Chris Peak has recently put up a couple of nice 3-2-1 columns where he looks back at a recruiting class and recaps that classes success (or lack thereof).  I figured I’d do the same but with my own spin to get some discussion going.  We’ll start with the 2015 class because there are still some 2015 players on the roster.  Peak calls 2015 a “Transition Class”, meaning that it was a class that was recruited through a coaching transition.  Peak also points out that Transition Classes are generally a little bit less productive after it’s all said and done, for obvious reasons.  If you were to look at the class below, I think you would agree.

Still, there are a few players that have made it through to year five, and I’ll highlight them below. 

Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 2.34.06 PM.png

The four players from the class that are still on the team (the “Super Seniors” if you will) are as follows:

CB – Dane Jackson

DB (Safety) – Jay Stocker

LB – Saleem Brightwell

WR – Tre Tipton

Of the four, I believe just one is a “Narduzzi guy” (Brightwell).  I’m pretty sure the rest of them gave their verbals to Paul Chryst.

All of them should be expected to contribute this year.

Jackson (Two-Stars, 5.4) was good-to-very good last season.  He broke up 14 passes, forced four fumbles and was named All-ACC Honorable Mention.  I also saw a stat on Twitter that he had the best run-stopping % of any ACC corner, so there is that.  This offseason, Jackson was named third-team preseason all-ACC by Athlon.   Jackson has clearly outplayed his star ranking, and this is the kind of stuff you want to see from a fifth-year player.

Brightwell (Three-Stars, 5.6) has seen action for the last three years, and while he’s never really posted huge stats he’s proven to be smart and versatile.  He switched to MLB from Money in 2016 and posted 73 tackles.  He switched back to the Money last season and his production dropped off.  Still, Brightwell has come up big in a big game at least once, and that’s the kind of thing that just can’t be coached.

Jay “Jazzee” Stocker (Three-stars, 5.7) will likely be the first safety off the bench this year, as long as Narduzzi holds true to his promise to make Paris Ford a starter.  Stocker did better than you think last year (43 tackles, four pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble) and while you’d like to see a fifth year assert himself a little bit more (although you have to admit that Paris Ford justified the hype in the Spring Game), it’s a nice luxury to have Stocker’s level of production coming off of the bench.  This really speaks to the depth that Narduzzi has developed in the secondary.

Tipton (Three-stars, 5.5) seems like the guy that gets talked about every offseason and then ends up hurt.  This is disappointing because the consensus is that that he is a talented dude.  Well, he’s being talked about again and so far no injuries, so that’s good.  Tipton is also an exemplary human being who has poured his off-the-field energies into creating a student-driven support network for Pitt student athletes.  You have to hope that Karma is going to do him right this season and he’ll finally post a breakout year.  Keep your fingers crossed Pitt fans, and knock on a little wood while you are at it.

Alright that’s it for 2015.  Have fun talking about these guys (and a few others that left their mark, like Henderson, Hall and Lopes!), I’ll post 2016 later this week.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

159 thoughts on “Revisionist History – POV Style – The 2015 Class

  1. Good article, MM. Always interesting to me to look back at recruiting classes.

    Seems to me that typically about half a class ends up being significant contributors and that looks to be the case with this small class.

    Stocker looks the part but seems to have gotten beaten more than his share – though he did improve somewhat last season.

    Jackson has been a pleasant surprise – a local, under the radar recruit who the coaches beat the recruiting gurus on…

    Brightwell was hurt, IMHO, by having to play in the middle — didn’t have the size for it.

    Tre has had tough luck. Has shown glimpses that he could play like Boyd. Hope his speed is back and he stays healthy.

    One thing I noticed at the games was that Tre was very supportive and encouraging to his teammates while he was out with injuries…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Yea I think maybe there is a reason why stocker didn’t lock down the starting job last year (or in the offseason). Hopefully he has improved his coverage skills.

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    1. Yup… good call MM. And that is why you should take 3-4 linemen every year. I get that this was a transition year but heck, look at a guy like Morrissey. I guess he counts bc he’s a redshirt senior this year.

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  2. Regarding OL, we’ll see if the 2016 / 2017 classes start to measure up. These guys will start their 3rd and 4th years …. thus, they should have grown stronger and learned their techniques. But they, for the most part, lack experience.

    Carson Van Lynn, Bryce Hargrove and Jimmy Morrison (walk-on) all have starting experience. Van Lynn’s 5 starts has been at TE. The Mich transfer will also add experience.

    Two USC guys … Brandon Ford and Gabe Huoy has played a large handful of games in reserve and/or special teams (Houy started vs Albany with Bookser suspend)

    Guys like Carter Warren, Jerry Drake and Chase Brown have seen limited or no experience. Convert DL Rashad Wheeler has seen plenty of action on defense. And redshirt frosh from the 2018 class, Jake Kradel and Blake Zubovic may enter the picture

    Yes, this year is another question mark for the OL … but considering that the Mich transfer and Brown are the only two who will be leaving after this year, maybe just maybe, we will finally see some consistency in the very near future

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jackson will be drafted in the third or fourth round.

    So maybe 20 percent of this class really made a mark. But it took many a full five years to do it.

    Pitt really needs guys that can make their mark much sooner and more impactfully. That’s what they miss out because they don’t land enough elites.

    Seriously. Tarp Heinz. Allow students down on the field. Not just the frats. Allow banners and signs. Allow streamers. They can figure out the logistics. They should also allow flags like they do at soccer matches. Legal flares as well. Pitt just doesn’t have an ounce of marketing in their blood.

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    1. Actually I love the Gateway Clipper Fleet blaring their fog horns after Pitt scores. It’s neat & always spot on immediately after the guy crosses into paydirt!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. At Portland soccers games they have a big burley dude cut a piece of log after every goal. Well have some burley Steel mill hunky cut a piece of stell beam after every score. The sparks will fly. Have flares around him. Give the pieces to the team for their collection. Mark the date and player who scored. Simple. Fun. Easy. Marketing 101.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TX – I spent a good bit of time recently removing old caste iron pipe from a WWI-era house.

      Have you cut any steel beams lately? Not simple; not fun; not easy.

      But then again, I’m an old geezer and would never be confused with a burley steel mill hunky… 😳

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    1. wouldn’t it be easier to have a big burley Yinzer eating an entire large order of O’s fries covered Heinz ketchup …. or demolishing a Primati’s sandwich?

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  5. Great article Mikey, the idea here is…….. Now is the time you evaluate the 2015 recruiting class, not immediately after they sign on the dotted line. Couple things I find interesting in this group is one, the two four stars. Neither one of Hall and Whitehead ever red-shirted. Whitehead is long gone and now so is the much maligned Hall who was constantly battered on the message boards. I would say the next best player on that list is Jackson, a 2*. and a BTW, I do look for Tipton to have a good year this season.

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  6. Does Pitt give away things when things happen like a touchdown this quarter, a sack, an interception, etc. I was at a Rangers game and got four freebies for home runs, runs scored and other things. For instance, they scored seven or more runs so I got half off papas johns. They hit an upper deck homer so I got a Denny’s grand slam. A ball hit the ‘fowl’ pole for a home run and I got free chick file sandwiches. I got free tacos for something else. And I got to see 💥 after the game. Plus a Rangers win. Come on Pitt. Work on those sponsorships. Pitt has the money.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Why can’t pitt just look at what other pro sports teams have done to draw in fans and make it fun.

        This quarter sponsored by primantis or the Original or whomever. A half off yard of beer at Mario’s for any pass play over 36 yards. That might never happen though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Something easy since I’m on a creative roll. Say the Original sponsors a fumble recovery. If Pitt gets a recovery, free small fries for all students with a ticket. Offer good for seven days. Have the Pitt player who recovered the ball, personally hand out the fries to students. Let’s say for one hour on a Sunday afternoon. This is such low hanging fruit. But Pitt has their heads up their arses and don’t drink coffee to stimulate the brain cells along with an oh too sugary donut.

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          1. seems like a fumble recovery should be sponsored by UPMC whereas a sack can be sponsored by the Mattress Company, and any drive over 50 yards can be sponsored by Uber

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s always great to hear Billy but half the time a few seconds later you get………….. hold on the referees are saying the player was ruled down or it wasn’t a catch… etc etc………. I love the guy. I love nearsighted homer announcers.

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          2. how about just come to the game and enjoy. they do plenty of good stuff to engage the fans. it is not an amusement park. ever been to an english premier league game?… the fans are louder, the atmosphere 100 times better than any american sport/game, and they have virtually no replays. the fans make their own fun, and it is fantastic. so quit whining and come enjoy the nice day, the band, the tradition, the cheerleaders, other fans, the beer, the great Fran tailgates, etc. cause that is what it is all about, just enjoying the game and more importantly the friends you are with.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. my last comment was directed towards TX panther, btw. didn’t want everyone to be on my case. just one is fine. 🙂

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            2. I agree with all that but you need to start building supporters and begin attracting the casual fan. Despite all this engagement, attendance has hit some of the lowest marks under Narduzzi. I dont see the fan base growing. Pitt is struggling to sell tickets this year. They can always market and promote better and always be thinking of new ways to further engage fans and make the atmosphere fun and entertaining. Pitt really needs the input of Millennials.

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  7. Mike – I have Stocker as a Narduzzi recruit. This is based on commitment date of 1/22/15. By that date, Chyrst had been gone for well over a month. exHCPC may have offered but HCPN reeled him in.

    For overachieving JUCO transfer Araujo-Lopes is the star of this recruiting class. A way late commit (5/10/16),
    he was a very consistence performer.

    Hate to say it but if you recruit JUCO’s, get them from California, Kansas, Mississippi or Texas. These are considered the best states for JUCO’s (they all have leagues). But you may also get drama if a Mississippi JUCO (as we all know).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good call on Stocker. I guess in my opinion he’s a Chryst guy because he was originally a Chryst target. For sure Narduzzi closed the deal though, and for all we know Narduzzi would have targeted him anyway

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  8. Good call on Lopes Richard, really liked the guy. I think he just signed to play in the Canadian league. Jackson will play in the NFL if he doesn’t get hurt.

    I got your comment Mike. Is Richman still a part of that group or did PITT do a complete turnover?

    I for one consider whoever the coach is when the player signs on LOI day is the coach that gets credit or lack of it as the coach who recruited the player. Hall being a prime example.

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    1. I think Richman’s on a subcommittee. They rotate the “regular” fan committee every 12 months (or similar interval) I believe

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    2. Ike – On my own rivals based Pitt excel spreadsheet, I break out LOI players in transition years by when player committed. But in reality, transition years belong the new HC.

      That doesn’t stop me from breaking out those transition years from others when doing other data analysis. That’s why spreadsheets are “neat”. Plenty of tabs do whatever you want with the data.

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      1. I wasn’t referring to anyone in particular Richard and I know better than to mess with a bean counter like you when it comes to dates and numbers. 🙂

        I don’t disagree with the time the player verbal-ed but as we both know, the player has to be re-recruited to complete there commitment. Hornibrook being an example of Narduzzi not doing that and that may not have been an accident??

        Hope all is great friend!. … ….ike

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  9. Stocker did more than just come off the bench last year. Often times it was No. 7 not No. 3 on the field in Red Zone Defense alignments.

    Stocker very underrated… but apparently not by the Coaches.

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    1. I agree. And that tells me he’s better against the run than the pass. He’s also got height and length which helps down inside the 20. 45 tackles as a non starter is solid production. Would need to see tackles / snap to be sure but it feels pretty good

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  10. Pitt has been transitioning for 40 years under Peak’s theory. These are all excuses to me. If your recruiting is getting better, than the new recruits should be pushing out the older guys or forcing improvement. If the older guys are good enough or developed well enough whilst here to keep their job, they should go to the next level. That is not happening with regularity.

    I like Lopes as a story and what I know of him, but as a talent, he is what his star says he was. Not beating him up and it is not his fault. If he was 5 inches taller, 20 pounds heavier and a .3 faster, he would be in the nfl, but he isn’t. This is the counterpoint to just about everyone commenting on AD only being a 3 star and look at him now….as if it is the norm. It’s not the norm and that’s what makes it special, but to rely on one instance and expect it to carry the water for all recruiting star arguments until the end of football, is a reach. Yes, it can be done. Yes, I am glad it was done by a Pitt player. No, I don’t expect the best player in the nfl to come from Pitt again, for a long, long time.

    Since i am being a bit salty today, I don’t like the term contributors to .500 teams. Those contributors are the best players we got on a .500 team. That is not good. I also hope Dane goes in the 3rd or 4th TX. Every year that we go without a first rounder, the term insignificant program gets into recruits ears. Hamlin, Ford and Weaver have a great chance to move up the boards and maybe as high as the 2nd round with a great year by Weaver. All defense, which is troubling. Mathews is my breakout offensive player.

    We will only be able to capitalize on Aaron Donald’s success for so long. We never capitalized on Fitz either and every year without 4 and 5 star DL recruits, we waste a year of AD’s spotlight. My point is that when your best guy on the team is a 5th rounder, you have a mediocre program.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so Aaron Donald did not contribute in his sophomore and junior seasons? (and I guess he did as a senior thanks to the close bowl win over Bowling Green)

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  11. I am trying to think of which 4 star recruit under Narduzzi (that he landed) has actually been a stud. Whitehead was one. He was so talented just had some off the field problems that kept him from being great at pitt. Who am I missing?
    Hamlin has a chance. I would love for him to get an extra year of eligibility next year.

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  12. Not picking on anyone but please let’s stop bringing up tarping the upper deck. I’m the biggest idiot here and am not fooled by that. Now put a crapload of robotic manikins in those seats with speakers and arms that raise and hands that clap…then I sure could fall for that. Robotics design and build project certainly able to be done cheaply enough by Pitt engineering dept.

    Seriously, if you mean that you only sell out the lower bowl and make that denser, fine. Crowd noise closer to the field MAY help. Advertising sold on the tarps? What could that earn? Probably not enough to justify the cost of the tarps and rolling them out then packing them back up.

    I know, kind of random post, but I’m sure that is what HCPN thinks too. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Other sports teams do it. You can do the tv side and the end zone. Force fans down. It will look better and be louder. If pro teams do this, they already have the data and math that support it. And their fans don’t complain. I would take a tarp advertising hair color for men over a swatch of 5000 empty yellow seats. And a sleeping fan is always found among empties.

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  13. No No, I agree with the first Tvax comment. Until I hear what the costs are for tarps and the schematics it takes to tarp the upper decks I’m against them or at least reserve judgement.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That’s a great idea Mark…. but the Panthers are being held hostage and will probably never happen. Again, we know who to thank for that. Putting an on campus basketball arena in place of a football stadium. BRILLIANT!

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  15. Think about it. Black seats wouldnt look as empty or as carnivalish and actually have a stronger look. The whole thing was done cheap and bad. Basically opposite of PNC Park.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hot in September when the sun beats down on ‘em. Granted this is only a problem about twice a year

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    2. Yes, Heinz Field is a big disappointment to me. I guess if it had more of an atmosphere I wouldn’t be so upset at an off campus stadium but to me and just imo, it lacks a COLLEGE football game day feel. << most games

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tarping would be far less expensive. But eventually all those seats will need to be replaced. Many are showing their age and some are starting to rust out. Will become a liability soon.

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  16. Yep. 2 times in total. The actual seat could of been white. It only shows if there is someone using it and then it is covered. If not in use it would be outright right?

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    1. Well for the odd fan that wants to snooze in the upper deck we wouldn’t want the seat to be too hot

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  17. PNC Park’s are also black and they play a lot more ball for Steelers and Panthers combined x’s 5 all summer.

    Ike – It doesn’t even have a good atmosphere for the NFL either.

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    1. Well there you go. I’m sold on the black upper deck at Heinz. Now Mark If you could just make a couple of calls to make that happen…

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    2. I disagree with this premise Mark. Not as good as three rivers but it still rocks for Steeler games but it does lack atmosphere overall. The Club is great, yet I would rather sit on a splintery wooden bleacher in an on campus stadium.

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      1. I would take three rivers over Heinz. The sound stayed inside. The retractable seats bounced, reverberated and made noise. It had a good vibe and character. The Rooney’s went cheap with Heinz. Really a sub par stadium compared to other teams. There is nothing unique about it that draws in the casual fan. And then you have to sit next to a drunk and obnoxious stillers fan. I would never attend a game there and never have. I get my stillers fix on TV. Pitt is getting shafted playing in that yellow puss stadium that could use some penicillin. Paint it black.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Since changing the color is a permanent thing, I bet the Rooney’s would be on the hook for paying for this upgrade. And being cheap, they won’t. Plus there will be some yinzer that sues because their butt or hands got burnt.

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    1. Even though Mark sold me on the black seats I’ll try to make the best of the yellow … they’re “iconic”.

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  19. Did they kick off to Gilyard? They need to try something different next time. Wanny is so stubborn. He always thinks he is right and will get a different result next time. Stadium rocked because Pitt was actually WINNING that year with an exciting brand of football. Candidly, there were a lot of Cincy fans in attendance too. Maybe next time BigB, keep watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I do remember there being a lot of Cincy Fans. At that particular time, they were sure they were REALLY on to something.

    But, most of all… I remember the snow. Very wet and cold.

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    1. Paint it Black was written in 1966 and remains an anthem for many for of us old geezers. It also was one of the most popular/requested songs for the guys fighting in Viet Nam, and in fact, many movies TV shows, and documentaries about the war has this song featured.It was not written about the war but about loss … and the setting is a funeral procession. “I have to turn my head until my darkness grows” is an excerpt from James Joyce’s classis ‘Ulysses’

      Thank you for my indulgence

      Liked by 3 people

  21. I agree with Three Rivers being a better atmosphere but the club and lower bowl of Heinz are great.

    The Rooney’s went cheap limiting the upper tier to one giant level that is ridiculously steep and has rows that seem to be 50 seats long. It is a hazard getting out of your seat sober. It is the only NFL stadium built with only one upper deck.

    Maybe when the Steelers move to Cranberry Pitt can just have the upper deck removed 🙂 and they will be back to a bowl stadium, LOL.

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  22. Someone mentioned having a blackout game. I saw a picture from the Pitt equipment folks of the new helmets arriving. There were two black helmets visible in some pics.

    Are the alternative uniforms going to be black? You mustard lovers will have a heart attack, LOL.

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  23. Love Mark’s idea of getting the seats converted to black. If that doesn’t work, a low cost option would be as follows:

    1) On the visitor side, only sell seating in rows 1-10, which would really be two sets of five rows. Rows 1-5 are below the aisle the runs from end zone to end zone and rows 6-10 bring one just above the tunnels into the seating areas/

    2) On the home side, do the same but only for rows 1-5 as its not visible for TV for the most part.

    3) Chain off the rows above. Easily set-up and removed, should not cost too much and would not be visible on TV. Could move the chains up higher if seats sell out for the available rows.

    4) Same for upper endzone.

    This obviously doesn’t remove the sea of yellow, but does get the crowd more concentrated and the ACC Network could be instructed from Greensboro to avoid shots the show the empty areas of the upper level. Its in ESPN/ACCN’s interest to follow that as well as a one third empty stadium isn’t attract to the TV audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran and Scooter pleased with this proposal. 😊

      For me, the front section of the upper deck are the best seats for watching the game.

      The lower bowl is better for atmosphere — though the front section of the upper deck gets into it at times…

      Especially Scooter!

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. M&M (John my friend) you kind of nailed it there. In other words……….. Heinz Field was not made with PITT football in mind!! They don’t belong there.

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    1. WAIT A SECOND HERE. isn’t this the same Clemson football program that won the national NCAA championship two times in the past three years. FIRE THEIR AD. Whoever it is probably wanted to put up tents to protect the students attending from getting rain soaked at the tailgates. What a dick!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Heinze is a dump. It sucks for the Steelers( not loud when full),and it really sucks for Pitt. I am a tarp guy.
    40,000 firm no exceptions. 40,000 for PSU, 40,000 for Akron.
    I also think Pitt should move to PNC park after baseball is over. If they can play in Yankee Stadium we can play here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 40,000 for PSU and 40,000 for Akron Yikes! Count me out on the suggestion. Pitt needs all the revenue it can get and I vote for a premium ticket for PSU(it will a long time on that front) ND and WVU for a standing room only crowd. In fact if Pitt had their own on campus stadium I’d recommend they play all three of those teams at Heinz because of the capacity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Without demand you have nothing. 40,000 Pitt fans for every game is better than 65,000 for 1. It will eliminate the season ticket purchase of visiting fans and make it a more pro Pitt crowd.
        If you start to win you can add seats later.

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  26. Heinz is not exactly a dump but a big disappointment especially since it came on the heels of PNC which is a treasure (in top 3 in virtually every poll of MLB parks I ever read … many times #1)

    I have always thought that the yellow seats cheapens the look of Heinz (in addition to sticking out when empty)

    If I were Heather, I wouldn’t even sell upper deck tickets until the bottom levels were all filled

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  27. I don’t think there is anything we can do about Heinz. However, I offer these changes to the Pitt athletic program. First, drop Panthers and adopt 76ers (get it) as the name of the athletic teams. Second, drop the Pitt script and adopt the script MPGA – Make Pitt Great again. What do you think? Should I forward this to the AD? – Hobie

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  28. The Mercedes Stadium in Atlanta is the new state of the art. We will never see its likes in Pittsburgh. Heinz is it for us for probably 10 more years at least. Maybe virtual reality techniques at home via the internet and 5G will help us with poor eyesight. H2P

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    1. Arthur Blank is well regarded in Atlanta and he instructed his people to spare no expense. Then to top it all off he set the prices for soda and hot dogs at like $2. Easy to like a guy like that

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Just catching up on my reading after a weekend wedding in Philly.

    Wwb @8:39 this morning – I too like Jimmy Morrison, and hope he has a great year – “C’mon Baby, Light My Fire”!!

    Cue Ike!

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  30. EE — Pittsburgh Sports Now has a rundown on the freshmen coming in for the Pitt Baseball team. We’re getting 5 from PA, 2 from FLA, and one each from Quebec, NC, and OH. (One of the FLA kids actually went to Hershey HS…).

    Four of the 10 are lefty pitchers. 👍

    The PA players are rated by somebody as numbers 21, 57, 60, and 129 in the State…

    I read somewhere where 10 Juco transfers are coming in too.

    Long hill to climb for the new baseball coach… He’s sure re-shaping the roster…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Pitt women’s BB just offered a young lady who will be in the 2023 recruiting class. So she’ll be a freshman in HS this fall…

    Yikes!

    Recruiting has to be a really tough game to play… Good luck, Coach White.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. An excerpt from an insightful article on the ACC Network from The Athletic:

    Whenever you overlay the ACC Network’s timetable on those of similar launches, the ACC comes out looking good.

    The three most relevant examples:

    The ACC Network already knows it will start with more subscribers (well more than 20 million) than the Pac-12 Network has (19 million) seven years after launch.

    The ACC Network already knows it will start with more subscribers than the Big Ten Network had (less than 18 million) at its launch in 2007.

    The ACC Network also knows it is even ahead of the pace the SEC Network set in 2014. Five-plus weeks before its Aug. 14 launch, the SEC Network had only one major partner in place, Dish Network, which had about 14 million customers at the time.

    Notably, the SEC Network negotiations quickly escalated from there, assumedly after large numbers of famously fanatical SEC fans ratcheted up the pressure on their television providers, although there were no associated buildings aflame at the time.

    Five years ago this month, the SEC announced back-to-back-to-back deals, first with Cox/Contour (July 9), then the absolutely crucial, huge-numbers, double-whopper with Comcast/xFinity (July 18) and Time Warner Cable (July 24). Upon a 2016 purchase, Time Warner Cable customers were absorbed by Charter/Spectrum.

    The DirecTV contract didn’t come in for the SEC Network until Aug. 4, 10 days before launch. Mediacom, which served seven SEC states, and Grande Communications (in Texas) were announced as partners on the launch date. Verizon Fios arrived Aug. 26, 12 days after launch but two days before the first football games ever televised on the SEC Network.

    Relatively speaking, then, the ACC Network is ahead of schedule. But there’s still plenty of heavy lifting to be done, and deals to be struck, from now to Aug. 22, and certainly for many years to come.

    Link to full article is here and I believe you can read a few of their articles for free before subscribing:

    https://theathletic.com/1071306/2019/07/15/about-one-month-before-its-long-awaited-launch-acc-network-is-the-focus-of-huge-questions-big-money/

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I remember the Big10 signing deals with major cable providers late in the game. They followed the same script, telling people to give the cable companies crap.

    The entire uproar over Heather doing the same is idiotic. It is how the game is played.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. I was watching most of the PITT games for free on TV as local channel 27 carried 2 ACC games and they were also on some of the higher channels 600’s on Direct TV-guess that will be ending with the advent of the ACC network………

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  35. Richman, I don’t think Tx comes to PITT football game. I guess that’s for two reasons. One, he lives in Texas and two…….. he doesn’t want to.

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    1. I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Nobody contributes to this site as much as Tx unless he/she is a Pitt fan …. whether he wants to admit or not. And I bet if he lived locally, he would attend at least a few Pitt games (complaining all the way)

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  36. No No wwb, I absolutely agree. I consider Tx a friend and a big big PITT fan. I’m up in the air though about him attending a PITT game even if he lived on the north shore. As far as his contributions on the POV? PRICELESS!!

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  37. Maybe Heather secures a home and home series with the Longhorns or Aggies…then we can all travel down and have a meet and greet with Tex…he is a great writer/ contributor and a true PITT man…keep’em coming Tex…
    BTW, did yinz receive and email athletics survey from PITT yesterday ???? I filled it out for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did get a phone call from a student (or intern) recently. They thanked me for my recent donation, then they hung up. I was waiting for them to ask me for more but nope. Just a thanks and that’s it

      Like

  38. JoeL – Absolutely right on the launch of the ACC network. As I said before my wife was going nuts about this time (mid-July) because Charter hadn’t signed on the bottom line. It did happen in late July or very early August.

    And yes, we were receiving robocalls form the AD & Steve Spurrier to call our cable supplier.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Steve Spurrier asking you to call your cable company? Brilliant! If Heather ever gets back from vacation………. maybe someone should mention this to her. and so many think there is something wrong with me???

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        1. Yep – Didn’t mention it was U of SC. Wife was a big Gamecock fan. In fact if she had lived for another two years, she would have been one of those “rascals” being honored on field for 50 years of being a gamecock club member.

          Liked by 3 people

        1. I didn’t realize he’d coached for Duke. What I thought was weird would be a an SEC guy (Florida / SC) stumping for the ACC network. It’s still kind of a weak tie in since he was there for two years in 87-89 (and as an OC) a few years before. But hey he did coach Duke to an ACC championship so there is that

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  40. Tx, blaming attendance on Narduzzi is reaching, even for you….

    Richard (Pitt-cocks), did Steve Spurrier mention anything about tents for students so they can have shelter from the storm??? No song…

    Michaelangelo, you keep firing off these articles and great job but don’t get burned out or fade away…. again, I got a song (or two) but not posting them.

    Like

    1. Acc media days coming up. I’ll post something. The passion is there the time is not. At least it’s the offseason a

      Like

    2. Ike – he didn’t. Students after walking 3 miles from campus, in the hot Columbia sun, dutifully filed into the stadium and drank all the cold water & pop they could get their hands on. That’s why all the cold drinks were luke warm by middle of first quarter. Really didn’t mean much because all the prepackaged foods at the concession stands were cold.

      Actually the students could take school provided busses if they wanted but I stand by my concession food take.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Mike, in the month or so before the season, come up with a theme and ask for posters to write an article to help you out. It’s worked before.

    Like

  42. Ike, I have concerns about Narduzzi’s relationship with the community/area he lives in..he doesn’t seem very connected..he is there to do his job his way…certainly doens’t have that Johnnie rah rah or the Wanny homeboy to help him out…I check his tweets out to see who I need to send a birthday card to as not much else is on it vs. Capel’s who is much more personable in his twitter interaction..Nope-Duzz doesn’t help himself/PITT with his personality to market the program…the only way he can do it is with winning…the clock is ticking……..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tip of the iceberg B!! Dooz can’t make any friends as his ego and insecurity make his personality toxic to all. It’s why he gets crushed competing for 4s and 5s.

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        1. I’m not sure why narduzzis personality gets a bad rap. He’s a damn entertaining interview. I’ve never spoke to him in person so I can’t comment on that, but I think his on camera personality is pretty damn engaging.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Mike, a lot of it comes from personal contact that didn’t go well. It’s called butt hurt. I actually can see their point to a degree but like Tx says…………… He’s no different than most coaches. His principles are not that different with most modern day coaching styles. Plus, he doesn’t give a care about what people think of him…. Not a character flaw in my book but a positive. Didn’t he play in the secondary where the law says………. have a short memory?

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            1. Linebacker but in football in general, that’s a good axiom.

              Yea I don’t know how he is with boosters etc. I have heard some off the record stories about personal interactions that didn’t go well. Is nick saban any different? Mark dantonio? Duzz is from that tree. Granted both of them are winners. Narduzzi has not yet proven himself to be in even dantonio’s class and well Saban, he’s generational. If duzz starts winning all will be forgiven…

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  43. so in a way he is partly responsible for not getting people into seats..he just doesnt have that sales ability in him in my opinion…There is no pre-season excitement generated for connecting to the locals(excluding we die-hards)…..and last year when they tried to push/market KP they ended up stepping on their own foot…..Duzz has to win sooner than later….still not recruiting OLineman and that is a huuuuge concern….

    Like

  44. I don’t even see or hear the dude on tv or radio…I’m preparing for the first tailgate already… where is Dooz?
    Who’s line is the marketing 101? Tex?
    SPOT ON!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. its tough to market a team when:
      1 – the allure of heinz has worn off
      2 – the team has averaged 6 win seasons over the past 8 years
      3 – the team hasnt been ranked since Wanny
      4 – the team doesnt have any marquee players
      5 – the team doesnt have an explosive offense
      6 – the team doesnt play an attractive home schedule
      7 – the new ACC network will make it even easier for a casual fan to stay home and watch on TV
      8 – Narduzzi doesnt have that big and engaging personality (few coaches really do)
      9 – Pitt doesnt appear to be marketing savvy
      10 – the Steelers overshadow you

      So why does Pitt continue trying to swim upstream?

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        1. winning will help but it will take several seasons of it. easier fixes would be an exciting offense and some playmakers on both sides of the ball that have NFL second or third round grades.

          but even if Pitt was a consistent winner, 55k will be the avg draw.

          tougher these days with TV (new ACC network), Millennials, and little connection with campus

          Like

          1. You mean an exciting offense, like one that features lots of long passes and receivers that routinely go over 1000 yards per season?

            Liked by 1 person

  45. One issue locally, that can make Narduzzi’s recruiting harder, is that some schools, such as Central Catholic, tell their football players not to attend any college football camps.

    I’m not sure if other local high schools also do this. It might be worth looking into if someone wants to.

    Central Catholic’s reasoning is that their coach feels he has a system that works, and I believe he doesn’t want the kids to pick up any habits that could interfere with their system.

    It definitely contributes to the difficulty of recruiting those players.

    Its already hard enough as a player to choose another school when a good Catholic school offers. It’s just how it is.

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    1. I feel like Pitt has had pretty good results with central catholic kids over the narduzzi era. Didn’t land ‘em all but got a fair share

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  46. All games on TV or via the Internet keep many people away from the games. Especially when the team in question plays all home games away from its campus. Narduzzi’s personality is a very minor factor when looking for a reason to pin the dismal home attendance on someone IMO.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Attendance is down everywhere in college and the new ACC network will further contribute to it. But, when it gets going lets say after 2 years (once all the cable/satellite companies have signed on), schools are expected to generate anywhere between $3M and $15M each year. So even if Pitt’s attendance took a 30% hit (roughly 12k fans), they would still be ahead. 12k lost fans over 6 home games is 72k or around 4-$5M in lost revenues.

    So why play in such a large stadium unless its somehow better than the home viewing experience and you can attract fans because of it. You need to design stadiums for the Millenniums and Gen Z. They dont like to sit too long in a seat. They like wide concourse areas and to move around. They need WiFi. They arent interested as much in old fashioned tailgating. They arent going to brave the weather to watch a game.

    Build a 35k stadium with a retractable roof that is also multi-purpose. The best sound, the best lighting and multiple ways to interact with the game. And dont forget to set-up viewing areas outside the stadium with large screen TV’s.

    Like

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