Well now that Chris Peak has gone ahead and posted his analysis on the 2016 recruiting class, I’ll go ahead and offer my take.

First of all, I think Chris makes an excellent point about coaching continuity in his article.  Chris points out that any time that Pitt has had a coach for five successive years, the results have pretty pretty good in years four and five.  It was such a good point that I actually went and did some of my own research on it.  Here is what I found:

Pitt Continuity Football

First, how good of a coach is Pat Narduzzi?  Because these numbers make him out to be pretty darn good.   Narduzzi has taken by-far worst recruiting class on the board, put them up against by-far the toughest schedule on the board and actually won something.  Oh, and he did all this despite being saddled with the worst Pitt Offensive Coordinator in the last twenty years, a cobbled-together two-star offensive line, and a young, inexperienced quarterback.  So say what you want about Pat Narduzzi, but 2018 was some fine coaching in my opinion.

Second, I don’t want to hear anything about bad losses.  Yes Pitt was blown out by Penn State and Central Florida, and yes they lost to UNC.   And you know what?  During the eight “good” seasons listed above, Pitt has had a minimum of two bad losses every single year except one (yes, yes, 10 wins, four star talent…blah blah blah.  I agree).  Look, Pitt is what it is today.  That can’t be helped.  We had bad losses under Harris.  We had bad losses under Wannstedt.  We had bad losses under Narduzzi.  Move our 2018 Strength of Schedule down towards the 2.0 range and two of those bad losses disappear.

Enough cheerleading for now.  On to the 2016 recruiting class. Here is the rivals link.  The focus will be on who is going to contribute this year.

2016 Pitt Recruting Class - Rivals.png

Looking at this list, I count 14 guys that are probably going to see the field this year.  I count 10 redshirt Juniors that could potentially return and play for us in 2020.  That is a heck of an experienced foundation, and it’s what it takes to build a program.  It’s often tough to draw parallels between basketball and football, but I believe that Narduzzi is  more-or-less using the Jamie Dixon blueprint for success.  During his heyday, Dixon never quite got the top guys, but he developed players well and played a lot of upperclassmen.  That’s a lot tougher to do in football than it is in basketball, but it looks like Duzz for the most part is pulling it off.  Will his plan pay off?  We will see.  In the meantime, here is the 2016 rundown:

Aaron Matthews – WR (Sr) – A tall and athletic receiver who played quarterback in high school.  Pitt flipped him from PSU in 2015 by offering him a chance to play offense.  Matthews was promptly rewarded by the hiring of Shawn Watson, and as a result he was grossly underutilized.  How many times did Watson create a mismatch against a 5’10 DB and throw a back shoulder fade to the 6’5″ receiver who could jump?  About zero by count.  Watson did dust Matthews off and put him on the field against Notre Dame, and he made good use out of the slant route.  Matthews caught four balls for 47 yards and posting some key first downs and then Watson promptly stopped using him, and pretty much avoided him for the rest of the season.  You’d have to think Whipple will reverse that trend.

Phil Campbell – LB (rJr) – Switched to Linebacker this year after appearing in 8 games as a safety and collecting 26 tackles.  While you have to take spring camp reports with a grain of salt, the coaches seem to like him.  As a result, Campbell is listed as first on the preseason depth chart at the Star position.  So as long as he keeps grinding you’d have to think he’ll see the field.  Will be he an upgrade over departed senior Elijah Zeise?  Only time will tell.

Damar Hamlin – S (Sr) – After injury-riddled freshman and sophomore campaigns, the four-star Hamlin broke out as a junior.  90 tackles, 2 INT, 3 TFL, 4 PBU, 1 Fumble recovery.  3rd team All-ACC.  Named to the Bednarik award watch list.  A year of experience as a starting is going to put him in an excellent position to quarterback this defense in 2019.

Therran Coleman – S (rJr) – Special teamer and reserve safety who played in all 14 games last season.  Also a Pittsburgh guy.  It’s unlikely that he will unseat Hamlin as the #1 guy this year, but he seems competent when he’s on the field, and he is primed to potentially step into the starting role in 2020 after Hamlin graduates.  Came up big with an INT to seal the win over Syracuse.

Bricen Garner – S (rJr) – Another reserve safety, special teamer and Pittsburgh guy.  Garner played in 12 games last year.  He’s most likely a depth guy this year and maybe even next year as well.  He did start 6 games in 2017 and notched 30 tackles and an INT so he’s got some talent.

Rashad Weaver – DE (rJr) – Besides Hamlin, Weaver is the other rising star on this defense.  He’s got a nose for the football and plays big in big games, posting sacks & TFL’s against Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia and Stanford.  Consistently listed as one of the top three returning pass rushers in the ACC.  Could be in line for double-digit sacks this year.

Patrick Jones II – DE (rJr) – Spent 2018 behind four-star transfer Dwayne Hendrix and was probably more productive on a per-snap basis.  7.5 TFL, 4 sacks during the season.  Played well against Stanford in the Sun Bowl, with 2 TFL a sack and a forced fumble.  Listed at 6-5, 260.  That’s borderline man-child, folks.  And it is quite an upgrade over his recruited weight of 230.

Keyshon Camp (rJr) – I’d personally like to see more out of Keyshon Camp.  He played the first half of the season last year and then was injured against Notre Dame.  Totaled 14 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and two sacks.  That’s 28 tackles, 5 TFL and 4 Sacks in a full season.  As a former four-star recruit you’d have to think Camp has more in the tank than that.  He’s listed behind rSo Jaylen Twyman on the preseason depth chart so that should serve as some motivation heading into 2019.

Amir Watts (Sr) – I’d also like to see more from Watts.  He’s another four-star recruit that just hasn’t become dominant.  He’s got the athleticism.  Heck he intercepted a pass against Syracuse last year.  He’s got the size.  6’3″, 295.  Has he put in the work?

Bryce Hargrove – OG (rJr) – Promising, promising offensive guard.  Played very well in the Sun Bowl.  Insiders tell me that the graduating offensive linemen think very highly of him.  Should be a good one anchoring the middle next to Morissy this year.

Jimmy Morrissey – C (rJr, walkon) – Just nominated for the Rimington trophy watchlist (goes to the nation’s top center).  We know what he can do, and we hope he’s fully recovered from his knee injury.  Looked to be carrying himself like a leader during the team trip to the waterpark, whatever that’s worth.  If our inexperienced offensive line is going to have a shot at being good this year, it will be in a large part due to Jimmy’s leadership.

Elias Reynolds – MLB (rJr) – Man this guy sure has played a lot for a two-star we flipped from Rutgers.  (At least I think we flipped him, if not, then Rutgers was one of our chief recruiting rivals.)  Granted much of Reynolds’ playing time has been because the player ahead of him was injured, but he has not looked overmatched on the field, even in 2017 during spot duty.  I still think he’s a little bit of a liability in pass coverage, but experience and hopefully a little extra offseason quickness work can overcome that.  Reynolds slipped down to second on the preseason depth chart behind 5th year Senior Saleem Brightwell, but given Reynolds’ ability to stop the run and his experience over the last few years, he’s a virtual lock for playing time.

Chase Pine – LB (rJr) – Pine is a physically talented guy who has not been able to get on the field as much as many fans thought he would.  The problem could be his football IQ.  I remember Narduzzi saying something along the lines of “He’s still a puppy as far as understanding the game” during the spring.  Still, when he gets on the field it seems like he’s always around the ball (I’m judging from what I saw in the Sun Bowl which was pretty much Pine’s only extended action last year).  Here’s to hoping he spent some extra time in the film room over the summer.  

Brandon Ford – OG (rJr) – Another upperclassmen who is just now getting his chance to crack the starting lineup.  Played about a half in the Sun Bowl and I didn’t notice much of a drop off (vs the guy he replaced).  Small sample size, but I think he’ll be a solid starter at Guard.

Maurice Ffrench – WR (Sr) – Will either be the most overhyped or most electric player on the offense this year.  Considering he put up over 1200 all purpose yards last season and posted 10 total TD’s, and he’s been catching balls from Kenny Pickett since he was a freshman in high school (they played 7 on 7 together), I’m betting on the latter.  Whipple has a proven track record of getting the ball to his playmakers., and Maurice Ffrench knows how to make plays.  Will he be this year’s Andy Isabella?  I’m saying there’s a chance.

Have fun talking about our 2016 recruiting class folks.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

252 thoughts on “Revisionist History – POV Style – 2016

  1. just one comment. I think the 09 loss to NC State was a bad one. Yes Russell Wilson was a great playmaker (still is) but the Wolfpack finished 5-7 that year. And I will never forget the 4th and 16 when Wilson scrambled around Sheard and beat everyone to the sideline for a 17 yard gain.

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    1. Like all the losses that season, you need a QB who can make big plays when it matters most and Bill wasn’t that kind of player. Solid QB, but Pitt goes undefeated that season if Wannstedt landed Thaddeus Lewis in 2006.

      Actually 2007-10 would have been rewritten, but you have to close at the most important position.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was at that game, sitting with the Pitt band in the corner. Wouldn’t call it a bad loss, but would call it frustrating. We had a lead and let Wilson come alive. After recovering a fumble at the Pack 8 yd line, we got zero yards on 4 plays – end of game. That was tough to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And if there are parallels to the great success of Jamie, the one part that significantly differs is in the OOC SOS.

    JD was criticized for the pre-season weak opponents but I was perfectly fine with it as it really is about finding the right combinations and creating momentum and confidence in basketball. Football is simply too brutal with injuries and attrition to take the risks as well as the fact that each loss has far more impact than in basketball.

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  3. so 7 of the 24 recruits were rated 5.7 and above. Thats very close to the 2020 class.

    i see around 5 that have really made a difference and then a few others that contributed at times

    Pitt just needs to do better. either by getting more talent or by better better developing it.

    I just disagree that a 7-7 season was a darn good coaching performance by Narduzzi. He was 4-2 in a weak Coastal. The Miami game and bowl loss soured me.

    9-5 would have been damn good to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha there is no way I could overtake Chris Peak. I’d have no good ideas to copy

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  4. TX, just to clairfy, you’re saying that if Nick Saben had the 65th ranked recruiting class, and played the same teams we did last year, with the same players, he would have had better results?

    I probably would agree with that if that’s what you’re saying. I just don’t think other than Dabo and Saben that there are a lot of coaches out there who would have done noticeably better with what our coach was working with.

    Now as to recruting, yes Narduzzi can better there.

    But as to the results with what he worked with against that schedule, I feel our coach did very well and not many other coaches would have had better results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most publications pegged Pitt at six wins in the regular season. Pitt exceeded those expectations by one game. I’d think at least half the P-5 coaches could have done that. And there might have been a handful that could have won ten games out of the 14.

      Did it ever dawn on narduzzi to have someone else step in and call plays or for him to at least discuss a change in tactics for the passing game?

      The bigger question is why was Pitt only picked to win six. Why did pitt finish poorly. Why does narduzzi recruit mediocre players and coaches.

      Enterering season 4 for a coach making top 40 pay, I sure did expect better than a 7 win season but I knew better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In football and basketball we don’t beat good opponents; plan and simple. PITT doesn’t recruit the best athletes. However many of the best athletes don’t belong in college as I knew college 50 years ago. Europeans don’t see or use, so called, higher education for the best athletes.

    I don’t mind being middle of the pact provided we are higher rated academically. Would like to see us excel in the so called non revenue sports where real college students do participate.

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  6. Off the subject, but interesting. James Conner’s ability to fill in for Le’Veon Bell during Bell’s holdout shows up in the Wall Street Journal. The author of the article writes, “While Le’Veon Bell held out from the Steelers, James Conner took his job and played pretty much like Bell had.” Too bad the article didn’t mention Conner’s Pitt heritage. The day of the prima donna running back is over according to the article, “Declining Value of Running Backs.” Trust Conner will be very valuable to the Steelers this year, but doubt he will ever think of himself as a prima donna. – Hobie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Miami loss last year was very predictable. They had just gone thru 4 straight wins vs Coastal opponents and then accomplished their goal, winning the division. Then they had to play at the team whom they had just the year before spoiled their possible title run (remember Miami was 2nd ranked and undefeated) … not to mention that Miami had the 3rd ranked defense in the nation.

    The only loss that upset me of the final 3 was the bowl loss because it was winnable, They had outplayed Stanford for much of the game but the one thing they really had an issue with under Watson had resurfaced … they had to settle for FGs instead of TDs when they were inside the opponents’ 10 yard line.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jimmy Morrissey being named to the watch list for the Remington award? In retrospect, Narduzzi was widely criticized for not recruiting the center position very well and for having a walk-on at the center spot. Gee, maybe just maybe, the guy knows what he’s doing? I know, there are many nominees and all, just saying.

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  9. wwb- fan of Canada…. put Jasper Park in the Canadian Rockies on your agenda…. you can ride the Canadian RR through it or better yet to stay and explore… recommend staying at the Tekerra Lodge on the Athabaskan River… September is the best month…..

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Tvax, a couple more as there are many. Rent a boat and go out on Yellowstone lake, rent kayaks and paddle on Jenny lake, the water is so clear you can see down 100 feet. If you trout fish, caught cutthroat on mosquito wet Flys at Buffalo ford downstream of fishing bridge. Caught big cuts one after another in a big hole with boulders at the inlet using a large mepps spinner, this was going into the Lamar valley just off the right side of the road. Didn’t see elk until I camped near the Madison river on the west side of the park. Dam wolves have them reduced 8n number and chased into the back country out of sight. Hope this gives u a few options.

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  10. Ike, it’s hard to imagine that Narduzzi intended to sneak Morrissey onto the roster without using a scholarship in his belief that he would be a top ACC center. I think you have to file this under “got lucky”.

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  11. Well, maybe you guys are right but I don’t think so. Here’s two reasons why.

    1.. Narduzzi would have been beat up for bringing in a no star lineman

    2.. Morrissey started day one after red-shirt year

    I give credit when I find it may be due..

    You guys can be skeptical but when does a walk-on red-shirt freshman starting ever happen?

    BTW, PITT’s offense fell apart when Jimmy got hurt last year. Narduzzi had to recognize that JM was PITT’s best option and he ran with it. To the tune of two one thousand yard rushers. Again, when does that ever happen?

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  12. Well, maybe you guys are right but I don’t think so. Here’s two reasons why.

    1.. Narduzzi would have been beat up for bringing in a no star lineman

    Love this song

    2.. Morrissey started day one after red-shirt year

    I give credit when I find it may be due..

    You guys can be skeptical but when does a walk-on red-shirt freshman starting ever happen?

    BTW, PITT’s offense fell apart when Jimmy got hurt last year. Narduzzi had to recognize that JM was PITT’s best option and he ran with it. To the tune of two one thousand yard rushers. Again, when does that ever happen?

    Love this song so excuse me………. but even us losers get lucky sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didnt realize she had a photoshopped head.
        Just got me to think. Pitt and CMU could team up and create some football cyborg. They both have outstanding AI and robotic departments
        I’m afraid that might be the only way to win 10 games
        maybe all Kenny needs is a robotic arm
        i wouldnt necessarily call that cheating

        Liked by 1 person

  13. OT Slow night so here are some words. Read and listen and if you would like to…………


    Million young poets
    Screamin’ out their words
    To a world full of people
    Just livin’ to be heard
    Future generations
    Ridin’ on the highways that we built
    I hope, that they have better understanding

    Check it out
    Goin’ to work on Monday
    Check it out
    Got yourself a family
    Check it out
    All utility bills have been paid
    You can’t tell your best buddy
    That you love him
    So check it out
    Where does our time go
    Check it out
    Got a brand new house in escrow
    Check it out
    Sleepin’ with your back
    To your loved one
    This is all, we have learned
    About happiness
    Check it out,
    Forgot to say hello to my neighbours
    Check it out
    Sometimes I question my own behavior
    Check it out
    Talkin’ about the girls, we’ve
    Seen on the sly
    Just to tell our souls
    We’re still the young lions
    So check it out
    Getting’ too drunk on Saturdays
    Check it out
    Playin’ football with the kids
    On Sundays
    Check it out
    Soaring with the eagles all week long
    And this is all, we have learned
    About living
    This is all, we have learned
    About living

    A million young poets
    Screamin’ out their words
    Maybe someday
    Those words will be heard
    By future generations
    Ridin’ on the highways that we built
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Hope they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out

    Million young poets
    Screamin’ out their words
    To a world full of people
    Just livin’ to be heard
    Future generations
    Ridin’ on the highways that we built
    I hope, that they have better understanding

    Check it out
    Goin’ to work on Monday
    Check it out
    Got yourself a family
    Check it out
    All utility bills have been paid
    You can’t tell your best buddy
    That you love him
    So check it out
    Where does our time go
    Check it out
    Got a brand new house in escrow
    Check it out
    Sleepin’ with your back
    To your loved one
    This is all, we have learned
    About happiness
    Check it out,
    Forgot to say hello to my neighbors
    Check it out
    Sometimes I question my own behavior
    Check it out
    Talkin’ about the girls, we’ve
    Seen on the sly
    Just to tell our souls
    We’re still the young lions
    So check it out
    Getting’ too drunk on Saturdays
    Check it out
    Playin’ football with the kids
    On Sundays
    Check it out
    Soaring with the eagles all week long
    And this is all, we have learned
    About living
    This is all, we have learned
    About living

    A million young poets
    Screamin’ out their words
    Maybe someday
    Those words will be heard
    By future generations
    Ridin’ on the highways that we built
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out
    Hope they’ll have a better understanding
    Check it out

    Like

  14. Among 130 D-1 schools, 72% have head coaches that have been at the school for 5 years or less. 21% alone are first year coaches. So there is a ton of turnover. The average coaching tenure is around 4.6 years. So Pitt really isnt that much different from most schools.

    After this year, Narduzzi will be going into a bucket of coaches comprising 28% of the sample. Those who have coached 6-9 years. What does he have to do to stay in that bucket and/or graduate to the next level where only 12% of coaches reside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really good stuff Tex. And you know the answer because you’ve said it so many times yourself. He needs to keep the program clean. He needs to average 7-8 wins. Ideally he overdelivers but you have to think that Pitt is smart enough to realize that it’s more expensive to run an 8 win coach off than it is to keep him

      Liked by 1 person

      1. as long as Pitt gets to bowl games, attendance doesnt drop like a rock and Pitt runs a clean program and players get good GPA’s and graduate, I dont see Pitt getting rid of Narduzzi.

        Pitt has little appetite to do what it would take to reach consistent 10 win seasons. What it would take is more money, more revenues, lowering of standards (lower GPA’s), and an OCS.

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        1. I think 50% of your post is correct. I think they do want to get to 10 games. And they want to use the “Stanford” model. Quality kids. Strong culture. Work ethic. They are playing the long game. That means 10 games is probably the ceiling, but 7 games is probably the floor , except for the rare off-off year

          Liked by 1 person

          1. then Heather needs to get Tennessee and Whisky off the schedule. Having those teams on the OOC is not the standard way. Thats one thing our AD still does not understand.

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  15. 16% of coaches reside in the 6-9 year bucket
    12% in the 10 plus
    so 28% are above 5 years (the standard length of most contracts)
    meaning 72% of coaches get bought out before most programs achieve ‘stability’

    so he will be joining some select company by just reaching the 6 year mark
    most of those long tenured coaches seem to have their break-out year in years 4 thru 6
    and then they generally sustain that level with a few down years ever so often

    I really dont see this year as being the break-out year. I’m predicting 7 regular season wins.
    I do see next year as a possibility if Pitt has a QB otherwise its another 6-7 wins most likely (remember clemson and fsu become cross-overs)

    8/8/5/7/7/7 as annual wins would really be no better that Walts last years or Wanny’s and Pitt spent much much less to get those results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was another age. Maybe I’ll do an article on coach salary inflation since 2000

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      1. Wanny coached for $1M
        He gave Pitt a big discount because he loved his school
        And then Pitt treated him like crap
        And we wonder why more famous Pitt players dont donate

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        1. Well if he could have kept Jabaal Sheard from throwing a guy through a plate glass window on the south side and a couple of players from living with a heroin dealer in Oakland he’d probably still be the coach

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          1. He didn’t throw the guy through the window, both men were engaged and the other guy happened to go through first. What was Sheard supposed to do, walk away when a guy was picking a fight with him?

            Sheard apologized twice in person to the store owner and the family paid for the door to be fixed. Sheard has been a model NFL player and citizen.

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            1. That is good context. Yes he could have walked away, but I know that can be a tough thing to do.

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        2. Did you want me to find the news articles for old times sake? Sorry but that sh*t ain’t worth 10 wins

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          1. the Sheard thing was overblown and now he’s an outstanding NFL player and to the best of my knowledge has never been suspended or in trouble

            i know there was some player involved in drugs and another beat his girlfriend. but those were addressed and the players were kicked off the team. Far worse things happen at schools with more frequency and are often covered up in small towns.

            Wanny didnt run an out of control program filled with bad apples. He ran a typical program.

            He and Steve did not see eye to eye on the power structure. Wanny wanted more responsibilities and more control

            Steve used these incidents to cover his butt and the SI article was a hit piece

            Although I didnt like Wanny surrounded by some players at his last presser and then taking weeks to decide if he would coach the bowl.

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            1. The heroin thing was found out during the chryst era. It was the safety and I think at DT. The DT fled the house so he got to stay on the team. The safety who was a starter and good was kicked off the teamz. Wanny’s disciple was lax to say the least. It was alright under Jeff Long. It was not under Pederson. There is a lot of blame to go around here. Me personally, I know we aren’t going to win a national championship (sorry to any five star recruits who may be reading this)

              Personally I’d rather win 8 with integrity than 10 with questionable behaviors. I respect your opinion to disagree, but you aren’t going to change my mind on this

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              1. Eric Williams was a linebacker and the other kid was a tight end from McKees Rocks.

                Williams was a standout student and there was no drugs found in any of the three players’ system. The dismissal of the two players but Mosely staying was typical of the Chryst when it came to his coaching and discipline: perplexing.

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              2. That’s right, Eric Williams. I think maybe he was recruited as a safety. I was aware that neither of the Pitt players seemed to be using… but you want guys on the team that make better choices. You’d have to think they knew what their roommate was doing.

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            2. Wannstedt had a ton of great kids. What else can you be when two idiots (Nordenberg and Smiley) give you three coaches in three years in your one and only college career and you stick by the university?

              That SI article was absolute hogwash. That magazine was garbage then and is the same now.

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              1. I am reminded of when SI called for the University of Miami to drop its FB program in the early 90s due to indiscretions … and Beano Cook said “Miami will drop its FB program when SI drops its swimsuit issue”

                Liked by 3 people

        3. Let’s also recall that Wanny was damaged goods when he took the job, having quit the Dolphins job.

          He didn’t exactly ride in on a stallion to save the program. It was rehab for him and thus the salary level.

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  16. There will always be a few bad apples on any team. It doesn’t mean the coach can’t discipline. With Pitt, they want choir boys. That’s why I don’t donate to football. You need to take some risks.

    I’m not in favor of an out of control program that is blatantly cheating and ignoring academics.

    But I do favor a balance.

    And right now Pitt has gone over to the light side. Some dark side will do Pitt good.

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  17. Like the Goose said, I came to Pitt to kill people.

    I don’t think Heather even knows who Goose is. That’s the problem.

    But these days Pitt football players are expected to get on honor roll, graduate, be in bed by ten, save kittens from trees and bring world peace.

    No

    I just want them to sack the quarterback and rip his head off. That’s how you earn your scholarship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think that’s true. You can kill ppl on the football field and be a gentleman in everyday life.

      Not to get crass… but In relationships always went for “a freak in the sheets and a lady on the street”

      We can have both

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Mike, PITT got one with this Brandon George….. Read his story on PSN……. A freak on the field but a good kid off… You do the best you can when the whistle blows to start the game and then shake hands after the gun goes off. My kind of young man!

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        1. I was looking at his bio today. Has the the makings of a good one. Hope He lives up to the hype!

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  18. Jabal Sheard threw a guy thru a plate glass door in the presence of 2 policemen, yet never spent a night in jail. Why? Was it because Pitt players always get breaks with the city just like most college towns? Yea, right!! He was guilty yet only paid a minimum fine and for damages. I’ll let you people decide why.

    There were a handful of other issues at that time with players who would be thrown off the team. And rightfully so. But Sheard’s character was never in question; in fact, he was voted team captain about a month after that incident. BTW, he is still in the NFL, has a SB ring, and signed a 3 year, $25.5M contract in 2017.

    His character then and now has never been in question. A handful of other Pitt players back in 2010 did have poor character, 2 of which had a history when they were recruited

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanny recruited a few bad apples but overall he recruited football players and his players had good enough character. Probably no worse than the typical college student.

      It just appears to me that now Pitt is going very hard after leaders and players of character while the talent and football side is getting slighted. Its tough to find both in a player – character and talent…at high levels.

      To me there is just way to much emphasis on GPA’s and graduation rates. Most likely because its a distraction used so one doesnt focus on field results. (see Directors Cup)

      The main job of an AD is not achieving the highest GPA’s, graduation rates and most community service awards. Its winning on the field. College football is a big business these days. College players are in the entertainment business and rewarded with scholarships to participate.

      Pitt may not think athletics is dirty and competing against academics anymore but they still havent come around to the new sports/academics model. Its an entertainment model driven by the media and money. Therefore having an attractive and viewable product is paramount.

      The ACC network wasnt launched to showcase Pitt’s athletes receiving diplomas, building schools in Africa, saving the whales and becoming Rhodes scholars. Its for sports fans to watch games and for schools to generate more revenues. This other stuff is just filler.

      Showcasing Pitt’s inside linebacker is on track to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and a 3.8 GPA doesnt do anything for me. Seeing him make a tackle for loss on a fourth and one does.

      Like

    2. Who were the two guys that had a history of poor character? One definitely wasn’t the linebacker Knox, who assaulted the female. Knox had a history of it in high school and his coach never relayed it the Pitt coaches, which is no surprise. Knox helped him win games and wanted the kid to have a scholarship.

      So he had a history of it but it was not known.

      Like

    3. Why? Because it was self defense.

      What else is it when someone starts a fight with you? Should Sheard have laid down and let the dude kick him repeatedly?

      Like

      1. Okay, now I have to go back and read the article. If the guy physically engaged Sheard first then yes I am 100% for self defense

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        1. The article and police report are entirely different. The article is typical Pittsburgh media trash always going to make it sound worse that what really happened. I’m friends with the then-video coordinator at Pitt during that time from our Youngstown and Ohio State days.

          He told me how it really went down and I never had a reason to doubt him.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. the 2 guys were DC area kids, Knox and Peeler. Both didn’t last the year. The ironic thing is that Jeff Knox, who was a Pgh native but played at DeMatha, ended up at Cal of PA. He was briefly on the Buccaneers, Redskins and Titans roster and is currently with the Ottawa Redblacks.

        BTW, Knox’s issues were well known to Pitt when recruited

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        1. Knox’s high school coach kept the issues to himself. The Pitt coaches never had any idea about his past. Do you think the University would have let Knox into school if his past abuse on females were known?

          No way in He**

          Should the coaches had done a background check? I guess, but why would they if the coach hyped him up as a great kid? If there is proof of Knox transgressions in high school then I’ll admit that Wannstedt screwed up big there.

          Has Pitt recruited a kid from Knox’s high school since?

          Like

        1. I didn’t take the time to read those articles again Mike but thanks. Anyways, I understand the cop went through the glass door along with Sheard and actually may have been the cause of it.

          Like

    4. Well having made some mistakes myself at a young age I will give Sheard a pass. I agree there were a handful of other bad apples

      Like

      1. There were three other kids who found trouble in 2010: Knox, a walk-on linemen, Coleman, and the running back who fumbled the kickoff versus Utah and did us a favor getting thrown off the team because he stunk. Any other player who found trouble we would have heard about it.

        I could never buy into the “Wannstedt had a lot of thugs on his team” narrative. As I wrote earlier, the number of kids who stuck by the University after what Nordberg did to them shows the character of kids Dave recruited.

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        1. Yea I don’t think he had a “lot of thugs” by certainly a higher percentage of lower-character players than Chryst or Pat. But to your point, Wannstadt won.

          I also would like to say publicly in case anyone from the Sheard family (or Jabaal himself) is reading that based on all I’ve read I do think he is a high character guy. He had one incident and was clearly incited by something that other guy said.

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            1. Well now I really feel like a jerk. Although I don’t think that was public information

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              1. Lots of people think Sheard got off easy because he was a PITT player. But as the story went back in the days, all three went through that glass door.The off duty cop was as aggressive as anyone and JB was defending someone. ?? Anyone else remember the story, I could be wrong…..

                Like

      2. while with the Browns before going to the Patriots, Sheard was a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award which is awarded for public/community service, When I was working in the Cleveland area, there was a story about him, and several teammates, admin, Wanny, and media members described his character as exemplary

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Still say that if Wanny won the big Cinci game he would still be here. His coaching in that game soured a lot of people on him and gave SP the opportunity to can him when there was bad news. I also think the 13-9 game saved his job or he would have been canned earlier.

    In any case, after the disaster of Freddie Kruger and Fraud Graham, SP should have been fired, but it took Chryst to clean up the program and get rid of SP as he left the building, for that he is a Pitt hero in my book.

    I think Narduzzi has this year and next year to prove he has what it takes, if he doesn’t, any next coach must dictate that Whisky and Tennessee be removed from the schedule. Pitt needs to get off its high horse and play one competitive OOC game per year like everyone else and that includes ND or Clemson, no need to play another the years they are on the schedule. Syracuse is the best example, you can get to ten wins and the top twenty if you give the coach a fighting chance.

    I do like the fact that Narduzzi seems to have removed the off season controversy that seems to have plagued Pitt over the years. I hope that doesn’t jinx him.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with most of this although I take no issue with at least one difficult OOC opponent. I really, it would be WVU or PSU but Wiscy OR Tenn is OK with me

      Like

  20. we played Iowa 4 times from 2008 thru 2015. Although they won 3 of them, their margin of victories were 3, 4 and 5. And I’m sure it didn’t help that Pitt had 4 different HCs while Iowa had just 1.

    Like

  21. one P-5 OOC is enough, a MAC, a AAC and a rent a win. Or even two rent a wins. Pitt has the money. Costs about $500k to $1M to pay for a win.

    Pitt needs to get Cincy, Temple, Maryland and Rutgers back on the schedule. And if we’re recruiting in Florida, add UCF and SFL to the regular rotation.

    But in years we play the Hoopies or Domers, no other P-5 teams.
    And in years when our crossover is Clemson or FSU

    Screw Whisky. Thats us doing the Godfather Barry a favor again. Screw Tennessee. Thats us doing Johnny a favor. Enough of this nonsense Heather. Learn how to schedule girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing against TN, but I want to crush them because they are SEC. Nothing against Potato Paulie, but I want to crush them because of Barry. Barry is still pissed he didnt get the Pitt job way back. Ad he’s got dirt on Pitt.

      Like

  22. It’s always good to schedule Iowa so we can promise all the recruits we get from there, that they will have an opportunity to go back and play in front of friends and family. Same with Tennessee and Wisconsin. The AD needs to schedule according to the recruiting plan.

    If we are recruiting florida kids, schedule south florida, FAU and FIU, not UCF, Florida. When FSU is on the schedule, we need to sell that in recruiting to flurrrrida kids.

    Same with Georgia. We can schedule Georgia St., Ga Southern, Fort Valley and Morehouse. With one of those on the schedule, you should get a win and be able to say to a recruit that at a minimum, you will be able to play in front of friends and families once per year, depending on gtech schedule.

    In Ohio, I would do the same with Cincy and Akron. If cincy, that should be a game you should win 80% of the time.

    Personally if I were AD, i’d stay away from Dairy and WVU High.Win consistently for a decade and see how things go. Understand the sport and align the AD with the recruiting plan for the athlete students.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t trade a loss for a sellout at this point. Maybe after a decade of improvement. I don’t think WV is going to get much better. They are in an awful conference and cant promise the kids parents will ever get to watch them play close to home, unless their home is in Pgh, VA or Ohio.

        Tex, i get your point with the domers, but we are only going to play them when the ACC requires them to do it. Right now, the ACC is still courting them to join. Who knows, with new tv money, right? What is viewership stats for ND games anymore? I make a point to not watch them, ever, while they are an independent.

        Pitt has such an advantage over wvu because we already will play at least one florida team and one georgia team per year. If we get that to 3 or 4 guarantee florida / georgia games per year that the families can see, well we might end up with a real pipeline that survives a loss of charlie partridge or any other coach leaving. I do wonder what the contingency plan is if Partridge gets another HC opportunity. I am sure we have folks thinking ahead…..well….help me here fellas!

        Like

  23. We should always play rivals. Top three being Nitters, Hoopies and domers.

    Heather should have no say in scheduling. She has proven to be incompetent. 90% of Pitt commenters on blogs and forums know how to do it.

    The only reason Pitt is playing Tennessee and Wisconsin is so those schools can collect on favors. Pitt should not be afraid of finding a horses head in their bed.

    Like

        1. No, not a coincidence. But quid pro quo is a real reach – at least form the standpoint that Pitt is paying back a favor. Now, if you want to argue that Pitt asked for these games then you may have a point. But not the other way around.

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  24. I think that after the WF game the Panthers had a letdown. The emotion of winning the Coastal, which was the team’s reachable goal, once captured left them unfocused, IMO. With Morrissey also getting hurt during that game resulting in shaking up the OL starters, spelled disaster.
    Good coaching gets the team back on the rails to win at least one of those last three games. In my book Narduzzi fumbled the ball at the end of the season.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We lost to Stanford because of Watson. My problem with that is that we had Watson because of Narduzzi. There’s a reason why we were a terrible 2nd half team last year. Opposing coaches could adjust to us and we couldn’t adjust to them.

      Like

  25. One more thing about Watson. It wasn’t that he had a bad year. He just wasn’t up to the job. I just can’t wrap my head around how completely our passing offense gave up the middle of the field the whole year (except for those passes to Mathews against the Domers. And although I’m blaming Watson it boggles the mind that Narduzzi let him.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Perhaps Watson had no bullets in the gun…and that’s the fault of the HC, the same fella who hired him.

    And why all the dredging?
    Jeff Knox. Jabaal. The receiver who collected DUI’s. The SI article.
    A few years before that, the Nits were featured on Outside the Lines…about the forty or more arrests in the program that only recruited ‘Students.’ One kid was even arrested for murder. And yet, do you think any Nits ever talk about that? And yes, I realize that extends to Jerry S and the enablers and clowns who defend him. 409 forever.

    The point is, Wanny was moving the program: recruiting, excitement, local interest, wins.
    And I cannot say that about HCPN.

    Like

    1. things have changed drastically in 10 years.

      Fact: there is much data to support that there were many more local 3 and 4 stars 10 years ago compared to now

      Fact: the overall schedule is much harder now. Narduzzi has faced an average of 4.75 teams each season that finished n Top 20. In Wanny’s last season, he faced ZERO and in 09. he faced two and went 0-2

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wanny won on average 9 games over his last 3 years with a SOS of 34 (Saragin)
        Narduzzi has won on average 7 games over his last with with a SOS of 13

        To me its a push
        Wanny was fired for one bad 8 win season

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        1. +1 bad SI article.

          The X factor is that Wanny did it with his players. Took him three years to get to that level.

          Duzz came in and did it out of the gate with someone else’s players.

          Now the only question is are duzz’ players better than Chrysts? This year we find out

          Liked by 1 person

  27. I agree that the Watson hire was all on Narduzzi BUT! He also hired Chaney and Canada. Chaney was a bad marriage but went on to Georgia and take his offense to the NCAA playoffs and MC had ants and money thoughts in his pants. 2 for 3 will get a baseball player into the Hall of Fame. 3 for 4 beats Ted Williams record. We will see?????

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Watson making Pickett not take the run first option is like harvey haddox trying to get steve blass to throw strikes at the end of his career. They could be the best coaches in the world, but the player has to execute, that simple. Ike, you took it to baseball, so i gave you a baseball analogy.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I know the article is titled revisionist history, once again opening the door, but I agree that no one relives the negative past as much as Pitt Fans. Successful programs and people look forward not backward. BB King said it best.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Good tunes gc…thanks.
    I totally agree with gasman re the silence toward the Outside the Lines story by the Nitter faithful.
    While on vacation at OBX I had to see a sign every morning as I walked the dog …one of the homes in the Currituck Club community had a large “409 Forever” sign prominently displayed.
    I encouraged to dog to take a dump on the grass there every day…haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Assume you played the course? Last yr the bermuda was a bit burned up due to winter ice and temps. They were doing a lot of re-sodding – how did it look?

      Like

  31. While on our recent boating trip, we stopped in at a shop in Block Island, RI that was full of glass college emblem coasters. I asked the owner why don’t you have the Pitt here…man came in yesterday and bought all 25 of them (they were in script).

    Liked by 5 people

  32. I see where Pitt has re-upped with the Fan for their FB and BB game broadcasts. Plus there’s supposed to be some new “supplemental” Pitt programming.

    I don’t know what other options we may have had, but this is disappointing to me. With a few exceptions, the Fan talkers are not friendly to Pitt.

    I quit listening to Filiponi and Mueller a while ago. Filiponi is an Orange guy; Mueller is a Nit who says he’s a Pitt fan. Can’t take their juvenile banter and swipes at Pitt any longer. And can’t stand Cook because of his worship of “the great” Paterno…

    I’ve moved to NPR or the oldies…

    Was hoping we could do better for Pitt on the radio…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  33. GC’s comment from yesterday – “Still say that if Wanny won the big Cinci game he would still be here. His coaching in that game soured a lot of people on him and gave SP the opportunity to can him when there was bad news. I also think the 13-9 game saved his job or he would have been canned earlier.

    In any case, after the disaster of Freddie Kruger and Fraud Graham, SP should have been fired, but it took Chryst to clean up the program and get rid of SP as he left the building, for that he is a Pitt hero in my book.”

    On your first point, you may be right. I think that game plus his gameday was at that point known to be subpar. The guy held onto a notion that defenses should win the game for you and I believe he didn’t have a feel for stepping on an opponents throat with a lead.

    There were a series of terribly disappointing games where the team should and could have won and didn’t. Some examples – A night game against Navy at Heinz where we get down to the 2 – a Conor Lee FG keeps it going, the Stache goes for it and loses on a Bostick pass play. A night game against UConn where the Huskies faced two 4th and 1s. Stache had us playing off the ball and Todman gets a first on both, the last of which sealed the game.

    I can tell you this, by the end f that game against Kelly and the Bearcats, they coudln’t rid of him quickly enough for me – Pitt man or not.

    On your second point, I couldn’t agree more.

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  34. JoeL, I do agree with your point to a point. When Wanny was first hired he didn’t have the college head coaching experience although he was a former NFL head coach. He didn’t hire the best assistant coaches at first and his game-day coaching has always been in question. Other than Wanny’s grandiose personality does he remind you of any current PITT head football head coach? < See, I made that easy for you. 🙂

    Fast forward a few years and they both showed lots of improvement in my book. Maybe in different ways but they got the PITT team back on track. Wanny and Narduzzi are the kind of coaches you either like or not. I was a much bigger fan or DW but that was in a different day.

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    1. Wannstedt may have inherited the slowest college football team of all time in 2005. That hurt big that season. Greg Lee was the team’s best receiver and could outrun no one.

      Like

    2. I guess my point was that win or lose the Cinn game, he was eventually going to get pushed out on his shortcomings in gameday mgt.

      The difference between then and today is that back then a number of folks – myself included – thought Pitt could swap out coaches and expect to build upon Walt Harris’ partial resurrection of the program. With the benefit of hindsight, I no longer believe that.Its much more complex than a head coaching hire.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. DW did a good job recruiting to a dying BE with a low budget for coaches and recruiting…One does have to wonder how DW would have done recruiting to the ACC with increased budgets for coaches and recruiting.

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    1. Exactly
      Conferences were being raided at that time
      Much uncertainty
      Pitt was still being very cheap on their football spend
      This impacted recruiting and staffing hires
      And the WPIAL during Wanny’s years was nothing like the 80’s and early 90’s
      But Wanny did play in a weaker conference and he was a poor game day coach

      Like

          1. TX – it is a head-scratcher that we don’t do better in Ohio. But lately, seems like when we’ve gotten a highly regarded recruit out of there, they didn’t pan out.

            Examples are Hill with a medical issue, and Flowers and Reeves had more stars than talent/drive…

            We need to keep knockin’ on that door though…

            Go Pitt.

            Like

            1. plenty of talent in OH, MD and NJ to help offset the WPIAL. All easy drives to Pittsburgh (highway and under 6 hours). Similar weather. And good fit culturally (Midwest/Northeast mash with a sprinkle of Appalachia)

              Like

  36. JoeL, I played SeaScape with Big B and what was left of his buddy Whiskey from the night before.
    Our house was on hole 5 at the Currituck and it looked in really good shape.

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    1. Depends on the question. If its guys 60+…then I’m out!!!! (for six months)
      If its people holding a degree from Univ of Pittsburgh, then it might be me also.
      If its people who have never been to Cliff Claven’s house, it gets a bit tougher.
      If its people who knew how to drive a stick shift before their first ride up Bates Street, then that might be Bernie

      Help us out, Thomas

      OT – a member of my regular golf group was in Pgh for a meeting of brain doctors. Asked him where he stayed. He said, “By ‘The Corner’ across the street from where that fort used to be.” SMH

      Like

      1. LOL Joe……. you got my brain teaser. ….. The answer as you probably suspected is me… I am no longer able to golf…..

        Like

  37. Golf related…check out Conor Moore’s impersonations of pro golfers at the Open.
    I cant cut and paste from my phone…just Google him. The dude is really funny.

    Like

  38. I thought Wanny got booted solely (not a boot joke), becasue of a power struggle between he and pederson and pederson won. That’s when you know your board is in trouble. When an idiot like pederson convinces anyone, of anything, it is a problem. I still think he leaked the story to SI.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I won’t go as far as saying that Smug Steve leaked info to SI … I have no idea that he did. But the power struggle was very real and it began when after a successful 9-win 2009 season, the recruiting budget was cut. I’m not an insider but what I read and heard from a Pitt employee and also a member of the Pitt radio broadcast team, that there was a lot of behind the scenes bickering between the two. Pedersen knew that many of the boosters favored Wanny but he had Nordy in his pocket … apparently.

      In retrospect, Pitt broke no NCAA violations, Wanny was being paid relatively very little in salary, and the player issues were not persistent. And his players’ grad rates were outstanding. But what really galls me to this day is that Stevie made the same mistakes at Pitt that he did at Nebraska when he let go a successful coach.

      Like

  39. That 4 ranking clearly says that ACC teams believe Pitt is considered undeserving of last year’s Coastal title. The voters are saying it was a fluke. Talk about Pitt’s opponents showing no respect…

    Like

    1. It has much to do IMO that VT, Miami and UVa all have a lot more returning starters … while Pitt’s two biggest producers (Ollison and Hall) both graduated

      Like

    2. I think it’s also saying “the division was unusually weak last year, and that’s not going to happen again this season.” That’s the part I’m doubting. I don’t think Miami, Virginia and Va Tech are going to fix all their problems in one offseason. I think Pitt can compete with all three of them, provided the running game doesn’t lose too much from last year and they get some better QB play.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Not too mention a brandy new offensive line with only starter Morrison returning after injury.
    Plus the fact that no one has repeated as Coastal Champ.

    Like

  41. The problem with the tough OOC in addition to the losses is that they take a physical and emotional toll on a team. Sure that yo get injuries in any game but much more likely to get bumps and bruises that take a toll later in the year. Football is a game of attrition. Staying healthy makes a big difference in wins and losses, especially to key guys. Adding Tennessee and Whisky to WV not only makes it less likely to get 9 or 10 wins, it makes it more likely that you will be diminished for your in conference foes.While on the mental side, getting up for these “big” games makes it easier to come out flat for the games where you are favored. It is a lose lose scenario.

    VT has ND on their schedule so they are smart to schedule the likes of Furman and Rhode Island. These kind of games also serve the purpose to work the bugs out and get ready for the games that count. Since there is no pre-season in college ball you need the warm up games. It is unfortunate for Pitt that it’s new O-line and running backs have to start with VA. No chance to make early season adjustments before a game that counts.

    The 5000 extra tickets that Pitt will sell for these games every other year just isn’t worth the potential losses, wise up. A couple of 10 win seasons will sell more tickets in the long run as will making ACC games more important. These other “Big Games” are just a distraction. Getting to and winning better bowls should be the Goal. Early losses to other P-5 teams makes this less likely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ND plays Navy, USC and Stanford every year. Before their ACC affiliation, they also played Mich, MSU and Purdue …. but dropped them immediately. The B10 wanted ND full-time (FB included) and ended up getting nothing.

      I doubt ND will accept full-time affiliation under the present set-up. Having its own network is a situation any school would take. But if that were to happen, the B10 would make so much sense geographically and financially. No doubt the B12 would go after ND big time also.

      Like it or not, the present set-up benefits both ND and the ACC, While ACC basketball can certainly stand on its own, it appears that the FB is currently Clemson and everyone else. Miami, VT and FSU have been major underachievers the past few years

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      1. I agree. ND adds much needed SOS to the ACC and also a nice TV audience boost. Try to force them in and you kill the goose that laid the golden egg, just like the b10 did

        Like

      2. Unfortunately ND holds all the cards. They also help with the ACC with the Bowls which is really important since the ACC has the weakest bowl relationships. Will be interesting if push ever comes to shove will they pick the B1G or ACC. I agree with the geography and financial bits, but the ACC gives ND a better chance at a Championship at least in Football. Also a better fit size-wise plus they have an existing relationship, and more fun to travel south in the winter.

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  42. No matter the OOC difficulty, isn’t it really about the finish of the season? The final 3 games were the defining period for how good the team was last year. Winning an extra game early on last year would not have changed or compensated for the collapse at the end of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Impossible to say, maybe they don’t run out of gas. But seriously, the only game they had any chance in was Stanford. They also would have had a better record and might have got a better bowl game.

      Also playing easier teams might have let the passing game develop a little more, for when it was really needed. Hard to learn anything when you are getting dominated.

      Like

  43. ^^ That’s right gc, If Miami would have played up to their potential all year and won the Coastal PITT would have not played Clemson and the extra loss that came with it. Then PITT should have beat Stanford in a game they dominated. Boom… there’s your 8-5 record

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Losing to the worst ACC team 2 years in a row and reminding you that the Heels only ACC wins were against our boys sez a heck of a lot to me…we have a long ways to go….championship caliber teams are supposed to kick the crap out of a bottom feeder on a consistent basis……we ain’t there guys…no yet and probably not this year….prove me wrong PITT/DUZZ…

    Like

  45. OT: Tyler Boyd gets a 4 year $43 million contract extension with the Bengals. His original contract was a 4 year $4.2 million deal. He was scheduled to make $980,000 plus this season. Flash that number before some of our in house roster and potential recruits. I can see why Ffrench is excited to be playing WR with Whipple as opposed to Watson as OC.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. JoeL, I know you no longer live up this way so to let you know. Tyler is very much active in his ole stomping grounds. I know he runs a football camp for the youth. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. This new contract? Not to shabby for a local player that wasn’t supposed to flourish in the NFL by some………….

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Surprised T. Boyd got a deal that big, but happy for him. He gave Pitt fans a lot of great moments…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  46. Frank, that schedule will be long forgotten when or if they win 9 or 10 games this years. Just like Syracuse last year that people like use as an example of PITT’s record and failures. It’s all relative when it suits their arguments.

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  47. Reporters covering the ACC picking Pitt to finish 4th in the Coastal seems a little low. But it is consistent with my early prediction of Pitt not repeating as Coastal Champ.

    Coastal will be much improved in terms of the overall qualify of Teams.

    Expect the Winner to actually give Clemson a Game.

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  48. If readers of PSN are to be believed, that team might just be Miami.

    Can’t argue too much. Miami has been my pick to be the SURPRISE of the ACC… thanks in part to the Quarterback transfer from OSU.

    Seems I’m not alone.

    Like

  49. Excellent for Tyler…hope he has an outstanding year and becomes a household name…it’s just amazing how much AD shows his love for PITT…he’s the best marketer we have for the FB program and it doesn’t cost the university a penny….maybe Tyler follows suit……

    Like

  50. make your reservations now … Orlando, Dec 28. Sporting News predicts Pitt vs Ok State (w/o Mason Rudolph) in the Camping World Bowl

    Like

  51. Of course the entire $43 million for Tyler is not guaranteed, but I’m sure he got a nice signing bonus that probably exceeded his first $4.2 million contract.

    Like

    1. Good point jrn. Tyler can buy his family lots of Cadillac Escalades now….. Another great example of staying home and it paying off.

      Like

  52. I guess I get this way every year at this time, but I look at the Pitt roster and depth, and think that they could be much better than many outsiders think. I’m usually optimistic when camp starts, before the losses start coming and SOP sets in, but this year they have experience in the right places and new starters in some positions where talent can take over, such as Safety, RB and TE.

    It’s not so much that Pitt has top talent at many positions, but that experience and consistent coaching can get a team playing a little above their skill level. With everything that Pickett is doing to get ready for this season, I can’t help but think that he will be significantly better this year. I know that Tex and UPitt might not agree, but I’m going to agree with ike that things could be looking up for a good season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seven regular season wins
      Replacing an O line
      Losing two stud backs
      Kenny big question mark
      New linebackers
      New offense
      The early games will be rough given the inexperience and new system

      Vegas pegs Pitt around six
      Media pegs Pitt around fourth in Coastal

      I think that’s fair

      Like

      1. Yeah Tx that’s fair but I have one problem with your comment. Hall a stud running back? He was bashed by almost everyone but a few of us….

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        1. I wasn’t the one that subtracted his long runs from his average. If we did that with Barry Sanders, he’d have a negative average.

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      2. If you’re saying that a fair over/under being 6 wins for the Panthers, then I have to ask you if you are a betting man, because at even odds, I’ll take as much of your cheddar that you’re willing to give, because I easily see seven wins in this regular season for Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would take the over. Vegas has Pitt at 6 I believe or 6.5. They had Pitt at 5.5 last year. I see 7 wins. I doubt the line changes much. I would not be placing any bets on Pitt winning the Coastal however.

          Like

    2. The interesting point in my opinion is this thing called experience. Experience can be good or bad. To me, last year’s experience was bad for our QB. He gained great experience dropping back and taking off for a run too many times, too quickly. This was not, or could not be corrected during the year. The question is whether he will resort to his old ways when he gets under center this year, or will he hang in the pocket and have patience to let plays develop.

      We will soon find out. With our OL prospects, I fear that we get more of what we got last year after a game or two of getting crunched consistently.

      Like

      1. If the Pitt OL gets “crunched” consistently in the 1st two games vs UVA and Ohio (from the MAC), losing both games, I will personally walk into the AD office and hand over my season tickets the Heather Lyke and never attend a Pitt FB game again.

        There is no entertainment value in that for me to ever dip my toe in that polluted water again.

        I have to go / need to allow time to log in – SMH

        Like

  53. B, Foster plays for the Bills and ironically, he isn’t making as many dollar Bills as Tyler.

    Hey B, While I have you on the line, did you get the email?

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Yep…all set for the home opener…thanks…will stop by in a couple of weeks. Fran, Richman, MajorMajors and BigB are playing in a a charity golf tournament in Apollo at the Spring Church links… gonna be fun…

    Liked by 1 person

  55. NFL network reporting Tyler’s first year will pay him $11.3 million over 10 times what his original contract would pay him for the upcoming season.

    Like

  56. College Football News ran an interesting list of football attendance numbers (total attendance and percentage of capacity) organized by conference. There are some outliers, but attendance tracks pretty closely with historical performance (recent history) on a nationwide basis. The stats also suggest it will take a lot of work to get Pitt over the 50,000 range. Outside of consistent top 25 programs and the Midwestern flagship universities (and Texas schools), almost nobody is doing those numbers. That trend is unlikely to change as the alternatives to watching a game in-person become more plentiful and more appealing.

    https://collegefootballnews.com/2019/07/college-football-attendance-rankings-by-conference-2019-cfn-five-year-program-analysis?utm_source=smg&utm_medium=wasabi&utm_content=home-hero

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Pitt will always be around 40 to 45k. They need to stop selling the entire upper deck of the stadium. Idiotic. Sell the 45K closest to the field only.

    Like

    1. A combined smaller on campus stadium tied in with CMU should be considered. The sellout big games with ND, PSU and WVU could always be moved to Heinz by Pitt. There’s got to be enough money around both Pitt and CMU to make it work.

      Like

      1. if that stadium is multi purpose and can support a hockey rink…meaning it would have to be enclosed with a retractable roof.

        Pitt stands at 62% capacity. Only Kansas is worse among P-5 schools. Most P-5 schools are at 90% or more. Based on Pitt’s attendance, that puts the venue at 47k in seating.

        Like

  58. well, the MAC Conference media just picked Ohio to win the eastern division (Toledo the West), Ohio has 14 starters returning.

    Like

    1. Folks, if Pitt is “worried” about beating Ohio from the MAC, this is going to be a long and disappointing season for Panther fans.

      There are enough good players on this “team” (FB is not an individual sport) that if a few players step up and have a great season, the Coastal Division repeat is within reach.

      Pitt needs a few of the coaches to step up and be great as well.

      We won’t know a whole lot until that first Saturday night game vs UVA at Heinz Field under the lights on prime time TV.

      Call your cable provider, if you haven’t already.

      Liked by 2 people

  59. I like the combined stadium with CMU idea BUT……Is their D-3 stadium bursting at the seams? Are they unhappy with it? I haven’t heard this. If they need/want a larger stadium there may be some merit to the idea, probably within the context of a multipurpose stadium since a single purpose stadium big enough for Pitt would be way too big for CMU, much more-so than Heinz is for Pitt. Sounds like a pipe dream long term project at this point, but remember when Sophie Masloff was ridiculed for ridiculed for proposing a new ball park for the Pirates? How did that work out? H2P Soccer Gramps

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe Pitt could convince CMU to expand for more P6 seating and then have CMU tarp unused seats for their games. Everybody’s doing it!Oh, we’re not

      Like

  60. Boy I wish I had the energy to go back and cut and paste UPitt’s greatest hits on Tyler Boyd. Would be some funny reading. Congrats to Tyler. I think UPitt said he would be out of the NFL by now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have some of Upitt’s most outlandished ones stored away in a “Quotes Notes” page from him. For some reason he loved throwing shade Tyler’s way. I’ll never understand that psychology. Unless a kid has committed a major felony or abandoned his team, etc., what’s the point?

      Like

  61. By the way, VA OOC is William & Mary, Old Dominion and Liberty, not much better than VA Tech. Pitt better wise up. These are the teams we compete against for bowl games and season end ratings and total wins all count the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. about Robert Foster …. considering he came back from a pretty serious injury, I think he did OK. I;m sure he second guessed himself many times but he is now doing very well for an undrafted FA

    Like

  63. wwb, RF was a better player to be an un-drafted free agent despite the injuries. I wish the young man well but he lost a lot of money to sit on the bench. Tyler showed the way for the local players, hope they are paying attention.

    Like

    1. Foster can always sell his National Championship rings that he was awarded while riding the pine at Alabama to help pay the bills, if it comes to that at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  64. I wonder if Jurkovec ever starts for ND. Could be another case where a local player thinks the grass is greener away from home.

    Like

    1. Donovan Jeter DT Michigan and Lamont Wade S psuX both are JR’s and listed as back-ups for the 2019 season.

      Both were highly sought after by HCPN and both snubbed the Pitt Panthers lyke Robert Foster did. You can’t rewrite history, but there are numerous Pittsburgh players that get away – if you keep 75% home to play for the hometown team, then Pitt FB suddenly becomes great again. Speculation, yes, reality, we will never know.

      Can the FL 3 & 4 star players make Pitt great again – I’m willing to watch this season to see.

      Can the POV fix the log in issues? Not yet – hope to see some of you in September.

      H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

  65. Robert Foster was about as talented as a High School Player can be. It was Foster, not Boyd… that Pitt REALLY wanted.

    You might remember that Foster burst onto the national scene during a game between Hopewell and Central Valley that was televised on ESPN.

    All the hype was focused on Rushel Shell. But it was Foster who stole the show.

    Like

  66. Then Foster shrugged off Pitt and chose Alabama.

    All well and good.

    The AMAZING thing is that he barely got on the field at Bama. This was partly due to Foster’s immaturity. It was also due to injuries.

    But mostly it was due to the other Receivers on the roster who apparently were as talented or even more so.

    Among those Receivers was Amari Cooper.

    Like

  67. Paris Ford was the last local blue chip that came here. Redshirted his first year and played very little last year, but is positioned (hopefully) to make an impact this year. Miles Sander sat behind probably the most talented RB in college his first 2 years, and then started 1 year and was drafted in the 2nd round (I think). Jurkovec, Jeter and Wade have hardly played.

    Either these local 4 stars don’t measure up with 3 / 4-stars from other areas, or like Foster, are lost in the numbers …. definitely, the rich get richer in CFB. Heck you and I can bring in top talent if we were recruiting for Bama or OSU. I’m sure Pitt recruiters have made the case of Boyd (same HS as Wade) and Whitehead (same HS as Foster). But apparently being coddled by everyone around since junior high makes them feel that they can just

    And don’t blame the recruiters …. we all should have learned something by now from our head BB coach, who just 2 short years ago was regarded as one the elite recruiters around

    Like

    1. A Four Star at Alabama is not the same situation as a Four Star at a middle of the road Power 5 team like Pitt. I’ve always stated that an up & coming program that is rising out of mediocrity is an opportunity for immediate playing time for highly rated players that are mature enough, right off the bat, to be able to adapt to their new circumstances at college, integrate themselves into the system quickly & then compete for playing time immediately with those veterans holding down their starting spots.

      Meanwhile at the jugeraut elite programs, these same guys have to wait around for years to contribute.

      Like

  68. Tyler Boyd was the better all-around football player. He didn’t have the pure speed of Foster, but he has the ability to get open and make the circus catch. He was an amazing return guy for Pitt.
    Because Foster went to Alabama, we never got to see what skills he has and whether he can make the difficult catches on the sidelines or in a crowd.

    Without Tyler Boyd Pitt would have won even fewer games and would have been much more boring. Really glad to see him have the financial success, hope he uses it wisely.

    While I do agree that the Local guys have a better opportunity to be stars if they stay home, if they are really great they will succeed at the big schools, for every Foster, there is a Tyrelle Pryor, Lavar Arrington, Ty Law and many others.

    Like

  69. There are also examples of highly touted local players that did not achieve greatness at Pitt. Pitt needs to become worthy and competitive enough for these local players to want to stay at home. Even then, we will never get them all. But the future for Pitt is never going to be getting the majority of its roster from the WPIAL or even PA. That ship has sailed, just not enough good enough players these days. Narduzzi has to continue to get better at attracting players from the target rich environments. Everything needs to be focused on that.

    That is not to say that we should not go hard after the local guys, but the best thing Pitt can do is string some 10 win seasons together and get relevant again.

    Like

  70. I predict Jurcovik will be another edition of CC’s/ Vandergrift native JJ Constantino who thought he was good enough to play for Florida State…

    Like

    1. Jurkovek was a much more highly regarded prospect than JJ. IMO JJ was just like Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin who a few years ago was a 4-star from Baldwin. Jenkins was a 6’7, 300 lb OL who wasn’t even selected to his HS all section team. JJ was 6’6 and had a strong arm. They were 4-stars based solely on potential, and not of accomplishment. Conversely, Jurkovec brought his high school to a state title and was all-state.

      BTW, Jurkovec saw action in 2 games ths is past year as a natural frosh. He was behind the nD starter Ian Book and Brandon Winbush, who was the ND starter back in 2017. We will see Winbush in about 2 months as he has transferred to UCF

      Like

  71. add to the list of lost in the shuffle: Tom Giotto Kiski Area QB to PSU…Morelli was a bust
    Need to focus on getting some OLinemen and we have lost a few good ones to the hated IRISH…last year at this time I was somewhat concerned about the OL but also came to a pre-season conclusion the KP would “light it up !!!” Shows you how much BigB knows about football…This year there is a huge question to hanging over both the OL and QB position..I repeat..a huge question-not a dark cloud.

    Like

    1. you aren’t the only one who thought KP was going to have a good year. I too thought he was going to be a lot better. I realize that he only played a brief time in ’17 but it seemed that he had that little something extra that many Pitt QBs lacked.

      Like

    2. If the o line is good , the qb will he good.

      Insiders say that Borbley says we’ll be fine.

      I think we are going to have our hands full in the VA game and it’s going to be a game-by-game project after that

      Like

  72. I agree with EE above.. If we are now worried and complaining about having to play a powerful Ohio team then PITT football should be abolished.

    Like

  73. Steelers report to Latrobe tomorrow and PITT I believe begins Aug 1st. Wow! Shouldn’t be too long before we get a predictions thread. That should be interesting and I hope Mike tags it so we can refer to it off and on throughout the upcoming season.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. the issue with the Ohio game is that it is sandwiched between the ACC opener and PSU. Regardless, Pitt should still win but anyone thinking a good MAC is a pushover in badly mistaken. Maybe for Bama or OSU ,,, good MAC teams beat mid level B10 teams every season

    Like

    1. ;last year MAC runner-up Buffalo whooped Rutgers and Temple, both on their home field … but lost at Ohio 52-17. Ohio lost at Cincy last year by 4, Cincy had 11 wins and was ranked 24th in AP at the end

      Like

      1. The only good thing about playing Ohio is that after 4 years of preparing for Georgia tech this staff knows how to prepare for the option. And the team also has experience against it.

        Elias Reynolds will have 16 tackles in that game

        Like

  75. I don’t disagree there wwb but here’s the thing. Many, including myself, keep saying PITT needs to lighten up their OOC schedule. Now there is a MAC team on the schedule so what do you do? Are they supposed to not designate a team and just announce they would like to play the worst team in the MAC?

    I will say this though. Ohio is a good team and it is a trap game, so if Narduzzi can lead PITT to a win regardless of the UVA game outcome it would be a great thing. If I were the coach, I sure would concentrate more on winning the Ohio game than the psu game for the obvious reason of it’s the next game. The other reason it’s the more winnable game between Ohio and psu.

    Like

  76. I like to schedule Mac teams in Ohio. But Ohio isn’t one of them. It’s solich. The same coach canned by cornhole so I know he’s real good.

    Schedule big bens alma mater instead. Miami of Ohio. We beat them easily and the nation sees Miami on the TV and can’t compregend the difference between the real Miami.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. I thought Tyler was a better player than Foster and it shows today.

    Kids decide to leave home for many reasons, for some it works, for others not. An analysis of this would be helpful.

    Like

  78. ^^ Frank, $$ ………………. pay me now or get paid much more later.. It’s a business decision. Apparently Tyler Boyd is a much better businessman. I also have a question, how can anyone poo poo Boyd making over 10 million dollars next year after signing a multi year 43 million dollar contract? Admit you were wrong and lets move on. It doesn’t matter how it happened. Hesus.

    Like

  79. For those that subscribe to pantherlair I’d suggest you read the post from Jim Hammett titled Coachspeak Bangally Kamara. I do believe Pitt may have found a diamond in the ruff with this 5.5 rivals Star Rating.

    Like

    1. he was recruited by 26 teams including Michigan and Penn State
      so many schools found the diamond
      Pitt found a way to take it out of Akron

      Like

  80. So Tyler Boyd will make 11 mill next year, more than 95% of us will make in a lifetime, and UPitt doesn’t like his stats. Unbelievable. Show me the moneeeeey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 76 catches last year for over 1,000 yards in 14 games with Andy Dalton and his lifetime QB rating of 88 throwing you the football is solid productivity any way you cut it.

      Liked by 1 person

  81. Boyd may have had the best hands I’ve ever seen. Fitz of course was great too.
    Never impressed with his speed or yac, but extremely happy he is cashing in now.

    Def getting excited for football more than ever, usually only cared about hoops, but with Capel hopefully continuing to steer what was a Barnes/Stallings torpedoed ship, it will be great to have the sports that matter be relevant again.

    H2P!!!

    Glad the Ghost is back posting here too.

    Like

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