A New Thread

Yea I have been remiss in writing. Sorry life happens.

Not too much going on in the Pitt world. Except this:

Jeff Capel has covid

But college football was relatively just today…let’s take a jaunt around the Twitter shall we?

The Rose Bowl has been co-opted (defiled?)

None of us are moving to Canada (okay this is technically not football…)

Not that anybody cares but …

ND’s secondary as bad as Pitt’s

David Hale still throwing shade (he was all-in on Pitt pre-season BTW.)

Acc refs apparently aren’t the worst in CFB…

Looking forward to Big Ben as the Panthers’ next WR coach…

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

185 thoughts on “A New Thread

  1. Jerry World or the Death Star was always destined to hold a game. Frankly it puts the Rose Bowl to shame. The Rose is a glorified Pitt Stadium in a warmer climate.


    1. No, you mean if Pitt Stadium had received the many upgrades the Rose Bowl received. Same era, same tradition. Rose Bowl and UCLA value tradition. Our Panthers have had too many ADs who know nothing about Pitt beginning with Long, Pederson, Barnes, Lyke.


      1. Counterpoint: if you don’t knock down Pitt stadium where do you put the Pete. If you don’t have the Pete does Pitt enjoy the basketball Dom once it enjoyed under Howland and Dixon?


        1. Two options: (maybe more)

          1) Play bball at the Civic Arena as Pitt did it’s Big Games(sellouts of 14K or more)
          in the BigEast for many years, includingsome of it’s best years and team in the late 1980’s.
          Charles Smith, Jerome Lane, Demetreous Gore & Company.
          Then when current PPG Paints Arena is done in 2010, play there. Both venues had a larger capacity
          than the 12.500 seat Pete.

          2) Could have built a multi-sports facility that included both football & Bball on campus, instead of
          the current White Elephant, that the Pete is. Football is by far King in revenue. Pitt seems to have
          forgotten that.

          3) All that dominance, never resulted in much….one Elite 8 appearance and Pitt administrators
          thought so little of the Bball program, they let it be wrecked in 2 short years. Wrecked it so thoroughly
          it went winless in Conference play (0-18) after being in the NCAA’s just 2 years prior. And 12 years of the previous 14 before that.


  2. Only watched a few plays in the Bama game, but one of them caught my attention. The Florida tailback went down the left sideline on a wheel-route. We know that play would have been poorly defended by Pitt, with a linebacker probably a couple steps behind the RB. But in the Bama game, the Bama DE picked up coverage on the Florida tailback and blanketed him. The ball was overthrown because the tailback was not open. He was not open because he was covered by a DE!!!

    I was kind of astounded to see a DE running down the sideline stride-for-stride with a tailback. That’s one serious athlete, among a whole team of serious athletes…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you are talking about serious athletes how about the group from Clemson that showed up yesterday to play ND? Anyone else see the WR Williams make that one handed catch down the sideline when he was well covered?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. all of the these teams have a handful of Addisons (or better) on their roster. It’s a different world.

        Did u see the Bama UF game? 52-46. And the defense of both are loaded with blue chips

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Are you guys getting bored with this play-off system and the same 4-5 teams…..losing my interest in watching it… way more interested in the Chanticleers vs the Liberty Flames

    Liked by 4 people

    1. not WAY more interested but it is close and I agree with your point B

      dynasties are way more fun if you are one of those actually participating,,,Pitt basketball was amazingly fun when we were close for that decade

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Right now only Bama and Clemson are locks, IMO.

      ND beat Clemson in OT with the Tiger’s best O and D player on the sidelines. Their only other good win is UNC and I think Pitt would’ve beat the Tar Heels this year. ND on the bubble…

      The Buckeyes have beaten only NW in their six wins – not enough to justify a spot in the final four. tOSU on the bubble…

      Texas A&M beat some good to very good teams and their only loss is to Bama.

      Cincinnati is a team I really don’t care for, but I have a ton of respect for their HC Fickel. I think the Bearcats could beat ND and tOSU. Why not give them a shot? Probably because they have zero top 25 wins – Tulsa was ranked at game time yesterday, but will fall from the top 25 today.

      Coastal has beaten a few good teams that are still ranked, yet they remain outside the top 25. Not sure why? They have a trueFR QB mind you…

      San Jose State is 7-0 and hasn’t played anyone that I’m aware of…

      If ND and tOSU slither into the final four as you suggest, why not set up a G5 playoff with Cincy, Coastal, San Jose State with one loss BYU & LA-Lafayette battling it out in a forth spot playin game. ESPN could make a mint on that series – betting more eyes would watch that than the current format.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I agree BigB, I gave some stats showing that 2 FBS teams have been in 46% of the playoff games. It’s become like Groundhog Day, and even the movie was boring.


    1. If you watch Capel coaching games from the sidelines, his mask covers his chin most of the time, not his nose & mouth. That is with the camera on and warnings/technical fouls looming from the refs.

      Practice is far worse I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the athletes at Bama, Clemson, Georgia and maybe a few others are definitely on a different level.

    also consider that Bama has won 6 of the last 10 SEC titles. LSU won it last year as as well as the national title, Auburn did both as well in 2012

    Clemson has won the last 6 ACC titles, and FSU had won the previous 3. Clemson won 2 national titles and FSU one in that time.

    Ohio St has won the last 4 B10 titles as well as 2014 when it won it all, The last time it didn’t win the league title was 2016 when PSU won

    Oklahoma has won the last 6 B12 championship. But it hasn’t won the national title since 2000. The last B12 national champ was Texas in 2005. (BTW, Kansas has won every B12 basketball tite since 2009 except for 2019)

    The last Notre Dame time was national champs was 1993 when they were co-champs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be interesting to know how much the fans of those teams have to pay in donations, ticket prices and parking to get into the stadium to watch them. Then we could count our blessings. That’s all I got.


  6. College football playoffs have become a joke. Clemson and Alabama most likely back for the championship. Boooooooooring.


    1. Agreed. The college basketball tournament is exciting because any of the teams can win it. We have a dynasty in college football. But not to worry ESPN loves it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly believe OSU should not be in. Not so much because of only 6 games, but because I really don’t think they are one of the top teams this year

      But ESPN would luv Bama, Clemson ND and OSU

      Liked by 2 people

  7. tOSU made the committee look good last time they got in when they didn’t earn it and then won it all.

    It has a lot to do with TV ratings and the biggest draws.

    No doubt these few teams are at a totally different level, especially Alabama and Clemson, Men vs. Boys, year after year they just reload. Definitely can make the case for ND and tOSU.

    I did enjoy watching ND get stomped on. Pitt getting the top 3 d-linemen from the WPIAL and stopping the poaching is a good development that hopefully continues. Too bad Davis didn’t want to play behind those three. At least he didn’t go to ND and especially PSU, which had to sting.

    I just hope Alabama plays ND and Clemson plays OSU in the first round. Otherwise one of unworthy gets to the final.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. note that OSU made the committee look good back in 2014. But in 2016 they made the committee look bad. PSU beat them and also won the B1G championship, but the committee went with the Bucks. Clemson beat them in the semis 30-0.

      And you can be rest assured that I let people in the Cleveland area know that Pitt beat the two teams that OSU lost to that year


  8. Heard Guy Junker on Channel 4 sports say this is one of Franklin’s greatest coaching jobs because of the poor start and strong finish…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A finish against some poor teams. I don’t even know why they played yesterday’s game. Did guy receive a Nitter degree? Or is he just one of state penns lap dogs?


    1. No way that Notre Dame doesn’t get in. They are 1-1 against clemson. They had a bad game.

      Aggies are going to get screwed. No way a big ten team is missing out. And a undefeated one at that. Not their fault it was a covid season.

      Really needs to go to a 6-8 team playoff though. So the Aggies, gators and a team like Cincy could make it.


      1. If the playoffs ever do get expanded, the TV deal will double to $10 billion dollars. The players will have to get paid at that point and along with NIL and the one-time transfer rule, college football will officially be a minor-league sport.

        Conferences should be realigned one more time based off demographics and waive all fees for exiting. One conference should be ND, Louisville, Pitt, WVU, PSU, BC, Syracuse, Rutgers for starters. Maybe Maryland and one non P5 teams is added, such as UConn or Cincy.

        This will never happen of course, but there will be one last time to get this all right and all revenues should be split amongst all the schools. Since it will be professionalized, revenue sharing is the way to go. The Blue Bloods would hate it, but they are outnumbered by the have nots.

        While Pitt’s BoT would hate the professional aspect of the sport, it sure would get wet seeing that money plunked down in front of them.


        1. I like the idea but

          This is like baseball. Small market teams will get subsidized. Large market/blue blood might pay a luxury tax to make more let’s say.

          Who’s to say that pitt won’t just act like the pirates. Put a bad team out every year. Spend very little. And profit the shared revenues. Never reinvest.

          That’s exactly what pitt would do

          I think the best idea I’ve heard is that 30 team semi pro league. The schools with the biggest names and fanbases, similar mission statements and already spending the big bucks.


  9. The committee looks at analytical models like rpi and saragin. Right now it’s bama, suckeyes, clemscum and Cincy. The Domers and Aggies are on the outside looking in.


  10. Covid and other future pandemics will also impact future stadium designs


    More open roof stadiums
    Better filtering and recycling of air
    Automatic sanitation systems
    Smaller yet more spacious stadiums
    No lines for restrooms or eats
    Pod like seating arrangements
    More open 360 concourses where traffic always moves
    Onsite testing and thermal imaging

    Those are just some of the things

    Pitt has an opportunity to be a leader in this effort. The first pandemic certified stadium.


  11. Everyone knew ND would get stomped if Lawrence played. Would like to see strength of schedule comparisons. I think Texas A&M is a better team than OSU. OSU is on ND level, maybe worse.


  12. Brian Kelly was upset that families could not watch their sons play a bowl game in Cali…but now that his team is in the final 4 the kids can’t see their families for Christmas. They need to stay in the bubble. He’s perfectly fine with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think the right teams made it

    You could argue that the pac12 champ and big12 deserve auto bids. And both the Aggies and Cincy have a good case for at large bids

    But it will expand if the tv money is there. And I think the interest will be particularly with the G5 champ and two at larges.


  14. Excuse me but nothing about watching these same teams play again in the playoffs is in any way exciting, interesting, or compelling. YAWN!!! Cancelling the Rose Bowl just another hit to California tax revenues. Soon they will be begging Mexico for a loan. Hate that Jerry “the jerk” Jones gets to benefit.

    Sorry to hear about Coach Capel, but it’s pretty predictable given the state of affairs. Hopefully he is asymptomatic and back on the bench ASAP after he quarantine period. Possibly the start of a Pitt bball team mini-pandemic?


  15. This means he has not intention of getting back on the coaching carousel, because it’s all about what’s good for Urban. It’s laughable to suggest he gives a flying elephant about the players who he has used to his benefit his entire career. When a coach he wanted the shortest path possible to the championship.

    It will happen, but of course only for the $$$$$ not the players. More playoff games, more TV revenue, and more exposure and thus more $$$$ for commentators like this horse’s ass.


  16. I agree with the four teams that made the playoffs. It will come down to Clemson vs. Alabama. I believe Clemson has a good chance of beating Alabama. Florida exposed some of Alabama’s weaknesses. This assumes everyone is healthy for Clemson. Glad Texas A&M did not make the playoffs. Intensely dislike the SEC and most things from Texas!

    Ohio State will lose by a larger score to Clemson than Notre Dame will lose to Alabama. I think Alabama will underestimate them after the horrible game Notre Dame had yesterday.


    1. Pitt has won only two games in this millennium against them. In both cases, it was the final game of the year and Pitt had a losing record and were big dogs. That’s all you have to know about the Canes


    1. the Canes are the greatest example of meaningless bowl games. If there is any team in college that doesn’t show up for games they don’t care about or for opponents they don’t respect, it is the U


  17. I honestly believe A&M, Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma would beat Ohio State this year. And anyone who doesn’t think that the Final 4 is influenced by the potential TV ratings is naive IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pitt women lost at FSU today 67-53. First game this season they haven’t scored 70 points. Shot really poorly. Took 13 more shots than FSU but made 3 less shots. Ouch.

    First rough offensive game for transfer Jayla Everett, who has been a big difference-maker in their previous games.

    BTW, the women’s 5 games with >70 points this season is one more than they had all of last season…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I guess the ACC won(money wise) today if both Clemson and ND are in the game. Now if Clemson wins against OSU and ND upsets Alabama there will be a bigger payoff for the ACC teams. That scenario is not totally impossible.


  20. Looks like all the bowl selections are set except for the Military Bowl in Annapolis. Wonder what is up with that? Seeing the Hoopies will be playing Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl on New Years Eve brings back bad memories of a day and night in Memphis.


  21. Regardless of the circumstances, some of these bowls should be ashamed of the matchups.

    Some of more egregious ones:

    Wake (4-4) vs Wisconsin (3-3) Guess it’s appropriate for the inaugural Mayonnaise Bowl. 2 average
    teams with an average condiment !

    Houston(3-4) vs Hawaii (4-4) New Mexico Bowl. Really, your going to drag Hawaii some 4000 miles
    to play a below .500 team…and wait….not in New Mexico but Dallas, TX. Totally absurd. Cancel plz.

    South Carolina (2-8) vs UAB (6-3) WHAT….that’s not a typo,,,they’re going to have a team with 8 losses
    in a bowl game. More like a Bowel (m) Game. Flush ! But the bowl game is names after something called
    Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Where you have thousands of grown adults (supposedly) dressed up in Pirate costumes for a week. I guess this year,,,,Pirate costumes & masks. Drop a net over this lot plz.

    Mississippi State (3-7) vs Tulsa (6-2) Another smh in disbelief. So I guess if Miss State didn’t beat
    Mizzou this week….hey they probably still would have got a bid. Cause S. Carolina only won 2 games.
    At least there won’t be would be Johnny Depp’s roaming around in Pirate costumes.

    Tennessee (3-7) vs WVCC (5-4) What did EVERY SEC get a bowl bid…..i gotta go check if winless
    Vanderbilt got one. Only comfort is; this is a no win situation for the Hoopies in the Liberty Bowl.

    Arkansas (3-7) vs TCU (6-4) In something called the Mercari Texas Bowl. Arkansas gets rewarded after losing to Alabama….52-3. Yea I wanna watch this instead of cleaning my toilet bowls.
    For those Pitt fans watching though, ya gotta pull for the Hogs. Since they’re called is Sam Pittman.

    Ole Piss (4-5) & Kentucky (4-6) also got nice bowls, which is also appalling as well.
    Ole Piss actually got placed in the Outback Bowl and Kentucky the Gator Bowl.
    Forever tarnishing the history of those bowl games.

    So YES….EVERY SEC TEAM BUT WIN-LESS VANDERBILT AND last years NC, LSU got bowl bids.
    LSU only didn’t get one, cause they imposed a self-ban on themselves for a bowl game. For all their
    many past Recruiting Violations. Wow what a penalty & what a joke, concluding a look at
    this year’s Bowel (M) Schedule.


  22. Northwestern 79 MSU 65. Going into the game MSU was 5 and 1 and NW was 4 and 1(anyone know who the 1 NW loss was to?). Does Pitt have a chance at Louisville tomorrow?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Note that in the final rankings, the ACC had the most teams with 5.

    NC State, which didn’t play either Clemson or Notre Dame, finished 8 and 3 …. which includes a 21 point loss to Va Tech.

    Dare I say if Pitt played their schedule, we would have finished the same …. provided, of course, we would have beaten Pitt

    Liked by 3 people

  24. ND has an easier path to the playoffs if they are in the ACC. Tell them all in or all out, none of this partial membership BS. The ACC doesn’t have the balls to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely correct Tex, it’s all about their TV deal. There is no way they are going to give up that money by jumping into the ACC full time and sharing the spoils.. And the ACC is happy to have them in any shape or form. Does anyone think the BIG 10 wouldn’t take ND under the same agreement they have with the ACC currently?


  25. 9-2 Army is not going to a bowl (due primarily to bowl tie-ins) … while 3-7 Mississippi St is going to a bowl … The Armed Forces Bowl


    1. Worse yet…2-8 South Carolina is going. And 4-6 Kentucky, Basically the whole SEC got a bowl.
      I’m surprised winless Vanderbilt didn’t get one as well.

      See my Bowl Review above.


  26. Hopeful that Pitt shows some progress and doesn’t get blown out tomorrow.
    If they can look like they belong on the same court as Louisville it will show that the pieces
    are coming together. So far really impressed with the young guys composure, but it will be tested
    tomorrow. They all look like they belong already and Sibande, a big plus. Hopefully Horton has settled down
    and will maintain a hot hand.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Since no one has much to do they will watch the bowl games but what an awful slate. The playoffs will be boring as well, till the annual Alabama – Clemson showdown which emphasizes what is wrong with college football.

    Maybe the elite conference with the 20? big boys would make the playing field more level for everyone else, but I doubt it.


    1. I have been advocating a 8, 10 or maybe a 16 team (2 division) elite conference for some time. Each year, it has become more and more apparent of the chasm between the haves and the have-nots.

      I feel the same way about MLB


  28. OK, here is a list, some are obvious, some haven’t been relevant for a while but still…

    Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, tOSU, ND, Oklahoma, Texas, Miami, FSU, PSU, Michigan, USC, Texas AM.

    Probably need another 1-2 from the PAC. Who else can make the grade budget wise? Who else is on the cut line, Tenn, Auburn, the once mighty Nebraska?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The playoffs will expand to 8 teams first. The interest will be there. Hence the tv money.

    Come 2025 when the conference tv contracts expire, there will be yet another realignment. That’s when you’ll see a blue blood conference form comprised of schools with the biggest brands and fanbases.


  30. Somebody mentioned San Jose State..didn’t beat anyone. They beat annually good Boise State on saturday.

    First undefeated season in San Jose State Spartan history.

    Their reward……..The Arizona Bowl. Gee thanks guys.


  31. Additionally San Jose State did something Pitt couldn’t do. And btw both schools sport the blue & gold.
    So Heather can always get a job there and doesn’t have to buy a new wardrobe.

    San Jose State won a Military Bowl.


  32. I think most P5 schools would like to think that on a given year they could catch lightning in a bottle and compete for the national title. The Aggies are one example of a team that has competed over the years but has not quite been successful. Most great coaches got their HC start at smaller schools and conferences, and any P5 school with a competitive budget could possibly get the next great one (even by luck).

    One thing this 4 team playoff system is doing is highlighting that just a few colleges are taking turns at participating, and frankly this is getting rather boring. How many times do Clemson and Alabama need to play for the title before people start turning it off as uninteresting and maybe even fixed? The NFL has it’s issues, but at least there is a feeling that any team could occasionally make the playoffs and maybe even win the Superbowl.


  33. I’m not sure about a super conference. Especially if they only play each other. Automatically half of those teams will have losing records. Some will be consistently losing programs. If you can load up on cream puff rent-a-wins, beat the lower members of your current conference, split with the good teams, and consistently win 9, 10, or 11 games … go to a major bowl and pack your stadium with rabid fans, why would you take the risk? You won’t have packed stadiums for long if you are one of the teams going 3-9 or 2-10 in that super conference. You would have to consider that loss of revenue and prestige against the additional TV money. I don’t know how many would take that risk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because there is no risk. Regardless of record, your school makes over $100 million each year. The tv contract for this semi pro conference would be enourmous. On par with pro football.

      Schools like state and the Aggies will draw 100k regardless of record. And who’s to say their schedule gets tougher. Might get far easier depending on their division.


  34. I hate to say it again, because I love college football, but I concur with many of the observations here, the sport is in a tough spot and is spiraling downward. Right now it’s 3 superteams, with Bama, Clemson & Ohio St., just waiting to see who will fill out the 4th playoff spot only to be clobbered every year. It’s frankly very boring and bad for the sport long term in its current iteration. I’m sure some of you have much better ideas than I do about a solution, and frankly a super conference idea (nobody knows whether this will happen anyway) will not help the problem, and more than likely will worsen it. For starters, I’d expand the playoffs like 1AA does and put as many teams in it as you can logically fit.

    GREAT video above of the Iowa St. offsides situation, that’s the most blatantly public attempt to fix a college football game as I think I’ve ever seen.


  35. Face it guys, the older our bodies get, the more politics becomes intertwined with sport, the more money involves for teams is making it easier and easier to find “things” more enjoyable to do with our remaining heart-beats..

    Over the last 5 years I have attended more PITT games than I have the previous 30 years combined and my re-newed interest had nothing to do with mediocre PITT FB and everything to do with the quality of people JeanieB and I have met through the POV/ Fran and Farmer’s tail-gate…when t’s all said and done it’s those fun times with friends that will be held near and dear.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My thoughts exactly, Bernie. But said better than I could ever have! It’s a shame that people like me gain perspective so late in life. Reminds me of my favorite line from George C. Scott’s “A Christmas Carol” : “God forgive me for the time I’ve wasted.”

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Money drives all. Unfortunately we have to root for ND to beat AL to play Clem for a 3rd time. It means more money for us.
    College sports look to their bank accounts before anything else saying they must do it to pay for the lesser sports they operate. Meanwhile it is ok to pay FB and BB coaches millions.
    Finally a super conference (maybe not us included) will cement this madness to follow Alice down the money rat hole. The NFL loves it.


    1. But what would pitt do with that extra money?

      Hire a new OC? Nope

      Probably buy more Fantas and a better lock for the gate on the Southside practice facility

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Well the playoff system and before that the Championship game ruined the bowl system and New Year’s Day.
    I don’t know if it is politics BigB but it is most certainly Big Money. It has become impossible to compete without huge budgets and even then there are tiers. Michigan can no longer compete even with a seven million dollar coach and a 100,000 seat stadium. The SEC has sucked the air out of the balloon for years now. Good on Clemson and tOSU for being their only competition.

    If there is to be a Super Conference it is all about the money. Hopefully those that don’t make the cut will develop some level on spending limits so there will be more competition. Plenty of good schools left that can have fun on Saturdays and have their own Championships and playoff system.

    Face it the arms race is over and few can compete at the highest level.

    The things that make the NFL strong are the draft and the salary structure. That can’t happen in the college game unfortunately.

    In high school you have the 6A, 5A, 4A etc. system based on school size. That is what is need now in college, based on budgets. It really is too bad, but people will continue to lose interest, if all we get is Clemson vs Alabama every year. Throw in one of the other likely characters when they are down.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. The super conference idea is crazy, and frankly Tex, you are back to only thinking of college sports as some big money machine. Farmers and 1618mt are right. If you simply want to see semi-professional players competing then go all the way and just watch the NFL where these top college players will eventually end up. I wouldn’t want my alma mater just buying wins among a shrinking number of competitors, not to mention that the traditional rivalries would be gone. And some of these “super” colleges would still end up with losing seasons, which is inevitable.

    You would willingly eliminate some minor college sports, Tex, so why the need for FB and BB to make big bucks just to support the English Dept.? BigB is also right that the game day experience and the friendships are why most people go to the games, including the minor sports. Why ruin that to create a semi-pro league, where most schools would play at a lower level? With all of your college experience including your son’s experience at Texas, you just don’t seem to get what the college atmosphere is all about…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do get what it’s about. But it comes down to money. College football is a big business. Greed wins out in the end. And much smarter people than I see this day coming. More college insiders with vast knowledge. I’m just the messenger. The writing is already on the wall. It’s inevitable. So prepare for it now.

      If Gallagher was smart he would sue the nfl in a class action suit. Colleges are a free Minor league system for the nfl. I’d want the nfl to pony up. There are thousands of smart lawyers out there. It’s a case that can be won or at least wrestle concessions from the nfl.


  39. What you all are talking about is actually going to occur in NHL hockey. Pens will be in a bubble and play Wash, Philly, NYR, NJ, LI, over and over 8 games each.


  40. Re-printing a piece I provided many blogs ago, citing some sad statistics about the imbalance in the FBS. Bringing it back up since the subject was raised again in this thread:

    Here’s some fun facts for all to chew on regarding this subject. For purposes of this comment I’m assuming the FBS playoffs for 2020 will be Alabama, Clemson, ND, and OSU.

    Since the first year of the playoffs (2015) there have been (or will be) 24 teams selected to play. During that time 19 slots have been filled by 5 FBS teams. That means less than 4% of the teams in the FBS have been selected to play in almost 80% of the playoff games.

    In total only 10 teams in the FBS have ever played in the FBS playoffs. That means only around 7.5% of the FBS teams have ever been good enough to play.

    Worse than all of this, 2 teams (Clemson and Alabama) have been selected 11 times. That means that only 1.5% of the FBS teams have filled 46% of the 24 available playoff slots.

    Pitt is part of the have not’s representing 96% of the FBS teams. They can’t and never will again, be able to play with the likes of ND and Clemson, which are both part of the 4% of FBS teams eating up almost 80% of the FBS slots..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember your piece very well… excellent read both times!!!

      Boy, what it must have been like when Fordham, Yale and Haaavod played in front of 50,000 rabid fans packed into their stadiums… couldn’t have been any better than that…. just amazing how money ( and power) ruin things….. need more RAH RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH and less RAP….

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Found the following stats on Twitter and thought it did a good job illustrating the trajectory of the program. Most consistent teams from 2019 to 2020 via net pts/drive (pts scored per drive – pts allowed per drive, minus garbage time)

    • Notre Dame +0.0
    • Pitt +0.03
    • Bama +0.04
    • MissSt -0.08
    • Tex +0.12
    • Akron -0.12
    • OklaSt +0.13
    • SMU -0.13
    • OregSt -0.14
    • AppSt -0.15


  42. I don’t see the super TV league as viable for one big reason. It is pure folly to assume that when some of the teams in this league begin to annually show a losing record (which mathematically MUST happen if all the games are played against the best 15-20 teams in the nation) that their fans will continue to show up in droves, just because their school makes $100M.

    Pitt joined the ACC and its revenue increased dramatically but its attendance stayed sadly the same. You don’t excite fans by spending more on coaches, or fancier exercise rooms, or better meals for the players, or bigger recruiting budgets, etc. When the bottom half of the teams become mediocre, the same problems that the have-not’s suffer will arise.

    I agree money talks, but donations dropping along with attendance after 5-6 years of some of the currently elite teams, becoming .500 teams will offset some of the TV revenue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fans will show. The Aggies have been poor to mediocre for a long time. They have no trouble filling a stadium.

      Fans go for the experience. Tailgating. Meeting friends. Networking. Rivalries and tradition. The actual game is just icing on the cake

      And again who’s to say that their new division will be more difficult that their existing one.

      Plus that extra money helps those schools that don’t have the big revenues. Conference sharing creates a level playing field. It comes down to how you invest it.


    2. I’ve been to many a tailgate at southern schools. Fans will always show regardless of the record. The real game is not played on the field.

      I don’t think the same can be said of northern schools or non state schools.

      Pitt is a unique case study. Urban school in the north. School does very little to use sports as a connection. School spirit is poor. Students don’t identify with the school via sports. It’s a cultural thing.

      It’s like being a Cubs fan. Ever attend a game at wrigley. You will show up for 100 years to support a loveable loser. If you win a title in your lifetime, it’s all worth it. Makes it all the more special. The pain and suffering is rewarded. You can now die and go to heaven. And if you go to Hell, you’re hardened for it.


  43. Don’t think the ncaa, as ineffective as it sometimes appears, would relinquish control of the top 30 fbs fb teams.
    Another approach might be to form a true NFL minor league sans college involvement. Let the so called student athletes play and forego the student part of the equation.


    1. Agree why waste $$$ on kids who really aren’t there to pursue a degree… doe a disservice to all ( student/parents)who are paying and/or working their way towards a functional degree… we all know our own stories and it ticks me off to watch these “ players” and how the system/ leaders have become enablers….I want pure college ball played by genuine student athletes….. dream on BigB


    2. That is what is being predicted. The NCAA would have no part. It becomes a true semi pro and minor league system with college affiliation in name only. For the fans.


  44. Good 24 hours for Pitt punters. Andy Lee throws a dime on a fake punt to help power the Cardinals to victory and keep them in playoff position and Kirk Christodoulou is named second team All-America. So happy for Christodoulou who almost got ran out of town after that disastrous game against PSU a couple years ago. That’s what college is about, growth and development. Props to the Aussie!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. And big praise is due to FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN DEFENSE END RASHAD WEAVER who joins a proud lineage of Pitt men to earn that honor. Made all the more impressive by the fact that he was returning from a serious injury. I believe Weaver is also in the running for the NCAA’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. I salute you, Rashad!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. If I could be King of NCAA FB for one day….KingB decrees all freshmen players must meet the same entrance requirements as all in-coming fresh… problem solved….

    I am friends with a couple of retired coaches who played and coached in traditional black colleges near-by. Both lament how the quality of their leagues have deteriorated now that Div 1 has made FB accessible to players to attend….makes it easier for the NFL to locate the concentrated talent…. Donnie Shell and Mel Blount took a little work to locate… same with Mean Joe Green


    1. Those great Steeler teams were loaded with unknowns from tiny colleges.

      John Stallworth- Alabama A & M,
      LC Greenwood- Arkansas AM & N,
      Dwight White- East Texas State,
      Ernie Holmes-Texas Southern,
      Mike Wagner-Western Illinois,
      Henry Davis-Grambling,
      Mel Blount – Southern U & AM College,
      Donnie Shell-S.Carolina State,
      Joe Greene-North Texas State,
      Terry Bradshaw-Louisiana Tech,
      Jack Lambert-KentState,
      Frank Lewis-Grambling,
      Sam Davis -Allen College (use to play basketball when he was a Steeler),
      Glen Edwards- Florida A & M,
      Frenchy Fuqua-Morgan State,

      And several others. The Steelers were the first NFL team to really scout small black colleges.
      The AFL had been doing it for years, teams like the KC Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. And they
      were 2 of the dominant teams of the old AFL. So there ya go.


  47. Time marches on, Pitt’s rivals used to include Fordham, Carnegie Mellon and Washington and Jefferson.
    Then for years PSU, ND and WVU. It will take some time but if the ACC survives the next iteration new rivalries will form. But as Taxing Matters shows in black and white the current formula in college football is fubar, and probably won’t last for long. Greed will win out is some new form.


    1. Not overly optimistic that Pitt will develop serious rivalries in the ACC. Generally, rivalries form for one of a few reasons:

      Proximity (claim to regional supremacy)
      Teams meet in a number of high stakes games over the years
      Teams represent some sort of cultural divide between the fan bases (urban v. rural, public v. private, flagship v. land grant, etc.)
      Some sort of scandal or allegation of dirty play between the teams

      Pitt doesn’t have a true neighbor in the ACC, so #1 is out. Pitt isn’t at the stage where it’s good enough to consistently play in high stakes games, so #2 doesn’t apply. There aren’t a lot of great candidates for #3, but Virginia Tech is a developing option since it does have the rural land grant thing going, Pitt upsets Va Tech a good bit, and they are both in greater Appalachian region. Nothing jumps out for #4 so if you’re hard up for that rivalry bad blood, better lean into the Hokie hatred.


  48. fwiw, the first bowl, Thw Myrtle Beach Bowl is currently on ESPN. App State currently leads North Texas (4-5) 14-0 after one. Knew you would be interested


  49. Tex – I can’t figure out how you are struggling to understand how a league with the best 15 schools playing each other would not have a much tougher schedule than they currently are playing. What are we missing?

    It is so obvious why the schedules would be overwhelmingly tougher, and you are certainly a bright guy, so can you explain how Clemson’s schedule, for example, isn’t tougher if they have to play OK, tOSU, ND, PSU, and USC instead of WF, NC St, Syr, BC, and Pitt. Your confusion is astonishing.

    Also, the reason A&M draws big is because the vast majority of the home games they play, they are heavily favored and expected to win. It will change when they are underdogs on the majority of their home games. Fans don’t go to watch losing teams, again a fact the I can’t see how you miss?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aggie fans will show up regardless. You obviously don’t understand an Aggie or most southern schools. It’s a religion. You keep showing up each Saturday regardless of the sermon.

      And yes them being in a division with Texas and Oklahoma would be easier on them. They play LSU and bama now.

      Nitters not being in a division with the buckeyes is easier. Nitters would love to have Miami and FSU on their schedule as opposed to Michigan or suckeyes.

      And if everyone does play a tougher schedule, who’s to say that bama and clemson will always go undefeated. Clemson won’t have pitt to beat up on and pad their wins each year.


      1. C’mon Tex you are once again only considering half the argument that proves your theory wrong. I provided the example of switching of 5 teams on the schedules which more than explains my side of the argument, don’t weakly argue 2 games to try to prove your theory, as flawed as it is.

        You’ve never seen the Aggies in the situation I have described. Nebraska used to be a huge fan base but lots of empty seats now that things have changed to their detriment.

        We’ll know soon enough, but I don’t see any way the best teams do anything to change the incredible competitive advantage they currently have, which will undoubtedly be the case with a super league. Money makes the world go round, but as the President of tOSU said, he works for the head coach, not the other way around.

        This was proven in fact when the B1G Presidents said “no season” in 2020, but then subserviently complied with the demands of their coaches and played games after all. Football coaches rule the FBS, they will do what is best for their winning %. They already make millions.


        1. Only four schools have that advantage. It ain’t the Aggies. They should have gotten in. No school passes up $100 million plus dollars if offered. Worst case the Aggies win six instead of 8 games each year. The money makes it a level playing field. Up to the school to know how best to invest. I don’t see any school going undefeated. You’ll have two and three loss teams in a playoff format. Heck a 7-9 cowboy team might make the playoffs this year. The nfl would love it and tv networks. Biggest following in the states regardless of record.


  50. sometimes you have to admire Dabo. He knew there was a great chance that Clemson would be facing Ohio St yet he voted the Buckeyes 11th … the lowest of any coach that voted


  51. Ulterior, you missed maybe the most important point regarding rivalries. It has to be a 2 way street. Sorry but Virginia Tech’s rival is and always will be Virginia. Pitt has no rival game in the ACC just like PSU has no rival game in the Big10


    1. Our Big Rival in the ACC is Syracuse. Cuse should hate us as we’ve beaten them like a rented mule for the last 20 years. And besides that, the ACC says they are our Rival. I kind of despise the Tarholes much more. But we need to start beating them for them to even take notice of us.


    2. I agree. I was trying to stretch to give the benefit of the doubt. I probably should have said that Va Tech is the closest Pitt will come to an ACC rivalry, even if it doesn’t meet the true standard for a rivalry.


      1. Possible but he had injuries at Pitt before the cancer. He does miss a lot of games. Power running back is tough. That’s why I said he would last longer as a D-End. Make more money too if he could get to the QB frequently.


  52. In order to fix major college sports, Congress must step in and give the NCAA more power. The NCAA should be able to limit coaching staff size and salaries so that coaches don’t jump at higher paying jobs. They should also limit outside money sources and control outside groups such as the AAU, booster organizations and corporate sponsors such as Nike from having access to players and coaches.

    The NCAA must eliminate the current situation that the top programs are minor leagues for the NBA and NFL, and should be able to suspend coaches for infractions. If a player doesn’t stay 4 years, he/she should have to repay their scholarship money to the school. The NCAA needs to get back to making college sports for the players again, and that doesn’t include paying them a salary. The NBA and NFL are certainly free to create a minor league development system if they so choose, and the top players don’t need to go to college if they only want sports.


  53. hey Tex, Napier reportedly just turned down Auburn; last year he did the same to Mississippi St. Both M Campbell and L Fickell had no interest in Mich St apparently the same in Illinois this year. I assume they are all awaiting a call from Heather.

    But seriously, if salary is so important, why are these guys turning down SEC and B10 money?


    1. They may feel they are not up to the challenge. To difficult to succeed. To much pressure to perform. Honestly, he needs to look into pro coaching. More money, better benefits and pension, easier job.

      Narduzzi has an easy job and he knows it.

      Capel should also be grateful and I think he is and truly likes the city.

      Money isn’t everything. Unless you are a school that needs the money to run and subsidize a unprofitable business.

      Having a hands off boss also helps to some degree


    2. Need to understand the behind the scenes situations and coaches are getting more intelligent so they don’t jump at jobs. Take our own. No head coach wanted to come to Pitt because of their horrific AD and lack of support. Haywood, Graham, and Chryst (to complete his internship).

      There are also expectations that coaches are required to achieve to, whether it is championships, meetings with donors, etc. Some don’t want to do that or even know how to do those things. This is actually where Pitt has an advantage. It is much easier for a head coach to come into Pitt and get to a national championship or conference championship, playing mostly mediocre teams. It is more difficult to do so in the SEC. You either win or get fired. Not many land in a place where the AD is in over their head and is afraid to make a move. Blame C19 this year, immaturity of line last year, lack of continuity the year before. Next year it will be all the nfl talent that we lost, but noone will say how did we go 6-5 with all them there draft picks. Awful coaching and awful administration, that’s how.


    3. Any SEC job outside of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU is basically an appointment to be fired in several years. Expectations are too high relative to the institutional disadvantages those schools have compared to their competitors. Better to take your 750K to $1.5 million annually at a lesser program until a top shelf opportunity presents itself.


  54. I used to be a proponent of the BCS then an advocate for the playoffs … and then expansion of the playoffs … but, I think I’ve settled on the original bowls were the best. There is usually only one great team every year, occasionally 2 and rarely 3. Expanding the playoffs won’t do anything competitively at the top. The polls did a good job selecting national champions and it lead to better overall bowl schedules. I don’t think the final polls would have differed much from the BCS/playoff championships in the 2K’s. The greatest regular season was good enough and the occasional drama of who was best made for fun a debate that was completely hypothetical. Kind of weird how I’ve completely circled back on this. The NCAA had it right all along. If there was more competition at the top, the playoff would work but there is just is too big a chasm from best two or three teams each year.

    Liked by 3 people

  55. Tex is right in that, regardless of how bad the teams are in the South, they draw huge crowds.
    And that includes Texas, which is part of the South and they were part of the Confederacy.

    South Carolina has never won the SEC and generally is average to below average.
    Yet they draw 97% to 100% of capacity, which is 80,250. And this is going back 40 + years,
    as I remember and was there when Pitt traveled to Columbia in the early 1980’s and the
    place was packed to the rafters.

    Arkansas has never won the SEC and generally average to below average.
    Another place they draw 90 to 100% of capacity, which is 72,000.

    The only team in the SEC that doesn’t draw well or to capacity is Vanderbilt. And that’s understandable.


  56. The only 4 non-SEC or Texas schools that can rival the fan bases of the Southern schools are:

    Michigan which is still #1 since The Big House has the largest capacity at 110,000
    (Michigan is still playing to 102% of capacity, even though the program has dipped)

    Ohio State at 105,000 (playing at 104% of capacity)

    Pedo State at 107,000 (but they don’t play to capacity anymore (avg’g about 96% of capacity
    the last 5 years)

    Nebraska at 81,091 (the Huskers are still playing to 104% of capacity over the last 5 years despite
    them only having 1 winning season in that time period)


    1. Is the SEC still the gold standard?

      Simply put: Yes. Even at its lowest average attendance in 18 years (72,735), the SEC still led all other Power 5 conferences by a significant margin.

      The Big Ten averaged 65,408, the Big 12 55,945, the ACC 48,381 and the Pac-12 47,082.


  57. Looks like Matt Canada should return to college ball. He’s had no discernible positive impact on the Steelers…

    Go Pitt.


  58. The stillers are too beat-up to make any noise in the playoffs. Ben’s arm looks half strength after throwing all those passes this season.

    If the nfl forms a minor league, not likely, that might go a long way to leveling the playing field in college football. The non-student athletes wouldn’t waste their time pretending to be interested in a college education.


    1. The athlete student is not really pretending today. Every P5 school has them. Some more than others. “We ain’t here to play no school” Cardale Jones.


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