This is JoeKnew’s Comment

Wanted to post this publicly since JoeKnew has been taking it in the shorts from wordpress recently.  Poor guy posted six times and six times the comment went to the spam filter.  Feel free to discuss. – Michaelangelo

OK, well, I wanted to wait until today so my review wouldn’t be so knee jerk. I’d also like to say my mood matches today’s weather, but that really isn’t true. I’m not angry, or gloomy, or pessimistic. I realize the feeling I have today is total apathy. Yup, much like a Pirate fan, I really don’t care, which is probably the worst thing that could happen to a sports fan.
It takes a lot to remove the passion which has burned for over 50 years. I’ll let that sink in……. 50 plus years of ups and downs and pride following a team that had highs, lots of lows, and even more moments of frustration. But you know, it always involved passion. They have managed to suck that out of me, I actually looked at the sports section , saw the Pitt write up, and just passed it by like I do with an NBA box score.
Some thoughts and observations from Saturday:
1) First and for most, the most troubling item to Pitt administrators should be the Attendance. 8,000 to 10,000 max, including 300 – 400 students. This on a day they were giving away FREE tickets to season ticket holders. If you try to give away your product for free and no one wants it, well, you have much, much more than a problem, you are in crisis.

2) To whoever said don’t blame Whipple, blame Matthews (on the false start on 1st and goal from the 1). I can only assume you watched on TV and they didn’t show what happened. Now, get this, they get to the 2 inch line, end of the quarter, TV time out. Ready for play they sprint from the sideline, hurry up , and do a quick snap. I’m going no, no, no, no, because the chance of someone not being set is really high. Remember, this is from a timeout at the 2 inch line. Why? Why would you do that. And if you think that’s your best chance? Well……..

3) Two false starts by the same senior player on the first possession? Huh? Sure, the crowd noise confused him. 5 fumbles, plus an interception, plus missed tackles, plus any one of a dozen bonehead plays.

4) Which brings me to the guys who think the ACC screwed us on the schedule. Listen, this team gets worse as the year goes on. UVA would have whacked us like a Piñata. There is no measure of improvement, and this is not a one year occurrence. Same dumb, boneheaded, unforced( and forced) errors. Very undisciplined team.

5) Whipple, well, he is what he is, an arrogant jerk running his offense which throws, and throws, and throws, puts up yardage, and no points. Come on, back to Johnny Majors II. If that’s not embarrassing I don’t know what is.

6) Playing with half a team due to an overall recruiting fail. First it was an offense with a complete and utter fail of a d, in fact, a historically horrendous D. Then a D with one of the worst offenses in college football. Recruiting 2 and 3* players, and hoping you’ll have enough guys who can be coached up or that were overlooked is like looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You will fail 9 of ten times, leaving a very, very flawed team.

7) In year whatever of the Duzz era with his players you see the same failures at the end of the year. Guys maybe, just maybe, it’s not the competition, it’s the players and coaches? Stubborn belief unwavering commitment and arrogance is great in a coach, as long as it produces a positive result. Maybe, just maybe, the possibility exits that he just doesn’t have it as a head coach?

8) Reed is and has been right on so many things regarding this program, but where does it say we can’t graduate players who stay out of trouble and win more than 8 games? For 3.5 mil or whatever, you’d like to think they aren’t mutually exclusive.

9) This school has made so very many mistakes with their athletic (and primarily football) programs it is a wonder they exist at all. There is no way the football program can support all other non revenue sports. If attendance was the major factor that drove Stallings out what do you think of football. Yesterday was the smallest attendance I’ve seen in 50 years. Even in the 1-9 years! And they were GIVING away free tickets. Man, something is severely wrong.

Well that’s it.  Sort of empty.  Happy Holidays to all, and to Pitt Football.  Goodnight!

127 thoughts on “This is JoeKnew’s Comment

  1. responding to Reed on the previous thread:
    bowl game v Navy WILL result in a loss, not primarily due to their RUN game stats, due to their superior discipline,,,in fact, of which, my children have far more and have for 19, 18 and 13 years than THIS Pitt team.

    you should be criticized respectfully on all you post including your chosen timing of posts, as should all,,,,well, except me and anyone who agrees with me 🙂

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    1. Any bowl game will be a loss based on years of bowl game history and Narduzzi’s ineptitude in getting his players up for bowl games.

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    2. Why criticize ANY poster at all though…isn’t to whole point of this blog since conception civility in all manners.

      But truthfully, one of the reasons I gave it up was the backbiting and infighting that it evolved into. Now that there are less disparate opinions on here – and it has swung over one-sided very much – it seems petty to jump on anyone who voices different opinions no matter when they do it.

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  2. Well said. The program has no juice. Remember back to 13-9. We finished 5-7, but because we closed the season with a big win, people were excited. Now we are 7-5, exactly where most people thought we would be, and everyone is distraught. That’s what happens when you sh*t the bed at the end of the season two years consecutively. And when the perception of your fan base is that poor game day coaching, lack of discipline, etc. is a big part of the reason for our failures, it’s a problem.

    As JoeKnew pointed out, the administration can’t be blind to the fact that attendance is horrendous. I’ll be a little more generous than JoeKnew and say that there were 25-30k in attendance. Even so, the place looked like a ghost town. 25k gets lost in a 70,000 seat stadium.

    Speaking of no juice, we were potentially two wins away from the Orange Bowl, and now we might be bowling in Detroit. Oy vey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your thoughts are similar to mine but I’m not apathetic. I’m angry.

    Pitt got rid of Walt because it was believed he had reached his ceiling…8-9 wins.

    That was in the day that Pitt was cheap and didn’t have all this ACC money. Walt also ran a clean program.

    So why is Narduzzi any different?

    I believe his ceiling is 9 wins. Pitt is spending money that’s in the top third of the conference. The program is scandal free and players graduate.

    But donations have been flat over the past five years. Attendance is trending down. There is little buzz and excitement with this program. The offense is boring. There are no marketable players.

    So heather has a major decision to make. Does she give Narduzzi another year and hope attendance improves, donations spike, the offense explodes, and Pitt wins 10 games. Or does she pay the buyout and find another head coach.

    Hope without a plan is just a foolish dream. I see no evidence of her plan to retain season ticket holders, to jumpstart donations, to grow and nurture existing and new fans, to grow revenues, to justify the high spend given the results.

    The quickest way to change the program is with a new coach. There is always risk. But there is also potential reward and the chance for greater returns. Get the hire right and wins will come. With wins come higher attendance, more donations and excited fans.

    Pittsburgh has always supported winners. I just don’t think 7-8 win seasons are enough. The proof are the yellow seats and flat donation rate.

    So get us all excited again and do the right thing heather. I’ve already created an initial list of candidates for you. The sooner you pick up the phone, the better. You can have a new coach and staff in place by months end.

    Heck it’s not like Narduzzi is bringing in a great recruiting class. Send him packing back to Youngstown. I’ll personally pack his bags and drive him if I have to.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. i’ve always thought he’s a 9 wins tops coach. want a coach that can break that ceiling. His performance is similar to Walts in his last 3 years. And Walt was forced out because he didnt win enough and that was when Pitt football was very cheap in their spend. Damn man deserves a statue and if I have anything to do with it, there will be one at the new MPC on campus

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  4. I posted a comment michael. Can you eventually retrieve it from spam hell. It deserves pergatory at least. It’s not a heavenly commentary though. Keeping things real. Thx

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          1. There have been many excellent coordinators that don’t translate into head coaches. Narduzzi seems to be one of them. All you need to do is look at the glaring difference between our defense and offense from both a discipline and an execution standpoint. It’s like two different teams

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Actually, Mathews was to blame on the of false start. He didn’t hustle to get set. They do actually practice this stuff. He knew what to do. Bostick called him out on the radio broadcast also.

    Let us not forget the year long poor play of the WRs. That is all on Beatty.

    I totally disagree on the recruiting comment. This team has plenty of talent to win 8 games. The coaching sucked. We all knew the offensive depth and talent was behind the D. This year and next it will catch up. Problem is, PN blew it this year. He was on pace to have a good class coming off the Coastal title and a good year this year. 7 wins are inexcusable for this team.

    Again, let’s not pretend Pitt has the resources or is that attractive of a gig to hire a proven winner of a head coach. Guys like Fickle aren’t jumping from Cinci to Pitt, they jump from Cinci to big time jobs like FSU or Arkansas.

    I believe there are 65 power 5 football teams. I am starting to think Pitt will remain with the majority of the teams that are average programs and rarely if ever make the Top 25.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whipple’s offenses generally produce points, historically. I, personally, would rather die on the passing sword than running sword … it’s the 21st century.

    Pitt had a new OC. Pitt runs a complicated pro-style offense. Pitt lead the nation in dropped balls. Pickett is not a P5 QB. Pitt started 4 new offensive linemen. Pitt had zero TE recruits on the roster.

    Add all that up and you get an offense that struggles to score. Yes, next season will be better. I can even see significant leaps in improvement based on flashes that you saw from the whiplash offense this season.

    Having said that …

    What Pitt really should do is scrap the pro-style (after Duzz, first, obviously). High Schools aren’t running it any longer. It’s an archaic offense in college football and is increasingly looking archaic in the NFL.

    Go to an RPO and create mismatches. Flash card the plays in from the sideline. Play uptempo. Score points. Stop playing with 20th century stats like time of possession and hire an analytics coach that calls plays based on nextgen stats. Play the averages instead of your gut. You’ll be less conservative.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tossing – the second half of your post is interesting. I wonder if any of the P5s utilize analytics in coaching? It is finally getting entrenched in pro sports but has been slow to get a complete foothold in the NFL. Baltimore is utilizing it and due to their success I believe you will begin to see every NFL team employ the tactic if they don’t already.

      The RPO is a different story in that it is widely used in the NCAA. Not Pitt however. Would be nice if Whipple Egan to experiment with it in the off-season. At least in some fashion with his playbook.

      Fellow POVers – don’t get too hyped up over firing Duzz. I can’t see it happening any time soon. At least not this year. It will take wins in the 5-6 a year or worse for Pitt to move on.

      PittITis

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  7. Excellent read Randy…in it’s entirety!!!. I feel and share your pain brother…Saturday should have been a day that took the $h#t-eaat’n grin off Heather’s face…..next year will be Duzz’s last..he will be sent pack’n and they better send the basketball goal with him……

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  8. TT and others

    I love all your posts. I don’t have the time or the knowledge to analyze to the depth that you do. But I don’t believe in excuses – at home, at work, anywhere for that matter.

    I’m not an alum or a native of Pittsburgh so that makes my role as a fan a little different – I’m a fan by choice not circumstance.

    Here’s what I know. Pitt has nine national championships. Pitt is top 20 in all-time wins. We have the 12th most College Football Hall of Fame inductees, the 12th most consensus All-Americans, and the 5th most Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. Pitt has been represented by at least one Pro Bowl selection every year since 1981. Maybe that’s ancient history but it’s also our legacy and legacies matter.

    There’s no reason why we shouldn’t field an elite team every year except that we seem to lack the will to do so. If that’s the case, I’d rather we didn’t play football at all than continue to field a team that can’t or won’t live up to the proud history of Pitt football. I don’t want to hear, “remember when Pitt was good?”

    H2P!!!

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    1. Dad – That wasn’t meant as an excuse. There are reasons, however. Having said that, I’m asking for Duzz’s head so I’m still holding him accountable. He allowed all the reasons to happen. I was in school for Majors II … Duzz still has some room to be a worse coach.

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  9. I’ve been doing this since 1963. I’ve been where JoeL is many times. In the late 90’s I skipped an entire half season of Pitt Football, out of pure apathy. I’m not angry, I’m furious! I think after 8 years of coaching HS basketball and playing 3 years of HS Football and watching Pitt Football, I know a few things….

    This was the worst coached Pitt Football team that I’ve Ever seen. Game in game out you all saw it. Same mistakes, bonehead errors, mental errors every quarter of every game. That’s on coaching period! As coaches, you create and reinforce fundamentals in practice. I saw no results of that…none with this staff. Even if they could recruit, it’d be the same story. Even when Pitt won you could see the awful play. Attendance and giving at an all time low.

    I know it’s hard for many of you as, like me, we had high hopes for Narduzzi but the report card is in. He gets a D- in my book. D- for $3.5 million …think about that.

    So until he’s gone, I’m gone. I join JoeL in utter apathy. I’ll be around for the best coached Pitt team, Pitt Basketball. My giving will go to men’s b-ball, soccer, women’s basketball, volleyball and baseball.
    As for football, not another sou!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pdaddy – nice! Imagine if Pitt would have not trashed its football program for the last 35 years. Pitt would be top 10 all-time wins. I posted this a couple of years ago and did the math. Say it again “TOP 10 ALL TIME WINS”. That equates to a brand. Pitt never understood risk/reward and still doesn’t. It is a huge detriment to their over all program and pdaddy put it nicely.

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  11. Nicely written piece. I share your frustration although I will slightly disagree on your sentiment….apathy. People who truly don’t care won’t take the time to write a piece like this. I know, because I’ve done the same. I try to convince myself that I’m apathetic but I know deep down in my heart that it’s not apathy I’m feeling….it’s a combination of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. For those of us who have been fans for many years (I started following Pitt in 1971) we’ve had the pleasure of watching truly great teams and truly awful teams. What we’re seeing now is neither…we’re stuck in neutral…we can’t go forward and we’re just good enough that we won’t go too far back. What we lack is hope that there is some kind of plan to get us out of this rut. I see nothing. Our wunderkind AD decided that extending PN’s contract in 2017 was a good idea. It’s highly unlikely that she will publicly admit her mistake by firing PN now and eating the extra years on that contract. The net is that we’re going to see this movie over and over again for the foreseeable future. There is a small but vocal contingent on this board who blame much of our failure on lack of fan support. This is laughable. Pitt is fortunate to have ANY fan support. Pitt is not entitled to our support, our money, and our time…they have to earn it. I’ll close with one last point….there are many fans who support PN because they have seen the results of constant turnover in coaches and they fear that we won’t be able to significantly upgrade our coaching if we were to move on from PN. This is not completely irrational. There is no guarantee that if Pitt were to replace PN we would find an upgrade. That said, you really need to ask yourself this question; “Are we better off with PN and 6, 7, or maybe 8 wins a year forever, or are we willing to roll the dice and at least try to be better?” I say roll the dice.

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  12. I cut myself off…..

    A competent AD understands the overall brand and how it impacts sports. Ours doesn’t get it. Pitt needs an Executive that actually can pull decentralized units in the same direction. The Chancellor should relinquish control of the Athletic Department to such an individual and then support the heck out of that person.

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  13. I again bought club season tickets this past year but wasn’t feeling well enough to make it to one game. So I was going to be hard pressed here at home to justify renewing again next year. This past BC game makes my decision on signing up again a little easier. But there is one particular thing that can happen with PITT that would make up mind immediately and that would be firing Narduzzi and or any of the coordinators.

    Before you all misunderstand me for the umpteenth time I’ll add, I couldn’t care less about Narduzzi as far as him personally. It’s just I’m not going to spend another $2,500 to watch PITT start from scratch again. Not with the ACC network available for a smaller fee. I would rather sit at home and watch that crash next year.

    PITT finally put a more then respected defense on the field this year BUT they had ANOTHER brand new offensive coordinator to retard the team again. Why in the world want another change right now? Pickett will be a three year starter and actually not have a brand new offense to learn on the fly. Having said that I don’t think there is a chance in hell Narduzzi goes anywhere at least for the next two years. Is Narduzzi the best PITT can do? I ask because I really don’t know the answer. We have to be careful what we wish for here and BTW, when did we PITT fans get so snooty as to expecting so much from the PITT football program?

    Like I’ve said, I’m not in love with the guy at all and if it wasn’t for the loss of continuity he could hit the bricks tomorrow, I just don’t think that would be a wise move right now.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Good points, but let me counter with this: it is pretty rare these days to have offensive and defensive coordinators stick around for very long, especially if they’re good. So I don’t think the situation at Pitt is really any different than most schools. Good head coaches and programs find a way to maintain stability and discipline.

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  14. I just have to try and be realistic with this program..Maybe only 4-6 programs have a shot to win a national title. Pitt isn’t going to be in one of those programs in mine, or my childs lifetime. 7-5, 8-4 is about the best Pitt can do and I’ve accepted it…Sure sometimes you get that 1 fluky year that gives you a shred of hope. At times, I think ACC football is too much for this team, but than I feel like we’d get our buts handed to us in the American Conference as well by the Cincy’s, Memphis’s, Houston’s and UCF’s of the world, and here we would be still just a game or so above .500 most likely..Like somebody said earlier, its much like being a Pirate fan. Just sitting in limbo year after year, waiting patiently for the good times to be had, and talked about for years. Something just keeps bringing me back week after week to experience emotions that I don’t get sitting in front of my cubical all day dealing with meaningless stuff to collect my paycheck. I’ll still go to the games, buy the jerseys, pay for the ACC network, heck, I can’t wait to introduce my little one to this great game of college football. And so yes, this sucks, and I feel wounded after a game like this, but i’ll still be there for my team because its too easy to route for the OSU’s, Bama’s, and Clemsons’s of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that all that we ask is that that play with 5 or less penalties, 1-2 drops per game, a two-to-one touchdown to interception ratio, and very few fumbles.

      And you are right, that probably gets us to 8-4, but at least they are playing to their potential

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  15. I was a member of the Golden Panthers from its beginning to its end. After it stopped, I stopped. I thought back then that the Pitt Administration wanted us to be wandering in the FB dessert. Destroying Pitt Stadium cemented that. Nothing has changed my mind. I still watch every Pitt game (and a lot of college FB and BB) because I love the game. I might go to 1 game next year. Maybe.

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  16. Eight wins alone is insufficient. It’s who you beat. We didn’t beat enough teams we should have beaten or any teams that would really be considered quality or timely wins. Want Pitt to be ranked again? Win 10 games or beat someone no one expected us to beat. I’m not going to settle for low expectations or playing to their potential. I hire overachievers because they want it more and that’s how we do better as a firm. I would hope that anyone who puts on a Pitt uniform wants it more and that’s how you win.

    H2P!!!

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  17. Clemson had Pitt-like records thru 2010, go ahead and check the history. The only thing holding Pitt (and many other similar P5 teams like it) from getting to another level, is administration (goals, competence, politics, etc.). I am not disappointed in what Narduzzi has done for the program as a whole up to this point, because I remember the state of bumbling on a national stage prior to his hiring, but if the powers that be want to get to that next level, then right about now (or next year, worse case) would be time to select our next HC imho.

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  18. This has been a day of deep reflection and examination into our beloved program…wonder if the board and Ms. Lyke are having a similar introspective evaluation of the state of PItt football…one has to wonder……….

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  19. 1618 – that’s Clemson’s recent record. They good records, not quite as good as Pitt’s, from the mid 70s to the mid 90s and a decent history under Ed Donohue, Josh Cody, and briefly under certain John Heisman.

    H2P!!!

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    1. That’s my point, that’s their recent record, and it was mediocre to poor years for an extended period that lasted almost 20 years.

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  20. Donations are flat because the university got out of the business of football in 1982. Since then it hired Foge, fired Gottfried, killed the program completely in 1990 that lasted decade, treated Walt bad his last year, fired Wannstedt, hired the mommy beater, fired him, hired Graham, who exposed the school leaders, got duped by Alvarez and gave his boy a coaching internship then didn’t hit up every high-end big donor to keep Canada, even if meant paying him $2 million per.

    Naruzzi isn’t perfect, but he is far from the problem.

    If you people think some proven coach is coming to Pitt, or a young up and comer, you’re dreaming. Fuente exposed us when he took over at VTech and took a shot at our attendance. That means he even knew about it while at Memphis.

    Sad.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Honestly, the Narduzzi hire at the time was considered a very good one by media & peers, he wasn’t considered young, but a good, respectable hire at the time.. And even though it didn’t work out due to character, Graham was one of the hottest up and coming coaches in the country when we hired him, I liked the hire at the time. A lot of big schools, like Michigan, Florida St, Texas, USC, UCLA, etc., make bad hires. I agree we could’ve done a lot worse than Narduzzi, but at some point we need to move forward whether its now (highly unlikely) or in a year or a few years. I still cannot believe Narduzzi allowed Whipple to completely neglect the run game.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sort of crazy despite the stumbling of the program it has hired more good coaches than bad since 1973. Majors, Sherrill, Gottfried, Wannstedt, Graham, Chryst and Narduzzi I would say were good hires. Foge, Hackett and Majors II were not.

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    1. But I also say this team had enough talent to win nine or 10 of their games this year. It was poor discipline and coaching that let us to underachieving like we did. No excuse for losing to Miami and Boston College and we probably should have won one more

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      1. Agree. We had a MAC offense that a head coach better hope is much more effective in 2020 or else he might be losing his job. Whipple’s love for the pass is going to cost Narduzzi his job.

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  21. I disagree with those who seem to think the floor for Pitt football is 6-6 or 5-7, regardless of the coach.

    Take a look at the Arkansas football program. They have been trying to find that guy to take them to the next level since firing Lou Holtz when he went 6-5 in the early 80’s. (Who by the way went on to resurrect the Minnesota program in two years then lead Notre Dame to an undefeated National Championship in his third year.) Eight coaches later, they just finished their second straight 2-10 season. Arkansas has an athletic budget of $130M to our roughly $85M. Attendance greater than 60K before dropping to 53K this year. No pro teams to compete with, etc, etc,….

    From my recollection, every home game this season, except UVA, came down to the final possession. If you think we can’t do worse, come to the Pete tomorrow night. Join 1500 of your closest friends. I very much like Coach Capel but I’m not at all convinced we will ever recover the level of success or attendance we had with Jamie.

    In my opinion, our odds of doing worse if we let Coach Narduzzi go are greater than our odds of doing better. Enough of the churn!

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Keep in mind folks Pitt was lucky to get by Delaware this year with that last pass from Patti. That was probably as good indicator as any about how poor the Pitt offense was going to be going forward. You don’t win many college football games scoring as poorly as we did at Pitt especially with a good to very good defense showing up most of the time.

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  23. If you recall, Moses (Pitt Class of 4021 BC, I think) was lost in the desert for 40 years. By that measurement alone, we probably have another 5 years or so to go!

    Admittedly, he probably had a losing record, but he did have a few big wins: The Tablets; the W over Pharoh; and the ensuing Dividing the Water. And, he was able to keep his team together with the Miracle of Manna From Heaven.

    Through all the hardships, he stuck to it, and finally got his team to the Promised Land – but in true SOP – he wasn’t allowed to enter.

    I’m not sayin’ Nard is another Moses, but he does seem to be wandering in the desert, and he does have a few big wins under his belt. He really needs some kind of Manna From Heaven (maybe a half dozen 4*s??) to settle the maddening crowd, at least till he stumbles upon The Promised Land. Or will that wall of water come crashing down on him first?

    Jus’ sayin’

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I’ll file it under “bible as literature”. (And that’s a joke folks, just to make sure you are playing attention at home)

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I shall continue to say this … the current staff is not much worse than any Pitt FB staff since 1990, and probably better than most.

    I also will write what I wrote on Pitt Blather back in December 2010 …

    **** If you are going to fire a winning coach, you better damn know who you are going to hire in his stead. And especially at Pitt ****

    Firing a coach you may be unhappy with is probably the easy part, the hiring of a new coach who will improve this program is apparently not a walk in the park.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I agree 100%, wwb. I honestly think we would be surprised by the number of prospective coaches who turn us down without even getting to serious discussion. Informal contacts with a quick, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Professional people are not lured by money. They analyze their likelihood of succeeding at the offered position and if success appears unlikely, no amount of money is worth ruining their career.

      I continue to believe that most of our limitations are organic and nearly insurmountable. Pitiful attendance and financial support make recruiting any elite players, other than the occasional local kid who is more comfortable staying close to home, nearly impossible This is only going to be exacerbated by the new rules allowing big budget schools to buy elite players with “likeness” payments. Our best recruiting tool is pointing out the former Pitt players who are currently successful in the NFL. That’s about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hear hear. I’m off the pat narduzzi train for good after this last debacle but I agree you don’t fire a guy who averages 7 wins a season unless you have a damn good plan in place.

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  25. Thanks, FHSPA. I wasn’t intentionally Targeting the Religious Post Prohibition. Fortunately, I didn’t see any yellow flags on the field. Wouldn’t want to have to sit out the entire bowl game!

    Well said wbb. I couldn’t agree more. Lots calling for Nard’s head, but oh so few realistic ideas for a replacement who could conceivably do any better. Ideally someone whose system could complement this group of athletes – so we wouldn’t have to wait another 5 years for him to get HIS players in place.

    So – the big question is, ” Does such a coach exist?” And, “Could he be lured to Pitt and its 20,000 loyal followers?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have five such coaches on my list. They all run spreads or rpo’s. None of this pro style stuff.

      And yes coaches from lower conferences would be interested for pay alone. Plus you get to play in a very winnable division. Plenty of recruits within 500 miles. Good practice facilities. Top third football spend in ACC. Great tradition and players in the pros today. No scandals. Good education. Many good selling points.

      But you play in too large of a stadium. So I’d tarp. You have an AD that is more comfortable talking about life skills and gpa’s and graduation rates. As new coach, I’d think this saving of kittens and helping old ladies needs to be put aside. These high character standards aren’t adhered to by 95 percent of schools. Pitt just needs to be average in that department.

      So plenty of coaches would be interested. Only a few would fit. But Pitt has everything needed for a coach to be successful. Narduzzi has squandered it.

      Plenty easy to reach 6 wins each year playing cuse as cross rival and playing in the weakest division in football. And then playing at least three scrub teams in ooc.

      Narduzzi isn’t Moses

      Liked by 1 person

  26. ^^ Right BL and wwb. Same thing as I continue to read that PITT let Matt Canada “get away” Just like they let Jackie Sherrill ” get away almost 40 years ago. The BC game was a terrible loss but the four turnovers and stoopid penalties inside the ten yard line certainly were NOT coached.

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    1. Stupid penalties are 💯 on coaching. It’s about installing discipline and players being held accountable for their their lack of attention. The service academies are proof of what excellent leadership and personal responsibility can be achieved.

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      1. Yeah the penalties are coaching and this staff earned an f for this area this season. The drops by the receivers are more about failures in recruiting at wr and te over the years. But division 1 receivers still should have made most of those catches.

        Like

  27. I apologize to whoever Pittdad may be. I did not know there was another when I became pittdad2.

    In any case, this thread has spawned a lot of great comments. And they are convincing in both directions. There are plenty of reasons to move on from Narduzzi, and there are many reasons to keep him. One reason to stay the course at least another year is that this upcoming class at this point has some very good looking talent in it. No one knows whether these last two games will result in any defections, but firing the coach certainly will (see Florida State for evidence).

    To me, the most disturbing thing about the state of the program these last two years was the last 2-3 games. Our performance was disgraceful at best. But then, don’t forget that while we expect our team to improve through the year, so do all our competitors.

    My take? Keep Narduzzi this year and arrange a meeting between HL and TxPanther to solve the problem long term. You may want to invite Pat Gallagher to join in. (And Tex, please try to avoid using the descriptor “Meatballs” during the meeting.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will do my best to leave the derogatory nicknames back in Texas
      It comes down to what you expect from this program
      for many, 7-8 win seasons and a bowl is perfectly fine as long as Pitt runs a clean program and graduates players. I respect that.
      I am however obviously not in this camp
      I want 9-10 win seasons, top 15 rankings and nice bowls in Florida
      It can be accomplished with the right AD and HC. We have neither at this juncture
      Everything else is an excuse…poor fan support, yellow seats, pro sports town, no talent left in the WPIAL
      EXCUSES are for LOSERS
      You Pitt fans deserve this fate if you think this way so dont be complaining
      I have every right to be critical and complain and be ANGRY
      And Pitt will not see my face at any game or get any of my hard earned money until their objectives are aligned with mine

      Like

  28. Alright here is one for you guys: Would you take Paul Johnson over Pat Narduzzi?

    Assume we keep Randy Bates and the defensive staff in place.

    Like

    1. No way. The entire offense would need turned over personnel wise.

      Pitt is entering a place in 2020 that is was in 10 years ago. Wanny in year 6 just as Narduzzi will be. Pitt had some easy schedules on the horizon then, this upcoming decade, not so much. Fire Narduzzi after 2020 then we are rebuilding with Tennessee, Clemson and Miami on the 2021 schedule, big programs from a historical perspective. Who knows how good Tech will be with Fuentes and Carolina under Brown. In 2022 Pitt opens with home games versus WVU and Tennessee. Lose both of those and the fan base is gone and the new coach is wondering why in the world he took this job and is ready to fire his agent.

      It would be risky firing Narduzzi for being a 7-8 win coach, tear it down, lose a recruiting class and get our doors blown off by these teams and plummet really far down the standings in the Coastal.

      Now this next savior coach has to recruit with a bad record hanging over him to Heinz Field, which is a losing proposition.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I love a good run game, but I would not take Paul Johnson’s triple option over the various versions of the pro-style offenses we’ve witnessed during Nards tenure.

      I would prefer that we pick an offensive style and philosophy (RPO?), recruit to it, and stick with it.

      Like

      1. i like the rpo. i think Kenny would be very good at it
        but at the school that developed the cure for polio, Pitt thinks they can find a way to fit a square peg into a round hole
        what hubris

        Like

      2. Awww come on. Ground and pound. Ball control. Own the clock. And then six the defense on them. We’d win ten games every year! (I’m just kidding)

        Like

    3. I would take Troy calhoun of Air Force, or monken of army or the coach of navy Ken (can’t spell his last name). Why not? I’m old and old school. I like that offense. It wins more games than we do.

      Like

      1. No way….never. If the wishbone was that effective more teams would be adopting it. Pro style or spread hybrid is my preference.

        Like

        1. Its only effective because it’s so rare.

          Football would be boring as heck if everyone ran it

          Like

  29. And run the wishbone?
    Are you crazy?
    No
    Kman
    Forward not backwards
    Spread not single wing
    You are going the wrong way and so is Narduzzi
    Kman

    Like

  30. Many coaches have accepted HC positions at the military academies thinking they can win a lot of games there. The common thread: less talent but an emphasis on preparation and discipline. These are fundamental characteristics that all good teams should have. Narduzzi has become too much of a players coach and has lost his way concerning the need for accountability and discipline. He never was a good recruiter, but like any good coach he should demand discipline. Realistically, it will be hard to reverse course at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Academies run wishbone style because it doesn’t require holding your blocks but “touch blocking” and is better fit as they are often undersized. They are also very disciplined and play smart. Army was awful until Jim Young arrived and put wishbone in place and they were successful in that system almost from day one. Discipline goes a long way.When a team gets penalized over 100 times each season discipline isn’t there. Just saying.

      Like

  31. Has it occurred to anyone that we simply aren’t that good? All the down-to-the-wire games could have gone the other way.
    Delaware, UCF, NC, etc….all could have been losses.
    Secondly, we gripe about the two-star recruiting, but why are players permitted to make the same mistakes (Ulizio) over and over again without repercussions? The penalties, turnovers and missed assignments would not be tolerated at any top-25 program.
    And therein lies the problem.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have been trying to make the point that the program is not that good for years now. The idea that this program which no longer has a great recruiting base in its backyard should automatically win 9 or 10 each year is pure fantasy.

      This program is right where it should be ….. competitive in the ACC Coastal

      Liked by 1 person

      1. with the right coach and scheme you can be a consistent 9 win team and not have to wait every 10 years for 10 wins

        Go 3 of 4 in OOC
        Go 5 of 8 in ACC
        Win your bowl

        Theres 9 wins every year

        But Heather schedules the toughest OOC in the land. Yet many love her. Look at facts people and dont go by your emotions. Her yellow blouses my hypnotize you but not me.

        Going one game above .500 in the ACC is very doable given the cross-over is a very bad Syracuse team every year and Pitt plays in the weakest division in all of P-5 and its not even close

        Recruit better than your division rivals, have a good coach and Pitt will do just fine. There are plenty of quality recruits within 500 miles of Pittsburgh. Narduzzi just stinks at recruiting and his coaching has become suspect to say the least with gutless calls, stupid time-outs and undisciplined players

        Like

  32. This is where your current AD does not get it. She has put very difficult out of conference games beginning in 2021 as pointed out above. That is someone not pulling in the same direction as your program. When we need an easy schedule, the AD schedules harder and vice versa (i.e. next year). She needs to pull out of those contracts which is very easily achievable without much penalty, as the larger penalty is in losses.

    In the P5+ ND (66), Pitt is number 21 in wins with 724 as of Oct 1, 2019. One extra win per year over the last 35 years and we would be top15. That’s just facts.

    You can’t can Nard this week as the early signing period is only two weeks away. You can him next year and no coach wants the 2021 schedule. We are losing ground to vtech, nc, virginia and miami as we speak.

    The AD and prior AD’s are to blame for all this crap. The key job is not AD. The key job is as the COO of the university, with oversight of athletics. I have a story or two to share with a couple of my old povert friends about this…..but it is not printable. Funny, sad and not printable.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pitt prints the same end of the story every year. It’s both funny and sad. But it’s for all to see.

    In the end, Lucy always takes that ball away from Charlie.

    A new AD would place Lucy 6 feet under and tell Charlie to stop trying to kick balls and become a killer and tackle or run over people.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Temple finished 8-4 this season with a 1st year HC.

    Duzz should be on the hot seat with Heather if he is not. Lots to be ashamed of with this season’s performance.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Some of us on here we’re lucky to see PITT football at its best… We could have said “it doesn’t get any better than this!” And it hasn’t ……..

    Like

  36. Things that I once loved that I could easily give up: NBA basketball, major-league baseball, NFL including the Steelers and salt…. PITT FB is working me over…

    Like

  37. Three First-Team All-ACC Pitt players were named. Jones was close to making it, too.

    I read a lot on here how Narduzzi hasn’t recruited any first-team guys so that now has been put to bed.

    Keep on stacking recruiting classes and more will come.

    Like

    1. The list I saw has Jones on first team – we also had 3 on second team defense…Whipple brought the receiver’s coach with him, it is his fault we have so many drops…based on who is returning next year – we should expect 8 wins or more (3 OOC and 5 in the conference – NC, VT and ND will be tough to win).

      Like

      1. ND for sure will be tough as it has a lot go guys coming back. Sort of similar teams as both Pitt and ND will have a lot coming back and a battle between two senior QBs. That’s the kind of game where Whipple will want to try and outsmart ND and pass at will that leads to a loss.

        The three OOC games plus Cuse, Duke and GTech at home have to be six wins. The others will be tough but one team out of the rest won’t be as good as expected and another might have some injury issues, etc.

        Which is why I hope Fuentes goes to Arkansas or Kelly leaves ND so change is in the air there. It wouldn’t hurt if FSU screwed up its hire again.

        Like

  38. That All ACC list is a real de-bunker isn’t it? First off, former walk-on Jimmy Morrissey, First team and Narduzzi was once ridiculed for not having a better player to start in front of him. Jalen Twyman, a lousy 3 star player, hmmm? Paris Ford, another first team All ACC selection. Of course Ford is a 4* recruit that Narduzzi cannot reel in. Kylan Johnson also was real good for PITT this past season, so much for settling for walk-ons and transfers and Narduzzi can’t recruit or coach up his players. That’s it, now release the hounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ike – all that candy means nothing if it leaves you with rotten teeth
      with all that talent, you’d think Pitt would have won 10 games this year

      Like

      1. C’mon “frustrated pitt fan in TX”, out of one side of your mouth you say “with all that talent” and out of the other side you say, Narduzzi can’t recruit. We can’t have it both ways.

        Like

  39. Excuses I often hear from Pitt fans as to why Pitt doesnt consistently win 9-11 games. Some are legit but all have solutions which our AD fails to address year after year.

    1.) Little talent left in the WPIAL
    True – so develop other high school pipelines in EPA and other neighboring states like NJ, MD, VA and OH. Plenty of quality recruits in those states. And continue with Florida. Find better recruiters Narduzzi. Pitt has plenty of selling points. And find a full time recruiting coordinator who is competent.

    2.) Recruits get turned off by an empty yellow Heinz and other schools use it against us
    True – so tarp those upper decks and force fans closer to the field. Moreover, conduct a feasibility study for an on campus MPC. This act alone shows that you recognize a problem and take football seriously along with revenue generation

    3.) Pitt doesnt have the budget
    False – Pitt’s football spend is in the top 3rd of the ACC. It has the money to make Narduzzi the 40th highest paid coach. It also has money to hire better assistants. Could Pitt use more money? Yes. But how it spends the money is just as important. By no means is Pitt breaking the bank but Pitt is also not cheap. Pitt is getting a below average value for its spend right now.

    4.) Pitt doesnt have the culture for football to be successful
    True – Pitt is just not serious about putting a consistent winner of the field each year. They are incompetent regarding marketing, fundraising and finance. There is an over-emphasis on compliance and legal. There is a culture of preventing risk as opposed to accepting risk and managing it. Coordination and communication between inter-departments is missing. Strategies and workable plans arent disclosed to fans on a consistent basis. There is lack of accountability and transparency. Pitt doesnt run sports as a business.

    5.) Pitt doesnt have a large fanbase
    True – But Pitt has the second highest number of living alumni in the ACC. Yet it has the lowest donation rate for sports. What a huge opportunity for revenue generation. Pitt probably has about 20-30,000 core loyal fans. Thats Pitt’s base yet Pitt doesnt everything to disengage and frustrate these loyal supporters who bleed blue and gold. Pitt also does very little to find and grow new supporters. Pitt really needs to strongly consider creating a new Golden Panthers group. With proper oversight, this group could help provide the funds needed to outspend the competition. You get what you pay for.

    So I dont want to hear the excuses. Every excuse has a realistic solution that could be implemented very shortly. Our AD chooses not to act or to not recognize these issues. Show me your plans Heather to address these things otherwise you’re on track for a significant loss in season ticket holders, declining merchandise sales and even flatter donations. You’re doing a fantastic job right now at alienating big boosters and making many fans angry. Pitt’s brand is transforming into a symbol of mediocrity. I’ve had enough but is anyone listening?

    Your friend Tex

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I’ve done business with the PITT ticket office for years now and I have to say, they are doing a better job now than ever. imo, Heather gets too much criticism as I see signs of her trying like I haven’t seen out of an AD the past 30 years.

    Like

    1. I dont doubt that she tries but trying and actually executing and getting results are two different things.

      She is in over her head and has surrounded herself with some incompetent people.

      Why is it that season ticket holders were significantly down this year and will in all likelihood be down again next year?

      Why is it that donations have gone nowhere despite the glitter of that Coastal title and participation trophy?

      Why is it that Pitt continues to lose millions each year and has one of the highest subsidies among the P-5 schools?

      Answers to these questions without solutions are just excuses. Its her job to find solutions. She is failing.

      Like

  41. There will be a lot of experienced players returning next year, losing Hamlin is going to hurt.

    Expectations should be more wins.

    The biggest question marks will be the offensive play calling and Pickett’s passing if he is still the starter.

    Like

    1. The Pitt D will lose not only Hamlin, but DT Amir Watts, LB’s Johnson & Brightwell and CB Dane Jackson.

      Oh, let’s not forget the Safety who starts when targeting interrupts play – JZ Stocker.

      Like

  42. Another very frustrating and disappointing end to a season. Success seemed so close at hand and slipped away again.

    I certainly don’t expect to change anyone’s mind and agree with many points made by most.

    I can’t argue with the fact that none of us are happy with the results of the last two weeks, the points made about recruiting not being good enough, coaching not being good enough, lack of discipline etc are all valid.

    Am I optimistic about Pitt Football’s future, The last 30 year’s experience would have to be forgotten.

    Like the old gold miner that is looking for that elusive vain and doesn’t know whether it is within reach or non-existent, do you carry on or give up? Are we getting closer or have we hit the wall?

    Which way do you roll the dice, either way it is a crapshoot.

    Do you start over again, fire a coach with a winning record 4 out of his 5 years, lose another recruiting class,
    with the hope that you find one who can recruit better, put together a better staff, be better with the media, and essentially beat the odds and be the chosen one?

    Because we have had such a great record with new coaches and Pitt is such a great destination for a coaches future.

    Sorry but for all of his weaknesses Narduzzi is not Stallings, no he has not moved the dial forward but neither has he moved it backward.

    It has taken 5 years to put together a very good defense. Obviously the offense was putrid, never got better in fact got worse when it lost Ffrench. It lacked a decent line and enough playmakers to compete. This was very predictable with a new coordinator, new system and no go to guys. The strength of the offense, Ffrench and Mack faded down the stretch.

    Will it be better or worse next year? Another crapshoot.

    I don’t think the decision either way is a simple or obvious one.

    Don’t forget the transfer portal or that guys can leave early and try their luck with the pros. A new coach is definitely going to start from scratch. Be prepared to go to the bottom of the ACC for a couple years with any new coach.

    As you might have guessed, I don’t feel strongly either way. I am leaning to staying the course, one more year, because there is a chance to win nine games next year. A new coaching staff means two years of bad ball and a hope of better down the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a real chance to win 9 games this year.

      It does not get any simpler than the table that was set for Pitt FB.

      The table was turned over and the meal was ruined.

      Like

  43. Don’t forget that no matter who the next guy is, this year, next year or down the road, recruiting will still be the greatest challenge. The ACC will do us no favors in scheduling, reffing or with announcers. Other than Clemson, all ACC teams will be struggling for success just the same way Pitt is. Players will still be playing in front of lack-luster crowds. Fund raising will still be a heavy lift. Pitt’s culture will still be what it is.

    In two or four years guys will be calling for the coaches head.

    Look at the bright side at least we aren’t Nebraska, Rutgers or Maryland getting crushed in the B1G, WV disappearing in the Big 12, or worse, completely irrelevant in the AAC.

    Like

        1. But that doesn’t work with me. If you’re fake, I ditch you. I like real and honest people. Not people who lie about attendance. Not people who lie about screening questions during her town halls. Not people who lie about financial figures. Yes I’m calling her a lier. I don’t give my money or respect to dishonest charletains.

          Like

          1. ^^ We agree, I don’t like those types of people either TX. Question. Are you talking about Heather or posters that comment on the POV anonymously?

            Like

    1. Nebraska will be good real soon.

      Their coach was a proven HC and has brought with him a winning system.

      Watch Heather add them to our OOC schedule soon – wouldn’t that be great?

      Like

  44. I can live with pn for another year but whipple I do not like and should be fired. His offense is terrible and kp running to the sidelines every play is asinine.

    Like

  45. Whipple was a terrible hire. I would love Pitt to step into the 21st century offensively, but having Kenny flinging the ball all over the place and no run game whatsoever was too much, it has to be gradual transition

    Like

  46. In this era you need to be uptempo and pass, and I would love to see that. But I think Whipple went all in without the personal to efficiently operate it. Plus the O line is a disaster. Kenny was running for for his life with( without Ffrench) subpar receivers. Just to far in to the Duzz era to have so little talent. Even if they tried to run more, the O-line sucks and has no depth and the backs are nothing to jump up and down about. Just a very frustrating season. Nothing new for us Pittiodts….

    Like

    1. It’s fair assessment pap. I agree that whip tried to fit the pieces to his system instead of adapting the system to the pieces. Although I would suspect he did make some adaptations. For example he didn’t have Kenny throwing deep most of the year. From what I understand that was not the case at umass

      Like

  47. GC…as always great insights and posts from a true Pitt fan/man…you are never a “hater” as the youngsters would say…you call ‘em like you see ‘em…and always enjoy and value your posts…

    Like

  48. Thanks MM…just a long suffering Pitt fan, as most of us. You have done a great job with this blog, I don’t always post, but I read every article, post, and comment every day without fail…some ppl need eggs and bacon, some need coffee…I need my Pitt POV…

    Liked by 2 people

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