There’s been some very good debate on the “state of the program” here on the POV in the last couple of days.  There are those that believe that the football program has reached its ceiling under head coach Pat Narduzzi, and there are those that believe that coach Narduzzi has built the foundation, and the program is poised to move to the next level.

HegelThis is a debate that will rage on well into the season, and I encourage that.  After all, the Hegelian dialectic is what makes the Pitt POV great.  (Although you might argue that the only synthesis we reach is “hey lets all go to Fran’s Pitt POV tailgate”)

With that being said, one of our pessimists (The illustrious Texas Panther) recently said that attending Pitt in the 1990’s was “the worst sports experience in the history of mankind”.

As you might expect, one of our optimists (the intrepid Major Majors) responded in kind, saying “I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t attend Pitt in the late 60’s when we had three consecutive 1-9 seasons…

And that got me to thinking, what was the worst decade in Pitt Football history?  The program has certainly had it’s ups and downs, and how do the 90’s rank when compared to the 1960’s for example?

Fortunately there is an outstanding website, called sports-reference.com, that can help us answer these important questions.

For this analysis, I do want to put two ground rules in place.

First , I will go back 70 years.  If you graduated Pitt in 1950 at the age of 21, you are 90 now, and I don’t think anyone older than that is following this blog.  If you are, I have two things to say:  Thank you for reading the Pitt POV, and thank you for your service to this country because your generation pretty much saved the world.  Thank you.

Second, the measure of success is winning percentage.  That is because over time the NCAA has expanded the season from 9 to 10 to 11 to finally 12 games since 1950.

Okay so now on to the analysis.

First, the 1950’s.  The decade started off poorly with Len Casanova’s 1950 squad posting a record of just 1-8.  That earns him the title of worst-coach-with-the-best name.  John Michelosen pulled things together though, posing four winning seasons out of 5 from 1955 – 1959, along with three top-25 finishes.  Go Pitt.

Games Played:  95

Games Won:  46

Winning %:  .482

Avg SOS:  8.18

pitt-football-record-1950s.png

The 1960’s were kind of like the 1950’s in reverse.   The first five years weren’t too bad.   Michelosen was at the helm and he even delivered a top-5 finish in 1963, but for some reason he couldn’t keep it rolling, and he was replaced by Dave Hart in 1966.  Hart’s tenure proved to be an unmitigated disaster, and resulted in the aforementioned three straight 1-9 seasons.  Carl DePasqua did manage to move things in the right direction in 1969 with a four win season (which was still pretty bad), but overall if you do the math, Pitt won 10 games over five years, marking the latter half of the 1960’s as Pitt Football’s worst five-year stretch in modern history.   Hail to Pitt.

Games Played:  95

Games Won:  34

Winning %:  .358

Avg SOS:  7.32

Pitt Football Record 1960's

Ahh the 1970’s.  Carl DePasqua ushered Pitt into the decade with a whimper, but Jackie Sherril took us out with a bang.  1975 – 1979 were hands-down the best five years the program ever experienced.  The team averaged 9.6 wins, notched three top-10 finishes (and one top 15) and brought home the Crown Jewell of Pitt’s football legacy, the 1976 National Championship.  This is the level of prominence that all Pitt fans hope to achieve, and it’s the standard to which the pessimists hold the program.  And honestly, the pessimists are probably right, the only way to achieve this is for the fans to hold the administration accountable.  Of course these days that means dirty money and everything else that comes with it, as well as a huge increase in investment on the “clean money” side, and we all know that that’s not going to happen at Pitt.  (So who is the pessimist now?)

Games Played:  113

Games Won:  70

Winning %:  .620

Avg SOS:  6.10

pitt-football-record-1970s.png

The 1980’s were also pretty good.  The Sherrill train was rolling for the first two years, and Foge Fazio looked like he could keep the momentum going for his first two years.  But two bad seasons by Fazio mid-decade prompted quick action by the administration.  Fazio was fired in 1985 and Mike Gottfried was hired, and that was the beginning of the end.  Mike Gottfried brought Pitt football back through a combination of decent recruiting and softer scheduling, but apparently he was a tough guy to get along with, and he was fired in 1989, just prior to the Sun Bowl.  The reason for Gottfried’s dismissal was “The differences in philosophy and the operation of his program”, according to then-athletic director Ed Bozik.  A great article on the firing can be found here.    

Games Played:  111

Games Won:  74

Winning %:  .667

Avg SOS:  5.07

pitt-fooball-record-1980s.png

Per our friend the Texas Panther, the 1990’s were indeed bad.  If consistency is your measure then the 1990’s were the worst decade for Pitt football.  If relative performance is your measure than perhaps the 1990’s were  indeed the Worst Sports Experience in the History of Mankind.  Imagine coming to Pitt as a student in 1990.  You’d grown up with Pitt being a national power.  Sure they’d had some ups and down recently, and the coach had just been let go, but this was Pitt.  They had been winning for the last twenty years.  This was the house that Dorsett and Marino built, and they were back on track baby!  But then…Paul Hackett.  He won 12 games in three years.  And then…Johnny Majors II.  Majors won 12 games in four years.  By the time Walt Harris was hired, Pitt’s football program had been completely obliterated.

Games Played:  111

Games Won:  37

Winning %:  .333

Avg SOS:  2.31

pitt-football-record-1990s.png

The 2000’s saved Pitt football, and Harris probably doesn’t get enough credit his contribution.  If Pitt had gone another three or four years with three or four wins, Pitt football might have been history.  But Harris was the right man for the rebuild.  Even though he was a marginal recruiter, he was probably the best offensive mind that Pitt has ever had.  He got the most out of his mostly three-star offense, and when he had talent to work with (Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Bryant, Tyler Palko) he made the most of it.  Harris also was pretty good at hiring the right DC (for most of his tenure).  The result was five straight winning seasons, an average win total of 7.8 and one shared Big East Championship / BCS bowl appearance.  However, a combination of factors (a belief that Harris had ahem taken Pitt as far as it could go and Harris’ agent publicly talking smack about Pitt), led to Harris’ dismissal.  It happened right after his Fiesta Bowl loss, which was also an 8 win season and a top 25 finish.  That top 25 finish was Pitt’s second in 12 years.  The other top 25 finish? Also provided by Harris, just two years before.

Dave Wannstadt took the helm with much fanfare in 2005 and promptly won 5, 6 and 5 games.  He was the polar opposite of Harris – terrible at the x’s and o’s but pretty damn good at recruiting.  The “jimmy’s and joe’s” strategy paid off in 2009 when Pitt posted their first 10 win season since 1981 (29 years…).

Games Played:  123

Games Won:  74

Winning %:  .601

Avg SOS:  1.66

Pitt Football Record 2000's

Enter the 2010’s.  It all started with so much promise.  Pitt was coming off their 10 win season.  Wanny was a Pitt man, and Pitt legacy Tino Sunseri had just taken over the helm at quarterback.  However, the team floundered to a 7 win season, and that was compounded by the fact that Wannstadt was the polar opposite of Harris in his ability to control his players and recruit guys who wouldn’t,, say…throw a guy through a plate glass window on the South Side.  An unfavorable Sports Illustrated article and the reintroduction of “Smilin” Steve Pederson at DA were the final nails in Wanny’s coffin, and he was let go before “the first” BBVA Compass Bowl in 2010.

And that is really when Pitt’s current mediocrity began.  Much of it was due to Pitt’s bumbling efforts to secure a stable head coach to replace Wannstadt.  Todd Graham lasted one season.  Michael Haywood lasted three days.  Paul Chryst lasted until his uncle Barry called him home to Wisconsin.  Pat Narduzzi finally brought some stability, and he’s entering his fifth year.  Narduzzi has posted a very Walt Harris-esque string of win totals, against a strength of schedule that is higher than anyone since Mike Gottfried (and much higher than Wannstadt.).  Still, Narduzzi is a polarizing figure, and as I said before, the jury is out on if he can get Pitt to the next level.  And so Despite Narduzzi’s recent relative successes (two 8 win seasons and an ACC coastal championship), the 2010’s have been a decade defined my mediocrity.  Our highs have not been too high and our lows have not been too low.  Pitt football is currently stuck in purgatory, and while for some people that’s not so bad, for some people that’s just plain hell.

pitt-football-record-2010s-e1558111223449.png

Games Played:  117

Games Won:  61

Winning %:  .521

Avg SOS:  2.7

 

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

576 thoughts on “The Worst Sports Experience in the History of Mankind

  1. wow
    you nailed it Mike

    i honestly didnt think the numbers would support my description of Hell
    all I knew was it was some very bad football being played

    to grow up as a kid watching Pitt be elite and then personally witness what I did was really psychologically damaging

    I cant name one other school that just dropped off the cliff like Pitt. I know Nebraska had some difficulties. Wonder who Pitt has in common with that school?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I wrote a blog article here entitled ‘Perspective’ a few months ago, and the data presented above only reinforces it.

    Fact is that the Late 70s / Early 80s IS THE ABERRATION. Otherwise, for the last 70 years, this program has been maybe above average (and that’s being kind.) And no, (1) Pitt will no longer bring in a recruiting class of 85, nor (2) does it have an attractive local base of quality high football players …. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    You want to complain about this game or that one … fine … that’s what fans do. But expecting this program to win 10 games when it only has done so ONCE since 1982 may be asking too much. Yes, it may happen again when all the stars align, but it will never be the norm … times have changed

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So according to what I’m reading here is that PITT has pretty much sucked since Jackie. Gottfried did steady the football program a little but seemed to be a bad boy. So it comes down to this and Mike and I agree… It’s pretty much time to put up or I shut up time for Narduzzi. Here’s betting I’ll still be talking when the season is over. God willing. << for me, not PITT or Narduzzi.

    Like

    1. If banging the cheerleading coach and getting top recruits with shady assistants makes you a bad boy, then Gottfried was definitely the man to lead Pitt through the 1990s.

      There is a sport purgatory I hope for those then Pitt leaders who killed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pitt thought they could continue being a top program by raising academic standards, running a clean program, disbanding the Golden Panthers, and by being cheap.

        Many schools during this period were doing the exact opposite.

        So Bozik decides to change the sports culture at Pitt and we see the results of it to this day.

        Pitt’s academic standards arent hurting them today…all ACC schools have the same requirements…Pitt’s are no more stringent than others. And running a clean program does have its benefits. But to achieve elite level these days, schools cheat in some way. Ask Miami, NC, FSU. And the NCAA doesnt even blink an eye. Media sings your praises for winning.

        Reforming and reintroducing the Golden Panthers is a way to get back on track. This association would have to be regulated or well audited unlike before. It was relatively easy to find boosters willing to support a winner in the 80’s. More difficult to do today given the years of mediocrity. But I think a major capital project could bring people together and galvanize support with a common cause (OCS anyone?).

        But even if Bozik didnt put on the brakes, Pitt wasnt spending what they needed even back then. It never had the revenues of other schools. Coaching is what carried Pitt. Coaches who had great assistants and great recruiters. Tough to hold it all together when you get outspent by other schools (see A&M).

        I dont expect consistent 11 win seasons but I do see ways to consistently win 9-11 each year. I do believe it will take spending some more money, getting ‘lucky’ on coaching hires and easing up the schedule. Pitt can get there. But it would take another culture transformation to get to elite level and in the end Pitt would not be able to sustain it because it doesnt have the revenues of these larger state schools.

        Great coaches, great local recruits and cheating got Pitt to the promised land. I dont expect any national championships but I do think a foundation can be built to achieve and sustain more than mediocrity. But is Pitt willing to make that commitment. If they are, it starts with increasing revenues and better managing the finances.

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        1. What was bizarre in the mid-90s when the administration was okay losing games 72-0 is the school ungraded the facilities at Pitt stadium. Whirl pools, weight room, etc. That commitment should have begun heading in the 1990s as television made clear it was going to make more of a commitment to college football.

          CBS was it on Saturdays until ABC and ESPN doubled down. As this happened Pitt became totally irrelevant and the then-Chancellor, J. Dennis O’Connor, should have immediately tried to save the program when he took over in 1991 but had no interest in doing so.

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        2. Tx, What academics? The golden grail used to evaluate entrance requirements, US News and World Report, have us down to number 70!!!! Granted we have some good programs. Medicine being the best. Glad we kept Pharmacy. Engineering is good. Law school and MBA programs could be better. We were rated in the 40’s in the 1960’s.

          PITT needed students to pay the bills and lowered the curve to get in, plus it is too much of a city school (not a pretty, grassy, campus setting),and the loss of local population. Kids in my area of NJ don’t pick PITT. Athletics play a part in choosing where to apply. PSU wins hands down

          Reviewing history, Bozik should share more blame here. Besides firing Gottfried, did he also fire the basketball coach, Dr. Roy Chipman? Steve Pederson was the worst.

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            1. PittPT, Sorry I forgot physical therapy. your right, the masters program is #1 in the Country.

              TX Panther, I like the idea of excelling in minor sports. Gets the University noticed. What about men’s Lacrosse? Do we not have the money to join the ACC elite schools that play the sport? I also agree being a top football school will not be possible in today’s climate. Basketball is another story. Just need some big time recruiting. Maybe we have to cheat.

              Liked by 2 people

          1. Bozik was pretty bad and J Dennis OConnor who succeeded Posvar was equally bad. The mid 80’s were a turning point in Pitt athletics. The Killer B’s were in charge. Billick, Bozik and Briscoe. They fundamentally changed the sports culture with the help of the BoT. Posvar was senile by then and very hands off.

            But even if Pitt had different leadership and a different mindset, Pitt couldnt compete in the end with large state schools. Pitt would have needed to follow the Miami model. Similar small and ‘private’ school. But Miami cheated and never lost its local recruiting advantage. PA was losing population and Pitt decided not to cheat. They disbanded the Golden Panthers.

            Not saying that Pitt cant catch lightening in a bottle but those sustained elite years will never happen again. Its good that at least some of us remember them.

            Thats why I say be good in football and basketball. Better than mediocre. Be relevant. But really begin to focus on sports where Pitt can become elite. Take wrestling, hockey and lacrosse for example.

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  4. Excellent article, MM, but who goes to Pitt for 10 years? Okay, maybe some do…

    In the late 60s, it took 3 years to win THREE games! The worst 3-year spell in the 90s found Pitt winning EIGHT games!

    Come on, man!

    😊

    Go Pitt!

    Like

    1. but you 60’s grads got rewarded with a championship just a few years later
      my generation got rewarded with more 5 win seasons, the tearing down of Pitt Stadium and the Dinocat
      that was a great way to kick a 90’s grad when they’re down

      Like

    1. And Notre Dame was down in 1982 yet still beat Pitt.

      The wrong man was in charge instead of the right guy who wanted the job: George Welsh.

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  5. OT: Some additional bad news for Pitt FB recruiting today when Central Catholic star A J Beatty with over 40 offers left Pitt off his final 7 list announced today. PSN reported this this afternoon. The kid did not want to talk about any schools not on his final list. He’s off to NC no less i believe this weekend for an official visit. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AJ Beatty of CC narrowed his schools to seven and Pitt, the first big school to offer, didn’t make it. He’s a 3-star DE.

    Get this, Beatty said his number one criterion was education Then facilities and comfort level.

    So how did WVU make the final list, one might wonder… UNC too…

    Wish they would have asked him what he wants to major in…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  7. I was 93′ to 98′ … combined with Pitt basketball … the sports experience ever. My greatest memories are getting hit with friendly fire by a guy passing out and creating a pee rainbow at a trough … and myself passing out during a Syracuse game (pre-gamed with grain alcohol … learned my lesson) and waking up to an empty stadium like the apocalypse had just happened. Seriously, no one moved me. Lol. I had to wander around the stadium for a half hour to find a security guard to let me out because i was locked in. Or the time I went to a Halloween party as a freshman dressed in boxing head gear. Nothing like literally getting punch drunk and waking up to a homeless person eating O’s pizza out of your lap while passed out on the Pitt Stadium steps. Ahhh … good times.

    Fav on the field moments … watching Khalid El-Amin jump on a table after beating us last minute and waiving a towel around like a mad man … oh wait, that was the other team. Then it would have to be watching the Miami basketball team forget to come out of a timeout and Pitt have a 5 on zero for a layup. I like to take partial credit because we had partied all night with the Miami team at a fraternity social in Green Tree the night before. I’ll never forget the elevator door opening at the hotel and the Miami basketball team seeing all the alcohol and just being like “Oh, hell yeah”. Lol. Of course there was the Miami football game where we stormed the field too. That was fun.

    To continue the conversation from the other thread … I cannot stand Chryst and it’s the one thing that keeps me in tune with the Duzz haters. I know what it’s like to abhor your coach … it’s not fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. T.T., Your recollection, or lack thereof, of those times is hilarious. I even copied/sent your mishaps to some buddies of mine. Priceless. Too funny.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. FWIW, I don’t have a real bad memory of Chryst although the thing that bothered me was his complete ignorance of anything defensively. Even though he had offensive expertise, he surrounded himself with fellow offensive coaches with much experience, yet his defensive staff was filled with coaches who had 1 or 2 years experience. The imbalance was head-scratching

      Like

  8. Be careful what you say Carl DePasqua also gave Pitt two of the best wins ever and I should knw I was at them and in all fairness he never got the chance to play his own recruits.

    Like

  9. The photo of Hackett is fitting for the article as that appears to be Oklahoma game from 1990. Pitt lost, 52-10. That definitely was a sign of what was to come for the rest of the decade.

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  10. I remember Oklahoma at Pitt Stadium in early 84, when 2 ranked teams met before a crowd of 40k. The game was close until the Sooners scored 2 TDs in the last 2 minutes of the first half. Final 42-10

    The only other things I remember from that day is that Barry Switzer was OU coach, John Congemi was Pitt QB, and the OU crowd gave Roger Kingdom a standing O when he was honored at halftime (he had just won the first his 2 Golds a couple of weeks before)

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    1. I was there. Parking and traffic was so bad that I parked on the edge of the bridge between Phipps and campus. Got towed of course. I do not miss the Oakland parking scene one bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good stories Tossing…
    Great article Maestro…

    Anyone else playing in the Pitt Celebrity Golf Outing at Champion Lakes tomorrow?
    I have the pleasure of teeing it up with Richman, Major Majors and my nephew Greg.
    Sort of a warm up for the Frankcan Cup…

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Pitt’s losses in the 90’s were some of the most lopsided in history

    Pitt has a tendency to manufacture problems, over-react and then produce bad solutions

    So taking the Hegel framework, I’ll just list some problems that I think are easier to gain factual consensus than the solutions.

    outside volleyball and wrestling, Pitt’s programs are either mediocre or just downright bad
    Pitt is revenue challenged and poor relative to most P-5 schools
    Pitt continues to provide a high % subsidy towards athletics

    Those are three for starters since I dont think there would be much disagreement.

    volleyball and wrestling were the only sports to finish ranked. what makes them successful? Personally, I think they have very good coaches. So maybe coaching is a solution. Pitt should do a deep dive into what makes them successful. The learnings could be applied to help improve other programs. Success is contagious. How is their ‘culture’ different.

    Pitt does sit near the bottom of all P-5 schools based on total revenues. Thats a function of ticket sales, donations, sponsorship’s and other marketing rights/fees. Well, winning could help solve some of the ticket sales but does anyone really think Pitt is doing a good job marketing the programs. I still dont know the plan and tactics being used to jump start donations. Sponsorships and advertising revenues? Yes – Pitt has certain constraints like a smaller fanbase but quite frankly what is Pitt doing to grow new fans?

    What concerns me is that Pitt is receiving what I call ‘free’ money from the conference. Pitt doesnt really earn this money (most schools get around the same amount regardless of performance). Thats their check for being a member. It really provides Pitt with little incentive to be innovative in growing revenues and being fiscally responsible. Pitt had to work much harder and smarter when their Big East check was only $4M each year.

    Every year Pitt runs a deficit and that hole is large relative to other P-5 schools…about 15% of Pitt’s budget is subsidized. Typically, if a school cant increase the revenues (sometimes with increased student fees) to offset, expenses get cut. That often means eliminating programs or reducing program budgets. Every program except for mens football and basketball loses money. That ACC check and primarily football help subsidize these ‘Olympic’ sports. But in Pitt’s case like with many schools, there is still an overall deficit. And in Pitt’s case, the deficit is balanced with a transfer of monies from the general fund. Pitt hasnt been forced to cut programs or cut back on football spending yet, but this imbalance is not sustainable in the long run. You can only kick the can down the road for so long.

    Those roundtable discussions could help address these real problems and others. I’d gladly pay Pitt $100 to be a part of one just to be heard and offer ideas. I’m more interested if they see the same problems that I have outlined.

    But I fear that Pitt will continue doing what its done with football in the past. Create a crisis. Over-react to it. Pretend to solve it. And now everyone is worse off and Pitt is truly in a bigger and real crisis.

    Like

  13. I was at pitt from 99-2003. Fell in love with pitt athletics during that time and was treated to reasonable fb and bb success during those years.

    I have never experienced the fb depths of the 90’s or 60’s. My experience has been getting my hopes up but getting them crushed with guttwrenching losses. Close to getting to the next level but always falling agonizingly close but short.

    Like

  14. Pitt will never be able to fund athletics at a high level out of operations. Looking at MM’s synopsis it seems that it went down hill once the Golden Panthers was disbanded. A funding arm is absolutely necessary to bring up the resources to the level necessary for top flight programs.

    Like

  15. I was there 92-96. Luckily I didn’t go to pitt because I was a pitt football fan. I became a fan of pitt football and basketball well after graduation.

    I went to a couple of games while I was there, but I went alone as none of my roommates wanted to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. M… My point above was that Sherrill took over as Head Coach in ’77.

    1973–1975 Pittsburgh (AHC/DC)
    1976 Washington State
    1977–1981 Pittsburgh
    1982–1988 Texas A&M
    1991–2003 Mississippi State

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  17. As far as Foge goes… It never looked good.

    He TOTALED the Ferrari.

    Arguably the WORST Pitt HEAD Football Coach ever considering what he was handed by Sherrill.

    But a SOLID Defensive Coach and All-around GOOD Guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Foge has some great players but coached lyke Barney Fife.

    Sitting on my deck listening to Muddy Waters and enjoying grilled chicken kebob with Mrs. Erie.

    “I’m a man. M. A. N. “ he ain’t jiven…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Never did I think I would have to argue that my stint 68-72 wasn’t the worst in Pitt history and maybe the most disappointing of all.

    Along with Major Majors, I sat in the Syria Mosque in 68 and listened to the Greatest Used Car Sales pitch ever made! “This is the year the Panther begins to growl! “ boasted a new head coach Dave Hart.

    Three 1-9 seasons later, there wasn’t a sober student left in old Pitt Stadium ! It was a form of “awful” that you had to be there to appreciate!!

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Really enjoying the passionate discussion on Pitt’s recent FB history and it’s high points and candidates for lowest points. In an unrelated matter, I had the pleasure to treat a young lady today who told me she played basketball for Pitt from 1956-1959. I reviewed the history of Pitt’s women’s basketball and found out that Women’s basketball was a club sport during that period, resuming NCAA participation in the early 1970’s. Nonetheless,I was honored to spend time with and listen to stories from a Pitt athlete from an earlier age. H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. OT: Our golfer #’s are up to 29 as of this afternoon. That will give us (8) teams to compete for the coveted Frankcan Cup.

    Long and straight will be great. Right and long will be wrong…”A” game will be a must or you’ll hear few words of “cuss”.

    In the town known for it’s Whoopie Pies,
    The winning team should tell no lies.

    The mystery guest has yet to commit,
    But then again that is so lyke Pitt.

    Sorry to announce but the golf registration must close,
    Unless the Duzz wants to play, I suppose.

    H2P!

    Liked by 6 people

  22. The actual answer is that any of the aforementioned decades could qualify as the absolute worst….the key variable is how much beer you could afford during that decade.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. A Hegel reference! Really intellectualizing this place, and I like it. I look forward to a future post using a Socratic dialogue to explain why Narduzzi can’t recruit the WPIAL.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Pitt baseball ending the season with a thud!

    Lost last night 7-12 to GT. Lost tonight again 0-2 on a 2 hit performance by the offense.

    Granted, GT is #6 in the polls.

    Like

  25. I’ll never forget the little inset in in the editor’s section of SI back in the late 90s.

    Dave Hart’s son comes home from school with tears in his eyes and tells him mom that his classmates are saying that dad ain’t a good football coach.

    And mom replies …. now you know better than that, dad isn’t a good football coach

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m convinced that something happened under Sherrill that caused Pitt to change course on Pitt athletics. Sherrill was a good coach but never had quite the success afterwards at A & M and MS. They went safe with Foge, instead of doing a national search. Maybe the BoT forced The Chancellor’s hand to not be a football power. Not sure how this aligns with the demise of the Golden Panthers.

    Like

    1. Insert psuX new board members onto the BoT via Paturdo influenced state politicians?

      It had to of started somewhere.

      Like

  27. I’m thinking they might have found major infractions internally, and were able to keep it quiet. Sherrill May have decided to move on and Pitt went low profile with Foge. Is this possible?

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    1. Sherrill was a compulsive gambler and owed bookies many $$$. Pitt found out and Was going to fire him.

      A&M also knew, hired him and paid off every bookie in town. True story.

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  28. The BoT composition had changed. The Killer B’s were in charge. Pitt found the culture needed to sustain an elite program to be distasteful.

    It did not want to become an Alabama, Oklahoma or Nebraska. It was better than those schools. And Pitt was at least academically.

    It wanted to stay that way and make sure the emphasis was on the mission statement. The mission was to educate and not win sports championships. But they lacked the foresight.

    The focus shifted to inside the house and the front porch and yard was neglected. The schools that invested in sports during this time period are generally the ones that are most successful to this day.

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    1. It’s hilarious how Stanford, much, much better than Pitt academically, takes athletics serious and Pitt thinks winning in sports isn’t beneficial for the university.

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      1. The leaders at Pitt have always been resentful of athletics. The academic wing runs the school. Athletics is beneath them. They know its dirty.

        Think of it from their perspective. Athletics let in kids who have no business being in school where they end up taking fake classes or have tutors take their tests. They have programs where boosters pay these kids sometime more than the profs themselves make. They have head coaches having affairs with cheerleader coaches. And every year athletics steals millions from educational funds to balance their budget.

        Thats why things are the way they are at Pitt.

        Now that was then. This is now.

        Pitt’s athletes are very bright. They take real classes and they graduate. No issue there.
        The Golden Panthers are dead so no seedy booster involvement and cheating
        Coaches arent banging cheerleaders and the athletes are well behaved so no bad PR

        The profs love the current state of athletics at Pitt
        But Stanford is also running sports like Pitt but Stanford is very good across all sports

        Well Stanford doesnt have a BoT packed with Nitters and bureaucrats making sure that Pitt athletics doesnt become excellent and challenge the State school in Creepy Valley

        Thats why Pitt doesnt address their revenue issues, they keep losing millions each year and there is no talk about bringing football back to campus.

        Heck, even that buddy of Posvars and academic nerd Bozik wanted to raze Pitt Stadium back in the early 80’s and build a new domed venue. But the BoT wouldnt allow it. Paterno knew the only way he could beat Pitt is by corrupting Pitt’s BoT and installing his own puppets. Paterno had every State politician in his pockets.

        It was a conspiracy that continues to this day

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  29. dan72.. I was at that game too…can still hear Ed Conway “ Mildren pitches to Pruitt… he’s on the 50.. the 20… he scores !!!” Thats how the day went…Jack Mildren, Greg Pruitt, Joe Wylie and Leon Crosswhite… the Wishbone ruled- forget the forward pass…. who does that remind you of .. that’s the “ forget the forward pass” part of that statement???????

    Like

    1. It was like Pitt was standing still.
      I remember Crosswhite taking a pitch and faking out 4 Pitt D players for a TD. That was as drunk as I ever was at a game.

      Like

  30. good read on the history of Pitt
    https://pittsburgh.sportswar.com/article/2014/12/22/debunking-the-myths-of-steve-pederson/

    the article leaves off before the hire of Narduzzi (actually 1 day before his hire) and a replacement AD
    the author points out what Pitt needed as a new AD and initially Pitt did get a marketer and fundraiser in Barnes who was then replaced with a non marketing, non fundraiser, non finance person. Opting for a compliance person instead which brings us back to Pitt not willing to cheat.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Dan, maybe Sherrill was found to be betting on college games and was then ushered out of town before the NCAA found out. If so, they did a good job of keeping it quiet. And Foge was a good company man who would not rock the boat.

    Like

    1. Sherrill would bet on 2 ants crossing the floor. No doubt he bet on college ball. He was also banging the cheerleading coach and maybe even married her. Darrell Sherrill?

      Like

        1. Yeah, if both Sherrill and Gottfried banged them. Sad that some fans think it is wrong for the coach to do that and it added to the list of reasons warranting them leaving or being fired.

          Like

  32. I was at the Oklahoma game too. Pitt got the ball first and scored a TD to go up 7-0. Then we kicked off and either Greg Pruitt or Joe Wylie returned it for a TD. The rout was on. Game over very quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Couple things:

    I have no doubts about brother Dan’s accounts of Jackie being a 3 rivers gambler. He had a side to him that was shady no question about it. Another story goes like this.. Jackie would put a coach up in this tall tower (AKA Kelly’s tower) with binoculars, not to watch the practice but to look for spies nearby the stadium. (not Reed) The coach spotted a young man and young lady on a park bench a block or two away so Jackie sent a security guard to kick them out. Turns out they were just making out. Jackie made Narduzzi look normal.

    But if PITT forced Jackie out, then they forced him to be the highest paid head football coach in college history at the time. This did not make Jackie blue.

    I remember when PITT played Oklahoma back in those days and I do remember their speed. They were even faster on defense flying all over the place. My memory thinks they played them in Norman once also??

    BTW, thanks for the clip Biggie, that song was better than a cup of coffee to wake me up.

    Like

  34. Actor and former UCLA QB Mark Harmon has received the National Football Foundation’s Gold Medal award in recognition for his accomplishments and reflecting the values of amateur football…. How many of you were with me in dear ole PITT Stadium when Mark the Bruins came to town ???

    Like

  35. Didn’t he get hurt that game B? Vince Evans came in and they beat PITT something like 16-7. That’s the game I was at. Maybe you’re talking about another one?

    Like

  36. I just re-read the blog article and noticed MM’s Freudian slip … referring to ‘Smiling’ Steve Pederson as a DA.

    It should be noted that nobody but a few Pitt admin was aware of the SI article at the time of Wanny’s dismissal. And the article actually wasn’t printed until about 3 months later. It also should be noted that Wanny did not commit any NCAA infractions.

    Despite the fact that nobody knew of the pending SI article at the time, the following publicly applauded Wanny’s dismissal …. Chris Dokish, Chas Rich, Ron Cook, Joe Starkey and dozens of Pitt Blather posters …. and of course, that was just a sampling.

    I assume that despite Wanny’s final 3 year record of 27-12, everyone assumed that Pitt would just continue its level of success, and with a new coach may even get better. But Mike Haywood never got the chance. And while WVU paid $2M to bring in Holgerson, Pitt was offering $1,4M.

    The general public apparently didn’t approve of Wanny’s firing since attendance dropped off in 2011 and never recovered … except for 2013 which was Pitt’s first year in the ACC and had a home schedule that included FSU and ND.

    Sometimes the best move is no move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some don’t want to blame “the steve” for Wanny’s firing and officially it wasn’t “the steve” but he’s the one that put all that foolish crap in the administrations heads

      Like

    2. Wanny did get some good beat downs that final year
      I actually thought some of his players quit on him especially that Miami game

      Most I believe just got frustrated that Wanny had all this talent and it was being wasted with his coaching
      Most believe that the trouble that Wanny’s players got in were no worse than at any other school but of course its big news at Pitt and Pitt’s players must be choir boys

      I thought his firing or resignation or whatever you called it was poorly handled by Steve
      I also thought that Wanny handled it poorly himself…he was very emotional and hated Steve and that led to some poor decisions on his way out

      If like Reed said it had everything to do with bad player behavior, then it was Gallaghers call and not Steves. And Gallagher is the supreme BoT being

      Jock got too powerful, resigned
      Jackie got too powerful, resigned
      Gottfried got too powerful, refused to resign and was fired
      Wanny got too powerful, resigned

      The BoT always wins these power struggles. Moreover, they will find a way to frame it in order to justify the move.

      Like

      1. How did Pitt not go to a bowl game in 1974 with a 7-4 record? It went the year before winning less games in the regular season and went in 1975 with the same record? Odd. Less bowl games back then, I know that.

        Like

        1. This was meant to be a new post. My response to what you wrote had a semi-swear word in it and must be waiting approval.

          Like

      2. C’mon Tx, Jackie got too powerful and became the highest paid coach in college football history. Ouch, PITT loses again and not learn from their mistakes. See the Wanny references above.

        Like

      3. Gallagher was not Chancellor until 2014, long after Wannstedt’s firing.

        I was very disappointed in the way Wannstedt handled his dismissal.
        Pedersen was the bad guy Tx and Pitt knew they had a problem with him before the Wannstedt dismissal.

        And any Chryst haters out there, he did us all a great service by outing Steve to the (then) new chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who made the call to release Pedersen.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. I was at the USC too Ike . TD Doresett vs TD Anthony Davis…. no patsies in those years but there was more parity , after all, it was was college ball… our boys and region against your…

    Like

    1. I was at the game …. remember the game was close until the 4th quarter … still the final was only something like 17-6. Also remember the trojan and his big white steed roaming the track

      Like

  38. FWIW … despite the fact that Sheard threw a guy through the glass door in the presence of 2 Pgh policeman, he did not serve any time in jail, and was let go with a summary offense after paying only for damages and court costs. I was told what happened by the head of the South Side Tavern Assoc at the time, (he got the info from one of the policeman involved) and can assure you that Sheard wasn’t exactly the bad guy here — although of course he still shouldn’t have done what he did.

    Nonetheless, the fall of 2010 saw many Pitt FBers get in trouble …. including 2 frosh that had troubled backgrounds and never should have been brought in. That also was the year after the recruiting budget was slashed and only 2 Floridians committed.

    This is just another chapter of the Pitt admin not having a clear vision of what it wants which has been an ongoing thing for decades. Obviously, DA Pederson and Prez Nordy made an effort to put image above W/L and the effect of that is still felt.

    It could have been worse. Can you imagine if PSU wasn’t hit with the sanctions and Pitt wouldn’t have gotten Dorian Johnson, Tyler Boyd and a few other highly rated players who were initially rumored as PSU leans?

    Like

    1. I heard the policeman assisted in the pushing through the glass door. Also, Sheard was intervening on the behalf of someone being accosted. Yeah, wrong place at the wrong time for sure and he shouldn’t have been involved but it wasn’t enough to have his coach fired.

      Like

  39. Pitt played a tough game against USC that year (73?). John McKay (USC coach) said something like: We were moving up and down the field and yet every time I looked at the scoreboard we were losing. Pitt just didn’t have the horses to finish out with the win. I think that was Majors first year.

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  40. Lot of good and bad memories mentioned here. Interesting to look at Pitt by the decades.

    My life on campus coincided with Dan72 and I stuck around for two more years of grad school,

    so I got to witness and enjoy some of the most amazing turn-a- rounds in sports history.

    When I enrolled, Pitt was a laughingstock in sports as were the Steelers, the Pirates weren’t much better.

    Honestly, at the time no one cared, it was a big joke. As an athlete that came from a school that valued sports, it was an adjustment for me. I have told the story before about witnessing empty whiskey bottles raining down on the players exiting the field after another dismal performance. And another about sneaking a half barrel into the stadium as a fraternity pledge. Also climbing to the top of the goal posts when the team entered the field, back then all the frats had their signs on the field as the players entered the stadium. It was pretty loose back then. Only a few thousand spectators for some games.

    Then the tide changed dramatically. In 1971 the Pirates won the World Series and there was the biggest celebration on Forbes Ave. that I have ever seen. It was incredible. The Steelers drafted Joe Greene in ’69 and changed Pittsburgh forever. Somewhat more quietly Pitt hired a coach who recruited Billy Knight and implemented the amoeba defense with a bunch of local kids and gave Pitt its first taste of winning anything in a very long time. When I say quietly, most of the student body didn’t know about it or even care.

    Then a real miracle happened in my senior year, Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill convinced Tony Dorsett to come to Pitt along with about a 100 other recruits, but make no mistake Dorsett is the one that deserves a statue to be erected. From the first time he touched the ball and ran student body right everyone knew we were seeing greatness.

    I also remember the previous spring when Majors was working out the the existing players in Fitzgerald Field House in a most furious manner the likes I had never seen with guys dropping like flies. A Major change was happening.

    The rest is History, we had about 10 great years of football. So I went from watching Greg Pruitt running around Pitt Stadium unobstructed to Tony D. doing the same. Then the greatness of the Marino years.

    This is why I get so frustrated with Narduzzi’s recruiting. It takes great players to make great teams and quite a few. I have been fortunate to see many over the years in Pittsburgh. Hoping I live long enough to see a few more at Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GC, while PN certainly had a poor recruiting year and can do better, he or any other coach will not be able to ever recruit a class like those brought in back in the 70s. Those days are long gone.

      Like

      1. No doubt that is true, but is it too much to ask for a couple elite players?
        Haven’t had any since Conner, Boyd and AD. Just about every Pitt coach has brought in a few.
        Revis, Fitz, Shady etc. Narduzzi has pretty much struck out so far. Whitehead the closest maybe O’Neil, but they were originally recruited by Chryst. I think he has recruited many very good players but is yet to recruit a great player. There may be some on the roster, time will tell, but odds are no.

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        1. gc and with all due respect buddy. We don’t know if there is a future star on PITT’s roster right now? Next few years will be very telling though.

          Like

  41. Remember Bozik wanted to tear Pitt down and build a domed stadium back in the early 80’s. The BoT wouldnt allow him. So Pitt Stadium was essentially neglected for the next 20 years.

    The seeds of Pitt’s destruction were planted right after Johnny won the championship. That really perturbed JoePa because he wanted to do it first. Joe became further infuriated and jealous of Pitt’s success with Jackie. He saw how successful the Golden Panthers were. So knowing that he couldnt beat Pitt on the field, he decided to covertly beat Pitt by installing puppets on the BoT

    He never did get his Eastern conference though

    Like

      1. not this morning with strong storms about to hit

        I’ve attached a link to an athletics committee which is part of the University Senate
        Many of this sites questions regarding the fan experience, revenues, finances, fundraising, attendance, OCS, etc could be presented to these members…they all have e-mail addresses

        and they have been known to hold town halls or roundtables

        http://univsenate.pitt.edu/committees/athletics-and-recreation

        Like

  42. The common thread here is always the BoT, and the constant battle between academics and athletics. The academics always feel threatened, and want to keep Pitt in the public eye as a great academic institution. The SI article was incredibly damaging, and whoever happened to be the coach would have been canned.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. VoR, “the steve” was an un-named source in that SI story. Narcissistic idiots do not like competition. Dave was a threat and fired back at the fake smiley J O …………..Wanny lost.

    Like

  44. Pitt certainly does have a history of athletics vs academics and I really don’t understand why that is.

    Stanford, Duke, Notre Dame and plenty of elite academic institutions seem to not have that problem.

    So why the jocks vs eggheads dynamic at Pitt? Does it exist at other schools?

    One thing I have never understood is why with all the success of the Health professions at Pitt, why isn’t health and fitness and athletic achievement valued, it would seem to be the perfect marriage.

    Historically, there was always the issue of bending the academic rules to allow athletes admission and subsequent academic achievement. I am sure it must exist in today’s environment, so why does Pitt seem to hold a holier than thou attitude about these things? Especially these days when Sports are big business and the concept of the student athlete is pretty much a joke when it comes to Football and Basketball. The concept of one and done is a perfect example. It is obviously not a problem for Duke a most esteemed academic institution.

    What ever happened to the UNC so-called academic scandal? How much has it hurt their reputation? Do kids no longer want to go there? In the long run how much has the biggest scandal in sports history hurt PSU?

    Hopefully things are changing and we won’t experience the roller coaster affect of alternating commitment levels to our teams. Joining the ACC should be positive in that respect. The level of competition with our new peers is more visible and justifiable.

    Hopefully we can put the poor hires of Freddy Kruger, High Octane, and Stallings far into the rear view mirror. Unfortunately they are still there to remind us how bad things can get and how quickly things can go very wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I credit the PITT administration for recognizing that they are not UNC. Cheaters are going to cheat, Haters are going to hate, Lovers are going to love and PITT fans will always get the brown end of the stick.

      Like

    2. I think the difference between the way athletics are treated at Pitt and they way they are treated at the schools you mention (Stanford, Duke, Notre Dame, etc.) comes down to the national perception of those schools and how secure administrators at those universities are about the prestige of their schools. Stanford, Duke, and Notre Dame know that (deserved or not) their academic reputation is unassailable and any scandal or controversy with the athletics program isn’t going to change that. Conversely, Pitt’s leaders are insecure about the way the school is perceived academically (in a good light, but probably seen as a couple tiers below the universities you mention) and feel they have to guard the image of the school’s academic more zealously. This is why they come off as reactionary at times.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. $19MM is “revenue not related to a specific team”. Not sure that it would be shirt/gear sales or even grants/donations/ACC $, but I guess it could be…

      Total expenses of $89MM might include non-cash expenses like depreciation. It probably includes amortization of a certain Bball coach’s buyout. Operating expenses were much lower and may be more indicative of the actual cost of athletics (though this is purely a guess).

      I’m not an accountant. And I don’t play one on TV.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. operating was ‘game day’ related expenses so the low figure makes sense
        its also unclear how the acc money ($27M) is distributed as revenue particularly across programs
        but you’re right, ‘revenue not related’ is a catch all category
        only Pitt knows

        Like

  45. ACC commish John Swofford is a UNC alum … that’s what happened to the UNC scandal. That and the fact they are UNC.

    Like

  46. BTW GC, what area recruit did Narduzzi miss out on that has turned out be Revis or Boyd? maybe Miles Sanders but jury is sill out. Can’t think of anyone else but may have forgotten someone

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  47. In addition to the academic vs. athletic dilemma at Pitt, perhaps a bigger problem is the public vs. private institution issue. For years since the near bankruptcy of the 60s (when the state came in and saved them), Pitt has straddled the fence between these categories by calling themselves “state related” due to receiving ongoing state funding, and that designation implies there is some kind of responsibility to the public that supports Pitt with state tax dollars. They cannot put too much operating money into athletics without the public crying out that tuition costs should be lower, or that as a public institution they should be giving more scholarships to low income applicants.

    Colleges such as Pedo get around it by packing in 100,000 fans per football game, and claiming that athletics are self supporting. As mentioned earlier, the Golden Panthers helped to offset the cost gap between athletic originated revenues and the actual costs (mostly for football). Disbanding the GP really hurt and began the process of cutting athletic related expenditures.

    The next step back to prominence requires that the GP be re-instituted as a fund raising arm for Pitt athletics. The Pitt football coach is the highest paid employee at Pitt. If they could take his salary off the college books by having GP pay for it, there would be less negative publicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. less negative publicity and more accountability for the AD to properly structure the contracts
    Capel and Narduzzi make over $6M between them; would love to know the bonus and incentive language

    And then we have Pitt waiving Dixon’s buyout and being stuck with a high percentage of what was owed to KS (buyout was probably close to $8M)
    I’d argue there would be better fiduciary responsibility under this ‘donation’ structure

    Pitt’s operating budget is subsidized by about 15% from the Commonwealth. So as a state related entity, Pitt receives roughly $140M per year. If they were to go private, they would have to raise tuition and/or cut programs to remain solvent.

    Pitt has far too many academic and athletic programs as is. Going private would force Pitt into thinking more like a business. And thats probably a good thing. Welfare from the state makes educators lazy and stupid. Just like that ACC check stifles the innovation needed to generate higher revenues and the fiscal discipline to run a balanced budget.

    Penn State makes a profit each year in sports that they bank and use for investments or a rainy day. I doubt Pitt will ever make a sizable profit but they sure could at least breakeven. The cumulative athletic deficits over the past 20 years is probably north of $150M.

    Talk about changing the culture. Going private most definitely would. And I think for the better.

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  49. Agreed, Tex, but don’t you agree that re-instituting the Golden Panthers as a vehicle for channeling private donations to Pitt athletics (under strict controls, of course) would help to get them on a more level playing field? I don’t know if there are records of how many top programs have private funding sources, but I’ll bet there are many.

    Like

    1. yes I do.
      it could help alleviate some of Pitt’s revenue issue
      and it would bring in new supporters with new ideas
      new blood is always good
      but yes, you’d also have to make sure that blood doesnt get contaminated

      Like

  50. MM,
    Thank you for the informative article. However, I must strongly disagree with your terminology in using “pessimists” and “optimists” in describing POVers. You are calling me a pessimist, which is quite amusing being as NO ONE has EVER used this term to describe me. Spend 5 minutes with me in person and you will see what I mean. If I’m anything, I’m a realist. I simply look at the facts and make a termination of what is real and what is fake. As you have no doubt observed I do not comment on this blog any longer, nor do many other realistic minded people. Why you ask? Well ironically because the so called “optimists” have run many of us off of the POV. And like most, I simply have lost the will to share my fair minded conclusions on this blog. So, I will continue not to get involved with th POV any longer. Thank you for listening. Sincerely,
    Pittman4ever

    Like

    1. pittman4ever, the only reason you ran off was probably because not many agree with your realistic pessimistic views and you felt abandoned. We had a few posters late last year that also ran away from the POV when it was pretty clear that the Pitt FB team was about to win the Coastal division. That scenario also didn’t coincide with their previous views on the Pitt FB team going into last season. Running away and hiding is a perfectly appropriate decision when faced with situations you would rather not like to have to comment on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jrn You bragging about a garbage coastal is the comical part. What a joke. Embarrassing you are bragging about that with a .500 record and losing to a Stanford team with 6 starters skipping the game.

        Like

  51. Couple things:

    Did Mike mention any names? Did he mention your name Jim?
    Many? 3 or 4 from your email chitter chatter gossip group.
    You ran away, No one has the power to “run anyone way”

    Like

  52. they are only labels to me
    i take pride in my real pessimist side
    just my nature to see what is wrong before i see what is working
    i do my best to stay balanced and not overly critical
    what is real or fake can be subjective sometimes
    i like the facts because they should be undeniable unless twisted
    hence, its often difficult to get the truth

    would love to see an article about fact vs opinion…hint hint Mike
    for instance, it is only an opinion that overall sports at Pitt is mediocre
    but i sure could pull out some facts that ‘prove’ Pitt is mediocre (i.e. Directors Cup rankings)
    but someone could define things differently and point to clean programs, GPA’s, graduation rates, etc

    then there are some facts like Pitt’s revenue, Pitt’s operating deficit, attendance(?), etc
    but even these facts are tough to find and sometimes tough to explain

    lastly, drinking Pitt’s Koolaid in moderation wont kill you. I spike mine with Gin anyways.

    Koolaid vs Piss and Vinegar. To each his own.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. An example of the dumb back and forth between the “realists” and the “optimists…”

    Someone brings up a player or position group. The “realists” say something like, “if Narduzzi could recruit we would have talent at that position. Said player is not going to help us win 10 games in a season. We need 4 star players etc.” Then the “optimists” call out that comment and the discussion devolves from there into the “optimists ” versus the “realists.” I am guilty of getting into these stupid back and forth discussions. They are pointless and get away from having good discussions on this site. Sadly these back and forth discussions occur all the time but nobody’s opinion changes one bit either way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The answer is………. There is very rarely a real realist. There is almost always a bias and usually it’s directed toward the negative side. Look it up.

      Like

  54. Had a great time today at the Pitt Celebrity Golf Outing. Major Majors and Richman carried our team to 9 under but was a few putts short of taking the prize.
    ElRoy Face looked great at 90+ years of age and we were fortunate to be in the company of Dick Groat, Walt Harris, Jeff Capel, Bill Hillgrove, Jim Colony, Tom Tumulty, Tommy Flynn, Emel Boures…
    The course has a memorial for Bill Fralic between holes 6 and 7.
    A good time was had by all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It was a ton of fun today. And everyone contributed good shots. If our lip-outs would have fallen, we’d have been at least 12 under… Shoulda, woulda, coulda… 😊

      Our “celebrity” was former player Chris Schneider. You may remember he was a fullback who played in the 90s for Johnny Majors Part II and then Walt Harris…

      We also chatted with Mike Caprara, who remembered us from last year…

      Chris, Fran’s nephew Greg, and Richman all hit some absolute bombs off the tee today…

      An excellent Pitt event and a fun day. Gotta have a good time in the presence of Lastrow and Richman.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wwb — I brought up the 18-1 record to Elroy. Brought a smile to his face. And he showed me and Fran how he used to grip the forkball – his fingers still spread a ridiculous amount like some kind of alien. 😊

        Elroy said they were having some kind of memorial event for fellow Pirate Bob Friend at Oakmont yesterday, but Elroy had committed to going to the Pitt event. Friend died in February at age 88. Elroy said he felt bad for missing the Bob Friend event, then he said “Then again, Bob won’t be coming to any of my memorials…”. 🤔

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Elroy and myself think a lot alike. My wife asked me about burial issue with me and I told her to do what she wants with me. Also, apparently she figures I’m going to die way before her. hmmm good thing I’m the cook in the house.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. an addendum to my will stipulates that I’m to be disposed of in the most efficient and economic manner with no formal ceremony

            Like

  55. Lastrow: is that golf outing open to anyone as long as you have a team and money to pay? I would have loved to play that.

    Like

  56. Optimist – if we woulda got that one first down, we would a won and ended up with 10 wins because we like to project what coulda happened had we only won that 2nd game. That 8 yards passing should have been at least 10, but the refs missed the spot. Our guys are likeable so that’s worth 4 wins right there. Wait til next year…and then the year after that when our starting qb is 26 years old. We should get all our players from the portal, it keeps our recruiting budget in line. We can’t recruit to pitt because there are other colleges, that’s why. We do really good for such a small fanbase.

    Pessimist – The opening kickoff of the 1st game goes out of bounds. Same old Pitt. Fire Narduzzi. The curse of steeler stadium. The home of the fighting Eeyore’s. Why would anyone donate to this athletic cluster.

    Realist – We are 7-7. Same old mediocrity year after year. Local kid says he chooses academics as top priority, optimists are hurt. Pessimists predicted that and realist have been saying for years that only Pitt values academics and undervalues athletics as part of a college education. We have the second largest number of alumni in the ACC yet our school refuses to connect to that alumni because we bus our fans off campus. It is a shame that we have 300k alumni that can’t go back to their campus to watch a football game.

    The list can go on and on…..Worst experience ever….watching incompetency rule the athletic department for 40 years and the administration that continues to sell the “we are competing for championships at pitt slogan”. Well, they didn’t lie. We are competing. We just do it differently.

    Like

    1. Huff the third step back and re-read your definition of a realist…. it reeks of pessimism. ” Same old” << That’s a bias statement right off the bat.

      Like

      1. Right off the bat? Were we not 7-7? Were we not mediocre. Is there a P5 school that places a higher value on academics than athletics? Please don’t say Stanford. They do both. Please don’t say Duke. They just paid $115M in research fraud fines. Please don’t say UNC. There is academic scandal everywhere and please don’t say Pitt is without any. They have it too, you just won’t read about it, as you wouldn’t read about things that don’t hit national news. Let me tell you dear friend that once you are in the P5, you’re there because you place athletics as high as academics.It’s mutually inclusive for all but Pitt.

        Is 300k alumni a positive or a negative? It’s just the truth. Is it the 2nd highest number of alumni in the ACC, YES! Feel free to poke holes in the realist section. Me typing that it is a shame that 300k alumni can’t go back to campus and watch a game is…ummm, just reality, albeit, also, just my opinion.

        Now, if you want to say what i typed as the worst experience ever is negative, sure, but it is also true! Just take a look at all the statements that you can put your hands on when we introduce new coaches and ad’s. They all say we are in the city of champions and we will compete for championships. Again, true. We do compete, just poorly. That’s not negative. It’s the truth.

        Maybe next year. I’ve been hearing that for 40 years! At some point the fools are the participants that enable the sham to continue.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Huff the Third… it was the “same old” .. imo, that is negative not realistic and not needed to make that point. . Also, when we keep saying PITT ended 7-7 without clarifying that they won the division allowing the 7th loss is a little unfair which points us back in the direction of negativism.

          I’ve looked this realist debate up many times over and almost always, the truth is, people who think they are realist are often times slanted more toward negativity that not. No offense intended my friend Huff the Third. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  57. the 2nd largest # of alumni and the second worst donation rate in the ACC
    this should be one of Heather’s top priorities to fix
    should be, but it may not and I have seen no evidence of turning things around regarding donations
    and thats the breadth of donations and not depth

    give fans a reason to donate
    grow new fans and nurture them
    its marketing 101 but for compliance people it doesnt come easy

    i dont want to say that Pitt is incompetent but it was far easier to send humans to the moon than it is for Pitt to figure things out

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt needs to win big for five years to start getting donations to where it needs to be. The 1990s turned a lot of the then-students’ interest away from football and that is 100 percent on the university leaders.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m on board with expecting to win big over the next five years. I want a winner, I don’t NEED a winner. For my entertainment dollars, I have been choosing Pitt FB in the late Summer & Fall. But there is still a lot of golf to be played at that time of the year and I am not getting any younger.

        So, one scheduling conflict I have had over the past three years is that my company volunteers for a big client’s charitable event – four years ago we had a record turnout at the fundraising event with my employees and their families – my wife and I were there, our marketing team had special T-shirts made and we were “recognized” by the higher ups of our big client (not intentional by me, but I have to say my marketing people were brilliant).

        The past three years the event has fallen on a Pitt home game, which I willingly tailgated with Fran & attended at Heinz Field, and my management staff kept the big client charitable event alive & well attended by my employees. This year, we have the same scheduling conflict and I am seriously considering NOT attending the Pitt game. Duzz & Heather kind of lost me with the 3 losses to finish 2018.

        I will definitely be at the August 31st UVA home game – right now Tx Panther has that marked as Pitt’s SUPER BOWL for 2019, since he picked the Hoos to win the Coastal.

        H2P!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey Erie, we missed you at the Pitt Golf Outing yesterday! 🏌️‍♂️

          Sounds like your game is in good shape the way you’re whipping those nitters…

          Go Pitt.

          Like

  58. Hey Rick, hope to see you there at the Virginia game… mark me down as also feeling that this very first game may be the make it or break it game of the season already.

    Like

    1. It is crazy unusual to start the season with sure a meaningful game. Gives a whole different vibe to the opener.

      Should be fun (and somewhat tense) for those who enjoy going to Pitt games.

      Just another example of the tremendous ROI provided by Pitt football…😊

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Hope is not a plan (and has been said on this blog many times), but I’m afraid hope is Heather’s plan for attendance.

      Does anyone know anything different they could share? Are there billboards in Pittsburgh that us out of town fans don’t see? Are there local TV & radio advertisements that are being aired that may draw bigger crowds? Are there pictures of missing Pitt fans on Fanta soda cans?

      Like

      1. Rick, when it comes to the cheap, lazy and finicky PITT fans, hope is your only option for now. Win a few dam games and let’s see how it goes moving forward. That’s why this first game is way bigger than usual. PITT wins and surprises many this year. That’s my plan…….. HOPE!

        Like

  59. Pittman2003, if you call Champion Lakes and give them an email address they will put you on the contact sheet. Allison Groat is Dicks daughter. That’s who I contact.

    Like

  60. Who the “realists” actually are is debatable. While I more often defend Narduzzi against the so-called realists. I believe I am actually a realist. I see a program that has been mediocre for 40 years. I see a program that has had the problem of being a stepping stone job for coaches for most of that 40 years. We have a coach that has won above average over his 4 years (7 wins per season) while playing arguably the toughest schedule of the last 40 years while trying to recruit to a school with a major fan apathy problem and dried up local recruiting talent.
    As a realist I think we should support this coach. The last two coaches left pitt for other jobs while having less success. He is not perfect and could be better of course. And if we were a successful program over the last 40 years it would be reasonable to look for a different coach at this juncture.
    I would rather stick with what we have and see where our coach can get us before Quitting on him. In my opinion, I am the realist.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Here’s a few brain teasers for you all…. Would a real realist actually be a PITT fan? Would a real realist actually complain about PITT football fortunes? Wouldn’t a real realist really not give a crap about PITT football by now? ok, I’m done for now.

    Like

    1. Go do something Ike. Narduzzi is low on Koolaid after going .500 after winning 5 games the year before. Keep paying him 3.5M for losing. No one likes him except you and your 3 buddies on here who live in Blawnox. Heather is another waste. Look at the records of Pitt teams and zero fundraising.

      Like

  62. LOL Mark, you actually did make me laugh pretty hard………….. You forgot to mention he won the coastal division last year……. with PC’s lousy recruits.

    Like

  63. No one likes him except you and your 3 buddies on here who live in Blawnox. << That’s a great line… I thought I only had two buddies on the POV and one lives in Dormont the other in Verona

    Like

  64. This thread cracks me up. 7-7 is not great but with context it does get better. For instance, 6-2 in the ACC is perfectly acceptable. So is losing to three top 10 teams and two of the four playoff teams (UCF, ND and National Champion Clemson) … And another top 15 team, Penn State. I mean even Miami was a preseason top 10 team.

    Anyone here really think that Pitt was ready to beat top 15 teams after missing a bow the season before. Anyone? Please step forward now. How many here predicted 3 or 4 wins before the season? Quite a few, if I recall.

    Pitt did have one bad loss. Against a foil who appears (‘d) to have Duzz’s number. He gone now.

    Can Pitt improve? Hell yeah! Are they in the dumps? Hell no!

    Pitt should be better. If not, yell at them on message boards more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here we go with your usual excuse making just like you had Stallings Back for 12 months.

      7-7 is the record. Don’t blame the schedule.

      Like

      1. LMAO. Who had Stallings? Not me. I literally just said it was the record and it wasn’t great … But there is context. One of which is being in the ACC Championship game. 👀.

        So, you’re one of those people that doesn’t take into consideration context. Sounds like a worthwhile person to debate or have a conversation with.

        Like

        1. Context. We had 6 yards passing against Clemson and won a Coastal Lockhaven would of been 3rd. We were the only team in history to win a division going .500

          Narduzzi is a bafoon. He couldn’t sell a wagyu steak to a someone for a $1 that hasn’t eaten in 3 days.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. The spelling is different when addressing this bum. Arrogant and never won anything of importance. He is such a loser he even showed off his trophy after beaing embarrassed for the 3rd time last year against a actual D1 team.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. umm … The Coastal? Please post your definition of nothing so we can keep up. We’re playing checkers over here while you’re playing 3D chess. Give us a chance, man.

                Like

          1. Lol. You just said the record is the record but then discount other points that actually happened. Some things count. Others don’t. You’re good at message board posting. No context. Changing the rules. Totally legit way to discuss points. Keep practicing by posting more. I’m sure it will come together at some point.

            Like

            1. Keep telling us about Stallings recruiting and how he was going to turn stuff around.

              Narduzzi won a atrocious coastal. Wow if that impresses you have terribly low standards in life.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Not this guy. And almost everyone on this board will tell you that. Once again, keep trying. It will stick someday. You only get better with practice.

                Like

  65. Lots if good points here..

    Pittman2003- You are correct that it’s unrealistic to EXPECT Pitt to be anything more than mediocre when they’ve been so for 35 years. (But it’s not unrealistic to think Pitt CAN be more.)

    Erie Express- Agreed! HOPE is not a plan. It reeks of incompetence, desperation and ignorance. Has anyone told a perspective employer that their plan,if hired, is to HOPE to accomplish things? Leaders don’t HOPE to meet goals. They set them, put forth actionable steps, and reevaluate, as necessary.

    Huff III- Yep, Pitt was 7-7. .500 is mediocre. Where have I heard that before? The last lost doesn’t matter because it was the ACC Championship???!!! Huh??!! Where have I heard that before? And bowl games don’t matter either? Got it. But be sure to count those FCS wins.. And, in 14 games played, Pitt won 4 games against teams with winning records. Yep. Four. They also lost to a tem with ZERO FBS wins and beat a 3-8 FCS team. So to be fair,Pitt competes in FBS. That is their peer group. Versus that peer group, Pitt was 6-7 in 2018. Pitt was 4-7 versus the FBS in 2017. Yep. 10-14 the last two years. I know, they were the only team to play PSU, OK St. & UCF. Wait.. 30 (or more other teams) also had those teams in their schedule.

    I do not HATE Narduzzi. I don’t think Pitt should fire Narduzzi. He’s exactly what Pitt wants. But mediocre is mediocre.

    Tx_Panther- Picking UVA to win the Coastal? Ok, I guess. But doesn’t that prove the point of how BAD the Coastal is? Duke, UNC, GT?? Ugh.

    MajorMajors- Pitt opens with a “meaningful” game. Agreed. Well attended? I’m not so sure. Well attended, or well attended by Pitt standards? I agree “those who enjoy going to Pitt games” likely will attend.. but that’s only about 25k of us. And while UVA might be the beast of the Notoriously Difficult ACC Coastal (where Champions are made- 😂) casual fans won’t be excited by the chance to see the Wahoo’s. And it doesn’t appear there is any new plan to attract the casual fan. Oh wait.. there’s HOPE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jay – Good post, but a minor point — I didn’t say anything about the opener being well attended. I’m expecting a typical Pitt opener crowd – maybe a few more since it’s at night.

      All I know is there’s nothing I’d rather do that day than go and root for the Pitt Panthers – but that’s just me.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. Pitt beat five teams with winning records: GT, Duke, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake.

      Not murders’ row but wins nevertheless.

      Like

    3. Tossing – We went to school at the same time and while you were in the band I actually played a sport. I think I have a little more insight. So tell yourself you didnt support Stallings and you don’t suck Narduzzi’s teet to a losing record since losing Potato Pauls players. Narduzzi has recruited nobodies. Come to the golf event we can keep the conversation going.

      Like

      1. UPitt – Insight into what? Context? We weren’t discussing anything else. You said the record is the record but then a Coastal Division Championship doesn’t matter. Not sure what that has to do with your playing days.

        And also, to be fair, I thought it was someone posing as you. I agreed to not attack you and I stand by that.

        I never supported Stallings. Below are a few of my tweets the day of the announcement. I liked exactly one recruit, Aaron Thompson … and he asked out of his LOI and ended up at Butler before even arriving at Pitt. And I liked Aaron Thompson because I got to watch him play a few times since his HS was down the street from me.

        Did I resign myself that Stallings wasn’t going anywhere? Sure. His honeymoon, with me, lasted until ACC play hit, however … in his first year when he took a tourney team down to a 4 win team. I knew from the outset he was a bad hire and any leeway was lost very early.

        27 Mar 2016
        Entire fan base predisposed to h8 this guy 4 the way he treated @JonBlaze_21. They r hiring a coach we alrdy hated?

        27 Mar 2016
        All we can hope is @PittADBarnes @PittChancellor are monitoring fan reactions. Complete anarchy right now.

        27 Mar 2016
        Why does Pitt hate its alumni? @PittADBarnes @PittChancellor

        Like

  66. JayTowerA – They were a 5 win team in 2017 (3 wins in the ACC) that improved to 7 wins (6 in the ACC) in 2018, won the division and played Clemson in the ACC Championship game. ONLY a Pitt thread would complain about improvement. If they stagnate or drop this year I’m all for yelling more on message boards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A. Wrong. Lots of people in lots of places complain about 7-7 seasons. Not just Pitt fans.

      Are you AGAIN arguing against a point I didn’t make? Did I say 5-7 to 7-7 wasn’t an improvement? Nope. Never said that. I said 7-7 is mediocre. And it is.

      I understand thinking, “Hey, I’m pretty happy with 7-7, considering they played PSU, UCF and ND.” Hell, if Pitt was 8-6 (beating either UNC or Miami) and were anywhere close to being competitive against PSU and UCF, I’d take that. THAT would show me Pitt has a chance to go where I’d like them to be. BUT.. Pitt got embarrassed in those 2 games and completely collapsed down the stretch.

      Everybody keeps moving the goalposts, changing their arguments,making things up, putting words in people’s mouths.. and then making comments about others who do the same.

      It simple..

      -What do you WANT Pitt FB to be?
      -What CAN Pitt FB be?
      -What things need to change/stay the same to reach the stated goals?
      -Are the right people in place?

      Ask those questions. Answer those questions. Simple. We will certainly disagree.

      TT- you have said on a few occasions that you weren’t upset because Pitt FB or BB met your expectations. But don’t you understand expectations are ONE HALF of the equation.

      Example:

      1996 Pitt FB had extremely low expectations. The facility was old. The coach was even older (LOL) and drunk. The recruiting was a mess. My expectation was that we’d suck. And we did. Was the season a success because we met expectations???

      If you consider 7-7 acceptable and are happy because it’s an increase from 5-7, that’s great. But, by that logic, we should all predict 2 win seasons and then any 3 win season is a rousing success.

      Like

      1. I also said if they don’t improve the complaining is worthwhile. I was only stating that even though mediocre, they still progressed.

        Like

  67. A realists POV –

    There are a few things that HC Jeff Capel and Ole Miss HC Kermit Davis have in common and a few they don’t –

    In common;

    -1. Both are first year HC’s at their new P5 school.
    -2. Both inherited a losing program that finished last the prior year in their new school’s conference.
    -3. Both were recruiting C Khadim Sy and were in this JUCO’s final 3.
    -4. Both had a slightly tainted past as a HC when it pertains to NCAA regulations.

    Not in common:

    -1. Kermit’s team made the NCAA tournament is his 1st year at Ole Miss – Capel’s team finished tied for last in the ACC.
    -2. Kermit landed C Khadim Sy while have two other recruits signed that were 6’9” 225 lbs or bigger. Capel had no recruit over 6’8” and that recruit still to this day has not signed.

    The Pitt men’s basketball program is struggling lyke no other P5 program is a huge understatement.

    The above all sounds pessimistic, but if you are honest with yourself, all points are factual and real.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I respect that you believe Narduzzi can lead Pitt to greater heights. I’m actually curious as the the “why” or “why’s” that lead you to think that.

          But. Who cares who Upitt would hire? Who cares who Reed would hire?(Trick question- We all know it would be the love child of Bear Bryant and Madame Currie. All of our players would be FB All-Americans and research fellows.)

          Pitt pays an AD a significant sum of money to make these decisions. Whether Upitt can come up with a hire is completely irrelevant as to whether Narduzzi is a good coach.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Jay – The AD didn’t hire the basketball coach. She hired a search firm.She didn’t do it because she understood that she didn’t have the connections to reach out directly. At least she recognized she was in over her head. I am not sure why she gets the big bucks. I wish I could farm out all of my tough decisions and when they don’t work out, point the finger at the search firm and say we will never use them again. Comical.

            Like

        2. Mike Yurcich is one name of 3-4 I would go after. Offense sells and fills seats and wins game in 2019 football. I also like Tony Elliott at Clemson.

          Like

  68. winning the Coastal this past season was like 2004 when we won the BE because of a 4-team tiebreaker in a 7 team league (with 2 doormats). The rewards were losing to the eventual national champ in the ACC title game 42-10, and losing to Utah in a BCS Bowl 35-7.

    Even in Pitt’s best year 2009 when it won 10 games and lost a 1 point game to an undefeated team to get into the BCS bowl, that undefeated team (Cincy) got its butt handed to them in the bowl 51-24 to Florida.

    In other words, Pitt FB is nothing but a pretender …. and has been as such since the early 80s. And a handful of great games over the years doesn’t change it.

    There’s your realism … people. So picking on the current staff which has done no better or worse than its predecessors but with a harder schedule is futile.

    What you ‘neo-realists’ cannot comprehend is that Pitt FB of the late 70s is so far in the rear view mirror, it’s totally unrecognizable. Deal with it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. what fans shouldnt deal with is continued mediocrity

      I think most realize that those elite years will never happen again although there is always that one year when lightening could strike and the stars could be aligned

      Pitt doesnt have the revenues to sustain elite status, it doesnt have the culture and it doesnt cheat

      I’m personally fine with Pitt not being elite in football

      But I’m not fine being mediocre

      Only one 10 win season in 35 plus years is unacceptable

      Syracuse and BC have more

      Like

  69. Well ike, I guess I don’t count on your buddies list since I’m an out of towner… 🙂 You have more buddies on this site than you know!! I even count Reed as one…

    Liked by 1 person

  70. As far as Narduzzi’s performance, a first year coach being over .500 after 4 years is not so bad for any P5 program regardless of the good (Chryst’s players) and the bad (tough OCS) which tend to even things out. If Pitt gets into and wins a decent bowl this year (assuming 9 wins prior to bowl), no one on this site will be complaining, and the past will be forgotten. Most everyone agrees that this year is an important one, but remember, this is Pitt, and with everything that can go wrong being over .500 at this stage of PN’s career is somewhat acceptable.

    Like

  71. Stop that crap big E, you know where you stand with me. I don’t turn my back on my buddies. If you’re down with me than I’m down with you. You inspired me VoR……

    Like

  72. -What do you WANT Pitt FB to be?
    a team ranked in the top 25 most years and winning bowl games in warm places

    -What CAN Pitt FB be?
    better than mediocre which is what the program is today

    -What things need to change/stay the same to reach the stated goals?
    possible coach and other staffing changes; far better recruiting; easier OOC schedule; possibly a unique system or scheme

    -Are the right people in place?
    If I dont see something this year (min 8 wins includes bowl win), then I’m 100% certain a head coaching change is needed
    Is Heather the right AD? You know my thoughts. I have Narduzzi grading out better than her.

    Like

  73. Put me down as Majors11 type.

    As for Pitt being the first division champion to finish 7-7, I assume we are talking about P5 teams because the Sun Belt Louisiana (aka La.- Lafayette) Ragin Cajuns also did it in 2018. UCLA in 2011 was crowned PAC-12 South Division champs with a regular season record of 6-6. They promptly lost both the conference championship & their bowl game to finish 6-8 or a 43% winning record.

    To be honest, while UCLA had a worst winning %, they weren’t at 50%. So, I guess the statement is true if you are only talking about P5 division champs at a 50% winning record.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. didn’t they fire their coach for that? I really can’t remember so don’t beat me up. Winning divisions when you have a bad record does mean that you beat teams that were worse, but who cares.

      Like

  74. Number of 10 win seasons since 1990
    Syracuse – 4
    Rutgers – 1
    BC – 2
    Pitt – 1
    Va Tech – 14
    WVU – 6
    Temple – 2
    PSU – 10

    Does anyone truly think Pitt is Rutgers?

    Pitt is consistently mediocre.

    And not having breakout 10 win seasons have really set the program back

    Theres no reason why Pitt cant have the success of Va Tech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt’s football spend is very close now to Tech’s
      But Tech has just done a better job recruiting recently (and they are in the middle of nowhere)

      Like

      1. I’d say VT actually has an advantage over Pitt in location — as far as getting recruits from VA and points south.

        Also, they have a better game atmosphere to show off to visiting recruits…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  75. Jay I ask that because people trash Narduzzi all the time and don’t come up with a reasonable alternative but just bash others who are somewhat supportive of him.
    Narduzzi has won more games per year to start his career than any coach in a very long time at pitt. He has played a very difficult schedule and still gotten those wins. I don’t have faith that we would get somebody better with our budget where it is. I also don’t have faith that said new coach wouldn’t leave at the first opportunity like the previous two did. I like some stability right now and given the fact Narduzzi has been more successful than any coach of the last 30 some years in his first four years, I don’t see why we would change course at this time. He is building the program now the way he wants it. He learned under a guy who never recruited all that well but was extremely successful at Michigan State. Maybe he can do the same at pit. He absolutely deserves a chance to see it through . Could you imagine if we got rid of Narduzzi after the relative success he has had? What coach would want to come to pitt under those circumstances ?

    Like

    1. Any coach comes when you pay and have a plan. Go get a stud coach somewhere?? UVA did it as did VT in Hoops and Football. God forbid we actually go get a real HC with Success.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So you would keep him if his team won 7 games again this year and lost another bowl?
      That would make him 35-30 after 5 years, no bowl wins and no final rankings

      If I were AD, I would fire him
      The program doesnt become unstable after a firing of a coach that has proven after 5 years to be nothing more than mediocre

      Success to me is getting the team ranked and winning bowl games
      Any new hire would know those stated goals
      I’m pretty sure Pitt could get the Toledo coach for under $3M

      I want Narduzzi to succeed. I hope this is the year that the program breaks through. Narduzzi is a good coach but lousy at recruiting and hiring a good staff.

      I also think that Pitt is fine with football winning 7-8 games this year so we’ll roll into the following season and probably see yet another 7-8 wins.

      I just think Pitt could do better. And I’d do (assuming AD for a day) what was required to get there – clean house, drop TN and Whisky from the OOC, find an offensive minded head coach with head coaching experience, structure a contract heavy on incentives, find more money via donations

      Like

      1. I suspect the big money donors who would have been inclined to assist the FB program are no longer with us – as in dead.

        And our play hasn’t allowed us to create rabid Pitt fans in the last 40 years – deep pockets or not…

        This is a long-term situation that will only improve, realistically, through incremental steps, IMHO.

        Go Pitt.

        Like

    3. All fair. I don’t disagree. But if the argument is Narduzzi’s performance vis a vis mediocrity, past coaches and hiring whims of blog posters have zero relevance. Just make your case. I’d read it.

      Me? I think he’s mediocre. 28-24 is mediocre. 7-7 is mediocre. Zero bowl wins. Terrible? Nope. Good? Nope. Mediocre.

      Fire Narduzzi? Nope. Why bother? Pitt just doesn’t care.

      Narduzzi has been here 5 years- a relative eternity in today’s college football. It wouldn’t hurt Pitt’s ability to land a good coach if they let him go. Pitt’s COMPLETE & TOTAL LACK OF COMMITMENT TO WINNING is what would keep any good coach from taking the job. Some serious money, additional increases in recruiting budgets, formation of a REAL booster club and an OCS would make it EASY to find a good coach.

      Pitt won’t do any if the above because they don’t care. Let’s all just enjoy the next decade of 6-8 wins/season and our tailgates of IC Light and Bojangles biscuits.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thats just where you and I differ
      and I think Heather thinks similar to you
      i do think whipple will be the difference this year and you’ll see it in KP’s play

      but i do wonder if Heather truly is providing the program with everything needed to succeed. She is doing nothing about easy up that OOC schedule. I’m pretty sure Pitt could still use more money for staffing salaries and the recruiting budget. Is she lining up new donors. This is where a Golden Panthers could really help.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t accept 7 win seasons forever but sadly it is an upgrade from the last 40 years pretty much. I am hoping for bigger things this year and next. If 6-7 win seasons continues into next year and the following year it might be time to go in a different direction. I just don’t think it’s in the proograms best interest to abandon ship yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  76. Whipple is a Ivy league Old Man. Never did anything and we think he makes a difference? God Help Us. He gets a discounted coffee at McDonalds and Mall Walks in the AM. Same old pitt Hire.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think Whipple will be an significant improvement — and I think Dooz has steadily improved the overall coaching staff.

      But we certainly need to recruit better. And I wish we’d change our recruiting approach at a couple of positions…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  77. TX – on your question dealing with the Pitt EADA report, RockyMtnHigh had a good an explanation as anyone. Allocating $ when the source of any revenue or expense is not apparent can be problematic. For example donations. Donations to a specific championship fund is revenue to that sport. Donations to the Panther club (for seating & parking points) is a little more complicated because those donation can be for football & men’s & women’s basketball or any other in demand sport.

    Same with ACC $. $ for NCAA BB tournament funneled through ACC is BB. But since ESPN contract is for all sports it’s easy to put some $ to FB & BB & the rest to unallocated.

    You are probably right on subsidy being in unallocated. My suggestion is look at other schools EADA reports. I suggest Rutgers & Maryland as they have or had financial problems. Then look at Texas or Tx. A&M for money makers. This will give you a better understanding of how things work. I tried but gave up. Was going down a rabbit hole.

    Like

    1. I’ll also have to check out WSU
      They run an annual deficit around $10M like Pitt
      so they borrow from the general fund
      it is considered a loan that must be paid back (Washington State law)
      Their subsidy is around 12% of revenues slightly lower than Pitt’s

      they are actually on public record stating that the insolvency of the program is a problem
      and they actually have a plan to balance the budget by 2023
      and then a plan to use the reserves/surpluses to pay back all the millions borrowed from previous decades of fiscal irresponsibility

      but part of their plan for increased revenues is via increased students fees. I’d be against that. Recall that Pitt’s sports deficit costs students over $500 per student each year

      But they are one school that recognizes their problem and is actually doing something about it

      small revenue challenged school like Pitt. They got into this pickle when they built a big facilities project (Pitt’s version of Victory Heights) and then the economy tanked and the projected PAC 10 revenues fell way short. Pitt could be setting themselves up for a fall.

      Thats why you really need someone who is more like a CEO running the sports department. And then you need to find the money to hire a real good staff like a COO and CFO.

      Pitt is in over their heads and understaffed without the right skillsets. I fear that Pitt will be eliminating programs in the near future and gutting the football budget.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. LOL Richard, that’s their whole plan. Boggle one’s mind, if they can boggle yours, just imagine it’s just a shell game??

      Like

      1. Actually Ike, it was the lack of guidance (methodology) in how individual schools assembled their reports that drove me nuts. IMO, EDAD is a report that tries to shed light on men’s vs. women’s sports & fails miserably.

        I have no problem with allocation of revenue & expenses. At my plant,electricity is used everywhere. In the manufacturing departments, the offices, the warehouse, distribution, But there was only one meter. So I put it in the facilities department & allocated it out. The problem is that allocations lead to a lack of accountability. In other words the use or misuse of electricity became an accounting problem to solve.

        Life sure has become easier since I retired.

        Liked by 1 person

  78. Former Pitt softball coach Holly Aprile will be interviewed in s few minutes on ESPNU as she attempts to advance Louisville to the Super Regional.

    Like

      1. Heather thought she knew best. But in Heathers defense, Holly went to just one Regional in her 10 years back in 2015 I think.

        Like

  79. Great thread. Many, many good points. Welcome back Mark. Also great to hear from Richard and Jim. Anyone know anything about Emel?

    This is the show me year for HCPN. He won’t have the “tough schedule” to defend his record if it is mediocre. And while I was thrilled to win the coastal, to me the memories of getting thumped by PSU, UCF, and UNC are more vivid. And the weak showings we made against Clemson and Stanford also hurt.

    It is difficult to defend our recruiting. It is sub par.

    But we do show some promise on Defense, and I expect better offense under OCMW.

    9 wins is not unrealistic. But 7 is more likely.

    Was at Bethpage over the weekend. Any of you who think you are golfers, tee it up at the Black Course and try to break 100. Brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was there for the Open won by Snedeker. Tough, tough golf course.
      Great effort by Koepka to hold on when he might’ve totally collapsed under the pressure.

      Like

    2. Played 5 holes there about 20 years ago when I could really hit my drives. It was exhausting. You have to be long and straight on every hole. No wind when I played it, can’t imagine playing it in wind.

      Like

      1. Yeah, the skill level of pro golfers is amazing – along with how damn far they hit the ball…

        (But think of how good Erie Express would be if he got to practice or play golf every day! 😊)

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  80. The past few articles have been great. The comments in this thread have been even better. Great job MM and the rest of the crew!!!! H2P

    Like

  81. Question for you guys who think Narduzzi isn’t the answer and would prefer an up and coming guy – a “stud recruiter” ( to use one of Mark’s favorite terms) – with head coaching experience and a great offensive mind want to come to Pitt?

    Before answering that, consider the following things that some of you complain about:

    No OCS, but Fantas and buses
    Lack of support of the athletic programs from the BOTs
    AD in over her head (supposedly)
    AD with a compliance background
    A program requiring subsidization from the general fund
    A roster full of three star players
    A sea of yellow seats every Saturday home game
    A declining local talent base, the best of which answers to the call of South Bend, Ped State, Ann Arbor and so forth
    Program plays in a pro sports market with two highly successful teams (and the Pirates)
    A willingness to spend $3.2M on the HC, but not the $5-7M it takes to get more wins
    Pathetic financial support of the athletic programs by the alumni base
    The absence of a Golden Panther-like booster program
    An unwillingness to cheat to win
    11am start times for games against MAC schools

    Why would an up and coming head coach with the talent to lift the program on their own two shoulders and deliver Pitt to the land of relevance, ranking and bowl wins take such a job when other more attractive options come open every year?

    And some of you call yourselves “realists”…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. First, I don’t know if Narduzzi is the answer? What’s the question?

      Is the question, “Who can win 6-8 games per season, keep Pitt competitive in one of the worst FBS divisions and keep the program clean?” then yes, Narduzzi IS the answer..beyond that? Who knows.

      As for the rest, I addressed each in my post of 8:25 pm this evening. including the concept of blog posters being required to posit replacement names before being allowed to criticize the current coach. Pitt has an AD. It’s HER job to have names. Not ours.

      Like

      1. Jay – I didn’t ask for names and I read your post. I’m already aware of your position on HCPN.
        I asked WHY any high caliber HC would come in light of those obstacles.
        Those who want to swap him out now….Sell the Pitt program – why is it better than other options for these coaches that some guys pine for.

        Like

    2. I also wonder why assistant coaches who are viewed as good recruiters would come to Pitt. With the obstacles we have (yellow seats, northern weather, shrinking local recruiting base, etc. ) they seem set up to lose their “good recruiter” reputation.

      Which is why I was impressed with Coach Dooz being able to hire Coach Beatty. And Coach Partridge for that matter.

      And I’ve seen Coach Collins’ name being mentioned very favorably by several recruits in the last couple of months…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Because one of my Choices Wife is from PA. The other is because money talks. Done and Done. You need to get the old Oklahoma State guy and now Ohio State Guy. Wife from PA.

      Like

      1. The money is going to be there at other programs. The wife angle is possible, unless of course she’d rather spend her time in a sunny place with mild winters.

        Like

  82. That was a great PGA with a great finish. Unfortunately, Bethpage Black is a prime example of how the game of golf has changed and IMHO not for the better. Primarily because of the club and ball manufacturers, American gold now favors who can hit the ball the furthest over all other skills. This way more new and expensive drivers and golf balls can be sold each year. The game has become driver wedge. Sure this varies to some degree based on the course, but yesterday really emphasized that only the biggest strongest guys could win at Bethpage.

    This is also why the Americans got trounced in Europe in last years Ryder Cup. The course was set up to require other skills which are no longer required in the American game.

    For a lot of reasons golf has been on the decline in the USA. I don’t think the change in the Pro game is helping. The long ball has always been an asset, but other skills were equally important, not anymore.

    Like

  83. We can whine, cry, p!$$ and moan about why Pitt is not competitive but the reason is pretty obvious, money.

    Look at the budgets of the perennial top twenty and more closely at the top ten in both sports, big money.

    The second factor is to turn a blind eye on ethics. How many championships have or should have been overturned by scandal?

    Pitt can’t compete in the first and won’t compete in the second.

    All the other issues don’t amount to that much and only make a marginal difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. right now, more money would be meaningful only if you giving it to the athletes under the table. Yes, Pitt FB is in dire straits right now because of the indifference of the Pitt admin over the past 4 decades. But right now, I rate the lack of talent more pertinent than the lack of money.

      Face it, there is no reason for the great talent of the Southeast to migrate north to Pittsburgh to play in front of 20,000+ empty seats. And even the pocket of talent of NJ and Eastern PA would prefer PSU or OSU as Pitt means nothing to them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. but gc, I feel PITT is competitive. When a team beats the eventual national champion in that same year giving them their only loss of said year, doesn’t that say something about being competitive?

      Like

      1. Ike – I agree but we can play them 25 more times and never win. The stars aligned and Chryst had the talent/studs to make it happen. Clemson was almost upset 3 times that season if you remember the FG Kicker from NC State missed a 20 yarder to win. Don’t put too much into that over the long term.

        Like

        1. And again Mark, I do agree with you also. Let’s remember though, it was a Narduzzi recruit at QB for that game. No, I don’t think PITT was the better football team that year but it goes to show me just where the PITT football program is under HCPN. Also, the one difference between some on the POV is that when PITT loses, PITT lost the game but when PITT wins? The other team lost the game.

          Liked by 1 person

  84. A coach will come because it is a P-5 job that pays a 5 year contract
    So its an attractive position for most coaches outside the P-5 for the extra money alone

    Now can a coach be successful at Pitt?
    Depends on how you define success.

    My definition is top 25 rankings. That means 9-11 win seasons.
    What will it take?

    The right coach and the right budget
    Its debatable as to whether Pitt has the right coach and staff (I believe this is the critical year)
    Pitt could always spend more on the program so it doesnt have excuses about not being able to afford talent but Pitt has the 5th highest football spend in the ACC today just behind Va Tech.

    I go back to Va Tech. They’ve run a clean program for the past 30 years. They have a reasonable athletic budget. They’ve recruited well but not lights out. They’ve had some good coaches.

    Enough money is there for Pitt to succeed. Its been the coaching and recruiting that has held back Pitt recently.

    Is Heinz optimal for recruiting – No
    Is the OOC too difficult – Yes
    Could increased donations and money spent wisely help – Yes

    So Pitt is real close. They’ve been real close in the past. Yet Pitt fails to get over the hill. Its almost like Pitt puts on the brake instead of accelerating. Once over that hill, you ride the momentum.

    Like

    1. TX, I knew I could count on you to respond. I understand your arguments for “how”. Whats your sales pitch to the right coach, who by now has read about all the disadvantages the Pitt position brings. “Why” someone would come, not the how.

      We were at this spot right before HCPN was selected and Chryst for that matter. In both cases, we had to go with coordinators without HC experience. Chryst was far from a stud recruiter (“just offer”) and Narduzzi had a reputation of sorts.

      Now, we can deflect on those points by explaining that the AD and Administration weren’t up to the task. Has that changed since then?

      Let me suggest an approach – in order – that could lead to getting the right coach:

      1) Development of and institutional mindset and commitment to fielding competitive athletic programs (as measured by a top 100/125/150 -pick one – ranking in the Directors Cup).
      2) Effective selling of that vision to the entire alumni base, yielding an increase in donations which vault Pitt out of the ACC basement in terms of giving. Perhaps an OCS plan is a component.

      Implausible? – of course it is. Do I expect any of that to happen? No way.

      Those things would need to happen before one thinks they have something to sell a “stud recruiter”. Because those guys have choices and Pitt isn’t the cutest girl at the dance.

      Like

    2. TX – I could be wrong, but it seems to me when you’re not trying to stir things up, your posts are pretty rational.

      The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. TX….

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

  85. Couple of golf-related factoids:

    —Brooks Koepka averaged 313 yards off the tee during the PGA tourney. Yikes! (Course that puts Brooks in the same league as Richman! 😊.)

    —I don’t think we mentioned that at the Pitt Golf Outing there was FREE BEER on the course during the round. I’m not a beer drinker, but the other 4 guys ensured that our group consumed more than our fair share of the beer! 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Like

        1. Hope the rattle snakes didn’t win. We have a rattle snake ridge right outside of town between here and Ligonier where a friend’s family had a beautiful cabin. More like a house.

          We use to go up to this cement block company off rt 30 and chase down black snakes, bring them back to the playground and let them slither around all day on the basketball courts. We were advised that this was not a good idea.

          Like

  86. It is all about money. Why did Pitt tear down Pitt Stadium? #1 reason was the lack of money to fix it.

    Why can’t Pitt get elite players? The lack of bag men and the cash in those bags.

    Why is Pitt’s sports marketing so weak? Because marketing costs big bucks.

    Pitt’s Golden Panthers realized they could not compete financially in the 80’s with the heavyweights.

    Clemson and FL St’s budgets are twice that of Pitt.

    We know what the deal is with basketball, the shoe industry and the AAU.

    I am not talking about winning a big game once in a while, or a lucky season, I am talking about sustained top ten and twenty performance year after year. Money is the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t make winning a given, but you don’t have a chance without it.

    Sure some schools beat the odds and have a decent run, but in the long run it is the same schools that win multiple championships.

    By the way, the big money schools are all having a surge in facilities for players, again costing big bucks.

    Like

  87. That said… UPitt it is absolutely true that Narduzzi’s two BIGGEST wins came with all of the stars in PERFECT alignment.

    Penn State 2016 4th Quarter with less than 5 minutes remaining… PERFECTLY thrown BOMB by McSorley falls through the hands of a WIDE OPEN DaeSean Hamilton who had gotten behind the Pitt secondary.

    Had the ball been caught by the usually sure-handed Hamilton… PROBABLY game over and Penn State wins.

    Clemson 2016… Pitt penalized 3 times for a total of 40 yards. Clemson penalized 9 times for 101!

    And of course the Blewitt Game Winner with no time left.

    But, hey… a win is a win.

    Like

    1. Football is about making plays. How many times has Pitt lost games since 1982 because a Panther failed to make a play? It all started versus ND in 1982 and Pitt players failed to secure the football twice and it led to TDs for the Irish and the beginning of the end of our dominance.

      An underrated part of the mediocrity is Pitt players not making plays because there isn’t accountability within the program and the university doesn’t care that there is any.

      As for 2016, thank God the PSU and Clemson plays failed to come through. We got the wins because of it. Look at the close losses that year and the plays failed by our guys.

      Like

    2. Man, POD, how about making a list of the games Pitt would have won if they had made just one more play.

      Why can’t you give Pitt credit for how well they played in those upsets?

      No, Pitt won because the stars were aligned! Sheesh!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  88. Pitt didn’t tear down the stadium due to lack of money. Pitt tore down Pitt Stadium due to lack of Planning. It is common in higher education for Administrators like Gallagher and AD’s to not properly plan for deferred maintenance of buildings. Deferred Maintenance is one of the biggest failures in higher education, period.

    It is what happens when academics try to run a business. They don’t know how to do it properly. This is the reason why academics get led astray by AD’s. AD’s don’t know how to run a business either. There is a reason that higher ed is deemed “not for profit” and that is because they waste more money than they can print. Problem with bringing in busineess people first is that the academics fear the gravy train will come to an end. Hence, the conflict between groups. A great university finds a leader that can unite both sides for the greater good. Pitt has not done that. A failure of leadership and the BoT.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. it does come down to accountability
      what bodies at Pitt are holding leaders accountable

      frankly, nobody cares that Pitt athletics is insolvent
      nobody cares that Pitt sports are across the board mediocre to very bad (save wrestling and volleyball)

      as long as Pitt continues to receive that ACC check, all is good

      Like

    2. In other words money. They didn’t put money into the stadium or any facilities because they didn’t have it.

      Business doesn’t do it any better, look at US Steel or Westinghouse. They just close plants or go out of business when it suits them. Or in the case of many, leave it to the taxpayer to clean up afterwards.

      In business, there has to be a demand for the product or the business doesn’t work. The problem with Pitt athletics there just hasn’t been sufficient demand for the product.

      Like

      1. even with higher demand, the ceiling on attendance might be around 60k
        elite schools average well above 80k and have stadiums they can pack with 100k
        however, a huge opportunity exists with donations

        Pitt could always find the money. But what would they do with it? They waste too much of it as is.

        And right now, they collect a welfare check from the ACC every year. They have very little incentive to work hard and smart to earn their money.

        Like

      2. PITT has been sitting on billions of dollars for years. Plain and simple… miss management. That place was a dump sitting on primo real estate. It looked like the Roman Colosseum on the outside, all it needed was money and TLC on the inside. Shovel out the guts of dirt and create better aesthetics and amenities. It was iconic.

        Like

  89. so how can Pitt get to Va Tech’s level of success.

    Its coaching, facilities, recruits and schedule

    and it all comes down to revenues driving all those things

    does Pitt have the money to attract proven head coaches and maintain talented staffs?
    does Pitt have modern and attractive facilities?
    does Pitt have the money for a recruiting budget that allows for frequent out of state travel?
    does Pitt have the right schedule to set the team up for wins?

    Pitt needs to address the revenue issue before any of these questions can be completely answered

    if Pitt increases attendance capacity from 60% to 75%, Pitt finds an extra $4-$5M
    if Pitt increases its donor rate, Pitt finds countless more millions (huge opportunity)
    if Pitt allows the formation of a Golden Panthers for more wealthy boosters, Pitt has the ability to fund coaching salaries, some scholarships and even pay for that OCS feasibility study
    if Pitt can find some corporate sponsors and new ways to increase advertising monies….

    So then the questions become what are the plans to increase attendance, increase the donor rate, find more monies from sponsors and advertisers?

    Unfortunately, Pitt tells us nothing substantial and doesnt allow fans to be heard

    Like

    1. Thanks JoeL and I whole heartily agree with the Georgia logic…….. but only if ALL teams adhere to this policy, otherwise it’s a dumb move. (Georgia is in the position to do this sort of scheduling) That said, I think the best football team in the country most likely has won the NCAA national championship each year. So nothing is really broken. Yet it’s the teams like PITT that cannot afford to lose OOC games.

      PITT needs to stack winning records and 9-10 win seasons and then they can start to get cocky and play some tougher OOC games. Something has to happen first and playing teams like Oklahoma State did absolutely nothing for PITT football. UCF was just plain bad luck, no one thought they would be as good as they have become. Heather should have got rid of them this coming year, too late. Plus I, as always, think PITT beats them at home this fall.

      Like

    2. Personally, I’d schedule two or four-year deals with UConn and Rutgers, play a different MAC team and one good opponent (WVU for example). See what that does for the W column and recruiting then move on from there.

      Liked by 2 people

  90. Georgia can schedule these teams because they are elite. And they are now a nationally recognized team and can recruit nationally. Plus, I can see how their spoiled fans would be more inclined to show up and watch FSU as opposed to Georgia State.

    TN and Whisky wont bring many extra fans to Pitt. Pitt has very little history with those schools. Their fans are most likely not going to come in huge numbers. Will be another game of 45-50k in attendance and a good chance Pitt loses.

    If Pitt ever gets to a point where it can be consistently ranked, I wouldnt have a problem playing Florida or Georgia. Within Pitt’s recruiting footprint and a chance to beat the cheating SEC.

    But for now, Pitt needs to find ways to play Temple, Rutgers and Maryland. Cant Pitt swap out TN and Whisky for those schools?

    Like

    1. Haha everybody wants a piece of Rutgers.

      They have BC in 2019. Syracuse 2020-2021, Temple 2020-2023. BC again in 2022. Vt 2023 and 2024

      Hey Heather there is an open date in 2025.

      Like

  91. One final thing about the Pitt Golf Outing. On one of the par 3s, if you made a hole-in-one you won a new car.

    Well, they must have been concerned with the high level of golfing talent coming to the event (e.g. Lastrow, Richman…) because the win-a-new-car par-3 hole was 238 yards into the wind!

    My drives don’t go that far!

    We ended up playing Fran’s ball from just in front of the green. Maybe Koepka would have had a chance…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Playing Temple, Rutgers, MD and Navy are good OOC games that can help attendance and recruiting. Throw in an occasional school from the south would help. Stay away from mid west and west.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Navy is the team that needs to be on the schedule despite the fact that they chop block. Competitive brings in some out of town folks and gets them ready for GT. Oh that’s right. They aren’t going to be a chop blocking wishbone team anymore.

      Like

  93. OK, since VT sees to be the model here for Pitt, you oldtimers will remember that they were not a big FB school until Frank Beamer came. And even then, here are his first 6 years

    1987 2-9
    1988 3-8
    1989 6-4-1
    1990 6-5
    1991 5-6
    1992 2-8-1

    Of course, if this was Pitt, he would have been long gone by now

    But beginning in 1993, he went 9-3, 8-4, 10-2, 10-2, 7-5, 9-3, and 11-1 when VT lost to FSU in national championship. Of course, they weren’t playing the best of schedules back then … Rutgers, Temple and Pitt plus Wm& Mary, East Carolina, etc … but you get the idea

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This is great. Pitt would have cut bait after 1991 for sure and definitely after 1992

      Like

    2. Great jobBill, a concept that seems to be very hard for the younger posters to grasp. When did the word continuity get kicked out of the English dialogue? Still seeing Roberto trotting out to right field forever. I still miss him and remember crying when I got the word on New Years Day.

      “Clemente spent much of his time during the off-season involved in charity work. When Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, was affected by a massive earthquake on December 23, 1972, Clemente (who visited Managua three weeks before the quake) immediately set to work arranging emergency relief flights.[66] He soon learned, however, that the aid packages on the first three flights had been diverted by corrupt officials of the Somoza government, never reaching victims of the quake.[67] He decided to accompany the fourth relief flight, hoping that his presence would ensure that the aid would be delivered to the survivors.[68] The airplane he chartered for a New Year’s Eve flight, a Douglas DC-7 cargo plane, had a history of mechanical problems and an insufficient number of flight personnel (missing both a flight engineer and copilot), and was overloaded by 4,200 pounds.[69] It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff on December 31, 1972 due to engine failure.[70]

      A few days after the crash, the body of the pilot and part of the fuselage of the plane were found. An empty flight case apparently belonging to Clemente was the only personal item recovered from the plane. Clemente’s teammate and close friend Manny Sanguillén was the only member of the Pirates not to attend Roberto’s memorial service. The Pirates catcher chose instead to dive into the waters where Clemente’s plane had crashed in an effort to find his teammate. The bodies of Clemente and three others who were also on the four-engine plane were never recovered.[70]”

      Like

  94. Beamer inherited a mess. Narduzzi inherited a stable but underperforming program.

    I don’t think narduzzi is at Beamers level.

    But yes most schools would have let him go after year 5 or 6. So I’m sure there’s more to the story.

    Like

  95. That’s the point Tx. Beamer’s record reflects the situation he inherited but 23-39-2 after 6 years. How many bowl games did he win? I think even I may have been shouting out for his head. But I wouldn’t have because there were obvious signs of progress. It’s about the bigger picture.. and what the options are. Give gorilla hairy arms another year, after-all, we really don’t have a choice in the matter anyways.

    Like

    1. Beamer was forced to resign after only winning 7 games on average during his last years. It’s about expectations. Many expect narduzzi to win big. I just don’t.

      Like

  96. Beamer recruited 5 four stars in 1994 and 4 more in 1995. In 1996, he recruited 9 four star prospects. In 1997 he recruited 5 four stars and one 5 star. 6 four stars in 1998 including Vick and poof…..

    You need to recruit 4 star talent. 2003 = 7 four stars. Typically he got 4 four stars and occasional 5 star. Recruit hard, schedule less than hard and in a couple years, poof 11-1.

    Three stars are good football players. Four stars and five stars are better athletes and football players.

    @Gordon – the money was there, they just didn’t have a plan. Why? Because in higher ed, they have design and build groups. Once the construction is done, facilities takes over. Facilities doesn’t get the budget. Also, low bid construction contracts always haunts universities. Problem is, noone stands up to the Administration and explains it. The Administration just gets a pretty building. They typically aren’t there when the things start falling down…it’s kick the can 101.

    Like

    1. You cavalierly say the money was there. Really? That is a pretty large assumption especially when we know how poor the fund raising results are for athletics. When Nordenberg took over Pitt’s athletic facilities were a disaster, not just the stadium. No real money had been put into them for a long, long time. Trees Hall was fairly new when I got to campus in 1968. I think the Cost Field House was the only thing built from Trees Hall until the South Side facility was built by UPMC. Don’t blame “Higher ED” other schools raise money for athletic facilities. The demand just wasn’t and still really isn’t there. Pitt built a great facility for basketball when it was demanded by the fans and the economics. Stallings was fired when it was demanded by the fans and the economics. You see they do run it like a business. The fact is that there isn’t sufficient demand for Pitt Football except for a few voices in the wilderness.

      Meanwhile Pitt has built building after building, dorm after dorm during that period and has grown its endowment considerably. So the business of Pitt is highly successful. It is a national leader in Grant Funding and has highly successful graduate programs.

      It just hasn’t placed a high priority on athletics except for short periods of success. Until it is demanded by a significant portion of its constituents that will not change.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. However Pitt sports has not been successful if you look at their insolvent condition and directors cup standings.

        Pitt is also slow slipping in academic rankings

        Pitt also begs the state for $150 million each year or else they threaten massive tuition increases.

        They are poorly run and led

        Moreover there isn’t sufficient demand for excellence.

        They should go private. Cut money losing programs in both academics and athletics. Sell their real estate. Admit more students.

        Money is always there. Need to know where to look for it. Pitt has never bothered.

        Like

    2. Huff the Third, I consider you one of the top intellectuals on this blog. (you sure make me look like a dummy) but the point is……. Beamer ball did not start until 8 years after he got arrived in Blacksburg. Yet the screams are loud to get rid of Narduzzi after only 4 years. I will have to consult my accountant (Richard) as this does not compute in my world.

      Like

  97. Beamer showed promise as a recruiter, that’s why they kept him. Narduzzi hasn’t yet shown he can reel in a big fish. A program changer.

    Beamer got 5 stars occasionally………that’s the difference. The Administration believed in Beamers ability to recruit first. As an FYI – the older vick was not a 5 star, the younger one was.

    Our guys are good, but when you are shooting for good and hit the target, you are just ….good!

    I don’t like good. I want an occasional great!! Give me a chance. Pitt has paid for and received a “D” sports program. You get what you pay for. Welp, gotta jump fellas.

    Like

    1. With all due respect huff college football is commonly graded as such:

      A – 10+ wins
      B – 8-9 wins
      C – 6-7 wins
      D – 4-5 wins
      F – >= 3 wins

      So if Pitt’s paying for a D football program they are getting B – C results. That’s called ROI in the business world.

      Although according to TX we are paying for a C program and getting just about par value.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pitt is paying for a B minus program. It’s pretty much getting those results. I just like value pricing so to me it’s not a good bargain.

        Like

        1. Tx, so why do you blame the coach then? doesn’t add up to me… Hesus, I have to call Richard again. These math question are out of my realm……:)

          Like

          1. Recruiting and bad staff hires

            If I were the hairy ape with big calves, I would tarp. I would open practices. I’d make sure I had players I could market. I’d start talking about campus.

            I’d also not hire retreads and I’d be comfortable hiring people better than me.

            Like

      2. I took athletics on a whole, not just football. My bad for not explaining, was in a rush. Being short and concise is not my gig. I’d give pitt athletics a “D” over the last 2+ years, by AD tenure even. Under the previous AD, F. Under the Previous AD to that F.

        Like

  98. C’mon Huff the Third. 2 wins in year 6? and he wasn’t thrown out the back door with yesterday’s trash? That doesn’t speak of his recruiting. It speaks of VT understanding you have to stay the course and be committed. and they were very smart to do so. But lets’s kick this can down the road……and start over. Yeah, that plan has worked out well for PITT.

    Like

    1. Nobody wanted to walk into that mess. Tech was stuck with him. They had to ride it out. And today that ACC money allows schools far more flexibility.

      Like

    2. Beamer got extra leash from the admin because he was a local boy – SW VA down near the NC border. And his personality – the influential alums like Sonny Merryman loved him – was a big factor as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right JoeL, yet there is quite a lesson to be learned there. Take two steps forward and when you have to take one backwards, you’re still one step ahead. That’s my motto anyways….

        Like

  99. The Beamer example is more on par with Wannstedt. Both were brought on at their alma mater, took lumps early and started to have success- largely due to recruiting.

    The difference? Tech valued football as a way to move the school forward, increase it’s visibility. Their AD and Chancellor didn’t fear his influence on the school- they valued it.

    Maybe Wannstedt was too limited as a game day coach to do what Beamer did at Tech but I believe the administration really set back football when they showed Wannstedt the door. And the BOT is just fine with that.

    So, we’ve got what we’ve got. Mediocre recruiting. An OOC schedule too tough for our roster. A rented stadium with ZERO connection to the campus (but hey, the over 60 set seems to love the parking and chair-back seating). Thursday night games.. Ugh.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. and if Pitt built a stadium similar to Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the over 50 crowd would only love Heinz as a condiment in their refrigerator.

      Like

        1. Thursday night games are not popular at all with Hokie fans. Most don’t actually live in Blacksburg – or their version of Mt. Pilot, Roanoke. They travel 4+ hrs from central and northern Virginia.

          Like

        2. Well in Blacksburg, SC, we love to watch the CBS Thursday night comedy lineup & starting this Thursday I will add Elementary at 10pm.

          Like

    2. Jay, lumps early? It took him 8 years to show dividends. VT understood the concept of not starting over and over again. It’s a concept worth looking into. (but that takes time which most fans don’t have much of) PITT should explore it imo. Yet I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I just talk.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Similar to Stoops, Stoops, Stoops at Kentucky. 10-3 record in his 6’th year but still has an overall 36-39 record. But he has a bowl win so that makes him a true winner & the best thing in the SEC since Gus Malzahn.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. if pat can pull of a 10 win season (and I believe he can but I don’t have the time or energy right now to expand on why) that will erase a lot of the negativity

          Liked by 1 person

    3. Wannstedt was not going to have success at Pitt unless he reported to an AD with a background as a football HC to help him make the right coaching choices and provide input on game strategy, like Barry Alvarez did with Chryst on the defensive side of the ball.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll disagree with you there. Had he let his OC coach, and hired a special teams coach, he would have been fine. His failures mostly came in the fourth quarter- from having his OC sit on the ball and/or poor special teams play. But, that’s just my opinion. I understand other people’s reservations.

        Like

        1. No this is a pretty good call. His previous oC’s inability to develop and effective passing game didn’t help either

          Like

      2. JoeL – I know the reason for Wanny’s firing is given as the player’s behavior and the SI piece, but I always thought there was also tension between Wanny and the AD about the coaching staff, with SP wanting changes and Wanny feeling like who the hell are you to tell me about my coaching staff…

        And oddly enough, I think they both were correct on this issue…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

      3. When Jeff Long was AD wanny had air cover. It was only after Long left and “our buddy” Steve came back that Wanny was doomed

        Liked by 1 person

  100. Different market and history. Prior to Beamer, VaTech football was non-existent. Pitt has a history.

    That said, I was perfectly fine with Thursday night games when Pitt played them in 1997. Pitt was coming out of almost dormancy and needed ANYTHING for exposure. There were many games that were not broadcasted at that time and a Thursday on TV was better than a Saturday not on TV.

    But, now almost every game is on TV. AND we won some of those Thursday games. And they were fairly well attended. Now, the novelty of Thursday has worn off, Heinz is mostly empty and we seem to lose- even worse when it’s UNC.

    In the late 90s, Thursday night games were part of the plan. What’s the plan now?

    The plan APPEARS to be,”Just shut up, do what the Bojangles Mafia tells us to do and collect that ACC check.”
    But maybe that’s only how it appears to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy cow, the Bojangles mafia must really hate N.C. State because they have two Thursday night games this year. Either that or there AD is a real pushover.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t speak to that.. Maybe NC State draws well on Thursdays. I can’t speak to that.

        My point was that Thursday night games are not beneficial to Pitt and because of the ACC contract, the ACC needs teams to play Thursdays- so they tell Pitt they are obligated.

        I have dubbed ACC headquarters the Bojangles Mafia because of what I believe is an apparent prejudice against Northern teams.

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        1. I think bojangles is out of Louisiana. What you Yankees don’t understand is that there is a regionality to the south.

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          1. most definitely
            and if anyone tells you that Texas is part of the South, they are flat out wrong
            Texas is its own Republic
            And its more Southwest or South Plains…west of the Mississippi
            And our BBQ sauce is nothing like the Carolinas…and its always served on the side

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              1. most Texans think of them like us SW PA people think of those hillbillies in West Virginny. But you’re right, them folk are more closely related to Louisianans.

                Liked by 1 person

          1. Tar babies and their Dookie cousins own the Acc. NC state and Clemson her heard but all the decisions are made on Tobacco Road

            Liked by 1 person

  101. I’ve been wondering whether to mention this, but I think I will. I’m hesitant because I don’t think it’s fair to judge a person based on limited interaction – especially when commenting on a blog…

    But I was a bit surprised by Coach C’s actions at the golf outing. Now I left before the dinner, so things might have changed later, but from the time we finished the round until I left, Coach C. seemed to spent pretty much the whole time talking to Dick Groat.

    I went over to where they we sitting and interrupted to talk to Coach for like 30 seconds. I told him I appreciated the way he represented Pitt and said some other positive words to him. He was friendly — even said “Call me Jeff” when I called him “Coach Capel. “

    But I was surprised he wasn’t “working the room,” as they say, (like maybe Johnny Majors might have done).

    I get the Groat connection and I imagine Coach has been working his tail off recruiting, plus he just drove 70 miles to be at the event, but it just seemed like a missed opportunity…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Interesting. Sometimes you just want to turn it off, but I agree that working the room would have been more to his benefit amongst alumni

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And some people are just more comfortable in one-on-one situations.

        We can think stuff, but we don’t know what’s really going on….

        (I also heard a rumor up there, which I will not repeat because it was described as a rumor, but if true would make those on here who are critical of Heather look kind of foolish…)

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. she needs to show me the money and the results
          the #1 job of an AD is fundraising
          the #2 job is hiring coaches

          unless Tepper is about to write a check, I base my assessment on facts and not rumour

          Like

          1. He could easily stroke a $50M check for Victory Heights
            But what would Heather promise him besides his name on the building
            And if he’s willing to fork over that amount, whats the hurt in asking for another $3M for that feasibility study

            Like

  102. Major. You are correct. I thought the same thing. Dinner was the same…coach just hung with Mr Groat.

    My first impression was that he was there to present Mr Groat with a plaque honoring his years as a Pitt announcer.

    For all we know Mr Groat is not happy with the way his dismissal went down and Coach Capel was uncomfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All good players know when it’s time to hang em up. I never listened to groat so I can’t comment. Hillgrove still has a few good years left in him. Lee Corso on the other hand needs to ride into the

      Like

    2. I’m a fan of Billy H. – that voice is the voice of the Panthers.

      But on Saturday, seemed to me that Billy was “…movin’ kinda slow at the junction…”

      He is 78 – I checked…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  103. Well, I came late to this party so excuse me if this has been covered but… I have to ask who is ‘constantly calling for Narduzzi’s head’.

    I’ve been a critic of his football work but have not once have I said he should be fired – not once. I have written that if he has another non-winning season to make it three in a row in 2019 along with his poor recruiting Pitt needs to take a long hard look at the situation.

    On the other hand I’ve been very vocal that I appreciate that Narduzzi has done a fantastic job with the student-athlete aspect of program leadership.

    Best APR three years in a row and…knock on wood…no player arrests for over two (maybe three) years. That’s something I believe we haven’t seen before in modern Pitt football.

    I care about that very much and he’s delivered in that arena. Good for him for that…I do wish the media would write more about that aspect of his hire and work at hand.

    If he could win 8 games a year with bowl wins thrown in I’d be fine with him…but since his inherited players started leaving the program two years ago we haven’t, and may not, see that happen.

    But again, exactly who are all these fans calling for him to be fired? Aside from two or three readers on here I don’t really see that being the case at all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reed – been following and actively participating on that thread and don’t recall that you’ve been mentioned. A couple of other guys suggested HC change as a means of program improvement and the merits of that have been debated actively. If that is what you are referring to, then yes, you are late to the discussion and possibly taking it a tad bit astray from it’s proper context. Slow news day…slow time of year and we natives are restless.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. 7-7 is considered a winning season by most standards. Especially when you play a tough OOC and then Clemson. Only one bad loss and a loss to a bowl team that could have been beaten. No really big upsets either way and a couple more quality kicks….

      Like

      1. Well, a winning season is to win more games then you lose…but if you want to call it a good season or a nice season then by all means.

        But in that sense then 2007 would be a winning season also with 13-7 in it.

        Like

  104. Looking at the Narduzzi vs Frank Beamer comparison I wondered what Beamer’s job was prior to taking over at V Tech. FWIW, he was the Head Coach at Murray State from 1981-1986. Interestingly, before that he was Defensive Coordinator at Murray State from 1979-1981 under Head Coach Mike Gottfried!

    Like

  105. defense and special teams is how he made his name
    but now the game is far more offensive minded
    the game passed him by
    many of the reasons i thought Narduzzi was a ‘non-optimal’ call – defensive guy, never was a head coach, never had a strong hand in recruiting, never recruited the south, recruiting was limited to 3 star talent, youngstown…i really despise Ohio

    Like

  106. Heather is meh to me. What has she done? Extending a coach who won 5 games then 7.

    Capel is meh at this point. Need another 1-2 yeara to see but for what they are paying there better be improvement fast. She lost to Uconn and was played.

    Baseball and Softball stink.

    Lost a softball coach to UL and she is turning them around.

    Womans basketball
    Stinks.

    Fundraising stinks

    Uniforms were done pretty good although we look like Mcneese.

    She fired rockports which was great but paying 8M.

    What am I missing?

    Like

    1. Driving culture change in both Athletics and the greater Administration. Repositioning athletics in the greater University as an asset.

      I have no idea how she is doing at it, but she’s focusing on it and that’s a positive.

      Liked by 1 person

  107. Bojangles was founded in Charlotte, NC. Of it’s 600+ locations, more than 500 are in Georgia, NC & SC. Only ONE is north of the Mason-Dixon.

    They sponsor the ACC and run commercials during every ACC Network football game. Hell, we dined on chicken biscuits in Winston-Salem prior to Pitt’s monumental Coastal Championship.

    Yeah, it’s Southern.. Hence ACC headquarters in Greensboro is home of the Bojangles Mafia. There are TEN Bojangles locations in Greensboro alone!

    There are NO Bojangles in Texas, Louisiana.

    https://locations.bojangles.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha well you got me there Jay. Excellent use of facts. Must have gotten it mixed up with popeyes

      Like

    2. I have one about 7 miles down the road. Nice to know it’s there in case of a breakfast biscuit emergency.
      They should put one in Oakland.

      Good research, Jay.

      Like

  108. When the Popeyes in Oakland closed last year, I thought for sure Bojangles was going to take that location, given the ACC tie-in.

    Like

    1. I love when Pitt plays Syracuse and the game is sponsored by the North Carolina Ford Dealers Assoc. and Bojangles. In my NY and PA travels, I’ve only seen one Bojangles in Reading and the wife did not want to try it thus I have still not sampled the official chicken and sweet tea of the ACC.

      Like

          1. Great idea JoeL…. BTW, can I drop the L since there isn’t a JoeK any longer? Or maybe wait a little longer since he may be risen from the no longer posting list? C’mon back JoeK

            Virginia menu… hmm?? … How about crow roasting on an open fire??

            Like

  109. If we are now discussing chicken, I must say that some of the best fried chicken is served at mom & pop convenience stores. Usually start serving around 11am & done by 3pm. I have one less then a mile away. Best was some out of the way place in Alabama about three miles from the Mississippi state line.

    Never have liked biscuits. To me, most biscuits have a raw flour aftertaste. But when the stars align, Hardee’s biscuits are the best,

    Liked by 1 person

  110. to summarize some of the conversation above ….

    1) VT stuck with local guy Frank Beamer despite only winning 24 games in his first 6 years, whereas, Pitt let go of alum Wanny after 6 years despite his winning 27 games in his last 3 years alone.

    2) while many bloggers and media approved of Wanny’s firing, unknown to them, the apparent reason for the firing was the off-the-field issues despite no NCAA infractions. Reputation was allegedly valued over W/L.

    3) after Wanny’s firing, a coach was hired @ $1.4M while its rival located 90 miles south hired its coach @ $2M. Also after Wanny’s firing, home attendance has shown a large decrease.

    4) since then, 4 new HCs have been hired (as well as 2 new ADS)

    5) the current coach has faced an OOC where at least 2 opponents each year has finished in The Top 20, not to mention that nearly 40% of its opponents finished in the Top 25.

    6) a PG sports headline from last fall: Ten years ago, there were 24 Power 5 and 38 FBS from the WPIAL/City. So far this year 4 and 14. This has been the trend, not the exception.

    What part of the above makes you think that Pitt fans should expect a 9 or 10 win season nowadays? And the answer is a BIG FAT ZERO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Conclusion — not only has this program experienced only one 10-wins season since 1981, the conditions for achieving this has worsened considerably

      Liked by 1 person

      1. the only things that have worsened are the coaching and recruiting talent

        Pitt could hire a Jackie-like HC for about $5-6M. Pitt could find the money to do it

        WPIAL talent is down but Pitt has shifted their focus out of state. Theres plenty of talent in nearby states and Florida.

        And I’d argue at least that Florida talent is better prepared to make an impact since they are better trained and have more practice time. I know the amount of money that Texas school districts spend on football is silly.

        Lastly, if you believe not having the Golden Panthers and an OCS work against success, then add those two reasons as well.

        Being elite back in the 80’s meant winning 10-11 games. Being elite today means winning 13-14 games
        10 wins today get you ranked #15

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Idk about you Tex but I would take 10 wins and ranked #15. I agree it’s not elite but it’s very good, and it’s a clear cut “next level” for Pitt

          Liked by 1 person

  111. 10-11 wins shouldnt be so difficult
    Syracuse won 10 after 3 years with a new coach
    And Syracuse is located in a state than maybe produces one 4 star every year
    Syracuse played a weak OOC and won their bowl

    So Pitt needs to lighten up on the OOC and win their bowl
    And then keep doing this every year

    It would also help if Pitt had a QB and was more consistent on offense and defense

    go 3-1 in OOC and then 5-3 in ACC and then win your bowl. Thats 9 wins and a possible top 25 ranking

    yet Pitt is stuck on 6-7 wins

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Again Tx, you’re a very astute fine young man. You have all the answers but you keep asking the same question you have just gave those answers to.

      Like

    2. If winning 10 games isn’t that difficult why don’t more teams do it?

      BTW, Dino is 18-19 overall at Syracuse and 10-14 in conference…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yet everyone wants to be like Mike….. err I mean Dino? With the cakeesit schedule in the country. Brilliant! Yes I made that word up.

        Like

      2. coaching, recruiting and schedule. Most schools dont have bright AD’s. And most schools dont believe and make up excuses. Do you think Heather really cares if Narduzzi wins 7 versus 10 games each year. She probably doesnt want him to win 10 since it would more mo money.

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        1. TX — Since you asked, sort of, I will say that I don’t have any doubt at all that Heather cares whether Narduzzi wins 7 or 10 games each year. Whether you like it or not, 10 wins in FB would reflect well on the AD.

          Don’t know where you’re coming from on this — but okay…

          I suspect Dooz has two seasons to have a big season and if he doesn’t Heather will go shopping.

          Go Pitt.

          Like

          1. 10 wins would reflect well but it matters not to her paycheck or the schools ACC check. A string of 10 win seasons should help attendance and donations. But I see little effort by Pitt and our illustrious AD to get there. I’m not so sure that she will go shopping if Narduzzi doesnt reach that 10 win mark. Pitt is totally fine getting to bowls and running a clean program.

            Like

      3. there is little incentive for any ACC school to try too hard. Wake makes $25M each year whether they win one game or ten. And the ACC wont be throwing out Wake. Coincidentally, Wake is the most profitable program in the ACC.

        Like

          1. Pitt will finish #64 out of 65 P-5 teams. Only BC is worse. Our trend is down since Heather was hired. At least under Barnes, Pitt had a plan.

            Like

            1. But the trend is up, IMHO, in the 3 sports that matter – FB, MBB, and WBB.

              The rest might as well be club sports, as far as I’m concerned…

              Go Pitt.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. in football the trend is up by 1 win per year
                in basketball, anything is better and there is hope which is important
                i do like Capel; might be saying something different in 2 years though
                and yes the rest are club or olympic sports which drain Pitt of $500k to $2M each per year
                thats why football revenues are so important and donations

                heather is putting all her eggs in the Tepper basket
                i hope he comes through with that $50M check
                it will help pay for victory heights
                he already gave CMU nearly $70M six years ago
                $50M is the equivalent of you or I donating roughly $300 dollars…thats how obscenely rich he is

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              1. the final results come out in June. Pitt has pretty much zero chance of picking up more points. So if anything, they will slip further from 109. 50 non-P5 schools have better overall sports than Pitt including Vermont. Now granted the competition is different but this illustrates that Pitt just doesnt have the horses to compete in P-5. Its probably a better fit with the MAC or AAC. It would have more success and wouldnt have to spend $80M each year.

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    1. I had great chicken fried steak at a place next to or near the White Elephant. Star Cafe maybe? I know it isn’t chicken, but it was so unhealthy and delicious, lol.

      Like

      1. fried steak is another thing they do well in DFW. But it will eventually kill you. Got to go easy on it. Your soul will touch Heaven after eating it though.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Here in South Carolina, we have places that are called “meat & 3’s”. Basically they are restaurants that give you a choice of one of 3 meats & 3 veggies (or for a lower price 2 veggies) out of list of 7 or 8. Some places are great but I have learned not to order stuff that can come straight out of a can (green beans, carrots, corn, etc.) Order veggies they have to put some time & effort into.

      Long way to say, they always brag about being the home of great country cookin’ – just like your mom used to make.

      Like

      1. LOL Richard, there is some truth to that though. I guess it depends on the family you’re raised in. I was forced fed way to many can veggies. To this day, I wouldn’t eat canned carrots to save my life. They are and any canned veggies are forbade in my house. And BTW, the restaurants have that bass ackwards. It should be 3 meats and a choice of one veggie. I would take fries and or corn on the cob. You know, since we are discussing chicken. Which in my opinion, was the line of the day. I’m still chucking over that one.

        Like

  112. Had Canes on Sunday! Always consistently good. The in laws don’t like the local popeyes because they get the poopeyes. Bad visual, butt noone should be eating now. Apologies.

    VTech also capitalized on the talent rich state of virginia, when the state school wouldn’t take the marginal athlete students. They are starting to now with bronco.

    Pitt doesn’t need to worry about their reputation athletically across the board. It can’t get worse. Local media can’t treat them any worse, but this is where Pitt needs to take a stand when/if/hopefully things start to turn around. That’s a simple explanation from the AD to the media….”when we start to win, and we will, do not come here and ask for favors” since you haven’t helped us when we needed it. You piled on when we were down….for the last 38 years.

    I would pass out if DiPaola penned an article about the value proposition for high school athletes to stay home and to stop listening to the garbage from well schooled recruiting factories that tell these kids that they need to be their own man and create their own path jibberish. How about stay here and play in front of your family and friends. Legacies can be created anywhere, but Pitt is home. That is when you bring in Aaron Donald. Use foster and pryor and insert any other 4-5 star that left and look at what they have at their respective schools. I don’t think Pryor is even able to go to OSU campus and surely, foster will not be living in Alabama. It would take work to write such an article, but it would be my challenge back to the media.Need the pendulum to swing in Pitt’s favor and it won’t do that on its own. Also, for all pov’ers, don’t click on Diary High School stories….ever! Ignore them.

    Like

  113. Home cooking Ike’s Ike’s and he is a great cook. We gotta lot of great cooks at lot Red 5A…Hey Annie, whay kinda pie is being served at the UCF game ??? Less than 100 days boys and girls til kick-off for the 100th year of college football….

    Liked by 2 people

  114. Right Biggie. 150 years and only 95 days until Virginia. You should give serious thought to being up here, it’s the dawn of a new beginning. It got me so fired up thinking about it I was about to go out and cut the grass…… then I thought, eh, We still have 95 days to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. Ike, For Years it was only 2 trips a year to Pa. I think I have made 7-8 trips just to visit family excluding FB trips… so ya never know with all the medical problems in me n JeanieB’s families… You never know…If I’m called home I will find away to get to “PITT” Stadium and watch the game on the HUGEbigscreen with the rest of the over- flow crowd who procrastinated purchasing their tickets…

    Liked by 2 people

  116. Hey Bernie, just between you and I. You’re very lucky to have your Mom still with you and I wish you and JeanieB all the best with the family health issues. I realize now that life doesn’t get easier like we’ve been told growing up. It’s getting to the point where just waking up is the best surprise of the day…

    It’s not dark yet…….. but it’s getting there.

    Like

  117. 2019 Blue Chips per state

    https://www.sbnation.com/college-football-recruiting/2017/12/18/16780636/best-recruits-2019-state-rankings

    PA had 4; Virginia had 11, NC had 15, Georgia 40, Fla 45 …. but it continues to amaze me how, for about 2 decades now, Ohio has less population than PA but doubles or triples the number of blue chips and total number of FB recruits.

    Kentucky, Maryland and NJ each had twice the number of blue chips than PA and Mississippi four times the number. For anyone following HS recruiting … if you would have predicted this back in the 70s or 80s, you would have been ridiculed.

    Like

    1. According to that article, only 382 blue chippers. Once the top 10 perennial programs take their allotment (10-15 per class?), that doesnt leave a lot for everyone to fight over.

      Rough calculation of about 2.5 BCs for every other P5 school.
      I wonder how many blue chippers attend non-P5 D1 FBS schools.

      Like

      1. But the other issue for PA and especially Western PA is that according to the numbers, not only are blue chips down, so are the number of P5 and D1 prospects (mostly 3 stars).

        According to Mike White’s article last fall, there were only 14 of them in City/WPIAL, which is comprised of about 125 schools. That is pathetic. The good news is that 2020 promises to be better (although not even close to what it was just a decade ago)

        Like

        1. Football in PA is basically dead.
          Population is down South
          Those districts spend big bucks on football
          Coaching is better
          Competition is better
          Weather is better (more practice)
          And its a religion
          Times have changed

          Pitt needs to focus on getting recruits from the South and also needs to invest more money in sports like soccer, lacrosse, hockey, wrestling and volleyball.

          So what can Pitt offer a Southern recruit? It aint the weather. And its not the chicks either.

          Like

  118. In case anyone cares, here’s some info on Coach White’s latest recruit for the women’s BB team. Gabbie Green is a JUCO who has 2 years to play. She joins 5 freshman and one other transfer as Coach White got his first chance to shape the roster…

    “LEVELLAND — Already touting Region V Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the WJCAC honors, sophomore standout Gabbie Green added another accomplishment to an already impressive resume as she was named to the WBCA All-American team on Wednesday.

    A second-year guard from Bellville, Texas, Green has been one of the top scoring guards in the country this season, averaging 14. 8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Green has been instrumental for the Lady Texans, guiding them to a 28-4 record and a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in program history.

    Green has scored in double figures 22 times this season including a career-high 34 points on Jan. 31 against conference foe Midland College at the Chaparral Center. Shooting nearly 50 percent from the field during her sophomore stint, Green has dished out 123 assists on the year and picked 67 steals on the defensive end for the Lady Texans.”

    I’m looking forward to seeing this team develop under Coach White and his staff. Seems like a good hire for Pitt.

    The post player from the Greek national team is especially intriguing… Pitt went far and wide recruiting this class…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  119. Finally, some good hoops news, Coulibaly signed per PGH Sports Now (actually, the last tidbit of news was from Friday, when Murphy signed). After all the trouble we’ve had THUS FAR in signing bigs, I’m going to count this as a positive. Now hopefully we can find one more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed! This is a positive. There was a negative spin though in the Pittsburgh media stating he signed late and outside the “regulated signing period” and thus won’t be an officially signed recruit until he attends class.

      I scratched my he