Something To Chew On…

I received a letter from an old friend who is, and has been for years, closely associated with both the Pitt administration and the athletic department – here are some of his views on Pitt football and its current position.  These are very well informed thoughts and opinions and, I believe, right on the mark as it echoes conversations I have had in the past with my contacts about the future of Pitt football.  Some of this is surely controversial but should make for good discussions.

“I’m really afraid that Pitt’s football program may run out of options in the next ten years if that.  The administration with the strong support of Lyke wants football to succeed but there are issues that need to be addressed:

1.  ACC money will grow during the next five years for sure but then what will happen as media contracts will coincide with dropping cable and satellite subscriptions; broadcast media has declined to less than half what it was 20 years ago; and streaming is the growth area.

2.  Heinz Stadium is fine and saved Pitt football which couldn’t argue for Pitt Stadium renovations but that 30 year lease now requires making decisions for the future.  Meanwhile even NFL attendance is declining as is college football attendance, so what decisions need to be made to renovate, reduce, and provide both sufficient parking and other amenities.  Does anyone really expect Pitt to be a major player in those decisions? Does anyone really think the Steelers alone can force the Stadium Sports Authorities to pay more without the argument that Pitt also is dependent on Heinz Field?  The Rooney Family does not own Heinz Field but are very influential.

3.  Pitt’s salaries for head coach and assistants have risen to acceptable grade now as a Power 5 program.  But the national powers such as PSU, Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State etc.  are raising salaries at a prodigious rate.  Pitt can’t and won’t ever exceed $4.5 million for a head coach.

Considering that Franklin was $5.6 million a year and now has a sizable increase to probably near $7.5 million a year in the new contract, Pitt cannot keep pace! What this means is that Pitt will never be competitive with top programs as the alumni and fan support is not there.  It is more likely that another shakeup of conferences is on the horizon.

4.  Pittsburgh and Western PA has changed forever!  No longer a heavy manufacturing mecca, the area has seen increased hard times for the small towns and budgets.  Football and other extracurricular activities are suffering so the backyard recruiting is diminishing along with the population.  So with so many other programs raiding for those fewer and fewer top athletes, how does Pitt compete?

Pitt lost any local media attention by 1990 so Pitt is just perceived as another program but not a glamorous one.  When local establishments won’t even consider showing a Pitt game, how can Pitt succeed? Pitt, its alumni, and whatever number of fans can’t seem to mobilize to pressure businesses to carry games or even to improve game attendance.

5.  Where did Pitt error in the recent times? Pitt failed immensely in not recognizing the changing landscape of college football from 1986 through the conference expansions.  Now Pitt is in a southern dominated conference that treats Pitt, Syracuse, and BC like waifs at the table.  These three programs were probably added solely for their basketball additions to a powerful basketball conference.  Hmmm, shades of the old Big East!

To date none of these three have been shown much respect or even acceptance by the ACC’s Carolinas-Florida axis.

Oh how Pitt might have benefited from getting into the Big10.  Currently I would not be surprised if Pitt finds itself looking at membership in an AAC-MAC merged conference or simply dropping football within ten years. “

Have at it my friends… 

Reed

228 thoughts on “Something To Chew On…

    1. 10 years-Isn’t that when AOC sez the earth is coming to an end…just being a smart ass…good stuff Reed….football in general is a fading sport among middle and upper middle class families due to concussion concerns and many other reasons,,,FB was part of the fabric of life for many of us through-out life-not so today. My high school is so short of player some more developed freshmen are dressing a a couple of the get a lot of playing time-one is starting at LB……with that back-ground information about PITT FB I will go about my business of singing praises when we sin and bitching when we lose while still loving our Panthers- It’s part of who I am and that won’t change unless they drop it or the greenies are correct and the planet ends in 10 years and by then. if I live. I’ll be 78 and could give a hoot….

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      1. Big B, don’t shortchange yourself. I’m already 76 and I still give as big a hoot as I ever did. And I expect I’ll be that way till the big man calls………and who’s to say there isn’t football in the next life—just may not be any injuries….

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  1. I have often thought Pitt would be a better fit in the AAC in terms of competition. I realize the ACC is better for us financially. One downside about being in the AAC is the lack of respect. Poor Cincy won ten games and is playing BC in Birmingham. All that work for the Birmingham Bowl.

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    1. I live down here in N Carolina approximately 60 miles from Greenville NC the home of the East Carolina Pirates…they used to be a fun program, lotsa local noise and interest and played the likes of VT, WVU,Syracuse and PITT as well as some of our in state Big schools each …since all the realignment dust settled it’s “crickets” coming from downcrap schedule in the AAC- no one even knew of ECU assist coach Lincoln Riley and all of a sudden he turns up as HC for the Sooners…go figure! PITT needs to ride this ACC gig as long as they can- good fit for the school and the faithful who travel to see them….gives Scooter a chance to break out the “blue horns” each year,,,,,,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Time-out. So what I’m reading explains all the reasons the PITT football program has struggled to compete nationally and why PITT has not finished the season in the top 20 since forever, right? I ask, where is Narduzzi’s and or Lyke’s name on that list? This is where I have been coming from for years now, seems we all realize the problems but still want to point fingers and blame coaches and AD’s all in the wrong direction.

    Considering PITT plays the game with one hand tied behind their back, they imo, have often overachieved.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. when you have the 5th highest spend in the ACC for football, pay a coach top 40 salary and finish ranked around 60 in Saragin and RPI, you have under-achieved for the year

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, interesting post Reed. But, I am not big on buying into predictions about things that have so many moving pieces. As I recall, at this time last year, the people predicting the 2019 stock market performance were looking for a down year.

    pmdH2P

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The items Reed mentioned are all issues but I don’t think it’s that dire. Not sure why we would leave the ACC and join a lower conference. Don’t think we ever had an invitation either to join the BIG 10 as we’re not a land grant school. Anyway that is water that has already passed.

    Our teams across all sports do seem to be becoming more competitive. Even though football finished badly, we still had 7 and perhaps will finish with 8 wins which by all accounts on these pages would be a step forward. Volleyball, soccer etc is thriving. Some like MBB are on a great path. We are the verge of a facilities expansion (Victory Heights) which will bring these up to par with almost any team in the ACC.

    To address other issues:

    I see the Heinz Field lease being renewed though some tough negotiations are in store. Pitt’s challenge is to better monetize this opportunity. There doesn’t appear to be any appetite for an on campus facility.
    Money is a problem. Pitt’s contributions appear to have fallen in the recent years probably due to the new tax laws and a lack of effort. This may change in the next few years as the development staff seems to be increasing in both numbers and capability. If they succeed in these efforts, paying for coaches will not be a problem.
    The ACC network money, as pointed out, will increase in the next few years as providers are added. The migration to streaming services is real and will be a league issue, not just a PITT issues. It’ also an issue for the other power 5 conferences. The network does have some advantages with the ability to provide segmented content and more diverse sporting event offerings. Nothing says they can’t also start their own streaming service or take advantage of the streaming services that all networks and some providers are offering. I think there is a lot of room there for capitalizing on the trend. I am certain this is being discussed in the halls of the ACC.
    Western PA athletic talent is down. Nothing that can be done about that which is why PITT is trying to establish roots in other places. Just look at all the PITT team rosters and those of other teams in this area. Jury is still out on how successful we’ll be.
    As far as media attention, we’re still in a championship town. The media ignores every team that doesn’t win. Pitt does get it’s share of converge. Pitt needs to figure out how to channel that into the positive and that means winning and doing it more consistently. We’re kind of like the Pirates, if they win people come and everyone talks about them. If not, no one knows they exist.

    Anyway that is my take. We’ll see how it works out but I think they’re are reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Seriously, if it was only about money, Harvard, Princeton and CMU would still have great Football teams.

    Just another confirmation that the deck is stacked against Pitt Football success. So why would you invest in a large capital expenditure in a long term declining market for the sport.

    Pitt’s small and mostly apathetic alumni base is what has been driving the bus for many years. When Pitt re-surged briefly during the late seventies and early eighties proved that Pitt could not compete with the big boys on a sustained basis. The fan support in terms of attendance and contributions just isn’t there.

    Just as the move to Heinz saved Pitt Football for thirty years, joining the ACC has extended Pitt’s Football and Basketball life for the foreseeable future. In both cases, the results aren’t ideal, but more positives than negatives. In the ACC we are with a group of mostly high quality evenly matched schools, giving us good road games in nice climates and the potential to be competitive.

    Considering our comparatively small, apathetic fan base, I think this is the best we can hope for. The fact is Pitt is most unlikely to ever see the top ten in either major sport again unless It gets real lucky and a few great players fall into it’s lap.

    We are so lucky to have not gone to the B1G, we would have been a laughing stock worse than Rutgers getting pummeled by the big guys every year. Even worse, travelling to the hinterlands like WV. Or banished to irrelevance like UConn, Temple and Cincinnati.

    While we can always hope for better , it could have been much, much worse.

    While the long term is murky, the trajectory, at least for now is slightly positive.

    Heinz Field is what it is with more people being happy than sad. we are the weak cousin in the ACC that spoils the party every once in a while, but we get the same check and both insure our near term survival

    Underdogs for sure, but scrappy.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. the schools you mention have huge endowments used for academic purposes
      much like Pitt (very impressive for a smaller semi private school)
      whereas other schools have fans who would rather donate to sports than the medical school
      Money is a huge driver regarding athletic success and endowments are a huge driver of research grants

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    2. GREAT POST!! Insightful, realistic, and appropriately optimistic. For me, the post of the year. Thanks, GC.

      From a sports perspective, I’m thankful that a team doesn’t have to be a big winner in order for me to root for it. Hell, gimme 30 more years of the same mediocrity and I’ll still be singing Sweet Caroline (and not leaving after the third quarter)..

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  6. Agree with many points in the article, particularly the risk from potential conference re-alignment. We’re not in a position of strength in the event that we have further conference consolidation, which could force us into a lower tier and effectively kill Pitt football. That said, I seriously doubt that Pitt would voluntarily drop into the AAC. Too much money on the table with the ACC. How would Pitt fund all the other non-revenue sports if they were to leave the ACC? The answer is they wouldn’t; major cuts in non-revenue sports would have to occur. The net is that Pitt is likely to hobble along and pray that the rug doesn’t get pulled out from under them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d like to briefly comment on Reeds thoughts mixing in some facts with my own personal opinions.

    1) Pitt is damn lucky to be in the ACC for the money alone. Pitt’s ACC check is around $30M each year and is predicated on the money from media, bowls and the basketball tournament. But football is primarily responsible for the money. Another estimated $8-$12M in incremental revenue will come from the newly launched ACC network (non-streaming). Pitt spent $12M upfront to create the platform to support it. But as Reed pointed out, streaming is the future. Cable is slowly dying so a school will not be able to rely on this source of revenue.

    Pitt has used the ACC money to significantly increase its budget for football. Pitt is no longer cheap. Narduzzi is a top 40 paid coach. Pitt has a private jet for recruiting (no helicopter yet). Practice facilities are top notch but not overly extravagant. Pitt has the 5th highest spend for football in the ACC. My concern is that this ‘welfare’ check from the ACC promotes bad behavior and fiscal irresponsibility. How Pitt spends the money should be carefully watched. Returns on investment should be monitored and analyzed. Pitt is not transparent in those areas and I’m afraid they may not be competent either.

    2) The college landscape will most likely change again once the major TV contracts expire. For the SEC, that year is 2025. There have been multiple articles written about what may happen. One prevailing thought is that the top 30-40 schools will break away from the NCAA and form their own football conference. The schools who are most serious abut football, those with the most recognizable brands and ones with the largest fan bases will form this mega football conference. Pitt will NOT be one of them. It is estimated that the school payout each year would be well over $100 Million dollars.

    I’ve always thought Pitt to be a misfit in the ACC. Sure the money is good. The schools are very good academically. The road trips south are nice. But it is a southern conference run by southerners who still might be bitter about what happened 150 years ago. Pitt will never get a fair shake or the respect it deserves in this conference. Plus, Pitt’s historical rivals are Northern schools and the best tailgates are the ones you can actually make. I doubt many fans are attending the Miami and Ga Tech games unless you live in these areas. The relatively short drives to South Bend, Creepy Valley and Morganhole were some of my best experiences.

    3) Heinz. You know my thoughts on this. 5 years ago, CompLit (frequent commentator on the Blather) and I formed a site to draw attention and to gather support for an OCS. I’ve always thought the university would be better served by playing all sporting events on campus and not in some rental venue used by pro sports teams. I’ve always thought an OCS could help connect fans to the university and provide a better experience than Heinz. I also knew that Pitt has a revenue problem. Pitt generates one of the lowest revenues among the P-5 schools. My concept of a MPC (Multi-Purpose Center) would enable Pitt to increase revenues and allow it to better compete against the massive spending schools. A MPC that could be used by more than one sports program, a MPC that could be used for non-sporting events, a MPC that could have been used to host the Frozen 4, NCAA wrestling championships, NCAA volleyball championships, the Final 4, international soccer friendlies, an MPC used 365 days a year. I’ve provided links to such a venue – Stade Pierre Mauroy. But that might be thinking too BIG for most people. I am a Texan however. Heinz’s lease does expire in the next 10 years. Who knows what the Rooneys will do…renovate Heinz, re-build on the same site, move to the burbs, do nothing. Thats why Pitt needs to take control of their future today by conducting a feasibility study for an MPC.

    4) Football Culture. Pitt has really never incorporated sports into the fabric of a students life Thats one of the reasons why despite over 300,000 living alumni (second highest in the ACC), it ranks near the bottom in donations and gifting rates. Pitt is only ahead of Wake Forest, a school with fewer than 50k living alumni. Pitt has always been more concerned about its academic mission statement than supporting a sports culture and building a front porch to be proud. Historically, Pitt has been very afraid of sports tarnishing its academic image and obtaining too much power at the expense of the intelligentsia in their ivory towers. Whereas other schools embrace sports and dont view athletics as a threat, Pitt has a propensity to dismantle programs and creating unnecessary re-builds, a tactic employed since the Sutherland days.

    The draw of football in the North may be fading. Fewer kids are playing the sport due to changing demographics, generational attitudes, and the potential health risks with brain injuries. But college football is still very popular particularly in the South. College football is still a very good value for one’s entertainment dollars. Football is the sport I love the most despite never playing it outside backyard neighborhood slug fests and the annual Turkey Bowl pitting the adults against the nieces and nephews (I’m afraid to say the kiddos won the last 3 contests). Father time is not kind.

    Conclusions
    Since I own a Tardis and a crystal ball from Hogwarts, I’ll tell you where this leaves Pitt in the future which isnt that far away. I see conference re-alignment over the next 5 years and it will fundamentally shake the football landscape. And thats a very good thing for Pitt. Yes – Pitt will be left out of this mega conference and its lucrative rewards. But Pitt will be rewarded with playing ‘like-minded’ schools and thats very important. Schools that share a similar vision for sports and have a similar ‘disdain’ for football. I see Pitt as part of a Northern and Mid-west conference with many of our historical rivals and schools within an easy drive. Schools like BC, UConn, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rutgers, Temple, Maryland, Cincy, WVU, and Navy. Pitt would be very competitive in this conference. Moreover, the arms race would be over. There would be far less pressure to cheat and the playing field would be fair and level.

    Additional insights include: Pitt will have a new head coach for football (from the MAC) and a new AD (someone with Pitt ties from the 90’s). Pitt will finally commission a feasibility study for an MPC. And Reed will be loving the new Pitt. Many might even say he became an optimist. No longer will he be called Scrooge or Grinch. Good Tidings to All and To all a Good Nite.

    Your friend,
    Tex

    H2P!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Brevity is one of my greater strengths. My long comment is going to heather. All 400 pages of it. Much like the mueller report. But I conclude by recommending her indictment.

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  8. Only 10 years left? Football attendance steadily declining?

    This is GREAT NEWS. Now is the time to build an on-campus facility. A tremendous $$$ savings:
    1.) It only has to last 10 years;
    2.) It only has to house 20,000 fans, tops.
    3.) Locate near the Cathedral, and use the lawn for parking/tailgating.

    Thank goodness we of the POV have kept the OCS idea alive!

    An opportunity like this only comes along once in a lifetime. BOT: I hope you are already 1 or 2 steps ahead of me!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pitt never had a prayer of getting in the Big Ten. Just a simple eye test of those programs versus Pitt proves that. The ACC was and is the best conference for Pitt. They will stay in it for the long haul and do just fine. Football is the only sport that is not making progress and that is simply due to our coach and his staff. All the other sports are making progress. Pitt is never gong to be a major football program like Penn State. That is not who we are anymore. We are an ACC (less Clemson/FSU/Louisville) type football program. At best we should be in the top 25 several times every 5 years. If you expect us to be a major player is football, you are going to live the rest of your life being very disappointed.

    The idea of an on campus stadium is not going to happen. The administration is not going to waste precious space in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh for it. Hopefully some day Pitt can build a sports complex away from the current campus which would include a stadium. Pitt has enough problems with the locals in Oakland trying to get roads closed so Pitt’s area in Oakland can have a more campus-like feel without adding an on campus stadium to the mix. The only thing that could change to allow for an on campus stadium would be if the VA Hospital would relocate elsewhere and Pitt would take over that land.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well, certainly if they are considering dropping football entirely, spending $ on a new stadium is ridiculous. I’m not sure how likely it is for us to drop football but if it happens, there should be plenty of schools right along side us.

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  10. Hang in there for another 4-5 years …. then join a re-aligned Big10 which drops Rutgers and let’s Maryland go back to the ACC. That should buy us another 7-10 years whether we always end up last in the B10 or are middle-of-the-pack.

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  11. This isn’t exactly earth-shattering 60 minutes information, but nonetheless I expected it to be doom and gloom. The administration wants football to succeed yet admits it has to be done on a tight budget and will never pay a coach over $4.5 million. Good luck finding and keeping that next coach who can actually coach on the field.

    The school wants football to succeed yet cannot quite grasp that it doesn’t magically happen. Not sure why Pitt could be in trouble in the next round of expansion. Conferences will be fighting for the alleged-near Ivy League institution that Pitt thinks of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Time to hit up Mr. Tepper for some cash and hire some smart architects and build up Gesling Stadium so Pitt can play its games there down the road. Of course he appears ready to run Carolina into the ground in the NFC South.

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  13. Interesting points of view. First time I’ve heard of joining the ACC viewed as a mistake and I’ve never heard of an offer for Pitt to join the Big Ten. I could envision a realignment in college FB where the marginal schools get left out, but the Cubs and Yankees still need the Pirates, so perhaps the big boys will prop up the lesser schools just enough to be able to continue to show their superiority. If Pitt would have to move down to playing Cincinnati, WVU, BC, Navy, etc I will continue to cheer and complain as passionately as I do now. H2P and the POV!

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  14. Appreciate Reed’s article, and responding thoughts as well. Reed, thanks for sharing that with us. Definitely amused by the “10 year” comments, not taking this particular concern seriously at this point though. I think the real challenge for those concerned about the future landscape, is that it may potentially be influenced by so many different, huge factors and could go in so many different directions, that without a solid understanding of what that future holds, predicting what will happen to the majority of programs (not just Pitt) is futile, though certainly an interesting exercise nonetheless. I do think idea of a split with a “top 40 programs” forming a new league would actually be bad for the game of football long term, and would ultimately help quicken the pace of the downward spiral of the sport’s #1 popularity. Remember, baseball used to be “America’s past time” and is now only a shell of it’s former self in terms of popularity, football is not immune to much further decay either.

    It’s also hard to predict how streaming and conference networks will impact the landscape of the game as well. After many, many years, I finally just cut back my Comcast package this week (didn’t totally get rid of it yet), spurred by their failure to add the ACC network, and added Sling; I also picked up a Roku with voice remote for navigation purposes. I’m not sure how my experience will work out, but cable tv is slowly dying in part because they never met the demand for customers who wanted to be more selective in terms of what they pay for vs what they watch, so eventually someone was going to come along and figure out a way to do it. I agree that streaming (and the decline of broadcast tv) will be a major factor in whatever happens, and I suspect the SEC deal in just a few years may tell us a lot.

    I also concur that we’re a bit of an outsider as an ACC member, honestly you can even see that in the officiating in my opinion, but I think the “missing rivalries” comments are a bit off the mark. Most teams only have one really good rival if they’re lucky, we still have two, neither of which is in our conference, but a lot of teams are in the same positions, and I’m not just talking about PSU & WVU; many teams don’t “really” even have one true rival.

    By the way, if I were going to make a “major” change for the health of the game of football, I’d invent a radically safer helmet, and get it out there pronto starting with the youth. The youth are the future of the sport and they can do more to protect kids and in a way that also helps the sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good thoughts Reed. Just some rambling thoughts.

    Pitt and Pittsburgh sports were leaders in broadcast and TV sports by being the first to bring live event broadcasts to the public in the past. Maybe they should investigate how to bring live sports to fans using the new technology age we live in.

    Virtual broadcasts can bring live events anywhere anytime to anyone. Being in a seat at an event may be a thing of the past. Capabilities can include where you can even be the QB if you want. The ability to have fans actively participate in play calling or player location should be investigated. What if I wanted the DB or outfielder to be here instead of where he is now.

    Fans want to be in the game, not just watch. Baseball is finally going to robot empires to call balls and strikes but the empire will still be there if necessary.

    Tailgating is fun but we cannot all be there. Maybe portable tailgate stations are needed at events.

    Just rambling.

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  16. Great conversations…

    I’ll remind though that these are not my thoughts but a friend of mine’s who sent them to me last night.

    I think it all revolves around what happens with Heinz Field and where Pitt ends up playing home games. Conferences look closely at things like that and Heinz was a deciding factor for the ACC invite, which btw wasn’t a given at all.

    An OCS is not going to happen folks and I discussed that subject with both Posvar and Nordenberg…both were adamantly opposed to the idea. Gallagher isn’t sold on it either.

    Take that for what it’s worth but I think we’ll never see one in Oakland… somewhere else in the city but not Oakland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “An OCS is not going to happen folks and I discussed that subject with both Posvar and Nordenberg…both were adamantly opposed to the idea. Gallagher isn’t sold on it either.”

      Let me break this down:

      The first guy killed football due to imposing higher academic standards in the decade of the 1990s and hired Hackett.

      The second guy killed this decade by firing Wannstedt and hiring Haywood and Graham, thus eventually making Pitt a laughingstock that it still cannot shake.

      The third guy killed basketball so bad that the team went 0-19 recently in conference play!

      Folks, it’s the leadership killing Pitt athletics.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. But why would alumni support a leadership team that is incompetent and does not share their sports vision. Why should alumni be blamed when its Pitt’s fault why Pitt doesnt have a sports culture and incorporates sports into the fabric of everyday college life and doesnt engage fans and help them connect with the school. Please dont be blaming ex-students. Its that GD BoT and mission statement that is killing Pitt athletics and Gallagher is Chief Bozo in Charge.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Great thoughts by 1618 and Frank, here’s where Tx and I agree. With the tailgating drying up on the north shore and playing in a stadium that is way way too big for PITT will begin to hurt the PITT football program even further as time marches on.

    College football is just not about the game but the experience that comes with going to a/the game. Had a little back and forth with BigB and we both whole heartily agreed that the Army/Navy game is the best college football game experience that money can buy.

    College football is big business and the problem is that teams like PITT cannot, for the lack of commitment, compete with the teams that have the win at all costs type of programs. Nothing bad about that at all. Which is why I appreciate what PITT actually does accomplish on the field on a yearly basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. To finish my thought above. PITT needs to seriously consider a stadium that is theirs and theirs alone with one exception, so yes, I’m in favor of building up CMU’s Gesling stadium and help save PITT football.

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      1. ^^ It’s a pipe dream to be sure Reed. Although I’ve looked and looked at that stadium and more stands can be built over the existing structures. Where do the people park? Same place they did when PITT and the Pirates played in Oakland. I know the commerce world would approve. PITT most definitely needs some kind of savior on the down the road. Heinz Field is not the long term answer in any way shape or form. Trust me, I’m not trashing Heinz Field either, I love my cushy seats but the times are a changin.

        My bigger point is that PITT, if they want to ever compete, needs to think it forward. It’s called an investment.

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          1. Somebody actually has to haul the components of a proper tailgate to the “tailgate area”. And the idea of going to Oakland bars pregame is more of a pro game concept than the college football experience you’ve been pining for.

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            1. tailgate areas would be alumni or fan tents. the food and beverages are supplied. the grills are already there. Fee for admission or free if you reach certain donation levels.

              College bars are fine by me.

              And not everyone tailgates

              But if you’re into old fashioned traditional tailgating, there are still plenty of viable parking spots albeit spread around that could be used. Face it, in 10 years there wont be many open ground lots on the North Shore anyway. Development is gobbling them up.

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      2. All this OCS talk forgets the main point you just mentioned, the residents of Oakland and the surroundings will fight an OCS tooth and nail. The traffic situation that an OCS would bring along with lack of parking for it is the deal breaker almost as much as the scarcity of land.

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  19. Just my opinion but I think this guys predictions have about the same chances of coming into being as do as do the seers that predict the end of the world is just around the corner.—–As for football going down the tubes that’s sheer nonsense IMO. The salaries paid by the NFL is a great incentive to those being brought up in the projects all their life. And with the NFL pot of gold starring at them every draft day there is incentive enough to feed any and every school that want to continue playing this game going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yikes, I just looked at the Top 25 and saw Appalachian State, Cincy and Memphis on it.

    Saragin actually has us at #62.

    Can we get into Top 25 at 8-5 maybe? Would be nice.

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    1. There is not a snow balls chance in hell of Pitt getting into the top 25 by beating Eastern Michigan. The top 25 flew out the window with Pitt’s dismal performance at VT(zero points) and most especially at home against BC.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. FWIW here are my facts:

    — Pitt’s decline football can be traced back to the 80s; First, it didn’t have a snowball’s chance to retain Sherill, even with the success of the previous 7 years. Foge was an obvious hire but was not up to the task. Gottfried was a good hire but failed to retain arguably the best assistant coach college football ever (not hyperbole, there’s an award named after him). But it was Gottfried’s firing, justified or not, that began the major decline.

    — Pitt FB in the 90s wasn’t even average and there was even talk by the mid 90s to downgrade to D2. Actually, it was Steve P’s hiring of Walt Harris that revived the program. He also got the Chancellor to provide more support but Pitt’s national reputation as a FB school was beyond repair. (remember 72-0)

    — Steve P made another good hire in Ben Howland in 1999, and spearheaded the project to built a state-of-the-art basketball arena. By the end the next decade, Pitt received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tourney, playing in what was considered the best college basket conference, Pitt FB made a resurgence but it was in what was considered college football lowest regarded and exposed league.

    — Pitt received its 2nd #1 seed in 3 years in March 2011 and a few months later, Pitt was accepted into the ACC due to its basketball program stature. Of course, a disastrous turn of events beginning with Wannstedt’s firing resulted with a total of 4 new HCs being hired within a tumultuous 5 year period.

    What many Pitt followers don’t seem to realize is that Pitt FB does not have a national reputation anymore … and it’s been that way since the late 80s. And sadly, its status of a major basketball school has also taken a big hit.

    The good news is it is easier to rebuild a basketball program especially when in the most regarded and exposed basketball league while playing in a great facility supported by a noted, rabid fanbase. While it may never attain the level of Duke or UNC, it can return to a perennial top half of the ACC program and national ranking.

    IMO the football program has a lower ceiling. It can compete in the top half of the Coastal but that certainly doesn’t translate into national prominence. POVers need to realize this … even though many here cannot seem to accept it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Which poster is asking that Pitt become elite again with top 10 rankings?

      Pitt has one of the lowest revenues among all P5 schools which makes eliteness virtually impossible.

      I think 99 percent would jump for joy at consistent top 25 rankings with the occasional special 11 win season and New Years bowl.

      Like

    2. Gottfried’s best assistant was John Fox.

      He had a solid staff in 1989 and was the man to lead us heading into the 1990s. His “lifetime” contract should have played out until 1998 or ’99.

      Foge was not the obvious hire due to no head-coaching experience. If by obvious of course you mean cheapest. Jimmy Johnson or George Welsh should have been Sherrill’s successor.

      Like

  22. Speaking of low alumni giving I confess I am part of the problem- my reasoning: 1. the school sits on piles of cash in endowment money.
    2. The school receives tax dollars and can raise tuition. Universities and health care businesses defy the rest of the economy in rising costs 3.Pitt has 35000 students who are served by 13000 employees. 4. They are always soliciting- give us more of your money in contrast to running my own business where we have to earn every penny. 5. I personally think college coaching salaries are outta control and who knows where it will end or how “ things” will evolve or re-align to allow the game to continue for schools who want to participate… most schools will be limit in competing financially a some $$$threshold… one thing I know for sure – there are far more PITT’s than PENN STATE’s out there….a thought follow the high school system for conferences and add geographic component :PSU 6$ North… PITT 3$ mid-Atlantic and so on… develop a play-off system For each division….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, we need at least 3 division 1 levels or 4. Western PA has 6 high school divisions. IF Pitt sold out Heinz Field every game at the end of the year (assuming 7 home games) they would be 280,000 fans behind Penn State.

      You cannot say FAU, Pitt, USC and Michigan are all equal. Yes all had winning records this year and all are supposedly in the same division. It is a joke.

      Like

  23. Oh BS Bernie, you’re certainly not part of the problem. You live 9 hours away from Heinz Field and you go to more PITT home games than most PITT fans that only live 30 miles or less away. Talk about PITT away games? You and JeanieB travel with the best of the fans. You guys deserve a medal! Further more, so do many other POVer’s that travel so far to cheer on the Panthers. It’s nothing short of incredible. Pround to know all of you!

    Like

  24. Many excellent comments in response to the info Reed posted.

    —Tex must be thinkin’ that Santa will know if he’s been naughty or nice. I mean he made his points without resorting to degrading nick names 😊— well, maybe one… We’ll done, Tex.

    —I expect to be dead in 10 years, so the schedule laid out by Reed’s friend works fine for me. Though my son will miss the “highs” of Pitt football, no one will miss the Pitt football doldrums.

    —I agree with BigB’s point that the pay scale for college football (and basketball) coaches is just ridiculous…

    —Heinz doesn’t bother me at all — I would try not selling tickets for the upper upper deck and roping it off (no tarps though…).

    —Sounds like to stay on the cutting edge, Fran will need to hire a techie to work on “virtual tailgating” technology…

    Hail to Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. For Pitt to regain its national attention in football, it just needs to win enough games and bowl games to achieve national rankings and preseason rankings. Heinz Field was not too big in 2002 when 66,000 fans showed up to see the Pitt-WVU game. Pitt was ranked (17) just like it was when 63,000 showed up in 2009 to see the Pitt-Cincinnati game.

    I don’t get the gloom and doom. Pitt has more money now than ever before for football, a coach who is decently paid, and a Power 5 conference. Doesn’t this all fall back on Narduzzi? He’s hanging on by not stringing back-to-back losing seasons. Fans still seem to believe in him although next season is critical. At $4.5 million a number of gifted, young coordinators who want to advance their careers would come to Pitt.

    Does anyone think this year’s team, overall, was well-coached?

    Here in Houston, during the Dixon era everyone I ran into knew about Pitt basketball. We were ranked, winning, impressive. The Clemson win in 2016, more than the PSU victory, got national attention.

    We can’t string together losses to end the season and we can’t lose every friggin bowl game.

    Under Narduzzi we’ve had bad defenses and now bad offenses.

    Maybe he just isn’t the guy. For $4.5 mil, there’s no doubt a better coach out there.

    Like

  26. My guess:
    Decreased participation, attendance and viewership will lead to an end of the bundling and sharing across conferences; the popular schools will demand a pay-to-view format…thereby the rich get richer.
    Another worry is compensation for an athlete’s likeness. Go to a big school and they promise to put your puss on 100,000 water bottles, shirts, bumper stickers and fry-daddies. And you my friend pocket $10k a year, more if you’re a star. The Alabama’s and Ohio State’s would view this as chump change.
    At Penny-pinching Pitt, we don’t have those kinds of funds but you can get a vintage Tony D shirt at the book store for 15% off…with a valid student ID, of course. Now tell me, if we have trouble with recruiting now, how will that translate?
    Finally, I doubt the ACC tosses us, but I do see the big guns demanding a bigger slice of the pie. Again, bad news for the little guys up North.

    Like

  27. I say try an up and coming smaller school guy with HC experience…that is if Narduzzi leaves or gets fired.

    I think he’ll leave before getting fired though.

    My old prediction still stands; if he wins 9+ games at Pitt someone will offer more $$$ or if a B10 offers a HC job he’ll be gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree 100% Reed make that 1000% but why would another school offer Narduzzi a head coaching job and more money if he’s such a lousy coach despite the fact he would have won 9 or + games in such a weak ACC division? I’m asking because everything gets so conflicted and convoluted in my mind I can’t keep track.

      Like

    2. Reed for once I can say you are being overly optimistic. Why would any Big 14 school want to take Narduzzi? There are plenty of good up and coming younger, offensive minded coaches available in the G5 schools. I believe we are stuck with Narduzzi until Lyke finally decides to fire him. I think that scenario is the most likely. Of course a true miracle could occur and he could actually win 9 games in one season.

      Like

  28. My guess is that unless Coach Duzz wins at least 9 and gets ranked next season, HL will move on to a new coach.

    I don’t think HL will be nearly as patient with the football program as some on here seem to think. But I think HL expects at least 9 wins next season, which ties in with the contract extension she gave to Coach Duzz…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  29. Your humor for the day: Narduzzi predicts Pitt will win the ACC football championship in the next several years. He made that statement at the press conference today for the what cha ma call it Detroit bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks for the post Reed. While this friend is certainly well informed, I think most if not all of these conclusions can also be drawn from public information and a good dose of commons sense. I also think that any rational fan would agree that most if not all of it is true.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the view that Pitt may drop to the AAC or (gasp) the MAC, but I do agree that Pitt no no better than a second-rate player in the ACC (in their best year), and third rate is probably more accurate.

    I became a Pitt fan in a world where 8 wins was a good season, and as many have pointed out on this board, that is probably the ceiling for Pitt in any given year. I feel sad for those of you who were spoiled by a bunch of ten win seasons and a national championship. Pitt has a better chance of building a second Cathedral of Learning than they do of getting back to a consistent ten win plateau, much less winning a national championship.

    I accept Pitt football for what it is, and yes it can be frustrating, but I certainly have no delusions of grandeur. Maybe that means I’ve “settled” for mediocrity. Maybe it means I’m just a realist. Either way, I’m still a Pitt fan. At least until they drop out of the FBS…

    Hail to Pitt

    Michaelangelo

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think he said ACC championship, but that would be like winning the Natty if they beat Clemson … and yes I am picking up your sarcasm

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Just thinking, I think the city will do everything it can to keep the Steelers. It the Steelers stay in a new city stadium, we might be with them again. Nothing will then change unless college FB reorganizes the conferences and we are put in the lower bracket with most of the other ACC teams. The big schools will go their way to full minor NFL leagues with their big stadiums. Without the city Steeler deal we will probably play in some rental stadium somewhere or perish the thought of what else. Sorry to feel so glum but.

    Like

  32. Sometimes I think we tend to make this more complicated than it is. There is enough money coming in from all sources to run a successful Athletics Dept. So money isn’t the problem right now. Recruiting has expanded into more areas and recruiting budgets are adequate for success. If Pitt is currently treated as an ACC step child this is fixed by WINNING. It worked in the Big East and will work in the ACC. An OCS should not be built in order to become successful but rather BECAUSE we are successful! It would be an obvious progression once interest in Pitt athletics is rekindled. It all comes down to having the right people in place to get the job done.

    Like

  33. Just a quick response to the posters who mentioned the ridiculously high college coaching salaries. I completely agree that they are “ridiculously high.“ However, “ridiculously high salaries“ seem to pervade both college and professional sports. I just read that Gerrit Cole has signed a contract that will pay him over $9000 per pitch and over 1 million each start. Hmmm, $1,000,000.00 for about 3 hours work. And with relatively low likelihood of multiple concussions on the job. And he doesn’t even have to go on the road recruiting………

    Like

    1. if you compare the salaries from the NBA and MLB to NFL, you have to be nuts to play football, Deion Sanders claimed that he actually made more money playing baseball than football

      Like

  34. BTW, watching the Michigan/Illinois basketball game, and Freshman Cockburn is a beast! Capel is certainly going after the right players even if he doesn’t get them all.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I graduated from Pitt in 1975 & have been a loyal alumni of my University ever since. I’ve enjoyed following Pitt sports for some 50 years now. I especially enjoy college football, I live & die Pitt football. Needless to say, death has ruled the majority of those years since the days of Coach Majors & Coach Sherril.
    However, even with that being the case, there sure has been a lot of fun, & good times following my Pitt Panthers, and those special memories forged during that process I will take to the grave.
    It’s too bad that Pitt will discontinue the football program by 2030. I will dearly miss it.
    I’m just thankful that Pitt is a volleyball school, there will still be volleyball after 2030, right?

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Fellas (and lady), while we are all dishing on why Pitt football will never be good enough, Rivals is running a great deal on an annual subscription. That’s right, just like someone entwined in an abusive relationship, you know you’ll be back for more.

    So if you always wanted to join but were too cheap (me) or you just want to renew…you can get $75 of free Nike gear (i.e. Nike PITT gear right?) for the price of a $75 subscription.

    Here is the direct link: https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/a-special-offer-from-panther-lair-com-and-nike

    Like

  37. Saw a comment slamming Chancellor Posvar for killing Pitt Football. Not gonna let that pass as I knew Dr. Posvar and last had a conversation with him around late 1999 standing on the corner in front of Western Psyche after a game at Pitt ( I believe the last year that Pitt stadium existed). He would pass away two years later.

    He gave the go ahead to Cas Myslinski to hire Johnny Majors and later to hire Jackie Sherrill. Boys and girls, that IS ALL YOU HAVE of Pitt football lore.

    Dr. Posvar graduated #1 at West Point in 1946. He was the first Air Force officer to receive a Rhodes Scholarship. When he took over Pitt he miraculously steered it out of a financial crisis by eliminating its debt in the 1960s. Pitt was in bad shape (and I’m not only talking football).

    If the subsequent coaches after Sherrill had just an inkling of his intellect from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday and his drive to succeed, and his attention to detail, this site would be complaining of why are we always 10-2 or 11-1 and can’t get over the hump to an undefeated season.

    Rest in peace Dr. Posvar.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’ve been quick to criticize our recruiting in the past (especially last year), but with regard to this year’s recruiting class, Rivals has us at #47 right now, and they do not even have a few of our players moved up to 4 star yet. Also, we have some really nice supposed 3 star players at positions of need (OL & WR), so I’m not buying the #60 rating, and I’m not really even swayed by the #47 rating, I like (not love) our class this year quite a bit.

      With regard to the Parrish decommit, this basically happened a few months ago and was just made official thankfully. And although it’s a bummer to lose a player like that, we have 2 other 4 star freshman backs Daniel Carter (RS) plus Abanikanda both joining us next year, so this was not a position of need.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A 4* kid committing to Pitt is such a rarity one can never say it isn’t a “position of need” no matter what position he plays. We have no idea what our running back situation will be in 2 or 3 years.

        Like

        1. Again, I’ve been very critical in recent years of Narduzzi’s recruiting, but to say a 4 star recruit committing to Pitt is “rarity” is just too much of be an exaggeration; as you know, we have several 4 star recruits this year alone, and at the running back position we’ve gotten quite a few 4 star players the last several years years. I’m more concerned with getting good backs, as some of the 4 star RBs have been overrated and the “3 stars” have been better players in some cases.

          And more to the point, given our RBs in the pipeline, I’d much prefer a good TE or OL recruit with this opening, because we have far greater needs in these areas. Heck, I’d much prefer 2 solid TEs right now (maybe one juco) over another running back.

          Like

        2. Yep. Rushel Shell is a fine example. He commits and we’re over the moon, then he becomes trouble & ends up gone. You never know what the future holds.

          Like

  38. Narduzzi deservedly getting lambasted on The Fan right now for his quote yesterday about winning the ACC Championship in the next few years.

    Like

  39. A reminder, PITT played in the ACC championship game last year and Lawrence will be long gone in a few years. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility.

    Like

      1. I was at a game at death valley when some second rate ACC team handed Clemson their only loss of during their national championship season. 💩happens🤷🏼‍♂️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good that many will sign their LOI before the bowl game so it won’t get slimmer if Pitt loses.

      The kids now who sign in February may be a different story. Pitt still needs attrition to get to its target of 21 players so no use in worrying. Pitt will be at its allotment of 85 for fall camp.

      Like

  40. Here is the Narduzzi quote:

    https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2019/12/12/wrapping-up-a-disappointing-fifth-year-pat-narduzzi-guarantees-an-acc-championship-in-the-next-few-years/

    He actually says this:

    “We’ve reached the ACC Championship before,” Narduzzi said on Wednesday at his Ford Field press conference. “Our goal is not to just get there. But to get there and win the thing. In the next couple of years, we are going to win one – I guarantee you that.

    Not “few” but “couple of years” which means he thinks once Pickett graduates we be a great team!!! But – he’ll never sit Pickett down to make it possibly happen sooner. Is this the work of a genius, I ask you!

    Like

    1. There goes Pat “feeling his oats again.” Whoa Nellie !!!! We don’t need that bravado, especially, the ole seasoned vets who follow the team/game…I guess that hype is for younger viewers…

      Hope Duzz can pick up another player in a position of need and IMO #1 need OL then TE/QB/LB…

      Like

  41. “…or simply dropping football within ten years. “

    My God is this a garbage post. The Pitt blog world has fallen very far since the heyday of Pitt Blather.

    Like

    1. OsborneCox…looks like the Blather has been taken off life support but no funeral hs been announced…Chas is a great writer but occupied…It was a great site in it’s heyday…that’s where most of us met…would be great if Chas would jump in here every once in awhile…all of us posters have been blessed to have experienced 3 incredible writers…hopefully, Maestro doesn’t have too many more bambinos planned down the road…those kiddies take some time(in a good way!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BigB (Bernie) totally agree on the Blather & your comment of the 3 writers – Chas, Reed & now Mike. First blog (of any type) that I read was the Blather. So glad I found that site.

        Like

        1. the first Pitt blog of any significance was the Blather. I know Chas from my Pitt days. Tailgated with him on many occasions. Would love to meet Reed and Michael so next year I’ll be in for one game most likely in October.

          I love the different views on this blog.

          Pitt wont drop football. Too much money dependent on it. They are spending good money on football but arent getting good results if you ask me. And to me, A Coastal title last year and 7-7 record isnt good. A 7-5 record this year met my expectation but that expectation was low.

          When you have the 5th highest spend in the ACC for football and pay your coach top 40 compensation, you should be ranked in the top 25 and go to nice warm weather bowls. I like a good bang for my buck but I’m not seeing a good return on investment so I choose to donate to programs that are moving in the right direction – mens soccer and womens volleyball.

          And if Pitt were to have a drive to create a hockey program, I’d help in any way possible.

          But football, you aint getting any of my money. All you’ll get is piss and vinegar from me. Coal in your stockings. A dish of cold two day old meatballs without sauce.

          Like

          1. Tex…Make sure you announce the game you were coming to in October… I will make plans to be there… Looking forward to meeting you in person… Bring your mom and dad back with you… I saw they were there but did not know who they were and did not get a chance to meet them before they had left the tailgate area

            Like

  42. Sad we have a coach with a positive attitude, if he somehow develops an O-line as good as he has the D-line, then we should be pretty competitive.

    The loss of Parrish, while understandable still hurts, Pitt need potential game changers on offense. Guys that can routinely make big plays are what is missing on offense. Our two best Ffrench and Mack faded down the stretch. Wayne,and Shocky showed some potential but were too inconsistent. The running backs had way to few big plays and the QB didn’t make nearly enough. Our tight ends could get open but dropped too many.
    YAC yardage was abysmal and we all remember our red zone failures,

    In the Canada year, we had a great offense, but our defense stank. It took a few recruiting classes, but it was very good this year. We will find out next year if the offense is trending upward.

    Parrish might have been the guy to raise the bar or he might have been another Sallahuddin, in any case, we need guys to routinely make big plays.

    Like

  43. Henry Parrish won this award in an extremely talent-rich area …. https://miami.cbslocal.com/2019/11/30/cbs4-nat-moore-trophy-awarded-dec-10/

    What Pitt did was to get a commitment from a 5.5 3-star in June who immediately showed how wrong this rating was in his very first game in August, and never looked back.

    I have written a handful of time that this is what Pitt has to do …. recognize potential. Just hopefully. most of these guys don’t reach it until their 19 or 20

    Liked by 1 person

  44. A few things:

    So now we are reading Narduzzi’s mind? Good googily moogily.

    I guess PN should have just said, PITT has no chance to ever compete for an ACC championship. EVER!

    Abanikanda is rated higher than Parrish on 24/7

    Didn’t Narduzzi say at the beginning of last year, something along the lines of, I’ll see you all in Charlotte?
    Well? He was there waiting.

    Like

    1. Yep and proceeded to get blasted on the way to losing 4 straight to include this years loss to
      Better to say it’s a work in progress and we are working towards getting there and being at least competitive

      Like

  45. Ironically, although Pitt was pass-heavy this year, it had more splash plays last year. One long run after another by Ollison and Hall. Maybe I have mental block about this year but the only splash scoring play that I remember this year of any length was also a run …. Vincent Davis long run vs GT from the Wildcat. I’m sure we scored on a long pass this year, but I just can’t remember any

    Like

  46. wwb, you are a mind-reader…was just thinking about an O high-lite real in my brain- don’t think I could put together 45 seconds of big plays that our offense made.

    Like

  47. Didn’t HCPN guarantee a victory at half time over Miami (undefeated and ranked #2 in the CFP rankings who then went on to end the season with 3 straight losses) in 2017. I also believe he also made a prophecy about either beating Clemson in 2016 or was it winning the Coastal in 2018

    May not be the right choice of words. What was the question asked & what was the context of the interview at point?

    Maybe HCPN is like me – knows what he wants to say but has a hard time in expressing (either verbally or written) his thoughts elegantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Great letter written by FOR (Friend of Reed). Not mentioned is a large problem that will rear its ugly head soon. I’d like to poll the age of all you POVers. I’d bet that the average age is in the neighborhood of 65. The passionate Pitt fans are mostly older than I am. The Demographics are not good. We can’t come close to filling the stadium now, how are we going to do it in 10 or 15 years? It will be even worse if the Steelers new stadium is out in the suburbs somewhere. Pitt tickets remain relatively affordable and we yet have a pathetic season ticket base. It isn’t going to get better. Pitt should be running focus groups weekly to figure out the solution before it’s too late.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt lost an entire generation of fans during the 90’s

      Think about it. Around 50,000 undergrads who graduated in the 90’s witnessed a crap show.

      Pitt’s core base and most loyal fans are in their 60’s and 70’s

      Pitt has done nothing to grow new supporters

      Hence another justification for a smaller and more intimate stadium to cater to a small fan base

      I see nothing in terms of strategy from this administration to stop the decline in the fan base numbers. Pitt needs to look long and hard at how Premier League clubs grow supporters and engage fans. Guess what? A stadium is part of that connection.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. OK, it has not made it to the message boards yet. Hopefully it is all speculation.

          Suspended for the first half of the next game I hope.

          Thanks.

          Like

    1. They need a tutor for basket weaving class?

      I mean seriously does heather force players to take quantum physics?

      Or maybe they are just bright kids or don’t need a stinkin tutor.

      Making tutoring voluntary is asinine.

      Like

  49. Hej to all from Sweden!

    Reed – thanks for sharing your friends viewpoints. Appreciate the tone/tenor of his remarks as well.
    Here are my reactions:

    1) This is not a Pitt issue; its one for CFB. There are a lot of views about what will happen next, but I think we should not lose sight of some important factors. First and foremost, people like watcing CFB and in particular their team. As long as there is demand for games, the medium by which they are delivered doesn’t really matter in the long run. Sure, the transition period from cable to streaming is going to be a bit bumpy, but its a technology matter.

    As long as schools agree to belong to conferences, I think we will see bundled packages for college sports programming. Its not in the interest of the conferences for a wild west, full a la carte offering by school. Pitt and other schools not named Notre Dame, Alabama and the like benefit from this setup.

    As the first conference to develop its on network, the BigTen has enjoyed considerable leverage in getting carriers to include its subscription fee in base package pricing vs an optional offering. Their leverage here may actually diminish with the move toward streaming, which will help other conferences such as the ACC.
    The ACC actually enjoys a strong competitive position because of its physical footprint alone.

    2) Whats the actual point?

    3) I do not expect Pitt to compete at the Top 15 level against the programs who spend at those levels. Doesn’t mean we can’t have a program that wins more than it loses each year. Folks are welcome to accept where the program is or not.

    5) While the BigTen would have been a nice fit for Pitt, Pitt was not a good fit for the BigTen. Sure, like all the BigTen schools, Pitt is a member of the AAU. That’s where the interest ends. Pitt did not create an expanded TV market for the conference, which is why they picked Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland instead. It was about economics.

    Pitt is important to the ACC and its members schools for the TV market it delivers. Its fun to blame the good ole boys on Tobacco Road for everything that doesn’t go in PItt’s favor, whether scheduling or in referee’s call – but seriously folks, its not in the ACC’s interest to treat the Northern schools as some sort of second class programs. Now, fans of the old line programs have their provincial views, but those charged with driving the economics of the conference forward fail in their mission should they do as suggested. Its just silly thinking.

    I don’t agree with views that another major realignment of conferences is approaching. Too many poison pills in place to prevent defection that the member schools themselves voted on and signed up for in their own conferences. Its not in the interests of the conferences, so don’t expect them to push for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Tomorrow night (Fri), I will likely be watching the Presidents Cup on the Golf Channel from 3 to 9 ET, But some of you may wish to watch the FCS semi-final pitting Northern Iowa vs James Madison led by Ben DiNucci on ESPN2 at 7. Curt Cignetti is JMU 1st year HC, and was a Pitt assistant at 2 different times in the previous decade. Curt is not to be confused with younger brother Frank who was Pitt OC in 2009-10.

    Frank is currently unemployed having worked for Mike McCarthy at Green Bay who was fired last year

    Like

  51. JoeL, I agree on all your points expressed above. Just curious what point ) 4 might have been? 🙂 .Seriously though, the day I feel PITT no longer has any chance whatsoever to go undefeated and win a national championship is the day I’ll stop watching PITT altogether.

    Yes I know it would take a magical season where everything needs to go right including a great returning group of seniors combined with a favorable schedule and all and the chance of that ever happening is between slim and none. As long as there is hope, I’ll be right there with my PITT Panthers.

    Funny thing is, I’m just beginning to hope that Narduzzi gets canned or leaves the program to prove to so many of the folks that the grass is certainly not greener on the other side. Then I reside to the fact I care more about PITT football than to wish for that.

    Like

  52. ike – the grass is brown outside right now. It will always be brown under Narduzzi. A new coach will bring new life to the program and a spring flourish of new green grass. I’ll take a 4 or 5 win season if it leads us to an ACC championship. Narduzzi is all hat, no cattle.

    Like

  53. Per previous posts: there’s not any chance of Pitt leaving the ACC. If anyone is so inclined (Richard??), please look up ACC Bylaws. You will see that, when Maryland left for B1G, a rule was added to prevent that from happening. Any team that leaves the ACC must surrender it’s new conference’s annual payoff over to the ACC for the ensuing 10 (???) years.

    Done to provide stability. But, I don’t recall if there is any reverse clause if the ACC kicks a member out.

    The teams of the ACC are here to stay

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Why did pitt decide to step up spending in football?

    Did they see an opportunity in a weak coastal?

    Were they tired and embarrassed of being cheap and getting mediocre results?

    Are they concerned about those yellow seats?

    Did they become risk takers with all this new ACC money?

    Did the ACC brass pressure Pitt to step up their game?

    Did the BoT find Jesus? Or whomever.

    Fact is that Pitt is spending on football. Are you happy with the results?

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Concerning Reed’s post. Thanks Reed.

    My responses…

    Cable and satellite subscriptions will continue to decline, but with that decline the ACC will increase revenue from streaming services. It will be a wash so there is no concern here.
    Heinz Field is going no where and neither are the Steelers. The Steelers are still putting money into it. They are not abandoning it any time soon. Unless Pit has a surge in attendance, Heinz will be their home.
    Pitt can’t and won’t ever exceed $4.5 million for a head coach. Pitt may some day exceed this number but they will never pay like the elite teams and that is okay. Pitt is in the same boat as the majority of college football programs. Changing conferences will not change anything.
    Pittsburgh and Western PA has changed forever! How does Pitt compete? They compete like every other football program that is not elite. Recruit all over the country.

    Pitt is just perceived as another program but not a glamorous one. So are the majority of teams.
    Where did Pitt error in the recent times? THE BIG TEN WOULD NOT SOLVE ANY OF PITT’S PROBLEMS. ZERO.

    Until Pitt has the same enrollment and budget as the elite teams, Pitt is what it is. Pretty much the same as 90% of college football. I think we should expect better than what PN delivered this year. Top 25 most years should be attainable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. NRS…excellent read….we can do somewhat better as you say…even with all the middling won loss records I still have a lot of fun following the Panthers through the highs and lows…I can see us getting into the top 30 or 25 frequently-needs to build an O…but it’s these season end nose-dives that eat at my guts especially wen the competition is no better than our equal……I know it ain’t that simple-lot’s of reason for our end of year poor showing…..Let’s hope we beat the Eagles…don’t know if I can take a long off season should we sustain a year ending loss..if that happens guess I will just have to sleep on it-.(just got diagnosed with sleep apnea today)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Couldn’t agree more. Maybe the bowl game was all part of an ACC master plan spearheaded by Reed to make sure Narduzzi gets bowl win.

        Like

  56. There is nothing surprising in anything Reed’s informant mentioned. The NCAA and conferences are going to look a lot different in 10 years, maybe sooner, especially after they start paying the players.

    Look, Pitt is now on notice that the landscape will change again. The next change will separate the haves from the have nots. Pitt will have a choice, but their choice starts now. Pitt can decide they want to opt in to the big time sports or opt out. It sounds like they are looking to opt out.

    Pitt needs to do the opposite of what they think they should do. They have messed it up for 40 years having a working group after working group stand up committees to think things through, just to decide incorrectly. When academics run higher education, you get bad decisions. Most academics are great at research, are collegial, and promote research activities. What they don’t have is business acumen on HOW to run a business…..because they don’t have experience doing it. We have no large personality that can influence the direction of athletics. This note suggests that Pitt is throwing their collective hands up in the air and saying SOP. Sounds like a bunch of excuses around why Pitt can’t do something. Loser mentality!

    Pitt Admin needs to grow a pair, make a plan to be a part of the “haves”. What they aren’t realizing right now is that if they are not a part of the new superconferences, they will lose on other funding and research opportunities. Pitt has a losing attitude and the AD and Coach are excellent examples of that every day. Same with the Administration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huff, would appreciate an articulation of how the current conference structure evolves to a super conference concept, where the “haves” from current conferences are able to join forces with other “haves”. Don’t overlook litigation from the supposed “have nots”. Certainly conference commissioners won’t take it sitting down either.

      Like

  57. Huff the Third, you have imo, correctly identified the problem with PITT football so why do you continue to blame Heather and Narduzzi? << This has been my point for a long while now. I believe PITT football gets more than their school gives them.

    Like

  58. The problem is recruiting. A coach has to be close to a god or superman to recruit top players to PITT. We may be attractive but we are not sexy enough. It is probably too late to try and get sexier too. But what’s wrong with level “B” football. I enjoy watching Navy, Army level games. I love the atmosphere.

    Push the academic rankings and keep respectable in sports including, especially, the minor sports. Bring on men’s lacrosse. Give up on being a super power in football. It ain’t going to happen. Even ND has trouble keeping up with the real big boys.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt did give up being a super power in football, long ago actually. It happened in 1982.

      The reality is it costs money just to stay mediocre and semi-relevant. The fans deserve to root for a football team and one that is a seven- or eight-win type program a the worst.

      Like

  59. The sooner the 30 schools form their mega football conference the better. Even if the penalty to break away is severe, the financial rewards are too enticing. They can easily pay that buyout. Yes Pitts ACC check will be reduced but Pitt won’t need to spend as much either. I don’t want pitt as part of the 30 and right now they probably sit around 50 in the pecking order anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Well, if you feel that being the poor step-child of the ACC as far as bowl assignments go then I suppose “we are right where we should be” is the best we can get…

    We are the next to last bowl game as far as bowl attractiveness goes.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-football/college-football-bowl-games-must-watch-2019

    Playing an EMU team that is dead last in the MAC West division at a 3-5 conference record is not a feather in our caps but more like a national embarrassment. Athlon Sports calls this bowl as 38th out of 39 bowls and “A worse” or a “must-miss”.

    Although they do have us winning the game…and boy we better or its going to be rough going.

    It’s been a very interesting season to say the least.

    Like

  61. (Don’t tell Athlon I posted this)

    Quick Lane Bowl – Eastern Michigan (6-6) vs. Pitt (7-5)

    Dec. 26 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Chris Creighton doesn’t get enough national credit for the job he’s done at Eastern Michigan. Coaching at one of the nation’s toughest jobs, Creighton has guided the Eagles to three bowl games over the last four years. With Detroit being less than 40 miles from campus, Eastern Michigan won’t have to travel far to try and knock off its second Power 5 opponent after beating Illinois early in the 2019 campaign.

    Pitt’s defense ranked as one of the best in the ACC this fall, holding teams to just 21.8 points a game and leading the conference with 49 sacks. Eastern Michigan has a talented passing game behind quarterback Mike Glass (291.2 total yards a game), but the Panthers’ ability to get to the quarterback and cover make this a tough matchup.

    A year after ranking near the top of the ACC in rushing offense, Pitt slipped to 14th in 2019. However, with a generous Eastern Michigan defense up next, quarterback Kenny Pickett and a solid group of receivers may not have too much trouble moving the ball.

    Early Pick: Pitt 34, Eastern Michigan 17

    Like

    1. Hi Ike! Hope you are well!

      Been away for a long while – work and personal – but will be around more after the holidays – looking forward to spending many warm nights cheering in the Pete this winter.

      Have to answer your question as I see it with my UNC alum hat on – TV Ratings.

      Bowls are not about attendance now – haven’t been for a long time. It’s how many eyes you can draw for the Geico’s and Toyota’s and Papa John’s of the world.

      This bowl is the day after Christmas – and yes it is the only college game on in Prime Time…but it is a THURSDAY Night…THURSDAY.

      Up against the NFL.

      The ACC needed a school to bite the big one and play in a game that ain’t going to get top ratings no matter who plays. They don’t want to lose Tarheel Nation eyes on the tube for sure…too large a number to waste on a lost cause Thursday night game going up against the Pro’s on a day most men will be exhausted after spending it at he mall with wifey/daughter/gf exchanging Christmas gifts.

      Pitt draws good ratings regionally – and gives the ACC exposure in the Mid East Heartland. It makes sense financially to put Pitt in a game in the region…and feature it on National TV. They will not lose much national exposure – Pitt fans will watch no matter what they say.

      It is a great business decision for the ACC and Pitt. And I’m sure Heather knows that by accepting this dog of a bowl this year without much fuss – the ACC will owe Pitt in a future season when they may actually have a borderline shot at a major bowl.

      The ACC is a business – Pitt is very important to them as far as regional coverage in an area the ACC wants to expand into. In 40 years Pitt will be an ACC old dog – I remember when GT came into the league in the late 70’s – they faced the same issues as Pitt re the old guard. The ACC is a southern league and southerners take a long time to accept change.

      H2P

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Tommy, doing ok enough I guess, great to hear from you. You and the family have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Great post btw.

        Like

  62. We need a POV road trip to Philly to watch the ARMY- Navy game to witness the purest form of the sport played by Div 1 teams… a bunch of 0-2 stars who matriculate to get the education, to serve their country and while on campus they play FB representing their perspective school and alumni…..I have witnessed 2 of these epic battles and would have no problem at all if PITT went in that direction at all- a return to true college ball. It’s all about my school beating their school and as long as I live I and everyone who is a true fan will cheer on our team… so let the biggies- elites form that super conference., pay the players, let them be one and done, no degree- NFL bound… for me I yearn for and prefer true college ball….

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Thanks Ike. I don’t necessary blame them. What they say is that the standard is championships. They mislead the basic fan every year. This may just be my opinion, but if I was AD, I would never accept an Administration that doesn’t fully commit to academics and athletics. It’s career limiting to work at Pitt if the commitment to be the best isn’t there. Actually, it is not unlike allowing the normal market driven economy. The market decides. Either your running with the big dogs or you are sniffin butt. Think about where you work. Your CEO typically wants you to be tops in the particular business segment. Its no different in sports, except at pitt. Empathy!

    Pitt vs. Drexel – todays attendance is 7,312.

    Athletics drives awareness not just across the US, but across the globe. There is a correlation between athletic success and an increase in applications. An increase in applications, increases the talent pool. A larger talent pool allows the university to be more selective and increases academic rankings. Higher academic performance brings in higher caliber students. Higher caliber students leads to more researchers. More researchers equals more funding. More funding equals more $ and reputation. Its a great cycle if you know how to ride well. Pitt does not. Therein lies the problem.

    Like

  64. A thought for those who sometimes complain that Coach Duzz doesn’t play the young guys — instead Coach likes to play the more experienced players (his favorites!):

    I have been impressed with true freshman WR Wayne. He looks athletic and he’s a big target who made some nice catches in limited duty. But what happened when Wayne was called upon to play a bigger role in replacing Mack against BC?

    Wayne’s lost fumble — then mid-communication with KP on a pass route which gave BC an easy INT — played a big role in Pitt losing that game…

    I expect good things from Wayne the next couple years, but just sayin’…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The AJ Davis fumble also made Narduzzi look like a terrible coach. Funny as that may sound, it’s how many posters view it.

      Right BigB, Army vs Navy, now that’s real football!

      Like

  65. I don’t know what is more depressing…Pitt’s failures on the field or off the field. I believe that in the next few years football can be pretty good but sustained success probably won’t happen because of financial issues, fan apathy, etc.

    Like

  66. I think the real college realignment will probably occur around 2026 when some TV agreements expire. Hopefully it is the last one as the big schools will align for big money and the other schools (probably us) will be in an ivy league type place. I guess an OCS will be unnecessary then.

    Like

    1. I only see clemson, Florida state, Miami and va Tech as potential mega conference candidates. They would be replaced by Cincy, UCF, South Florida and Temple

      Like

  67. Yeah I think we are screwed long term. I thought we had tin foil hat wearers on here but pitt is probably going to eventually be on the outside looking in. It is changing from cable to subscriber based and we just don’t have the fans or interest. Basketball could still be fine but not football.

    Like

    1. Dare I say pitt administration had great foresight in knocking down pitt stadium for the Pete? Basketball seems like the more viable long term program.

      Like

        1. Agreed. But pitt invested in basketball which may have been what got us into the ACC and didn’t invest in football knowing we could play at heinz until the rug gets pulled out in 2026.

          Like

  68. What Pitt desperately needs is another golden age of Pitt football similar to the 70s and early 80s, which created the generation of fans that includes many POVers. This would replenish the legions of alums who are needed to fill the seats at future home games. Will this happen? The future of Pitt football depends on it…

    Liked by 1 person

  69. I think Pitt is looking at this wrong. Maybe we need to sell the fact that our fans watch the team on tv and will live stream more than attend…..not sure how our tv ratings are now, but always heard they were strong.

    Still need a smaller stadium. Our % full rate of 63% is not good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Give Huff the grand prize. While live attendance LOOKS bad due to the damn yellow seats – it is in reality in line with the majority of colleges – Pitt’s TV/Streaming ratings in the region are damn strong and the ACC knows this and will not let Pitt go quietly into the night

      In the near future (10 years or so) you will see most sporting events staged in front of small crowds to provide atmosphere for the viewing audience – the real attendance figures will be the eyeballs glued to their smart phones.

      H2P

      Liked by 1 person

      1. smaller stadiums are the trend these days and it will continue. stadiums that provide the very best in sound, lighting, wi-fi and creature comforts of home. And open concourses and not seating…standing or gathering areas. and multi-purpose with retractable roofs or at least large overhangs that protect fans from the rain or snow and provide shade. I’ve posted several links to articles in the past based on new design concepts and the future of stadium engineering. I’ll find them and post again one day. Makes interesting reads. and dont forget virtual reality.

        Like

  70. How about one you guys who see the emergence of a mega conference with a post that explains how that happens. Don’t forget the poison pills the conference schools have taken and the litigation that would tie up such a conspiracy for some time. And spend some time discussing what happens at conference meetings. Would make for an interesting and provocative discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m wondering if viewership for the teams in the mega conference might actually drop off. I’ll watch a Clemson game now because I think the result may impact, perception or otherwise, my Pitt team. If Pitt has no relationship to them, I’m not watching. Could be a lot of fans of the hundred or so lower tier schools who would do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  71. If the elites think that a super conference will benefit them, then it will eventually happen. Of course, this will mean that they play a competitive game nearly every week. Fact is …

    LSU faced only 4 schools which finished in the AP Top 25; OSU – 5; Oklahoma – 3; and Clemson – 0. (UVa was ranked 22 in the committee’s rankings)

    Can you imagine a PSU, ND, USC or Texas struggling for a bowl gam every year? Just a thought

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i still think most of those schools would at least be .500 and bowl eligible. i think they might struggle to go to the playoffs though. i figure maybe 33% of the schools would be playoff eligible

      Like

  72. Lots of good stuff. First off, sorry VOR but Pitt will never see another golden age of football, until the age of robot football then maybe if we combine with CMU we will have a chance.

    I think WBB is probably is right about the super conference concept, can’t see the big boys wanting to give up their dominance in their current conferences and have to play a top twenty team half the time. Just don’t see the current conference structure going down easy.

    I still think the solution to the stadium situation is (sorry Fran) to fill the lower bowl before any upper deck seats are sold. Keep the fans as close to the game as possible. Get PPG to sponser recoating the upper deck seats to black or even better have the upper deck electronically filled with active fans like they do in the movies.

    To fill the lower bowl first, all you need is a new computer program. When upper deck seats are needed, fill appropriate sections at a time, where you can support with food vendors etc.

    By doing this you create a virtual 40,000 seat stadium that is flexible and can be expanded when needed, and by keeping the fans as close to the field as possible you create a much better atmosphere for players and fans.

    Sorry but Pitt will never play football at PNC Park, when under contract with Heinz. Careful what you wish for, the Riverhounds are moving and there is a stadium available on the other side of the rivers.

    Like

    1. i like your idea of filling the lower deck first

      i also dont think tarping off certain section is a bad idea. provides advertising dollars for Pitt and can be used to make Heinz feel and look more college friendly. Tarps are used across every sporting events in every country across the globe. Only Pitt fans complain so much. If it was so bad why does practically everyone do it?

      Liked by 1 person

  73. A real problem in establishing a mega-conference is that a lot of those teams who now routinely go 9-3, 10-2, 11-1 year in year out will, without any cupcakes to schedule, be going 5-7, 6-6, 7-5. The fans of those teams, and those universities themselves, will not be happy campers

    Liked by 4 people

    1. i can think of $100 million dollar reasons why they wont complain too much
      if a school is stuck being mediocre, they have 3 times the amount of money that they receive today in order to do something about it
      coaches in this league will probably only be given a 3 year leash…much like the NFL unless you’re Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.

      The North Central division could very well be comprised of Penn State, Va Tech, OSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Louisville. Leaving another 6 shared out of division games played or a OOD schedule that reflect your prior years record much like the NFL. You finish 5-7 and you get a weak OOD schedule the following year. Creates parity and helps avoid constant mediocrity.

      There are answers and solutions to all these potential issues.

      It will happen after the TV contracts expire around 2025

      Like

  74. I think I am going to write a letter to Santa Claus asking for a dynamic running QB for Pitt. Watching Lamar Jackson put Baltimore on top again really got me thinking. They may not last long in the NFL, but what an asset in college ball.

    Does Pitt lose more of it’s good verbals than other schools? Is this going to be a big problem in the future with kids knowing if they verbal to Pitt, other schools will be checking them out? I know Pitt has got a few defections but it is usually because the other school has soured on them or got a higher profile guy at their position, or like a few years ago when we got a bunch of Jersey guys when Rutgers was in transition.

    I think we all should write Santa for some Graduate transfers like Kylan Johnson or Stefan Millin to fill positions of need.

    Like

      1. Well Tx, we will see if Santa feels you were a good boy this past year and fulfills your request. Were you naughty or nice? You better watch out and you better not pout.

        Like

  75. So America golfers proving once again that they are great at long drives and hitting wedges to soft greens, but have a tough time on firm hard golf courses with difficult approach shots.

    They still have a chance but it is not looking good when your opponents are making putts and you are not.

    Fantastic golf course and a real test of skills. Tiger Woods the ageless wonder.

    Like

  76. The European team also had a plan to play each hole and expected each player to use that plan…Els seriously prepped his team for this.
    Reminds me of Duzz and his fastidious game plans. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. we are showing on the golf course that there is such a thing called dumb Americans
      American golfers remind me of American soccer players

      Put an American on a challenging course that requires strategic planing and different tactics for each hole along with creativity and the Euro will beat them 9 times out of 10

      Like

  77. The course did not look overly long, did not have difficult rough, but does have greens that seem real difficult to hit. Spongey and sloping. Inconsistent it seems and the wind is blowing pretty good.

    Just me, but this whole Patrick Reed thing is awful for him and usa golf. He should have pulled himself out of the competition because he is a huge distraction to the team. Webb Simpson gets a +1 from me. Does Pitt have a golf team that competes in the ACC? We should be able to recruit some great local talent that cut their teeth at Oakmont or St. Clair Country Club, etc.

    Like

  78. GC:
    The stadium Authority covers both stadiums. I would think Pitt would have enough juice to open up the old contract. It would still have to play in Heinz during baseball season. I would back load the home schedule to play more games at PNC.
    I would also tarp Heinz at 44,000 capacity. I would never sell more seats. ND,PSU,WVU all stayed tarped.
    The Panthers must build demand for the product. Further, Narduzzi should be forced to open practice and submit a plan to Heather about how he personally is going to drive interest in the program.
    KMAN

    Like

    1. Good thoughts kman, but I think it’s up to lyke to come up with the ideas. I’d prefer narduzzi brainstorm how to score more than 19 points a game.

      Like

    2. The investment has already been made at Heinz, locker rooms, great hall etc. Pitt logo etc on metal work, etc. It just isn’t going to happen. Just like they would never turn away ticket buyers when they have the capacity, the idea will never sell. It is why they schedule WV and Tenn, hoping to sell more tickets.

      Some day we may have another Cinci type game where every seat is sold, what an atmosphere for that one. Also ND will be back, they would never turn away ticket sales.

      I also think that as the Coastal get more competitive with better players, that more ACC opponents will come to games, they like it here, hotels bars and restaurants in abundance, a Casino next door.

      Meaningful games will make a difference, we just haven’t played many(any) lately.

      Like

    3. Good idea. Back in the day, Portland Trailblazers had years of sellouts when they played in a 12,000 seat arena. Then new 19-20,000 one was built but 8,000 new fans did not show up. 40-50,000 seats would be good.

      Like

  79. There are absolutely valid points in that article but, again, no middle ground. I can’t take opinions like the person Reed quotes very seriously when it ends with stuff like Pitt will not, or may not, have football in ten years. That’s absurd. What P5 school has dropped a football program? Even if demoted to a lesser league like Big East teams left out? UCONN is maybe the closest but that was a basketball school to begin with. Pitt is, despite the women’s volleyball’s team success, still a football school.

    #1 Disagree. Conferences will have contracts with streaming services as a natural evolution of viewership. People are always afraid of change but entertainment dollars for sports are not going away. More than likely, rather than another conference realignment, is that the P5 will break free from the NCAA for one league of 64 teams divided into four 16 team divisions. Have their own TV/streaming contracts and all is well.
    #2 Disagree. The Steelers will build a new stadium. The days of staying in one stadium for 50+ years are over. Pitt should consider taking over the lease of Heinz and let the Steelers build new somewhere else. Still off campus, but Pitt’s stadium. But they’ll probably piggy back on the new stadium. Either way, the stadium is covered.
    #3 Agreed on all points. Pitt will always be a stepping stone school. Getting an average coach like Duzz just makes the program average. Houston has a good formula to model. Hire up and coming cutting edge offensive coordinators. Score a lot of points. Win a lot of games but let them move on when they want a raise. Make Pitt a fun place to come to. If there is an administration that will allow creativity, coaches will come. This is how you get the 10 win outlier years.
    #4 Agreed. I think Duzz has done a fine job establishing (emphasis on establishing) recruiting outside of PA. I think the next coach will have to have a similar strategy. Local recruiting will not get better.
    #5 Disagree. The ACC should put Pitt, BC, Syracuse, VT, Miami, Louisville and NC State in one division (Big East +). Have ND only play those 7 teams on a yearly basis as a de facto member of that conference. That’s how they’ll become “part” of the conference.

    Liked by 3 people

  80. The game will be played differently and viewed differently in the near future. The millennials are driving it. The largest generation since the boomers. My generation is caught between.

    Pitt needs to get out ahead of these quickly changing attitudes and preferences. You can’t build a stadium these days that cater to boomers if you want a future.

    Time to go quiet into the night boomers.

    Your generation called mine slackers. Little did you know and still do…’ok boomer.’

    And my gen Z kids are not interested in sitting in any seat and attending any game outdoors. Tailgating is a relic of the past.

    Like

    1. each generation gets its chance to lead. Its been like that since the beginning of time. Its time for new ideas and new ways of thinking. and the future is not with $70M and declining Boomers. Its with the over $150M Gen X and Gen Y along with 25% of the population classified as Gen Z (over 80M). Yet so many of our future decisions are being made by Boomers still to this day. I see something wrong with that.

      I also recall Boomers where the first to coin and stereotype my generation as ‘slackers.’ I want to point out that my generation gave actual lives for this Country in 2 Irag wars and Afghanistan…and were not drafted but volunteered. Slacking is far from it. Thats my point.

      If you want proof in Pitt’s case, look at the BoT composition. Far too many Boomers and not enough representation from Gen X and Gen Y. Along with Gen Z, that is the future. I dont look back at the past. Thank you Boomers for leaving Pitt in this ‘place’, but I’d rather re-make it.

      Just my personal thoughts but I personally have always looked towards younger generations for new ideas and ways of thinking. I look to older generations for wisdom. Pitt needs more than wisdom.

      Nothing personal. I just ask the old guard at Pitt to retire and get out of the way. I see nothing progressive in their ways of thinking. I see their mindsets as contributing to a culture of stagnation and mediocrity.

      Like

  81. I found one article that put Pitt at 52 in attendance for 2019 and 53 for football revenue in 2017. If Pitt FB is going down, there are a bunch of football programs going down in the next 10 years.

    Like

    1. Pitt has one of the lowest attendance as % of capacity in all of P-5. It also has one of the lowest revenues given its poor attendance and supporter donations.

      Pitt football isnt going down but its not one of the top 50 brands right now. It would take a significant investment and Pitt is just not willing to do it. If Pitt was even half way serious, they would commission a feasibility study for a MPC.

      How the game will be played and viewed and ones idea of entertainment will be very different in the near future. Millennials and Gen Z are driving it. These are Pitt’s future fans and viewing audience. We need to listen to these generational groups and start creating things that they want and that will help drive revenues to Pitt.

      But Their needs, preferences and attitudes have practically no representation on today’s BoT. That is a problem.

      Like

  82. Reed…good comments, but could be written about a lot of programs…out here on the west coast, you could say the same about Washington State, Oregon State, California, and more.

    Eventually, the Power 5 conferences and a few more schools, will form their own mega-league, and negotiate large TV/streaming contracts. PITT will be included in such a league, and it will benefit us.

    Hail to PITT!
    -al-

    Like

  83. Pap…I seem to be the ONLY commenter on here who has said he does not want Narduzzi fired because of poor play on the football field…and that’s because of his strong off the field work with the football student athletes.

    Why should it matter how I personally feel about the HC when his football success, or lack of it, is the issue? Some on here worry way too much about what I think rather than what Pitt football’s about.

    Again, I will remind readers that the article above are not MY thoughts but a guy’s who has been a true “insider” at Pitt for over 50 years…and I shared it so the POV readers would have something to talk about in the pre-season doldrums.

    Like

  84. I’m not sure if your insider really means that Pitt will drop football in 10 years. One could argue that they should or at least move down a division however.

    Although I like to point out that Pitt’s football spend is in the top 5 of the ACC, Pitt is by no means breaking the bank. The dollar difference between Pitt’s spend and the school ranked #10 is only a few million dollars. Thats chump change on a $90M overall athletic budget.

    To this day I know Pitt isnt serious about football because:
    1) they hired an inexperienced compliance person to run a sports business
    2) they pay their AD one of the lowest salaries in all of P-5
    3) they refuse to commission a feasibility study for an MPC
    4) they refuse to be transparent about their financials, attendance, ticket sales, donations, booster influence
    5) they have done very little to address their revenue issue
    6) they seem to have no problem with 7 win seasons, crappy bowls and non-ranked season ends

    If Pitt isnt 100% committed and serious about addressing these persistent issues which lead to a state of mediocrity, then they have no business supporting a P-5 program and really should drop out.

    I think some on the BoT might be serious but not nearly enough and I know Pitt has a leadership problem and lacks core competence across many areas. Pitt doesnt hire the best and the brightest.

    Like

  85. I believe he means Pitt will drop in conference or division, not totally drop football. Although I find it hard to see Pitt as a DII program. FCS maybe though…it all depends.

    I will say that if, in addition to stadium issues, Pitt has a FB scandal then that could be a deciding factor in any sort of move. FCS schools are limited to 65 full ride scholarships.

    Like

  86. I don’t buy PITT dropping out of the P-5 in any way shape or form. I also don’t believe PITT doesn’t want to win at football. It’s just that they have priorities that differ from the big-time cheaters. That’s not to say that PITT doesn’t cross the double yellow line once in a while. Speaking of which, USC has now been served. That investigation is far from over.

    Like

    1. ike – you can be relevant in football without cheating. See Wisconsin for example. There are other examples as well…Stanford. Neither school is elite but they do things the right way. Pitt does things the right way and has dog crap to show for it.

      Liked by 1 person

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