All-ACC Analysis

As Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones continue to rack up All-American Awards, our All-ACC analyst, Richard Hefner, put together a nice run down on the 2020 All-ACC team. I’ve been sitting on this for about a week, so my apologies if some of the data is a little bit dated. – Michaelangelo

The 2020 ALL ACC Team

The 2020 ALL ACC Team and (some) Recruiting Info

by Richard Hefner

The 2020 All ACC Team was announced in late December. Below is a link to the press release. If you have not read the release, I suggest you do. It does add some detail to the first team selections.

Tigers, Irish Lead All-ACC Football Team – Atlantic Coast Conference (theacc.com)

For a quicker read, you can also review Mike’s 12/22/2020 article.

All ACC (pittpov.com)

If you decided not to read the ACC press release here are a few details you may want to know:

 The selections were chosen by a vote of a select 49-member media panel and the league’s 15 head coaches (64 total voters). I have no idea who are included in the media panel. Wish I did. Three points are awarded for each first-team vote, two points for each second team vote and one point for each third-team vote.

 On offense, the voters vote for 3 WR’s, 2 each RB’s, OT’s, OG’s, and 1 each QB, TE, C, and AP (all purpose) for each All ACC team. An AP player is normally a RB who also is a pass receiving threat. But WR’s can be honored for being a running threat – think 2019 Maurice FFrench who made 3’rd team All ACC as both a WR and AP.

 On defense voters vote for 3 LB’s and 2 each DE’s, DT’s, CB’s S’s for each team.

 Voters also pick 1 each P, PK and a SP (special team return specialist) for each team.

 That is a total of 27 positions to be filled on each of the 3 team or a total of 81 positions to be filled. That is a total of 10,368 individual points awarded if all ballots are completely filled.

 The ACC also has an Honorable Mention (HM) category. This year the cutoff is receiving 20 points, the same as in 2015,2016 and 2019. In 2017 and 2018 the cutoff was 25 points. Those players not selected for any of the 3 teams make the HM group if they receive more than 20 vote points.

There were 2 major changes to the All ACC team presentation in the ACC press release. Obviously, Notre Dame players were included. I expected that to occur. The second was the discontinuance of the players eligibility status. In prior years, the ACC reported if the honoree was a Freshman, RS-freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. It does not really matter but it took me a little while longer to gather data.

The above is my understanding of how the All ACC team is selected. The below starts my observations, comments and opinions.

In total, the 134 players received 20 or more points to fill the 27 positions on the 1’st, 2’nd and 3’rd teams (82 names – there was a tie in one category). The HM group had 52 names. All together the 3 teams and the HM group accounted for 9,677 points of the 10,368 total points. That is 691 points given to players who did not make the HM list.

The 134 total honorees were 12 more than the 122 selected for the 2019. Average number of honorees from 2015 – 19 was 120.6. The additional players selected are due to the addition of Notre Dame.

In Mike’s article Grading the ‘Duzz, he did not include the three Pitt players who made the HM list. I disagree with that decision and I include them. If the ACC puts out an ALL list that has HM’s, it is included for a reason and that is good enough for me. Other conferences have a HM group and others do not. BTW, two PITT players where 1 point away from tying for a 3’rd team position.

In describing the positions that are voted on , I mentioned the AP position. Since this position is normally a combination rusher/receiver, there is a chance for duplicate names being chosen. Like most years I have reviewed we have duplication of names. For 2020 we have this list:

One set of names is different than the others. Can you find the odd set and why?

In the 2019 All ACC team, there was 5 duplicate name sets. The odd quirk was Pitt’s own Maurice French who made the list for 3 different positions WR-3’rd, AP-3’rd and SP-HN.

There were 8 walk-ons who made All ACC.

To decide if a player was a walk-on, I first used 24/7 team roster list. If you click on a name, you receive either his HS recruiting profile or an “end of the internet” message. I think that is cute. If you receive his HS profile, there is either a ranking or not. Sometimes there is a year of commitment. In either case, I go to Rivals (or my downloaded by year commitment list) and check for his name. Lastly, I use Rivals recruit search function and search for his name. If a name does not show up anywhere, he is a walk-on.

While we Pitt fans rightfully honor Jimmy Morrissey for being a walk-on, we forget that Alex Kessman came to Pitt as a walk-on. Blewitt was still on the payroll at that time and Kessman was promised a scholarship once Blewitt graduated.

Overall, 4 of the 8 were either punters or kickers.

Transfers are playing a larger role in the college football world. With the NCAA transfer portal initiated in February 2018, the tracking of players who wish to transfer is easier to track. How did some of the transfers fare on the All ACC team. There were 10.

Would Miami have ended the 2020 season with an 8-2 ACC record without the 5 transfers on this list? IMO, no.

That ends my observations. I truly believe you waded through all this verbiage waiting and hoping for data. Well, here it comes.

First up is slicing & dicing of All ACC selection by school by team. I even put in a subtotals for the Mike crowd who only believe that 1’st, 2’nd and 3’rd teamers are the only ones who matter. Sorry Reed, you will have to do your own 1’st & 2’nd team subtotals.

The below chart breaks down the All ACC by Rivals recruiting rating by year.

The next chart breaks down all the honorees by Rivals rankings and by year.

Note: I removed the duplicate 6 rankings. That is why there is only 128 listed. The color coded blocks where the ones adjusted. FYI, the blocks were all adjusted by 1 except the 2017 5.7 block adjusted by 2.

In a normal year, all of the players in the 2015 and 2016 class would be out of eligibility. (Except for the occasional medical redshirt additional year of eligibility.) I expect most of this 2016 class to move on to take a chance at the wheel of fortune NFL draft or FA. I also expect a number of 2017 and 2018 honorees, especially those in skill positions, to take their shot at the wheel.

My last chart is limited to true ACC players. I am excluding the 17 ND players, the 6 duplicates, the 8 walk-ons  and the 10 transfers. (Note: one of the 19 ND selections was a transfer. Another was a duplicate). The last chart summarizes ACC recruiting by Rivals ranking by team over the last 5 years (2016 -20). I also listed the teams alphabetically by division.

The percentage of 5 stars and probably 4-stars is understated. Of the 19 Clemson 5-stars, 6 were from the 2016 and 2017 team. None of them were on the 2020 Clemson roster. Probably the same for 4-stars. But what is interesting is the 5.2  2-stars. 2.8% of all recruits but 13.2% of the All ACC. And it is not all punters and kickers. Just one of the 5 were. One even made first team. A lot of good development and scouting on that 2-star group.

The transfer portal has become a both a bane and a boon to recruiting. I did a quick review of the Florida State and Miami transfer portal activity and those teams combined have lost 11 4-stars to the portal and potentially another 8. (I get my portal data from 24/7 using 24/7 ranking. Recently, I decided to add Rivals ranking to that database. I have not completed all teams.)

It has become a boon also. Review the transfer chart above. Good mixture of stars and obviously impact. Pitt has tried to fill holes in the past. Hopefully Minor & Devonshire have the impact of DJ Turner.

One final thought. There is favoritism in the voting. My most nefarious example is the selection of Florida State 5-star DT Marvin Wilson to the 2’nd Team. He played in 6 of the 9 game FSU played. He started 5. His stat line (per the NCAA site) is 17  tackles (11 solo, 6 assist), 1 sack, 2 solo TFL, 1 fumble recovery, and if I read it right, 3 blocked punts. In homage to Ike, here is Calijah Kancey’s info. He played in all 11 Pitt games. He started 4. His stats line is 27 tackles (12 solo, 15 assist), 1.5 sacks, 5 solo TFL, 4 Assist TFL & 2 PBU’s. I am not saying Kancey is All ACC material, but neither is Wilson. The only reason he made this year’s list  is because he was a 2019 1’st teamer (along with Jaylen Twyman).

That end my review. I had more but it is already way to long. I just reviewed my article and notice no mention of THE Citadel. But now I have, and my streak continues.

255 thoughts on “All-ACC Analysis

  1. Rich, good article.

    Expect the transfer portal to grow. It won’t be to fill holes in the roster any more. It won’t be all grad transfers and misfits. It will be used for full recruiting. Too many good players looking for a better fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NRS – good observation on the transfer portal. Like last year, I am planning to do a recruiting article on all the ACC teams 2021 class. I am now also planning to add an article on the transfer portal and its impact on teams.
      There are good players in the portal not only from P5 teams but from G5. I wasn’t surprised at the 2-star 5.2 Liberty transfer to Louisville Kei’tel Clark making 2’nd team. As a true freshman in 2019, he was a stud at Liberty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. more thought-provoking data …. another great job, Rich.

    Yes, there is media bias and agenda when voting … whether it is for teams and conferences in rankings, or for players of certain teams within the conference. We all knew what we were getting into back in Pitt’s 1st year in the ACC when the ACC media voted Aaron Donald 2nd team in the pre-season poll.

    But overall, Pitt has been well represented in the post season polls which are of course more important.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Speaking of Aaron Donald, an article in today’s Wall Street Journal about T.J. Watt describes A.D. this way: bigger and faster than T.J. Watt, “the one-man wrecking crew for the Los Angeles Rams.” Nice to see Pittsburgh folks in the WSJ.

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      1. TJ is deserving over AD this year. Hands down. It’s not close.

        When history is written both will be in the HOF. And there will be little separation.

        Don’t have your Pitt blinders blind you to what TJ has done.

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      2. I don’t think it was media bias or an agenda with AD. Candidly, Pitt was factually playing ball against lower competition in the Big East, so to me, it was a conservative pick out of the gate because they just didn’t know. Now everyone knows! Celebrate that.

        More succinctly, conspiracy theories are awesome, but in this case, probably not for the reasons set forth herein. Just because you made AAA allstar team as a shortstop, doesn’t mean you get slotted in as an allstar in the big leagues.

        Maybe Nard thought Jerry had an agenda or southern slant by keeping Pitt out of the top25 earlier in the season too.

        Look when I was on the farm team and made it up to Green Acres, I had to prove myself. The Green Acres media trashed me and disrespected me. Even Mr. Ed, gave me some crap. Made me better.

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    1. Hated writing papers. By my 3’rd semester, I’d register for a class, attend the first class & either keep going or go the the registrar and drop it depending on if the prof would call for more than one paper. By my junior year, I had an idea who didn’t require papers an would sign up for their classes.

      My data collection now is a function of my old life as an accountant, a subject I enjoy knowing more about and plenty of time to fill.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Richard – my father worked for many years for the IRS. He was hired as a clerk when he returned from WWII. Worked his way up to the point where he was auditing the tax returns of Gulf Oil… My head hurts just thinking about that job…

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        1. John – Back story to this but my first job after I went back to school and took enough accounting hours (24) to call myself an accountant was working for the IRS as a revenue agent, I was much happier when I transitioned to manufacturing accounting.

          Hats off for your father.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. There once was. In the deepest depths of Mordor, I found a chart so fair. But Gollum that evil one, crept up and stole it away from me. But I ramble on.

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  3. Rich – great article for sure.

    Again, I point out that comparing apples to apples is best. In the example of the FSU DL that received higher honors when compared to our own Klancy, you can look at it statistically and make that leap which is fair. What would be more fair and even more difficult for any researcher, would be to determine whether the FSU DL was double or triple teamed and over what period of time etc. That is why to me, stats are squishy.

    The devil is in the details, but noone would ask for a deeper dive when you were just making a nice point! Give Ike’s guy a +1. I love the numbers. It would be great to look at the starting rosters of the top 25 teams and see what the star distribution is. And then determine if there is a correlation with W’s and L’s.

    I just put an empty elmer’s glue bottle in Mr. Ed’s stall. We haze here all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. meant to type hay zing……….

          just so we are clear, no animals were injured during the above reported incident.

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    1. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has not released a 2020 All ACC team. I my be wrong but I believe they take into consideration the type of stats you wish to consider. I am looking forward to comparing PFF’s take compared to the media/coaches take on who is on the All ACC team.

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  4. This could have been the Year….Pitt was the school that saved the ACC from going an o-fer…in Bowl Season.

    Instead…..Pitt punted !

    Again another missed opportunity by the schmucks in charge.

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  5. To follow up on NRS comment on the transfer portal.

    At least one person on the 2020 All ACC has entered the portal. Nykeim Johnson 2’nd team SP from Syracuse.

    He was 1 point away from tying DJ Turner for 1’st team.

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    1. Should have waited a few hours. He will be transferring to Kent State. The HC at Kent was his old position coach at Kent.

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  6. From my stall, I would 100% have the coaching staff make contact and offer all 5 stars and 4 stars if talented enough. The reason is that more and more will be going into the portal and it is best to have some sort of established relationship that you can pick-up with once the kid decides to transfer. Maybe a portal coach, can balance out the port o potty coaches currently on staff.

    When eliminated from actual contention of signing the athlete, it would make sense to reach out and advise the athlete student that if they go to the big program and it doesn’t work out, we will be there for you. Who knows, it may land one or two legit stars over time. It only takes a little extra work.

    Hobie, I would post that again. 🙂

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    1. The Hooterville recruiting area weakened after Betty Jo, Bobbie Jo and Billie Jo’s kids grew up and moved to Pixley.

      Media mogul Sam Drucker stopped delivery of the Hooterville Times due falling local readership. They went digital and it’s behind a pay wall. If you read it, he will pay you. It’s Hooterville after all, where most things don’t make sense.

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  7. a few CFB notes ..

    — Pitt will not have line up this year against Va Tech QB Hendon Hooker in Blacksburg because he transferred …

    — to Tennessee where Pitt will line up against him in Knoxville

    — Jim Harbaugh has just signed a 5 year extension at Mich will he will get a base of $4M plus incentives that are worth another $4M

    — $4M, that is what LSU is paying DC Bo Pelini in a lump sum buyout

    — 4 different Alabama players won national awards last night

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heck of an article, Richard. I must admit that my brain would have to ponder the tables a while longer to get their full benefit.

    But I think your compilation just reinforces my long held belief that aside form Clemson, Miami, FSU, and maybe UNC, you could shuffle the rest of the team’s recruiting classes and deal them out randomly and no one would know the difference…

    I like ike! 👍

    Go Pitt. (And Go ike!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. PittPT thanks for posting the article…. noticed Wisconsin’s 4 and 5 ⭐️ recruits were Olineman… wish the same could be said of PITT…IMO PITT just didn’t have the pedigree coach to excel at that important piece of the organization.

    Richard, thanks for your work… surely gives my ole gray matter a work-out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, this past OC lasted a total of 9 games with the program, and the previous one lasted 2 seasons. But they went out and spent big bucks even in this time of Covid to get a very accomplished OC. Remember. they did the same a year ago when they grabbed the BC OL Coach.

      Just another example of the chasm between the haves and the have-nots

      Liked by 1 person

  10. BigB, I don’t know if it is the pedigree coach or the pedigree program or the pedigree style of offense that influences OL to go to a certain school. If you go the Wisconsin football coaching staff right now you will see … https://uwbadgers.com/sports/football/coaches

    Joe Rudolph — Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/OL

    Then if you click on his name, it will take you to his bio which lists as Coaching Experience the following:

    • Ohio State graduate assistant (2004-05)
    • Ohio State strength coordinator (2006)
    • Nebraska tight ends coach (2007)
    • Wisconsin tight ends coach (2008-11)
    • Pittsburgh offensive coordinator (2012-14)
    • Wisconsin associate head coach/offensive coordinator
    (2015-present)

    Yes, the current UW OL coach has no prior OL coaching experience as listed in his own bio

    But what Wisconsin has had since the arrival of Barry Alvarez in 19990 is a history of power football which has put several OL and TE in the NFL over the years.

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    1. Wisconsin just plucked two 4 stars players from PA – OL and TE.

      The Badgers can go anywhere in the US to get good players.

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  11. Wow, ND hired Cinci DC. If you watched Cinci play this year, their D was all about speed. 3 DL and lots of fast guys behind them. That is a big shift for ND.

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  12. Looking at Cinci in comparison to Pitt. The majority of their players come from Ohio, including 30 from Cinci alone. So they are getting everyone that tOSU doesn’t want, plus tOSU has a National footprint.

    This is what Pitt has lost no local stronghold of players and even the state is down.

    That being said, I think if Cinci was in the ACC they would be another middle of the road team.

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    1. Cinci’s recruiting foot print would expand if they were in the ACC. I agree, they would be middle of the road. That guy sure can coach.

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  13. Cincy would be like Louisville. A middling team with an occasional run.

    There really is no elite team in the Coastal. All schools have won it once.

    Miami is the only one that recruits elite talent.

    The divisions should really be geographic

    I’d love to see Cincy, Louisville, wvcc, cuse, BC, Virginia and va tech in the same division as Pitt. I think it would be very competitive with natural rivals.

    And Pitt would still have a recruiting pipeline to Florida. They don’t need Miami for that.

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    1. Isn’t that what Pitt is a middling team with an occasional run?

      Unfortunately our runs have fallen flat. The Canada year and this year. the first with no defense and this year with weak offense and a Covid nightmare schedule.

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      1. Pitt football runs in 40 year cycles…approximately. Mid 1930’s to mid 1970’s was 40 years.

        Early 1980’s to ??????

        Hey we’re due for another Cycle to hit . Somebody text Heather, Duzz & the Atom Counter.
        I’m sure they’re not aware of it.

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    1. Yes

      Narduzzi could NOT defend a jet sweep, power running game or accurate and efficient quarterback.

      Canada would have slaughtered him. Canada should be Pitts coach today.

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    2. I believe the 2016 team was better because this is the era of offense. And at least it could score with best teams it faced. On the other hand, hard to acknowledge a team as being really good that gave up 64 pts in a game

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          1. but the flipside of that is that the offense guru Paulie, in his 3rd year, scored only 10 points vs Akron.

            BTW, do you know who Voytik’s back-up was that year? Freshman Adam Bertke, the only other QB on the roster. And again, that was PC’s 3rd year

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            1. my bad, Trey Anderson was the back-up and appeared in 3 games. But Bertke was the only QB PC recruited from high school in his 3 years here that was on Pitt’s roster.

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  14. but have we had a legit run in 18 years? Consider …

    the 2009 team lost to both of the ranked teams it played … and the 2004 “BCS” team won a 4-team tie-breaker in a 7 team league, which of course ended in a disastrous bowl loss

    I maintain that the 2nd half of 2001 and 2002 was the only legit run Pitt had since the 80s. I think 2002 was the best team in this period yet it still lost the ‘Swinging Gate’ game and could not score in 4 tries from the 10 yard line vs WVU

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    1. I was at that fiesta bowl. Knew pitt wouldn’t be back at a prime bowl destination for decades. I was proven right. Left my wife and new born home for the privilege of seeing that disgrace. Attended with my good friend Pat. Vote for him for judge this spring! He’s Irish.

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      1. The game that showed Walt’s time was definitely up.

        An extremely slow team that benefited from a God awful Big East. His recruiting dipped so bad it seemed Walt and his staff were lazy and just offered a bunch of two stars from Ohio hoping to strike gold. Fat chance. Some of those wonderful recruits include:

        Larry Tumblin, DE, 2002
        Eric Fritz, DT, 2002
        Michael Hearns, DE, 2003
        Allen Richardson, DB, 2003
        Mike DeLuca, OL, 2003
        Zach Slates, OL, 2003
        Chase Clowser, 2004
        Steve Walker, 2004

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        1. I knew Pitt would lose when I saw how excited the players were at the hotel. They all looked lethargic. The hotel was in Scottsdale. I hung out in the lounge and bar. Met some good pitt fans. And then tailgated in a closed off vip area before the game. Scored vip passes from some hot waitress at a local establishment. Good times.

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    1. yes, the game was cancelled a few days ago. But it irks me just the same that I can watch just about every WVU BB and FB game as well as nearly all Cincy Bearcat FB games, but less than half Pitt FB and BB games on my cable system

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        1. Hey Tex….you’ll get a kick out of this. Texas’s all-time most winning coach, Darrell Royal, while winning 11 Southwest Conf Championships and 3 National Championships.

          Darrell Royal was an Oklahoman and was an All-American for OU. lol

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  15. Richard, great work on the article! It takes a special talent to assemble the numbers like that. Very much appreciated!

    This appears to be a rare year where Pitt’s recruiting class actually goes up in ranking rather than down. They have made some late additions that really helped. It seems to me that especially with COVID, the transfer portal will be bulging with players that now have 2 years rather than one to contribute to their new team. The HCs that master their portal recruiting skills will really benefit over the next couple of years.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh yes the 2004 or whenever it was….. Fiesta Bowl.

    That game was clouded….by what I call the Urban Meyer effect.

    As was the 2009 Cincy game ….by the Brian Kelly effect.

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  17. from the Frederick County news article posted above, Jordan Addison was QB on a team Will’s youth football team played(and beat easily) in the Maryland youth football league semifinals
    I have the videos of those too 🙂 . Game ended up 40 something to zero.

    Will was a good player but they went on to become state runner-ups losing by 1 point in the finals where their placekicker missed on all 3 PAT attempts in Raven’s stadium. I never knew it but the professional uprights are narrower by a couple of feet from the standard youth/high school/college width and our kid missed very closely on 2 of the 3 that would have won the game because in youth football you get 2 points for a PAT and only 1 for run or pass conversions.

    Will’s team has a few players end up D1 kids, one at Yale, one at Duke and one that considered Pitt but not sure where he ended up.

    Without looking it up, how much narrower would you guess the goalposts are?

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    1. I would think at least 6 inches on each side if not a full foot. So 12-24 inches.

      Isn’t college also different from the pros? Just like the football size.

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      1. actually much wider, nearly 5 feet total

        23 ‘4″ high school/college versus 18’ 6″ professional

        I was shocked to find out it was so much and no doubt “looks” tight when you are up close

        the coaches knew it and did not tell our kicker until after the game to not let it get in his head after having missed very few all year,,,,obviously no matter but the video I shot from behind the goalposts captured the near misses

        the team got voted one of top 5 in Maryland youth football history even with the loss

        Like

  18. Damn Richard. Great analysis and article. I reread this a few times and came away w new insights each time! Thanks for the effort that goes into doing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shout out to ike! A sell-out crowd is rooting and praying for you. May the Lord help you get well.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

    I like ike.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I watched the match. Brought back lots of good memories. I worked the scorers’ table (score/riding time clock) for 3 years while I was at Pitt. Fun times. 2 of my brothers were wrestlers so I loved the sport and the dedicated athletes that participated.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Well wrestling is one of three sports I support at Pitt. Not so much for the other 16 sports. Unless you count the Notre Dame game this year.

        Tex who was yelled at three times for improper mask usage and blew $100 on a ticket. And I had to go back to Texas to get covid. Thanks PA.

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        1. Tex, so have you recovered? You mentioned having problems breathing. Any lasting effects?

          Annie, who likes to slap your hand because you call people mean names.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m recovered now. Thanks for asking. My whole family got it. I probably picked it up at work. Everyone’s symptoms were a bit different. I probably got the worst of it. We all lost smell. My lungs burned for a while. My daughter was positive but no symptoms and she’s the one that always gets sick. My son who was never sick in his life got sick. Strange virus it is.

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  20. Aaron Donald is possibly PITT’s defensive recruiter…. young up-starts finding out they can pump are and have the ear of the best D lineman on the planet……now if Duzz can only learn how to stop the deep ball…. come on man!!!!

    BigB would love to see the Bearcats in the ACC… great rivalry was taking shape in the “Big Easy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Also attended the Fiesta Bowl with the great Scooter…had a great time until the game started. Duh!
    Got into a fight with a freaking Mormon.
    Met up with Walt the day before the game…he seemed very detached. I told Scooter we weren’t ready to play..
    Duh! again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw the same thing. The players and Walt just appeared to be going through the motions. They weren’t excited. Didn’t seem to care. I had a good time though. We sat in a sea of red Utah fans. They said BYU were the Mormons. They didn’t say what they were. 🤠

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  22. Champ’s brother Julian had 33 points and 10 boards tonight for St. Johns vs. Creighton. Think of the possibilities if he had also come to Pitt …

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    1. Maybe Julian takes advantage of the one-time transfer rule if it is put into place after the season. He’d make a heck of a shooting guard at that size. Too bad both Julian and Tre Mitchell aren’t at Pitt now. I thought Julian wanted to stay in the city, so maybe there is zero chance he leaves the Johnnies program.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. the current NCAA Top 25 Wrestling rankings list 3 schools from PA, a small handful from the ACC and a larger handful from the B1G … because, you name the sport, they are going to be well represented, warranted or not. I remember seeing a listing last year of the top sources for wrestling prospects, and PA was near the top. Even schools like Edinboro and Juniata often field teams that can compete with the larger schools.

    What you don’t see in the Top 25 are any SEC schools. And I’m sure you won’t see many southern wrestling prospects … the antithesis of football. A look at the current Pitt basketball roster, you will see two players from the South, one from the Midwest, and the remainder from the Northeast.

    This is why Pitt is a basketball / wrestling school … like it or not,

    the anomaly is the women’s volleyball roster. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Texas (2), Serbia, Greece, Ontario, and California are all listed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. actually, another anomaly is men’s soccer …. Spain (3), Germany, France (2), Mexico, Morocco, Brazil, Japan, Serbia (2), Switzerland and England are all listed. There is a handful from PA also

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The baseball roster has a sprinkling of players from Texas, FL, Alabama & Georgia. The majority are from PA with a few from OH, NJ and Mass. Coach Bell should consult with the soccer coach to see how to tap the foreign exchange student athletes in Puerto Rico, DR & Mexico.

        The softball roster used to be dominated by California and AZ players – only 2 from Cali and 1 from AZ, thus the huge drop from what we experienced with former HC Holly Aprile who left for Louisville, who by the way has more players from those two areas on their roster than Pitt.

        I wish we could review the Pitt men’s and women’s ice hockey rosters to see how many PA players we have – no chance cause the athletic department chooses to look the other way at a sport that SHOULD be at Pitt. I saw Arizona State playing ND in ice hockey last night.

        I may get a sports management degree instead of contemplating retirement.

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        1. The nhl did a feasibility study on 5 schools. Pitt was one of them. The nhl is looking into having more colleges pick up the sport to feed the nhl. Colleges now supply more players than the junior leagues in Canada.

          The MPC could be their home. Why build a stand alone arena when you can build something multi purpose and multi functional benefiting multiple programs.

          Victory Heights is not money well spent. Phase three includes a separate lacrosse field for women’s. Phase three still doesn’t include an outside track.

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      1. if I’m understanding you correctly, you advocate for Pitt to bring on an extremely expensive revenue losing sport that appeals to very few in hockey to assist the NHL who otherwise has a minor pro league that I assume they could and may already support?

        feasibility study? run by the NHL? wonder if any school fell short 🙂

        are you Canadien or nuts? 😉

        Like

        1. The majority of players drafted today are from colleges. Many of these players spend little to no time in the minors. At the very least they are better prepared and fast tracked to the nhl. The nhl knows this. Hence their push for more college programs.

          Hockey is profitable at penny state. It’s one of the few college sports that can support itself.

          Victory Heights will cost pitt $250 million

          You can build a MPC for $600 million. And that could also be home to football as well as volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer and basketball.

          Pittsburgh is one of the hottest regions for hockey talent. And it would be easy to pluck kids from the Canadian border. Get a free education plus better coaching than at the junior level.

          College hockey is very feasible in Pittsburgh. Look at Robby mo.

          It’s a no brainer.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stade_Pierre-Mauroy

          https://www.themackreport.com/college-hockey/four-nhl-college-hockey-feasibility-studies-underway/

          https://www.nhlpa.com/news/1-11701/nhlpa-and-nhl-announce-ncaa-feasibility-study

          Like

          1. I read them

            doesn’t move me at all from my skeptical position that hockey is simply growing their business on the back of universities(Pitt for us)

            ok, I’m not a big hockey fan, it competes for wrestling time and money being a winter sport for most people although there is probably not much overlap

            where or how do you think an extremely expensive sport like hockey will not be a revenue drain isn’t validated in your links above

            Like

            1. If hockey shares a facility it can be very profitable. Look at the popularity of hockey in the Pittsburgh region. Look at how successful Robert Morris has become. Penn state has proven that hockey can be profitable. They were in the black come year 3. And they built a roughly $60 million stand alone facility with pergulas money.

              Build a multi purpose center instead. Get money via an infrastructure grant from the federal government. Get money by floating zero cost bonds. Get money from a fundraising campaign and corporate sponsorships. Get resources from the nhl…they have names of coaches, networks around the country and Canada for staffs and recruits. There are non monetary yet subtle things they can do to assist schools that doesn’t get disclosed.

              Heather is sitting on that feasibility study. Pitt was one of those two schools that kept things confidential and did not disclose.

              Pitt could become a powerhouse in hockey.

              Like

            2. This is penn state

              Not sure if this includes any costs associated with debt payments. Accounting can be twisted to present any perspective. But it does appear to be profitable. So it can sustain itself. I think this includes both men and women’s hockey. And you’d never get pitt to disclose any of these details. Pitt is secretive, non transparent and will never present facts and truth. See hockey feasibility study performed and not disclosed or even admitted to performing. Cowards.

              http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/penn-state-hockey-with-five-years-at-pegula-on-the-books-program-continues-to-turn-profit,1479245/

              Liked by 1 person

            3. I was actually inside the Pegula complex. There are 2 rinks …. the main one and a community one for students and area residents in the lower level.

              Like

            1. You can’t compare what might happen here to Penn State. PSU has nothing-NOTHING- happening for 100 miles around it. Those people living in that area are starved for something to do- unlike Pitt that has 2 pro sports and a ton of cultural things to do once Covid is managed. There is no guarantee that Pitt hockey would be profitable or break even.

              Liked by 1 person

  24. Tex sided with TJ Watt over Aaron Donald for defensive player of the year. I’m not sure I agree. I think a case could be made for either, but Donald rushes from the middle and gets double teamed more often. I sure hope he is not injured too severely. they are both tremendous, but since Donald is from my two alma maters I vote for him. The announcer last night seemed to agree. Co-MVP’s would be cool.

    Like

  25. that injury play didn’t quite look like it should have resulted in a broken rib, maybe caught it just wrong but my first thought was he might have GI issue

    if it was that play alone, probably can in part blame the “protection of the qb” rule in the technique AD used to bring him down
    maybe

    ribs typically slow healing so I have little hope he is back for next week but glad Wilson and Seahawks are out

    Like

  26. Hey everyone, another great steaming pile of PITT football information to jump into. Great Job Richard, maybe a comment down the road. I have a question but it’s too long for right now. PITT is in a defined category when it comes to recruiting and where they land in the top 35 each year. Cutting it short, I think PITT nestles into their respective spot more often than say a Duke, Cuse or or even a Temple.

    Tex, you said from the very beginning that PITT would drop at least one president cup sports program.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Pitt probably needs to drop at least 4-5 scholie programs that are revenue losers and poor fits. But I think Pitt will just continue raiding the general fund instead and operate at a heavy subsidy. Until forced by the state to repay back those funds. See Washington state.

      Hockey makes the most sense to add. I think lacrosse is a good fit.

      I don’t think baseball is a good fit or softball for that matter. Weather stinks in the spring. I advocate baseball being a fall sport for Midwest and northeast schools. NCAA has had discussions about this and the implications.

      Pitt is just so revenue poor to support 19 programs and be fiscally responsible. Cut down to the minimum 12 and then build up from there.

      Why pitt has a track program is beyond me. It has no outside track. If Pitt was serious, a new track would have been in phase 1 of victory Heights.

      If Pitt was serious, they’d conduct a feasibility study for a MPC.

      Welcome back to the discussions. You’ve been missed.

      Like

      1. Was that photo taken in the vip area or outside in the lot. I lucked out and got tickets to the private party. Believe you me, I’m no vip.

        Like

  27. From a pure hockey perspective, it is just not Bobby Mo. Bobby Mo is currently ranked 16th in NCAA Div 1. In addition, Mercyhurst also competes on the Div 1 level and performs well. State Penn and OSU also compete at a high D1 level. There is really good high school hockey in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, however, the elite prospects play travel AAA. Pittsburgh has 5 AAA Hockey programs and Cleveland and Columbus have 1 each.

    Most of these kids play juniors, before going to Div 1 (check rosters) but cut their teeth at the U16 travel level. The talent is available. The money is available. It is less expensive for the nhl to have more colleges offer D1 hockey as the scouting departments would not have to travel to so many local showcases.

    Pitt actually has a club team that has performed very well over the last 5 years. It’s a shame that we don’t go D1 because of the available elite talent locally. Very similar to pitt wrestling. Pitt’s club hockey uniforms rock!

    Crazy thing is that Alabama has started a D1 hockey program and it is catching on. Starting to get some fan support. As hockey catches on nationally, Pitt will fall behind when they start.

    Like

      1. Bought a home and away sweater – one for myself and one for my son and you put your name on the back… I support PITT hockey….#1 uni in all of hockey!!!!

        I think the Frozen 4 was to be held in the Burgh this spring but that is on hold.

        BigB who doesn’t wear another’s name on his back.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Sure hope the steaming comment wasn’t thought to be directed towards my man Richard. The though was more PITT is pretty dam good for being so lousy.

    No one beats Richard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ike – I knew it wasn’t directed at me. It’s just numbers. Good points for Pitt. Bad points for Pitt. I think they put Pitt in a good spot not a great spot & definitely not a bad spot.

      Get well soon. If life can return to normal, I went to see you & ALL others at a tailgate in red lot 5A.

      Liked by 4 people

  29. The top 30 schools are all northern. Except for Arizona state. How does that school have a team but not Pitt? Who’s their sugar daddy?

    If you look at baseball, the exact opposite would be true.

    Now tell me which sport makes more sense.

    Like

      1. It really is sad that all pitt club hockey needed this year was a $22,000 dollar donation. And it looks like they didn’t get it. Covid year with cancelled sponsorships. I’m embarrassed that Pitt plays sports.

        Like

      2. He has.
        The Pens and the NHL want Pitt to play at the Pens arena. Pitt does not need to build a rink. They certainly could later.
        Hockey is a title 9 killer. It is not an ACC sport.
        College hockey is one of the best live sports ever.
        If Pitt could get into Hockey East they would have a ranked team in 4/5 years.

        Like

    1. Arizona State knew how important it was to tie into the Phoenix Coyotes so both could help each others brands. Not at Pitt. Our AD will see her shadow when she comes out of her basement and it will be 6 more months of bad Administrating. #overherhead

      As for me, I am afraid of coyotes personally, but not groundhogs! Maybe we should change names from Pitt Panthers to Pitt Groundhogs.

      Like

  30. Annie
    People are starving for a winner at Pitt. Build it and they will come.

    At the very least, the program has a chance to break even. It can be self supporting.

    And there are plenty of other activities around state college that compete against Nitter hockey for entertainment value. For instance, house parties, cow tipping, patty throwing, and peeing in the snow come to mind.

    Like

  31. Kentucky and Cal snag Oscar T from wvcc and Huggy Bear.

    Something I predicted over one week ago. The Wildcats are young and struggling thus far – Oscar will be a 1st round pick in the very near future.

    Cal knows how to develop young talent and help them to mature quickly.

    Like

  32. St Francis Frankies still only have 1 win on the season, against Pitt. 80-70

    And all their 6 losses were routs but one. hmmmmmm

    Like

    1. But Capel is untouchable now. Heather hired him so he’s protected. Just like heather is protected in her bunker basement. Gallagher stops by once a week and plays the game ‘count the atoms’ with her.

      Like

  33. Stillers pulling a Pitt…on National TV. Acting like they never played football before in their lives.

    Fumble into the endzone, a pick and a penalty on 3rd & 1. That is Pitt !

    Like

  34. Well the Steelers won’t fire Tomlin just like pitt won’t fire Narduzzi.

    Neither team has a running game. Both teams have receivers that can’t catch. Both teams have aweful coordinators. Both teams have mediocre quarterbacks. Both teams are utter garbage.

    Looking forward to the Pens choking again. Pirates flat out suck.

    Maybe pitt basketball can make the tourney if the rest of the season is cancelled due to covid.

    Like

  35. Sh8tstains have only run 9 plays and have 21 points. This could be the beginning of another 80’s type decade for the Stillers or worse. Cause Cleve, & Cincy & Ravens have the hot young QB’s.

    We got a Duck & Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Only question is, will the Stillers let Tomlin hang for
    another 10 years.

    Like

  36. Clemson 31 Pitt 0…..Cleve 28 Pitt 0….after the First Quarter.

    Remarkable similar score and remarkable similar, wetting the bed.

    Like

  37. 28-0

    I’m thinking Tomlin needs fired after this

    How can ownership deal with this clown.

    He’s worse than Narduzzi. And you all know my hate relationship with meatball.

    Did urban Meyer accept the Jacksonville job yet?

    Like

  38. So Tomlin thought this team was good enough to take the last game off….after finally winning a game
    for the first time in a month. LMAO

    Like

  39. So 12 Offensive plays and 126 Total Yards nets the Brownies 28 points.

    Just forfeit Tomlin….it would be less embarrassing. Blame it on Covid…everyone else does.

    Like

  40. And I thought being a pitt fan was bad. This game will live in infamy. Only thing close was that 45-14? Game against penn state.

    Really, they won’t fire tomlin. Pc reasons. But they can cut Ben and save $20 million of cap space. That buys you a running back, new center and new left guard. I’d not renew Conner or JuJu. Or bud. Or Haden. I would fire the OC.

    But does ownership have the guts. I say not.

    They need to draft their future qb in 2022.

    Boy when the barn burns it really burns.

    Like

  41. In their first playoff appearance in 18 years, the Cleveland Browns delivered one of the best first quarters in NFL playoff history.

    Sunday night in Pittsburgh, the Browns jumped to a 28-0 lead, tying them for the most points in the first quarter of a playoff game. The 1969 Raiders are the only other team to score 28 points in the first quarter of a playoff game. The Raiders went on to defeat the Oilers, 56-7.

    The Browns, missing coach Kevin Stefanski, who had to stay behind in Cleveland after contracting COVID-19 this week, scored a defensive touchdown on the first play of the game.

    I threw 6 TD passes on only 13 completions in 17 attempts. Damn I was good !

    Like

  42. Wimpy call by Tomlin….not going for it…on 4th and 1 on own 45…when trailing by 2 TD’s in 4th Q.

    You got what you deserve Tomlin….a Cleveland TD.

    Like

  43. Tomlin and Narduzzi are like Schwarzeneger and Devito, twin towers of stupidity. They are both awful in- game decision-makers. Regardless of how game turns out, it was a horrible call.

    Going for 2 again….ugggh! tomlin and narduzzi are momentum killers. You have to think cleve will be in position during rest of game for a fg. Needed points.

    Like

    1. Tomlin is not meeting the standard. Tomlin is a good coach. Just like cowher. But he’s no knoll. Again with all that talent, it’s inexcusable. Pitt at least has some excuses.

      Like

  44. May have mentioned this 10 minutes ago. okay it was 11 minutes ago. Browns fg kills steelers.

    Coach needs to think ahead….what a moron. Didn’t need 2 failed 2 point conversions. Game is 2 scores at this point if he wasn’t trying to be cute. Cute doesn’t win games. He should be removed and I have said this for a second year. Steelers couldn’t find anyone better according to their ownership. The minute they do, he is gone.

    That said, that moron makes more money than me, so maybe i am the moron.

    Like

  45. I am as passionate a Steeler fan,maybe more so than a Pitt Football fan. Another brutal night under Tomlin. Cleveland is a young hard nosed football team that had their backs to the wall w Covid and taunted by Juju. Steelers pulled a Pitt opening as only a Pitt fan could appreciate. Don’t know how to explain what’s wrong but as with Narduzzi , it keeps happening. Time for many changes…only wish it was so at Pitt. This one really hurt !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steelers ownership just like the Pitt BoT won’t make any major changes. Yes the OC will be made the scapegoat. But that’s the only change. Three playoff wins in ten years with all that talent. Tells me it’s a coaching problem. Tomlin needs to go. Unlike Pitt, quality candidates would line up for the steeler job. But Rooney is cheap. Need to pay $10 million for a new coach. Urbans been offered that.

      Like

  46. The Steelers have caught the Pitt FB Virus, that’s the Virus that has you playing a one dimensional offense. In the Steelers case it was the 5 yard pass play and under being used over and over again. The Big Ben era at the Steelers is over and the Steelers are in an even a worse position than Pitt now that Pickett is at least coming back for another year at QB.

    Like

  47. Is it me or did the Steelers crappy offense look like Pitt’s crappy offense. No run game, can’t score in the red zone and dropped passes. Did Whipple and Randy Sphincter get together in the off season at a bar and draw this up on a cocktail napkin after 5 martinis?

    Like

  48. College hockey is a HUGE investment. It won’t draw crap for attendance. People may watch it on TV. College hockey is starting to produce more NHL material but I believe only 28% of NHL rosters have former NCAA players.
    Men’s lacrosse would be a better choice. Huge in the northeast and ACC. They could play on the soccer field Pitt already has built.

    Like

    1. People are drawn to a winner. Pitt hockey would win. Fans will show. Penn state sells out their games. Bobby mo is a hot ticket in town.

      In two years, the Pens will be crap after Sidney and Malakin retire or get traded.

      Fans flock to winners.

      But don’t believe my word. Ask heather to release the feasibility study commissioned by the nhl.

      Like

      1. RMU is not a hot ticket, LOL. They averages about 800 fans per game, 50% capacity. If you are proposing a 40k multi purpose Pitt dome on campus that would include hockey, Pitt would draw 2k if lucky. Penn State does very well but what the heck else are you going to do at State College. Pitt isn’t selling out hockey games even if the Pens stink.

        Like

          1. Volleyball games that is

            Women’s basketball probably already draws close to that and they stink.

            800 for Bobby mo is real good given they are one twentieth the size of Pitt

            Like

    2. That huge investment would be for a facility. That’s why you build a MPC.

      It’s an annual cost of $5 million for coach and staff, equipment, travel, recruiting and scholarships. That’s what penny state disclosed. $5 million is 5 percent of the overall operating budget for pitt athletics.

      Pitt surely can find that money

      It’s already wasting $250 million, 80 percent is debt financing, to build victory Heights. On precious land for money losing programs with little fan support.

      Like

    3. 32 percent in 2018. It’s been increasing by roughly 1.5 percent each year. So in 2021, it’s probably around 36 percent. Pitt can help make it 50 percent.

      Like

  49. Now that you all got your YaYas out …. If the coaches are so important, then how did the Browns look so good last night with their head coach and 3 assistants sitting at home?

    Fact is that fans take apart in-game decisions every time their team loses …. while the opposing fans do the same when their teams loses. That’s what fans do.

    This is the NFL … with professional players and grown men. This game was similar to the Steelers’ last playoff game vs Jaguars in 2017 … when they fell behind early and couldn’t complete a comeback late. And guess what? Ben threw 3 interceptions in that game and, of course threw 4 interception last night

    The Steelers have lost many head scratchers thru the last 10 years plus … check Ben’s stats in these games. And oh by the way … Ben makes much more $$ than Tomlin does

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But Tomlin gets the team ready and prepared. Tomlin sets the discipline. Tomlin sets the attitude and mindset. Steelers have the talent. They are just like a Miami hurricane team. Talent is not the issue. Coaching is.

      But I agree that you don’t keep an aging quarterback whose arm is spent and mind a bit scrambled from all the hits if he’s a $41 million cap hit. That’s half the cap in one year and lost revenues in a covid year will lower that cap ceiling.

      Both Tomlin and Big Ben need to go. Go out and draft a QB this year or next. Find a RB. Replace juju. Replace decastro and pouncey. Total rebuild of the O. Tweak the D via draft and free agency. Getting bush back is huge.

      Like

    2. Tomlin is probably the first head coach to have ever been beaten by another head coach 200 miles away in his basement.

      I’m not sure who would win a battle of wits and guts. Narduzzi or Tomlin. I say it ends in a tie. Both are overpaid buffoons.

      Like

    3. I know that I didn’t think the Browns looked great. Still didn’t. They should exit stage left next week.

      Every play is an in-game decision and is not over-rated. By how you typed, it seems like you are saying there were no in-game decisions. Fans can pick that apart which was done, but ultimately the brass should review each decision and decide if that is the person they want leading their enterprise. Tomlin doesn’t call the shots on his return. Narduzzi does.

      Ben will not stay for a rebuild as he is too old. He needs a rebuild and is in it for the cash, not pride. He won his rings. When the Steelers and Pitt look back at this season, both have to be majorly disappointed. Really great setup for championships, yet their leaders pulled the wrong levers trying to be cute and outthink their opponent and imploded. Forget the excuses and sacrifices crap. Every team went thru it.

      Steelers were different when Bud Dupree got injured, not as much as Bush.

      Like

  50. I thought I was watching a Pitt national TV game yesterday. Overconfident NFL teams meet their demise quickly against a team that is out for revenge in a crucial playoff game. The announcers were at a loss for words at 28 – 0.

    of course

    Like

    1. Ben is a $40 million cap hit

      If you cut him you save $20 million

      It’s all about the cap

      And Tomlin is overpaid at $6 million. With all that talent. Three playoff wins in ten years. Doesn’t pitt have more bowl wins in that time span?

      If the standard is the standard, Tomlin needs to be fired. I’d be offering urban $10 million today. He gets to pick his scouting and GM team.

      Like

  51. A couple things about last night.
    When is the last time Ben played well in a playoff game?
    He was throwing high all day.
    I don’t think Tomlin threw those four interceptions.
    There has been Good Ben and Bad Ben for quite a while.

    The great defense stunk. They ran right through it. Too many injuries.
    Watt didn’t look better than Donald last night.
    As Bob Prince used to call it ” HIdden Vigourish”
    The Steelers (Ben’s) spell over the Browns is over.
    I don’t think the Steelers wanted to play the Ravens again and certainly not KC.
    The Steelers ran out of gas when the streak ended, due to injuries, and the league figuring out
    that all they had was the short passing game and how to stop it.

    The Steelers need an O-line, QB and a RB.

    It would be a good time for Tomlin to retire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It’s good time he retires. He’s ultimately responsible. It’s his schemes. His players. His preparation.

      I’d make three offers out today

      Urban
      Saban
      Dabo

      Arguably the three best college coaches today

      Like

      1. If those three decline, go to Lincoln Riley and Kirby smart.

        I don’t know of any former nfl head coaches who would make a good long term replacement.

        And no Narduzzi is not on my list of 5 candidates. He doesn’t even make the top 100.

        Like

        1. I’d take Narduzzi over Tomlin. To coach in pros is so much easier. Only one boss. No stupid ad or chancellor no stupid BoT. No stupid NCAA. Don’t have to kiss arse to 18 year old punks. Have all the money in the world. Professionally run.

          It’s so easy that I could coach and succeed. Talent trumps.

          Tex – winner of many leagues as coach of many sports. Just crown me king.

          Like

            1. So I’m king right? All I need is to be king for one day. The possibilities and outcomes are endless. You’d all thank me in the end. Trust me. 🤠

              Like

      2. If Tomlin leves, I think it will be his choice. Guessing AJR II will force him to make coaching changes, but will not fire him.

        If he is up for a rebuild/retool, he stays. If not….TV.

        Like

  52. Anybody surprised by last nights outcome?
    Was stunned last night when they all picked the Steelers except for Rodney Harrison.

    Steelers have (now had) 10 players over 30.
    That short passing game offense is painful to watch.

    For me, the big question with the team is whether or not AJR II is his father’s son.
    Third generation of a family run business tends to screw it up.
    We will learn a lot about the team’s prsects by how he handles this.

    The coordinators need to go… sounds like Butler may retire anyhow and Pitt fans will be pulling for Teryl Austin. He might be the right guy, but might not. Fichtner needs to have his belongings placed into a xerox paper carton, thanked for his service and shown the door. Apparently Canada had a bigger say than normal in the season finale, which they almost won.

    Ben. Ben needs to retire… or be retired. Doesn’t make business sense to retain him and God forbid they might try to extend him. A bad use of MUSD 20 in cap space while we are in cap hell.

    Mason Rudolph should be given the keys while the Steelers pivot towards more running with a solid RB (Im still pissed they passed on JK Dobbins). Not saying Rudolph is the answer, but is probably an interim solution.

    Draft OL. Puncey’s backup is not the answer at center – even if he played for Nick Saban.

    I would try to keep JuJu, while many would be happy to see him go. He plays a tough phsical game and makes clutch catches.

    Trade Diontae. Not reliable.

    Ebron was a meh pick-up. Drops and a history of attitude.

    Dark days ahead fellas (and ladies). Gonna be a few years before the Steelers get back on top of the AFC North.

    Like

    1. Which team then has the better immediate future…next three years

      Panthers or the Steelers

      I think that’s a tough call

      I can see Pitt winning between 5 and 8 games each year

      And the Steelers winning between 4 and 9 games

      Pitt would go bowling each year

      Steelers won’t sniff the playoffs.

      Like

    2. Trade Tomlin.

      He’d fetch a first and second round pick

      Then draft Justin fields, your running back and your tackle.

      Like

    3. JoeL – In my opinion (and I’ve thought this almost all year), both Pitt and the Steelers mirror each other and have exhibited the same ROOT PROBLEM, which is that both of their offensive lines have sucked, and football is STILL won on the line of scrimmage.so to me this is where I would look to upgrade/fix both teams as priority #1.

      I like Pitt’s chance of turning the corner quicker, because a few of their young linemen played well at the tail end of last year, when they finally got a chance, and we bring in the nice Maryland OL transfer with 2 years of eligibility next year; by contrast, the Steelers need a lot of help in that area.

      But that all said, both teams have the key QB position up for grabs (in Pitt’s case, they luck out for next year with Pickett), so that could change everything.

      Like

  53. Stillers played like the team that hasn’t been in the playoffs for 18 years and practiced once last week.

    That and being down 28-0 after 1 quarter…….is on Tomlin.

    While you can explain away, Pitt being blown out by lack of talent. The same can’t be said of the Steelers.

    Like

      1. I blame Tomlin and so does 50 percent of steeler ownership. He needs to go. Screw what Rooney thinks.

        Seriously, why do you support such a bum of a coach. I recall you’re a Natduzzi supporter as well. I don’t hear you blaming Kenny or Morrissey.

        Like

      2. To play as horridly as the Steelers played in the 1st half, is clearly a lack of focus.

        And that is on the Head Coach.

        And we’ve seen that ‘lack of focus’ over and over in Tomlin’s coaching career, losing every
        year to some of the worst teams in the NFL. This year the Bungals and a bad Redskins team.

        Every year they lose to the some of the worst.

        Like

  54. All HC’s have an expiration date. Even the great ones, eventually reach theirs.
    And I could rattle off a whole list of them.

    Tomlin (while clearly not great), reached his several years ago.

    If they don’t make a move, you will see the Steelers 1980’s decade
    of mostly futility, repeated, rest assured.

    Like

    1. I think i took a course of yours in the 90’s. I pulled a B plus on a curve. Thanks for the extra credit.

      Tex – cum laude.
      I missed magna by 0.4

      I needed more profs like you.

      Like

  55. Tomlins teams have tanked in December for the past three years. I give Narduzzi credit this year for not tanking. Tomlin needs traded. Ben needs to retire. And people need to stop believing that Narduzzi will ever win 9 games. That will result in a happy world. Until then, expect carnage and chaos.

    Tex who prefers lasagna over meatballs.

    Like

    1. In spite of having some of the best players in the NFL, Tomlin and the Stillers have failed to win the AFC in 11 years now. And the roadblock known as the New England Patriots were no longer there.
      Tomlin still failed, as his team played one half of good football over the last 5 games, totaling 10 halves of football. One half of football in 10 halves.

      And since now, there is less talent on the team and the Steelers have lost their identity, last night was
      a bell weather event on National TV, showing a team & franchise on the slide. 28-0 after 1 and
      35-10 at the half.

      Losing to a team with NO Head Coach, that hadn’t won at Heinz Field since almost 2000 and was also missing it’s OC and O-line coach. AND HAD 1 DAY OF PRACTICE in the week preceding the game.

      Even their temporary coaching replacements got more out of their players, than Tomlin did his, with a full week of practice.

      Tomlin’s gotta go and go get a coach that will bring back the Steeler’s identity of a tough team, that
      defends and pounds the ball down your throat. Not this soft semblance of a team.

      Like

  56. Randy Fichtner
    Randy Fichtner

    Born: November 7, 1963 (Age: 57-065d) in Cleveland, OH

    College: Purdue

    This guy had to be a Browns fan growing up.

    Like

    1. Under Air Fichtner the Steelers in the last 3 years are 31st, 29th and 32nd on the ground. Trade him to the Browns for a bag of dog bones and a Fanta.

      Like

      1. Hey man, I threw 37 TD passes that year. 15 were to ‘other’ than Fitz. And btw I threw almost as many
        TD passes in one year as Kenny has in 4 years.

        Like

  57. As per the Steelers/Tomlin/Ben, I agree with much that has already been said. I am going to add one more person to the clean the house list….Kevin Colbert. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that he has done a poor job. I believe the Steelers need to enter the next phase of their existence and bringing in some fresh insight will start that process. KC has been working on one year contracts for I believe the last 5 years. It has been known that he will move to North Carolina upon retiring. The rumors are that this is the reason for the one year contracts- that he has been contemplating retiring- as well as the rumor that the Carolina Panther owner has been flirting with him to be their GM. I think the time is now for Kevin to move on. Omar Khan would be his likely replacement if he doesn’t get offered a GM job this offseason. However, as I mentioned above, I would like to see someone from outside the organ-I-zation come in. As much as my Pitt fandom gets in the way of the following suggestion, I believe that hiring Louis Riddick would be a home run for the Steelers. For all the reasons you guys already know that make him qualified, he also has great knowledge, respect and love for the city of Pittsburgh. I think that would be a bonus- not a necessity- in his hiring. He strikes me as someone that would not be afraid to make the tough decisions…as long as the Rooney’s give him the leeway to do so.

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  58. Colbert may retire but Tomlin isn’t going anywhere. The OC will not change as long as Ben is QB. Restructure Ben’s contract, draft the QB of the future and work him in like Baltimore did with LJ.

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  59. Fitchner’s contract is up and it will not be renewed. If Ben won’t listen to the next OC then maybe best he retires. No need for that kind of turbulence around the team. The next OC has to have a mentality of running it around 30-35 times a game. The Steelers’ rushing attack under Randy has been so terrible. Tell the line coach to take a hike too.

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  60. I am afraid it is the players that ran out of gas and not the coaches. The team won eleven games in a row.

    The injuries on defense and Ben caused the decline. The O-line is old and the running backs are not elite to put it kindly.

    Ben has always been much better than average but not much of a playoff QB. The entire offense was adjusted this year to accommodate his weaknesses, he went from a gunslinger to a game manager, it worked pretty well until it didn’t. Ben had one brilliant SuperBowl throw, but the rest of his brilliance came in regular season games.

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  61. Tomlin and apparently Narduzzi are what they call players coaches. They would rather be your friend, then your coach. They would rather you make decisions with them instead of for them. It’s shared governance gone bad. Their style, although popular with the athletes, lends itself to stinking up the joint at the most in-opportune time. If your talent is superior to your opponent, the player and the coach are all in la la land and you can win. (See Clemson).

    If your talent is about the same and you need a disciplined approach, a head coach can bring you victories. That is why Nick Saban and Bill Bellichik win championships. Lombardi, Noll, Landry, Walsh, Parcells and Coughlin are others in that vein. Occasionally, you will have a flash in the pan with the Pete Carrolls and Mike Tomlins when they won, their talent was just superior. Andy Reid is another one. Give him similar talent and he doesn’t give you an advantage. Give him superior talent and things go really well. If you look at the talent Tomlin and Narduzzi (this year) had, it was wasted. This is one of those years for Pitt and the Steelers.

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    1. Very few coaches win without great players, both Saban and Belichek are perfect examples. Saban has had overwhelmingly better players than the opposition and Belichek had the greatest QB ever. Noll may have had the best talent ever assembled on the defensive side of the ball certainly the most HOF guys on one team. He didn’t do much when the talent got old.

      Narduzzi had defensive talent this year, but little on the offensive side. Most are in agreement that it is offense that wins games.

      No one wins consistently with lesser talent.

      Parcells maybe the best at winning with equal talent.

      Liked by 1 person

  62. Tex – I agree with a lot of what you write here. However, we disagree with Lou Riddick as a GM in the NFL. Don’t get me wrong. I love that he is a Pitt dude and he brings no shame to Pitt as he has carried out his duties really well at each of his stops along the way. Even his live cuss word, was hysterical. However, if I am looking for a GM, I want someone who has done it successfully and not just observed it from a different side of an organization. Being a Pro Scout is good and all, but he hasn’t had any solid Administrative, Front Office experience that qualifies him for a GM job from what I have seen. I might be wrong, but the two teams he worked for the most are the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, both with very hands on owners.

    I do see Riddick as a better fit as a college AD. If he was serious about it, he should be hired by the current AD as an Assoc AD for a few years to understand the actual job, and then make the move. Or, leverage his college contacts as an Associate AD for 2-3 years and then make the move with actual experience under his belt.

    His problem from my perch in the stye, is that he cannot decide whether he wants to play in the college arena or professional one. That indecision leads him towards neither in my opinion. Again, I really like him and think he would be more successful in the college ranks, but he needs to put in a couple of years, to earn his stripes. Unfortunately, his ESPN gig pays him well enough to not want to take a step backwards to achieve either role. And let me be clear, I would love for him to get a GM or AD job (especially at Pitt), because I think he is fantastic personally, just not ready professionally. He is just short (in my opinion) on great experience.

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    1. AZ… Tex didn’t make that comment. I did. You make valid points and I do not totally disagree with your POV. I would prefer that Riddick be the Pitt AD as well. Unfortunately, that position is not currently open, Riddick is said to have been interviewed for GM positions by at least 2 NFL teams already (I think Detroit was one.) Someone must be thinking along the same lines as me unless he was their token minority interview. The search firm for the Texans apparently recommended hiring either Riddick or (ironically) Omar Khan. They did neither and angered Watson in the process.
      In addition to being a pro scout, Riddick was director of pro personnel for the Washington FC from 05-07.
      He was assistant director of pro personnel for the Eagles in 2009 and was promoted to director of pro personnel for them the next season and performed that role thru 2013.
      In addition to his experience (and no doubt numerous contacts throughout the league) I based my opinion on listening to what the man has had to say throughout his on-air career, He never seemed to be one of these talking heads who was in it to hear themselves talk or otherwise enjoys the showbiz side of it. He insights are well thought out, spoken, consistent, and mostly spot on. He has never shied away from admitting when he was wrong. One of my big complaints about the Steelers is that I believe they lack the proper amount of humility- from the coach on down. I think Riddick would have the guts to say goodbye to Ben- and if he deemed necessary, Tomlin.
      There are successful GMs who had no prior GM experience. Tom Donahoe is one. Mike Mayock seems to be doing ok for the Raiders. He didn’t cave in to the Steelers and got AB for less than what he should have (and was widely praised for it), then stood up to AB when was necessary. The trade may have ended up looking bad in the end. IMO, Mr. Big Chest never had any intention of playing for the Raiders and orchestrated everything from day one to get out.
      I do agree that Riddick might be best suited for college, but I think he would be successful in either venue.

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  63. I think your analysis is fair as well. I think he has good skills on one side of the organization and not the money side. Follow the money.

    I really hope he lands a position so Pitt can get some late 7th rounders drafted the next few years and use his positive PR to lure a couple more 4 stars. I pull for him to succeed as I do all Pitt folks. I just feel he is limited to one side of the operation right now. Instead of GM jobs, he should try to land one right below the GM to gain the experience for a year or two.

    Bobby Engram coaches tight ends in the nfl. Pitt needs a tight ends coach badly. I wonder if he would give Pitt another look if the money was right. The location sure is right. Sadly, his daughter passed away in the last year or two.

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