There is much that she can do better however and I do think she needs help in marketing, fundraising and finance. But she can delegate those responsibilities with the right people.

            Can we be certain that the BoT wont pull the rug out from under athletics again? Can we be certain that the BoT is serious about the front porch?

            The money is there today to at least be on par with the average ACC school. The facilities are adequate and a plan is in place to modernize (Victory Heights).

            But to be really serious about athletics, you need to weave it into the fabric of the collegiate experience and campus life. Spend a day at a ‘Southern’ school and you’ll understand. Many are better academically than Pitt as well yet they ‘somehow’ pull it off.

            Pitt just doesnt want it or doesnt think you can have it both.

            If you ask me, I think Pitt needs Kevin Bacon to remove the sticks up the BoT’s arses. (see Guardians of the Galaxy)

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  24. Put me in the line that says Coach Pat has failed at recruiting.

    But when I read of his personality shortcomings; let me share this. I once worked for a top 20 Fortune 500 company and I was pissing at a company urinal. An executive in the Engineering Department was telling a stranger in an adjacent urinal (2 down from me) “you are only as successful as your wife and your kids turn out.” “Hmmm …,” I thought as I was about to be married.

    Many POV bloggers, if they have met Coach Pat’s wife Donna and his kids Christina, Isabella, Arianna, and Patrick would find that they would come up short when comparing beauty and contribution to society with their progeny.

    Just sayin..

    Liked by 2 people

  25. A question for Reed and others. Do you think the solution to Pitt’s FB recruiting problems is to get rid of Narduzzi? Do you think he’s the problem and there’s a coach out there who can bring the legit 4-star level talent to Pitt right now? Again, a serious question.

    I happen to think that recruiting has changed quite a bit from the days of Wanny and if I ever get around to it, I’m going to go back and take a closer look at all those 4-stars that Wanny recruited. I remember the majority of them being local and I remember many busts among them (along with a few super-stars).

    Go Pitt.

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    1. My bitterness is the extension in year 3 of a five year contract. Heather gave away most of her leverage. But she probably felt inclined to support the guy who helped her land the AD job. So I can understand that…doesnt make it right though.

      Narduzzi needs to find assistant coaches that can recruit. Narduzzi then needs to close the deal. What is Pitt trying to sell? How is Pitt distinguishing themselves from other schools? Do they know why 4 star recruits pick another school?

      It should not be so difficult to get 50% of your class rated 5.7 and above. Schools who obtain this level consistently are the ones that run stable programs. A stable program is one that is consistently ranked in the top 25.

      What excuses does Narduzzi have at this point besides Heinz? If the seats are yellow, tarp them. Open up your practices to gen up some excitement. Dont piss off the fans and media who are trying to help.

      If theres little talent in PA, go to OH, MD, NJ, VA. All those states now have more talent than PA and all allow Mom and Dad to travel in by vehicle for games.

      Pit is paying Narduzzi real good money to go 12-14 over the last 2 years. Pitt only paid Wanny $1M and they got 10 wins and a final season ranking. I’m pretty sure that Wanny could win 6 games a year for a bucket of fish samiches.

      Like

      1. Tx, to see the answer to your question about what excuse does Narduzzi have. See your above post detailing every reason. thank you. . . .ike

        Like

        1. in the next 2 years, we’ll know if this stubborn man listens and implements.
          He needs to agree to open up practices
          He needs to tarp those yellow seats
          He needs to find assistants that can recruit

          those are simple solutions and actionable

          But why are we saying these things after 4 years?

          If you want the program (regardless of coach) to generate consistent top 20 seasons, then the BoT needs to change.

          Like

            1. Narduzzi cannot generate a run of 10 plus wins all by himself
              But he should be able to generate 8-9 win seasons consistently
              Thats what I think he should be able to do with some changes
              Unfortunately, I think Pitt is fine paying him $3.5M for 7 win seasons and no final ranking

              Like

  26. I think HCPN is here to stay for at least 4 more years unless a big name rich school comes along. Also he has family ties in the area.

    His record may not be super great but he is showing some improvement.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Have a thought tonight. So happy to see Reed will be joining us again and also happy the “Count” will be staying on writing articles as well. Thanks again Mike.

    Right off the bat I see the difference in how the Blog operates between the two. I have to say, I love both ways. Straight to the point. Disagreement will always happen and there has been some consternation about bickering and snipping at each other. I said it before and I want to say it again now. I don’t agree with that. When passionate fans get together and talk about their favorite football team there will be a conflict of opinions. It’s how grown people talk. I have never seen or read anyone calling out a poster or calling names. Yes it can get a little heated at times but that is the climate with we all live in.

    Here’s my rub. I would hope we all can remain civil as much as possible yet at the same time, I would hope that comments aren’t taken as personal as they sometimes have been in the past. I would hope the POV lives on for years for all to enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I prefer a forum with no Kool-Aid drinkers. Thats why I’m here. If I wanted to get punch drunk, I’d hang out on BWI.

      Fair and balanced. Facts sprinkled with opinion.

      I’m trying to do better myself at seeing all sides and giving credit where its due.

      Like

      1. Personally, I dislike the use of the term “Kool-Aid drinkers.” To me it implies a sense of superiority by the so-called non-Kool-Aid drinkers.

        But that’s just me being an old geezer.

        I doubt anyone on here thinks everything is super-duper with Pitt football.

        (I actually can’t wait until Pitt gets rid of Coach Narduzzi and we start getting several four-star recruits in each class… Happy days!)

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  28. My take is this: Heinz was half empty when Narduzzi accepted the job, and 4 years later it is still half empty. What has he done to put fannies in the seats? An empty Heinz is often given as the biggest reason why top recruits don’t come to Pitt. So why isn’t good PR a higher priority? Even the Pirates do a better job of selling tickets. Heather should DEMAND that Narduzzi wake up and treat fans better.

    Like

    1. But we have a new AD now and a HC making $1M more than Chryst.
      Its inexcusable
      Along with Nitters and bureaucrats comprising the BoT
      Are fans even heard on this ‘Fan Committee’
      Are the fans fine with a half empty Heinz and no final ranking in over 9 years
      Heather needs to treat the fans better and free Fantas and stupid Bobble heads are not the answer

      You put fans in the seats by winning and marketing elite players
      Problem is: Narduzzi is poor at recruiting elites and Pitt is poor at marketing the program
      Its not physics but Pitt thinks they are smarter than everyone else

      Like

  29. Hey my friend VoR. Here’s Tx’s list above and he really does hit the nail on the head. One note to think about this list…. he doesn’t mention Narduzzi, here goes the Tx list.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Its a cultural thing at Pitt.
    Pitt does not want athletics to get more attention than academics
    Pitt is fine with mediocrity
    Pitt is fine with spending on par with other middle of the road ACC schools
    Pitt is fine playing in adequate facilities even those off campus
    Pitt is fine with running a clean program and graduating its players
    Pitt is fine doing the bare minimum to stay in the conference

    Pitt does not desire athletics to be excellent. That actually scares them. Because they think to become excellent that a school must cheat, a school must lower standards, a school must go into debt. They are wrong and don’t want to hear the truth.

    Narduzzi’s goofy demeanor is not the problem why PITT only draws 35,000 – 42,000 fans per game at Heinz Field or has to work with 3* recruits. Which btw, 42,000 is not a bad attendance at all.

    Like

    1. 42k fans isnt bad given the poor marketing, lack of winning success, lack of marquee players, but it looks bad when you play in a 68k stadium and compete against 26k yellow seats

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I have an assignment for Pitt-Cocks or anyone else who might be interested. While I join in the chorus singing that Narduzzi’s recruiting is subpar, I also feel compelled to defend him a little. I do believe and have stated previously that the lack of 4 star recruits in Western PA and PA in general have hurt his recruiting efforts. And mid-level ACC (and Big Ten for that matter) schools aren’t going to go into Florida and Texas and start pulling top recruits up north.

    My assignment is for someone to go back 20 or 25 years and identify all of our 4 or 5 star recruits, and then identify the percentage of those who came from Western PA. I loved Wanny’s ability to recruit. But I’d bet that he had far more quality local recruits to select from.

    To Narduzzi’s credit, he has recognized this and is making some inroads in Florida, and with the addition of Coach Beatty, in Virginia also.

    And I’ll add, that while HCPN and staff have come up short with a bunch of kids, it seems that the kids that do commit love playing for him and give him their best. This is evidenced by wins over highly ranked teams like Clemson and Miami.

    I’m disappointed in a number of things that happened last year (UNC, PSU and Stanford losses foremost among them), and am not sold on HCPN by any means. But I do see some good things and also understand the challenges he faces in recruiting. Yellow seats and an uncommitted BOT don’t help.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. good insight from Doke
    https://panthersprey.blogspot.com/2019/03/ratings-of-potential-pitt-grad-transfers.html

    I’m far more confident in Capel regarding getting the program back.

    Why?
    The Pete is on campus and is one of the hardest places to play for opposing teams
    Being on campus is key since students can walk up the hill and that helps attendance as opposed to being bused 5 miles away
    And the Pete is all Pitt’s. Great for branding. You are truly in our house

    Great student fans (Oakland Zoo)
    Capel is a proven ace recruiter
    Pitt is in the best basketball conference
    Plenty of nearby talent from NYC, Philly, DC and other basketball prep schools/academies

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hey Ike, Tex’s list is a good one, but something is missing: sports are a competitive business. Aside from incompetence no good coach is going to be satisfied with mediocrity. Good coaches will leave first, and talk afterward to explain lack of success. I don’t recall a Pitt coach saying they were promised something but Pitt didn’t deliver. So maybe the problem is as simple as just picking the wrong coaches…

    Like

  33. Maybe Coach Narduzzi, this great family man, popular recruiter and master of game day detail…can have his team captains communicate the correct coin flip call in this years Penn State contest??!!

    Like

  34. Tx… I sit in the club section when I get a chance to go to a home game… appears to be 4-5k suiting indoors which contributes to the empty look… Heinz- too Biggs britches for PITT to feel

    Like

  35. Missing (Eric) – I accept your assignment.

    I am a firm believer in data. With nothing to do over a wet & cold winter, I started a spreadsheet on recruiting. Originally it was just to see if I could duplicate Rivals calculation of recruiting ranking. It then branched out to names by year & some other information.

    Anyway I already have names by Rival’s star/point rankings by year by coach. Just got to put state. My list only goes back to 2008. Rivals only has data back to 2002, so I can’t do 20 – 25 years as data doesn’t exist. It may take a while to gather & enter data for missing years.

    Like

    1. Rich, I’m working on a rather in-depth recruiting/coaching up article. If you want I can incorporate your info (might just be more interesting and ‘positive’ then my stuff) or you can have your own article..

      Like

  36. I still say tarping off half of the upper decks to keep the lower bowl filled would make a big difference. Also limiting crowd shots to the home side would look better. Last year was the last year for PSU fans buying season tickets and letting them sit vacant so that should help appearances if not overall sales. Pitt needs to figure out a way to reward the 35,000 loyal fans with the best seats. Filling the lower bowl would increase the atmosphere immensely.

    However, as with all Pittsburgh sporting events, only a high quality winning team will increase overall attendance, that and Fireworks night.

    Unfortunately, the seat licensing program, gives priority to corporations and wealthy donors, who don’t show up, give their tickets to the opposition and are not real loud. It is a double edged sword that helps fundraising but is a disaster for atmosphere. It also hurts young grads who are your most boisterous fans.

    Like

    1. Pitt could just not sell the upper deck seats and see how that works out. I personally don’t like the tarping idea – it’s not kidding anyone. But if you only sell the bottom bowl (and I’d insist on selling the very front section of the upper deck – the best seats in the house in my book), and rope off the upper, upper deck, you could see what happens in the lower bowl.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  37. The BoT has nothing to do with the HC’s recruiting talents really, nor do they have any influence at all over how well coaches can get individual players to progress and perform.

    As far as this current BoT and HC go I was dining at a table full of Pitt fans with Pat Bostick before PN’s 1st bowl game and Pat addressed the group saying loud and clear that there was a huge influx of money for the football program and that Narduzzi had “the full support”of the administration.

    I’ve heard the same in other private conversatons with E. J.and others at Pitt.

    We saw that come to truth with his big extension and large pay raise soon after….to say nothing of the big influx of recruiting money and resources – including a chartered jet for he and the staff to use. Something no other Pitt HC has ever had.

    So Pitt fans have to quit making every excuse possible for Narduzzi’s poor results since the program and roster have become more ‘his’…he has more than enough in support and resources to get much better results than he has been getting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt has stepped up. I dont think anyone is arguing with that. Pitt is finally spending money on par with other ACC schools. But the spend is still just middle third of the conference. Pitt is not spending at elite levels and I’m not arguing they need to either to be competitive (rise above mediocrity).

      So money should not be an excuse for why a head coach cannot succeed at Pitt. There are other constraints and issues as many have mentioned. But each has solutions.

      Lack of talent in PA. Make inroads into schools outside the state. And I give Narduzzi credit for already doing that particularly with Florida and now it looks like Virginia. Still a huge opportunity in Ohio and New Jersey.

      The Heinz atmosphere and the yellow seats are used against Pitt in recruiting. Well, win more games and more fans will show. Develop some players that can be marketed. Tarp some of those yellow seats.

      What the BoT can and will do, if history is any indication, is slam on the breaks just when the program is nearing sustainable excellence. The academic side of the university will never allow the athletic side to receive front page news. It could be a matter of jealousy. It could be a matter of fear.

      But I’m not believing that the BoT truly believes in the front porch concept and will do what is necessary to develop and sustain athletic excellence. History is on my side and the BoT composition (Nitters and bureaucrats) and overall culture has not changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. If you aren’t the elite in college football, recruiting can always get better.

    I compared ACC rank in football budget and ACC rank in recruiting for a few years back and they pretty much lined up. Not sure if that is still the case but it would be interesting to see if you can get the budget numbers.

    There are two pieces to the puzzle. Recruiting and player development (includes grades, off field behavior and football).

    This year will tell us if player development is good or not. There really aren’t any excuses left with Watson’s God awful offense gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Only 4 out of the 14 ACC teams had a better overall record than Pitt.
    Only 1 (Clemson) had a better conference record.
    Pitt won its division in the ACC.

    All of the above with probably the worst passing attack in college football and a brutal schedule.

    If you knew the above result would happen every year (without knowing the final record), would you take them?

    So what is the explanation that many of the teams below Pitt have had better recruiting rankings?

    Ranking for many players are off?
    There are many terrible coaches in the ACC?
    Narduzzi develops his players better than most coaches in the ACC?
    Pitt got lucky?

    I threw the last one in there for Reed. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. If WVU can recruit, then less available PA talent is no excuse for poor recruiting classes. If Wanny could recruit, then many other reasons for recruiting failures should be discarded as well. We are talking about bringing in 20-25 players each year with the entire country as the recruiting territory. Others are doing it, and Narduzzi should be able to do it. I still think that the Heinz issue is overblown, or more effort would be put into selling tickets and marketing the program. This is not rocket science.

    Like

  41. I think we all know that PITT’s recruiting can be described as average to slightly above average at times over the past 40 years. Yes Dave recruited very well and is the exception. What did PITT decide to do? Fire Wanny after winning the most games in a three year stretch since 1981. So no, the administration doesn’t get in the way of a successful football program.

    And if you tell me that there has been a change for the better, I would say, yes I believe that. The problem is you can’t flip on a light switch and undo all that has been done in the recent past. For example, that stadium is a perfect place for me to watch a football game. I’m comfortable there and enjoy the great Fran tail-gates BUT it’s used against PITT by all the coaches recruiting against them. Every year there is a very steep hill to climb to overcome for PITT. When we talk recruiting? You have to include all the subsidiary contributing factors and not just say… “Narduzzi can’t recruit”

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Word is Capel is getting a VIP visitor this week. Khadim Sy. The transfer from VT. He’s a game changer and completely turn things around for PITT immediately.

    Like

    1. That’s great news, thanks Ike! I saw the rumblings but couldn’t tell for sure who it was. A month or two ago I saw some video of Sy and immediately thought, “I hope we don’t get him”, but that was only a small snippet of video I watched, and he is rated the #1 JUCO big supposedly, so if that’s the case, I now really hope we do get him (as rumor suggests we will), that would be 2 potentially quality big men coming in for next year, which should change things dramatically.

      Like

  43. TX – there’s an article in the PG today about the Riverhounds – the Pittsburgh pro soccer team that plays in Highmark Stadium. Highmark Stadium was built for 10 million bucks and seats 5000. The article said that the president of the league is looking for soccer and the Riverhounds to grow in Pittsburgh to the point where in a few years they will need a larger stadium somewhere in the city.

    Hummm…

    Perhaps they’d have some interest in your multiple-use type stadium…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I’m sure they would.
      And Pitt was one of 5 schools that the NHL contacted for a hockey feasibility study
      So the money is out there

      But it looks like Pitt is dead set on building a small, multi floor, venue for volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics on the OC Lot/Cost Center site as part of the Victory Heights plan.

      Where else in Oakland could you build a multi-purpose and configurable stadium?

      There are strong merits for bringing football back to campus, but if a new shared facility is off campus, Pitt is back in the same situation.

      Like

      1. Heinz Field and The Pete are about the same age if I am not mistaken, so they will both need replaced around the same time.

        Build a better, more modern version of the Carrier Dome where the Pete is when the time comes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. its a shame stadiums dont last beyond 25 years anymore
          but architects, engineers and contractors dont have the incentive to build something long lasting
          and with the way technology is evolving, its difficult to retro-fit older venues

          The VA hospital is another site. I dont see it lasting long given changing demographics and the evolution of health care.

          Like

  44. ike, it is indisputable that WVU has been a better football program than Pitt over the years (makes me sick to say it). But clearly they have done better although I haven’t compared wins and losses in recent years. They had a 10-3 season in 2016, and were ranked at some point each of the past 5 years. So they must be doing better at recruiting.

    Like

  45. So many great thoughts and comments.
    I will add one.

    If Coach Narduzzi and coach Whipple are still hear next year, I believe it is highly likely we will see much more open practices next year.

    Like

    1. What makes you think that, I’m wondering…

      Do you think Coach Whip will explain to the Doozer that our opponents pretty much know all my plays — what they don’t know is which of those plays I’m going to call…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. Yes. By next year, teams will have seen our style. And considering how some of the Pittsburgh writers treat Pitt, it wouldn’t shock me of at least one of them reported back to penn st.

        Next year I feel Narduzzi will feel “safe” enough to share practices with the media.

        Like

  46. Good point John and I’m saving some thoughts when the big Narduzzi is a failure in recruiting and coaching up his players article comes out. A teaser question. Why in the heck does it bother people so much that Narduzzi doesn’t want open up daily practices to tell and show the opposition what goes on in his practices? !! This just in! Most head coaches are now doing it.

    Yes he could be just a little more accommodating but hey, who knows best? It’s a bias imo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect that a big factor in the Doozer’s hush-hush approach is that it worked so damn well in that first game with PSU. PSU didn’t know what hit them with the jet sweeps and took a while to recover. Which allowed Pitt to hold on and win the game.

      Personally, I like to hear the coaches talk about the players more – who’s doing well; who needs to improve…even if it is all coach-speak. Todd Graham made you think he was making everyone on the team an All-American. He played the game. Even if the coach is just blowing smoke, and that’s what they ALL do, it’s still something to ponder and perhaps a source of the ever-needed “hope” about your favorite team…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  47. Article thought: Why is there so much vitriol for Narduzzi from a segment of the fanbase? Look at his ACC record. Clean program. Players like him. He is not nick saban but the vitriol just doesn’t add up???

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ike, you are like a broken record. If you are happy with the results PN has gotten then good for you.. Obviously not everyone feels that way.

        But two years ago you were singing his praises and predicting double digit wins, great recruiting and post-season rankings.

        Well, where are those things?

        He’ll, where is even bowl win? Where are any sort of rankings at all?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL Reed. He won the Coastal but the Coastal sucked. He won 7 regular season games with one of the toughest OOC schedules in the nation. Let’s leave those parts out. The UNC and Stanford losses did piss me off. Watson sucked and a true sophomore KP was starting his first games of his career with a horrible OC. So hate to tell you, I see progress.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. He comes across as cocky and hasnt earned it yet.
      And winning the Coastal doesnt mean its time to go easy on him.

      Facts: 12-14 record over the past 2 years, zero bowl wins in the past 4, a trend down in recruiting, for the first 3 years Pitt had one of the worst P-5 defenses, for the past 2 years Pitt had one of the worst P-5 offenses, 4 blow out losses last year, attendance numbers flat to down (particularly if you remove the bump from the Penn State game), closed practices, refusal to tarp, coaching turnover

      He does run a clean program and his players stay out of major trouble, attend real classes and generally like him.

      He’s getting paid good money but 6 win seasons arent going to cut it.

      He needs to begin winning 8-9 games and get the team ranked in the final top 25. Otherwise, he needs to be sent on his way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well tex he hasn’t had 6 win seasons. He’s won 7,7,5 and 8 in spite of playing in a real conference and against a ridiculously hard non-conference schedule.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He’s averaged 6 wins over the past 2 years
          And Pitt plays in the weakest ACC division
          And has Syracuse as their cross rival…a perennial doormat
          Yes – Pitt played a brutal OOC schedule last year but they also got blown out in two of those four games

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You proved my point that you are completely glass half empty and look for ways to trash Narduzzi. Was Syracuse a doormat this year? Obviously you hate Narduzzi and won’t change.

            Like

            1. I dont hate the man
              I am critical
              I have said that he runs a clean program, his players seem to like him, and he’s a better game day coach than Chryst and Wanny
              But his recruiting is down
              He’s won zero bowl games and his team has never been ranked
              There is zero momentum leading into this year
              He has chosen some bad assistants
              And he’s being paid a lot of money for being mediocre
              And winning that Coastal is nothing to brag about

              And Syracuse beat one half decent team last year…thats right it was Pitt in overtime (the game at Heinz when Dungey played hung-over)

              And please dont keep bringing up the OOC. An easier OOC might have netted Pitt an extra win. Pitt still lost their last 3 games and wasnt ranked come seasons end. That wouldnt have changed.

              Liked by 1 person

  48. I have always held that if Narduzzi wins 9 games at Pitt he’d be hired away. Looks like that danger has passed.

    The most troubling thing to me is that the poorer the team has done has coincided directly with the turnover in the different HC’s recruits fleeting up into the two-deep.

    And please, if any Pitt fan looks at those last three games of the 2018 season and doesn’t feel embarassed then nothing will do it…

    Except maybe being the only D1 wins a crap program in NC has had over the last two years. Two D1 wins total and both times it was against Narduzzi. What excuse can we find for that.? Horrendous…and we wonder why recruiting was 50th last class?

    Again as I said above – good, bad and ugly. Pitt FB is all of those things.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Narduzzi haters are far more glass half empty than the so called kool aid drinkers as glass half full. It is interesting. several of us who defend Narduzzi can point out many shortcomings for Him. It’s all vitriol from the haters

    Liked by 4 people

    1. what I did hate from Narduzzi last year – the faking of injuries at the UCF game.
      thats cheating and just a low class move

      Like

  50. Pitt baseball loses their 2nd game this season to Youngstown State this evening.

    On the softball diamond, the lady Panthers (lead by Heather Lyke) lost to the lady nits 3-8.

    OV!

    Like

  51. It sure sounds like the baseball and softball teams have taken a step backward. More like a collapse. Are they temporary blips or should Heather be worried?

    Like

    1. I’d be worried about both baseball and softball if I was the AD who hired these two coaches.

      Found this short video of a recent Pitt Spring Practice – check out the hit at the 1:20 mark –

      H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

  52. Here is an idea for an article, why over the years did PSU get all the great linebackers out of the WPIAL while Pitt only got a few? Why in general has linebacking been a weakness for Pitt? How will this years unit do?

    Liked by 1 person

  53. ^^ Tx on the faking of injuries. Yeah, I wish that didn’t happen and I see your point there. Here’s the thing though. Pretty sure you are in the camp of wanting PITT to the extra things to be more competitive on the field, you know like bend the rules just a little. But, just because practically every team UCF played last year did the same thing is not a great excuse. It’s just that they were terrible at feigning injuries.

    Like

    1. yes – bend the rules a little (play in the gray) but not in plain view on the playing field
      and most other teams that UCF played were in their conference
      But Pitt shouldnt have to fake an injury to keep up with UCF
      It was disgraceful, announcers commented on it and TV media kept playing that one obvious fake when the Pitt player looked to the sideline and then fell down

      I want Narduzzi to succeed. I dont hate the man but I am critical and I can point out more bad and ugly than good with this program now. I would describe the program as stable mediocrity. I dont see how this program is on a path to excellence.

      Yes – a tough OOC hurts Pitts record while a school like Syracuse benefits
      Yes – those yellow seats at Heinz hurts recruiting

      But its Narduzzi’s job to overcome those things

      Like

  54. Looking forward to Reed’s upcoming article on recruiting. With a ranking of #50 for this past class, I find it hard to understand why Narduzzi continues to slip in his recruiting efforts and does not even achieve the Chryst recruiting levels (despite two 8 win seasons with Chryst’s recruits). This is more than a half empty Heinz, which Chryst had to endure as well, or the downward trend in quality WPA talent. They need to do a serious deep dive into the recruiting process, with Heather leading the effort, to get to the bottom of it. Four years of “stability” and a Coastal title should produce better results.

    Like

  55. The Coastal title would have zero impact on the last recruiting class. However, it should impact the next class id the staff knows how to recruit.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. The first game is recall watching Pitt play was versus Georgia in the sugar bowl in 1982.
    I have followed them every year since.

    Since 1984, I have seen some great players come through the program. But in all of that time, I have not seen a Pitt football team play a great season throughout.

    Maybe I am missing something, but if Pitt has not been a power since then, why do people continue to blame the coach, year after year after year?

    In 1989, Pitt finished ranked 17th. In 2002, 19th. In 2009, Pitt finished ranked 15th.

    That’s 3 top 20 finishes in 34 years. That’s not a good football program by any stretch.

    That in itself should be evidence that Pitt has a program problem, not a coaching problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt has historically been cheap. Thats not the case anymore. With Pitt’s budget, they should be more than mediocre. So it comes down to one thing…Coaching.

      Pitt has not hired the right coaches. There are many reasons for that but I wont get into the various reasons for now other than saying the administration has been negligent and incompetent.

      A head coach has to not only be a good field general but he has to surround himself with good lieutenants..His lieutenants are responsible for the game plans, development of players and recruiting. Above all, a head coach manages his staff and players. He sets the tone and the teams identity. Its more about those leadership traits than it is about X’s and O’s.

      So if I had to grade Pitt’s previous coaches since Johnny Majors based on Leadership, Recruiting and Coaching, here is how they all grade out:

      Majors 1: A/A/A
      Sherrill: A/A/A
      Foge: B/A/C
      Gottfried: B/A/C
      Hackett: B/C/D
      Majors 2: C/D/D
      Harris: B+/B/B
      Wanny: B+/A-/C-
      Fraud: C/C/C+
      Chryst: B+/B-/C+
      Narduzzi: B/B-/B

      So you can see that I grade out Narduzzi better compared to previous coaches on several categories. However, my expectations for him are higher given his compensation and the program’s budget. And yes the administration does him (and 4 previous HC’s) no favors by playing in a half empty off campus stadium too large for Pitt’s needs and by scheduling one of the toughest OOC schedules among P-5 schools.

      In my opinion, Harris did far more with less resources and had to overcome far more constraints than any coach in modern Pitt football history.

      Like

  57. One problem is that Pitt has not KEPT the good coaches they have found. A guy like Sherrill or Wanny starts to win and BoT panic sets in. “There must be something underhanded going on!” Pitt just can’t stand too much of a good thing..

    Like

    1. with Sherrill it was perceived cheating and other shenanigans, athletics getting more attention than academics, Pitt being cheap and an AD who wanted to show who was in charge despite that AD having no utter clue about football and how to run a successful athletics department

      with Wanny it was a bad relationship with his boss who thought he knew better, perceived lack of discipline and a program out of control (see SI article which Stevie provided the salacious details). in the end, Stevie won since he was backed by Nordenberg.

      Pitt looks for excuses to get rid of good coaches but lets bad ones hang around forever.

      Like

  58. Agree Tx, “the steve” definitely threw his own coup stabbing Wanny in the back.

    As far as Sherrill goes, Texas A&M made him the highest paid college football head coach in history at that time. Hard for me to blame PITT being cheap.

    When we say PITT is stepping up financially, (I agree to a point) let’s not forget monies for the assistant coaches and all the other residual expenses not afforded to Narduzzi that are to other coaches like Jimmie “one finger” Franklin have.

    Like

    1. Pitt is spending on par with other ACC schools in their division. That should be good enough. They arent spending to become elite and win championships I agree there

      And Jackie wouldnt have begun looking if Ed Bozik didnt begin micro-managing the program. Those 3 Killer B’s back in the 80’s made Pitt football into a laughing stock in under 10 years.

      Like

  59. As I recall, Jackie was irritated with the Pitt administration and this made him susceptible to the offer from A & M. Given his success at Pitt he may have stayed if not pushed

    Like

  60. Looking back, Jackie never again won 33 games in 3 yrs like he did at Pitt. Don’t know if he could have sustained it but he sure won at Pitt

    Like

  61. You could be right VoR. It’s just a record breaking contract on top of his disgruntlement kind of nullifies PITT’s culpability. imo

    Like

  62. Was impressed by the WR and TE video clips posted today on PSN. Seems like they were working at a fast pace and with a lot of energy — plus they actually seemed to be running different routes and catching the ball!

    Lots of expectations on Coach Whip — and it looks like he’s gotten down to work…

    I know it’s frowned upon, but seeing the team work like that is starting to get me optimistic for the passing game… Last year, it seemed like the only receiver practice we saw (and we saw the same thing over and over) was the quick throw to the slot receiver running to the sideline….

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. From Doke. Shows Capel is recruiting very nicely. Obviously, X-Man is playing much, much better than his ranking, Any recruit in the top 120 is very good…them be 4 stars on a football scale.

    Like

  64. Top 20 finishes by Coastal teams:

    2015 Unc ranked 15th, 2016 VA Tech 16th, Miami 20th, 2017 Miami 11th, and in 2018 Syracuse 15th.

    No other coastal teams finished in the top 20 over Narduzzi’s 4 years.

    Syracuse coach’s compensation ranks 55th, unc 50th, Pitt 42nd, Virginia Tech 24th, and Miami 22nd.

    I don’t see how any of those teams could be considered to be big time programs over Narduzzi’s tenure.

    Miami comes the closest but their coach is much more compensated than Pitt pays it’s coach.

    I’m not saying Narduzzi is or isn’t a good coach. Just that Pitt’s program is not producing a consistantly top 20 team, and neither are their 4 peers mentioned above.

    Like

    1. Va Tech and Miami have been historically the teams to beat in the division. Both recruit well – avg star of 3.2-3.8 over a 6 year time period. Compare that to Pitt’s 2.8-3.2. Its a big difference.

      Good for Pitt is that both programs dont seem to have their acts together.
      Bad for Pitt is that both continue to recruit well and wont be down for long.

      You do generally get what you pay for. Pitt has a habit of going cheap and hiring assistant coaches with zero head coaching experience. There is always a learning curve.

      Pitt just doesnt have the revenues to support a budget that will lead to championships.

      It doesnt have a large fan base and 50k is about the max Pitt will get at games.
      It doesnt have a large donor base or really anyone besides Tepper that can give a transformational gift
      But still no reason why Pitt cant to consistently a top 25 program

      Like

  65. Tx, you just named every reason why Pitt can’t consistently be a top 25 program. Underline the word consistently for greater meaning.

    Like

  66. To be elite or top 10 like a tOSU or Alabama you need to have the revenues (via ticket sales and donations) to support a large budget that pays for the best coaches, the best facilities, recruiting helicopters and yes cheating to some degree.

    Pitt isnt serious about becoming elite until they address their revenue issue. Building a multi-purpose venue on campus is one way to control and maximize multiple revenue streams. But, the administration wont even commission a feasibility study.

    Pitt has no plan to grow the fan base.
    Pitt has no plan to cultivate donors
    Pitt has no plan to build the brand

    Maybe they do have plans but previous efforts have failed and are we confident Pitt really suddenly knows what they are doing and are in a position to execute these program changing plans.

    All this would require a change in culture, a change in mission, time and money
    Thats not how Pitt rolls
    Pitt is lazy and stupid

    And the march towards elite status will most likely result in scandal.

    I’m fine with Pitt being top 25. I’d love for Pitt to reach the level of Whisky and Stanford. 9-10 win season teams year in and year out.

    But you need good coaching and good player development/recruiting. And yes an easier OOC schedule helps.

    Like

    1. Well, looks like we went from an emphatic “Pitt has no plans…” to “Maybe Pitt has plans…” but they suck.

      Progress?

      “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” 🎅🎅

      Go Pitt!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My faith in those plans if they exist is not very high
        And even if they were the best plans, Pitt would still need successful execution
        Pitt has bumbled practically everything in the past so their track record speaks for itself
        But I’m hopeful…might get lucky
        Pitt needs to get themselves into a time warp like GroundHog Day and keep at it until they get it right

        Like

  67. Hey Tx, PITT wasn’t that far away this past season my Texan friend. Like you say, an easier OOC schedule last year, Ohio and Delaware instead of psu and UCF, and it probably puts PITT right in there at 9 wins. Say PITT doesn’t “LUCK OUT” and win the Coastal so we take away a loss. Leaves PITT at 9-4. Not that far fetched is it? At least is isn’t to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Feeling better about the linebackers after reading the PG article. Pine, Reynolds, Campbell, Bright, Brightwell, Davis. Maybe less experience, but more size and speed. Brightwell a guy that started two years ago, most possibly a back-up in his senior year seems to point to younger talent, and depth. With a solid line in front of them, they should be free to make some big hits and are faster so better pass coverage. With younger guys like Bright and Davis pushing for PT things might be a whole lot better than expected. The fact that McKee left says younger talent is getting better. Also, only one senior in the top six, so next year should be even better.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. I recall numerous Pitt fans calling for Wanny to be fired because “he will never take us to the next level”. People at my tailgate, fans around me in the stadium, and fans posting on the Pitt message boards. It’s like they believe that the only direction a program can take after a coaching change is up. These same fans were continuously calling for Jamie Dixon’s head when we were in a pattern of making the NCAA Tournament but losing in the first or second round. Again “Dixon will never take us to the next level”. Well, here we are. And while I really like Coach Capel, he has not taken us close to the level Jamie achieved and there is absolutely no assurance that he will.

    On another topic in this thread, would those demanding better recruits, please share what you would have the Pitt football coach (any coach, doesn’t have to be Coach Narduzzi) say to an elite 4 or 5 star rated recruit that would convince him to turn down his blueblood offers and sign with Pitt? Early playing time? Well that puts us with 100 other D1 programs. Better academics than the others? Please, they are majoring in General Studies or Criminal Justice or some other “get through” major. “I see you being the next Aaron Donald!” “Well if you’re not going to be honest with me, we’re done here.” And for all the discussion of Pitt uniform colors, I highly doubt any elite player cares about the uniform, other than the name across the front. “We’re like a family here.” “Gee, where have I heard that before?” “I’ll take care of your son, Mom and Dad, and ensure that he goes to class and stays out of trouble.” “What a novel idea!” “We’ll give you the best chance to develop and go pro.” “Oh yeah? More than that blueblood opportunity in my pocket?”

    Enlighten me, please. Cause I clearly don’t get it.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks for the links to those articles, TX, but I’m still skeptical. The ranking of recruiting ease of the 65 Power 5 programs shows Pitt at 46. I don’t have ESPN Plus and don’t intend to pay for it, so I can’t read the entire writeup on the reasons for that ranking. But the line or two I can see notes the coaching carousel in addition to the off-campus stadium as a recruiting hindrance for Pitt.

        The article on what recruits look for quotes elite players who decided between schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and LSU. I’d like to see quotations from elite players who chose Syracuse or Wake Forest (our current peers) over offers from Georgia or Auburn. Relationships might be the tipping factor between peer programs. I just don’t see them swaying a kid to choose a middle of the pack program when having the option to go to a top of the pyramid program. I assume it happens but I suspect it is rare.

        Like

        1. Many kids prefer to stay local so friends and family can visit and see them play. I’m amazed at what a Florida kid sees in Pittsburgh. Its lousy weather. The woman arent nearly as attractive (wearing more clothes due to weather probably doesn’t help). And parents cant often make the trip.

          But maybe these kids want to play in a good conference. Maybe they like the urban environment. Maybe they are looking to get away. Maybe they want the playing time. Maybe they want to be a big fish in a small pond. You can be a Musky at Pitt. You are a Minnow at Miami.

          But there are enough 4 stars and high rated 3 stars to go around. Pitt doesnt need 100% of their class to be comprised of 4 and 5 stars. It needs around 50% that are high 3’s (Rivals 5.7 rated) and 4’s. The other half are solid 3 stars…these are the kids you really focus on developing.

          Pitt just needs about 5-6 ‘elite’ recruits each year and they will have more than enough talent to compete against anyone in the ACC unless coaching mucks things up.

          Like

    1. These Pitt fans who want the next level yet make excuses for showing up at Heinz Field are hilarious. If Pitt football got big the BoT would pull the rug out so fast and Gallagher would have that idiot smile from ear to ear.

      Like

  70. A telling comment from TE Grant Carrigan – said something about it being exciting for the TEs to be being used this spring in a way that they haven’t been used…

    Like running pass routes?? Like catching passes??

    Yikes!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. John, could it be possible that KP has had the chains taken off of him? I give credit to Narduzzi for changing the OC position. I guess he gets a little criticism for hiring him in the first place though. Knowing a mistake, learning from a mistake and correcting a mistake…. Brilliant. << my old stand by. >>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ike — I think Doozer has learned and has corrected some poor decisions on assistants.

      But I have to wonder whether Watson just wrote off the TEs as pass catchers because he thought the group lacked a play-maker. Pitt has had some tall, somewhat lumbering looking guys (my take). I put Reeves in that category.

      But in brief clips of drills the other day, the TEs looked a bit more mobile — and Mimes actually looks like with some experience, he could be the real deal (my take)…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  72. ^^ John, I think the exodus of Sear and Reeves is the telling point on Watson. First thing I remember reading about him is that he didn’t like to use the tight end. Yes, I read stats where it looks like TE’s were used in his offense but it’s obvious that he has a limited mindset on offense. As far as Ollison and Hall each gaining over 1,000 yards last year? I give all the credit to Coach Borbs

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Obviously Watson didn’t believe in using the TE’s we had except for blocking purposes for our two 1000 yard backs. I’m expecting almost a 180 degree change with Whipple using all the receivers. Keep in mind he had the leading pass receiver in the nation last year Andy Isabella 102 reception for 1698 yards.—Did anyone note French’s comment(from PSN) when he reviewed the film last season on Isabella at U Mass.?

    Like

    1. Just because its difficult doesnt mean its not possible to do better in recruiting

      The article pointed out playing in an off campus venue didnt help
      And I agree

      But you can tarp sections of the upper deck and wont have those yellow seats being used against Pitt in recruiting
      But Narduzzi refuses to tarp
      Many pro stadiums across many sports do this and it creates a much better atmosphere for games

      The article also mentioned instability with coaching changes. Thats not true today. The article was written back in 2015. Pitt has achieved stable mediocrity.

      The biggest hindrance in recruiting is Narduzzi himself at this point. He needs to change his tactics. I do like the emphasis on FL and VA. But you cant forget NJ, MD and OH.

      PA only has two 4 stars in the 2020 class. Thats the entire state. OH has 7, VA 6, NJ 11, MD 13

      It seems now that his staff might be a tad better at recruiting but time will tell. Again its about relationships.

      The budget is adequate for recruiting so that is no longer an excuse.

      Most importantly, He needs to begin winning bowl games and getting his team ranked come post season. That will get recruit’s attention.

      Pitt has always been a challenging place to recruit. An urban campus isnt for everyone. Being expected to attend real classes and be treated like a student instead of a God on campus is how Pitt does things. Pitt doesnt offer recruits whores and cars.

      Recruiting has to get better or Narduzzi is out of a job.

      Like

  74. I wonder if the constant changing of high school conferences and divisions in PA has actually hurt the development and national publicity of PA players. Do we really need 5 or 6 divisions, supposedly to equalize the competition, for the media to cover? For example, I look at Aliquippa and see good players capable of playing in P5 and eventually the NFL. By reducing their competition level or realigning them with another conference or division, maybe this hurts player development, or at least prevents players in lower divisions from getting as much exposure.

    So we end up with a lot of equal but mediocre teams and players. Also, are transfer rules hurting the development and public exposure of some players who would like to move up in competition level? Something is going on that is affecting the way PA develops its players, or at least changes the perception of these players in the eyes of college ranking services and coaches.

    Like

    1. I think it comes down to competition and coaching. The WPIAL needs to do whatever it takes to improve the quality of coaching and quality of competition. Coaching quality is impacted by salary and most districts are cash strapped. Do the feeder schools for the high school all have the same style/scheme of play? They do that in Texas. How much practice time are they getting?

      Like

      1. They need players. The number of boys playing football at the high school level in Western PA is down. My cousin is a high school football coach in the Beaver area and he says it is getting very hard to get kids to play the sport – some smaller schools are struggling so much they may have to drop football due to lack of interest in the not so far future.

        More and more younger kids are turning to wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, track – many parents are steering their kids away from football to other sports where they can still get college scholarships due to the concerns over health.

        Like

        1. I’ve been trying to tell everyone this for some time now. The Beaver Valley has been one of the most fertile FB recruiting areas for decades …. but no more

          If you POVers thirst for excellence so much, I suggest you turn to wrestling. Pitt is not a national FB program that can get great players from out of state … that ship has sailed 25 years ago

          Like

  75. Agreed, Tex. I just don’t think the quality and ability of PA high school players has slipped as much as the rating services imply. There are probably good players on teams that don’t get exposure and therefore don’t get recruited. As we’ve said many times the rating services don’t look at these kids, but with publicity comes offers. Then, offers in turn produce higher ratings. It’s an endless cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. UNC better with Cam on the bench tonight.

    He is playing tentative and appears to lack hustle.

    I’m hoping he “ups” his game…

    Like

      1. CBS Sports confirmed that Cam and another Tar Heel player were playing with the flu. I remember Gary McGee or Chevy Trautman playing a game at the Pete with the flu. He would come off the floor and bend over a large garbage can behind the bench, puking. Can’t imagine playing something that strenuous with a cold, let alone the flu.

        Like

  77. Tex: regarding the article and pitt ranked 46. While the coaching stability is better, the local talent is worse than in 2015. So it is a wash at best and pitt is still very hard to recruit to. Narduzzi has been above 46 in all his full classes except one.

    Like

    1. Its still hard to recruit at Pitt but what explains the huge drop off last year in recruiting?

      Pitt went from 45% of the 2018 class being ranked 5.7 stars and above to only 15% for the 2019 class. And the quality of offers was way down as well.

      Like

  78. Erie – thought you might find this of interest from an article in today’s PG previewing the WPIAL baseball season. The article mentions junior outfielder-pitcher Austin Hendricks from West Allegheny HS.

    The good news is that Hendricks has been ranked among the top juniors in the country; the bad news is that he has already committed to Mississippi State…. ☹️

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. That’s the BB recruit. His dad was a friend of Jamie’s and Mustopha was verbally committed to Pitt. At some point, maybe when Bruce Pearl took the Auburn job, Heron flipped to Auburn. He is not on their roster that I saw last night.

      Switching to FB – cuse landed their first recruit for 2020 this past week leaving Pitt as the ONLY ACC team without a verbal commitment. That includes W_F, BC, GT and Duke.

      In the secret confines behind a locked gate…

      Like

  79. Tex: You are using one class to brand his recruiting a failure. The reality is most of his 4 star recruits have been busts and arguably our two best returning defensive players (jackson and weaver), best lineman and mist explosive offensive player are lowly rated (morrissey and ffrench). It’s not all about stars.

    Like

    1. I’ll wait for Reeds article. But my thoughts are well known.

      I hated last years class. I liked the 2018 class.

      I’ve done my own research to know consistently successful programs achieve 50% of their class rated 5.7 stars and above. Those are the high 3’s and 4’s.

      I know that the two schools in the division that recruit the best are Tech and Miami and they each reel in at least four 4 stars each year. They are also the teams that are generally most successful although I admit they should both be doing better and I attribute that to bad coaching.

      And I know through research and publishing all those links as evidence, that stars do matter.

      I also know that player development and running the right schemes also helps. I’m not discounting those other factors.

      But I have seen little evidence that Pitt significantly develops players and utilizes effective systems or schemes that are tough to defend or maximizes the potential of Pitts players.

      Talent wins in the end. Character is nice but it never won Siragusa any football games.

      Like

      1. Weaver and Jones at DE along with Jackson and Pinnock are nice stories on developing players. Heck, Weaver may be that good that he leaves early for the next level…

        Like

  80. If Duzz wins the Coastal again and has a 10 win season, then I’ll back off the recruiting noise. FB is a team sport and individual stars, while they are fun to watch, don’t necessarily win games without their teammates & coaches contributing significantly.

    Would I Lyke to land more 4* recruits – sure. But I also understand that 20,000 empty yellow seats at an off-campus stadium scream loudly to these young stars. Playing time is Pitt’s biggest selling point – somehow, someway, Duzz needs to find coaches who can sell that. Beatty seems Lyke a possible good recruiter, as do the two DB coaches. Harley, Salem, Borbs and Partridge don’t move the needle on recruiting to me. They are hopefully good coaches – TBD.

    The NFL players (Pitt alumni) that come back to work out behind the secretly locked gates on the Southside of Pittsburgh have to help at some point – right?

    H2P!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt needs those NFL players to come back to campus. Those guys reek success. They are proof you can make it and the good thing is that most of these guys had to overcome something to get there. They werent the 5 stars that Bama gets.

      Narduzzi was wise or maybe it was EJ saying you need to do this…doesnt matter. But that twitter video is a great way to market Pitt and sell Pitt to recruits.

      Its proof that Pitt players can make it to the NFL. Its proof that these NFL players still have a connection with Pitt. It also helps that these guys have homes or family still in Pittsburgh. Another reason why getting the best from the WPIAL is important.

      Like

  81. ^^ Exactly Pittman2003. It’s not how many stars are attached to the name, it’s how the young man plays, produces and performs his RS jr and RS sr seniors.

    Like

  82. I repeat myself here but it does bare repeating.

    I read about the yellow seats, I read about the BoT, I read about the off campus stadium, I read about PITT’s failures a lot,

    I read about the locked gates, I read that Narduzzi is no good, I read about Narduzzi recruiting and I read about the 3 million bucks he’s making.

    I read about Narduzzi’s personality, I read about Narduzzi’s hairy arms, I read about how he’s faking, I read about how he has no charms.

    I’m not here to sing his praises, I’m sure not here to pat myself on the back, My glasses are not rosy in color, I just see what he’s done as fact.

    This one should wake your Saturday morning butts up. take a listen

    Like

    1. You forgot about Narduzzi’s calves. 🙂

      But what excuses does Narduzzi have at this point?
      I think most Pitt fans expect bowl wins and a final ranking given what Narduzzi has been given
      He hasnt delivered yet so thats why I think the next two years are critical

      Last year despite the Coastal title ended badly. It left Pitt with no momentum heading into this year. 3 straight losses (2 of them blowouts) will do that.

      The only constraints I see right now are a less than ideal game day atmosphere at Heinz. Some of that is on Narduzzi and some of that is on Heather.

      And then a brutal OOC schedule. But this year, it looks very manageable.

      The money is there for his staff and recruiting. Not great but good enough for money to be no excuse.

      Lets see what the man can do this year.

      But lets not say that recruiting, player development and his coaching hires have been anything more than mediocre and uninspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure how this year plays out, but beating Virginia in week 1 would be pretty big, as would doing the same to UCF. If Narduzzi wins eight games in 2019 I’d be happy and then, FINALLY, he has an easy non-conference schedule in 2020 to go at worst 3-1.

        It’s time Pitt ends it terrible streak of not going undefeated in the non-conference portion of the schedule. There is a whole lot of blame to go around on that one but not worth discussion. That should be the 10-win expectation year for the fans but not worthy of making a coaching change if Pitt ended at nine wins.

        Pickett needs to get it in gear and he has been quoted about loving the new offense, as have other players. Well fellas, less talk and start showing it where it counts. There is some decent speed on offense and hopefully Whipple’s offense knows how to take advantage of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  83. Too bad for Va Tech they had to play Duke. Don’t know why they can’t set things up so that conference teams don’t meet till the elite 8.

    Like

  84. Tex. I doubt reed’s article will be “fair and balanced” towards Narduzzi.
    We all agree that the higher rated players will be better and make a better team. There is no doubt. But when you are the 46th easiest school to recruit to and most of your recent 4 star recruits have been busts you have to find jimmy morrissey, rashad weaver, dane jackson, jason pinkston, elias reynolds, maurice ffrench etc. types to win with. And Narduzzi has done reasonably well finding “his guys” recently. This year and next will be a real test for “his guys” though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll give you that
      But then it comes down to can the coaches put the right players in the right positions at the right times for the right results
      Basically, run schemes that take advantage of the players strengths while minimizing their weaknesses
      Bad coaching (see Watson) can produce disaster

      Like

      1. Yeah tex. Watson was a disaster and that is all on Narduzzi. I agree there. And I also think the oline and tight end recruiting has been underwhelming for sure too.

        Like

        1. yes
          helped by some great future pro players…cant discount the talent
          and helped by his gimmick jet sweeps that now every defense has caught on to

          Like

    1. ike – for every 2 star you point out thats made an impact, I can point out 10 more that havent. You’d have to recruit a class of 70 players each year to find enough 2 stars to field a starting unit.

      I understand that even a 2 star can become a starter. But the odds are so low. You just cant successfully build a team taking chances on low stars that have the potential to bust out.

      Jones had some real legit offers. He was misdiagnosed as a 2 star.

      Weaver had 25 offers and many were from P-5 schools. Another miss by Rivals.

      But you can easily pick out the misses by looking at the offers.

      Thats why I’m not impressed with Pitt’s 2 and 3 star recruits last year. Many had no other P-5 offer.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Dane was a huge miss.
          He was classified as an athlete…maybe thats why
          Plus he came from a small school
          He didnt have many offers but I think schools knew he was sold on Pitt

          Like

  85. Watched that Duke-VT game last night. Really impressed with the coaching of Buzz Williams. Blackshear is really good (at shooting and passing) and their whole offense goes thru him – which resulted in many easy baskets last night.

    Should have beaten Duke. Had that last play been against Pitt, you know the VT guy lays it in for the win…

    College sports — the rich get richer…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  86. I believe it was Dintino who said last year that the Pitt scout team last season was the best he’d seen since he was at the school. I’m guessing that all on that team were Narduzzi recruits 2 stars and above.

    Like

  87. Random and useless factoids:

    —-After four seasons in the ACC, Coach Doozer’s in-conference record is 20-12.

    —-After four seasons in the Big East, Coach Wanny’s in-conference record was 15-14.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  88. From Jim Hammett at Panther-lair – (The revised Ffrench Connection?) –

    The Pitt players, particularly the wide receivers, took notice right away of what Whipple was able to do with Isabella.

    “I watched film on Issy and I was like, ‘Woah I need to play the position he used to,’ because we’re kind of similar as players, but he obviously got the ball way more than I did,” said Pitt senior wide receiver Maurice Ffrench.

    Ffrench wasn’t kidding. Isabella led the nation in receiving yards with 1,698 yards on 102 receptions while playing for the 34th ranked offense (UMass) in the country in 2018. Conversely, Ffrench hauled in 35 passes for 515 yards on one of the bottom ten passing offenses in America.

    So pencil in Ffrench as one of Mark Whipple’s biggest fans already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing I find intriguing about Isabella’s numbers is that the opposition had to know where the ball was going – yet it still got there.

      Hopefully Coach Whip develops a plethora of options at Pitt, because it will be tougher having one main guy – though we did that not so long ago with Tyler Boyd.

      Ffrenchy should be big-time motivated, as should Mack, Tipton, Mathews, Shocky, etc….

      (I still think the success or failure of the season depends almost entirely on finding two OTs who can play decently…)

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  89. Personally, its gets tiring to hear about the half empty Heinz. What was the average attendance when Majors won the national championship? Narduzzi should just go recruit some players. ike, you need to move off this position that a program can be built around 2 and 3 star players. You can always point to a 2 star who made it big, but the odds are against it. This year’s class is mediocre to be generous. Where do you think Pitt will rank in 4 years against Clemson, Bama, LSU and others? What will the reasons be at that time?

    Like

    1. It’s true. I get tired of being embarrassed for the team as they come out of the tunnel – after spending so much of their lives preparing to try to win this game – to a smattering of cheering.

      I’ve been down on the field at the tunnel when the team comes out. It’s a great experience to be down there. There’s energy and excitement down there — unless or until you look up into the stands…

      I guess it is what it is — but I still think the Heinz crowd gives the elite players an easy and major reason to scratch us off their final list.

      Whether cutting their choices from 10 schools to 5, or making that very difficult decision of going from 3 schools to 1, we give recruits an easy reason to scratch us…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 5 people

  90. VoR and with all due respect. I have never left any doubt that I believe the more stars a player has coming out of high school, the better chance they have at becoming more of an impact player. More importantly, 4 and/or 5* players most definitively have a better chance of making an impact earlier on in their careers. I have no doubt about that.

    This isn’t a position I take out of a mindset, rather one that is actually factual and in reality, out of necessity. PITT/Narduzzi cannot and will not recruit an abundance of 4* players in any given recruiting season right at this moment. It ain’t happening, yet he still won the Coastal. Good luck convincing me you cannot make a competitive football team comprised of 2 and 3* players, cause he did.

    Now and I’m winging this, let’s get a list of all the four star players Narduzzi recruited and all the 2 star players recruited and compare how they have done so far in their PITT careers. I feel fairly confident of two things. #One, he’s recruited more 4* players and #two, the two star players have made as much or more of an impact as the four* players recruited??

    Certainly no offense intended and none taken, my friend.

    Like

    1. It does seem that Pitt is somehow being adversely selected with their 4 star picks since it appears to me that a lower % pan out relative to other schools.

      Like

  91. Old Pitt Stadium was at 95% capacity during the early 80’s
    Avg attendance was 52,000

    Since Pitt moved into Heinz, avg attendance has been around 42,000 or 62% of capacity.
    And those 26,000 empty yellow seats are highly visible and fans are spread out too far all around a cavernous stadium that is way too big for Pitt’s needs

    Tarp the upper decks and move people down and closer together.

    Like

  92. The 4* jinx does seem to be in full effect with PITT. Plus, there just isn’t a lot of 2* players on the roster either.

    Attendance hasn’t changed much since the 70’s but the atmosphere and the crowd appearance at the two stadiums sure has. One point is that it should have changed with each graduating class adding more alumni into the fan stream after all these years.

    Like

  93. I have been a plenty of games at both stadiums where the crowds were lackluster and I really don’t think the stadium attributes to success one way or the other. Sure there have been fewer big games at Heinz, but that is because of the quality our teams, opponents and the loss of older rivalries.

    Pitt Stadium did have the advantages of being on campus, the bench seating made it look more full than the clear cut yellow seats. Also at Pitt Stadium people stayed in their seats, there were no luxury lounges, bars, Great Halls and good food to distract from the game. So people were not able to disappear from view and even those waiting in line to pee were visible. Also, you could sneak all the booze you wanted into Pitt Stadium so no need to go ta bar or stand in line for a beer. There also wasn’t nearly the tail gating room, and wasn’t much of a thing back then so people were not late arrivals.

    All that being said, nostalgia aside, Heinz has creature comforts, infrastructure, jumbotrons, or whatever they are called these days and things we only dreamed about back in the day. Hell Pitt Stadium didn’t have lights till close to the end. And yes it is not a myth that you got splinters in your but or froze to the aluminum benches.

    Yes being off campus is not ideal, but it is not the reason we have not been competitive for thirty years.
    It is just another excuse. Miami won championships off campus.

    One thing that TX and I agree on is tarp the upper decks and use technology to get the fans closer to the field and the cameras away from the empty seats. Pitt needs to get creative to approve appearances and improve atmosphere. But I don’t know what you do about all the people that would rather sit at the bar in the club sections rather than watch live football.

    But first thing first we need to rebuild a tradition of winning.

    Liked by 3 people

  94. So the difference between Pitt Stadium attendance (52,000) and Heinz attendance (42,000) is 10,000, when Pitt was coming off of a national championship with several years of consistently ranked teams. I think Heather can get the 10,000 back if we just start consistently winning again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt averaged 58k back in 2003 at Heinz
      Heinz was still new
      Fitzgeralds last year
      Top 10 Va Tech and Miami at home…the Miami game being the de facto Big East championship game
      Notre Dame at home

      So with a Heisman candidate and a home schedule of ranked teams with nearby fans, it can be done at least in isolation

      Thats why rivalry games are so important
      Thats why having a player that the program can use as the face is so important

      Liked by 2 people

  95. Riddle me this:
    How is the yellow seat problem improved by the secrecy that is Pitt?
    There was a scrimmage today.
    Show some video.
    Generate some excitement, enthusiasm.
    Anybody at Pitt with a marketing degree?

    Liked by 3 people

  96. Gasman, we have been screaming about this since Narduzzi arrived. It makes no sense. They should be publicizing and selling tickets now. Tex is right, it can be done if someone wakes up!

    Like

    1. I see that Washington had 3 doubles and six RBI for the Panthers.

      Pitt won 11-10. Pitt scored 4 in the bottom of the 7th to take the lead. The Canes had the bases loaded in the ninth. Whew!

      Presumably both teams have used their best pitchers, so tomorrow’s rubber game could be ugly – plus it’s going to be 30 degrees colder than it was today (68 degrees to 38…).

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  97. Something that TX said hit home, a point I have been trying to make about Narduzzi’s recruiting. He has fallen woefully short in getting that marquis player that Pitt can market. TX mentions Fitz, but we have been blessed with many individual star playmakers even in the thirty years since we were laden with them. As recent as AD, Tyler Boyd, James Conner, but nothing since then. I said before the closest he has come was Peterman and Henderson. So where are the Larry Fitzgeralds, Darrelle Revis’, and Shady McCoy’s. Guys that star at Pitt and make it big at the next level?

    Narduzzi needs at least a couple of these kind of guys before we get national recognition. So far he has failed to get them. Not sure when he has even come close. Obviously it takes a little luck. Not always 4 and 5 star guys, but a couple difference makers would go a long way.

    I think Narduzzi has done a decent job at building good solid depth with a lot of very good players, but great teams always have their share of great players.

    Like

    1. Agree. Reed has made the point about lack of difference-makers in the Doozer’s recruits.

      With Coach Whip, I see the potential for some stars to emerge. Guys like Ffrench, Mack and Shocky, for example… And yes, even KP!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

        1. We’ll see.

          I think Ffrench and Shocky and even Carter all have the element of speed needed to be a big-time player….

          Go Pitt.

          Like

            1. GC – I remember seeing Ffrench make a couple of “wow” catches, not last season, the one before. That gave me great hope for him. Nothing like the consistency of Boyd, but Ffrench hasn’t gotten nearly the opportunities. This season, if he catches the ball well, he will be a frequent target.

              And Mack showed last season that he can make tough catches.

              Agree on Shocky – all we know at this point about him is that he’s fast – but that’s an excellent starting point! 😊

              Go Pitt.

              Like

              1. Not saying these guys won’t contribute. But the guys I was talking about are the guys when you first see them you say wow! When Tyler, Shady, Fitz, Deon first touched the ball as freshman you knew you were watching something special. There was no doubt, no wait till next year.

                It is like DeJuan Blair when he first stepped on the floor at the Pete, he had something others don’t have.

                This is what I mean in a star. We have been lucky to have our share of them, but not Narduzzi. When Whitehead lead the team in tackles his first year, I thought he might be one. Same with Henderson, but they figured out the jet sweep his second year. Still the best return man Pitt has ever had.

                Are there any in this year’s freshmen class? Doesn’t look like it.

                Like

  98. Like it or not basketball is a game of the three point shot. Capel better find some three point shooters to fill out this class.

    Like

  99. Back to FB – found this from Dokish (I know not everyone has a high opinion, but these are just stats) –

    “In the last four years, Pitt has played eight teams in their out of conference schedule that either finished in the top 15, or are currently in the top 15. Two a year, every year. Do you know how many Penn State played in that time? Zero. Do you know how many West Virginia played in that time? Zero. In the ACC, Virginia Tech played one in this time, in 2015. North Carolina has played zero. Syracuse has played zero. North Carolina State has played zero. Most programs played either 0 or 1 out of conference top 15 teams in the the country during the last four seasons. Not eight.”

    These stats dovetail in with the conversations we have had and will have in the future on Pitt recruiting and FB success.

    Two wins vs 2 losses per year have a huge impact on program perception and recruiting.

    8-5 turns to 10-3; 5-7 turns to 7-5; 7-7 turns to 9-5

    We can’t revise history, but we can strategically and willfully affect the future.

    H2P!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Much of that has to do with playing Penn State and Notre Dame. Those are rivalry games. Pitt should always have a chance in those games.

      Like

    2. Erie – that’s interesting info.

      BTW, Doozer’s out-of-conference record for his 4 seasons is 8 and 8.

      Wanny’s OOC record for his first 4 seasons was 10-8.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  100. Is ND an out of conference game? But I get the point and have said it for some time, our scheduler is our own worst enemy. Those two additional wins a year have given WV and PSU a much higher profile than Pitt and hurts recruiting and attendance late each year. We still our doing it to ourselves adding WV and Tennessee in the same year. Just plain stupid. Especially when you might get ND, Clemson, FL ST in one of those years. Gives you zero chance for a 10 win season.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. I’ll say this for the umpteenth time …. I have no issue for hard OOC games. But when you bring up W/L records without reference to difficulty of schedule, then you simply are not being fair

    Like

    1. I think that this is another reason that any talk of Narduzzi being on the hot seat is crazy. Pitt Admin knows how tough the schedule is and obviously prefers it that way. My guess is they think it is better for ticket sales than winning 10 games. My opinion is that it is a self defeating proposition because it hurts recruiting and overall ticket sales to have an average win/loss record. We seem to be running in place which ends up being penny wise and pound foolish.

      Liked by 1 person

  102. Back to basketball, really happy for Bennett and Virginia, especially after last years embarrassment.

    Two great games yesterday and should be two more today. The talent level in these games is off the charts and shows how far Capel needs to go in recruiting to get us relevant again. While we will probably never get the one and dones like Duke and Kentucky, Virginia, Purdue and Auburn show formulae for winning.

    The kid from Purdue was amazing to watch, what a talent! While coaching is important it is players making plays that always count most.

    Like

  103. Actually Pitt’s talent is better than you think…its an issue with experience, and of course lacking a big man. If Pitt gets two more top 120 recruits, Pitt is easily back to the tourney unless Capel is a real bad coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. Maybe on paper, but all the top teams have guys that can shoot lights out from beyond the arc.
    Most also have dominant big men.
    Pitt has a long way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt needs to replace JWF
      And of course find that elusive Big Man
      But they are not that far off
      I believe Pitt gets an NIT invite next year
      They win 8 ACC games

      Capel has 2-3 left scholies to give
      Plenty of good transfers out there

      Like

  105. Back to football, are there other schools that rely on opposing teams to have a sell out crowd?
    We know that Heinz is too large for our fan base, so why not tarp off the appropriate number of seats to right size the stadium for Pitt. Open those tarped areas only when needed for ND, PSU, and WV but absolutely do not sell season tickets in those areas. Make it a 45-50 thousand seat stadium for Pitt Games. More people will show up. Stop trying to sell season tickets to the opposing team, it is self defeating. The Tarps can be in Pitt colors with Pitt Logos, making it look more Pitt Centric.

    People go to crowded bars, they don’t go to empty ones. Thirty Five thousand will be a lot better crowd, when it is all in the lower bowl. Why is this so difficult?

    Like

    1. because Narduzzi is against it
      He probably either doenst think the yellow seats hurt recruiting
      Or wont be a fan of tarps since its a reflection of his inability to win games which helps fill those seats

      Tarps are a very low cost and effective means of right sizing a stadium.

      Heck, Pitt could even sell advertising space on them and the tarps more than pay for themselves

      Like

      1. Why wouldn’t you just try roping off the upper upper deck, not selling those seats and see what happens.

        Tarps aren’t fooling anybody but make it look like you’re trying to fool everybody…

        How about leave the Big Bird seats in the upper-upper deck exposed and get the laser-type brainiacs to come up with some way to project things on them – like advertising (or images of fanatical fans 😊)…

        Maybe Pitt could think outside the box and come up with a new ticket structure where your ticket is good for a section or sections. You sit in any available seat in that section or sections…

        Need some brainstorming – but with a better brain than mine…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

        1. tarps in Pitt’s case would hide the bright yellow seats, allow Pitt to brand themselves in their new colors to make Heinz feel more like home and could be used to advertise and generate extra revenues for Pitt. But the main purpose is to right size. Move people down, cluster them together, bring them closer to the field.

          I think laser would work great inside an enclosed stadium where you can better control the lighting.

          Like

  106. I love sitting in the upper deck so I would be in the “don’t tarp me bro” category but would move if it was best for the program…

    Like

      1. Rival recruiters will always find something to denigrate. Do you think they wouldn’t laugh at a 45,000 seat OCS.

        Who knows, the Steelers may be tarping off sections soon, if they don’t get big help in the draft. The Ravens and Browns on the upswing again. Three playoff wins in the last eight years and two superstars have flown the coop. Love Conner but seems injury prone and we’ll see if Ju Ju can handle double teams. Ben getting old and is one concussion away from the end.

        Like

        1. People always are critical of size
          Yes – you could find someone critical of Anfield (where Liverpool plays) because its not as big as Wembley. 55k versus 90k.

          Idiots are everywhere

          Its atmosphere that counts. Fans close to the pitch. A unique stadium built for your fans. A design that keeps noise in and protects fans from some of the elements. An eclectic and fun place.

          Cant say that about Heinz unless you’re a big fan of yellow and those ketchup bottles in the endzone. Oh yes the view. The view of downtown Pittsburgh instead of the Cathedral.

          Turn on the TV, you’ll see Anfield.

          Like

  107. I’m indifferent about the tarping. Think it could make for a better college football atmosphere for sure. The look would still be used against PITT in recruiting though. Not to mention it would displace a lot of great PITT fans that like where they sit. I can also say, I can’t see a reason to sell tickets in the upper deck north end zone unless it’s a big event game. ND, psu, WVU.

    Like

  108. It seems to me that tarping seats is like calling out to everyone watching that Pitt cannot sell tickets. This hurts the advance sale and contributes to an impression that a fan can decide last minute if they want to attend. Tex, they said something similar about PNC Park, that the smaller park would be closer to the field and would produce more sellouts. Then we got to the product on the field. They haven’t come up with a plan yet to tarp the empty PNC Park seats in August when the Pirates are in last place.

    Like

    1. True. But its also saying that Pitt is not that smart for playing in a stadium too large for their needs. But, they are doing something about it albeit a short term, stop-gap tactic.

      I suggest Pitt try it for certain games in certain sections. See how it looks. See how it works. And then make a decision if they want to do more or scrap the idea altogether. If done properly, it can really help improve the look and of course the tactics force fans closer to the field and cluster them together. Helps improve the atmosphere in large empty stadiums.

      Condenses and amplifies the noise. I’d rather be surrounded by people as opposed to empty seats.

      I’m not saying a tarped stadium or new and smaller venue will produce wins. Its always the product on the field. But these things do help create and nurture a favorable environment for a winning culture.

      Pitt will never win without the right culture first. Ask New England. Ask the Steelers. Culture begets winning.

      People always say – well Pitt Stadium didnt help with attendance and winning. Yes and No. Pitt did win a national championship and was considered to be elite for a run of 7 years. The campus gave Pitt a favorable environment to develop a winning culture. That culture allowed Pitt to be unique and elite. A stadium is just an extension of the culture.

      Pitt destroyed the culture by design. It doesnt exist anymore. Pitt Stadium was left to rot. And the Pitt Spirit soon died.

      Liked by 1 person

  109. Seriously what school purposely lets their own football stadium waste away?
    What school fires Head Coaches when the academic snobs begin getting jealous of football’s success?
    What school has changed colors, fonts and names more than Pitt?
    What school promised more wins, better recruiting, a greater regional appeal and better fan experience by moving OFF campus?
    What school hires an AD who single handily destroyed an elite football program and gives him a golden parachute after nearly destroying Pitt’s as well.

    Hollywood could not have scripted a better dark comedy.

    Like

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