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Pitt in the Power Rankings – Week 5

Lets start off with something very positive.  The #4 Pitt Women’s Vollyball team swept Virginia Tech in ACC play last weekend.

Switching over to Football, after five weeks our defense is pretty good.  Chris Dokish is a known homer, but the facts don’t lie.

If this defense starts forcing some turnovers and manning up in the red zone, they could be exceptional.

On to the power rankings

Shakin’ In the Southland (Clemson Blog):  9th (down from 8th)

Has any team conveyed the overall craziness and absurdity of college football better than Pitt? Last week they knock of an undefeated team with an annoying fanbase that has a thing for fabricating championships. No, not Alabama, UCF. They follow this up by almost falling to the University of Delaware Blue Hens of the FCS’s Colonial Athletic Association, eking out a 17-14 win at home. Pitt follows this up with a big game against Duke Saturday night.

ACCsports.com: 8th

Pittsburgh is a confusing team. Some weeks, the Panthers are capable of battling toe-to-toe with Penn State and UCF. On the other hand, some weeks, Pitt struggles with teams like Delaware or Ohio. It doesn’t have to be Halloween for tricks or teats in Pittsburgh.

Kenny Pickett (shoulder) sat out, which meant that Nick Patti got the start. Pittsburgh won, 17-14, but it wasn’t pretty, as the score indicates.

ESPN:  5th (for the record I’ve watched Florida State twice this year, and they are no better than Pitt.  If anything Duke should be #4.)

After Week 1, we had Florida State at the bottom of the ACC. Now, there’s a case to be made that the Seminoles are top four. A week ago, it looked like Pitt was ready to make a charge, then the Panthers narrowly avoided catastrophe against FCS Delaware on Saturday. Virginia might still be the second-best ACC team, but the Cavaliers looked overmatched in the second half against Notre Dame, and Clemson might yet cruise to an ACC title, but the Tigers were outplayed by North Carolina.

Week 5 presented us with more of the same in the ACC, which is to say everyone managed to showcase some flaws and no one looked much like a team ready to win big.

Why not Florida State? OK, don’t answer that. The point is the ACC is a wild, beautiful mess in which Clemson escapes by stuffing a two-point try and Georgia Tech finishes the game with two points total. — David M. Hale

1. Clemson
2. Wake Forest
3. Virginia
4. Florida State
5. Pitt
6. North Carolina
7. Duke
8. Syracuse
9. Miami
10. Louisville
11. Boston College
12. NC State
13. Virginia Tech
14. Georgia Tech

Syracuse.com:  4th (unchanged)

Why No. 4? I’m excusing Pittsburgh’s close-call against an FCS opponent as a letdown but, like most of the league’s top teams last week, it wasn’t very inspiring.

The Panthers battled to the final whistle with ranked opponents in each of the two previous weeks, a stretch that left Pittsburgh playing without six injured starters against Delaware, including quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi wouldn’t reveal the severity of those injuries but the Panthers have proven to be a competitive team when healthy. Their game this week against Duke is easily the highlight of a light ACC schedule.

What do you think?  Where should Pitt land in the ACC power rankings?  And how legit is this defense?  Can they keep it up against Duke’s offensive attack?

Michaelangelo Monteleone

217 thoughts on “Pitt in the Power Rankings – Week 5

  1. You can tell which writers actually follow teams closely. If they didn’t mention Pickett not starting they aren’t paying attention much so their opinion is crap, LOL.

    Pitt has played very good on D so far. Like you said, the numbers do not lie. Sooner or later a team will put up big numbers on Pitt’s D. That is the nature of college football and it happens to pretty much every team.

    With everyone healthy, they end the season with good stats.

    I think Pitt’s offensive time of possession also raises those D numbers. Not to sound like Narduzzi, but it is a team game 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha … I thought about it. Passing yards and receptions are high. Rushing yards and points are low

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      1. If you don’t count all receptions that take behind place behind the line of scrimmage your receptions numbers will drop considerably. Anybody else think the opposition is well aware of how passes we complete that are 5 yard or less?

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  2. We are a better football team than Duke . More talented on D and more physical and that’s the difference maker…now we have to minimize mistakes and most of the mistakes were just plain unnecessary last week…the kind that drive a coach and PITT’s football knowledgeable fan.base nuts. The Dookies were stomped on by Alabama-an embarrassment for the ACC..PITT would have handled the Crimson Tide (had to throw that in there!!!)

    We have injuries but that’s part of the game and in fact, has a bright side as the 2’s and 3″s get playing time and gain valuable experience, improve and maybe burn a red-shirt creating a spot for some high school kid who is looking at PITT sown the road. (How many kids have we watched in our life-time go to these big name NFL minor league and get lost in the depth chart)

    I don’t see this as a high-scoring affair..nice to see solid ole fashioned defensive football for a change. we get out of Durham town with a physical win over the Dookies and into a bye week to allow for more healing..Note: if KP doesn’t start this week then the injury is more than a “muscle strain.” I didn’t see a replay to see the mechanism of injury which can give a big insight into what was injured….i

    Nice contingent traveling to the game…will try to get Heather to come to the tailgate to give out a few awards to the POVerts….been trying to think of award categories….

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  3. True NRS, it’s been mention a hundred times that PITT didn’t pound the crap out a FCS opponent but you don’t here how the starting QB sat and another 6 starters didn’t play. Interesting….. PITT also out-gained Delaware 3-1 in yards…. Onto DUKE!!

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  5. A 3-2 Pitt team ranked in the top third. Just goes to show how bad this conference is for football. Outside Clemson, most ACC schools are mediocre this year.

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  6. not sure why folks think it will be low scoring. it will be high scoring as it always is. so we will need to not only gain lots of yards but actually score. sadly it may come down to the kicking game. gulp

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  7. In response to MM‘s question, I’d like to think that Pitt should be number 4 in the ACC rankings, although I’m not sure (other than Clemson) which teams would be higher ranked than Pitt at this point. Seems to vary all over the place from week to week.

    The defense is for real and will continue to play well—the secondary will likely be exposed more often than the run game simply because of the style of defense that HCPN employs.

    Pitt will get it together forDuke and win a close defensive struggle.

    Awards for Heather to present should include Most Optimistic, Most Pessimistic and Most Realistic POVERTs. (But that raises the question of whether you must be present to win…)

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  8. Tex..that statement could be made for most conferences outside a couple of teams in each conference…one reason we shouldn’t play FCS schools and I mean everyone.. .good to see how you stack up against the other conferences….but I also see the argument for playing cupcakes..as other teams D1 do…pad those wins..

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  9. For what it’s worth I don’t think we will see Pickett this week. My guess is that the shoulder injury he got is a lot worse than anyone is saying. Pitt can’t win this game without a decent to good passing attack. So we will need a healthy thrower in there all game long. I’m just wondering if Beville will be an option if Patti gets injured.

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  10. Boy I would love a roll call for the road warriors traveling down, up or across to Durham. Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment but would like to know who and what I’m missing. 😦

    No pics on the POV from last weeks tailgate???? I love that stuff!!

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  11. Where do we stand in the ACC Power Rankings is anybody’s guess. If you could tell me who is healthy enough to play on a given Saturday, I could give you a better answer. If we play Patti on Saturday, our ranking would be much lower than the 4 or 5 rankings most give us.

    As an aside, Pitt Volleyball against Virginia Tech blew them out in the first set. In the next two sets Coach Fisher played 80% of the team and experimented with different offenses. He is developing his players for next year and beyond. Hopefully someday Pitt’s football team will be the same way. Our setter is 17 years old. Imagine running a top ten basketball program with a freshman point guard! Loads of talent on the team. First big ACC test on Sunday against Florida State.

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  12. If the ACC goes to 9 conference games like the B10 we must play only one non ACC P5 team.

    I think the ACC should go to 9 games now that the ACCN is running; more $$$.

    NFL looking at 17 or 18 season games; more $$$.

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  13. John in SC, we are starting to develops a bit of a kinship. When the “experts” plugged in the results of last weeks PITT game, did the info include all the PITT players missing? I would say probably not and that is why I really look at stats with a keen and very leery eye. It’s like saying PITT is only averaging 12 pts a game against P-5 teams, which is absolutely the truth but very misleading. Those two P-5 teams are both top 25 teams.

    Now on to Duke again before the Big Bopper gets pissed off at me……. 🙂

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  14. We had some defensive lapses in the secondary the last two games. Can’t afford any of those against Duke.

    I still give tons of credit to Coach Bates. Clean up those glitches and keep the pressure coming!

    Last season’s Duke game was one of my favorites. We couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us. They had the NFL QB, we had KP — but we found a way to win.

    Here we go playing another scary QB…

    Tough being a Pitt fan, but we sure get a lot of “entertainment” for the buck… 😊

    Go Pitt.

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  15. 99% of all PITT games are a challenge. This game will be no different. But that PITT defense is really good. Hope to get Reynolds, Pine and Pinnock back this week.

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  16. Duke took away the jet sweep against VT (VT ran it few times, all for losses). VT had some success (as we did last year) at running off tackle. Duke brings their LBs up close to the line and toward the outside at times. Pitt needs to be ready to audible to an inside running play in some of these instances. VT was able to get 8-12 yards on several off tackle runs, but was not able to get much on the outside.

    On offense, Duke mixes up their plays well. Lots of screens that are set up well, a few QB runs, some rub routes, and some long passes. They run the ball some as well.

    This will be a tough test for our D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One way to combat a team cheating to the outside on jet sweeps is to run the sweep off the wildcat as the Steelers did last night. The Wildcat quarterback has the option of tossing the ball to the sweep or keeping it and running off tackle. With our present situation at quarterback I doubt Pitt would run this option with Pickett.

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  17. For those who watched Penn St at Maryland on Sat, Pitt held KJ Hamler to 3 catches and 68 yards — with one of the catches going for 54. Also on Sat, unsurprisingly, UCF did to UConn exactly what it did to Stanford …. by early in the 2nd quarter, they led 42-0.

    The point I’m getting at is that the Pitt defense appears not to be a fluke.

    Yes, Duke will be a challenge. Their QB is extremely mobile and HC Cutledge is a renown offensive/QB coach, as Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones is reinforcing. This will be a classic match-up

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    1. I agree the Pitt defense is not a fluke but the same can’t be said about the Pitt offense. If Whipple continues with the same series of plays he’s been calling to this point this season Pitt’s in deep trouble. Unless our defense gets a fair number of turnovers I can’t see this Pitt offense scoring much over 20 points in any game going forward.

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  18. Most recent scores with Duke:

    2018/10/27 Pittsburgh 54 – Duke 45 W

    2017/10/21 Pittsburgh 24 – Duke 17 W

    2016/11/19 Pittsburgh 56 – Duke 14 W

    2015/11/14 Pittsburgh 31 – Duke 13 W

    2014/11/01 Pittsburgh 48 – Duke 51 L OT

    2013/09/21 Pittsburgh 58 – Duke 55 W

    1976/10/02 Pittsburgh 44 – Duke 31 W

    1975/10/04 Pittsburgh 14 – Duke 0 W

    1969/10/04 Pittsburgh 14 – Duke 12 W

    Some exciting games…

    Go Pitt.

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      1. All due respect Tex, if you’re referring to Duke ‘s stadium — it blows! And get this … the opposing team’s dressing room is located on the other side of their practice field (or is it a soccer field? – can’t remember) Anyway, the team has to walk at least 120 yards to get to the edge of the FB field.

        The Duke campus is great, their FB field is small college IMO.

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        1. I know. Their stadium does suck. I was just taking at Jab at Pitt. But at least theirs is on campus. Pitts future on campus MPC will definitely not blow.

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          1. If the real estate for Pitt would cost what it does in NC for Duke, you and I could get together and buy the land and maybe get our choice of seats. 😉

            I’m heading down with son who is going to waste my $85 on an app there,,,,visit UVA on the way and UNC too. You gotta reach 🙂

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            1. tvax…we will have a group of about 30 sitting on the 35-40 on the PITT side…can’t remember our section…going to have a little pregame festivities if you are interested…..

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              1. Thanks, Will and I will def look for you all. Haven’t gotten tickets yet but looked at the website and saw many are available. We will likely be wearing JC #24 jerseys.

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          2. Well Tx, you will have to wait until next year to take that jab as it’s been pointed out…… this PITT vs Duke game is in North Carolina. Unless you are suggesting PITT builds a cozy PITT stadium down in Durham?

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            1. I’m suggesting Pitt makes a MPC the focal point of Victory Heights on the OC Lot and Cost Center. More than enough space for a 45-50k venue with a retractable roof and elevating playing floor.

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              1. A stadium that would draw smaller crowds than Heinz because there will be nowhere to park, therefore no tailgating, and traffic will be apocalyptic.

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              2. There would be plenty of parking, plenty of designated tailgating areas. Easy ways to quickly get people in and out. Pitt played in a larger stadium on campus for 70 years with less parking in Oakland as there is now.

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          3. Duke has put some bucks into the ole stadium unlike PITT who rarely spent a penny on PITT Stadium letting it fall into a sad state..(like they wanted to do away with the old bowl we called home).

            I like Wally Wade..no complaining here…neat to be on a college campus…Dookies just don’t show up to support their FB team but a couple Duke alum told me they receive good-excellent financial support from their alum- fan base….

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        2. I enjoy Wallace Wade Stadium.and the surroundings….been there many times…always a cheap ticket for good entertainment…and we usually win…saw Matt Cavanaugh light up the Dookiesin ’76 when my late buddy DC Coach Jerry McGee keyed on stopping Tony D…5 TD passes from Matt which was a PITT record back in the day…

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    1. We look like have mastered the Dookies from those scores…the only team in the ole North Stae the we beat on a regular basis…not so much with Carolina, State and even ECU…..

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  19. BTW, I just remembered that all of the food stands that I saw at Wallace Wade were completely out in the open with no shelter. And the only shelter available in the entire complex is an area on the home side of the field … so you are pretty much SOL if it rains.

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  20. Guys – Mike posted a new article right after I commented on the last thread. Here some of our Offensive info:

    Our offense has been pretty bad so far save for passing yardage. But when you rack up yardage and don’t score it’s a problem. Note our passing offense is 36th (good) but our passing efficiency sucks at 95th and scoring is very poor at only 19.2 ppg.

    KP’s rating is a bad 119.5 and he sits at 105th out of 124 QBs listed…three TD passes accounts for that as well as poor yards per completion at 10.9 and yards per attempt at 6.2…both well below what we will need in ACC play. This also accounts for our 35% 3rd down conversion rate (98th nationally)

    Averaging only 12 ppg against P5 teams is scary also.

    Stat Rank Value
    Total Offense 75th 404.4
    Rushing Offense 100th 126.0
    Passing Offense 36th 278.4
    Team Passing Eff 95th 123.05
    Scoring Offense T-118th 19.2

    We really have to run better.

    The better news is our defense is the best it has been since PC’s 2012 team that gave up only 21.2 ppg. Interesting, and winning, season so far but hard to get a handle on just how good we actually are.

    Note: Pickett’s numbers are big because he attempts so many passes. Here is what he has done against P5 teams so far:

    56/92 for 557 yards (59%) with 1 TD & 2 INTs. That is 9.9 yards per completion and 6.0 yards per attempt for a QB rating of ….110.97 which is pretty terrible. That is why we scored an average of 12.5 points against those teams.

    Again – our offense is so poor that if our defense may have to hold teams under 20 points to win games. We are holding other teams to 21 ppg now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, no arguing any of those points regarding the O on your post…….looks like Duzz might be living up to his billing on the D side of the ball where recruiting was poor under PC..we seem to have developed some quality with depth on defense…O recruiting needs to improve…TE’s and O-lineman and receivers who can break a game open please apply….

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    2. Good data Reed, thank you for posting! That said, we have played a tough schedule relatively speaking for this early in the season and we have a new offensive coordinator, so one thing to watch for me is: is the offensive improving each week going forward? My biggest concern is still the offensive line, not sure if how much of that is coaching vs recruiting vs immaturity due to 4 new starters, or what mix thereof, but that’s where the concern starts and stops with me (I even feel good about Pickett relative to the OL question).

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  21. Pitt needs a running game. Without one, Pitt might win 3 games the remainder of season. With one, maybe 5

    Difference between a 6 or 8 win season

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    1. If Pitt has to rely on Sibley running behind our current OL we are in deep trouble also. Our best runners are our QB’s on broken plays.

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  22. We all know to win our weak-average conference we need a better O and we all see what’s lacking…and it’s not just one but several things…..I like what I see on the D side…need that transformation on the O side…..

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    1. I think that about UNC game every year..seems like we lead for 3 an 8
      5/8ths quarters and then lose in the last couple of minutes….

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    2. If a coin is flipped 49 times in a row and it comes up tails each and every time, what is the chance the next flip will be heads?

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  23. Pitt’s defensive rankings are truly legit, especially when you are playing potentially explosive offenses the likes of UCF and DairyU. I guarantee the jerk at DairyU wanted to put up 50 and lay 500 yards of offense on Pitt, but instead he was lucky to have won a defensive game.

    As for this week I appreciate that BBall U has had some big offensive games against Pitt in the past, but I think Pitt’s D is a whole different animal this year. I’d be surprised if Pitt gives up more than 21 pts.

    Unfortunately nothing Pitt has done gives me any confidence that they can score more than 21, especially if KP is out. If Sibley is the only healthy RB, we are also awfully thin there. I see a low scoring affair because Pitt’s D is good and O is bad, especially scoring.

    Sure hope Pinnock can play since Duke has a quality QB . . . . . . .again.

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  24. I was there in 76….great game beautiful campus. Went to Phi Gamma Delta party on campus
    in a fraternity house that was a castle. Mostly came to see Dorset

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  25. Most important offensive numbers are poor— but I agree with 1618 that we’ve played tougher teams than most and we have Coach Whip and the offense still trying to figure each other out.

    Look at the progress the D has made in Coach Bates’ second season. Looking like that tough Northwestern defense we saw in the Pinstripe…

    I expect some second half of the season improvement from the offense just from more time to learn from mistakes…

    Agree with BigB that we need better play and/or better players at TE and on the Oline…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The other take that I’m seeing is another Dokish take but it’s kind of interesting.

      Pitt is averaging over 400 YPG and none of the units are really playing very well.

      And he’s right.

      What happens if some or all of the units actually improve midway through the season and start playing well?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. John, there have been receivers running wide open all year. KP needs to start sticking the ball in there and PITT will have a great second half of this season… Whipple is doing every bit of a great job as Bates

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      1. ike — I’m a big fan of both coordinators (but would like to see Coach Whip tone it down a notch when “coaching” the QBs during the game, though I realize emotions can run high in that situation and there isn’t much time to communicate…).

        Maybe Kenny’s sore shoulder will make him throw with some touch this week…😊

        Go Pitt.

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  26. As Reed has pointed out, the issue with the Pitt offense is that it can’t close.

    Vs Delaware, 443 total yards but only 14 points
    Vs PSU, 396 yards (7 more than PSU) but only 10 points
    Vs Ohio, 481 yards and 20 points

    In the bowl game, Pitt outgained Stanford 344 to 208.

    I wish I had the answer but ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wwb…I don’t think we have the studs to stretch the field… need to have a consistent deep threat game breaker WR and a TE that can run the deeper intermediate route…. so what do we get- lots of very short passes around the LOS…. just my observations……

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      1. Not many yards after the catch as the opponents D has lots of film to study…. piling up lots of passing yards partly due to a very anemic running attack… and the passing attack is fairly consevative… short passes to make up for lack of running( or something like that)

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        1. Yea, we need home run hitters so to speak. I think Ffrench is one but we haven’t seen it yet this year (remember, he returned 2 kicks for TDs last year).. But neither AJ Davis or Todd Sibley are .. but maybe V-Lique and Vince Davis can be.

          I’m also thinking that the lack of tight end use near the goal line hurts

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  27. Narduzzi is the biggest sandbagger I’ve seen since playing cards sitting at a picnic table under a tree on a playground I grew up on and I mean literally grew up on. Pat is certainly not about style points whatsoever. Take the points this Saturday night… It wouldn’t surprise my one bit if he fitted Vincent Davis with a fake cast last week…. 🙂

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  28. Yeah Mr Whipples face does tend to get a little purple on the sideline but I wouldn’t change anything about him. He’s been good most places he’s been. Since we don’t really know how the QB’s respond to him I say lets keep it moving forward.

    About the knee brace on KP. Yes that’s a practice thing. Narduzzi has given Kenny permission not to wear it during games…

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  29. I suspect that if Pitt’s statistics for P5 games were compared to other teams’ P5 statistics, they would look more respectable. As we know, some programs like to fatten up their stats against weak programs to get the national attention. Take the Nitters, for example, who need to juice their scoring stats by laying 79 points on Idaho.

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    1. I personally think scumbag is too harsh, but i thought the words of former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen were very interesting and apropos. I was driving friday night and caught the Maryland broadcast of the PSU-Md game on sirius satellite radio. Friedgen was interviewed at halftime and asked to compare Franklin and current Md coach Mike Locksley, because both Franklin and Locksley were assistants at Md under Friedgen. Friedgen’s exact words were that Locksley is “more sincere” than Franklin.

      Now I had to take this with a grain of salt because he admitted his loyalty still lies with Md. He also said something about PSU’s recruiting advantages because every kid in the state wants to go to PSU … that might be true in eastern PA but certainly wasn’t the case in western PA, at least in my experience growing up in western PA back in the day.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. First of all, How many cali teams is Wisconsin scheduling?

      Second … the law sets up a clear cut recruiting advantage for California schools vs states that don’t have it.

      Btw two state congressmen in PA already proposed a bill…

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Typo on my part. Should read 2029 & 2030.

            According to an article I read on fbschedules, Wisconsin, to schedule this series with UCLA, postponed a series with Virginia Tech already scheduled for 2029 & 2030 to 2031 & 2032.

            The kicker – due to previous postponements, if Wisc./ Va. Tech actually play, it will be 25 years since the original contract was signed.

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  30. Regarding the California “Pay Student Athletes” Law… I see one PARTIAL solution.

    The NFL has been using College Football as a “free” Farm System for too long.

    Make it like Basketball. If you’re good enough to go PRO directly from High School… GO!

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      1. The question is “How many THINK their good enough?”

        Let ’em go.

        In the end, they will likely make considerably MORE money than the MAJORITY of today’s College Students who mostly get a HUGE DEBT to carry with them into their 30s.

        Don’t fall prey to being TOO sympathetic to the Athlete!

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    1. 18 year old kids would get butchered in the NFL if they were stupid enough (see their agent) to go straight to the NFL. 250 lb grown men don’t run full speed into basketball players.

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  31. So, now the real ACC season starts, and what do we know about Pitt? Really good D, but pass happy O (65-35??), with no deep passing threat, 5 yards/attempt, and virtually no running game – at least until the 4th Q, IF the OL has worn down the opposing DL

    Anybody else expecting Nard to do a Rope-a-Dope in schemes for the rest of the season?? I mean if you are studying his game films, to pick up tendencies, you really only need to study one – they are schematically identical.

    So, if he flips the table, no one can figure him out for the next 2-3 games. Of course, this scenario would require a change in blocking schemes, and our OL to actually be able to open up gaping holes!

    This would be the on-field equivalent of having your RB wear a FAKE CAST on his day off — and we all know Nard would never do that!

    Jus’ Sayin’!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I kinda of do Mike. He’s also a lot of bit paranoid (he called Reed a spy) and never wants to leave a stone un-turned before a game…. Reminds me of a young Jackie… I know that’s a reach but????

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  32. Pitt needs to turn yards into points and manufacture more explosive plays. It doesn’t matter if it comes from the run game or the passing game. I think we’re harping too much on the run game when the real problem is scoring.

    Regarding the run, get 3 or 4 yards on first down. Give yourself 2nd and 3rd and manageable and you’re fine in college football. Running for no gain on early downs kills drives. That, I agree, is an issue and something that Pitt finds itself in all too much. The running game just has to keep the defense honest. I’m not worried about total yards at all or where Pitt is ranked nationally.

    When Pitt hired Whipple they committed to the pass. The run game will be 2nd fiddle as long as he’s here. That is a reality so might as well get used to it.

    Pitt’s problem has been a lack of explosive plays and red zone offense. Pickett does not throw deep very well and our wideouts are not great route runners. So, it’s kind of an awkward fit where our wide outs are better on intermediate to deep routes, where precision route running is less important, but our QB is better at the intermediate routes and shorter that require better to good route running. In the middle of the field Pickett is hitting those intermediate routes and the wideouts are getting open. We’re not going over the top very much, however, and Pitt is also struggling with the quick hits that move the chains ten yards at a time.

    Those flaws become an issue when the field shortens (or you need a first down) and you need route running to create separation. IMO, Pitt really misses RAL this season. I think Whipple would have been very creative with him and his route running. Tre Tipton had potential but I think previous injuries sapped his quickness before going out for the season with a new injury.

    When your wideouts can’t create separation in the red zone, you will struggle scoring points. When your QB can’t hit open wideouts deep, you will struggle to score points. That is what we’re seeing up to this point in the season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Football is a game of first downs” – Lou Holtz.

      I agree though that being able to connect on some explosive plays opens things up.

      I also agree that the red zone is an issue.

      The one play that I saw a Wr get separation in the end zone was what’s week’s Mack TD

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      1. College football is about tempo and scoring, now. There are a few exceptions of course but it’s hard to do … and you still need to hit those short routes to move the chains … you end up in a lot of 3rd and 4’s with that style.

        … And … Easy for Lou Holtz to say when he has guys like the Rocket making explosive plays. Haha.

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      2. Lou Holtz was in Pittsburgh today as the speaker at “Town Hall South.”

        My wife is a regular at these events and though she wasn’t thrilled with a football coach being today’s speaker, she said he gave an excellent thoughtful and humorous talk.

        Go Pitt.

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  33. The red zone is where the lack of a running game hurts the most. That and not having quality tight ends.

    I also think this is where the inexperience of the line has hurt. They should get better.

    The Steelers used the wildcat very effectively last night. It was great to see Conner have a good night

    Unfortunately Pitt doesn’t have two backs that break tackles like the Steelers.

    We have to hope that the Pitt offense is starting to jell. Hard to say with the changes last week, but Patti did throw 2 very nice TD passes. Hopefully more to come no matter the QB.

    Obviously KP has more experience, less likely to make mistakes and looks to be the better runner, but Patti is pretty cool under fire, and seems to have the knack in the red zone.

    I have a feeling that Whipple may use both guys.

    Like

  34. I read where Duke has only given up one sack this season!

    And they played ‘Bama??

    That means they are getting rid of the ball really quick. Plus they like screen passes.

    Will make it tough on our pass rushers. Maybe we can get some hands up??? Hoping Coach Bates can cook up some good stuff…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. More on that Thursday… the tide has not registered many sacks this season.

      Though i agree the duke line and scheme are probably pretty sound

      Like

  35. The threat of the deep ball is important to keep the defense honest. They must continue to attempt a few. The separation seems adequate if a ball is on target. But there lies the problem.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Duke’s two offensive tackles are Freshman too. That should bode well for the Pitt DE’s.

        The Duke QB is a RS/SR, runs well and has a quick release.

        This will be an interesting test for the Pitt D.

        H2P!

        Like

  36. Two or three new looks I see happening this Saturday night

    A.Matthews with receptions over the middle ala ND game in 2018.

    The introduction of trueFR B.George at FB or K.Wright at TE or both. Or possible DL Morgan as FB because of his speed to open the way for the RB’s.

    KP and NP switching jersey numbers (sarcastic?)

    Regardless, mark my words, the coaches will have something new for the Duke D that is not currently on film lyke V.Carter in 2018.

    The defense of the Coastal begins Saturday night in Durham. To me this game has the feel of the UVA game last season. Many POV commenters in attendance and a team that is an underdog at an all important away game.

    Buckle up and witness the defeat of the blue devils down south.

    H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

  37. I would just like to see someone hold a block long enough for Ffrenchy to break one down the sideline.

    But as I have repeated often, Mathews needs to be targeted more often.

    Like

  38. Pulled this from an article in the Durham News & Observer –

    “Concern rules in this series for Duke until the Blue Devils prove otherwise. Pitt is 5-1 against Duke since entering the ACC in 2013. The Panthers have scored 50 or more points in three of those wins and even scored 48 the only time Duke beat them in ACC play in 2014. This game will tell us a lot about where Duke’s season is headed.”

    Read more here: https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/duke/article235682767.html#storylink=cpy

    Any good Pitt FB articles coming out of the Pittsburgh rags?

    I know, the Steelers, Pirates and Pens are more interesting.

    H2P!

    Like

  39. The Steelers, like Pitt have no running game, but threw 16 times to their backs underneath the coverage, very successfully.

    Like

  40. Saw OJ Simpson while still at USC driving a brand new white Corvette on the Sunset Strip.
    Some players have always been paid.

    Like

  41. Speaking of Pitt players in the pros, considering the relatively little information we get on this person, the news surprised me. Nice going by our tight end/offensive tackle. “Brian O’Neill is four games into his second year and has still not given up a single sack.” But, golly, he doesn’t have any touchdowns yet.

    He has now surpassed Joe Thomas & is 2nd to only Ryan Clady among OTs for most pass blocking snaps to start a career without giving up a sack since 2006 (the earliest year PFF has charted)

    Liked by 1 person

  42. College players should be paid. The NCAA is a billion dollar industry. I don’t care about corruptness. The sport is already corrupt. Sports and cheating will always be synonymous.

    At minimum, grant them Olympic amateur status and rules.

    Players should have contracts, not LOI’s. The contracts are what would bind them to a school and help control the transfer issue. It also holds the school accountable. If you don’t want a player transferring to another school put it in a contract. If you release the kid from a contract all bets are off. Just an isolated example.

    Once you go this route, the sport should be unionized to prevent schools from manipulating contracts.

    Football and basketball are minor leagues and they should be treated as such. Keep amateurism for the Olympic Sports. I’m fine with that. But follow Olympic amateurism rules instead of the arbitrary ones the NCAA sets up.

    Players should be able to major in a professional sport. A football degree from BAMA would at minimum get you a HS coaching job. You could have football/basketball trainer curriculums. Coaching curriculums. Clinic curriculums. Finance management for serious athletes. Sports communications for on-air interests. There is a lot more that can be done for student athletes in regards to curriculum if they don’t to pursue generic bachelor degrees.

    Stop trying to treat students that are different from the general student population like they are the same as the general student population. Once you’re on scholarship, or contract, for a sport the path to a degree should be different. Obviously, still accredited, but the path should be adjusted based on the seasonality of the sport.

    Roster sizes should be reduced. 85 scholarships is way too much and leads to a lot of the transfer issues. Smaller rosters would also lead to more balance.

    The NCAA could adopt the European soccer model. Start of with a top 40 of P5 teams. The bottom 4 to 8 get kicked out and teams from the sub-division are promoted up.

    This will be a HUGE differentiator between the schools that care about being relevant in a sport and those that don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. With all due respect, college athletes should not be paid. If they are being paid they are professionals, and should be playing in an NFL minor league somewhere. Since only about 1-2% of FB/BB players ever end up in the pros, the rules should be drawn up for the other 98%. There would be real dissension in the locker room if a couple of players were being paid while the rest in a team sport were not. The NFL should develop and pay for its own minor league system, and should be able to draft kids right out of high school. Kids who get a signed contract should not be able to play in college. The 98% of kids who won’t even sniff the NFL or NBA are getting a college degree opportunity at no cost that will benefit them for a lifetime.

    Like

  44. I respectfully disagree.
    Let the NBA and NFL pay for minor leagues. I will gladly watch the kids that actually want to attend college. My guess is after a few years watching guy make 35,000 grand playing in front of 2,500 hundred people in Altoona many will want to play in college for free.
    I would then require them to be actual students.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Most college athletes are already being legally compensated through scholarships, room and board, free eats and a small stipend. Then many others are getting illegally compensated on top of that, cars, jobs and “special tutors” The cheating will only get worse, a lot worse. It already is broken to a degree but there are better ways to take care of college athletes……. !

    Like

  46. VoR – The NFL and NBA use the NCAA as a minor league and the NCAA reaps the revenue from it. Lol. The players don’t. College amateurism is a sham and farce. It’s about money. And if it’s about money then college player should be paid.

    The NCAA is a bigger and more important than the G-League for the NBA. The NFL doesn’t even bother. Just uses the NCAA as their minor league.

    Why would the NFL develop their own farm system when they have a free one? Lol. Saying they “should” do something and what is realistic are two different things. The NFL will not do that so players should be paid.

    … and that 1-2% is for all 130 teams. It’s higher for P5 teams. Even higher for Top 25 teams. Even higher for Top 10 teams. And even higher for programs like Clemson and Alabama.

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/alabamas-recruiting-success-translates-to-the-nfl/

    The article link is from 2015 … and one quote from it in the event you don’t read it.

    “Here goes with a recruiting nugget that even Saban might not be aware of: From 2005-13, 41 percent of Alabama’s starters were taken in the NFL Draft.
    Not just all-conference or All-American. That’s just what being a starter will get you at Alabama. Kind of cuts through the average recruit’s short list of questions:
    How soon can I get to the NFL?
    That’s 39 of 96 starters (defined as at least eight games in a season) drafted in that nine-year period spanning Mike Shula and Saban. SSA hasn’t scoped the entire country but here’s some perspective: In the same time frame 26 percent of Auburn’s starters were drafted.”

    kman – Unfortunately, that is a romanticized view of college athletics and not reality. I get your sentimentality but that just is not how student athletes are viewed by top programs associated with the NCAA.

    All the arguments I ever hear about this is from a “this is how it should be” standpoint … Unfortunately, it’s not that way and college athletes are exploited.

    Both your arguments are from the “protect the sport I love” standpoint instead of what is actually happening.

    As we’ve seen, college kids are getting paid by shoe companies on the side. Players are already getting paid. Schools are paying kids. It’s just all being done in a back alley right now.

    Like

  47. I am not protecting anything. If they want paid let them get paid by billion dollar leagues. It is simple.
    I agree that they are already illegally paid now and many are not really college students.
    My point is bring it on. All the complainers and justice warriors want to free the oppressed athletes.
    Fine, let those that want to get paid find a way in the market to monetize the skills they have. ( good for them)
    If you want to play in college play for free and study.

    Liked by 5 people

  48. From what I saw last week, Duke came out throwing a handful of bubble screens but then in the 2nd or 3rd series, they pump faked a screen and the 2 blockers released and ran downfield and were wide open. It turned into their first of many TDs. I’m not sure what happened to Bud Foster and his defenses over the past two years, but he is in his last year and bet he can’t wait until its over.

    Meanwhile, after the opener vs Bama, Duke has scored a ton of points. I don’t think they will score nearly as much, but they will score. I won’t be comfortable with another shootout

    Like

  49. Oh boy, you went with “justice warriors”. Lol. I know when to get out of an argument.

    I’ll just leave it with this …

    “Fine, let those that want to get paid find a way in the market to monetize the skills they have. ( good for them)”

    Right now, they can’t. My solution to that is the NCAA pay the athletes or let them get paid … Even the Olympics lets amateurs get paid and the Olympics is the holy grail of amateurism.

    But, based on the social warriors comment, I know that won’t resonate so it was just wasted typing.

    Like

  50. It is only a matter of time till they pay college players. The question is how to do it in a fair an equitable manner and who will be the governing body?

    Will it be done like Pro Football to maintain a fairly level playing field or like Basketball or Baseball where the rich get richer?

    Like

  51. Am I missing something here? I could have sworn these athletes are receiving a free education with many other benefits. I’m sure most commenters on the POV would have liked to have their education paid for.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Players get a free ride and other things on top today. Now they want a cut of the NCAA money? Is that what I’m hearing. Cry me a river.

    What might happen is the 40 or so elite and biggest fan base schools break away and form a new football only conference. No affiliation with the NCAA. Basically the minor league for the nfl. Subsidized by tv money. These football factories will foresake their educational mission for the money. Athletes will get paid under this system.

    Pitt will never want to be a part of that. Nor should they.

    I can see only three schools from the ACC being qualified and interested in this football league. They can be replaced.

    Players would still get drafted from Pitt. Pitt just won’t get any elite athletes. They don’t today anyway. At least Pitt would be on a level playing field with like minded schools that value the student athlete and don’t cheat.

    I look forward to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Tex – That is exactly what I’m saying. Pitt can choose to be a part of it or not. See my original post. Even used your 40 number.

    Like

    1. Then I like it.

      Such a new league might generate about $100 million in tv monies, etc per school. I think projections were based on a 32 member league. Those schools with largest fan bases and best brands. Moreover, those schools willing to do it.

      I just don’t see pitt qualifying. And if they did, Pitt would refuse and rightfully so. I want my alma mater to be a student athlete driven model. Amateur status and not semi pro.

      I don’t think the ACC money would decrease much. I see clemson, FSU and Miami being interested and good fits. Replace them with south Florida, central Florida and either temple or wvu for football.

      Right now the system is rigged against schools like Pitt. Not fair. Misaligned goals. Hypocrisy.

      Not sure what to do about basketball though.

      Like

  54. ike – A free education is a write-off for the school. It’s not compensation. And you assume everyone wants an education. Not everyone does … If you don’t appreciate something then it’s worthless. I hate the free education argument.

    Like

    1. TT, how many football players did PITT have on the all academic list the past few years? A free degree from PITT is worth every penny to the athlete as it was to you, except you paid for yours. … and are you forgetting about all the athletes on scholarship? I think the entire women’s volleyball team would disagree with you. It’s the biggest can of worms in the history of college sports. It’s not a write off for the student athlete receiving the education. Just like the free Escalades Alabama gives out to the families and players that commit there.

      Like

      1. ike – I’m talking college football and basketball, not Pitt. Regarding the volleyball team, go read my original post.

        Pitt hasn’t been a top 25 program in awfully long time. One of the main discussion points on this board is how Pitt does not prioritize football or athletics in general. Pitt is last in the Director’s Cup. Pitt better be good at academics if they aren’t going to be good at the actual sports they play. Lol.

        Like

  55. It is not exactly a free ride when you essentially have a very difficult full time job that generates millions for the University.

    We would all like to go back to the gold ole days when sports were played for fun, but today’s Big Time college football and basketball is big business with pretty close to free labor.

    Like

    1. gc, Cam Johnson received a free 4 year education while giving PITT 2 years of playing time. How did that happen? and look at all the grad transfers now a days that have already graduated with eligibility remaining? The free education is a real thing.

      I don’t like the 40 team separation argument either. Just let the players jump to the pros anytime they want. That problem will straighten itself out pretty quickly. The NFL doesn’t have enough roster spots for the over-saturation of all the big header players. Legislation should be encouraging education, not destroying young peoples lives because they have $$ for contact lenses. and BTW, no one has asked the NFL what they think about all this.

      Like

      1. Cam Johnson got drafted in the lottery and does not need the college education he received. Not sure where you’re going with that … and he can afford to pay it back.

        ike – For a lot of athletes once they can’t play their sport anymore the education does not get used. The landscape is littered with former athletes not prepared by their college education. For a lot of people, that education is not worth anything.

        https://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2017/02/03/man-busted-heroin-selling-drugs-irvington-teens/97436658/

        Like

  56. I just don’t want a pitt three star starter getting noticed by bama and then getting offered a contract to play in the semi pro league. Maybe they sit a year or have to pay back their scholie immediately. Need to make financial repercussions for poaching. Pitt could loan their player like they do in premier league

    I like your idea of relegation tossing. There will always be left out schools that want in. Drop the bottom 3-4 and promote 3-4 each year. Throw central Florida a bone. But again I don’t think pitt wants any part in that.

    Like

    1. Tex – I would assume if this happened, scholarships would go to the baseball model where you have to commit to 3 years. So, yes, Pitt may lose some players early but it would be just a new version of players going pro early.

      To be honest, Pitt probably gives up football and becomes a basketball school.

      Like

  57. I read where the experts are giving us only a 26% chance of winning the Duke game.

    Thought we should be something around 40%, but I’m obviously not an expert…

    Course they missed on the UCF game…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. They must have watched the tape of the Delaware game. Add in the many question marks on the Pitt injury list and that easily allow for low expectations for a Pitt win.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope everyone including Duke watched the Delaware film, cause that ain’t seeing a thing that PITT will be calling this weekend. << Jive talking on purpose.

        Like

  58. MajorMajors – I think the betting lines are going to be hard to read this week. No one knows who Duzz will be starting or sitting. Questions at QB and RB and CB.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. The problem is the NFL using the NCAA as its minor league, at no cost to the NFL. The NFL needs a farm system. If MLB and NHL can do it, there’s no reason NFL (and NBA) can’t. If kids want to be athletes and not student-athletes, then go to the minor league. If they want to go to school instead of being pro athletes at least between the ages of 18 and 21, then they play college football by the college rules and turn pro after.

    NFL can help their kids in their minor league system to enroll in online universities during their offseason, because those are everywhere nowadays.

    Like

  60. newbk1 – Precisely, but what motivation does the NFL have? Or the NBA? Minor league baseball and hockey for some reason is hard to replicate in football and basketball. Basketball’s minor leagues are in Europe and China. Football culture is High School and College. Plus, it’s too expensive with too many players to make it work. Basketball is about the athlete and without the elite athlete you might as well be watching an Ivy League game. Lol.

    College football and basketball will always be a minor league to the NFL and NBA. That is the reality of the situation. The NCAA could screw those leagues by making the LOI’s mandatory for 4 years. Then the leagues have motivation to start minor leagues. But then preventing players from going pro without paying them becomes the main sticking point again … only magnified.

    Like

  61. No way does paying players cleans up the already filthy way NCAA sports are run. If Pitt pays its players say the maximum allowed by the NCAA of $10,000, DairyU pays the same $10,000 and another $10k on the side because they have the revenue to cover it.

    The only effective solution is one that no team in the NFL will agree to, and would be for the NFL to establish their own minor league, pay all of the costs like baseball does. Kids who don’t get drafted to play in the NFL minor leagues go to college under the existing rules (free tuition, food, board, etc.).

    But again, until the NCAA can find a way to “force” the NFL to take on the costs of a minor league, this mess will never be resolved.

    CA law is a terrible burden for small revenue schools like Pitt that can’t break even already.

    Like

    1. How well did Max Browne do against Rice?
      Answer- 4 TD passes!

      Why does Rice play Texas?
      Answer: “…not because it is easy; because it is hard.” 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. When Rice played Texas earlier this season, they showed a clip of JFK’s famous go-to-the-moon-this-decade speech — which he gave in Rice Stadium.

          They also showed his typed prepared speech and his handwritten insertion of the “Why does Rice play Texas!” line.

          (We pay attention to Rice stuff in our house because two of our kids attended there… Excellent school. )

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 1 person

  62. taxingmatters – It’s not a burden. Pittsburgh is a pretty big city. Lots of ways for a college kid to get endorsed. If Pitt can’t pay them, they certainly can find local businesses to pay for endorsements. City schools actually may have some benefits the state schools don’t.

    Pitt is a Nike school, you don’t think Nike would toss some money at a kid?

    This is less about the schools paying the kids or even the NCAA but rather them being able to make money off of their likeness.

    Like

  63. Tossing, player compensation such as the current food costs and stipends is a tax write-off to universities as well. So whatever the solution, universities will write off any athletic expenses (the legal ones, of course). Right now, the universities and NCAA have control of the product and revenues generated by the big time college sports, but not the player’s rights which are protected by law. They can only regulate the players who choose to play college ball instead of entering the draft. The NFL and NBA determine who and how they will draft players, and are free to draft kids out of high school or whoever they want.

    ike is right that the players should be permitted to go pro whenever they want, and the only obligation of the NCAA is to deal with the 98% who remain and want an education. You are attempting to correctly describe the current corrupt state, not the solution, which is to let the top high school players go professional if they want, and take their chances in the NFL or NBA if there are opportunities in these leagues or any newly created minor leagues. In fact, fewer “stars” in college would make for more even competition instead of the top football factories winning all of the time. Viewer interest may even increase.

    If there were an NFL or NBA minor league system, many of those Alabama draft picks would never see a college campus, which would likely even things out among all schools. In any case, players coming out of high school or still in college are free to make the choice of entering the draft or playing in college for an education and spending money. If too many get drafted and then cut, the NFL and NBA would come under increased pressure to create a minor league.

    Like

    1. VoR – There is no minor league. The NCAA is the minor league. Why would the NBA or NFL do anything when they have the NCAA for free? That will never happen. Regardless of the pressure. Football fields too many players for it to be economically feasible plus the insurance associated with it. The NBA has a minor league … the G-League.

      Yes, let them go pro out of HS. I 100% agree. That still doesn’t change much, if anything.

      Adopt Olympic amateurism rules. That’s the fix. Let them make money off of their likeness. That is what the law is about.

      The law doesn’t say to share the billion dollar pot that the NCAA brings in. Only that players can be compensated as well as paid for their likeness. Emphasis on “can”. It doesn’t make it mandatory.

      Like

    1. Thanks for posting. The POV conversation wandered into a discussion that was not directly tied to the new California law.

      James Conner would have made a large chuck of change just on the sale of Pitt jerseys with his name & number. The question is how does this effect Pitt’s royalties on the sale of a Pitt branded jersey?

      Liked by 1 person

  64. TT and MD
    Read the article that MD linked more closely, this will likely impact athletic department revenues because currently any endorsement deals are paid directly to the athletic departments but under CA law they will be paid directly to the athlete. Smaller revenue ADs (Lyke Heather) will be more negatively impacted.

    VOR
    Be careful in assessing tax benefits from “write-offs”. Its a much more complicated discussion than this forum can handle For example, institutions which accept donations which individual donors can write-off for income taxes must be tax-free under tax laws. Accordingly, a tax-free institution gets no tax benefit from a “write-off of athletic expenses because it isn’t subject to taxes in the first place.

    Like

    1. Taxing – I replied commented on frankmd’s above post & mentioned James Conner name & number Pitt branded jerseys. Royalties to both Pitt & Conner? Split royalties? Same price as non Conner jersey with number & no name. That to me is easier to solve then paying student athletics.

      Totally agree on the “write-off” explanation. Thanks for explaining.

      Like

  65. You’re right, taxingmatters78. I stand corrected on the taxing issue. Still,there is no place for tax exempt institutions to be competing with NFL teams for players, and they shouldn’t try. The colleges (through the NCAA) should decide what is best for their student athletes and let the NFL worry about the bad publicity of costing players their eligibility by drafting them and then cutting them loose. The NCAA could possibly adopt a rule that players could come back if they don’t sign a contract, but I’m not sure it is wise for them to make it too easy to come back.

    Like

  66. taxingmatters78 – I’m not really factoring Pitt into this argument. I do not think this is necessarily good for Pitt football. I do think it is fair, however. I can see city schools like Miami, Pitt, USC and UCLA benefitting from it with urban markets and endorsement opportunities. I think the state schools will have an advantage from a fan base and school merchandise perspective with self-generated cash flow and gate receipts … But I do think that the city schools can take advantage of external endorsements and licensing. There is a lot of corporate money in major cities for endorsement opportunities.

    Like

  67. I stand corrected. Upon further review it turns out that Lou Holtz did do a magic trick during his speaking engagement in Pittsburgh yesterday. He did the rip-up-the-newspaper-but-then-it’s -not-ripped-up trick…

    BTW, he also donated $5K to the charity work the Town Hall organization does…👍

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  68. So back in LA from my Pittsburgh sports extravaganza (Pitt/Pirates/Steelers) that marked my first time back in town in 20 years and my son’s 9th birthday. The weekend was beyond awesome and I did get an interesting perspective on Pitt. I got tickets 4 rows behind the Pitt bench at the 45 yard line (28 dollars each on stub hub). First time at Heinz Field and I stayed at the Renaissance so it already got thumbs up just because the walk to the game was awesome and not uphill. The crowd was better than I expected and people, including the students were into it, keep in mind I graduated in 1995 so my memories of Pitt stadium are not romantic, it was falling apart and half full back then. As for the game, the first thing that struck me was how much more calm I was watching the game in person than I would have been at home. I would have been cursing and maybe turned it off if I was home. Being there it was really obvious how much better Pitt was than Delaware, while the score didn’t show it we did dominate them completely. So what did I see? Delaware stayed in the game for two reasons, great fundamental tackling and not turning the ball over. Those two things were their only hope and they pulled it off masterfully. As for Pitt, the defense was dominant as advertised, outside of the infuriating offsides and late hit penalties, at least live the pass interference calls looked pretty ticky tack to me. A forgotten play and it happened right in front of us was Hamlin just missing a pick 6 on the first pass of the day, 1/2 second earlier and Pitt probably wins by 30. The people around me were screaming to run the ball more but I did not agree. Missing the two Davis boys seemed to be a much bigger deal than not having Pickett. Carter is too small to run up the middle and Sibley lacked any explosion to gain more than 4 or 5 yards. Once Patti threw that hideous INT Delaware went all out to stop the run and it was clear that we would have a hard time and Patti was gun shy. I guess you can blame the coaches for not having them ready, but I can’t blame them for dropped passes, off sides penalties etc…They won the game and my feelings about this team are the same they were before. They can beat or lose to anyone else the rest of the way, it will be all about execution. Finally I did briefly stop by the POV tailgate, I met, Fran, Reed, Annie and Pitt PT, nice to put some faces to the words and everyone was super welcoming.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. That is the game I saw.
      Would love to get your perspectives more as I have stated before there are many here that seem to be watching a different game than the one I see.

      Like

    1. I went to Ohio State and attended those four years in the 90s when Pitt was embarrassed by the Buckeyes. The real kick in the crotch is all I heard what Nordy did to raise the academic profile at Pitt that decade, E Gordon Gee did the same at Ohio State. Only Ohio State didn’t kill its football program like Pitt did, rather the Buckeyes doubled down in football.

      Like

  69. Listening some to the Pat Narduzzi Show. Duzz brought up Gabe Houy as one of the offensive players of note. Said he’s gotten better every week. Also mentioned Mack, of course.

    Defense he mentioned Watts and Mathis. Special teams he mentioned Wendell Davis.

    Scout team he mentioned Beville, Brandon George, and Stocker’s younger brother.

    Duzz said Beville does so much that he could be the scout team player of the week every week…

    BTW – they talked to Amir Watts. Cool guy — said he has 7 sisters and 5 brothers! Yikes!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. Whew! My Nuclear stress test results finally in. Turns out I have no blockages or major problems. I have a healthy heart of a 60 yr old man.
    I’m 69.

    Big B… don’t know how you went thru all this. Almost called you.

    4 tests, 2 months, tons of anxiety and they tell you, “lose 5lbs and we will in 6 months” unreal.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. dan72… just came back from the electrophysiologist cardiologist 5 weeks after my A-fib bout…. on a blood thinner for life( sucks – have to tone it down) and wearing a monitor for 2 weeks. She gave me a journal to keep … First entry 1 hour after leaving her office” Between 5-6pm consumed 1 sangria and 1 Mich Ultra with a piece of lime!”

      See you at the Carolina game… bringing my drug pushing Carolina grad pharmacist buddy with me… we can talk shop …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. B…my greatest fear was open heart surgery, 2nd greatest was blood thinners (other than scotch! ) Counting my many Blessings. Look forward to talking shop at NC. One of my best Pitt buds has had 2 oblations for a fib. Hope u can avoid that. Like you, I am now a walking fountain of heart knowledge. Serious stuff.

        Like

      2. Sorry to hear about the meds but glad to hear that other than that all’s well. See you on Saturday my friend

        Like

  71. Two things I didn’t remember/know about Duke:

    —They have 8 defensive starters back from last season.

    —They throw in some triple option plays each week…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks PT, he was too jazzed and shy to want to hang out longer. We hit the Pirates game because it was there (we are a Mets house, as I am Jersey born and raised) but Osuna threw a ball to him running off the field after an inning ending double play which made his universe. We hit campus Sunday morning and boy did memories come flowing back, was tough to swallow that the bee hive is now a T Mobile and Zeldas is now a Five Guys. That said the thing that shocked me the most was we were hankering for some fries and I had been talking up the O and they were closed on Sundays? Has that always been the case? Thats crazy… After the Steelers win Monday night, the boy is officially hooked for life. I almost feel bad about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  72. MM – here is my early prediction for the Duke game as I may be tied up with other things today & tomorrow –

    Pitt wins 21-20

    The D is spectacular but does give up 4 scores (2 long TD plays and 2 FG’s).

    The O struggles but scores 7 second half points to squeak out the W.

    All injured players make an appearance in the game but none have much of an impact.

    Duzz calls 2 defensive time outs, passes on 2 FG’s and losses on a replay review. Pretty typical game for the HC, but he walks away with the win.

    H2P!

    Pulled this from the Duke Bleacher Report –

    https://mobile.twitter.com/theACCDN/status/1179501308165984257?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1179501308165984257&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbleacherreport.com%2Fduke-football

    H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EE — nice find on the video in that link… (And I hope your prediction is right on the money!)

      Best wishes to you and Rachel.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

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