Lets start out Tuesday with some updated NCAA rankings.

First, Pitt is now showing up in both polls, listed under “others receiving votes”.

Here is the AP Poll:

top-25-week-9.png

 

Dropped from rankings: Missouri 22, Washington 25

Others receiving votes: Memphis 87, Virginia 29, San Diego State 17, Pittsburgh 17, Washington 15, Navy 9, Texas A&M 6, Missouri 4, USC 3, UCF 3, Louisiana Tech 2, Tulane 1

There are a few questionable teams ahead of us.

Cincinnati for one…

Iowa…

And Minnesota.  I thought I saw a tweet about the Gophers yesterday, but I can’t seem to find it anymore.  Anyway, the undefeated Golden Gophers have beaten:

  1.  South Dakota State (28-21)
  2. Fresno State (on the road, 38-25)
  3. Georgia Southern (35-32)
  4. Purdue (38-31)
  5. Illinois (40-17…this is now looking better and better)
  6. Nebraska (34-7)
  7. Rutgers (42-7).

I will point out that unlike Pitt, the Gophers have learned how to put an opponent away.  If Pitt had done the same against Duke and Syracuse, they’d probably be in the top 25 as well.

Second, I would also like to give Jerry DiPaola a shoutout for ranking Pitt this week.  Thanks Jerry!  Tom Bragg’s vote out of Charleston, WV offsets the lack of vote from That Other Pittsburgh Paper, I suppose (They do have a vote right?).

Third, in the ACC Power rankings, Pitt is hanging in around 3 or 4 depending on who you talk to.  Virginia’s big win over Duke, and their earlier season win over Pitt has kept them ahead of the Panthers.  Wake continues to to get love despite having Utah State as their signature win this season.

Here is the Syracuse.com writeup on Pitt.  Pretty accurate if you ask me. Did you know we have the second longest winning streak in the ACC?  Is that the kiss of death next week against Miami?

3. Pittsburgh

Record: 5-2 (2-1)

Last week’s ranking: 2

Last week’s result: Win 27-20 at Syracuse

This week’s game: Saturday vs. Miami

Why No. 3? Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak is the second-longest in the ACC and includes two consecutive wins on the road. The Panthers lead the country in sacks, own a decent passing game and appeared to display an improved running game against the Orange. A.J. Davis rushed for 103 yards, the first time a Pittsburgh runner has crossed the century mark against an FBS team this season.

The Panthers have been living dangerously, however, with just one of the five wins coming by more than a touchdown. Quarterback Kenny Pickett is showing some signs of wear from carrying a one-dimensional offense. He has already missed one game this season and visited the locker room against Syracuse before coming back without missing a series.

This is a good point.  What would happen if Kenny Pickett went down against Miami?  Tune into tomorrow’s QB Corner to find out…

 

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

106 thoughts on “Pitt in the Rankings – Week 8

  1. I think a ranking of 22 or 23 is appropriate given the record, quality of opponents and scoring differential. If Pitt didn’t fall asleep at halftime, Pitt would probably be ranked around 18.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These biased rats don’t even have Virginia ranked let alone us. Look at some of the other 5-2 teams like Iowa St., Iowa, Arizona St. Ridiculous.

      Like

  2. I’m actually ok that Pitt is not ranked this week. Gives them some extra motivation to come out and bury Miami. Some good locker room bulletin board material “They don’t respect us!”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. And so does HCPN; when asked yesterday about not being ranked, he responded …..

      “We’re ranked at 1-0 last week, and this week we’d like to be 1-0 as well.”

      wwb

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Agree, but Miami has some quality bulletin board material as well. Rated last in the ACC power rankings, lol. How is that possible for a team with vastly more talent than any other school in the league aside from Clemson and Florida State? That’s got to sting and it can go two ways: the Canes wallow in self-pity and fold their tent or they come out breathing fire. Knowing their history against Pitt, it will probably be the latter.

      Like

  3. I can’t help but believe the lack of decisive win is really hurting us. If I were to see Pitt up by 21 my first thought is it must be 2’nd quarter.

    When you are always squeaking by, who believes you?

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    1. I agree. I think Paris Ford tweeted something to the effect of “hey rank is this week”

      My challenge back to Ford would be “hey get those guys together this week and get them to play for four quarters.”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It would be rare for a college team to lose their starting QB and still have a successful season.

    If Pitt loses Pickett, they are toast. Back up QBs just don’t get the reps all year. I am sure Patti would improve the more games he played but it would be a serious drop.

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  5. So in the power rankings above, Virginia is #3 in the ACC, and Miami is last at #14, yet Miami beat Virginia solidly, 17-9, just two weeks ago. Looking at that recent history, the last two weeks, I see that Virginia was pass heavy against the canes and could not run the ball (2.2 ypc), whereas Tech relied more on the run and ran it well (4.6 ypc), which may justify my trepidation against the canes given Pitt’s strengths/weaknesses. If we some how come out of the Miami game with a win, I will be impressed despite the 5.5 point spread in Pitt’s favor: same old concern is our offense against the opponent’s front 7.

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  6. It is probably better we are not ranked yet because I could see it going to the team’s head.just as the team gets all proud of themselves after the first half and then kind of goes through the motions in the second half. Just keeping looking one week at a time and we could be back in that ACC Championship again making all our southern brethren just a wee bit salty.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Not blowing out both Syracuse and Duke in the second half definitely is costing Pitt in the polls. They were both there to be had by 3 touchdowns or more. And you can add in the dismal 2nd half offensive totals this season by Pitt as another factor in the lack of respect. It’s pretty hard to get excited about any team that looks like it only shows up for one half of the game. The votes we do get IMO are clearly out of respect for the fact that we lead the nation in sack totals.

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    1. jrn, beating a team by 21 or more points at halftime and eventually winning is an accomplishment in of itself.

      Just watched a few interviews on PSN. Boom, great stuff and I’m sure Mike will post them later this week. Whipple does a great job and Shockey’s interview is interesting as well. << (kind of touching) Amir Watt and Deslin Alexandre do a fantastic job. PITT young men are well schooled. Kudos to Narduzzi!

      Like

  8. To add some detail to my previous post(from Jim Hammett @Lair), Pitt has been outscored in the 2nd half 103 to 41 and the point differential this season is 156 to 155 in favor of Pitt. It’s really hard to gain much respect with figures like that for those voting in the polls.

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  9. Be honest, when Kenny Pickett headed to the dressing room early in the Syracuse game, what were you thinking were Pitt’s chances of winning the game?

    We hadn’t played well early with KP, but I thought we were toast at that point…

    On the team rankings, the good news is there’s plenty of room for a new good team in the top 25… If we can beat the puzzling Canes.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Don’t include the defense in your criticism of the team’s second half play. The D continued to dominate Duke and Syracuse throughout the second half. They can only do so much when the offense/special teams turns it over 3 times in a row, or goes 3 and out on several consecutive possessions.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Three 3rd down drops (at least two were in the 2nd half) that would have been first downs and one could have lead to a TD will kill an offense. You don’t get the ball too often in a half.

    Drops are a part of college football but the fact that they are coming more from one position group is bad.
    1. I would like to see Kyi Wright thrown to this next game.
    2. If Gragg and the grad transfer drop more passes, expect Whipple to make a change away from TE throws.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. speaking of media when did WTAE become the official broadcast partner of Penn State? The amount of time and resources devoted the past two weeks is ridiculous for a non local team. They sent reporters to the game last week and also to the away game at Iowa. I assume Conomikes isn’t around anymore as he wouldn’t have stood for this….

    Liked by 2 people

  13. To hell with these local news rags and social media outlets. It’s bad enough they want to shove their personal political agendas down our throats but they also want to play favorites to a corrupt school with zero morals. Just look away… I do! You can get all the PITT sports info you need right here on the POV!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 2 weeks ago, PSU was ABC primetime at Iowa, this past week vs Michigan it was the primetime ESPN game (ESPN is ABC Sports), and this coming week PSU plays at Mich St on ABC at 3:30 … another favorable time slot.

    The Pittsburgh ABC station as well as the Philly ABC affiliate probably gets precedence for all PSU games. It probably doesn’t hurt that Guy Junker is WTAE’s weekend sports anchor.

    In fairness, on Sat evening does show Pitt highlights and often shows them before PSU, depending on the opponents.

    wwb

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  15. I don’t see at this point a path to Pitt in the top 25. Even if you drop Cincy, no way does Pitt jump over the VA team that beat them. Memphis has beaten Ole Miss (in a close one) and a 5-1 Temple team, but more importantly has shown up with scores reflecting 60 minutes of play.

    Speaking of bad wins, the voters are having a hard time looking at the Delaware win and voting for Pitt.

    Its pretty clear, based on Pitt’s inability to put 2 halves together and to score consistently, even when they appear to dominate a game, they don’t belong yet. Win 9 games and an argument can be made and win the bowl game and they may belong in the top 15.

    Until then, just find a running game, win turnover battles, and pretend that the 2nd half kickoff is the beginning of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iowa State is 5-2 & ranked #23. They beat FCS Northern Iowa by 3 in triple O/T. That is also a crappy win. The difference is the timing of the game. Iowa State FCS week! #1. Pitt week #5. Shorter memory of voters & the fact that the majority of FCS games occur in week 1.

      I doubt if voters give much thought to their votes after #15. Regionalism & perceptions play a bigger role. Hard for me to believe that no one (outside of DiPaola) in the ACC footprint thought Pitt was worth a #25 vote.

      Not upset about not being ranked. When Pitt beats Miami (a “Name”), the votes will come.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Dan – I think you are thinking of North Dakota State. Both play in the Missouri Valley Conference, The MVC is considered to be the SEC of the FCS. Northern Iowa is ranked yearly but in the 10’s – 20’s.

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  16. Reasonably confident that all the teams through Texas (ranked 15th) would beat Pitt 7 times out of 10 (or more) on a neutral field. Utah and Baylor are possible exceptions, impressive records not withstanding. But after Texas, the bottom 10 teams in the top 25 are interchangeable and not clearly better or worse than Pitt or any number of unranked squads. Like most years, #16 through #35 or so are all the same caliber and the difference lies in how you perceive their schedules and the “style points” in their wins and losses.

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    1. So UM in summation, I’m reading that you are saying just win and let the chip’s fall where they may?? I agree. I’m with Narduzzi, let’s worry about where PITT is ranked around January 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Playing Russian Roulette week in and week out may end up getting you killed one day. We have a defense that is capable of making us a top 25 team very easily. But then again we have a defense and a offense that takes pride I guess in making most every game interesting by playing at a level in the second half that allows many of our opposition to stick around until the final whistle.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Listening to the Duzz’ presser. He mentioned we were in cover three – three DB’s over the top – pretty much the safest coverage you can call, when Syracuse busted that 94 yard touchdown. Without saying it explicitly, he basically said the safety missed their assignment badly. I don’t know about you, but I’ll call that fallout from the Paris Ford targeting call @ Duke.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike, I know Ford was blitzing on that play and almost got home but that was a hike and heave play. That play was a fluke of all flukes.

      Like

      1. So then there is some dissonance to what duzz is saying…or I misinterpreted it. You can’t be in cover three and blitz a safety. Well maybe you can if you are in nickel or dime package. I need to go back and watch the tape. Okay well then I absolve ford. But if they were truly in cover three then it was either Hamlin, Hallet or Stocker that blew it. Learning opportunity either way.

        Like

        1. The cover 3 that I played had 2 corners responsible for the 3rds of the field closest to the sideline, and the safety responsible for the middle third. Our corner (not sure who it was) got beat on the 96 yarder … you’d hope the safety could take the proper angle and come over to make a tackle or at least slow the receiver down, but defending that throw was the corner’s responsibility (at least in the cover 3 I played).

          I’m not sure how cover 3 is the safest coverage when your corners are trained to play quarters coverage and probably most comfortable playing tight and bumping receivers.

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            1. Good article. Pinnock basically let the guy run right by him. Was this bad execution or a poor coach’s decision/poor decision by Pinnock to play with no cushion?

              Like

    2. Mike, I looked again, Ford blitzed. Maybe Narduzzi was referring to the 4th and 25 play? Either way, Hamlin was not in the right position.

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      1. Hamlin is sometimes a liability in pass coverage for sure. Love the kid but have seen him make some mistakes. But then again we all do from time to Tim’s

        Like

  19. My profile & notification icons are back. I do not have to log in all the time. The system knows it is me. Hurrah.

    I use Microsoft Edge. Received a notification that my security wasn’t turned on. Checked & it was.I then looked at windows defender & had a cautionary item. I did something to Microsoft store app & here I am posting without logging in. Maybe this helps someone experiencing problems with word press. Or then again, it can all be a coincidence..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Hey BigB, you made a point that caught my eye a while back. You said how it bothers you when BB players don’t put arc on their shots. That has always driven me crazy too.

    You just know intuitively that the flatter arc gives you less margin for error.

    So, to put some numbers on it, I looked it up and found this:

    “A shot with a 35 degree arc has a margin of error of 0.6 inches. A shot with 45 degree arc has a margin of error of 3 inches. That’s 500% difference. That obviously gives you a better chance to make more shots and increases your shooting percentage.“

    Same concept applies to KP trying to drop a long pass over a defender and into the hands of a streaking Ffrenchy…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

  21. But…. too much Arc takes those stats back up and increases the margin of error. Check out foul shooters who put a lot of high arc on the ball. They are statistically killing themselves on accuracy.

    Like

  22. the USA coaches salary poll is out. HCPN is 44th at $3.21M, Dabo is first at 9.315M, with a $60M buyout. Jimbo Fisher has a $60M buyout. Franklin is at $5.65M. Saban at $8.875M, Harbaugh at $7.5M; Chryst $4.15M

    ACC: Taggart FSU @ $5M; Fuente VT $4M; Mendenhall $3.7M; Brown UNC $3.5M; Satterville Lville $3.25M; Doren NCS $3,25M; Collins GT $3M; Cutliffe Duke $2.669M; Adazzio BC $2,64M. Babers Syr $2.27 and Claswon WF $2.23M; Diaz Miami not listed.

    and get this … Brian Kelly ND $1.665M … yea right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OT, but I’m wondering. If PN wins 9 games this year will he hear from other teams? If he wins 10 games does he get a raise? According to wbb’s info, he is the #8 in coaching salaries in the ACC. I realize there are bonuses and other payouts, but every coach has them. I’m just going be the list above.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. So Duzz has knocked down about $15.000,000 at PITT ….after taxes gets to keep $8-9 mil….building a solid program, at least that’s where I see it heading.. a stable position for him and his family and very close to his home…. sounds like pretty good gig to me… also Duzz is not a young buck….throw another log on the fire Duzz- it’s cozy here in the Burgh…

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I must admit I am ignorant in this regard. What IS Narduzzi’s number ? I do know that Franklin is the HIGHEST PAID public employee in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Now I LOVE college football, but our society certainly has screwed up priorities. I always thought the people getting the BIG BUCK$ should be the ones working on stem cell research and/or a cure for cancer.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha-ha. Come a long way since my days at Pitt. When I was a freshman, we played our home games off campus. Then they made Trees Field which was pretty much like an area pony league/Federation League field from back then.

      Best wishes to Coach Mike Bell.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. one last thing … freshman Kyi Wright appears to be a really good athlete. He was a 1000 point scorer in BB at Farrell HS. He also played ILB and QB for them, with an impressive 60 yd TD run in state title game, especially for a 235 pounder.

    But to my knowledge, he never played TE. I’m sure he will be good at it but give him time.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. My first prediction for the high noon Saturday’s game? Two teams will line up against each other and there will be BAD BLOOD! << two peas of a pod! PITT being the good guys but they will not back down.

    Like

  25. Pitt giving away “Mt Rushmore” figures on Saturday. Busts of Ditka, Marino, Dorsett, and Fitz.

    Gotta be there for that. As if the game is not reason enough.

    H2P

    Like

        1. I don’t know about a “Sham”, but it certainly would be incomplete. Hugh Green was a “Freak of Nature”.
          Outstanding in every sense. Another ‘too small’ defensive lineman. Remember when too many folks offered their opinion that Aaron Donald was ‘too small’ to make it in the NFL ? I guess we know how THAT worked out. TOO SMALL to MVP !

          Liked by 2 people

        2. One could argue that Aaron Donald belongs there too. Guy collected a lot of hardware his senior year, and appears to be a certain NFL hall of famer. It might be sacrilegious but I think I might put him there over Ditka.

          Like

  26. MM, you start down a slippery slope when you bring up Huge Green’s worthiness, then why not Fralic on the other side of the ball as well? And while we’re talking about OL guys, how long do the sculptors need wait until their chisels begin carving the likeness of Aaron Donald into that rock?

    Stealing Roy Scheider’s classic “Jaws” line, “we’re going to need a bigger mountain”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and then if we go back in time, You just MUST include Marshall Goldberg and JOCK.
      BTW …Wikipedia lists Marshall Goldberg as having been a member of the US NAVY UDT.
      Underwater Demolition Team – the forerunner of the SEALS. Marshall Goldberg was a SEAL ! How cool is that !?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. as an analogy …. any Mt Rushmore of the Steelers would be incomplete without its founder Art Rooney. He was an original NFL founder …. while Jock Sutherland is easily the most important figure in Pitt FB history

      Like

  27. Oh …one more comment – and I apologize for even bringing it up again. I always had a modicum of respect for Narduzzi. AFTER the debacle at Penn State, I lost it all. If you have a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to WIN against a superior opponent, on his turf, you SEIZE IT ! Not to take the shot when you have it was the most HEINOUS act I ever witnessed. I was not only dumbfounded, I almost became physically ill. To not offer a ‘mea culpa’ and double-down on your BS decision by trying to defend it was worse. Not only was it a case of “No Guts – No Glory” , it was “No Brains & No Balls”. Yeah, he’s a nice guy and a FAIR coach, but if someone else wants him – AUF WEIDERSEHN !

    Like

    1. you are right but you have to let it go. There are many higher paid coaches doing much worse jobs (but of course, there are a few doing better)

      But you have to take the good with the bad …. but mostly you need perspective. Wanny was considered a fair coach and I remember many people (including media) elated when he was let go.

      I know I keep harping on this but expecting Pitt to be back upon the upper echelon these days is nothing but a pipe dream. If Pitt wins on Sat, Pitt will have more ACC wins than anyone except for Clemson since PN became coach. That has to mean something. Some look at 7-7 last year bit 6-2 isn’t something to be scoffed at.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. and further, of the 5 non- league play losses last year, 4 of them were against Top 15 teams. Wanny never had to face anything like that

        Like

    2. I think just about to a person on this blog- we agree with you… but we are on a winning streak and a game with thug U on Saturday…. lots of excitement so far… keep the ball rollin… Dave Snyder, Good to have your input… shoulda jumped in here sooner and got that off your chest…. I guarantee we will all have something that will make the blood boil a few times as the season progresses… let’s hope for the best

      Like

  28. Miami WR Wayne Hightower just entered the transfer portal. He was a 4-star recruit from 2017 but only had 8 catches thus far this season. Not sure how this will affect team morale …. who knows, maybe he wasn’t liked in the lockerroom. Sears’ sudden exit last October didn’t seem to affect Pitt..

    Like

  29. Green gets my vote as well. Not as high a profile in the pros as the others, but some say the greatest college player ever. Certainly the greatest player on the greatest Pitt defense ever, with the winningest 4 year record in the modern era. To me his impact on Pitt was as great as anyone not named Dorsett and certainly greater than Fitz or Ditka.

    To me guys that played on Championship or major bowl winning teams are at a whole different level.

    I agree that Jock and Goldberg are also worthy, but in different eras.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. As far as Pitt being rated, it reall matters little unless Pitt wins at least nine games and a bowl game.

    Pitt is on the long hard road back from mediocrity. This year’s defense is definitely top twenty if not top ten.

    The offense is still mediocre, but is trending upward.

    So much left to be proved.

    I wish the weathermen would make up their mind on weather it will rain on Saturday. Too many fair weather Pitt Fans, literally and figuratively.

    I too hated Narduzzi’s PSU goal line decision, but he continues to redeem himself, a win on Saturday would almost make me forget it all together.

    Like

  31. Michaelangelo: I propose a POV poll question of sorts. The POV Mt. Rushmore of Pitt Football. Every poster makes a selection. We tally the votes and see where they land.

    Like

  32. Hey, can someone scarf me one of those bogus mt Rushmore do flicky’s? I’ll pay for the shipping and handling. No doubt it will go with the next one that’s handed out that has Hugh Green and Aaron Donald on it.

    Like

  33. PSN has an article on a TE from Texas who Pitt is now after. Supposedly he’s under the radar because he was injured his junior year. He’s 6-5 and 235.

    Here’ the thing — his name is Noah Patty.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Billy Hillgrove — “Patti has it, he’s back, he throws! Patty has it…”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Stop or slow down Miami’s Cam Harris (RB #23) and Pitt should do well this weekend. Harris is quick, has great jump cuts and is fast in the open field.

    Miami’s kicker missed two field goals that appeared to be less than 35 yards in the GT game. So, they are having kicking woes as well.

    Miami has some speed at WR and has a couple of bruising LBs. But, neither their OL nor DL appears to be as good as ours. Their OL is good at run blocking, but not as good at pass blocking based on my limited observations.

    Like

  35. If anyone has an extra ticket they aren’t using, I could use one more. My son is coming to the game. If not, I’ll just scalp one, no problem.

    Like

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