Athlon published their ACC predictions earlier this week.  Pitt got exactly two sentences.

Pitt also had one unit ranked as top-seven in the league.  It was the Defensive Line.  They were ranked #6.

Athlon picked Pitt to go 4-4 in the ACC, and 6-6 overall.  That would be good for 4th in the coastal, by Athlon’s reckoning.

Last but not least, Athlon picked players, coaches and team for 14 different ACC superlatives.  Given Athlon’s total lack of Pitt coverage, I think we should go with  ACC superlatives for $1000 Alex…

Feel free to post your answers, and don’t forget to phrase them as a question.

Offensive POY

This rising Sophomore quarterback threw for 3200 yards and 30 TD’s last season, against just four interceptions.  Some might say, “He caught a Tiger by the tail”.

Defensive POY

The “safe” bet for Clemson was to convert this rising Junior to linebacker last year.  They were rewarded with 97 tackles (9.5 for loss), three forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown.  

Coach of the Year

This former walk-on Wide Receiver currently holds three national championship rings, one of them as a player at the University of Alabama.  

Coach on the Hot Seat

This Italian-American football coach is known for his “ground and pound” offensive style.  It’s earned him a .500 record over his six ACC seasons, but just a .375 winning percentage in ACC play.

Top Freshman

This four-star quarterback announced his final college decision using two ball caps, a coke bottle and a mystery box.  Some think that his first ACC win will come against the Pittsburgh Panthers.  What team does he play for?

Top Newcomer

This former four-star quarterback waited his turn at Ohio State before transferring to the Miami Hurricanes and becoming immediately eligible .  He went 6 of 10 for 154 yards and two touchdowns in Miami’s 2019 spring game.  

Sleeper Team

These three teams finished in a three-way tie for the “sleeper team” award.  One is from Virginia and made a habit out of giving up long touchdown runs last season.  One is from the Northeast and won ten games last year.  The third is famous for its “turnover backpack”


Key Position to Watch

This Team’s Offensive Line did not have blocking “in the bag”, as they were rated as the worst offensive line in the state of Florida last year by Football Outsiders. Sadly, their peer group included both Florida Atlantic and Florida International.  

Best Coordinator Hire

This offensive mastermind was part of the Baylor coaching staff from 2008 – 2016, and he has not coached for more than one year at any team since leaving Waco.

Hardest Team to Evaluate

In another three-way tie, two of the three teams are in Florida, and the other team just hired a head coach that will “flat-out” bring major changes the way the team plays.

Must See Game

These two teams battled it out in Death Valley last year.  If the outcome had been different, Pitt’s football season might been different too.

Breakout Player

This Clemson Defensive End was called “The Best Backup in College Football” by The Greenville News in 2018.  He shares a first name with Pitt’s best basketball player.

Comeback Player

This rising-Junior quarterback hails from Oakhurst, new Jersey, and threw for just 8 yards against the ACC champion Clemson Tigers last season.  (j/k!!!  I just wanted to throw all you kool-aid drinkers a bone.  Hail2Pitt!)

The actual answers can be found here 

Michaelangelo Monteleone


53 thoughts on “Athlon ACC Jeopardy

  1. Your articles are great Mike – Thanks.

    FYI – I’m drafting a POV Public Service Announcement about some new Veterans’ benefits that apply to anyone who was Honorably Discharged no matter how long they served. I’ll post it up tomorrow evening so the above piece runs at least a full day.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I wonder where this outfit had PITT pegged last year? I know Athlon is a creditable service but it goes to show everyone what a crap shoot it is. If they picked PITT to win the Coastal and win 6 ACC games last year I will, I will…… I don’t know what I will do but I’m not worried. They didn’t


      1. Thanks and of course they didn’t JoeL, so should are heads explode because they didn’t again this year? They sell magazines and get paid to do it. It’s the same as the star rankings…….. $$


    1. Gee POD, I didn’t realize you predicted a Coastal division title last year. I take back everything I’ve thought about you, I was very very wrong and I apologize to you. Where can I find this prognostication? Great job.


        1. I was pretty much being sarcastic there POD. I didn’t notice one person predicting PITT would win their division. If you did.. good for you.


  3. Those answers made my head hurt…

    I was hoping James would stay on Jeopardy for like 10 years and then maybe buy us a stadium…

    Seems about as likely way as any of us getting a stadium… 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I guess we will always be a sleeper team
    But only time will tell
    Interested in Reed’s veteran write up


  5. Athlon agrees with me that mediocre coach and horrible recruiter Narduzzi will open 0-4 with the coup de gras being the loss to Ohio on National TV.


    1. ….so you have that going for you, Dan.
      If we lose to Ohio, then we can really compare Narduzzi to Wannstedt – 🙂


  6. OK my big friend Dan. We will double down on that bottle of fine whisky you owe me, (that I don’t want). I have another friend that does exactly what you do.…/catastrophic-thinking-when-your-mind-clings-to-worst-cas…


    1. Agreed – Miami and FL State were ranked in the top 25 pre-season last year with Wisconsin in the top 10.

      None of that was even close.


  7. Another great article, Maestro. If anyone at the ACC network or Sirius ACC channel is paying attention, you’d make a great guest when the topic is Pitt FB!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why don’t you simply send him a bottle of Men’s Nair already?
      Throw in a Manscaper – The Lawnmower and he may invite you watch a practice.


  8. JoeL, LOL.

    Mark (Upitt) That kid you posted…. PITT had less than zero chances of persuading him to come to Pittsburgh. but PITT has gotten some of the best O-Lineman in the area while missing out on only a couple.


  9. I never felt he would consider Pitt. I’m just saying Diaz has been one the job less than 4 months and pulled in a Top 25 Kid. Diaz is infectious and passionate and likeable.

    Those kids you talk about, Lineman, where did they rank nationally? I’m asking I don’t know. Better yet who and what national ranking was Narduzzi’s. top recruit at Pitt. Again, I don’t know.


    1. What we need is for a couple OL to stick in the NFL to bolster Borbely’s rep as a developer.
      The few from the 2017 class need to stick – Have no idea of their status. Last I heard O’Niell was with the Vikes and Jaryd-Jones was with Miami. ANd then 1-2 form this yr’s team.

      If that can happen, we can start hoping to catch the interest of a top notch OL. Otherwise, the 3 star pattern will continue.


        1. Haha now that’s funny. Duzz has personality though. I actually like his tough guy antics.

          The bag man thing is true tho…Look up the SB nation article on it. Highly enlightening.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Maybe Duzz should play up Pittsburgh’s very own “Strip District.”

              Sounds like something that may catch the attention of HS seniors… 😊

              Go Pitt.


  10. My take on the Athlon prediction is that they simply opted out of predicting with the .500 record. The safe move. Suggests not much effort/insight into the team – we here can do better than they do. Phil Steele seems to do his homework and I prefer his analysis… but note that he doesn’t ship his magazines to correctional facilities, so could be a problem for some of yinz 🙂

    Having read and listened to a lot of information, its still hard to predict how things will turn out this season, but the weather is crappy today, so here are some thoughts.

    My over/under on the season is 3.9 to 9.1 (I’m known for setting tight spreads, haha)

    I believe that we will be better on D this year, even if starting LBs will change – the guys starting this year got decent playing time last yr. Sounds like Bates was able to get Duzz to move away from his historic scheme and am guessing that will continue based on Paul Zeise’s candid comments to Chris Peak (and me btw).

    I think the offense has a chance to be good enough. The OL will have had a couple years under Ming the Merciless and we upgraded at OC. Pickett will play better for more games (thats not a stretch). NOTE – I am not saying we will be better on run offense than last yr. But I think with more balance in the passing game – TEs, screens, etc – the run game may be adequate. Should be interesting to see if any of the RBs step forward and show us more than they have thus far. Not sold on Davis based on what I have seen. Salahuddin could be interesting. Carter? I’m not sure, his flash might’ve been simply the element of surprise – and if they don’t run the jet sweep as much as last yr, I will be a happy guy. Sibley could be interesting if the OL run blocking is adequate and since that’s Borbely’s are perhaps that might. I think the WR situation will be OK. TE is a total mystery, but how could it not be more productive than last yr?!

    Another year’s experience for our kicker and punter will help as well. Kessman’s stats were actually not bad and he showed an ability to hit some longer ones. His challenge is to be more clutch this yr. Lets send him a copy of a Bob Rotella book to help in that area.

    I think considering all of that, I think there is a chance to do better than last yr’s 7-7 from a winning % POV.
    Will say we come in second (or tied for second) in the Coastal with Miami earning the right to be embarrassed by Clemson. 7.5 wins in regular season play, which would mean 7-5 or 8-4No opinion on how we fare in a bowl game, but would love to return to Annapolis, Manhattan or a east coast place during a weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sorry to be a bit off topic here but I check in from time to time on pittblather to see if it still existed. This morning it went to the webhost suspended page html.

    I saw this coming for years now but was dreading the day it came. Chas brought a group of pitt alums and fans together many moons ago and a large portion of that family still resides here today on the POV.

    Hell there is even an honorary trophy for the POV golf outing from our days on the blather (FRANKCAN)

    Nothing lasts forever, but I wanted to acknowledge/thank Chas’s efforts all these years and wish him nothing but the best.

    I will continue to appreciate the POV as long as it lasts (and it wasn’t too long ago that it looked doubtful it would – thanks to both Mike and Reed).


    Liked by 6 people

    1. It was kind of a foregone conclusion. Chas lost interest in writing about football. He always seemed to care more about BB anyway.

      Someone insisted I was being insulting to Chas awhile ago when I mentioned the lack of writing and commenting on there but I wasn’t…the fact is that the POV really cut into the readership of the other Pitt football media sites in a quick and big way.

      When the POV averaged 169 comments per article in 2018 it truly blows away any competitiion. No other blog or new site comes anywhere close. It stands at 129 per over the life of the blog!

      And something to remember is that in almost three full years of life the POV has generated 871 articles…or 25 per month. That is without anyone getting paid to write which is truly amazing in this day and age. The contributions help but as Mike can tell you this blog is a big labor of love.

      The writing is great now because Mike is a real wordsmith, but I truly think it has been head and shoulders above the competition since the first day because it didn’t follow any set format or expectation.

      When you look at the huge readership numbers and the huge comment numbers it reinforces the truth that Pitt fans don’t want smoke blown up their collective butts. Some complained about negativity…but record readership numbers showed it was great starting points for good honest discussion.

      And what other written venue has had a great readers-submitted series of articles like we had back in ’17. That was an amazing experience.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. If I can’t get him does that mean I’m not a good recruiter? (Lol)


  12. so far in 2020 recruiting, there are 3 tiers in the ACC based on Rivals avg star
    Clemson at 4.2
    Fl St at 3.8
    Miami at 3.7

    at least 70% of their classes are blue chips. that kind of recruiting should lead to championships

    the second tier is led by Virginia at 3.4 followed closely by NC at 3.3
    other schools include Duke, Pitt, Va Tech (having a down year so far given they have recruited 16 blue chips over the past 2 years), Ga Tech

    last tier includes schools NC St, Louisville, Wake and Cuse. Stars ranging from 2.3 to 2.9

    Pitt really does need to step up recruiting given what Va Tech has done in the past 2 years. What Miami constantly does. But more so because look at Virginia and NC and their results.

    Pitt would never be able to out recruit Miami but it cannot afford to be left behind by the likes of Tech, Virginia and NC.

    To recruit at a 3.3 or 3.4 level, Pitt would need to find about 4-5 four stars each year. Right now Pitt averages just one per year.

    Other schools are finding blue chips. No excuse why Pitt cannot as well. Pitt should not be out recruited by Virginia and NC.


    1. Tx thanks for the info on the tiers, although not surprised at all by where these teams land. As far as Virginia and UNC go, I would be interested in knowing where the majority of their recruits hail from.


      1. Its really spread all over
        NC does have a good share from NC and GA
        Virginia is hodgepodge
        Va Tech is only about 30% from VA in a given year. they are all over as well including the North

        I dont think any smart school just relies on local talent anymore. hence the need for a large recruiting budget for travel.


    1. I think Petrino just lost his shine after the 6th move / third scandal … although he was doing one right up until Lamar Jackson left

      Liked by 1 person

  13. pretty much all of Miamis are from Florida
    Clemson is now able to recruit nationally and not just regionally, but they do draw well from GA
    FSU is also pretty much all Florida


  14. I see several sophomores having a big impact in 2019 – starting with two coaches. DC Bates and OL coach Borbes. Both need their units to be the best in the Duzz era.

    On offense, RB Sibley, OL Warren and WR Shockey could be under the radar players that contribute significantly and consistently if they can stay healthy.

    On D, I’ll go with three – DL Twyman, LB Bright and S Ford. I’m pretty sure S Hamlin wants Paris Ford to play beside him in his final season at Pitt. Hamlin will probably be a team captain and Paris wants to be a star. That opportunity should present itself in 2019.

    For special teams, I’ll go back to Shockey as PR and the Aussie punter. Both have the talent to be very good – both played last season and received really good D1 experience.

    The sophomore coaches also need to land at least one 4* stud each, which would give Pitt four higher caliber players for the future (Bates, Borbes, Collins and Sanders).


    Liked by 2 people

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