The Week in Review 7/5/2020

Well I hope everybody had a nice July 4th weekend.  Seemed pretty normal to me.

Here are some College Football Tweets that caught my eye during the week.

Admittedly not a College Football Tweet, but I always admired this clock when I would walk over the Birmingham bridge to get from Oakland to the South Side, en-route to my internship at InPittsburgh Newsweekly.  Twenty-some years later I learn that it’s the third biggest in the world.  Who knew?

Say what you want about Pat Narduzzi (and there is plenty to say), but the guy has one of the best record in one-possession games in all of the NCAA.  As a Pitt fan I am grateful for this, as someone who values continuous improvement (Did you know I was certified as a Six Sigma Greenbelt many years ago?  It’s true.) I would like for Pitt to be on the good end of fewer one-possession games.   Only Miami and UNC matched or exceeded Pitt in one possession games last season, and they each won three of them.  Narduzzi, meanwhile won five.

As a Pennsylvanian living abroad, I thought I’d share this:

Does not need a comment

All but one of the players who meaningfully participated in this number are coming back for the 2020 season.

ALL of the players who meaningfully participated in this number are coming back for the 2020 season.

Tony Raccioppi is Kenny Pickett’s private quarterback coach and was his mom’s next door neighbor growing up.  Needless to say he doesn’t have a bad thing to say.  I think we all know what Pickett’s strengths and weaknesses are, and arm strength is not a weakness.  (Say that five times fast…).  If you’re into optimism, this is your bag.

Meanwhile former Pitt QB Trey Anderson tweeting…

And Twitter fed me this right after it… gotta hand it to the algorithm.  

Since we have a Kenny Pickett theme going here…

One of the reasons why Pat Narduzzi’s teams, though they play hard, can’t seem to break the 8 win plateau is because they appear to be undisciplined.  (Cue complaints about ACC refs):

Bear with me for a moment here…

If you watch just one video on this post, watch this one.  Pitt jumps onto the board around 1895 and is top-third for a while.

The same guy who did the interactive graph, ranks the CFB top 35 of all time.  If you look very closely, Pitt comes in as a respectable #20.  Of course they did all they could to drop out of the top thirty five during the early 90’s and have done nothing to cement that ranking since 2009…

I would like to know Kenny Pickett’s passing grade against the blitz in 2019.  I know he threw at least one touchdown against it (V’Lique Carter, Duke).  What about the rest of the times he was pressured?  We know he’s not top 4, but we will face a guy who was.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

132 thoughts on “The Week in Review 7/5/2020

  1. Great job as always, Maestro. Here’s hoping a better offense translates to fewer one possession games this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Six Sigma Greenbelt cert? Maestro, you can get a good job asap at my ex-employer. All you have to do is move to the North Coast on the shore of Lake Erie where there is a biting breeze from Nov thru March, listen to OSU and Browns’ fans year around, and appreciate lake effect snow where you dig you car out from 1.5 ft of snow only to arrive at work 11 miles away where there is no trace of it.

    I’m afraid that most of the one possession games were self induced …..penalties (Syracuse), turnovers (Duke), mentally unprepared (Delaware, EMU), … but mostly not keeping the foot on the throttle and letting teams back into the game (Cuse, Duke, UCF, UNC,)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Was going to say you have to be in a lot of close games to win so many. Pitt doesn’t seem to be able to put the pedal down when it is available.You need to win some close ones to have a good season, but a cigar game now and then would be great.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maestro, great stuff…loved the bear video.
    I always thought penalties were a huge factor in our program.
    Does any site list a breakdown? Offensive vs Defensive penalties…total yards lost (penalty yards plus any lost yards gained).
    On the qualitative side, did the penalty keep a drive alive or kill a potential scoring drive.
    Add dropped passes into the equation and a little “cleaning up” could go a long way.
    -Lastrow who hates making mistakes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lastrow – I use NCAA college football stats for my data. The problem is that they don’t keep track of penalties in the manner you request. Pro Football Focus might but that is a pay site. To me, it would seem easy to keep track of because you would only need to keep track of is what unit was on the field – offense, defense or spectral teams. You could also add a fourth for “team” for those called on the HC for ranting.

      As for Pitt, in 13 games played they had 102 penalties for 888 yards. that breaks down to 7.85 penalties per game.& 68.31 yards penalized per game.& an average of 8.71 per penalty.


      1. Just IMO Richard, some penalties called against Narduzzi were bogus while other coaches never would have been flagged. Jus saying. Dabo acts like a nut on the sidelines and never gets called out for it. Same goes for Kelly.


        1. Ike – kind of a tongue in cheek comment about our HC. According to some, only HCPN acts as a nut on the sideline. There are plenty more than just Dabo.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. So, just saw a friend who had a personal video recording from Wanny on Cameo … how awesome is this? For $50 Wanny will record a personal message. The one I saw was complimenting a quarantine stache and he pooped on Steve Pederson for changing Pitt to Pittsburgh to cap it off.


  5. I watched the 1976 Bicentennial fireworks from on top of that Duquesne clock.
    Think it may have turned into a Stroh’s clockface for a while?….not sure what it is now.

    Would like to see it returned to its original state…along with the Alcoa sign on Mt Washington next to the incline.


  6. Many things wrong with last years team. But penalties and falling asleep at halftime were big ones.

    Dropped passes, play execution, I can go on

    But 75 percent wrong was not physical or talent last year. It was mental. The team was mentally soft and undisciplined. I attribute that to coaching and practicing.

    As a former coach, I know.

    But you fans wouldn’t know since Narduzzi has closed practices


    1. Tex, thought I would add This-Boston College… Boston College… Boston College…. that tells you how far we are from being solid- who expected that ass whooping to end the season! Our great D stop the run first got pushed all over the grid-iron… Lot of teams in the ACC getting better


      1. The talent is there to win the Coastal if the team gets more mentally tough and if Narduzzi takes some risk and of course Pitt gets some breaks.

        But other schools are upping their recruiting in the Coastal.

        If Pitt can’t win this year, they never will under Narduzzi.

        You play as you practice. That’s for 95 percent of all players I’ve coached.

        Tex the proud sponsor of Starbucks coffee as the players halftime refreshment. In less politically correct times, I would have said proud sponsor of Columbian cocaine


          1. Or Fanta Pop – your cure for Covid.

            Free to all fans who stay up to the 4th quarter.

            Fanta with enough caffeine to wake up any sleeping Pitt fan.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Are we ready for some spring football? YES

    Concerning clocks, we have coo coo clocks that are always off time but they play a happy song.


    1. You can always trust Americans to do the right thing…after they’ve exhausted every other option.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Potential vaccine and antibody treatments.

      Or the belief that it will magically disappear.


  8. I saw Charlie Daniels in concert at the Arena (NRPS opened). That day, he sang the National Anthem before the Steelers-Oilers playoff game

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So I’m sitting here in my tiny little CPU room thinking of the New Riders and days gone by of yesteryear when I looked up at some pictures and saw a few photos I have up on this chalk board of the Fran and friends tailgate. It reminded me of this song. Here you go Fran


    1. With kids coming from many states, how likely is it that the Pitt Football team has no virus? Lucky that the Southern kids arrived before the surge, but there are kids from NY and NJ.


    2. Obviously the Ivy league doesn’t have the level of financial dependence that the Power 5 has, but they do have big brains.


  10. Hi all, thought I would post a few thoughts :
    1) No college football till March. Gives time to see how the pro leagues screw it up and adjust accordingly.
    2) College basketball is even shakier. Playing indoors, well, no zoo this year.
    3) No way my kid would be going to campus this year. Surrrrrrre kids will social distance responsibly.
    4) Good news, finally got my passport renewed after 5 months, bad news is there is no place to go!
    5) I really am interested to see if the dollar truely rules college sports. I can’t see how towns so dependent on sports,( and college life in general) can survive. Take away the college and the sports and most of these places wouldn’t exist. I look at this situation like the town in Jaws, sure, let’s open the beaches cause we need the bucks, what could go wrong?
    6) Hi Bernie, if nothing else, we can count on your positive outlook in these time, stay well.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I don’t see how delaying football until Spring will work.

    Towns are too economically dependent on football. Universities need that tv money. Schools will have to pull money from their endowments.

    And to make a campus covid protected, takes many millions of dollars. Universities are going to get crushed and begin laying off. Reduced attendance, less money from housing and meals, discounted online learning, no international students who comprise ten percent of the student body but contribute 30 percent to the revenues.

    Pitt really needs to rethink about trying to offer a broad education for everyone. Now is the time to go 100 percent private. Only 8 percent of the budget is subsidized anyway.

    Focus on core competencies and eliminate programs that don’t make money. Shed jobs and sell off properties.

    Let the small state schools have teaching programs. Let Syracuse be the premier communications school. Let penn state have their meteorology. Do we really need Russian history degrees?

    I’d focus on medical, science, business and law. And I attended CAS. So in my case, I’d eliminate Econ and poly sci. Make it business and pre law only. Offer history as a Minor only.

    Covid presents an opportunity for change. But is the BoT listening.

    Same goes for Pitt sports. Why does Pitt have cross country and gymnastics and not a hockey team? Probably need to rethink softball and baseball as well. They are not northern sports…weather and recruits

    And I can’t see any indoor events with fans particularly during flu season and a second wave.

    Again, you will see many universities fail or radically change. The smart universities will use this as an opportunity to change for the better. Get rid of waste and inefficiency. Focus on profit. Go private Pitt.


    1. just saw where Harvard is seriously considering bringing only freshmen on campus for fall term and seniors for the spring term


  12. And to make a bold statement, I’d elimate philosophy. It’s been a top program since my days. But really? Pitt brags about philosophy. A department run by long haired hippies still longing and living in the 60’s. Manufacturing worthless degrees. Pitt has far too many departments like this. Just like it has about 7 programs too many on the sports side. And definitely not the right ones for its climate and regional talent.

    Tex who’s expecting to be enemy number 1 of Pitt professors

    I’m already on Heathers list


    1. Symbolic logic (under philosophy dept) was one of most worthwhile classes I had at Pitt. Also how can you have a building like the cathedral and no philosophy department? Criminal!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How can you have a university that loses millions each year because it tries to be everything to everyone. It has to stop.

        Btw- your logic course can be taught in computer science. And frankly, I’d eliminate that program. Cmu or community college can have it.

        Heck I had enough credits to be a Russian history minor. Loved those clssses and the profs. But it did nothing for me Job wise. Let another school offer that experience.

        Those classes that I took didn’t make me more likely to connect to school or donate. But Pitt has a good department but this as they say isn’t personal…it’s business. And until pitt thinks of itself as a business, it will lose money.

        That’s why I say go private and stop the handouts from the state. Yes programs would get cut. Yes tuition goes up. But that’s the right medicine.

        Same goes for sports. Why are we building a new venue for gymnastics. A sport that’s seen it’s day in the sun. A sport that few ACC schools even have. A sport that loses over $2 million each year. Sorry ladies but let other schools offer this Olympic sport.

        Time to get busy chopping dead wood in academics and athletics

        Tex who knows how to build a good fire

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Colleges are a huge business…it’s about the Benjamins…luckily, I got a degree that could get me a many courses are total BS.


          1. Pitt offers too many degrees. Has too many departments and too much bureaucracy.

            No issues with beginner courses in the arts and sciences. But need to think real hard about offering degrees in certain disciplines. Why an Econ degree? Do a 3/2 business program. Let specialized schools even offer doctorates in Econ. Not Pitt.


            1. Sounds like Pitt can hide athletes like state institutions such as Ohio State can. Is this rather new at Pitt because in the late 80s Darnell Dickerson flunked out because he had to take Algebra. Ohio State players aren’t forced to take Algebra.

              Why did so many player flunk out when Hackett took over? Weren’t most majoring in General Studies? Only Pitt could screw up an excellent QB flunking out because he had to take a math class over basket weaving.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Hackett was hired because gottfried let the players get away with too much. And he did. But Hackett was 180 degrees. That’s what the BoT wanted. He was the antithesis. That worked out well.

              Pitt has always thought they were an Ivy League school. They always felt that sports was dirty but was a necessary evil for conference affiliation. It was never serious about becoming excellent. Mediocrity is embraced. Profs don’t fear athletics then. Always been a power struggle with the eggheads winning. You can still find them up high in the Cathedral looking down on us all.

              Covid is a game changer. I expect the BoT to announce cuts in the next few weeks.


      2. I took a philosophy class at Pitt. I think it was required or met the criteria for one of my many CAS requirements. It was logic. Or so called logic. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle. Couldn’t understand any of it. Might as well have been a course in Greek.

        Some of my most interesting courses were psychology.

        My concern is regarding how the connection with schools will change. More online required learning will lessen the connection. Not sever it but it will not be as strong as a physical presence. The social interaction, the sense of awe and inspiration learning in a Cathedral and other storied classrooms on campus is not something that is trivial or can be marginalized. It will have a real impact…again psychology.

        Good thesis material.


  13. Long haired hippies living in the 60s still exist?
    I’m going to jump in my VW bus and try to find one…✌

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Everyone is not suffering equally from the pandemic. Many businesses will go bankrupt. The travel and hospitality industries are getting crushed as are most forms of entertainment. The stock market has been propped up by the Fed. Millions are out of work and will have to change careers or jobs when they are available. I know some of you may disagree, but Football is non-essential.

    There are long term adjustments to be made. Football and other sports will be back some day, as will travel and hopefully bars. Society has been through much worse.

    The good news is that our medical institutions and science are treating Covid patients much more effectively, and increasing survival rates from just a few months ago. Hopefully these systems don’t get overwhelmed again and we have enough personnel, drugs and equipment so that people don’t die unnecessarily.

    In the mean time do everything you can to avoid getting Covid, unfortunately there are too many people not taking it seriously, infecting those that do.

    By the way Tex, I don’t blame young people for acting stupid, that is a given. I do blame those in charge for opening bars. They didn’t know that drunks can’t socially distance. WTF.


  15. I have long hair right now myself. A nice Jagr mullet going on.

    I do believe online learning is here to stay. A good percentage of classes can be effectively taught online. Think freshman classes…beginner classes and many non lab. Could shorten the actual on campus experience to 2 years. That will have economic and social ramifications. Smart universities are already simulating the impact. Playing their war games. Ivey leagues are doing it.

    And I blame the adults for opening too soon and too fast. Adults for mixed messages that continue to this day.

    But again these kids are adults. They should know better but don’t care. That’s the problem. We are all too selfish.

    And we adults in Texas voted in the politicians who made the mistakes. It’s on us.

    But I’ve been told it’s just something we have to live with now. Sounds defeatist and shirking responsibility to me. Similar to the way Pitt thinks about sports.


  16. Tex, hoping to see your mullet in the fall along with some well played football and lively discussions at the tailgates.


  17. Hey Tex, I forget….. are you the Tex that appeared on the POV round-table a couple times? I think you are because of your articulation.


    1. Yes. I’m the Tex that’s articulate since I received a degree from Pitt and not some diploma mill like wvcc or the certificate of arrogance and child rape denial that gets awarded to Nitter grads.

      And to be a man of my word, I would not have graduated with my pitt degrees if Pitt reorganizes. I see Econ and poly sci departments are being eliminated. Pitt should offer a 3/2 program for business. As for law school, would a pre law department and courses better prepare students for law school. I’m not sure how poly sci does. Worthless degree I have. It did sharpen my reasoning and writing skills though.

      Pitt athletics is going to have to cut soon. Hoopies already did. Other schools are following their lead. I can see Pitt eliminating some sports programs, delaying victory Heights and doing across the board cuts. Those would be smart things to do. What can be done in house. What needs outsourced. What programs are winners and who are the losers. Pick them now

      Pitt has too many bad to mediocre programs even in good economic times. That applies to both academics and athletics. Focus on what you are good at. On where it’s relatively easy to be good given certain gained advantages and future trends.

      The BoT has been negligent. And Pitts leaders aren’t prepared for the new normal.

      Tex, as King and I’d make myself King and not some Chancellor, would eliminate half of Pitts departments and reduce the massive amounts of waste, inefficiencies and duplication. Save millions. Then I’d offer two tracks – online and in classroom. Mandatory online in covid or non covid times. Sell off multiple properties that aren’t needed anymore and aren’t maintenance friendly. And reduce scholie programs to the bare minimum of 12 in sports. Grow up from there if the program can be projected to break even. No more subsidies from the state. Go private. With all these cuts, tuition might actually go down.


  18. Football – keep obviously but prepare for the NCAA split. I’ve commented previously on it

    Basketball – again a no brainer to keep

    Baseball – eliminate. The sport isn’t one for northern climates. How many northern schools cracked the top 25 last year. I think only one. Tells me everything

    Softball – eliminate

    Soccer – keep. A sport that does well in crap weather. And you can find quality players everywhere particularly international students. ACC is the top soccer conference

    Cross country – eliminate. I know this program has the lowest expenses of them all. No needed facility. How much do sneakers and shorts cost?

    Track – eliminate. This I know will rankle feathers. But how serious is Pitt when they haven’t had an outdoor track and field since 2000. It’s been 20 years. Tells me everything.

    Swimming and diving – keep. Have a facility. It’s both men and women. It’s inside. Again, you can find talent without breaking the bank.

    Wrestling – keep. Pitt could become elite in this sport. Too bad it doesn’t get enough interest.

    Volleyball – keep. No brainer

    Gymnastics – eliminate. Not many schools even offer it anymore. Why is pitt the exception.

    Lacrosse – keep. ACC is the premier league

    There’s your 12 for starters

    Add men and women’s hockey
    Add men’s lacrosse
    Add women’s rowing

    If you can raise the funds for those new programs and these programs can at least breakeven every year.

    Don’t get me started on the academic side. But if it isn’t scientific, business or law related, I’d eliminate. That’s more than half of all departments. Sorry philosophy, history, English. Not to say that some intro courses can’t be offered for a well rounded education. But no department heads. No degrees.

    Covid is going to force all of this. And that’s a good thing this virus did. Embrace the opportunity for change. That’s the only way growth is achieved. I think there was some philosopher that said the same thing. 🤠


    1. Well here is food for thought. This blog would not exist if Pitt didn’t have those “soft majors”. Cause I have a degree in one of them. If Pitt didn’t offer them (in this case writing / lit with some philosophy thrown in) I’d have gone somewhere else’s and be blogging for some other team. Or not at all… and then think of how bored you’d be during lockdown!


      1. I hear you mike. I’m for soft skills. I’m not advocating eliminating cas. But Pitt has 167 degrees. That’s outrageous. And frankly if I knew I’d go to grad school in business, I sure the hell would NOT have majored at Pitt in Econ. Complete waste of money. I would have opted for a schools 3/2 program. Pitt didn’t have one in my day. Yet pitt is still offering that Econ degree. I’d leave those degrees to the Ivey leagues or specialized schools around DC and NYC.

        Pitt is practicing in malfeasance for offering so many degrees that will take lifetimes to pay back. The higher education system is a racket. Time to shut it down. And covid actually will.


        1. Tex, sorry your Econ degree didn’t work out for you. My Pitt Econ degree enabled me to have a successful International career in big oil and energy consulting. It also provided flexibility to move across industries during those cyclical downturns that are typical of the energy industry. May be I was just lucky. One thing I would do if I were king of the forest (not duke, not prince, not earl🎶) would be to move Econ the hell out of CAS and put it in the Business school. I TG for my Economics degree, it has also helped me see through all the bull crap these politicians are perpetually peddling.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. To wit Econ is the one area that I wish I’d taken more classes in. One of my favorite subjects and extremely useful.


  19. Tex and I mean this with much love……. You just said something that me chuckle out-loud, it was.. “Don’t get me started” You have an automated rant starter, you need no help. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Tex – it sounds like the days of a well rounded education are History (or is that gone, too?). Bad pun – sorry.

    I can’t help but wonder; what are the unintended consequences of your ideas? Or, are there any?

    The one I can think of is:
    Heather would only have 12 sports with which to oversee compliance. We’d have NO chance to incorporate bagmen into the football program!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved history. It’s rubbed off on my son as well. But history degrees need to come from schools like American or Georgetown and not Pitt. Take all the history you want but you can’t degree in it at Pitt.

      I believe in a narrow and specialized focus for students with enough opportunity to take other courses for a well rounded education. Too many engineers I’ve done business with that are horrible at writing, communication and history. Needed some more ‘soft’ skills. So I do see value in cas courses. My degrees are from that college at Pitt.

      There are always consequences to any action. Some seen and some not. Unintended consequences at first might be the blowback. Pitt giving up on sports. Pitt being mean. Pitt not caring. All would be BS. But managing the perception is key. There will be some pissed off doners. Some upset former players.

      What does Pitt gain by having a gymnastics program? I’m picking on them yes. Few ACC schools have one. The program loses millions. It is a fringe sport that is not well attended and does very little for the brand. When was the last time Pitt produced an Olympian. It’s not a pro sport.

      I’d create an objective checklist. A scorecard. If you score above the cutoff grade, you are safe. Make it quantitative based on data. Sprinkle some subjectivity for the smell test or the gut and intuition aspects.

      My scorecard says 12 programs.

      It’s impossible for pitt to excel across all 19 sports. Pick your winners. There is a reason why pitt is bad or mediocre in 90 percent of its sports. Focus on quality and devote the resources. No excuses.

      All of these Olympic sports are subsidized by football. Basketball can support itself…men’s that is. So by the grace of football, these other sports live. Time for some to die. That will make the overall sports department much stronger.

      Remember, pitt has to borrow millions from the general fund today to subsidize its $80 million dollar sports budget. That’s not fair to students since it’s their academic monies. A 15 percent subsidy is among the highest in P5. Most run at 3 percent. Most schools try to manage more than they can chew.

      Tex who says chew on a hot dog first before you begin chewing on steak.


  21. I counted from Pitts website, 167 undergrad degrees. And the site said ten schools. I’m sure CAS is the largest.

    That’s crazy. And not in a good way.

    Off the top of my head, there should only be engineering, scientific, medical, law and business. With cas being the dumping ground for everything else but no degrees.

    This broad pathway that pitt offers produces too many worthless degrees. Need a narrow focus.

    This forces you to pick winners and losers. An education degree at Pitt is a loser. Same goes with communications. Etc etc.

    Pitt has over 100 degrees too many.

    Time to cut BoT. But they won’t because they drink tea with the philosophy profs. And probably smoke weed.

    Tex who has a case of the munchies.


  22. I don’t entirely disagree Tex, but I don’t agree either as far as closing the majority of Pitt’s academic programs. They aren’t offering degrees that a majority of schools aren’t also offering. Isn’t it incumbent upon the student, parent, and guidance counselors to guide students into academic paths that ultimately lead to a career (good job) at the end of the rainbow. Our Maestro is one example. My older son I will cite as another. He got Dual Bachelor’s degrees in English and Theatre at Seton Hill and a Masters in English at Duquesne. He didn’t get into a Doctoral program in English and doesn’t teach, but was able to parlay those experiences and education into a Civil service job which he makes a decent living at and allows him to also pursue his interests in Theater and writing. Everyone’s career paths aren’t the same. H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The irony of course is that was in the undergrad business school and felt unfulfilled. Now I’m in sales – basically running a $90 M business – and make as much or more than many MBA’s with my paltry little BA. of course my entry level career path was a little different then most and I probably left a couple hundred grand of comp on the table over the first ten years of my career…but the flip side I use the stories from my early years to charm my customers … so who’s to say that extra forgone compensation wasn’t money well spent?


      1. There’s no direct line I know so it can get fuzzy at the individual level because much depends on choices and paths taken after graduation.

        But in aggregate, labor salary figures show masters degrees making more than bachelors. And certain disciplines in the sciences and medical fields making more than degrees from the arts and sciences.

        A history ba saddled with over $100k in student debt should be a crime. I think it’s morally bankrupt on the university’s part to allow it.

        And sales is something one doesn’t need a degree in from college. So it’s unique. I’ve been in sales myself. Very little I learned about sales came from the classroom. Psychology classes though helped. But in a way everyone is in sales since you’re always selling yourself or your ideas

        Tex who knows his elevator pitch for a MPC. And why Narduzzi must go. Got one for heather as well.


  23. True. Incumbent on students, parents and counselors. But universities bear a responsibility. A huge one for student debt. There is no way that 167 degrees is a good thing. Far too much waste and bloated overhead expense. Imagine how overall tuition could be reduced with a reorganization. Focus on what you’re good at. It ain’t communications classes at Pitt. But Pitt will gladly take your money. They have a moral responsibility to offer the best programs. Otherwise they are thieves and disingenuous.


  24. I personally favor tuition based on the economic value of the degree.

    A degree in French at Pitt probably doesn’t lead to many job opportunities outside teaching. Yes a French degree at American outside DC might lead to a job in the state department. But at Pitt it’s a degree worth no more than $40k starting salary.

    Mechanical engineer different story. Their tuition should be at least 1.5 times higher.

    That’s the general concept

    This forces market driven decisions. Is adjusted periodically. Forces Pitt to staff up engineering at the French departments expense.


  25. Tex – another unintended consequence of your plan:

    If programs are slashed per your thinking, think of all the buildings and student tenement housing that could be razed, making way for an On Campus, Multi-Use Dome!

    Of course with the also-slashed customer base (students paying tuition), we could probably never generate the $$$$$$ needed to build it!

    “Damned if you do; damned if you don’t”! I think some philosopher once said that!

    Savannah – whose inquiring mind wants to know. You’re right, Ike. This is fun! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much land would be opened up. Unintended consequence for multiple MPC locations

      But student body might be cut in half

      But those degrees and programs left are higher paying ones

      Etc etc

      The simulations and war games are endless. Endless possibilities. But it can all be modeled out. Cmu has the people that do this stuff. And Pitt partners with cmu all the time.


  26. Tex the late Bill Dietrich, phd poly sci gave pitt 300 million when he died, it is named the Dietrich School. Gave equal amounts to Geneva and CMU. You took way too many of those soft courses; in fact you must have gotten a degree in Brain for Mush.
    RKB who went to poly sci grad school with Bill and clearly learned more than Tex. Get that vo tech degree Tex.
    of course for eminem we will have degrees in cancel culture. Morons


    1. Does Pitt really need 167 degrees and ten schools?

      I say not.

      Because there are far too many that are poor to mediocre. And far too many that don’t have proper budgets that are a reason for the mediocrity.

      Pitt has a business obligation to offer the best product and a moral obligation to not put students into a lifetime servitude of debt.

      In business, you focus on your core competencies. You outsource the rest. Businesses and the market picks winners and losers every day

      Covid gives the university an opportunity to reevaluate, reprioritize and reorganize.

      Pitt can save millions and better serve its students and community as a result

      And I also was a poly sci major. The main career path was law school. I didn’t need poly sci for law school. My well rounded education as part of cas helped. But what I learned on my own outside the classroom in business and life was even more important

      College isn’t for everyone. And many billionaires never attended one or never completed. That tells me everything.

      A degree is only as good as what you put into it. That’s Tex the philosopher.


    2. The same Dietrich that cas is named after right. He graduated from Princeton in 1960. In 60 years colleges have changed. This is the same guy that inherited his dads company. Helped make it successful granted. But made his millions when he sold it. Steel fabrication I believe. He received two grad degrees from Pitt hence the connection.

      College isn’t for everyone. I do question the value of some degrees. Some Grads will take their entire lives to payoff student debt. That’s why it’s morally incumbent on universities to offer the very best programs and to pick the winners. Maybe price tuition by economic value.

      Much like what heather needs to do with sports. We finish last in the directors cup and have one of the highest sports subsidies in all P5. Enough trying to be everything to everyone. Pitt is a football school first and foremost. Any sport that can excel in the northeast or ACC should be viable. Baseball isn’t one of them and I really love that sport. But I do believe hard choices must be made. Other schools are making them. Schools will lose millions with covid from reduced tuition, lower ACC checks, to higher covid expenses. And the state isn’t going to have the money to bail them out.

      Trying to protect programs without having the money is criminal not capitalism.


  27. as a non-alum, I have no comment on Pitt’s curriculum aside from the (obvious) fact that is Pitt is highly regarded as an academic institution …. especially as a (semi-) public one.

    But what I did is to do about 10 minutes of research and here is what I found from the WVU and PSU web site:

    WVU ( Academic Programs
    14 Morgantown colleges and schools offer 380+ majors in agriculture, natural resources and design; arts and sciences; business and economics; creative arts; dentistry; education and human services; engineering and mineral resources; law; media; medicine; nursing; pharmacy; physical activity and sport sciences; public health. Hundreds of distance education and online classes are available.

    PSU ( Penn State Majors
    Penn State offers more than 275 majors, with four-year degrees offered at all 20 of our undergraduate campuses.(note that this is just the undergraduate program0

    Note that I have no idea if this is any kind of valid comparison or even pertinent to the discussion above … just thought I would throw it out there

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, WVU has business and economics combined into one school. Pitt should do the same. Get Econ the hell out of CAS!


      1. I agree. I’d offer Econ as a business degree discipline only. Not a separate degree. You get a business degree with a specialization in Econ. There are government agencies and some large businesses that use economists. But you really need to have a doctorate in this field to find a job.


      1. You are uninformed and incorrect, Tex.

        And I just realized I got “BINGO” on my consultant/business lingo bingo card this morning just by skimming through some of these posts.

        Joe who knows a few highly successful dentists from WVU.


        1. That was a joke. Like Hoopies having no teeth. And you can’t find a competent dentist in the entire state. And frankly if I were going into dentistry, pitt has the far better program. My sarcasm is often misunderstood.


            1. I’m on injured reserve Tex. Hope it’s not for another year or I could be released for good.

              ike who doesn’t want to be a free agent.


  28. wwb – good stuff. Further along your line of thought, IUP has 140+ degreed major programs, while Gannon ha 54. I didn’t check Elon.

    Savannah, who majored in Math.


    1. I grew up in Indiana. Attended many a IUP party while in high school and when I went home from Pitt. Good party school. Explains my alcoholism today. 🤠

      Yes I jest in poor taste. Deal with it. Or DWI.


  29. A few items of note:

    Nick Ciaglia is moving on from the PITT ticket office. Anyone who has had the pleasure to speak with him knows that he will be missed. JoeL knows what I’m talking about.

    Trevion Stephenson (pitt commit) has picked up an offer from Florida, he tells PSN it’s an honor but he is 1000% committed to PITT

    Kahil Anderson (pitt commit) has picked up an offer from Ole Miss, he also told PSN he is honored but he’s a PITT man from now on and 200% committed

    ike who is not feeling well and bummed out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had the pleasure of dealing with Nick a number of times over the years and was sorry to get his note today. That said, its a good move for him. He had me up on the Jumbotron as “Fan of the Game” once and my family got a lot of chuckles out of that. I will admit to having immensely enjoyed the company of a group of cheerleaders as a part of that. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Isn’t big B a therapist Ike. You can be healed by a Pitt brother. Get into the game and enjoy the debate.

      Tex who’s guarding the Alamo right now

      And I was actually disappointed when I first visited the Alamo. I was like I paid $20 bucks to see this???


        1. Nice!

          My one sister is PT

          The other is speech path

          My bro is anestisist. Spelling wrong

          I’m the only non medical in the family. The black sheep. I like it that way.

          Econ and poly sci major. Two degrees i’d actually cut from pitt in the reorganization. MBA from buffalo. SUNY buffalo that is. Affectionately known as UB.


  30. Colleges offer far too many worthless degrees. It’s criminal to pay Pitt nearly a quarter of a million dollars to receive a degree in History…I pick on this degree but I minored on history at Pitt. Most grads with those degrees end up in education. So yes, the student should have gone to IUP a very good teaching school and would have easily found a job down south making $40k right away in Texas at least. Moreover would have only paid IUP a quarter of what Pitt is asking for a degree. That’s why I think it’s morally incumbent on universities to just stop it.

    I also think students, parents and counselors need to do a far better job with college choice and career so one doesn’t end up in a lifetime servitude of debt.

    But how can any school be good at hundreds of degrees. Well they can’t. As a former Econ guy at Pitt I’m a big advocate of pricing tuition by economic value. As a pragmatist, I realize not all degrees are equal and it’s costly and inefficient to run a bureaucracy. As a former business owner, I understand you need to focus on core competencies. Pitt try’s to be everything for everyone.

    And that philosophy applies to their sports programs. One of the reasons why pitt is bad in overall sports is because they try to offer too many that are not good fits. Tough to properly manage all of them and devote the needed attention and resources.

    I’m pointing all this out because covid is a game changer. It impacts cash flow. Pitt will be forced to cut and pick the winners and losers. Pitt will be cutting the French department before the engineering. Pitt already eliminated tennis. I’m just telling you what is going to happen. It’s inevitable and unavoidable. But it presents an opportunity for change.

    The college academic thing hits home for me because I’m still paying off my student loans…mainly grad school ones at this point. And I’m putting my son through school. So yes we thought college was his best option. He thought chemical engineering was the best path. We all agreed to look at Texas schools only. He chose Texas. Only because they gave him a free ride. The 4th best engineering school in the US is tuition free for us. Not every parent is so lucky. That’s why I’m mad about the racket these schools run and the ignorance of most students and parents.


    1. I couldn’t say it any better Tex. The whole concept of higher education needs a top down review. Too many subeconomic degrees being offered. Buyer beware!


      1. And I believe Pitt needs to do the same with sports. It offers 19 programs. It’s budget is around $80 million to support them. It has to subsidize the athletic department by borrowing from the general fund each year. This subsidy is around 15 percent. Pitt generates revenue in the very bottom of P5 schools. It has one of the highest subsidies among P5 schools. It just finished dead last in the directors Cup. All are very good reasons to reevaluate the programs and pick winners from losers

        Easy scoreboard criteria I would use

        Does Pitt have the facilities

        Can pitt make the upgrades to be competitive

        Is there recruiting talent in the region

        How much does the sport make or lose each year…cost to maintain

        Is the program offered by most ACC schools

        Does weather impact the sport…cancellation of practice days

        Fan support and attendance

        Future trends and projections

        And there could be some other criteria to form a grade or score

        So I’ll take baseball for example. A sport I’ve played and coached and actually love

        Pitt has the facilities but they are sub par relative to other ACC schools

        Pitt is currently making upgrades but I highly doubt it will allow Pitt to come remotely close to what other schools have. That’s how far pitt is behind with facilities. In my estimation, 20 years

        Most of the best recruits are found south. Very similar to football but more pronounced. Look at the most recent mlb draft

        Baseball loses money like most sports. It’s a decent sized program because it has to support at least 11 new scholies each year

        Most ACC schools offer the sport. But I believe BC and cuse do not. Only one northern school ranked in the top 25 last year I believe. Michigan? TOSU?

        Weather does impact practice at Pitt. Don’t underestimate how southern weather is a competitive advantage for practice and recruiting. And don’t get me started about the college girls wearing bikinis and sun bathing on the campus lawns in early March. Recruits see this

        Fan support is nearly non existent. Attendance stinks

        The future of baseball in America isn’t looking good. Soccer will soon surpass it in attendance. The trajectory for baseball is down with fewer kids playing the sport and fewer fans attending

        So given the information would you pick baseball as a winner or loser for Pitt?

        It’s an obvious loser to me. So the rational thing taking emotions out of it is to eliminate the program

        Heather needs to do this for every one of the 19


          1. In my previous life, I helped design and create scorecards. You know the ones that use data and modeling techniques that predict future outcomes. Or probabilities. Pitt didn’t offer classses in this or a degree in my day. A pathway after school that I traveled for some time.

            I could very easily create a rudimentary card for heather with a fair degree of accuracy based on what information is at hand. It would definitely pass the smell test and be intuitive.

            She can have my services for a fee. Much like she can have my list of Narduzzi replacements for a price.

            I also have an elevator pitch for her removal. Based on facts, fear and desire. All hitting the pitt fans need to be a winner and to feel special. As opposed to being mediocre and the little bro of penn state. But unfortunately most pitt fans like being mediocre and penn states little bro.

            There’s a word to describe those fans in my book. It however is banned on this site. Put it this way- It’s not a very nice word.


            1. This would be more an intuitive exercise. The card would attemp to predict on the field success defined by top 25 final rankings.

              So volleyball and wrestling would rank highly. Football and basketball would score well. Sports like softball and soccer not so well. But soccer dynamics have changed and I’d weight recent history more.

              It’s art blended with science. But you do try to take emotions out of it. And you do somewhat have a hard cutoff.


        1. If you score well on the overall criteria, it should lead to top 25 rankings and solid winning percentages. Otherwise, the program is set up for consistent failure. I know there are some wild cards and intangible variables that have an influence. But there aren’t any black swans.

          It’s time to begin questioning heather on the long term viability of certain programs. Continued poor performance with the occasional breakout mediocre year is not to be commended.


  31. Times change, nature of jobs change, structure of organizations change …. Who was teaching IT/ computers back in the 50s?

    30+ years of my 40+ business career was spent in purchasing /contract administration. When I went to college, not only were there no purchasing majors … there weren’t even any purchasing courses. There was an opening in the purchasing dept in 1977 where I worked, and I ended up spending the next 30 years in this profession.

    It was about that time when organizations began to realize just how cost effective industrial purchasing could be, and start requiring college degrees for people in those positions. In the next 20 years, purchasing became an integral part of the supply chain …. which has become a whole business science in its own, Not only can purchasing minimize expenditures, especially with long-term buying commitments and life cycle capital expenditures, it also can do so by utilizing effective material management techniques .. (I can go on and on)

    While only a few colleges currently have purchasing / supply chain majors … many offer courses in purchasing, sales laws, supply management, etc. And you can imagine just how much computers / IT has changed the mix of courses / majors now being offered by colleges.

    I agree that it appears that there are way too many majors being offered these day by one college, but axing departments and jobs especially long-tenured professors is a big necessary evil. But my question to you is what is more important … an OCS or MPF, or a fuller curriculum. (hint – there is no correct answer)


    1. First thing is to find an identity. Who are you? Pitt is a football school. Start there and build around it.

      On the academic side, how is pitt defined and perceived? How does it want to define itself. To me, it’s a medical and scientific school. Build around that. Sorry CAS. Sorry Dietrich. Offer those courses for a well rounded education but do not offer them as degrees. Do not have separate departments and schools for these disciplines.

      Going back to sports. Does football need a new home when the Steelers move to cranberry? Yes. Do other sports at pitt need a new home like volleyball and wrestling? Yes. Is hockey a good fit at Pitt? Yes. It would need a home.

      Does Pitt need an engine to drive revenues? Yes

      There’s your answer for a MPC like stade Pierre mauroy.


  32. Football scores above the cutoff. It wouldn’t score well. But it like basketball wouldn’t even be considered for elimination since the ACC check is driven by the tv contracts for those sports. Thought I needed to clarify.


  33. Don’t say you didn’t see this coming

    Tex who cheats by owning a Tardis


    1. Thanks. He was one point on his act scores from getting a full ride to Texas tech. He really like that school. But Texas has the far better program. And I always was a subway alum of Texas. And Michigan. So it all worked out in the end. He didn’t get his brains from me. I scored a 22 on my act and left it half complete. I have a real problem with standardized testing and authority. It worked out well for me.

      Tex whose proud of his nerd son.


  34. Squash would be a good sport to add. It will fit with the ACC culture and does not take a lot of money. Pitt could build 5 courts for 300 grand and have 2 varsity sports.


  35. I just got a call from my contact Zak at the Pitt ticket office that he is moving on…
    Zak and Nick leaving at the same time…wonder if a shakeup is happening?
    Zak was a big help the past few years.


  36. School can and does lead to many strange paths. Undergrad started in Geology, then Pol sci. finally earning( I say that loosely) degree in Publc Administration. Loved my job, but got the itch and got Masters in Psych. Great job, then got itch again and got MBA with concentration in Finance, but I took every credit they had in Probability and Stats. Also linear and nonlinear regression. It also was fun.
    JoeKnew, who still doesn’t know what to do when he grows up. ( Have no idea why I posted that but with no sports Imguess it’s all in fun, right!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s an endorsement for a Philosophy degree, Tex.

        “Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
        I took the road less traveled by
        and that has made all of the difference.“

        You don’t get that in an engineering, accounting or Econ class.

        Joe the CFO who loves to hire people with liberal arts degrees


  37. My singular motto was if someone calls you an idiot, embrace it and become even more of one. It will piss them off but if in your heart and mind you are true, your path is also true.


  38. BTW, I still contend Pitt is now a BB school. It’s history is FB, but again, things change.

    In this millennium, BB has been much more successful. Pitt BB has a much better chance of finishing in the Top 20, and has done so several times …. FB only one.

    It has a modern on-campus facility with a well-known fan base. It went from 0-18 league record to a Top 20 recruiting class within a little over 2 years. Nowadays, Pitt FB can never dream of doing something even close to that …. in fact, Pitt FB hasn’t had a top 20 recruiting class for 40 years


  39. Spring FB ok for us as we play at FSU and at Miami. Bowl games in April. Winter now is not the winter of my childhood anyway.

    Few fans will go to Heinz in January/February so social distancing not a problem. So what is the problem with Spring FB?

    Also I have advocated virtual learning but we need to upgrade the infrastructure.


      1. Iek, Chippewa St is where I go when I’m up in Buffalo (on Halloween) …been there done that 2 times… if I was only 40 years younger…..


        1. That’s a nice district and Street. Been there many times in my day along with the bars near buff state. Chippewa really became big the last few years I lived in buffalo. The bars wouldn’t close until 4 am then. Canada closed at 1am and then they all rushed the border and got more drunk in the states.


  40. Ohio State pauses summer workouts and we are eight weeks away from Week 1. We will not be seeing games in September. If the SEC says they’re playing regardless that could change things.


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