What a weekend.  It all started on Friday when Pitt announced that Aaron Donald was giving a seven-figure donation to the program.  Then, for the first time in a long time, the spring game actually produced some offense.  Paris Ford culminated the afternoon with an INT and then Pat Narduzzi anointed him the starter.  To top it all off Pitt got their second commit of 2020, an offensive tackle no less.  And to top that all off, Tiger Woods won the Masters.

But we are here to talk about football, and what is immediately clear from the spring game is that the rumors about Mark Whipple were not exaggerated.  He likes to throw the ball, and he’s good at it.  To wit, Blue and Gold teams combined for 425 yards through the air on Saturday.  Compare that to 286 last year and 244 in 2017.

Both Kenny Pickett and Davis Beville had good days and similar stat lines.  Pickett’s line was 10-14-125 2TD  (8.9 YPA) and Beville’s was 13-17-157-1 (9.2 YPA).   Perhaps even more notably Beville’s TD was caught by a Tight End (Will Gragg hauled it in).  Local favorite WR Tre Tipton caught two TD’s as well.

Looking at the receiving box score here’s what jumps out at me

  1.  Taysir Mack led all receivers with four catches but that was on nine targets (perhaps his mind was on other things…)  Pickett only missed four passes all day so you have to assume some of those drops/misses came from Jeff George.  Maurice Ffrench fared only slightly better catching 7 of 13, albeit for just 31 yards.  Maybe he should have picked Paris Ford.
  2. Shocky Jacques-Louis might be a breakout candidate this year.  He caught 3 of 4 for 51 and had a 39 yarder.
  3. Aaron Matthews caught 1 for 38, Cam O’Neill caught 1 for 37.  Feels like they might use Matthews on some deep fades this year which absolutely makes sense given his mammoth size.
  4. Tight ends caught four passes, if you count Jim Medure.  Notably Grant Carrigan caught a 38 yard pass.

The running game on the other hand, was not sharp.

Todd Sibley was the “leading rusher” posting a 4 att, 8 yard stat line.  V’Lique Carter rushed 6 times for 7 yards.  AJ Davis toted the ball 9 times for 10.  More interesting was the playcall balance, even though it wasn’t Whipple making the calls.  Blue (Pickett / Sibley / Carter) ran the ball 16 times and passed 17.  Gold (Beville / Davis):  ran the ball 16 times and passed 19.  That’s 47% run / 57% pass across both teams, which is similar to what Whipple has done in the past.

If news reports are to be believed the offensive line had a tough day of it, and this was widely expected.  The only way to really tell how they looked was to be there in person, but looking at the stats, I see that the Blue team gave up only two sacks.  This could be because of Pickett and George’s scrambling ability and veteran savvy, or it could be that the  Offensive line of by Houey – Hargrove – Drexel – Wheeler – Drake was actually serviceable, at least when it came to pass blocking.  I’d guess that the former is more likely than the latter, but the optimist in me wants to believe there was some blocking going on.

On Defense, Safety Paris Ford was the story of the day with his seven tackles and one INT.  It’s also reported that MLB/OLB Chase Pine Played well at Mike (Middle) Linebacker.  He registered six tackles, a sack and two TFL. He also broke up two passes.  Cam Bright registered six tackles for the Gold team, and had one TFL .

On the “guys you never heard of watch” rsSo DE Deslin Alexandre had a sack and a TFL, and rsFr CB Erik Hallet had sack and a TFL as well.

Ed Conway Award Winners were Paris Ford and Phil Campbell on Defense.  Tre Tipton and Carter Warren on Offense.  There is about a 50% chance that these guys deliver results during the season, but good to see that at least one OL at least developed over the offseason.

Last but not least, I received some really great pictures from the fan base.  Thanks John (Major Majors) and Joe (Joe L)!

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It all started with a good tailgate…
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Jeff George Sr. was in attendance
Mack Daddy
As was Jeff George Jr.  Not sure who that is in the background but it appears to be Taysir Mack…

 

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Clearly this man has an attitude problem…
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Just look at him forcing this kid to pose with him and Coastal Division Championship trophy. SMH.
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The Panther Head was on full display.  Really matches those yellow seats!
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These fans were labeled as “rowdy”.  You know who I mean.
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“Yes guys Mark Whipple is the real deal, and please tell Reed I don’t care if he’s a hater”

Hail to Pitt!

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

261 thoughts on “Pitt Spring Game Weekend Wrap Up

  1. Adventures down on the field after the spring-game…

    After the spring game, my son and I went down on the field. We weren’t looking for autographs, but I like to see how the players look up close and get a chance to say hello and wish them well. And sometimes you get a chance to talk to a coach… Here’s what I can remember…

    –First I spotted Rod Rutherford and we went over to say hello. He was great to talk to. He’s coaching now at Perry HS. I told him I remembered the day he committed to Pitt because it was such a big news story in Pittsburgh and was well covered by the media. Also told him how much we enjoyed his TD against PSU in Three Rivers!

    I told Rod that I saw him talking to Walt Harris earlier. Rod said that Walt is his man. Said he and Walt got off to a bit of a rocky start, but then things smoothed out. He spoke with affection for Walt. Rod’s a big dude!

    –We had a brief chat with the parents of Judson Tallandier, who is a RS Freshman cornerback. I asked his dad if Judson was happy at Pitt. His dad said he was very happy at Pitt. Said Judson had offers from Ohio State and Georgia, among many offers, but liked Pitt.

    –Got to chat a bit with Coach Bates. What a neat guy to talk to. He asked us what we thought of the defense! I told him I liked seeing us use some different coverages last season, even though we had mix-ups a couple of times. He said yeah, he thinks they have fixed some communication problems. He said there’s a big difference for both him and the players now that he’s been here for a season… Coach Bates = Cool guy.

    Oh, and Coach Bates also spilled the beans that during the spring game the defense had certain limitations placed on them for when they could blitz. So this puts a whole other aspect to trying to judge the QB play and the offense overall. In fact, those at the game might have noticed that on one play it was Coach Narduzzi who got the ref to throw a flag. The call was off-sides on the defense, but the real infraction was that the defense had blitz on one of the down and distance situations where they weren’t allowed to…

    I presume that either with installing the new offense they haven’t had time to work on all the blitz protections, or with the juggled Oline, they just wanted to give the offense a bit of a break…

    –Finally, as we’re leaving the field, my son recognizes Jeff George on the field. Not the Pitt player, his dad, the original Jeff George. We chat with Jeff for a bit. I said I thought his son made some good throws. He said yeah, and that he’s “hoping he gets a chance…” Anyway, Jeff George seemed like a good dude.

    (And as the father of one of the backup QBs, I guess he’s hoping that we have a QB controversy. I don’t see that happening, but I must say that after watching him in the spring game, I feel much better about Jeff George Jr. coming in to play if for some reason the need arises.}

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I’m feeling pretty good about the team at this point. Still lots of work to do to get the o-line ready but overall this is the deepest Pitt team in years at almost every position. The team is also relatively young so from a program view, pretty positive. It remains to be seen which guys will make big plays, hopefully quite a few.
    Much more confidence in the coordinators to put the guys in position to make the plays.

    Maybe it is just the Tiger effect, but spring is in the air.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. PittofDreams
    March 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Erie… I didn’t think much of Pine good or bad when he came out of High School. But seen enough of him to think he could eventually become a FORCE in the Middle.
    xxxxxxxx

    This is exactly what was witnessed Saturday… despite all of the talk about Chase Pine moving to the outside.

    Like

  4. Did see some of the Spring Game in person. On the record with V’Lique Carter and incoming Frosh Daniel Carter eventually establishing themselves as the BEST two Backs.

    Nothing I saw Saturday is causing me to change that opinion.

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  5. to both MMs, great stuff guys

    What a difference a year makes … (1) a year ago, the passing looked horrendous including the pick 6 to end the scrimmage, (2) Pitt picked up a legit 3-star OL, something it did not do the entire past year, and (3) a year ago I would have bet half of my life savings that Tiger would never win another major.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. there is a bit of optimism of this site which is likely to change in the near future

    Last year at this time, negativism pretty much prevailed. And I will write the same thing as I did a year ago … nothing written here really matters; all that matters is what happens on the field come this fall.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Reed, you couldn’t be more wrong. For a 4-year period (2003-6) I had multiple season tickets for both FB and BB. While I was in the Cleveland area for 7 years, I had the 3-game ticket option. And this past season I attended 3 games, and it would have been 4 had I not had my gall bladder removed at UPMC Passavant on the same day of the Duke game.

        If even 33% of Pitt alums matched my allegiance, I guarantee you the program would be in far better shape

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Spoke with Todd Sibley and his dad briefly after the game. Gracious and appreciative of the attention as most of these kids are. Todd was nursing something as he walked with a pronounced limp.

    When Kenny Pickett and his dad passed by, we told him that a selfie with my brother and I was worth two Jay-Z’s. Talked to his dad briefly. Loves the school, the program and the coaches…and yes, even Duzz. He seemed very enthusiastic.

    Not only did we see a TE pass, but saw what looked like a bubble screen. It was blown up by the D, but wa important to see they actually ran it.

    Missed some of you folks there, but we had a great crew and wonderful weather . All in all, a fun day with friends. Hope to see some of you in Lancaster next month.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks JoeL, John, Mike and others for the pictures and highlights of the weekend. All great stuff.

    Over on PSN, they mentioned Duquense having a grad transfer over the weekend. Baylee Steele, 6’11” 245 lbs. They show a few highlights, looks like he could help PITT.

    Like

  9. Okay, I’ve been saving one last tidbit from the spring game because I know it will be controversial. Down on the field after the game, my son and I bump into a Pitt staff person who happens to work on the recruiting side. I won’t give his name – don’t want to cause him any trouble with anyone.

    Anyway, we talk recruiting a bit and I ask him straight out what he thinks is the biggest reason we aren’t attracting the elite recruits to Pitt. He doesn’t hesitate – says it’s because we play off-campus at Heinz. I said “Really? I’ve always thought it’s because we don’t get the crowds and atmosphere that other schools have.” He agreed that Heinz being too big is a problem. But then he said that he had to admit that some of the recruits say they really like the idea of sharing practice facilities with the Steelers and playing on an NFL field…

    Okay, no big deal there, many here would agree that playing off-campus and to a lot of yellow seats at Heinz is a significant recruiting issue. But then I said something about Pitt needing to find a way to bring in some higher rated players. And the guy says that rankings aren’t everything; he says that Pitt turned away 4 four-star players this last class in favor of recruits they liked better but who had lower “star” ratings.

    I’m sure there are some of you either scoffing or chuckling at that statement. The statement kind of caught me a bit off guard. I know some on here will attribute that statement to being a bunch of baloney – and to the guy just trying to cover for Pitt’s low recruiting ranking…

    Is it preposterous? The guy has no reason to lie to me; I suppose it could be true. Especially maybe when you consider the lack of success Pitt has had lately with 4-star guys like Reeves and Flowers… And especially, as some have pointed out on here, when you are dealing with recruits who are likely in the bottom tier of the “four-stars.” Many recruits are probably toss-ups between being a four-star and a three-star; just as many recruits are a toss-up from an upper level 3-star to a mid-level and so on…

    But anyway, I just thought this was an interesting statement by a guy who is in a position to know what’s going on — and so I’m passing it on for you guys to ponder, rip into, cheer about, mock, or whatever it is you fancy… 🙂

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. What!!! Pat Narduzzi turning away four stars? That is No way to run a winning program. (Just kidding…kind of ). I’d say that there is probably some truth and some spin in everything he said. Really interesting about Heinz…

      My thought on Heinz from a fan perspective is that the location does nothing to build connection with students and alumni. That connection is what keeps people coming back and donating money. You can brand it and label it, reskin it and put a big yellow panther on the board all you want, bussing students 20 mins to a stadium severely degrades any connection that might have been there.

      Of course it’s all we have for the near future but if heather really has a long term vision she needs to be laying plans for 10 yrs down the road.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. They have always said they were seeking higher character and team players all other things being close to equal..
    I assume high 3 and low 4 qualified as close to equal.
    Toss is who has the better coaching system in hs…
    Remember, the Dooz abides. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  11. if its turning away a 5.8 rated 4-star for a 5.7 rated 3-star, it really is not a big deal and as controversial as it appears on the surface. Very little if any difference between the two. You pick the kid that is the better fit – fits with how you plan to use him, is really sold on Pitt and likes concrete under his feet, has the right attitude and character, is a good student.

    So I can buy that.

    What I find interesting is Heinz. Some believe playing off campus is no big deal. Some believe that the yellow seats dont matter. Well at least to this recruiter, it does factor into a recruits decision.

    The trend is downsizing and right sizing stadiums all throughout the world across all sports. Its all about the fan experience and making a stadium ready to handle all the new technology that impacts how a game is played and viewed. Stadiums these days are built with fans in mind and the community in mind. Stadiums are a reflection of both…thats what makes them unique.

    Thats why I think Pitt is working Tepper so hard.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. and sharing practice facilities and a field may be cool to some recruits but I think the novelty wears off fast

    and it may not be such a good thing to associate Pitt with the Steelers these days given all the drama. And the Steelers are probably heading into a stretch where playoffs will be tough to come by. They will become very mediocre soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Been saying for years that playing at Heinz and sharing facilities with Steelers… WAY over-rated… especially when you factor in taking a bus.

    Goes for students heading to games and players having to hoof it CLEAR across river to practice.

    BOTH losing propositions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. an old article on why Pitt made the move and what they expected
      needless to say, very little if any of what they expected actually happened
      and there are at least three statements in the article from Stevie and Mark where I outright vomited

      http://old.post-gazette.com/steelers/20010824hpitt0824P1.asp

      I would have respected them far more if they just told the truth and didnt lie. Pitt moved off campus because it determined that basketball would be its sport identity. They needed a location for the new on campus arena. They didnt want to find the money to help renovate Pitt Stadium or build a domed multipurpose venue. They took the cheap and easy way out.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Great find Tex. There are only two things in that puff piece that resonated with me.

        Grass surface. Huge upgrade from Pitt Stadium AstroTurf (not that they couldn’t have replaced it though)
        Parking and traffic. Still something Pitt will have to figure out if they ever do an OCS. With that being said no college town is equipped to deal with it either. Traffic on game weekend is just part of college football.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Alright, got the honey do list all finished up and now for dissecting John’s Big Reveal if you will:

    Actually I don’t have all that much new stuff. Like someone famously said, “ike, you’re like a broken record” 🙂 ok, true enough but I can’t get past how when something negative is printed about Narduzzi and PITT it’s believed at face value. I guess I feel like, why would someone lie about something they have nothing to gain from. Well even then, I can’t see a reason to tell a story that’s not true. So I guess I’m saying and believing what the coach told John is the truth.

    There’s a lot of info in there we don’t know. Maybe many teams took a pass on some of those same kids? Grades, past troubles and all kind of baggage could have played a part and I don’t care how high they were rated, if they can’t cut the mustard (for you Huff the Third) then move on to a good kid and student, with good parents. Another factor that is often left out of these decisions. The Parents!

    There is no question that playing at Heinz is a determent to PITT for reverse recruiting done by other schools that routinely have very large crowds at their on campus stadiums. There’s 100,000 reason why psu, OSU, Michigan and others beat PITT out for recruits all the time and it used against PITT, just like the man said.

    Well wife’s home, time to bring groceries in and you guys think all I do is sit here and obsess over PITT.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. apparently Pitt is not the only fanbase unhappy with its passing attack. At Michigan’s spring game on Saturday, a plane was flying around with the banner “Hey Jim, this is God. It’s okay to pass on 1st down. Let’s try it!”

    And this is a program that doesn’t turn away 4-star QBs … a quick check of the UM Rivals page showed that it signed four 4-star QBs from 2015 thru 2018

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Four star qb doesn’t get you squat if you have a two star OC. I think Whipple is going to do big things with our offense.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think a lot of it is the “run-first” mentality which Wanny, Chryst and Duzz all have …. and I really don’t have an issue with. IMO a successful running attack cures a lot of ills. Harbaugh was very successful at Stanford and even, t a lesser extent, with the 49ers with that approach

        However, of course, when you have trouble running, you better be able to pass when necessary … as Pitt saw vs Miami and Clemson recently as well as vs Okla St last year …. and even vs Akron in 2014.

        The most interesting aspect of this coming season may well be if the pass sets up the run … or visa versa. We are very likely to see a very different approach than what we are accustomed to

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think Coach Whipple is going to do great things IF Coach Borbely can find, develop, conger up, fabricate, or somehow otherwise come up with two at least average college offensive tackles.

        Not to be overly dramatic, but I think the success or failure of entire season depends on this one issue.

        If you can’t hold off the DEs on pass plays, bad things are going to happen…

        We have adequate to excellent ability at every other position, IMHO…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. That’s a very fair assessment MM. what’s your opinion of how Warren and Houy performed on Saturday?

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          1. I watched Warren some, didn’t focus on Houy at all. We were sitting down low and deciphering the line play was tough unless they were on our end of the line.

            I focused on Warren for one series when he was going against Jones. Jones got past him twice and Warren blocked him once. I did notice Warren looking okay on a couple other plays.

            I think the issue will be his lateral quickness. Jones got past him by making a move to the outside and then cutting back inside…

            Hopefully Warren can continue to improve his foot work. He’s a big guy who sure looks the part — can he move those feet quick enough laterally to handle a speed rusher, that to me is the issue…

            Go Pitt.

            Like

            1. Warren will probably be replaced by the incoming Michigan grad transfer. That’s not saying he will do any better than Warren in stopping a Jones type DE.

              Liked by 1 person

  16. yep – grass surface
    but we know Heinz has been voted the worst playing surface in the NFL on several occasions
    and the new field turf these days is so much better than the old astro turf

    and yes – parking and traffic. But parking has become more limited on the north shore as new buildings go up and garages get built

    another player noted that the fans would be closer to the field since Heinz didnt have a track.

    nobody foresaw how those yellow seats would stand out. i find it surprising that people didnt point out the disconnect between real attendance and stadium capacity…new home is too big.

    and Stevie said students dont mind being bused since they didnt say anything about the 1 year at Three Rivers. Thats where I vomited.

    And when both Steve and Mark stated the move would help Pitt recruit and help Pitt win more games and help generate more revenues.

    And the north shore is better than Oakland because it places Pitt closer to the heart of the city. That was the most gobsmack statement.

    Like you said, its about making connections. The heart of Pitt is in Oakland.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. any near-campus stadium of 49,000 that doesn’t involve Bates Street would be ideal. For selfish reasons (mainly access) I do prefer the North Shore to Oakland, but I would go to Oakland for Saturday games if required

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    1. There is really no where to put it in Oakland unless you continue to expand into the hill district

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      1. I think that they need to get mass transit other than bus to Oakland before they build a stadium. Light rail or subway, or some other transportation solution that doesn’t involve an already congested roadway is sorely needed.

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    1. never been there but I am pretty sad. I have been to the Vatican and St Peters Basilica, and know of all of the beauty, statues and art work, etc, contained inside … and would be devastated if that was destroyed

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  18. That’s an interesting comment John. You would think Coach Bates already would know there is a Bates street but thinking it through a little further… Maybe not? Does he really need to go into Oakland? I’m sure he has and does but his office is probably on the south-side. Another note on Bates, isn’t his family still living out of town?

    Speaking of Bates Street, what an embarrassment it is to the neighborhood of Oakland. Is there a worse main entrance into a major college University for a metropolis like Oakland in the country? I highly doubt it. I’m not talking about small town USA.

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  19. Hey Chris, weren’t you the guy that was going to write some articles for Reed? Sorry if I got the wrong guy but your name rings familiar.

    Like

  20. Bates Street..where I tried to learn to drive a stick shift VW Beetle in 1973..during rush hour as a matter of fact… after picking up a used model at Ted McWilliams in Monroeville……one of those other times I was in over my head……….thought I could do it all…….

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  21. I’d take that “Passed over 4* kids for lesser rated recruits” quote with less grains of salt if the actual kids Narduzzi has been able to get to committ to HIM and Pitt out of HS had done anything better than playing play average-at-best ball so far.

    But he hasn’t folks… and we have been seeing that on the field of play the last two years as more of his own recruits have populated the two-deep.

    Look at the last two All-ACC teams (1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team and Honorable mention)

    Of all the recruits that Narduzzi and staff actually went out and recruited out of HS to commit to Pitt we have this:

    2018:

    3rd Team – Kicker Alex Kessman
    Honorable Mention – Maurice Ffrench

    2017 – none

    2016 – none

    That’s it my Pitt friends – two players and none over 3rd team.

    And spare me the “Heinz Field is the reason” also – all you have to do is look back over the recruiting classes since 2001 to see that other HCs got plenty of high ranked recruits who played very well for us. That isn’t a reason – it’s an excuse.

    Then look at the 20 years of our recruiting before we move out of Pitt stadium and see what our recruiting was like – not the level of post-move that’s for sure.

    He’s not the worse recruiter and I don’t think he’s even a terrible one. But I will say that I think he’s no better than the last two HCs we have had (Chryst was a rather awesome offensive recruiter) and if Narduzzi stays at the recruiting level he is now we’ll stay at the W/L and level of play that we have been over the past to years with his own committed kids so far.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know Reed I was saying the same exact thing about Texas Tech basketball for years.

      Like

    2. Recruiting is funny to me. Wanny couldn’t find a QB and even sent out letters to ask if any QBs were interested in Pitt. But Wanny sure knew his RBs and DEs.

      Coach Chryst was good with the OLine and TEs and Tyler Boyd. He too couldn’t recruit a QB, which was really surprising given his guru-rep. He struggled on the defensive side.

      The Doozer right now has the best group of DTs we’ve had since Aaron Donald dined alone (anyone get that reference?) Otherwise, you have to go back to the early 90s…

      These are probably the best DEs we’ve had since Romeus and Sheard. And it’s the best overall group of DBs since I can’t remember when – maybe when Revis was here, but otherwise way before that.

      And, somehow Dooz seems to stubble onto some pretty darn good looking QB recruits.

      Now I agree that the OLine remains a “major” concern and we haven’t had a decent TE since Orndoff. I do think the WR talent is way better than their stats and I expect them to show that this season. RBs are a question mark — I’m not a fan of the style runners they go after these days.

      If we could only put together Wanny’s RBs and DEs, Chryst’s OL and TEs, and Doozer’s QBs, DTs, and DBs, we’d have a heck of a team.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Stalled that Beetle at least 30 times…25 on Bates….Bates St became my Normany cliff to climb…finally got to the frat house and one of my brothers taught me to drive-out in the country…(think 3 dog night song)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Didn’t Pitt win the coastal last year? Losses to PSU, UCF, ND, Clemson? UNC beyond bad and Miami should have been more competitive but the OOC killed them. They have 9 wins with a traditional OOC. Sure, there has to be some more progress but Pitt is trending the right direction.

    Defense improved and should be even more improved this season. Offensive deficiency was addressed with Whipple.

    I didn’t include Stanford because I just don’t care about exhibition games played in a bubble, weeks outside of the regular season. Only the playoff counts, IMO. I know that’s not a popular train of thought but I can’t take a game seriously that has players playing the game skipping it because of injury concerns and draft protections. Not to mention, coaches talk more about how important the practices are versus playing in the actual game …

    Liked by 4 people

  24. I would think that the Heinz Field issue isn’t as big a deal as the practice facility. The players only get to Heinz 6 (or maybe 7) times a season, but they have to trek over to the south side every day during the season to practice. That must be a real pain in the back side.

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    1. I would think the opposite. It’s an easy ride down the hill and across the hot metal bridge to the south side. Heck I walked it once. Plus they have a lounge and places to hang out, study whatever.

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      1. aren’t you forgetting the street that you have to take to get there from Oakland? Rumor has it that Pitt lost three 4-stars alone because how long it took them due to some guy trying to learn how to drive a stick

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Wait, it’s easier to go from Oakland to the Southside every day, then it is to go to the Northside 6 or 7 times a season? I’d rather have my everyday practice facility a short walk from my dorm. BTW, according to Google maps, from the Cathedral to the Sport complex is a 1.8 mile, 37 minute walk (8 minute drive if you have a car and depending on time of day). That’s a long walk, particularly after a practice. Yes, you can hang out in a lounge, but at some point you need to head back to campus for the evening. Off campus practice facility would be a big pain in the a&*.

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        1. I’m saying it’s easier for the football team to take an 8 minute bus ride than it is for 10,000 students to take a 30 minute (maybe 20?) bus ride. Kind of an apples and oranges companion. In other campuses the athletic complex is probably 1.8 miles away from student housing / classrooms as well

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  25. Reed makes accurate assessments of who and how Narduzzi’s recruits have performed up to this point. Not much to argue there. A few other factors to consider though.

    #1 Narduzzi’s first class was shorten by when he was hired.

    #2 PITT recruits a different kind student athlete that some want to compare PITT to. << 3*’s take awhile to mature but they can win Coastal division championships. << Proven

    #3 Narduzzi’s first two recruiting classes still have at least one year or more left to compete.

    #4 If it wasn’t Narduzzi’s recruits that won the Coastal division championship last year, then it must have been his coaching.

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  26. Again, he’s not terrible at it…just ineffective so far.

    Which also means he’s getting rather decent results without “star” players. So that’s a good thing.

    I like that we won the coastal last year. But I think every single Pitt fan feels as I do in that being 7 – 7 isn’t all that good.

    Being sub-.500 over the last two years is disappointing also. Yes, even with the coastal.

    But this is really what Pitt football is all about. Each season we are excited about the coming games and we think “this will be the year!” And then just about the same thing happens again and again.

    Tell you what – if we get 8 wins and a bowl victory I think that is way more important for Narduzzi than any division title… especially in recruiting.

    I’m just not holding my breath it will happen this year given the current roster.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Of course a bowl win means a lot. I cannot believe I have to justify that winning a football game is important. They’re all important.

          Winning a division in football is a bigger accomplishment. I mean, Pitt has won so many since joining its first conference back in the early 90s.

          Like

          1. Bowl games outside the playoff (or New Years 6) mean nothing. It’s just an exhibition game. Zero impact on recruiting or the next season. No impact on momentum. Just a game for ESPN to rake in some advertising dollars on.

            If a kid is draft-able they may not even play. If they do play, they are on a short leash like Nate P and Conner were against Northwestern a couple of years ago, to avoid any setbacks.

            Of course the coaches coach to win and the players play to win but the stakes are so low that many bowl games just meander. Now, you do get some lower tiered teams that get fired up for the chance at Goliath and that can make games interesting but it’s usually because the higher ranked team, or P5 team, just doesn’t care enough about being there. Human nature.

            Reed didn’t even watch the last 8 games of the season so he has very little context into how the season actually played out. I can’t really take too much of his commentary on last season with more than a grain of salt.

            The team did very well in the ACC. Going into the season the talk from the team was winning the Coastal and they did that. Mission accomplished.

            I agree progress has to be made. He needs more wins. Pitt had 2 losses to teams that finished in the top 5 (Clemson and ND). Another one a team ranked #8 (UCF) and one more to the 12th ranked team (PSU). Two of those were OOC games, one kinda/sorta (ND) … so with a more traditional OOC they are at 9 wins, possibly 10.

            There is something to be said for beating the teams on the schedule. Pitt did just that with the most important games … in the ACC. They struggled outside of conference but like I said, 3 of those were top 12 in the country … most top 25 teams would have trouble with that.

            The next step is to have that ACC success translate to the OOC. ND, PSU and UCF wrecked that this year. Again, alll were top 12 teams, however. Pitt is just not at that level yet.

            Liked by 1 person

  27. There’s been much discussion about the folly of moving to Heinz, and I can’t believe how stupid Stevie and Mark were in justifying the move. One can only conclude that they knew better and lied to the public about it. Is it any wonder that we saw only mediocrity under their tenure?

    Like

    1. The public never seriously questioned the move; moreover, the justifications provided by Pitt were taken by most as fact

      Why couldnt Pitt just renovate the stadium? Well – probably because it would have cost over $150M and they built the Pete for that. Could they have built a domed stadium for $300M used by both football and basketball? Probably. But they didnt want to go through a massive fundraising campaign and incur debt.

      So they took the easy way out. In little more than 1 year, they had their new football stadium for a very reasonable $1M in rent per year and found the land for the Pete.

      Now Pitt could have built the Pete on other land like the OC Lot or where the existing ball fields reside.

      Pitt could have also forced basketball off campus to play at the Civic Arena

      Now the facts:
      Pitt’s attendance did not significantly improve by playing at Heinz. The product on the field impacts attendance the most (winning, NFL potential players, rivalry games). Although I will argue that today how a stadium is designed and functions is more important than ever in getting casual fans off their sofas and away from the TV. And helping the venue maximize all potential revenue streams.

      Unfortunately, the revenues also did not significantly increase since the bulk comes from ticket sales and I believe Pitt only gets a cut of concessions and parking at Heinz and not a full 100%. Pitt also misses out on certain naming rights and other marketing revenues by being a renter and not the owner. Tough for a school to make money when only used for 6 events per year.

      Moreover, Heinz really didnt help all that much with recruiting particularly once the novelty of the new stadium wore off and the Steelers stopped going to Super Bowls. If anything, the yellow seats hurt recruiting and students hate the experience of being bused and perform a mass exodus come end of 3rd quarter to get in line for a bus ride home. The optics are horrible.

      The move also didnt help Pitt expand its brand outside Oakland. Heinz screams pro stadium and Steelers and the North Shore screams Pittsburgh and not Pitt.

      Outside the first few years, new stadiums alone dont increase attendance, boost recruiting or result in more wins.

      What is important is how a stadium can be used to connect fans to the school. How a stadium can express the unique character and charm of a school and its campus community. How a stadium can express the proper feel and ambiance for a game. How the stadium can be associated with Pitt and become a symbol of its brand. How a stadium is part of a school’s spirit and culture.

      Heinz has shown the world that it is too bland, too big, too NFL and too far off campus. The stadium has become a competitive disadvantage for Pitt and shows people that the school is not serious about football.
      I’m afraid that Pitt still doesnt understand how far short Pitt has fallen to the original expectations regarding the move.

      I see Heinz as a major reason why Pitt cannot effectively establish a culture for winning. And all I hear from Pitt is there is no room on campus, it would cost too much, its not needed, parking and traffic nightmares, excuses, excuses.

      Liked by 3 people

  28. To not take a 4 star kid is silly when you have schollie’s to give. I think the problem would have been they were late in the year 4 stars with no schollie’s left so he would have had to pull a schollie or two and didn’t feel right about that. I disagree with that practice. For instaance we probably have several players that will never see the field. If you have a 4 star wanting to commit, it is my opinion that you have conversations with the non-contributor and part ways.

    Let the 4 star and other 3 stars compete.

    Any news on Owen Drexel? This is my point. So we have walk on Morrissey and apparently Kradel as number 2. Is Drexel 3rd string or worse? Same with the rest of our OL. If they aren’t getting snaps, it’s time to have a talk. Just trying to increase competition which should make the players better.

    On campus stadium has been a no brainer for years. Build the dang thing. 15-20 years from now, there won’t be a need for parking garages. Many think that autonomous vehicles will diminish the need for parking garages. Candidly, there will be more people on the road than ever before. My 90 year old father in law will get in a car and be delivered to his destination. Just a backwards way of looking at autonomous vehicles. And yes, we get closer to it every year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When PITT over-recruits a player, how are they suppose to win? Either they recruited a dud or recruited a better player, yet somehow it’s always a bad thing? Truth is, we should wait and see how the players pan out. Plus, Patrick Jones II is one nasty dude, he just ain’t no Miami thug and I don’t want those types.

      Like

    2. Huff – I think your first sentence is kind of misleading. You say to not take a four star kid is silly when you have schollies to give.

      That’s true if the kid is truly “a 4-star kid.” I think the issue can be that a kid ranked 4-stars by Rivals may only look like a 3-star to the coaching staff. Why take a kid someone else thinks is a 4-star, when you can take a kid who Rivals rates a 3-star but your coaches think is better?

      The Pitt guy didn’t say they turned 4-stars away because they ran out of room; he said they liked the other kids better.

      I admit the guy could have been putting a spin on what Pitt did. And maybe I’m naive, but in evaluating a player, I’d take the consensus opinion of a staff of professional coaches over a Rivals evaluator…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  29. MM — regarding your observation that the Panther Head up on the scoreboard matches the yellow seats — I have a question.

    If we all wore shirts to the games which were the new Pitt yellow color, would Heinz Field then look like the stands were completely full or completely empty?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Is this the long-term approach to addressing the “appearance” of an attendance problem?

    Creepy Valley has their white outs; we can have “Yellow Fever Games”??? 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hahaha this is the best post all day by far. Yellow fever! I think we’d all look like a bunch of floating heads

      Liked by 1 person

  30. We talk about “the steve” and Nordy and those before them. Lumping them all together isn’t all that fair. They all had different agenda’s for sure. I think the bigger problem may have been the over-all thinking or the lack of over-all forward thinking of days gone by.

    For one, allowing PITT stadium to just rot like it did without looking at the facade and the exterior of such an iconic structure and up-keeping and improving upon it was surely a mismanagement of the powers that did not appreciate what a major college football team meant and the revenue it could generate under the proper management. Which redundantly speaks for itself.

    Also, why hasn’t The University of Pittsburgh ever flexed their muscles and demanded more from the city and more importantly, UPMC! Why isn’t there a rail running out there? Why is Bates St like a simple road in nowhere USA? Why isn’t Bigelow closed down.

    PITT football problems are not the fault of today’s athletic department problems, it’s the universities and the city of Pittsburgh’s problem.

    ….and all things considered…… PITT football problems aren’t all that great, so kudo’s…

    Like

  31. Name another university that would destroy their on campus football stadium and move their football games to a municipal stadium miles from their main campus?

    Like

  32. Reed left off PN’s first recruiting class – 2015. Jordan Whitehead (3’rd, 2’nd & H.M.), Quadree Henderson (1’st & 2’nd) & Darrin Hall (3’rd) & Dane Jackson (3’rd). Both Dane & Darrin made the list in 2018.

    Not included in his list are PN walk on Jimmy Morrissey (2018 3’rd team offense) & the originally much maligned grad transfer from Kent State Stefano Millen a 2018 2’nd team offense selection. While they were not recruited to PITT in the normal course of recruiting, someone had to offer them a chance at PITT.

    Of course I have made an excel spreadsheet of ACC All conference teams from 2015 to 2018. I am still working on 2015. Do you know that there have been 361 names from 16 – 18. Some have been on more than one year & even a few have been selected to different positions.

    Not surprising but seniors make up 42% of the names. Juniors 34%. Sophomores 18% & Freshmen 6%.

    Liked by 7 people

  33. When Stevie and Nord were misleading the public, it was pretty clear around the country that off campus stadiums don’t work. I think Tex is right that they chose not to do the right thing and upgrade Pitt Stadium while building a separate new bb arena. Cuse does well in basketball with their combined facility but football not so much. The point is a unique solution is needed for each school that builds on tradition while promoting a national brand.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. My point about recruiting was that there are 85 scholarship players on a team, plus some walkons and specialists. With a total of 22 first stringers, that gives you roughly 4 players per position. Some positions won’t go 4 deep, like center and fullback. Although, we have like 12 Tight Ends. After 2-3 years (including redshirt), the coaches should know whether you are going to contribute. If the answer is no, than it is time for the conversation. That’s what the big programs do, even with their 4 stars.

    i would most likely take a 4 star at most times. I remember the TE that ended up at wvu high a couple years ago. I think it was banks or sumpin.

    As stated a while back, the transfer OL is slated in to start, wink, wink. The trade-off is that Carter whens most improved although he comes in second for almost improved enough. That’s not being harsh, it is just the reality of the 5th year transfer. The deals are in place as they were with the TE, and Max and fill-in fifth year name here.

    Like

  35. Florida State’s OL I read somewhere last year was made up of all 4 and 5 star recruits and they performed miserably for most of the season. Maybe there is something wrong with the system of handing out stars for the OL players coming out of HS.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Let’s see if Pitt replaced the PSU and Central Florida teams last season with Western Michigan and Wagner from the Syracuse schedule we would have probably ended up at 9 and 5 for the year. Not bad for those sorry bunch of recruits brought in by Narduzzi IMO.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Why did you use a little if…..should be big IF…..Can’t automatically credit two wins either. Glad everyone is coming around on the point that had Pitt finished 9-5, they probably finished ranked. Instead, the season was a .500 nothing burger. Not great! Not Terrible! Just blah!

      Like

  37. From PSN on men’s basketball –

    “**In case you missed it over the weekend, Sinclair Community College guard Sean McNeil committed to Bob Huggins and West Virginia. The three-point sharp shooter was someone that Jeff Capel was very much interested.“

    Not a big man, but…

    Like

    1. So are we now in search of Skippy Version 4.0?

      Perhaps the problem is that we don’t look like an NCAA tourney team, and that’s what these highly-sought-after kids are looking for??

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. fwiw, Huggy had at least 3 players put their names on the transfer list recently … in addition to 2 players who were thrown off the team back in Feb. But it amazes me nonetheless how he is able to recruit so well to Morgantown …. including PA’s best prospect this year

      Like

  38. Love the Yellow fever.

    I have said this before but moving from Pitt Stadium to Heinz did not happen in a vacuum and it wasn’t the sole decision of Nordy and Steve. When they took over Pitt Sports were near death. They saved Pitt athletics. There was major controversy over the two new stadiums and no stomach to build a third. The most laughable statement is that Pitt could have moved basketball to the Civic Arena.

    Like

  39. I just read that the Golden St Warriors, who has been the best NBA team for a long while, blew a 31 pt lead at home to the Clippers last night.

    Tampa Bay has been far and away the best NHL team this year, not even close. Right now, they are down to 8th seed Columbus, 3 games to 0.

    Last year in NCAA BB tourney, 16th seed UVa got demolished by 16th seed UMBC.

    But you will never see anything like this happen in college FB. there is just too much disparity. This past season, the Citadel was actually tied with Bama 10-10 at the half … final score 50-17 Bama.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Let’s not forget Heinz Field was built years before the T ran underground to the north shore station. Plus the reality of the situation is that Oakland need and deserves a connector out there. Make it a big one with plenty of parking so people could use it as a park and ride to relieve the traffic congestion downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve written this before … but for the life of me. I don’t understand why there is no light rail system which would parallel the Parkway West which is the most travelled stretch of road in the area. To begin with, there are 4 colleges and 6 hospitals involved if you run it from downtown to Monroeville.

      Like

      1. General Motors and Ford?

        If you dig there is a lot of interesting history on how the car makers reportedly loaded local governments across America in the 50’s and 60’s with pols who would vote against public transportation and support lots of asphalt roads – the more roads and the less options for alternative transportation the more cars they sold.

        The establishment of the Port Authority doomed a vibrant private trolley system in Pittsburgh that covered a wide area. And we didn’t even get a decent freeway system to boot.

        Perhaps things have not changed much in 50 years. Today public apathy, lack of land/right-of-way and cost are huge issues that must be overcome to reestablish light rail in the Oakland area.

        Hmmm….I see a parallel there…

        H2P

        Like

  41. Yellow Fever is good but maybe just ‘yellow out’. It would be considered insensitive these days to use the name of a disease. There is probably a yellow fever advocacy group that would protest Pitt games and get national media attention.

    Actually, they could still use ‘gold out’.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. I think Pitt calls it University Gold. The Steelers call is gold, University of Iowa calls it gold, and even McNeese State calls it gold. 🙂

    Like

  43. VT big man, Kerry Blackshear, who has owned Pitt the last 2 years, has entered the transfer portal. He would be ideal for Pitt next year but doubt very much he would consider. Just hope he leaves the ACC

    Like

  44. Excellent Bill…thanks.
    Over 400 artists recorded “fever”…a different version could be played at home games until the end of the century. Haha.

    Like

  45. OT Bill and Fran. My wife had a spinach salad for lunch today so I asked Alexa to play Southside Johnny and play “Check out Mr Popeye” Started me off to a wonder afternoon of great Asbury Jukes tunes. Yes, I torture her as well as you guys.

    Like

  46. I’d like to know just how big of a footprint is needed for an OCS. We have heard many times that Oakland cannot accommodate it. But how serious has Pitt really studied this, or is it just an excuse?

    Like

  47. That does seem like a pretty big footprint, Bernie. Hard to find that on the lower campus near the Parkway. Sufficient land recovery in South Oakland would seem unlikely.

    Like

    1. US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, one of the NFL’s newer stadiums, covers 13 acres.

      We don’t need to go as grand as that…but still you need a good chunk of land.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. 12-13 acres
          Pitt Stadium occupied more land since it was bowl shaped, by design this pushes the seating out. Moreover, it had a track.

          An absolute horrible design for a football stadium. Stadium tracks suck.

          Land currently exists on the OC Lot/Cost Center. However, this is the location proposed for the 3,000 seat new venue which will serve as the new home for sports playing at Fitzgerald (volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics). It also will include an indoor track and be some performance center along with housing a Pitt HOF.

          Land exists between Hillman and the Carnegie. It would be a tighter squeeze but still possible. But it currently serves as a place to park and is a well used public square having that nice lawn and performance stage. Grass is precious on campus. Land stability may be an issue since its actually a filled in ravine. But what a view of the Cathedral through the north endzone.

          Panther Hollow exists by Frick but that involves buying up about 15 slum homes and using eminent domain. Its right by light rail tracks and adjacent to Bouquet. You’d have to move Frick though but its possible from an engineering standpoint…I’ve spoken with engineers who would place the foundation on rollers.

          There is also land where the VA Hospital exists. Given changes in demographics and the evolving healthcare industry, the VA hospital wont last much longer. UPMC may have other ideas though.

          Theres the seldom used golf course at Schenley but you’d have to payoff the heirs of Schenley to make that happen since her endowment to the City was very specific. This location probably presents the most challenges from a egress perspective.

          And then where the Pete currently resides. Raze it and build a multi-purpose arena that houses football, basketball and hockey. Stade Pierre Mauroy concept.

          Any stadium construction would most likely consist of digging into the earth and situating the first tier below ground. The second tier would be above ground. This reduces the structures profile. Tier design is the way to go and I personally favor a steeper pitch seating arrangement to force fans closer to the field and further help with noise amplification. Any stadium dug into the earth is naturally more loud and any stadium with roof overhangs can trap the sound to reverberate. And of course, domed venues are the loudest of all.

          So the footprint for modern stadiums isnt that large at all.

          Ideally you want the venue on land that Pitt already owns or has been buying up secretly throughout the years. You dont want to mess with eminent domain unless you have deep pockets and a long timeframe.

          Park n rides (remote parking), autonomous vehicles, light rail can all help with traffic management.

          This pro bono feasibility study on potential locations supplied by TX Panther

          Liked by 7 people

            1. The State would go absolutely bonkers if Pitt proposed demolition of the Pete.

              The Pete is an impressive looking venue for BB. Pitt needs to create another impressive looking venue for FB…

              My $0.02.

              Go Pitt.

              Like

  48. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes….loudest concert I was ever at. They had enough speakers for the Civic Arena, but the concert was at the small auditorium at Allegheny College, our Richman’s alma mater.

    Like

    1. two of my cousin’s daughters went to Allegheny as did my buddy’s son, both of whom I usually attend Pitt games with. Incidentally, one of my cousin’s daughter went on to Pitt Law school and is now a local law partner, while my buddy’s son got his MBA at Katz and is doing very well in business.

      Allegheny is a great school … not to mention that at the I79 exit for the school is the largest Perkin’s restaurant in the world (I still prefer the Cracker Barrell though)

      Liked by 1 person

  49. Now is our chance to kill the old blue and gold forever. If any of you still think this is temporary this University branding exercise should put those doubts to rest.

    “The University of Pittsburgh seeks to understand our community’s perceptions of our visual identity. Your participation in this very brief survey will help us gather vital information, and your insight is appreciated.

    Below you will see three different examples of the University of Pittsburgh’s visual identity, usually referred to as a word mark, or logo. ”

    https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8vkk8zJ4DedMHEp?fbclid=IwAR22fno0I3-6OHbJMWF4HaHS1WNXN7lpm8bj66da2RtHw3be2OUp8OtnLdk

    Like

    1. Thanks for posting that, Tossing. I filled out the questionnaire. At the end of my comments I put “Now all we need is an on-campus stadium!”

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. are they asking for opinion after they have already made the change?
    i thought this was already decided
    everything goes to the new colors and not just athletics…right?
    or else we are brand dummies

    the new colors look much better in print like the seal above

    Liked by 1 person

  51. TX – My understanding was that it was athletics. Phase 2 is the University brand. This seems to imply that.

    MajorMajors – I did OCS as well. Haha.

    MM – I think it would take 10+ years to put an OCS into motion so now is probably the time to start voicing that opinion.

    If y’all want it, now is a time you can make that clear. Not often you can find a loophole to make your opinion known.

    Like

  52. The two TD passes to Tre Tipton in the spring game – I hope they’re a sign of good things for both Tre and KP.

    –For Tre, he made two excellent plays. Could easily have been Tyler Boyd running those routes and making those catches.

    –For KP, he did what a good, winning QB has to do. On the first TD pass, the window was small but KP gunned the ball in there with perfect accuracy for the score. On the second TD pass, KP put some touch on the ball and again put it in the best spot for Tre to make a play.

    Coach Whipple (and Coach Beatty) had to be smiling like butcher’s dogs at those two plays. These are the kinds of plays that other teams – especially UNC – have been killing us with… It’s time to turn the tables…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Prior to 1974, Pitt had navy and yellow/gold
    from 1974 to 1986, Pitt had navy and mustard
    from 1987 to 1997, Pitt had blue and yellow
    from 1998 to 2018, Pitt had the navy and Vegas Gold

    so the majority of former students had the drab colors. There are over 300,000 Pitt alumni.
    The ‘official’ school colors (as of today) are navy blue and gold
    I’m all for making new traditions
    The old colors didnt somehow tie me to the past
    And personally, I could care less about the Sutherland, Warner and Ditka days
    And students these days probably dont even know who Dorsett was

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Tex, Panther Hollow gets my vote. The below ground design would seem to require a smaller footprint, and the eminent domain problem seems workable. They could build this for $150 million, and pay for it over 10 years with the first down payment coming from Pitt’s huge endowment.

    Like

  55. Annie — Did you see where Crissy Shannon has been named the Head Drum Major for the Pitt Band?

    First female Head Drum Major in the history of the Pitt Band.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  56. Excellent posts last evening…you guys are awesome.
    Mark, what year was that concert at Allegheny? My wife went there also.

    Like

    1. I know a few people who are Allegheny graduates and they all have one thing in common:

      They’re all really, really smart!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. Fran, I think that concert was probably 1979 or 1980.I was visiting my cousin who was a student there at the time, my first college “experience “.

      Like

  57. From a Fantasy point of view I always loved the Panther Hollow location. Especially if the train tracks could be converted to light rail. Parking and other amenities could be built on the old J&L site. Ramps could be added the Parkway. It has been talked about for at least 50 years.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. unlike most here, I grew up ‘on the other side of the tracks.’ No it wasn’t poverty but we were by no means wealthy. No I wasn’t a felon but did have my share of mischievous acts.

      This and the female drum major reminds me that we would tell girls in high school that ‘it was amazing that girls were able to touch their elbows behind their backs while guys couldn’t’ … and you would be surprised the girls who fell for it.

      And no, this wasn’t even close to my most mischievous deed.

      Like

  58. Wiki says PITT purchased 9 acres for dear ole PITT stadium…memory served me wrong…thought I remembered reading an article where Stevie commented the 17 acres that the stadium occupied would be put to better use with more people visiting home BB vs games vs 5-6 home FB games and at the same time providing more leisure space for students and activities on campus…something along those lines….

    Like

  59. only 9 acres……only 9 acres…only 9 acres….lock the gates and get’t done…I Feela Feva comin on….Yella Feva….just the thought of being in OUR OWN STADIUM looking at the Cathedral raises my temp…..

    Liked by 3 people

  60. another old but very interesting article
    http://old.post-gazette.com/sports_pitt/19990314pittfb3.asp

    students and players knew what would happen
    shouldnt this be a home for them?

    but in the end, the muckety mucks used false narratives, alternative facts, lofty promises and excuses

    Pitt was getting a ‘free’ stadium. Pitt didnt have to raise money for costly renovations. Pitt found the land for a bigger Pete.

    Steve just couldnt understand why so many disagreed with his vision. He ignored everyone but himself.

    How has that vision worked out?

    Didnt help recruiting. Didnt help attendance. Students have a bad experience getting bused.

    Players get bused to practice and logistically it probably costs these players close to 60 minutes each day (go to pickup spot, wait on bus, leave on bus and travel 12 minutes, get dropped off, hop back on bus and wait, leave on bus and travel 12 minutes, get dropped off, walk back home).

    Didnt help market Pitt. Didnt help with school spirit.

    So knowing now after 18 years that NONE of what Steve and Mark promised came true, What does Heather and Pat plan to do about it?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I mean, unless we can find some rich boosters with half a billion dollars burning a hole in their pocket, I don’t think there’s much anyone can do about it.

      Like

    2. Great find. Thanks for sharing Tex. In the article it says Pitt Stadium took up 10 acres “the 10-acre natural bowl on Cardiac Hill” (new one could be a tad smaller), and it would be used for student housing. “Pitt Stadium will be razed to make way for the school’s long-planned convocation center/basketball arena, much-needed student housing,” How many students exactly would that be?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. it would be smaller and more intimate
      it wouldnt have bright yellow seats
      everyone would know its Pitt’s stadium since Pitt is in full control over all aspects
      it would be a true home
      it would provide Pitt with a real 3 points for home games
      it could become known for being intimidating and loud if designed right
      it wouldnt be used against Pitt in recruiting like Heinz is now
      it would become part of Pitt’s brand and be a reflection of its culture

      40k fans in a 45k venue looks and feels much more impressive

      so i think it could marginally help recruiting

      and it could probably help attendance if it was uniquely designed, made use of technology and protected fans from the elements.

      You’d need it to have sights, sounds and smells that you cant get at home on your sofa in front of your TV

      Everyone is impressed with Cathedrals. Build it as Pitt’s Cathedral to Sport. Pitt already has one for education.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. and…..you build traditions!

        You could have a “player walk” on campus into the stadium that is real.

        You can have a real logo.

        You can rotate with Heinz on playing WPIAL Finals at Pitt. It would be ingrained for all high school players that their goal as a high school team is to play at Pitt Stadium…

        You will have students get tied into Pitt for future giving because they actually experienced life and fun at Pitt games on Pitt campus!!

        Graduations at Pitt Stadium! Use Petersen as a backup in bad weather!

        Concerts at Pitt Stadium!

        Spring game at Pitt stadium brings alumni back to where they went to school….support the university, not the city.

        Engage the students from day one on campus that Pitt needs their support and then show appreciation back…..wait! That does not mean free fantas!

        Liked by 6 people

  61. Random food for thought:

    What college football player waits until after they use up their eligibility to get in the best shape of their life?

    Is the transfer portal really a good thing?

    Did PITT winning the Coastal do any good at all? or did it just cost them another loss and a 500 record?

    When you listen to music, doesn’t it make you feel much better?

    Starting to think Capel is getting a pass on his recruiting or lack of recruiting compared to Narduzzi but shhh, I’m hearing JC has a couple big names in the bag.

    I don’t know if skippy two has committed to Kentucky just yet? << Although he told my son he was.

    I’m thinking scalloped potatoes and asparagus with my Easter ham with mushroom soup as an appetizer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ike – you could star in “The Music Man!”

      “…76 strong bones…” 😊

      I’m doing some inside demo work on an old house. I put the FAN on the radio for as long as I can stand listening to those guys rehash info on the Pens/ Pirates/Steelers – which isn’t very long. Then I switch to an oldies station, usually 3WS.

      Everything does seem to go better when Stevie Nicks is singing!

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  62. Tx, you found the PITT stadium was a multiple use stadium not only hosting football and track/field but I played many an intramural-frat football game there. The venue was a great place to be on inter-frat game day- lots of kids gathered in the bowl….we also wore a little turf on the Cathedral lawn. I remember going into PITT Stadium (or Fitzgerald at lunchtime from PT school in Penna Hall ( the building with the Panther on it behind the scoreboard) to kick field goals/throw passes or play a little BB in the Fitz..great access and convenience for me when I was at PITT ( I wasn’t BIGGIE back then..too darn active) Pedo and Nordo obviously did not look at the possibilities through that lens…

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  63. we had a previous study I believe pre-POV that was very well done and thorough. It suggested that a building just south of the Cathedral be moved to make space for the OCS. I say maybe the Cathedral be moved instead … to Panther Hollow, That way, you can build a walkway from right at the edge of Oakland directly to a top floor of the Cathedral, which would be convenient for students and employees alike.

    And instead of that the overloud pop/rock/rap music being played over the new stadium’s PA … we would knock it out of the park with Heinz Chapel’s pipe organ. Sweet Caroline, Fever, Ave Maria …. you name it, anything would sound great. I suggest Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s version of ‘America’

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    1. that is Giant’s QB YA Title after being hit by the Steeler’s John Baker … circa ’63. A famous close up of Title shows blood running down his face from a cut above the forehead

      Liked by 1 person

  64. Coincidence, I bought some farmland the has 8 acres on the front where 2 mobile homes and an old farmhouse stood… a contractor told me with set backs and a road thrown in 10-12 houses could be put on that space… just visualizing that a FB Stadium holding 40k people could fit on that spot is mind blowing and makes it seem even more do-able….a few bulldozers and dump trucks and start off Atwood for starters… we could even let Panther OLmen In tank tops man the bulldozers for a little recruiting publicity “the PITT WRECKING CREW” which, I predict, would be more effective than the 80’s PITT IRON WORKS!”
    Iek has a 5 yr old grandson manning a backhoe who could join the wrecking crew!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  65. Nope didn’t transfer… Iek send it to MM to put on here… his dad is raising him to be a real man…4-5 Star up- bringin

    Maybe one reason we don’t have a lot of tuff bastads in WPA is the way society is changing- seems to be an attack on … oh, that becomes political … oh poppycock….

    Liked by 1 person

  66. .An acre of land is 43,560 sq. ft. 8 acres would be 348,480 sq. ft. Approximately 600′ x 580′ if its rectangular. It could also be 1 foot x 348,480 feet or any combination adding up to 348,480 sq. ft.

    Us country folk know our acreage & love & protect our property.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt-cocks — good stuff, helps to put the size into perspective.

      Another way to look at it is that an acre is roughly 209 feet by 209 feet.

      So, all we need are “God’s 10 Little Acres.” 😊

      Hail to Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely correct but I would use 210′ x 210′ feet for government use. Round #’s are easier to do rough calculations in your head.

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        1. Smoked a cigarette & though about my above response.

          The above (210×210) is for one acre. More than one acre is not just doubling both numbers. It’s only doubling one number (420×210 app. two acres).

          I have a 3+ acres yard. Not a suburban lush green yard. 4 or 5 varieties of grass but tons of weeds. I got a 20 gal. towed sprayer. Most herbicides & liquid fertilizers are ounces of herbicide/gal. to cover 500 sq.ft. So I am constantly calculating how big an area to spray & not over/under spray.

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    1. fwiw, I trust your math. I’ve been on the UT campus and yes, it is gigantic. So is OSU’s and PSU’s … didn’t think UM’s wasn’t as big (but don’t have the figures on any of them.)

      The aforementioned campuses are probably bigger, or just as big, as the entire Oakland district, which of course includes hospitals as well as private and public businesses and buildings.

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    1. well over 300 stadiums then
      students at Main would not be pleased (long bus ride)
      anything to do in Johnstown during the weekends?

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  67. Tx.. drink and party in Johnstown – probably just as much to do as in State College+ would create an economic boom for the area… move the whole campus there… start over….

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  68. I’m thinking that $150 million gets us an open OCS, and another $20 million adds a parking garage and ramps to the Parkway from Panther Hollow. Below ground design provides a lower impact to sky line. What do you think, Tex and Major?

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    1. What Pitt builds and how its designed will probably depend on how big Teppers check is.
      If he strokes Pitt $50M, Pitt builds a basic 40k open air football specific stadium at a cost around $200M
      If he strokes Pitt $200M, Pitt builds their multi purpose venue with a retractable roof costing around $600M
      Pitt needs to aim BIG

      Liked by 2 people

  69. Meanwhile at the Dairy School …. fifth year senior QB Tommy Stevens has just entered his name in the transfer portal. Due to injury, Stevens was limited in spring practice while soph Sean Clifford got the lion’s share of the snaps (pun intended.)

    Stevens was a heavily recruited 4-star but was 2nd team behind playmaker T McSorley, a 3-star recruit, for the past 3 years. Clifford is a 4-star.

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  70. @VOR – Parking garage will be double that at least. However, parking garages are outsourced any more. Pitt wouldn’t need the headache and you transfer all liability associated with parking lot operations to a third party. Win/Win, which is like an easier out of conference schedule for the first two weeks of the year. Some day, we’ll get it right.

    Actually, if we can get a win, win, win, we would be able to get a website for our athletic department..get it… www.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. a 500 capacity garage (6 stories) would cost about $10M assuming limited demo/excavation. And thats above ground only. Land already owned though.

    Pitt wants to demo Fitz and build a garage as part of Victory Heights.

    I’d think building a 200 room hotel would also be viable. I’m sure a major hotel chain would love to pay a premium to be attached to a venue used all year round and located in Oakland where hotel space is scarce and there is already high demand. Another way for Pitt to get some easy upfront cash.

    But Pitt doesnt think beyond their noses.

    For instance, I’m pretty sure the NHL would pay some money for Pitt to build the functionality for a hockey rink in a multi purpose venue. They already paid millions for a feasibility study on 5 schools with Pitt being one of them. The NHL wants to promote the sport and better develop players in the States.

    There are so many creative ways for Pitt to obtain the funds without incurring debt.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. BTW isn’t it something that after nearly a month, neither UCLA or St John’s can find a BB coach? UCLA has such a great history and SJU is located in the mecca of bb talent.
    I predict that if this goes on for another week or so, they will battling for one Kevin Stallings

    Liked by 3 people

  73. I’m pretty sure that the sport of hockey is growing in only like 2-3 United States metropolitan areas, with Pittsburgh being on of them. While the overall lack of growth is a fair reason to hesitate to add hockey, I think it naturally makes sense for Pitt to consider adding hockey programs — if any university should add hockey at this point in time, it should be us. With more kids in the area playing it, having a college program in town would only help endear more local children to the school.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Eli Kosanovich Aliquippa QB commits to Pitt as a walk on. Never played QB until a senior but threw for 39 touchdowns and 3189 yards last season. An interesting story at Aliquippa when they changed head coaches and completely revamped the offense. Kind of like what we are hoping for at Pitt with Whipple at the offensive controls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went to Jr/Sr High with an Eli Kosanovich, whose family was from ALiquippa. Guessing they are related – maybe even his son. I believe the Kosanovich’s may be related to the Maravichs…as in Press and Pete.

      So, this young lad might have quite the bloodlines.

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  75. couple things on my mind:

    This Eli Kosanovich, what numbers he put this past year. He may or may not be a D-1 QB but you don’t do what he did last year without possessing some kind of talent. Oh and he’s a walk-on. Like Georgie and Jimmy.

    Just my opinion, soccer and hockey have reach their pinnacle in WPA, if not further on out? Doesn’t mean they are still not popular but it’s just this region is not a kick and run type of an area. Some sports run their course.

    How would you like to be the AD that hires Kevin Stallings to coach you BB team? I wouldn’t.

    Missed you guys at the spring game. Hope to see you all very soon. Well, August 31. Have a blast at the golf outing.

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    1. I was being facetious when I suggested that Stallings would be a HC candidate … can’t see him ever being a D1 coach again.

      If nothing else, Kosanovich made Will Gibson a legit D1 WR prospect.

      Wrestling has been a popular sport in PA for quite a while …. even schools like Edinboro and Clarion have produced good ones in the past. I believe that hockey hasn’t yet peaked in popularity around here yet. There are several ice rinks in the greater area … more than you may think

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        1. Mike, he probably will never play QB for PITT. Not saying he won’t help PITT win games though. I like kids that rise above. I’ll take him.

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          1. Haha that is funny. It’s easy for me to say this now and nobody can prove it’s true (even though it is) but i remember looking at Aston’s hudl video and thinking “wow he looks pretty explosive” And what do you know…

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  76. Football participation is declining but its the most popular sport by far
    Baseball and basketball are trending down as well or flat
    Lacrosse and volleyball are sports growing at a nice clip for boys in HS
    Lacrosse for girls is another fast growing sport and Pitt just dropped tennis for it

    Soccer for both boys and girls continues to grow and shows little signs of slowing down. Changing demographics and the success of MLS is helping expand the sport.

    Hockey is popular among Northern states and in certain pockets like Pittsburgh hence the NHL’s desire to push colleges to support hockey programs in strong markets.

    I can see lacrosse, mens volleyball, hockey and rowing as potential future sports at Pitt. Pitt would need to find a way to fund them but I dont know why Pitt cant use the endowment to fund the scholies each year. The facilities are all there except for hockey which could be part of a new football venue.

    Where Pitt can be really successful I think is in the following sports:
    Wrestling given the talent in the area
    Soccer since Pitt is part of the best soccer conference, good regional talent and weather doesnt play a factor
    Lacrosse since its a fast growing sport with plenty of regional talent and few colleges play it; ACC is known for lacrosse
    Volleyball given the lack of competition in the ACC currently…its a very weak conference
    Hockey given the area passion and talent; few P-5 schools play it so competition is limited

    These are the sports where Pitt’s national championships will be coming from.

    It unfortunately wont be football or basketball unless Pitt fundamentally transforms its culture.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. Time will tell how successful he is, but Capel was an excellent get, very happy with out prospects here.

        Soccer can become very good, not because of the conference we’re in though, but because of the coach we hired. And by the way, just about any P5 school can become an elite team pretty quickly with the right coach in hoops or soccer, and probably quite a few other sports too. Football takes time, depending on where you’re starting from because of the nature of the sport.

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  77. wwb, wasn’t suggesting anyone would hire Stallings. Only trying to stir some conversation…………… and people’s brains. I’m demented like that. 🙂

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  78. Don’t people know that they should NOT get married on Saturdays in the fall?

    Just got invited to a wedding on Sept. 28th, or Panthers versus Delaware day. And I don’t care that it’s “just” Delaware, I’ll miss seeing the Pitt Panthers!

    Drat!

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  79. If you saw Mike White’s recent article, someone agrees with me that the expansion into 6 classifications for football has hurt the sport in WPA. Loss of traditional rivalries and lengthy trips to play schools exactly the same size has caused a loss in interest and attendance which in turn is reflected in fewer top athletes playing football.

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  80. No doubt re-classification has hurt local HS FB attendance as the data clearly shows, but maybe even ore alarming is the downward trend in local HS FB participation. In recent years, some smaller schools even has had to drop the FB program because of the lack of bodies. It also doesn’t help that WPa population continues to decline (except for Butler County).

    Also, don’t forget the rise in popularity in sports like soccer and hockey …. especially in the larger suburban schools. In the above PIHL link, you will find that there are more than 50 area schools with hockey programs now. And of course the city schools are very underfunded and lacks quality coaching.

    When I say Pitt is a wrestling school, I’m not being facetious. This is the sport where it has the best chance of competing on a national basis. And maybe it should seriously consider adding a hockey program

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    1. hockey, lacrosse and wrestling can be top 10 programs
      but Pitt would need to find about $10M more in revenue each year to support the new sports (scholies, staff, travel, equipment, insurance, marketing, admin)
      plus a permanent home for hockey at some point

      Like

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