An Update, and Same Old Pitt (?)

I need to announce a few updates as we head into the season.

First, I have COVID-19. It’s a minor case, just a cough and some fatigue really, but until I recover I’m going to be curtailing most of my Pitt POV activities, as they are an unnecessary time commitment and mental strain.

As such you’ll still see me post stock content released by the Pitt SID (interviews, game notes etc), because this really doesn’t take all that much time or effort. Probably 2-3 x per week.

You’ll also see the open game threads each week.

What I won’t be able to do is actually spend time writing articles.

I’ll also be spending much less time moderating comments. I’ll expect you all to follow the rules, and I’m implementing a zero tolerance policy. IE If I receive just one email complaining about political or otherwise off-limits topics, comments will get shut down. Immediately. With the exception of a weekly game thread.

With that being said, Reed and I did have one collaboration cooked up for you prior to me making this decision. It was meant to be the first of a series, and it may well be that…after I kick the COVID. Anyway, here it is, and I hope you enjoy.

Are you Drinking Kool Aid or Vinegar? In this series Reed and I will be presenting an opposing set of viewpoints on a common topic. I will be presenting the optimistic (Kool Aid) viewpoint and Reed, of course, will be presenting the pessimistic (Vinegar) viewpoint. Veiw points are not always what we truly believe but for dialectical reasons we’ll each stick to our roles. The first topic? Same Old Pitt

Kool Aid: Same Old Pitt – Michaelangelo Monteleone

Oh how we lament Same Old Pitt. And as I started to write this one, I had to ask myself (because I’m the Kool Aid Guy) will Same Old Pitt ever really cease to exist?  Will there ever be some vestige of Same Old Pitt that doesn’t rear its ugly head when a pass is dropped? Or when the opposing team manages to outscore Pitt in the third quarter (after Pitt spent the first half building a two-touchdown lead?)  Will we ever experience a season where Pitt doesn’t play at least one really sloppy game? Or lose an easy one to a team we should have beaten?  Will Pitt ever not play down to their competition?  I don’t know, and that’s why it’s Same Old Pitt, and now I’ve got to come up with reasons why Same Old Pitt might not actually be Same Old Pitt.  Well happy day.

I can think of one reason though, but it’s intangible as hell.  That reason is people.  It’s not the coaches.  They are who they are, and I don’t think Narduzzi is going to change very much.  But the general consensus is that each year a college football team takes on the personality of its leaders, who are generally representative of its senior class.  The theory is that better and stronger leadership leads to more accountability, more focus off the field, better habits across the board, and ideally better and cleaner play on the field.  This year Pitt has stronger leadership then I can remember in a long while. There are the four senior captains who have been in the program for at least four years (some for five or even six), AND there are also 21 seniors on the two-deep (including special teams).  Compare that to just 13 seniors last year, and 16 in 2018. 21 Seniors is kind of collective maturity that should not be discounted, and if there was ever a year where Same Old Pitt gets put on ice… Yes it’s because of the seniors that we should believe. Pat Narduzzi consistently says it’s their team. Lets see what they can do.

Vinegar: Same Old Pitt – Reed Kohberger

“SOP, SOP, Same Old Pitt!!!… SOP, SOP, Same Old Pitt!!!”

Let that old Pitt school cry ring from the gothic rafters of the Cathedral of Learning as a clarion call to all those young students who will be Pitt football fans for life starting this semester.  We old Pitt fans must teach them the phrase well and their lives will be a hell of a lot less stressful as they age.

But seriously folks… sorry, just can’t get that serious about this topic.  Not when our last real show of excellence on the gridiron was 39 years ago and our last national championship was 44 years ago (and one prior to that was 37 years before ‘76). These are what we Pitt fans hang our hat on.  As Springsteen sings about so well…Those Glory Days…and I don’t see any change on the horizon.

When the best you can do is a singular 10 win season (DW) with only two nine wins seasons thrown in (DW with one and WH with one) over that time period that ain’t great.  Tag onto those the 20 seasons in which we were at .500 or worse after the final whistle blew in those 37 years then, well yes, we’ve sucked.

It’s all well and good to get hopes up and fingers crossed for a change to happen – remember the preseason comments on here prior to the 2017 season when Narduzzi was coming off back-to-back eight win years?  Damn, some Pitt fans were just absolutely sure the tide had turned and got pretty snippy with other Pitt fans on here that were just as sure it hadn’t.  Then boom!!  A five win season reared its ugly head.

We can point fingers all we want at the lack of big donors, supposed university administration’s weak support even though we have way more $$ in the program now than ever before – just ask King Pat when he’s in the deposit line at the bank!  Weakened Western PA football, or any other reasons might get thrown out there but the bald facts are we just ain’t a strong championship program in any real way, shape or form.

So yeah, chanting SOP from worn and tired lips is valid and correct. For instance take a good in-depth look at how just how well Pitt played last season.  Not just at the win total but how we played and fared against our Power Five opponents (a 4-5 record and scoring only 61 points in those five losses with an average of 12.0 ppg scored) and tell me if that was anything close to top shelf football. 

Remember that 28-0 blowout by our only ranked opponent? Sorry, now I’m just piling it on but you get my drift – most Pitt fans will say how can it be SOP when we won eight games? Hell Reed – that is two eight win seasons in a row! I say examine our quality of play.

Unless you are an accountant looking at just the win/loss totals then you can’t see any real big, obvious differences between this HC’s tenure as opposed to others’ before him.  A better record maybe and that’s nice but nowhere near “the next level” that Pitt fans want and expect.  I’d like to see it happen. My fondest young memories revolve around Tony Dorsett and that national championship, but that’s very far in the rear view mirror now.

Note: this is written pointing at on-field play only. Narduzzi’s all-around program is better by far that our past head coaches. We can certainly be proud of those major improvements.

Michaelangelo here again. So what are you guys drinking on Same Old Pitt? Kool Aid or Vinegar?

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

225 thoughts on “An Update, and Same Old Pitt (?)

  1. Michaelangelo Monteleone so sorry to hear of your problems with Covid. Good health to you, could you send me some of your plasma when you recover? Seriously take care of yourself and your family.

    Reed, happy you’re crediting DW with the tenth win, many do not. Bonus plus, happy to read your comments again.

    As always, this is a new season, 39 years ago has nothing to do with this year. I like this team but will miss Twyman and Mathis but other teams will lose players as well.

    AGAIN, GET WELL MIKE!!

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  2. MM, first and foremost, hope you are well soon.

    Regarding the Kool-Aid vs. Vinegar, I’ve tasted more vinegar than any human being should (thank you Pitt football). And while I believe there are legitimate reasons for optimism, I simply can’t play Charlie Brown to Pitt’s Lucy. The only thing that will convince me that this isn’t the Same Old Pitt is to see them prove it on the field. Every season at this time I go through the same emotions; logic tells me that I’ll get more of the same but deep down I’m hoping that somehow this year is finally different. The only thing that’s really happened since 1976 is that Pitt has been pretty mediocre and I’m a lot older.

    Experience tells me to remain in the vinegar camp until proven wrong.

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  3. Two of most despised characterizations. Kool-Aid Drinker and SOP. Fabrications and overused.

    About the game this weekend. You should all know by now that Narduzzi holds plays back on both offense and defense. As far as the offense goes, holding plays back is a dumb idea when you are well known to do so. Run most of your plays with the exception of some of the trickery, gimmickry stuff. Give them more than they can plan for.

    Defensively, hold some packages back as long as the game is always in hand. Otherwise take the handcuffs off and let the players play and do what they do best. Hell, we really don’t know if the sun will come out tomorrow now do we?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. MM here is hoping you have a fast recovery.—-I guess I’m always going to believe that next year will be better when it comes to Pitt football. Pitt has a chance to recruit a higher percentage of good to very good players under a stable regime. And I sense that’s where this program is going now. Whether it’s enough to get us in the top 25 on a consistent basis is the real unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike is like a bull…he’ll get better. Hardest part is not playing with his kids I bet.

    One thing about this Kool Aid vs Vinegar is that we will be switching sides every so often so that will be a test for me. I think the program is actually a bit less SOP these days but still a far cry from perennial Top 25.

    I’ll be contributing more articles for a while while as Mike recuperates. So, as you guys know, I’ll try to interject some different stuff during slow days. The KA vs V series will be posted on Thursdays mostly I think.

    My first article will be a catch phrase off an old political slogan titled “Why Like Ike??”.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. P.S. — and by the time of your return, I’m sure that Reed and the other vinegar drinkers here will finally realize the errors of their way and become reborn

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Prayers for your speedy recovery Maestro…love the concept of koolaid v vinegar.
    Avoid the anger of Hannity and Colmes please. 😎
    I prefer entertainment over vitriol.
    I am cautiously optimistic that Dooz can pull 8 wins out of his ummmm …..hat.

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    1. ^^ Now we know that one is a joke Reed. “ike” is a love him or hate him type of guy. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Looking forward to your contributions and how you handle the ole Kool-Aid drinker part. That will be your toughest assignment ever. 🙂

      Iek who thinks ike is all right but knows he’s half left.

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  7. Michaelangelo, prayers for your quick and relatively painless recovery! Rest and get better!

    Saw on GMA this morning that Miami of Ohio is closing for a couple weeks due to 1,000 students testing +. We wouldn’t be playing them even if their season hadn’t been cancelled.

    BTW, I am firmly on the koolaid side- perhaps just wishful thinking and pre-season optimism, like always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t even hate duzz. I point out his flaws. Constructively criticize him. But I also am on record with what I like about the man.

      Duzz gets a B minus to mediocre B on my report card. He’s not a good value to me based on his compensation.

      Heather gets a D. She is the one that is incompetent, non transparent and in way over her head. But I’m a sexist for saying bad things about her.

      Tex who is neither sexist or anti Italian.

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  8. Whoa, Mike – Covid?? You are in our prayers. Speedy, successful recovery! Will miss your commentary while you are out. Best remedy is a large glass of Kool-Aid, daily. 😉

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  9. Joe, your wrong…. the premise of the whole article was to have opposing points of view on the subject…. great to have that on here….I like Reed’s contribution on the “vinegar” response….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hang in there Mike, we all need you to get well soon. You provide the best public service to us long suffering Pitt Fans.

    Just so you know Same Ole Pitt existed during the long years before Tony D. came to campus and they were much darker times for Pitt Football. You had to live through Dave Hart and Carl DePasqua to really understand the bottom, although Johnny II was a grim reminder. Over time any bad loss, especially the gruesome ones like Houston became the calling cards.

    If 10 win seasons are the line between us and SOP it will never completely go away, but in the City of Champions SOP stands for Same ole Pirates.

    Narduzzi is no Jackie Sherrill, nor is he Carl DePasqua or Johnny II. There will be days maybe even seasons of SOP, but for the most part Pitt will be above average under Narduzzi winning most of the games he should, getting a nice upset once in a while, and losing a few stinkers.

    I still think the trend line is up, although slowly, more slowly than many want. Most of us were really looking forward to this year, hopefully it goes well on and off the field.

    I prefer to be on the Kool-Aid side but can’t deny that SOP does rear its ugly head far too often.

    H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well stated, GC. Imagine the reaction on here to Dave Hart and then Carl DePasqua! One and nine. One and nine. One and nine!

      Yet we went to the games and we rooted for our Panthers with hope in our hearts.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 1-10 in 1972, the last year of DePasqua, my Sophomore year at Pitt. The next season, a ‘Major Change in Pitt Football” occurs. We play Georgia in Athens in Major’s 1st outing & end the game in a tie 7-7 with the Bulldogs. The rest is history, enjoyed a solid decade of great Pitt Football history being made thereafter. So let’s get real here. Pitt is the master of the mediocre in general, as most teams are. So in my mind SOP to me means mediocre seasons with heartbreaking loses & 5-7 seasons.

      If you think that this is what Narduzzi Football is, then you haven’t really scraped the bottom of the barrel back in the day like Gordon Conn recalls.

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  11. Hang tough Mike. You know it’s serious and you’re taking it seriously, which will help.
    The classic wasn’t SOP, it was SOS. The Steelers were a running joke for 40 years till they got a coach and young blood to run the show, plus a generational player in Joe Greene to change it all. JM and TD were like that, but we Peayed it away. My drink of choice is much like an Arnold Palmer, half and half, part Koolaide half vinegar. Honestly, so far it doesn’t taste good at all.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Gordon, the draft existed throughout the SOS era. And yes, like b-ball the rich have a major advantage, but what’s new with that. Even so, advantages can be overcome if you are smart. SOP hasn’t done a great job in that area. In those precious few years when the stars align you must take advantage.

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  12. MM – keep your family safe and get yourself better at the same time. Easier said than done. Mrs. Erie and I will be praying for you through this whole thing.

    Hoping Pitt passes their Peay test tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt needs to stay hydrated. If you pee clear, you’ve passed the hydration test. No cramping should happen. Yellow pee like yellow seats are bad. Need to drink more.

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  13. Joe, I have no idea who you are (if we have met my apologies for not remembering) but the reason the POV was, and still is I’ll bet, the most popular non-professional Pitt FB blog by far since I started it was just what you seem to hate about me.

    There was a real reason why the Pitt Blather and Dokish’s blog shriveled and died (almost in the Blather’s case) and that is because the POV and myself was the first blog that didn’t have a pair of lips on Narduzzi’s ass all the time. We drew so many readers away from other blogs they closed shop.

    Pitt fans were ready for and wanting that type different type of writing. What some forget is that while my negative articles were published the large majority of my work was three years of some damned in-depth observations from the game day pressbox, practices, scrimmages, press conferences, Pro-Days, Media Days, alumni events etc…

    All accompanied by a nine hour round trip drive and usually a night or two in a hotel. No one other person was writing as much as I did, not even the professional journalists who lived a short commute from the Southside.

    So, spare me the snide comments that you seem to throw out on a regular basis. You wouldn’t have a venue to do that if I didn’t care enough about Pitt football to 1) start the POV and spend thousands of dollars giving the readers the best they could get (along with golf outings, etc.) and 2) making sure the POV was transferred to someone who would keep the high quality the readers where used to.

    Believe me, I came very close to canning it as other more important, to me, things used up my time and energy so I kept it alive past when I wanted until someone as good as Mike took over. As in anything else if you don’t like what I comment or write then when you see that Coast Guard logo just skip ahead.

    That is a long way of saying go pound sand.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly Reed, right on. And Doke is too busy kissing his own a$$ on Twitter to keep his blog up and running. Sad about the Blather though, but this blog is better set up and moderated.

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  14. Reed, you never, ever, have to explain or defend yourself. I know it can really get you Peayed off, but most all of us realize that what you brought was honest conversation to an almost dead subject. The truth matters, even if we somethings don’t like it. Thanks for what you did, and continue to do, and I don’t just mean with the POV.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Wishes for a speedy recovery mike.

    Many organizations have their own versions of SOP. Steelers are a good example. But many other teams across all sports.

    It’s an engrained cultural thing that produces a losers mindset. It’s a virus that passes from the ownership group to fans. So what is the cure?

    Well it starts with new ownership. In Pitts case the owners are the BoT. I’ve long advocated two BoTs – one for academics and one for athletics. Each comprised of 9 members. No Nitters. No appointed by state bureaucrats or politicians themselves.

    This structural change alone along with two mission statements will fundamentally change the culture.

    Then it’s very important to know who you are and what you want to be. That’s the identity aspect. To me, pitt is too broad or generalized in both academics and athletics. I’d make hard choices to cut programs that don’t fit. I believe pitt is best positioned for success as a private school emphasizing medical and scientific disciplines. On the athletics side, I believe Pitts future lies with hockey and not baseball.

    Once your foundation is rebuilt and you have the blueprints, you need someone to begin construction. I’m not sure if Gallagher is the right leader for the job but I know heather would not be part of the athletic leadership group. You really need a ceo type individual with a strong background in marketing and good understanding of finance. Athletics is a competitive business.

    You do these basic things and you’ll rid yourself of SOP. I can go on with more details and justifications supported by empirical data, but it would be a 100 page consultant white paper.

    Tex advocate of BoT structural change, new identity, new leadership and yes a MPC

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  16. MM, all the best and hope you bounce back real soon!

    As for Narduzzi, I think it is rather unusual that after 5 years the jury is still out on his tenure as a head coach. He has a mixture of good and bad coaching characteristics, and it is hard to say which will win out. It appears his recruiting is getting slightly better, but he is not fan friendly and if you expect him to help with fund raising, forget about it!

    His reputation as a player’s coach is growing, but his secrecy and lack of fan interaction are continuing problems to filling the stadium. There is some relative stability in the assistant coaching ranks, but his sideline coaching and demeanor still leave something to be desired.

    Lastly, his coaching record is slightly above average given the toughness of the OOC games over his tenure. If he can take that next step and start getting Pitt teams ranked and into some better bowls, then most Pitt fans will grudgingly say he is doing a pretty good job.

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    1. The next step has to be a top 25 final ranking. That typically means winning 9-10 games. He’s never won more than 8.

      He’s the 23rd highest paid coach in the land. Time he starts earning it and justifying the value.

      Need to move beyond stable mediocrity.

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  17. Mike, here’s to a speedy recovery.

    I’ve never viewed Reed’s outlook as negative but rather a fact based perspective. Other than some big wins Pitt has been slightly better than mediocre.

    Beat the Peay! H2P!

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  18. Really miss Pitt’s Kickoff Luncheon this year. Always enjoy them, especially when they go down the line and each senior says something. Plus they’ve been having good keynote speakers lately like Louis Riddick and Curtis Martin…

    Go Pitt.

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  19. All team’s hands will be tied when it comes to revealing injury or COVID-19 status with individual players because of HIPPA. Several mentioned that fact yesterday, and HIPPA was discussed on XM 84 College Sports Radio this morning confirm that to be the case and not just a Narduzzi issue.

    Do we need more than that?

    Pitt has to be careful and not Peay against the wind tomorrow…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Best of luck to you, MM. Praying for a speedy recovery. Being young and in good physical shape has to be reassuring to you and your family.

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  21. Re: PN’s recruiting. A truly successfully coach can get kids from both sides of the ball to commit.

    DW was the last coach who did that well for us. PC was good on the O side; PN on the D side so far.

    Had we had any semblance of a consistent O last season we might have seen 10 wins but, IMO, Narduzzi just doesn’t care much for anything but defense
    That’s been apparent in his hiring of offensive coordinators and Special Teams coaches.

    And say what you will about transfers but I think they hurt building programs in the long run, especially on the offense. Those kids need to grow together as a cohesive unit and transfers disrupt that. I think that’s one reason true offensive stars in HS steer clear of Pitt.

    He has looked down his nose at offense since he was a DC.

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    1. Just hold on a minute there, Reed. One brush size to big on DW. He failed miserably in the QB dept. Had some issues recruiting OL and moved at least one guy across the line to improve the talent level. Did exceptionally well with RBs though!

      Hard to know if Narduzzi cares or not; may simply be a case of doping what he knows and less comfortable or qualified with what he doesn’t. But the results have not been good in any case.

      As for the “looked down his nose” comment, I’d point out that DW believed defenses win game for you and offenses are there to get you a lead early. Which is why his situational play calling stunk at times, especially when paying from behind. Point being that having more of a belief in a defensive not is not necessarily Narduzzi specific and more a trait that other DC’s turned head coches seem to have. Which is why I don’t think they are suited for the role.

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      1. Bingo. Wanny struggled with QBs, OL depth, linebackers and the secondary.

        In regard to what the people on here have been saying about the SOP, I have a motto for him:

        Pitt Fans: Demanding 10-plus wins a year with 85 choir boys off the field and in the classroom.

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      2. Narduzzi has had one of the best offenses in the country and is about to have one of the best defenses around, he needs to add a good offense this year and 9 wins are attainable.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. A lot of that falls on the assistant coaches. I originally though Partridge was failing not getting high star guys…but his recruiting niche is seeing talent under 4 stars and he has certainly produced.
      I think Beatty is his equivalent on offense. Time will tell.

      Ultimately, PN hires these guys. So it is on him and depends on how he spends his budget.

      Is the O and D hiring budget equal? We shall never know.

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    3. Reed — I think Duzz realizes he’s out of his element on the O side of the ball and that’s why he’s hired well-established OCs. Chaney, Watson, and Whip have all had big successes on that side of the ball.

      But as I’ve posted before, we do tend to do well on one side or the other. Which is why I’d like to see Pitt try a model of an Offensive Head Coach and a Defensive Head Coach. Split the Head Coach’s salary between them so you get two pretty high profile coaches…

      Go Pitt.

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  22. Im stunned. Thought that by this point in the comments (given the advanced average age of the posters) that someone would have said, “Jane, you ignorant slut….”

    Trying to figure out which one of these two guys should wear the bow-tie. Also want to make it crystal clear that I don’t need either to show me why Connie Chung should eat her heart out.

    JoeL who always enjoyed a good episode of Point/Counterpoint

    Liked by 5 people

  23. I think if we score early we will score often..
    You know what they say about Peay…once you break the seal.
    Ok, I’m done.

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  24. Misguided slut?:

    Dan Aykroyd: Tonight on “Point/Counterpoint”, Jane and I will argue Federal Aid for Abortions. Jane will take the Point for Federal Aid, and I will take the Counterpoint against. Jane?
    Jane Curtin: Safe abortions have always been available to the rich, Dan. You simply want to deny them to the poor, and if you succeed, poor woman will be forced to get them anyway. They’ll beforced into the alleys with hangers, plungers and vacuum cleaners, risking death or mutilation. But you’d like that, wouldn’t you, Dan, you sadistic, elitist, sexist, racist, anti-humanist pig!

    Dan Aykroyd: Jane, you ignorant, misguided slut! Once again, you missed the point entirely. [ enraged ] Why should I pay hard-earned dollars so welfare tarts can have sex anytime they want, without regards to consequences? Haven’t these bimbos heard of abstinence? I, myself, haven’t had sex for two years – and I’m rich! Why should I foot the bill for killing unborn infants, anyway? I’ll pay for something practical like sterilization – but abortions? Never! With one exception – if I had been around when your mother was having you, not only would I have paid for the abortion, but I would have performed it myself!

    Jane Curtin: Thank you, Dan.

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  25. WOW! Tough to follow SNL, and NRS & Tvax1. I’m taking this space, so no one will have to try to follow them!

    Oh yeah, ya’ll omitted, “Don’t Peah up a rope”!! 😉

    And…..Pitt’s points will rain down “like a cow Peahing on a flat rock”.

    OK, that’s enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Oh, all right…..one more. And I don’t recall hearing this when I lived in PA, so it may be Southern Redneck:
    “Don’t Peah on my neck, and try to tell me it’s raining”

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  27. One last thing on SOP. It can change if fans advocate for change. If fans get into the game so to say. Don’t complain. Do something about it.

    I for one teamed up with John Mack, complit, and created a website and was interviewed by the Pitt and UB News regarding the fight for a OCS.

    I vote with my dollars regarding athletic donations.

    I contribute to a different perspective, one of vinegar, on blogs like this.

    But you the fan can impact change if you really want it. Chipping away over time will work. Just ask Andy from Shawshank.

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    1. Your reality and mine are obviously different. I believe Pitt can be a consistent top 25 football team. I believe Pitt can get into the top 50 rankings in the Directors Cup. I believe I have realistic expectations. But I also know what needs to happen to achieve those goals. Pitts current leadership and facilities are not the answer.

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  28. At heart, I am an optimistic person. Like every day, I plan my outdoor work. I never got to do what I planned today because some dead limbs fell off a tree last night. After finishing that job up & in a grumpy mood, I got my local newspaper & junk mail from their box/mailbox. So what’s my point? There was an article in the paper that the Catawba Indians plan to open a casino 15 miles from my house.

    I am happy again even though it’s not opening until next spring. It gives me something to look forward to & hope for the future.

    BTW – as to SOP I also believe in the financial disclaimer -(paraphrased) “past results are no guarantee of future performance”.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have to say that there has been a little less of the SOP under Narduzzi. He has mostly won the games the should which is more than I can say for Wannstedt and Chryst (Toledo, Bowling Green, Youngstown State, the Houston collapse). He did lose to BC and Miami last year and they weren’t great teams but they also weren’t MAC or FCS teams. They were near average FBS teams and with Pitt slightly above average I feel like there’s not REAL Shame in losing those games. But then it all depends on your definition of SOP . . .my definition is losing games we absolutely should win or total mind-numbing collapses resulting in a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. On the Miami 31 – UAB14 game. Two small tidbits :

    Last year (2019 preseason), CBS sports wrote an article on who were going to be breakout QB’s. Mike wrote an article on Kenny Pickett & why he could be breakout QB. The UAB qb Tyler Johnson was one of the ten in the CBS article.

    Cam’Ron Harris was the leading ball carrier for Miami. 17 carries, 134 yards 2 TD’s. (May have to make an adjustment because he had a 66 yard TD scamper. Can’t remember the Reed rule on how long a run has to be before you disregard the run.)

    Anyway, the tidbit is that Harris was a “walk-on” at Miami. What do you know, walk-ons even become starters at schools with much higher recruiting rankings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Richard, I think the rule is if Narduzzi looks good in any way shape or form it doesn’t count. Yeah that’s a little harsh and really not altogether true. Wait a second…………… there goes Hall again……… they won’t catch him. Seriously though, During Narduzzi’s tenure at PITT he has had a few decent offenses. John is right, the defense wasn’t quite ready for prime time. This year PITT puts it all together or I go home.

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  31. Tex, I had a poster in my office from Shawshank…Andy Dufresne in the cleansing thunderstorm after crawling through the sewer pipe.
    Reminded me of my previous job and how good I had it.
    Hell of a movie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In my top 5.

      I hope all us Pitt fans can look up into the dark night during a thunderstorm at some future point and be delivered from the imprisonment of SOP.

      But again it takes patience, persistence and time. I’ll keep chipping away. I have hope and a plan.

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    2. What a great office poster that would be! Reminds me of coming out of a conference room after a God-awfully long meeting singing the Allman Brothers “Whipping Post”.

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  32. Pitt favored by 28 points. Until we see the 2nd year Pitt Whipple offense perform at the level the Pitt Canada offense performed 28 points is much too much to give any team IMO.

    Like

  33. You guys never give up on that. 😒

    Here’s (again) what I meant; the article was about consistency from a RB in being able to move the ball forward and get the O 1st downs. That is the gauge of how well a RB is doing by not just my standard but what the coaches look for also.

    The example used was Hall’s 2017 season when he ran 128 carries for 628 yards (4.9 yards per carry for 9 TDs) with a long of 97 yards. 4.9 is a decent ypc – the college standard of “good” is 5.0.

    But – when discussing CONSISTENCY in his play if you take only one carry away – the 97 yard run – then his yards per carry on the other 127 carries was a poor 4.1. It wasn’t like I was discounting tons of his work – less that 1% of his carries actually. And in the article I addressed how poor the 2017 OL was (and QBs) that season also.

    The example was done to show how Hall was – that singular season – not a very effective back over the course of the schedule…because he wasn’t and that 97 yards skewed what really transpired in the consistency context.

    This is how ineffective our rushing game was overall those years:

    2016 – 128 1st downs & 36 TDs rushing
    2017 – 107 1st downs & 21 TDs rushing.
    2018 – 153 1st downs & 30 TDs rushing

    Of course 2018 was a whole different story as we saw with his great 7.5 ypc year.

    Like

      1. Yeah – OL recruiting has been pretty poor in PN first few years IMO. An bit better now but the OL is one unit where at least three of the five positions have to be pretty good to be effective.

        Like

  34. Late for my prediction but here it is:

    Date Time At Opponent Location Tournament Result

    W Sep 12 (Sat) 4 PM Home Austin Peay Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    W Sep 19 (Sat) NOON Home Syracuse Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    L Sep 26 (Sat) TBA Home Louisville Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    W Oct 3 (Sat) TBA Home NC State Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    W Oct 10 (Sat) TBA Away Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA

    L Oct 17 (Sat) TBA Away Miami (FL) Coral Gables, FL

    L Oct 24 (Sat) TBA Home Notre Dame Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    L Nov 7 (Sat) TBA Away Florida State Tallahassee, FL

    W Nov 14 (Sat) TBA Away Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA

    L Nov 21 (Sat) TBA Home Virginia Tech Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)

    L Nov 28 (Sat) TBA Away Clemson Clemson, SC

    So, I’m calling for 5-6 but can see 6-5. I think the defense takes a step back – a small step – but I don’t see our offense getting much better at all. We just lack talent on that side of the ball.

    I said could be 6-5 because we may beat VT but I’m thinking VT beats us in a close game because i think Mike Norvell will upgrade the offense and their defense, especially their pass defense, is pretty damn good.

    P/S: 7 wins wouldn’t totally shock me but I don’t think we’ll get 8. In other words I’m all over the place.

    Like

  35. Reed, I get and got what you meant but only because it was a Commander crying wolf all the time is the real reason it’s brought up over again and again. Objective? I don’t know? Seems a bit it nit-picky to me but it is true that Hall cashed in on a few long runs. That’s what some running back do.

    Like

    1. Any real in-depth discussion of football has to be nit-picky Ike, that’s where the truth is. Do you think the football staff doesn’t look even more in-depth than I do at things. I saw one of the coaching staff’s pre-season lists of what they wanted and what they had on hand (forgot what he called it) and it was all facts and stats with some so esoteric even I wouldn’t go there.

      Hell, what do you think Pitt’s Offensive and Defense Quality Control guys do all day? to say nothing of all the Grad assistants crunching numbers. They chart every single play in all the practices and scrimmages and use that statistical info to lead in directions they want to try players for.

      There is very little “gut feelings” coaching when it comes to major college and NFL football. Its not all stats and facts but it sways a lot of decisions.

      Like

  36. This morning as Duzz was buttoning his shirt, a button fell off. After that, he picked up his briefcase, and the handle fell off. Then he went to open the door, and the doorknob fell off. Duzz then went to get into his car, and the door handle came off in his hand.

    Now, on the eve of our season opener, our Panther HC is afraid of the Peay.

    =====

    Keys to winning tomorrow:

    KP cannot have Peay running down his leg as he stands in the pocket.

    Our D must flush the Peay.

    Like

  37. MM and Reed, thanks for always being entertaining.
    MM-get well soon! I bet you now wish you didn’t do all that partying in Sturgis.

    Like

  38. @Reed the reason your biased choice to throw out the long runs by Hall is repeatedly mentioned is because in doing so then recalculating his yards per carry(which of course drops), you then use THAT number to compare to the rest of college’s RB’s without doing the same to them. It is that simple.

    You or anyone can pick and choose stats that will make a player “look” far different than the full truthful picture actually is. In this case you first pick a single stat, you then manipulate it and then compare it to others who had no such manipulation.

    I can’t see why you don’t see THAT as a problem in making your case against Hall. If I’m wrong and you did the calculations for the other RB’s in the country and then commented on the legitimate comparison, I apologize,,,,but nowhere did I see you write that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Reed is trying to get “ a damn good average” so I totally understand throwing the “outlier“ out of the equation to arrive at a pedestrian- working man’s production… which reminds me of a joke……

      Guy walks into a record store and asked the lady behind the counter “do you have the song 2HOT LIPS and SEVEN INCHES?? The clerk responds, “is that a record?” The guy replied “it’s not a record – but it’s a damn good average!”

      Like

  39. So for the Sunday and Wednesday Covid testing, Pitt is using the same Lab as the Steelers – some lab in NJ. But get this, for the Friday testing, which is administered by the ACC, the samples go to a lab in…………..you guessed it, North Carolina.

    Hummmm…🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear the Friday test is called the Swofford –

      They take a Swofford from your nose,

      A Swofford from your toes,

      And if your school is located north of Crows,

      Anything goes…

      Like

  40. Tvax is exactly right, if you throw out Halls long runs then throw out all long runs by others. Plus it’s not like he only had one or two.

    I will say Reed has been extremely complimentary of Narduzzi for the way he runs the PITT football program off the field.

    Like

  41. Has anyone performed an in-depth analysis of Pitt’s recruiting under PN comparing offense vs. defense? Start with quantity, is defense better because more defensive players are coming in? How about movement of players to the other side of the ball? And how about the overall rating of the players? On average, are higher rated players coming in for offense or defense?

    Like

  42. Three men were standing side-by-side using the urinal at Heinz Field – Pat Narduzzi, Aaron Rogers and George Sherrill (2008 MLB all-star pitcher).

    Duzz finished, zipped up and started washing and literally scrubbing his hands … clear up to his elbows … He used about 20 paper towels before he finished. He turned to the other two men and commented: “I graduated from Rhode Island and they taught us to be clean.”

    Aaron Rogers finished, zipped up and quickly wet the tips of his fingers, grabbed one paper towel and commented: “I graduated from the University of California and they taught us to be environmentally conscious.”

    George Sherrill zipped up and as he was walking out the door he had a smirk on his face and said: “I don’t know about you guys, but I went to Austin Peay, and they taught us not to pi$$ on our hands.”

    Like

  43. I think many miss Reeds point and if I do, my apologies. Same analogy, different sport. If Sidney Crosby scored 40 goals in 8 games against the worst teams in the league and then 5 goals the next 42 games, many on here would say he had a great season at 45 goals in 50 games. What Reed is pointing out is that yes, he had those yards, but they are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.Look at the totality.

    That is why in hockey, they separate goals into even strength, power play and shorthanded. They now have stats about how you scored against playoff teams (which theoretically should be more difficult), to determine if you are a solid player or circumstantial player.

    If Hall had 25 carriers for 125 yards, it looks like he averaged 5 yards a carry because that is math and that the oline was great. If one carry was for 90 yards, the other 24 carries netted 35 yards for a complete F. That isnt a good run game in my book. Those carries netted 1 1/2 yards per carry and you cant sustain drives or win with those numbers. Great that he got lucky on one run, but the rest shows problems in the run game and a truer picture of what you have with that runner..

    The NFL didn’t’ think he was talented enough with his running. His vision was poor and at most was a one cut back. Good college player. Hopefully he can catch on with a big league team this year.

    Like

    1. He was a zero-cut back, but that seems to be what we recruit now. Wanny not pleased.

      Hall did run hard though and no one could catch him if he broke thru…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. I doubt many if any miss his point

      apparently some(at least one) might miss the error of the statistical presentation, manipulation and most importantly selective application

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Little loose with the word lucky Huff and he did it more than one game. Once twice in one game and more after that. This with a much maligned O-Line by some that was suppose to stink out the joint, Dantino, Herndon and a walk-on center. People can’t be critical and then not expect a response when they are dead wrong. I get the analogy and it would make sense if Hall only had one really long run. That wasn’t the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just like saying Kenny was a better QB without the drops. Kenny was the reason for many of those drops with poorly thrown balls.

      I don’t hold long runs against any back. Or discount a Hail Mary pass.

      But context is key. And Hall was a good back but not as good as his stats would say. His stats concealed a non elite back who wasn’t consistent enough and couldn’t block.

      But he’s probably still better than any of the backs Pitt has today

      Like

  45. Mike, hoping your recovery is well underway. Take your time and take care of you first and foremost. JoeL I was thinking like you in terms of the Point/Counterpoint reference but was wondering who was Dan Ackroyd and who was Jane Curtin in the POV braintrust.

    Like

  46. MM
    Get well soon!!! I will pray for you and your family. Bright side: You WILL beat this thing and when you do, you will be a day walker. I will be super jealous!

    Reed
    Great to see you posting again! I really enjoy your perspective on things though I don’t always agree.

    Super excited for college football. LETS GO PITT!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. @Iek, some aren’t worth attempting to assist with their comprehension

    not referring to Reed

    at least their comments are entertaining 😉

    Like

  48. But Tommy…….. time is all I got… and I’m the type of guy who like to help those in need. 😉

    Here it is almost 5:00 AM Saturday morning and I’m ready for kickoff. Fresh wings and burgers on the grill today, you know football foods my stomach can no longer handle. Probably should be oatmeal with dry toast but I’m going for it all. My secret hot sauce recipe? Stick of butter, cup of Franks and a packet of Good Season Italian mix heated in small sauce. I usually throw in more seasons like Accent, oregano, garlic powder. (always granulated) and the kitchen sink.

    Only can get Hulu on the living set so Angie has been informed of college football ALL day. Making a play list right after this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Rumor has Pitt will be missing a few players Covid related based on Wednesday’s testing. I’m not sure how many contacts would also have to be quarantined. Pitt may be playing with a few 3rd stringers come game time. Taking the Vegas 28 points and AP may have been the right choice especially if they don’t have to sit anyone for the game.

    Like

    1. If the rumor is true, the depth will be tested.

      SOP would have six starters sitting – P.Ford, Pinnock, Camp, Krull, Addison and Morrissey.

      I want none of that. If any of those six are quarantined for 14 days, we lose to cuse.

      Pitt fills the ketchup bottle with Peay today and squeaks by hanging from their short hairs.

      Like

  50. Uncle Iek, I’m going to try that wing sauce recipe for sure!
    Was always just a butter and hot sauce guy with wings partially baked in the oven and then marinated overnight for grilling the next day.
    2 great tunes for gameday too!
    H2P
    Let’s kick some bladder!!

    Liked by 2 people

  51. VT vesus Virginia postponed. Anyone what to guess Why?—-Better put those chicken wings back in the fridge Ike as the news forthcoming on the Pitt game might ending up being the same.

    Like

  52. As customary I fully expect Pitt to disappoint those that expect a romp so the gnashing of teeth can begin.
    At least hoping for a comfortable victory rather than the usual close game.

    Like

          1. Tex, let’s be honest here, if Heather tarp-ed the seats you would complain about the tarps in some sort or fashion.. You wouldn’t like the logo, color or locations

            Like

  53. Update on the VT–Virginia game postponement. It’s for the game previously scheduled for next week the 19th not today. Pull those wings back out of the fridge Ike.

    Like

    1. Yep, you’re right Fran, I’m never deterred, playing music (LOUD) all morning. Marinating as I comment, the wings not me. I hope you people have good indoor and outdoor speakers. If not, you’re missing out on life as it should be. Don’t Be Denied!

      iek who forges ahead despite life itself.

      Liked by 2 people

  54. We get a bad deal on the front loaded schedule. What if fans are allowed later in the year? I prefer the home games to be later in the year so I might just be complaining about a personal nit pick.

    Like

  55. Mike Giglio of WRAL Sports picks Pitt to finish 4th in the ACC at 8-3. The three losses are Clemson, ND and GTech.

    Mike also picks GTech to finish last in the ACC with a 1-9 record. Their only win is predicted by Mike to be against Pitt.

    Come on man!

    Liked by 3 people

  56. Iek, my indoor speakers are Klipsch 3 way horn loaded floor speakers from the late 70s…still are awesome.

    If the game was open to fans today I would just be entering Red5a with Scooter and Wolfe. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  57. Pitt wins today but does not cover the 28 point spread.

    Would really love to see a 50 point blowout but that would require Kenny playing like Marino and Pitts receivers and backs performing like Fitz and Dorsett.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Kman – I’m glad we spend Sept and some Oct at home. Playing Southern schools on 100+ degree fields is a huge advantage for teams that have been practicing in 100+ Deg all summer. And we don’t have enough winter type games to reciprocate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Far easier for a southern team to play in cold weather than a northern team to play in hotter or more humid. It takes time to acclimate to the heat. A few days at least. Just like when playing at altitude. It’s a shock to your body at first until you acclimate. Pitts schedule is favorable weather wise.

      Like

  59. The weather except Miami is basically the same. I like to play tennis and golf on the weekends. By late October I prefer going to Fran’s tailgate.
    Games in a good season are more important late and playing at home even at our crap stadium helps.

    Like

    1. Pitt has no home field advantage with or without fans but playing games away late in the season when there might be fans at opposing venues will hurt Pitt.

      Like

  60. @Annie regarding air fryer – in addition to crispy they are a little faster per batch wings with less clean up

    and a small fraction healthier? which doesn’t nearly make up for the increase in frequency

    can someone work out the math of 5% less saturated fat per wing versus the 50% increase in number of wings eaten
    and of course throw out the several biggest wings in each season

    LOL!!!

    Like

    1. Oven wings are the way to go. Coat in some canola oil. Heat oven to 400. Use a bakers tray with a wire rack. The fat drippings will drop onto the baking sheet. Air will circulate on top and bottom of wings. No issues with sticking. Place some water on the sheet to avoid flarups and smoke. Then once crispy, place them in your sauce bowl and swirl. Serve immediately. I’ve got my own sauce recipe but you need butter and Franks for sure. Then go from there with your wet and dry components.

      Tex who lived in buffalo for 8 years and whose wings are far better than overrated Duffs. Don’t believe me. Ask my friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  61. Hope no kids have to sit out but wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    Re Hall: It’s like this… Go back over the 25,759 posts Ike has on here. Take the absolute best one and delete it. Then figure out the quality of his other 25,758 posts and there you see just how CONSISTENT Ike has been in moving the POV conversations forward and by what level of discourse they have been raised to.

    Simple!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a silly premise Reed, just like you were wrong about the much maligned O-Line he ran behind. I know you’re kidding Reed (about the number of posts) but you wanted to keep subtracting and I wanted to keep on adding.

      Like

  62. I don’t see any face shields today. I think that simple devise would help immensely.

    We’ll know in two weeks. That’s when I personally expect to see an uptick in game postponements.

    Like

  63. So, if a kid got tested Friday and it was positive does he have to quarantine for 14 days like the rest of us?

    Remember PN said in that video he was really worried about yesterday’s results. At the time I thought he was worried about two games, not just today’s match.

    Like

    1. I’m assuming these are instant tests with no delay in results. Otherwise they are worthless.

      I’d think it’s at least ten days in quarantine.

      Wvu looking good today. I doubt pitt plays anything to their level.

      Like

    2. Per PSN – “Weaver tweeted that he had tested positive in COVID-19 tests administered by the team on Sunday and Thursday and tested negative in a team test administered Wednesday and the ACC test administered on Friday, but said that he’ll miss the game nonetheless.

      Weaver may not be the only starter missing from Pitt’s lineup when the Panthers face Austin Peay on Saturday afternoon, with a couple of Pitt players nursing injuries as training camp progressed and an uncertain contract tracing situation with Weaver being held out.“

      Like

      1. Like

        1. Why pitt doesn’t do the instant test like Europe is beyond me. Results back in 15 minutes. Yes the degree of accuracy is somewhat less. But you can constantly test and not wait. That far outweighs the value of labs.

          Like

        2. Company 1 may be testing for any form of covid, even the common cold which might come up positive even if he had it a year ago. Companies 2 & 3 maybe using an accurate test for Covid 19 only.

          Like

    1. So we already knew T.Mack had surgery a few weeks ago – #1 (not a Peay joke).

      Gabe Houy had offseason surgery so he is another who will probably sit – #2

      Camp and Weaver are roommates – #’s 3 & 4

      Mathias & Twyman ? #’s 5 & 6

      Speculating…

      Like

  64. No, PITT tested Wednesday and twice Friday. If Weaver is positive look out for more along the D-Line as they all hang together.

    Reed, are you actually going to watch the game?

    Like

    1. Speculation also the Camp will also be out of this game. I believe the both are roommates. If anyone is counting that would make 3 out 4 defensive lineman that was expected to start before Twyman opted out.—-Syracuse down 7 to 3 at half and clearly out played NC in the first half. Missed a Kessman tough angle short field goal to end the half. Syracuse playing a 3 3 5 D with the 3 BIGS upfront doing a great job on the NC running game. Syracuse also should have a couple of touch downs via the pass when their QB through slightly out of bounds. If the Pitt O shows up from last season this year they may not even get to their 21 point average of last season. DeVito also a pretty dm good QB and will clearly challenge the Pitt DB’s come next week.

      Like

      1. Pitt should have no problem with Syracuse. They have two new coordinators and little talent. A good coach would blow them out

        Mack can recruit but there’s a reason why boosters at Texas cut him loose.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Remember, UNC’s D is NOT very good. Urine for a big surprise today. Try to take your Peay breaks during commercials so you don’t miss anything.

        Pitt won’t look a-head to the next Peay trough until they put the seat down on the Governors.

        Let’s Go P…ITT

        Like

  65. For you yinzers without the ACCN, The UnC-Syracuse is a real snoozefest. &-3 at the half. Syracuse dropped a wide open TD pass and missed a field goal. The powerful UNC offense not showing up so far.

    Like

    1. Is Duke testing?

      If so, the lab there and personnel are phenomenal. And are insulated from any pressure or bias.

      Might be for consistency and for level of expertise.

      Duke medical is outstanding. Same goes for Pitt.

      Like

  66. NC 7 Syracuse 6. 1st and goal from the 4 and they had to kick a FG. DiVETO a decent runner when he tucks the ball and runs straight ahead.

    Like

    1. The ACC scheduled the championship game for either 12/12 or 12/19 to allow for playing of postponed games. I can see game played on 12/12 especially since it is a rivalry game or if one or need a win to be in championship game.

      Like

  67. Chris Peak at the pre game warm up says Mack not suited up. That’s no surprise after we learned about his operation just 3 weeks ago.

    Like

    1. So we already knew T.Mack had surgery a few weeks ago – #1 (not a Peay joke).

      Gabe Houy had offseason surgery so he is another who will probably sit – #2

      Camp and Weaver are roommates – #’s 3 & 4

      Mathias & Twyman ? #’s 5 & 6

      Speculating…

      Like

      1. I don’t think we can count Twyman and Mathis in the 6 players speculated as being out today. They have been long gone from the program this year.

        Like

  68. Looks like 20-25K fans in the Notre Dame stadium. This might be the first year that schools intentionally undercount their attendance numbers.

    Like

  69. Hard to predict from a score as to who sits out and who plays, so upsets should not be concerning or even understood at all from the first glance. This will be a wild and crazy ride. I thought the science was clear based on what was reported here…..

    Like

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