Looks like the NCAA is going to allow college teams to make up for lost spring practice.  Sort-of.

Per an article in the Detroit News:

“The NCAA’s football oversight committee expects to finalize a plan Thursday to allow teams to conduct up to 12 unpadded, slow-speed practices, also know as walk-throughs, during the 14 days before the typical preseason begins in August.”

“Teams will be permitted up to 20 hours per week of what the NCAA calls countable athletically related activities during those extra two weeks, leading into a normal 29-day preseason practice schedule. The walk-throughs will be part of those 20 hours per week, along with weight training, conditioning, film study and meetings. Players will not be permitted to wear pads or helmets during walk-throughs, which cannot exceed one hour per day.”

So yes, this helps with the install, but does not really help with player evaluation.  Still better than nothing I suppose.  The other benefit for us football fans is that we get to start our training camp chatter in mid-July instead of August.    Again, sort of.  Not sure how much insight is going to be gleaned from interviews after an “unpadded, slow-speed practice”.

Editor’s Note:  SI reports that the NCAA has indeed finalized the plan as of yesterday

Pitt brought it’s players back for “voluntary” activities this week and they are currently under a two week-quarantine.  Training activities will be limited to small groups of ten players.

The university will also enforce strict protocols.  From Pitt’s press release:

  • Substantial education for all coaches and student-athletes on Pitt’s safety protocols and their responsibility for maintaining them
  • A testing protocol developed with input from infectious disease experts and other medical professionals
  • Significantly enhanced cleaning protocols for all athletic facilities
  • Mandatory daily screening questionnaire and temperature check for student-athletes and staff
  • Utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize exposure and potential virus spread
  • Social distancing guidelines for meetings and workouts, as well as strategic use of smaller groups for strength and conditioning sessions
  • Contact tracing course completion by all athletics training staff members

Meanwhile there have been a small outbreak of COVID-19 within the college football ranks.  Per 247 sports here are the teams that have reported cases:

  • Alabama 5
  • UCF 4
  • Auburn 3
  • Boise State (multiple; privacy laws)
  • Florida State (‘some positive tests’)
  • Marshall 2
  • Oklahoma State 3

Will be interesting to see if this list grows in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, here is a bone for the anti-Narduzzi crowd (and I know you are out there).

CBS Sports released their annual ranking of ACC coaches yesterday and Pat Narduzzi came in 9th out of 14.  That’s just north of the bottom third, and just south of the midpoint.  Not exactly stellar if you ask me.

Pat Narduzzi (40 overall): The Panthers have logged three 8-win seasons in Narduzzi’s five-year run, and that doesn’t even include the late-season surge that powered the ACC Coastal Division title in 2018. You can always count on Narduzzi’s teams to be up to the task of competing with the best in the country, but the Panthers have also lost at least five games each season of Narduzzi’s tenure. Last year: 11

Geez, it’s almost like this was written by a Pitt POV poster.  Is Pat good?  We still aren’t sure.  Yea he’s won more than anybody since Wannstedt, but damn he sure has some head-scratching losses, and they seem to be questioning whether or not he’s hit his ceiling.  If he’d only pulled out wins versus Miami and BC last year the narrative would surely be different.

With that being said, here are some key coaches ranked ahead of him:

8th – Justin Fuente (37 overall): You won’t see his name on any hot seat lists (nor should you) but you could argue that few coaches in the ACC have more on the line in 2020 than Fuente. The stats tell one story: 33 wins in four years with an ACC Coastal crown in 2016 and two solo runner-up division finishes. But for a program that was a power not just in the division, but the entire ACC for the first six years after it joined the conference, there is a longing to close the gap with the teams at the top. The Hokies were one win away from a return to Charlotte for the title game a year ago, and it would greatly benefit Fuente — who tested the loyalties of those fans with his Baylor flirtations in the offseason — to be in the mix for the conference championship in 2020. Last year: 8

If Pitt beats Tech in Blackburg last year, Duzz probably takes the 8 spot.  Feuente has one 8, 9 and 10 win season to his credit though, regardless of how many of his players have hit the transfer portal.

7th – Dave Clawson (32 overall): Every additional season at Wake Forest is actually new ground for Clawson, who prior to his current tenure had never spent more than five seasons as a head coach at any of his previous stops. He got the reputation as a program-builder for his work at Fordham, Richmond and Bowling Green, and now Clawson gets to show what long-term success looks like as he enters Year 7 with the Deacs. Wake Forest has won at least 7 games each year since 2016 and that success has helped generate investment in new facilities to allow the program to keep pace in the ultra-competitive Atlantic division.  

Clawson is clearly getting a “doing more with less” award here.  He’s got win totals of 8, 7, 8, 7, 3 and 3, but he also has won three of four bowls in the last three years.  Wake Forest is as tough a school to win at as there is in the country, but is Clawson really two spots better than the ‘Duz?  Comparing their bowl records would indicate yes.

6th – Scott Satterfield (31 overall): Louisville had one of the top single-season turnarounds in the country under Satterfield after he invigorated a locker room that had lost its way in the final year of Bobby Petrino’s second stint with the Cardinals. The ACC media picked Louisville to finish last in the Atlantic Division before the season and they finished in solo secon

One hit wonder (so far) but man what a hit.  Nobody and I mean nobody expected the Cardinals to win more than three games last year and Satterfield took a ragtag bunch of Bobby Petrino also-rans and won eight games, including a Music-City Bowl win over SEC middleweight Mississippi State.  Wiiiith that being said, Narduzzi took a ragtag bunch of Paul Chryst also-rans and won eight games in his first year.  Apparently bowl wins matter.

5th – Mike Norvell (29 overall): Our ballots for the coach rankings were turned in long ago, and I’m honestly curious how the events of the last two weeks might have changed (for better or worse) Norvell’s ranking. As it stands, the success at Memphis made Norvell one of the top Group of Five coaches in the country and his arrival in the Power Five coach rankings reflects optimism for what’s to come in Tallahassee. 

Complete and utter horse*** and the only reason he’s fifth is because he’s coaching at Florida State.  If he’d taken over at Syracuse he’d be bottom feeding at 11.  And the writer has the gall say his ranking would be affected by his inability to manage his players (and his message) during the BLM protests?  Professional college football writers are a JOKE.  I hope we give the Seminoles an old fashioned Pittsburgh beatdown on Halloween if only to prove this jabroni wrong.

4th – David Cutcliffe (26 overall): Long considered one of the top coaches in the country by our voters, Cutcliffe took a slight step back in the rankings this year after a 5-7 finish in 2019. While the big picture of leading Duke to six bowl games and an ACC Championship Game appearance in eight years anchors his argument as a top-30 coach, the slight dip in the rankings can be attributed to a sub-.500 record in ACC play ever year since 2016. 

I’ve got nothing but respect for David Cutcliffe who (like Dave Clawson) has done more with less for a long time at a school that has no business being good at football.  But fourth?  Cutcliffe has been coaching Duke for 12 years and has just five winning seasons.  Sure he won 10 games once and nine games once, and at Duke that’s a lot like winning the National Championship, but his win totals over the last four years are 5, 8, 7 and 4.  Pitt is 4-0 against them in that span.  So Cutcliffe is really 5 spots better than Narduzzi?   I think not.

3rd – Bronco Mendenhall (23 overall): The starting point for Bronco’s high ranking had to be the consistency of his BYU teams, but now he adds to that argument an ACC Coastal Division championship with Virginia. To take the Wahoos from 2-10 in 2016 to playing in the ACC Championship Game in 2019 required a total rebuild in Charlottesville, improving in overall and conference wins every single season before last year’s breakthrough. 

Win an ACC Coastal, get a shiny prize.  Only if you’re and ACC blue-blood.  Still, Mendenahll has shown improvement each of his four years, winning 2, 6, 8 and then 9 games last year.  Is he the third best coach in the conference?  Well I suppose he’s at least as good as anyone else I’ve listed below him so there is that.

2nd – Mack Brown (20 overall): Our voters had doubts about Brown’s return to Chapel Hill, slating a national championship-winning coach in the middle of the conference. But after watching the Tar Heels exceed expectations in 2019 and noticing the work Brown has done on the recruiting trail, his ranking received a major adjustment. 

Oh Mack Brown, ACC Darling.   Well they aren’t wrong about his work on the recruiting trail. Although if you know anything about college football you know it’s not Brown doing the work, buuuut since there is no power ranking for ACC bag men I guess Brown gets the credit here.  And yes the team did exceed expectations last year, but lets keep this in perspective.  It was a seven win season, with a loss to Pitt (and their lowly 9th ranked coach), and a Military bowl win against Temple (who had just lost their head coach to Georgia Tech).  So yea, sounds worthy of a 2 ranking to me.

1st – Dabo Swinney (2 overall): Easy decision to make at the top. Not only does Swinney lead one of the two most successful programs of the College Football Playoff era with five straight appearances and two national championships, he gets credit the program-building that occurred throughout the 2010s. Watching Clemson chase down Florida State and then take its place atop the ACC was a preview of the Tigers pursuit and challenge of Alabama as the best program in the entire country. 

Probably the only one they got right.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

71 thoughts on “NCAA Finalizing Plan for Extra Preseason Practice & CBS Ranks Duzz #9

  1. It is good to see plans are being made but Covid cases are still spiking in many states including ACC states.
    Overall the numbers look better but it is primarily due to New York getting things under control. Still a long way away from game time with a lot of obstacles to deal with.

    I thought Arkansas had kids with Covid, maybe other sports than football?

    Nice to see golf being played, even without Fans. Muirfield Village going to allow 10,000 fans, another test.

    Duzz needs a strong season to move up in the rankings


  2. Hey. the Duzz actually improved 2 spots …. he was ranked 11th last year. Meanwhile. last year’s legend, Dino Babers fell from 4th to 10th.

    But here’s the rub …. Cutliffe, who is rated 5 spots higher than Duzz, has a 0-5 record in face-to-face match-ups. For that matter … in face-to-face matchups, Duzz is 10-2 against the top 4 coaches.

    The real issue in this blog are the forthcoming protocols. FWIW, yesterday Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh called the NFL protocols ‘humanly impossible’ to adhere to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s going to be really interesting to see how teams manage through covid.


      1. note that the Steelers will be conducting pre-season camp at Heinz Field. The reason is that that every third locker is to be used, and the Steelers may have to use all 4 lockerrooms there to adhere to that mandate since the NFL roster expands to 90 until the final cuts trims it to 53.

        What happens if the NCAA requires the same …. and does nay of this make any sense once scrimmages begin?


        1. Just mask up in the locker room and everybody wears a plexiglas shield on their face mask. Problem solved. We can’t afford to shut down this economy for fear of paranoia!!!! (Sarcasm … kinda)

          Liked by 1 person

  3. MM — Such a mundane topic!

    Between this ranking for the Duzzer, and the guy who picked Pitt to finish next-to-last in the Division, we’re all teed up…

    Etc., etc., etc…

    Hail to Pitt!


      1. Seriously, MM, delving into the previous topic was a bold move by you.

        “These are the voyages of the Pitt POV. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new topics, to seek out new opinions and new posters, to boldly go where no Pitt football blog has gone before. “

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks MM. Not ruling out a return to the unknown at some point but for now planning to stick to sports.


            1. Sometimes we need a curve ball thrown at us. A change up to the everyday Pitt sports. However in this case it was tied to sports (because black athletes gave it power) and Pitt coaches and the administration didn’t hide. So I applaud them for listening and taking some action at the very least communicating their thoughts which will be on the right side of history.

              Current events can and will impact sports. We’re just scratching the surface on covid and black lives matter.

              Tex who wishes he was at Colonial today. You golfers know.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. 9th best coach in the league…and their criteria also included program building … smh these pundits


  4. I love the fact that this years PITT football team is getting very little credit as well as Narduzzi being disrespected. The PITT football program being dissed on can only provide a little extra motive. When you’re told you’re not supposed to something when you know you can, only acts in favor of PITT.

    BTW, Pickett and Whipple are being overlooked as well.


  5. From a column “Getting back to Normal” in the latest AARP magazine:

    Take me out with the crowd? Not now. “I don’t see any timeline where athletic events have fans packing the stands,” says Abraham Madkour, publisher and executive editor of Sports Business Journal, who believes baseball, hockey and the NBA may play to empty arenas at least into 2021. “The exception might be football, which needs fans to work,” he says. But even there, you’ll likely see 25 to 30 percent capacity, higher ticket prices, segmented arrival times and cordoned-off sections to give cautious attendees the luxury of distance.

    “Nobody’s excited about being around 75,000 people right now,” Madkour says.

    Convincing home team hordes to use mass transit will be tricky, too. Public transportation ridership demand has dropped 75 percent nationally during the crisis, according to statistics compiled by the Transit app. New York City subway traffic is down a staggering 93 percent. “It took six years for transit ridership to return to normal after 9/11, and that didn’t involve a bunch of contagious people in an enclosed bus or train,” says Bert Sperling, founder of BestPlaces.net, an online resource about city livability.


    1. to that end … I have traveled by trains from downtown Boston to Fenway, and from downtown Chicago to Wrigley, and they were packed. And what you don’t see outside either ballpark are large parking lots.

      It is obvious that the NYC and the eastern corridor had the highest concentration of C19 not only due from the people arriving from Europe but also from its reliance of mass transit. And the same can be said about Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was never excited about being around any drunken fan or one with a cough or sneeze. Living among germs and viruses has made me stronger despite UPitt thinking I’m some hermit who won’t leave my bunker.

      Tex whose blood antibodies could cure most disease except venereal.


  6. The list of teams with covid will absolutely grow in the next few months. Interesting note that four of the seven teams are from the deep south. Apparently hot weather doesn’t slow the virus. Also, Texas is experiencing a spike down there as is South Carolina. People who don’t wear masks and social distance are the problems. Easy to get back to a somewhat normal life if we all stay on our toes. I honestly do not see fans in the stands for college football this year unless a vaccine is proven and put into the field for use.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Apparently, phase 3 vaccine trials are beginning in July. Good progress being made and they will fast track any proven vaccines. They know we need to see football in the stands!


    1. Well it’s been ten days since I surrounded myself with 4000 people at a indoor/outdoor graduation ceremony at the new Rangers baseball park. Less than half wore masks. Very little social distancing. I can only speak for myself. No covid caught. But I may have antibodies anyway making me somewhat immune. Texas hospitalizations are increasing. It does appear that heat and sunlight may not have a significant impact on this bugger. I still think Pitt could safely have about 20,000 healthy and respectful fans per game. Not too far off from real attendance pre covid anyway.



      1. So Tex, you’re excluding me from attending PITT games this year? 😉 I don’t know if I meet your criteria?


      2. Texas, which avoided the worst of the virus in the early spring and was one of the first states to make moves to reopen its economy, identified more than 2,000 new cases on both Wednesday and Thursday, the highest daily totals yet. The counties that include Houston and Dallas are reporting some of the nation’s largest single-day rises. Cases are also trending upward around Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Lubbock, McAllen and Midland.


        1. Louis makes lots of money just talking and imparting his wisdom but it appears to me he does love his PITT background. I would take him in a heart beat. I’ve lobbied for Riddick and May in the past. Still think Heather has done a good job and there is no guarantee that PITT will pay the money for an upgrade?


          1. So the thing about Louis is that he’s clearly a Pitt guy. But does he have any skills at all as an administrator? That’s a big deal.


            1. No question about that Mike. PITT has EJ in place and could bring in others as a delegation leaving LR as the ambassador for PITT. Which I guess he already is. The one biggest asset is that it would make Tex happy……… I think?


            2. He filled that admin/executive role nicely with your Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

              That video was well done. We must now have marketing personnel on payroll at Pitt. Or is this fruit from our new branding guy from Oregon State?



      1. But why would the Spartans want such a light-weight, crappy AD?

        The low salary?

        She can find new BB coaches?

        Enquiring minds want to know…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well their athletic department is scandal ridden and a complete dumpster fire. Seems like a match made in heaven! (Kidding on the match part)


  8. I am looking forward to this football season! The defense should be impressive. If the offense is even half decent, we should have 9-10 win season! Of course that probably means this resurgence of Covid will cause major shutdowns and the cancellation of the season:)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Announced today, Houston had shut down athletics as 6 athletes positive for virus. This from Houston resident – moi.


  9. OT: having a blast at “Biggiefest” here on the Outer Banks.
    Golfing and deep sea fishing balanced by alcohol and great seafood.
    All possible through the POV “make a friend” program.
    Never thought I would make good friends from a blog!

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Awesome video, great marketing, shows what Pitt has to offer that other schools can’t come close to.
    Being an integral part of a great City is a major plus. And this year we won’t be the only team without many fans in the stands.


  11. I always thought that Louis Riddick could be a great AD, but believe he is beyond Pitt’s salary range for the position. I also think Heather is doing a pretty sound job so far with the highlight being attracting Coach Capel to Pitt. Just hope we can keep him for a long while.


  12. i’m hoping every team gets their 200+ positives immediately and in 3 weeks after isolation moves to preparation for the season


  13. I’m worried about the mental state of the athletes coming back. The new rules and lengthy stays on campus could take a toll. If players come up positive for COVID will they be completely isolated for 14 days? How can teams prepare for the season under these circumstances?


    1. This season will be more mental. Pitt might just have a leg up in that department. I also see a united locker room. That bodes well.



  14. Couple thoughts:
    1) If you can’t have a great time around Bernie then you are a lost cause. I’m jealous.
    2) I think this will be the best Pitt team in years, HOWEVER
    3) There is a reason almost all writers etc pick them so low. Lack of depth at corner and safety as well as lb is a BIG concern. No rb has really stepped forward, we are depending on another transfer te and nothing really behind him. The o line has experience, but they pretty much were below ave.last year. Pickett , well, if you had great backs and a stud line he’d be fine, but depending on him to do much, and do it consistently, well I don’t see it. Receivers and dL should be just fine. Depth and skill.
    4) I’m glad we are back to sports, hope everyone got it out.
    5) Riddicks video gave me chills. That was a slick production!!


    1. That’s why Pitt sells itself. Chryst once said that. And I mocked him. Maybe it was in the delivery. But if I was a four star and saw that video voiced by riddick, I’d ask where do I sign. Let’s get it on.



  15. — Michigan State hiring a female AD makes a lot of sense considering the recent past.
    — Heather has both Michigan and Big 10 roots
    — Mich St with its Big 10 revenue can certainly afford to give her a healthy salary

    But note that the current AD was hired in late 2018 after all the scandals, and as soon as something else negative came up about Dantonio, he was fired ASAP. It wasn’t easy to hire a replacement HC there considering all that had happened recently so it remains to be seen how popular this AD remains. But thus far, he did what he was hired to do.

    Now whether Pitt would consider Riddick for AD, or he even wants the position is another matter. And even so, there may be more qualified, experienced people out there. Remember, he was a director of pro personnel for 2 different NFL teams but since then, (2013) became an ESPN analyst and now makes continuous appearances mostly on ESPN or the NFL network discussing mostly ‘NFL’ issues. Did you know that the NY Giants almost hired him as GM last year?

    I don’t think Heather is a shoo-in as MSU AD or even if MSU will be in the market, just as much as I’m not sure Riddick will consider being Pitt’s AD.


  16. “Biggiefest”, good one Fran. Have a blast and I’m jealous as hell I’m not with you guys. Send my best to the boys.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Finally got a chance to watch that Pitt video. They did a nice job, indeed.

    Louis Riddick was the keynote speaker at the Kickoff Luncheon a couple of seasons ago. He was impressive — and gracious to talk to afterwards…

    Go Pitt.

    PS: “Biggiefest” has all the earmarks of an annual event for the POV4…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When he talked about schenley Park, for a moment, I thought he was going to say ‘and home to Pitts future football stadium’


      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey guys at the OBX…. order a cheeseburger on me and send me the bill. But I don’t think I can afford the booze bill. 🙂


  19. Hi everyone. I noticed several “regular” comments (i.e no bad words, no political references, etc) were held for moderation. I’ve approved them and updated the blog setting so hopefully this won’t happen in future. Sorry for any frustration. I’ve also updated a setting so that supposedly you should be able to post up to three links now. Happy commenting. Michaelangelo


    1. I was a victim of that Mike but I understand. Not to blow smoke up your ass but you do a real fine job on the POV! Keep up the great work.


  20. Richard, my posts now link up from Fire Fox. No, I’m not professing to be a cpu expert, quite the opposite in fact but I use different servers for different things. I don’t even know if that’s what you call it? I’m out there and loving every minute of it. Apologies to Huff the Third


  21. Hey Tex – DC Partridge just added a puppy to his family – he named it “Meatball”.

    You can’t make this stuff up – 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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