2020 Year in Review


What. A. Year.

What a doggone year.

As we wrap it up, all I can say is thanks to all the readers and comments who make the POV what it is. Yes, traffic is down since the Reed Kohberger heyday, (partly a function of me not writing as much, but also probably a function of me not having as much piss and vinegar to spew about, and well Reed was also just a damn good writer), but traffic still pretty damn strong. This year we had over 525,000 page views, and over 55,000 visitors. Those visitors generated over 32,000 comments. That’s 87 comments a day on average, every day of the year. I don’t think there is another free Pitt Panthers sports site in the world that generates that kind of traffic and engagement. Kudos to you Pitt POV’ers.

We’ve had visitors from over 50 countries, from the far east (headlines by China, Malaysia and India) to the Old World (Portugal is actually our top European country, but UK, France and the Netherlands are not far behind), to Latin America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador), and of course Australia (perhaps Christodoulou friends and family tuning in?)

We’ve also had some really good content and discussion. And after all that’s what it’s all abut. Richard Hefner stepped up this year with his “Up Next” series as well as some hard hitting recruiting analysis and I’m happy to say that one of his post’s was the top post for 2020! Great Job Richard and I really appreciate your contributions! Here are the top five posts for the year, as measured by pageviews:

  1. Richard Hefner’s guest post about Power five recruiting (and Pitt) earned top honors with 5,877 views. 2020 Power Five Recruiting (and Pitt).

2. The passing of the “O” clearly resonated with Pitt POV readers as well. My “O”bituary came in at #2, with 4,940 views. An “O”bituary. Pitt mourns the passing of a Legend.

3. Quarterbacks and offensive linemen are always popular topics. A recruiting article about the commitments of QB Nate Yarnell and OL Marco Fugar grabbed the #3 spot with 3,490 views. A Texas (Panther) Quarterback…and Florida Protector.

4. No year would be complete without a robust discussion around an on-campus stadium. 2020 didn’t disappoint. My “Where to Put the Stadium” piece landed at #4 with 3,468 views. Where to Put the Stadium?

5. Rounding out the top 5 was a piece on Football Preseason All-ACC Selections. Spoiler alert, two of them didn’t even play, and one of them didn’t finish the season. 3,251 views. Ten Preseason All ACC Selections.

Honorable Mention: Also if you are looking to capture some of that old Reed Kohberger magic, here is his “Reading Between the Lines” guest post, post-Notre Dame edition. (Came in at #7 overall, but was the top Reading Between the Lines. 2,897 views) Reading Between the Lines – Post Notre Dame Edition.

Have fun reminiscing over these articles and have a safe and happy New Year everyone. Looking forward to hearing from you (and seeing you at some games) in 2021.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

Grading the ‘Duzz

Pittsburgh Sports Now published a “Grading Pat Narduzzi” Poll yesterday. You can find it here if you haven’t seen it yet. By the time I wrote this 1180 people had voted. The majority of them (49% – well I guess technically that’s a plurality) gave Pat a “C”. The next most common grade was “B” (38%), followed by “D” (9%). “A” and “F” were tied at 2% each.

Pat has gone 18-16 in the ACC over the last four years, so a C grade seems about right. (The poll asked PSN’s readers to grade Pat over his full six years, but in all honesty, nobody remembers his first two), and really, do two 8-5 years with Paul Chryst’s players really change anything?

PSN also states that “Pitt’s recruiting in terms of team rankings has no doubt steadily improved under Narduzzi.” They then posted posted the following table:


This Season:  21st
2020:  44th
2019:  49th
2018:  36th
2017:  38th
2016:  29th

So about that. If you actually look at the data, it’s more accurate to say that Pitt’s recruiting in terms of team rankings has steadily declined under Narduzzi, especially if you throw out the 2021 class…because the 2021 recruiting cycle has not been completed yet.

Here is Pitt’s class rank progression expressed linearly in case anyone is interested:

But I’m not here to throw shade on anyone’s interpretation of the facts; I’m just here to comment on the state of Pitt football, and the truth is there are a lot of different factors that go into the Rivals ranking. Including an arcane weighting system that would leave pretty much any normal person scratching their head.

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Post Christmas Perspective

Editor’s Note: What you will read below is not about sports. Nor is it about the holiday season. Nor is it uplifting. If you read on, do so knowing that you will probably feel quite sobered at the end of it. As for me, I think it’s important to publish, even if the timing may be a bit of a downer. Reed, our prayers are with you for you own wellbeing, and I’m sure the family of the victim are thankful for your actions, especially during this holiday season.

To our POV Family, A friend suggested I share something with you all that I was involved with on 12/22/20. I asked Mike if it was OK to do so and he said he wanted to.  First – let me make a couple things very clear.  What you will read below is only factual. It in no way, shape or form captures the  absolute horror of the situation. This wasn’t like in the movies or like you might see on TV – it was brutal, frightening, and the smell of gas, smoke and flames and the sight of flesh burning is something I won’t ever forget. You would think that one could look at what happened with the positive outcome and feel proud in some way. I do not one bit. That isn’t being humble – I just wish with all my heart it never happened.

I write this because I want everyone who reads it to understand the possible severity of decisions you must make and to be prepared to experience something unbelievable and tragic if you are in a position to help. Perhaps more importantly, please know that I beg you to take appropriate safety measures for you and your loved ones so something like this will never happen to you.  I won’t be able to forget certain things no matter how hard I try and, even though I found out last night the victim has lived, I feel no sense of happiness or joy; quite the opposite in fact, but I’ll work on that as I must.  I have been around the block a few times both professionally and personally, but man, this has really thrown me a hard punch.

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POV Postseason Awards

‘Tis the season for postseason awards. And Pitt has had some meaningful awards awarded. Yeah they went 6-5 and that was underwhelming (even in a COVID year), but you have to admit, Pitt still had some pretty strong individual performances. Especially on the defensive line. Patrick Jones All American? Check. Rashad Weaver All American? Check. (They were both two stars by the way. Just in case anyone was wondering.) And then Freshmen All Americans. Jordan Addison? Check. Kalijah Cancey? Check. (A couple of three-stars. Ho-hummm). Oh and lets not forget walk-on-to-all-ACC Center Jimmy Morssisey. Top-three finalist for the Bullsworth Trophy (awarded to the top walk-on player each year). Check.

And so it got me to thinking, maybe the POV should award its own postseason awards, not to players but to posters. After all, this blog is about you. And without the Pitt POV’s loyal readers and commenters, well I’d just be another jerk with a platform. And so I’m going to unilaterally award the first annual Pitt POV awards, (Next year I might even put it up to a vote~) Either way, thanks for reading, posting and being part of the community. I appreciate you all.

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