If you haven’t noticed I’ve not been posting much since football season. There are many reasons, but the internet is no place to air your dirty laundry, and so I won’t. (It’s not all that dirty, but still).
And there are so many things I’d like to write, if I could only muster the time…
Is Kenny Pickett really any good?
How would you rate the coaching staff?
Do we really have the horses to take the coastal next year?
What was your favorite team in Pitt history?
Are we going to do better in the director’s cup?
I heard there is a new on-campus stadium feasibility study in the works (kidding kidding).
Kidding aside, there will be plenty of time for all of that and more after basketball season is over and before spring football starts (and after its over). In the meantime, expect to see the basketball open threads published on-schedule, and a weekly “Week in Review” column starting today. If there is really big breaking news I’m also now on EJ’s PR list, so I’ll do my best to publish the Pitt SID’s press releases so you call can comment on those.
For the Week in Review pieces, I’ll be hanging a letter grade on each day, and also the week, just because I can. As you might guess, “A” equals “Heck of a week for Pitt sports, and we should all [insert activity here] and sing the fight song”, while “F” equals “one of the worst Pitt sports weeks in recent memory, we should all [insert activity here] to make ourselves feel better.”
Anyway, here’s our first-ever week in review.
Monday, January 13th: Pitt announced a Press Conference where they would reveal plans for Victory Heights. Grade: B. Announcing an announcement is kind of like scheduling a meeting about a meeting, but Victory Heights…well that might be one you want to schedule a meeting for.
Tuesday, January 14th: Pitt held said press conference. Despite many fans’ assertations to the contrary, Victory heights is indeed going forward. It will be funded by debt with “as much booster support as possible”. From what I recall, it was reported a group of 10 or so larger donors have all made six or seven figure donations. Regardless of where the funding is coming from, this has to be considered a major win for Heather Lyke. She promised something that nobody really thought was possible, and she delivered.
In actual sports action, Pitt Men’s Basketball dropped a heartbreaker to #11 Louisville at home, 73-68. Many fans pointed to the officiating in overtime (the phantom foul on Terrell Brown’s put-back in particular), but the truth is that if Pitt had just played a tad bit better for a few minutes in the second half, that overtime would have never happend.
Pitt Wrestling started the week ranked #10
Grade: B+ Victory Heights was huge news, and Wrestling continued to get its due, but damn Men’s Basketball, you need to win that game.
Wednesday, January 15th: Jimbo Covert’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement was announced. Not enough can be said about this, other than as the keeper of one of the premier Pitt sports blogs in the country, I completely missed the ball. Was I knee-deep in emergencies on the job and home front? Yes? But I still could have found time to post the press release. And so my self-loathing is an all-time high. I would personally like to apologize to Mr. Covert, to the University and to any Pitt fan that wanted to come here to bask in the glory years of Pitt football. Jimbo personifies everything that we want Pitt football to be: Hard-nosed, talented, successful and nationally recognized.
Pitt Sports Grade: A+
Pitt POV Grade: F
Thursday, January 16th: Senior Safety Damar Hamlin was granted a 5th year of eligibility by the NCAA. Pitt Football promptly posts this video featuring Hamlin and Paris Ford (sound up please):
Friday January 17th: Pretty quiet day, but since Heather Lyke seemed to be rolling, Pittsburgh Sports Now posted an article about how Pitt is currently ranked 38th in the director’s cup. This could have been posted any day of the week month, but it was a nice feather in Heather’s cap after the big Victory Heights news.
Also former Pitt QB Ben DiNucci posted the following Tweet:
DiNucci transferred from Pitt following the 2017 season and led James Madison to the 2019 FCS championship game against North Dakota State. JMU lost 28-20. DiNucci didn’t play all that badly per-se (at least based on the box score), but the Bison rolled up 281 yards rushing, and that’s tough to overcome at any level. Always good to see a local kid go deep into the postseason though, and I wish Ben well in whatever he does next.
Also, Pittsburgh Photographer Dave DiCello posted this image. Call me biased, but it looks to me like this one was purposely exposed in blue and gold.
Grade: C+ nothing really happened to Pitt sports, but then again nothing really happened to Pitt sports. Adding the + on behalf of DiNucci.
Saturday, January 18th: Men’s BBB beat the UNC Tarholes at home to complete a football-basketball trifecta sweep on the season.
The wrestling team lost to #9 Oklahoma State on the road
A Pat Signal was seen from the Southside. No word on the commit.
Grade: I debated giving this one an A- on the demerit of the wrestling loss, but sweeping UNC in basketball and beating them in football may never happen again, and so this one gets an A ladies and gents. Enjoy it while you can.
Sunday, January 19th: Former Pitt RB commit (four star…) Henry Parrish committed to Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. He reportedly chose the Rebels over Florida and Oregon. In other news Parrish was seen carrying a large, unmarked duffel bag, along with his regular suitcase, back to the airport after the official visit. (I made that last part up…at least I’m pretty sure I did.)
Grade: C- We all knew Parrish was a lost cause a long, long time ago, and Pitt has enough running backs to sustain Whipple’s pass-happy offense. I wish Parrish well in Oxford, and I hope our paths never cross again.
Weekly Grade: A. You’re always going to have your ups and downs, but the three-way combo of Victory Heights happening, Jimbo Covert going to Canton and the Basketball Sweep of the hated Tarheels … Even the most jaded fan has to admit that this has definitely been one of the better weeks for Pitt sports in recent memory and certainly the best week of the young decade.
Hail to Pitt