Some Off-Season Football Thoughts

Here are some thoughts from an original POV reader who has been following Pitt football probably as long, if not longer, than anyone else on here and is very close to the university in many ways. Discuss…

1.  While I appreciate Quarterback Kenny Pickett, his return will delay the development of the other quarterbacks.  Some will transfer if they genuinely regret not getting any playing time.  Pitt must always think ahead not just live in a desperate present.  

2. Yes, Pickett and Pitt Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple understand each other but how is that helping team development? 

3. Who has been thrilled with Pitt’s offense the past two years? Did anyone really think or feel confident that Pitt’s offense could strike quickly or prevent a loss? I don’t believe so!  Pitt has hoped for the defense to save games. 

4. How creative has the offense been? The game planning or innovative play calling has been subpar.  I am not saying it is due to talent or players willingness.  Perhaps the OC hasn’t been that good . (Editors note: Ya think ?!?!)

5. Pitt’s Offensive Line has had some issues with recruitment and development but it seems improvements are happening. It has been recognized that more depth is needed plus Borbs seems to be improving the technique as comfort sets.  

6. Pitt seemingly has decent talent at Wide Receiver plus some speed. Yes, too many balls have been dropped but the question gets to be were the QB and receivers on the same page? It really looked as though the receivers frequently ran bad routes.  

7. Running Backs are plentiful at Pitt. This used to be a position of good quality and performance. Not so lately, why?  Bad OL blocking? Too much hesitation? Is it the play calling?

If the opposition can stack the box, there isn’t much running room!  That killed us this last season.

8. Pitt has had the benefit of better than average place kicking for all of head coach Pat Narduzzi’s six years. I can’t blame kids for missing a kick now and then having had a son who played WR, place kicker and punter at a top level team.  There’s a lot more moving parts that need to mesh together for success.  It has been nice that Pitt has had that viable capability.  Credit to the long snappers also!

9. Even though it’s slower than many hoped, it seems as though Narduzzi has been improving in hiring better coaches.  He came from decades of defensive thinking and slowly has been learning his needs on offense.  The key is having younger coaches who relate well, open to innovation, and recruit well. The exception would be a coach who has such credentials that respect by players and families enable success. 

10. Pitt has moved away slowly from recruiting kids who largely were at best MAC level targets.  

In summation, Narduzzi is improving yearly by slowly absorbing what needs to be done offensively.  His hiring, recruiting, and planning are improving.  

Yes, some coaches do not appear to be the best at their responsibilities but that is something PN needs to address.  I suspect he will. 

Above all, PN does not lie or mislead his players and their families.  There is a culture of trust among the players and staff at Pitt.  Key to all of this is a strong like mindedness between the program and administration.  Academics are important recruiting tools as is the wonderful program under Penny Semaia, the Career and Life Skills Coordinator for Student-Athletes that helps players navigate all aspects of their lives.

Many may want a perennial top ten program.  Who wouldn’t? But, at what cost to the reputation of a fine university? No, I would not support a program that cheats, lies, and has poor development of young people assigned to its care.  


Editor’s Note: Here are the last times Pitt football finished in the post-season AP Top 15 poll:

185 thoughts on “Some Off-Season Football Thoughts

  1. Offense wins games in college. You do that with a very good OC and QB. It all starts there. Scheme, system, play calling means nothing without those two.

    Whipple is not the answer. Who will replace Kenny after this year? I didn’t see Kenny on any top ten pitt qb list. He’s a fifth year starter right?

    And Pitt doesn’t need to scrap the mission statement or cheat to become relevant again. Find the right head coach and staff (solid recruiters and developers) and then you’ll get better field results and top 20 rankings. Talent wins and pitt doesn’t have nearly enough talent.

    It’s nice that the players are learning to cook, do laundry, balance a checkbook, obtain credit, learn how to meet a nice girl….whatever life skills is about. I successfully taught myself those things and learned through trial and error so call me ignorant on how a class or course is a significantly better way about learning life.

    It’s nice there is a focus on academics and attending class and getting good grades.

    It’s nice that Pitt doesn’t cheat in a major way and doesn’t have any scandals like rape or child abuse.

    It’s nice that players are following covid protocols and staying out of trouble.

    But these kids are in scholarship for their bodies and not brains. I expect them to win games first and foremost. I expect more than mediocrity for a $60,000 dollar annual free ride.

    I do question why Pitt trots a team on the field every year when the product is average at best. As a player, I’d personally be embarrassed. As a coach, I would do the honorable thing and resign.


    1. I know you were joking Tex but I don’t think the life skills program is any thing to take lightly. It has high visibility with recruits and their parents. I have read multiple times it is a top reason kids pick Pitt.

      The Life Skills program helps prepare student-athletes for success in college and for life after graduation. This is accomplished by giving student-athletes an opportunity to prepare for success academically, athletically as well as in their personal growth and development. The core functional areas of the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program are career development and graduate school preparation, community service, financial education, leadership development and personal development. Just as important as helping current student-athletes, the program also works to reach back to student-athletes who have graduated to help foster their continued success beyond their time on campus.

      Actually, it is too bad every student doesn’t have the same support from the University.


  2. a very interesting and thought-provoking article. Thanks

    But the final graphic just proves the point I have been trying to make seemingly forever here. Pitt has had ONE top 15 finish since 1982 …. and that was a 15th spot. And in fact …. Pitt has had only 14 top 15 finishes since the AP poll began in 1937 ….. 84 years ago!

    Please quit being deluded by the Majors-Sherill era. And above all … please quit blaming the current admin and coaching. There are so many more reasons why Pitt isn’t a top program than why Pitt should be

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is one major reason. And it’s coaching.

      And yes you have to blame the current and former directors and coaches. They have to be held accountable and there has to be consequences for this level of performance.

      Over the past ten years, pitt football is a 6-6 team with no top 25 finishes. It does enough to become bowl eligible every year and saves enough kittens and graduates enough players to satisfy most fans whose brains have been rotted by the Koolaid pitt serves up.

      That’s inexcusable given pitts outstanding facilities and very competitive operating budget. You cannot defend this mediocre product. Excuses.


      1. I agree text. Hearing constantly about the one top fifteen ranking doesn’t do any good. Football is all about the future. We are constantly reminded that it’s not the Majors/Sherrill era. Of course it isn’t. But Majors and Sherrill didn’t sit around crying about that horrible Dave Hart and all the huge losses or in over-his-head DePasqua blowing a game at Syracuse in 1970 when Pitt was 5-1 ranked.

        I’m pretty sure by next November will be hoping for that win that puts us in the tractor bowl. Narduzzi has proven himself to be a mediocre+ coach who can usually be depended upon to put together seven wins. That sucks.

        And if Lyke shouldn’t be fired for extending Narduzzi on a 5-7 season then she should be fiired for having Pitt travel to Tennessee for the third straight time. Surely she has a Pitt media guide. That’s some of the bonehead stuff Mr. Webb may be referring to.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t want to bash the whole life skills thing too much and come across as overly harsh and cold hearted.

    I appreciate what pitt is doing. I appreciate the focus on life after sports and school.

    Do non student athletes have these resources at Pitt?

    I’ve never been a fan of special treatment. If it’s good enough for 2000 athletes it should be good enough for 20,000 non athletes.


    1. The truth is these universities don’t really care about the majority of the student bodies.
      As a large large % of them are studying worthless areas of pursuit, that will lead to
      them being waitresses, waiters and bartenders.

      While there is certainly nothing wrong with those occupations(god knows I love a good bartender),
      paying $60k to $100K and getting in debt for a long long time, for a worthless degree that leads to them is insane.

      While others get free rides and grants (same thing).


  4. Think about the composition of football teams since the 1950’s when African American kids were so rare and not recruited by the SEC etc. That is what life skills is hoping to overcome for kids who in many cases grew up in poorer communities without the privileges that most other White students had. It isn’t inborn to know how to handle money, prioritize esoteric events, and develop study habits. Frankly, the parents of so many recruits have expounded their gratitude and approval of Pitt having programs to help kids become productive, happy, citizens during and after college. Not all will make it to the professional leagues so the guidance and life skills will be as much an asset as their knowledge of psychology or history.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I absolutely agree. Clearly a scholarship athlete’s time spent in college is radically different than the average student. So providing those men and women additional support services is commendable. Even those athletes who go on to be highly paid professional athletes could benefit from these types of programs, as evidenced by the high percentage who wind up broke shortly after their professional careers end.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I have to disagree a bit. Many non athletes have jobs to pay their tuition. Many non athletes are involved in clubs and organizations. And many non athletes take a full 15 credits in degrees not called basket weaving. And don’t have the help of tutors. Don’t like special treatment period.


    2. I understand. But why only offer to the jocks.

      And really does Pitt need 19 scholarship programs? If it can’t compete in the ACC and be successful at winning in the field, then why offer them. What are the best fits.

      Just like pitt offering over 200 degrees. Find your core competencies. Find your strengths. You could probably offer just 20 and become far more profitable. You could privatize. Divest expensive and maintenance hungry real estate. Cut your operating budget in half. Saves you one billion dollars per year.

      Doesn’t mean you stop offering courses in history or English. Just stop dishing out degrees and foregoing the advanced courses and grad studies.

      Any business would have made these decisions long ago. Frankly it’s immoral to offer degrees with a small payback and to burden students with lifetime debt.

      It’s unethical for Pitt to promote a poor sports product and expect fans to overpay and to remain silent.

      I don’t get drunk on Fanta.


      1. For a lot of the things you listed…universities are bloated fat calves, just like gov’t agencies.
        So it makes sense Pitt hired a gov’t bureaucrat as Chancellor.

        Wasteful spending on many wasteful idiotic things, because the money is limitless and nobody
        wants to rock the Gravy Train boat.

        When all others forms of organizations, forms of business, have shrunk, merged for efficiency, streamlined out of necessity of staying competitive.

        Gov’t agencies and Universities have just grown and grown into the massively inefficient entities
        they both are.

        Both live in alternate realities or universes. They very few can understand unless you’re in it.


        1. That’s fine. I minored in history. My point is that pitt tries to be everything for everyone. They even say that. How ludicrous.

          I’m an Econ guy. Pitt needs to charge tuition rates based on the economic value of the degree.

          I’m sad to say that you overpaid for your degree at Pitt. And that’s wrong. Pitt should provide you with a refund.

          Pitt excels in the scientific and medical disciplines. That should be it’s future focus.


          1. Tex, there is much to be said for a well-rounded university that equally excels in psychology and philosophy as well as pre-medicine and engineering. After all, the nationality rooms were built to celebrate a diverse world of cultures and languages and Pitt has always been proud of its “other” languages programs (is that the PC term now?) The BA I earned from Pitt, followed by an M.Ed., has allowed me to have a high quality life just not a lush one.

            I was in downtown Houston’s Randalls (Safeway) supermarket wearing my block letter Pitt hat and was stopped by a young woman buying flowers. She asked me I I attended Pitt and proceeded to tell me she attended medical school there. Loved Pitt. “No one warned me that the sun rarely shines” That seemed to be her only criticism of the ‘burg.

            Now if Pitt would just work on that front porch thing you frequently reference, make some New Year’s bowl games and Elite 8s, the youngsters would be inquiring about Pitt and the possibility of attending a top flight urban university that can beat the crap out of Notre Dame and Miami.


        2. I’m CAS as well but I’m also a practical businessman. And I have teachers in the family. I know. You know. But Pitt doesn’t and more importantly doesn’t care.

          That should stroke a fire under your butt.

          With no disrespect to reed or the author of this writeup, the academic intelligentsia at Pitt needs retired. They need to be removed from their ivory towers and let business men and women run the show. I’ll place my faith in their ethics and morals over today’s bureaucrat any day.

          Education today is not like it was in the 60’s. It needs to be geared for 2050. And I’m not the only one who thinks this. Just some of the richest men in the world as well. All highly educated. All brilliant minds.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. Maybe their gratitute for the life skills program will translate into them becoming alumni donors. Wsh we could see the stats of the donor list such as how schools, programs like life skills rank.


  5. I want to give recognition of the passing of Marty Schottenheimer. I attended Pitt when he demonstrated some of the best linebacker play of anyone I have seen. He played aggressively and with great intelligence. This was demonstrated by his professional career as a player and many years as a defensive coach and head coach in the NFL.

    Further evidence is that his DNA has manifested in the next generation with his son now a very respected NFL coach.

    As to the main subject of this thread, I believe that so long as Pitt is competitive over .500 with periodic top 25, a program with integrity, a place were potential professional players can be featured, a place where players receive the special attention that balances out the negative health and academic realities (since the university makes many millions) I will continue my support and enjoy the effort they give. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Clemson and such bend, twist and break the rules in ways that exploit their talent stacking 5s and 4s undermining opportunities requiring disruption of education thru transfers. That price for domination is too great. A miniscule number of college players ever play in the pros.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Don’t forget Ohio State & Penn State & Oklahoma & Miami & Texas and other football factories.

      Pitt btw isn’t competitive against good teams. And we’re on Probation currently. So I doubt
      very much, considering the recruits….any program doesn’t bend the rules, bend the academic
      requirements, etc. when it comes to integrity,

      There is no MORE Integrity anymore !


      1. Pitt thinks they are Ivy

        Pitt thinks their crap don’t stink

        Pitt are hypocrites

        When will people wake up to reality in this world in 2021?

        Tex – not a Pitt cultist or zombie


  6. Another good write-up. Thanks for posting it, Reed.

    If I am reading the author’s thoughts correctly, I am on board with taking a long-term approach and appreciating the improvements we see along the way. I’ve seen enough of the changing coaches every few years and seeing similar results.

    If you haven’t read the link that wwb posted at the end of the previous thread (Best Pitt QB), you might want to take a look. I found it interesting that Chancellor Litchfield told Coach Michelosen he wasn’t interested in winning all the time, losing all the time and being dull. He complained that Michelosen is “out to win alone and not for the entertainment of the fan”. There was a man who got it. It’s just entertainment. Razzle-dazzle, balls flying all over the field, expect the unexpected. That’s why I buy tickets. Wish we could see more of that.


    1. Yes those seasons after Johnny Mike left…until Johnny Majors arrived….were certainly entertaining.

      For the opposing teams fans.


      1. Wow, what a blast from the past. Page 3 of that Sports Illustrated mag had a full
        page ad for Browning (maker of the famous BAR) shotguns. Mentions Reds,
        in the article as in commie reds.

        Although I thought it was Ajax, Balboa & Comet.

        Great read though….thx for digging that up wwb !


    2. And he was canned. Pitt wanted to flex its academic might by insisting football players speak French, Spanish, etc. You know, making Pitt harder to get into than it’s other Big Five competitors.

      Aiming the gun at one’s self is Pitt’s specialty


  7. I can’t help to think how ironic it is that the last major conference to integrate now benefits more than anyone by the inclusion of African-American athletes. In 1970, Alabama was the first SEC school to have a black athlete.

    But no matter what you may think about the current state of college athletics, please remember

    — it still is equal opportunity. A white athlete can still compete and excel. 2 of the last 4 Heisman winners were white; as were 3 of the 5 Heisman finalists this year.

    — this current college sports culture, like it or not, is driven by big business ….. specifically, ESPN/ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc followed closely by Nike, Under Armour, Converse, etc


    1. What’s more ironic…is Hollywood has never bothered to make a movie about Pitt & Bobby Grier,
      being the first black college player, that played in the Sugar Bowl and in the deep south in 1953.

      And all the hullabaloo that happened for weeks pre-game and there had to many ‘back stories’,
      Johnny Mike probably got no credit for integrating Pitt’s team.

      That is indeed very strange, since Hollywood has made lots of movies about the black man’s
      struggles and such in America.

      Pitt also had a very integrated team in 1976 Sugar Bowl…while Georgia did not. If you pull
      that game up on Youtube, you will see what I mean.


      1. Pirates also led the way in pro sports. Google it. I’m lazy.

        Steelers were also out front with staff hires like Bill Nunn and dungey.

        Penguins were leaders in drafting euros before it became fashionable. But I digress.


  8. Any opposing fan who saw their team give pitt a beat down had some good entertainment. That really started with Hackett and has continued with Narduzzi.

    Thanks King Pat. Signed okie state, central Florida, clemson twice, va tech, Notre Dame, penn state twice


      1. Not when pitt played tech. And why can’t pitt beat top 15 teams. Oh, it’s because Narduzzi has pitt ranked in the mid 50’s each year. He’s a bum. Just do the right thing and admit it. He’s the problem. Don’t be blaming Kenny like you do with Big Ben.


  9. Why is Pitts BoT comprised of 33 percent individuals appointed by state level bureaucrats when Pitt receives less than 10 percent of funding for its annual budget from the commonwealth?

    I nominate huff and UPitt to replace those bureaucratic Nitters on the BoT. Do I have a second?


    1. The answer is that was the deal made with the state of Pennsylvania when Pitt was nearly bankrupt with the Litchfield expansion. Might I add that he was a CEO of two major companies so Pitt did have a businessman in charge of its administration.


      1. Yea, well that was over 55 years ago. Pitt has a over a $4 Billion dollar endowment. Surely they don’t have to continue to have Nitters, and gov’t appointed critters on the BoT.

        Chancellor Litchfield died strangely in a plane crash over Lake Michigan. Poor guy was only 54.


      2. There are good and bad businessman. And women. He obviously couldn’t hold a jock strap to Elon musk or billy gates or some Chinese dude raking in billions due to brilliance. Don’t ever underestimate a beautiful mind. Ever.

        Smart people make the world go round. Not the dumb ones found at Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Good thoughts in the article. But I disagree with the writer apparently wanting KP to move on. He clearly gives Pitt the best chance for success next season. Might be the best OL he has had. And I desperately hold out hope that we may stumble upon a real TE. That would have a major positive impact, IMHO.

    I’m impressed when I see our players being well-spoken in interviews. I would have been beyond nervous to do that when I was at Pitt. I imagine that’s one of the areas they work on with the players…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Public speaking is a good life skill. Some are naturals at it. Some need work. My advice. Always know your audience. Give them what they want to hear.

      Like heather does. ‘We’re going to win championships’

      She’s full of BS. Another life skill – know when you smell it.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. “Many may want a perennial top ten program. Who wouldn’t? But, at what cost to the reputation of a fine university? No, I would not support a program that cheats, lies, and has poor development of young people assigned to its care.”

    What top-ten program cheats, lies and has poor development of young people? My alma mater, Ohio State, wrote the book on how you become dominant in football and in turn become a top-60 university based on US News and World Report’s yearly rankings. Pitt could learn a lot from the Buckeyes, also top 4 in college hoops BTW.

    If there were a couple, so what? Is there a proven correlation between winning programs receiving less applications from high school students? I’m still flummoxed why you aren’t behind Narduzzi 100 percent since he checks all your boxes above for the program.


    1. I don’t hate the school, really, just the fans, especially the ones that can’t spell ‘university’.


    2. I have been in vegas for a bit and am just catching up. What exactly has finishing in the top15, top 10, top five or top 2 cost any university? I hear this alot on here but boobe ever explains. Applications go through the roof. Donations increase (now and in the future). I don’t get all the conspiracy theories around top programs. They are just better. It’s okay to admit that. To me, it’s not okay to accept that.

      We all have our blind spots, but we shouldn’t ridicule or attempt to silence the ones that don’t.

      Most P5 programs have some sort of life skills program now. Not an advantage. If we are teaching kids how to balance a check book, we are too late. Most don’t have them. Most are required to take public speaking and that is good. And no, that was not a racial statement. Public speaking is an art that should be developed through a lot of practice. Finally, let’s not be so blind and think we have no academic misconduct going on, sexual assailants, car thieves or druggies on our teams. We do.

      You can turn yourself into a top 25 program. It takes leadership, work and talent.


  12. I genuinely am perplexed at why some fans follow Pitt. Nothing about Pitt seems to please them. Would they feel better about Syracuse or Boston College?

    Yes, there is a great deal of mismanagement in the past, but no one ever is good enough in the eyes of so many fans. Perhaps that is the problem that fans are passionate about one aspect.

    it saddens me to read complaints about degrees; lack of understanding of how large corporations (including non-profit institutions) operate and failure to recognize that without Black athletes Pitt and almost all major athletic teams would be hopelessly back in the 50’s.

    Pitt, PSU, Clemson, Alabama, Syracuse, BC, ND, etc. all are heavily dependent upon young Black men for their football programs. All that differentiates Pitt from so many is their Life Skills Programs.

    It is time to be realistic and realize that athletic programs are paid millions via carry-rights; conference revenue splits; merchandise sales; marketing programs all of which hang on the skills of largely young Black men. There must be more equality of opportunity and recognition of these facts. If not, abandon sports as the genuine purpose of a University is to provide faculty and facilities for higher learning.

    Yes, we all can agree that the cost of higher education has risen beyond the means of most people outside of those of us in the professions, finance, etc. It is unfair. So, let’s find a solution or solutions. We cannot turn universities into trade schools or sole tract institutions without losing a broader education for the students.

    As Reed knows my history and family, I have followed Pitt football since the early 1950’s; shared hospital rooms with Pitt players; known all the 1963 team (including EJ’s Dad); had family playing for Pitt; and cousins heading Pitt studies. I love Pitt for the quality of education there for those willing to work for the degree. That is far more important to me than whether Pitt is top 25 or how many All Americans we produce. Sure, I enjoy that but that is NOT what Pitt is about, it is about a fine education and helping the broader community of Western PA in business, medicine, law, etc. H2P.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I respect what you say truly. But there’s this thing called the future. And if you don’t adapt for it you die.


    2. That’s all very fine & dandy. But this blog wouldn’t exist and nobody would be here….other
      than for the football and basketball teams. Maybe sad, but certainly true.

      And those 2 teams support the other 17 sports that Pitt has collegiate teams in. Does it
      really matter what color the players are….if it’s about equality ? BYU is mostly white
      players. Why does it matter ?

      If sports didn’t matter, Rutgers wouldn’t have changed their attitude toward fielding competitive
      football & basketball teams. Neither would have a far better academic institutions than Pitt, like Duke
      and Stanford.

      And from what we’re seeing on most college campuses these days….limiting free speech,
      rights of non-liberals to even organize & conduct meetings, firing tenured professors etc.
      They’ve also lost sight of what a college campus is supposed
      to be about. Lots of differing viewpoints, in both the student body, as well as the faculty.

      And that is what we all truly should be concerned with !

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That happens when you compose the post on a word-processing program (Word, Pages, etc.) and then copy and paste it as a comment here.


      1. Old beagle, you are barking up the right tree in several respects. Sports also teaches teamwork which is a critical business skill. It teaches leadership. That is why sport is so celebrated in the Ivy’s. They understand the camaraderie, brotherhood and sisterhood, the bond. The Ivy’s don’t play sports for the money generation, but rather the learning and education associated with the games.

        P5 does. P5 uses sports as a way to provide scholarship for many that, but for their sport, most likely would not go to college. For the school, having P5 sports provides a connection, an experience for the student population as the individual grows into adulthood (with flashbacks to non-adulthood for some on here, including me). Once connected to the university (often thru sports experiences), the alumni gives back in donations/foundations, etc. Think of the “zoo”. For many of those kids, when they are a part of the maniacal zoo, they connect. That leads to the future of a strong program. Unfortunately Pitt football does not provide that same experience and candidly, basketball has lacked it for a few years now.

        Finally, community. Pitt always has a chance to intertwine into the fabric of Pittsburgh, but has failed miserably. Communities, Counties, States, get behind winners. This isn’t the 70”s and early 80s. You can win bragging rights in the state if you win big consistently. Pitt never has done that because they don”t know how. Penn St did and still does. What joe did was horrific and noone would ever condone that, He put Penn St on the map and kept it there. Obrien and franklinberger have followed. Their brand was slightly tarnished for a couple of years. Kids don’t care about that anymore, why? Because our kids can’t concentrate on anything for more than 2 minutes without looking at their phones.


    3. I don’t watch football to self-flagellate about the high quality people graduating from my Alma mater. The fact of the matter is most of those fine graduates would have turned out to be fine people regardless of the impact Pitt had.
      And as for the unfairness of the world, really?
      What is fair? Pancreatic cancer? Glioblastoma? Alcoholism?
      Fair is where you get cotton candy and candy apples.
      I support Pitt athletics because I like sports and went to Pitt. But I don’t delude myself into thinking my tribe is necessarily any better than others.


  13. A quick comment on the Pitt-Louisville basketball game that was supposed to be played tonight but has been cancelled/postponed. I find it interesting that when we played Louisville earlier this season, Coach Capel had tested positive and we had Coach O’Toole handle that game. Now the Louisville Coach, Chris Mack, tests positive and the game is postponed. Who makes these decisions and what is their criteria? The cynic in me suspects that teams who are projected to already be in the NCAA Tourney may get protective treatment and not be forced to risk losing a game because they are short-handed. Of course those teams on the outside of the tourney miss an opportunity to work their way into a selection. As we move closer to tournament time, will we see more of this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s not conspiracy thinking. That’s how smart people play the system. Pitt is obviously not very smart. My degree gets tarnished each day by these idiots. I’m more proud of my UB degree these days in fact. Call me a troll you Koolaid drinkers. My bourbon beats your sugary drink that rots your teeth and mind. Why I even comment is beyond me. Most likely to give y’all a stroke or heart attack. Grow something people. Wake up. Don’t take the mediocrity anymore. What more can I say? I’m done for three months. Seriously. I need a holiday from zombies.


      1. So, when players opted out, it was celebrated here because they all make such a sacrifice. When the shoe is on the other foot and teams opt out, for their advantage potentially, it is wrong.

        Gets back to a point from months ago when the crowd was asked, who is running the department and teams?? Louisville AD = smart. Understand and use the system to put your teams in the best light. PittAD…..ugggh!


        1. Huge difference between:

          a football player opting out to ensure his draft status is damaged by either injury of some after-effect of getting COVID, and
          a team dodging a game for some sort of competitive advantage this season.

          But please, keep turning this stuff into some sort of deficiency at Pitt. It’s laugthablke and troll-like.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Excellent ‘connecting the possible dots’. Whatever the criteria is and regardless of who makes
      the decisions.

      Pitt always seems to always get the proverbial…..’short end of the stick’.


    3. that was my immediate thought …. why was the game cancelled because the coach tested positive. But then I checked further and found that there are also some players who sis so also. I’m not sure what the criteria / protocol is but I would have to think they met it for the game to be postponed.

      Or they are lying just like they did to protect Pitino a few years back


    4. They should have to forfeit the game. Now any team can avoid any team they don’t want to play for any reason using that excuse.


  14. I am worried about Beville moving forward with his life’s work if Yellen gets an early nod to backup Kenny. Wouldn’t in fact blame Davis, either, if he did so; whereas Joey got an opportunity, the same cannot be said for Davis’ ten (10) Att’s.

    Yellen ain’t the answer here, folks — I like Nick Patti’s presence better than, and was wholly unimpressed with Yellen’s 79 attempts, watching the pocket collapse underneath him as the second-man up.

    Our QB room doesn’t lack for character, but am looking forward to seeing more of Davis Beville this spring especially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also hoping that Davis sticks around and gets to play. He’s got good size and can move pretty well – haven’t seen enough to know anything about his arm.

      But I also remember how dejected Davis looked on the sidelines after being pulled after just one series against ND…

      Go Pitt.


    2. Neil,

      I don’t worry about any particular player. What I do worry about is the coaches making the best decision about who to put on the field in a game.

      We already hae heard stories about ther coaches basing playing time on how OL did in meetings. I just hope they don’t sit on a more talented kid just because of that stuff.

      A meritocracy with some consideration for seniority and not the other way around.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I found it kind of odd….the Los Angeles Chargers hired a WR coach, whose receivers at Pitt, led the nation 2 years in a row(his Pitt tenure)……in drops.

    Still trying to figure this one out. Guy’s best attribute were his recruiting skills, which don’t correlate to NFL.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. like Old Legal Beagle my family also goes back a long way at Pitt. My parents were associated with Pitt in major ways until their deaths and the only time I heard them complain about anything to do with Pitt was about Ed Litchfield. They and their Pitt faculty associates would bad mouth him like crazy once they got some booze in themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris Peak mentioned this week or last how Pickett is the furthest thing from injury prone. I know he takes a beating because funds aren’t allocated for a better O-line coach, but he missed just two games on a busted ankle last season. He sat the one game in 2019 because Narduzzi thought, and was right, that Pitt could beat Delaware without Pickett.

      You’re not being fair to Kenny.


      1. Kenny came back from surgery but you didn’t hear it from me.

        That’s damn impressive and not expected.


    2. I to think Pickett is fine and strong enough to weather, injury free, a whole season. Yellen is not going to be the answer going forward. Sorry young man! It is a mistake Whipple made. Otherwise, I like what Whipple has done with the passing game. Running game needs to be improved if we want the team to be ranked.

      TEX, can you please not make everything so negative!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I was there and saw Yellen without the limitations a TV broadcast. He’s not the guy. That said, horrible protection, run blocking, etc. And we later learned that they weren’t starting and playing the best OL. Only did it when COVID struck. So, he deserves a little more PT IMO, but Im not wagering your money on him.

      Don’t agree with you at all on Kenny. I think he’s actually durable given the crappy protection and schemes he’s had to play with. As others have noted, his time out of games is minimal.

      Which does not mean I think he’s the second coming of Dan Marino.


  17. It’s interesting that despite Pitt’s long legacy of mediocrity, the networks still do broadcast quite a few games on TV. There must be something that attracts them to Pitt, even after the frequent thrashings that embarrass the university and make us turn our jerseys inside out. Imagine what it would be like to win consistently on TV! How that would help the brand and recruiting. But Pitt’s record against ranked teams is putrid to say the least.


    1. The Washington Generals were pretty entertaining as well and served a purpose.

      Fanta’s, Sleeping fans, 20k+ banana yellow empty seats….50-10 scores.

      What could be more funny for a comedy starved nation.


    1. Intel stock will take a hit if this gets out. Demand for cloud server processor chips plumments without all the bits and bytes requiring storage for posterity.


  18. fwiw, here is the latest from 247 on the unsigned 3-star OT from Michigan

    Brandon Honorable, OT, Detroit (Mich.) King
    Sources say Honorable remains committed to Pittsburgh despite not signing. There may be other schools who come at due to him being a higher upside guy at a priority position.

    This tells me that he is waiting to hear from Michigan (or some other big school) who promised him a schollie if they had room for him. Being that Pitt signed three other OTs, it is not the priority it once was, but IMO Pitt should bring in all OL they can … bound to find a few good ones

    The bad thing about him signing is that it would likely drop Pitt’s average star rating for the class from 3.09 to 3.08 ….. and Tex will be gloating like nobodies’ business

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Reed, this was a great spotlight on the program I care about most. So thanks for bringing this article to your site.

    You tell informed us of the following:

    “Here are some thoughts from an original POV reader who has been following Pitt football probably as long, if not longer, than anyone else on here and is very close to the university.”

    But I need ask who submitted their work in the end? I’d like to thank this person for sharing their thoughts. I especially enjoyed learning that our football program driven as such:

    “[K]ey to all of this is a strong like mindedness between the program and administration.”

    Warms the heart and fills me with pride.



  20. As a follow up to the Paul Martha blogs on the previous post, Paul use to go to Conley Resort Inn off of Route 8 around Valencia, PA to drink at the bar and watch sports games. He may still go there. My brother-in-law regularly drinks at the bar and as a Pitt alumni met Paul at the bar, who always came with an “aid.” Apparently Paul is suffering from dementia or a similar ailment and requires an aid to travel with him, when he leaves his retirement home.

    My brother-in-law said Paul rarely spoke and you basically conversed with his aid. Paul was married to the daughter of Edwin Gott, Chairman of the Board of U S Steel Corporation in the early 70’s when THEY WERE U S STEEL. When my brother-in-law asked Paul and his aid about Paul’s former father-in-law, it got the only significant facial reaction from Paul.


    1. yes, sadly Martha has been suffering from dementia for a while now. In his career as a lawyer he became VP / General Counsel for the DeBartolo Corp and was involved with the 49ers and the Penguins, and ran the Civic Arena.

      He was also a mediator in contract talks between the NFL players union and owners. I can even remember that his name came up as a candidate to replace Pete Rozelle as NFL Commish in the late 80s.


  21. There is no Ghost. Only the Original. I will make my triumphant return on May 5th. In the meantime, enjoy the Koolaid and positivity.

    Vinegar with a Vengeance


  22. OT…Pebble Beach Pro Am Golf tournament begins today.
    Perfect distraction from snow shoveling for me and my sore shoulders.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pitt professor Keisha M. Blain on Morning Joe today. Good to see a Pitt faculty member on the morning shows.


  24. Life-skill training — What courses do they offer? Meatball rolling? Kool-aid mixing? Knitting yellow blouses?



  25. We were talking about the university brand. How do headlines like these help the brand?

    Pitt’s Alumni Association removed the gendered titles of homecoming king and queen for this October’s homecoming festivities and are instead opting for two gender-inclusive “Spirit of Pitt” winners. “By taking out binary gender we’re more inclusive,” Merritt said.

    I would guess approximately 50% think it is great, 50% dislike it. To me, it is an over the top knee jerk reaction, much like many announcements they have made lately that negatively affect the Pitt brand for a large portion of the population. Am I wrong?

    I am not a marketing guy. As a business, do you market yourself to half of the population? I am asking a brand question. No political views need to be mentioned. I know some of you guys run businesses.


  26. PN will live or die with the Whipple hire.

    Whipple does not use the talent well, he doesn’t create mismatches, he doesn’t scheme well for a run game, he is not innovative, his QB has not improved. I can’t name a thing he does well.

    A change should have been made.


      1. I was thinking Whipple had a big buyout, why would they not fire him?

        Watching Cleveland beat the Steelers and Tampa beat KC with good run games makes one realize how important running the ball is in football. Whipple’s offense will never win. You can’t have OL on their heels most of the time and expect them to be good run blockers. Ask Mike Tomlin.

        Even good spread team run the ball well.


  27. On a SEMI positive note… the three recruits appearing on Pgh Sports Now make a good first impression.

    Two Tight Ends that might be able to actually catch the ball and a Quarterback who can throw it accurately beyond forty yards.

    Combine them with some of the other Recruits and it does tempt one to believe the trend is up in the way of recruiting.

    But what will Narduzzi and Co. make of it? What evidence is there to suggest that any improvement in recruiting won’t be squandered like Narduzzi managed to do with the talent he had on Defense in 2020?

    Guess you could give Narduzzi the “Defensive Guru” a pass and pin it ALL on Whipple and the Offense.


    1. The D was not the issue. They were third in the ACC in points allowed behind Clemson and ND. The offense was a joke and could not stay on the field, that hurt the defense.


      1. They couldn’t get the big stop against NCSt for starters. Points allowed is just a statistic. Points given up when you need a stop is probably a better stat, although noone keeps that. The NCState game reminded me of the UNC game of a couple of years ago.

        I am not typing that the d is awful. Just not timely. Time, place and circumstance are my criteria for evaluation and performance.

        I would also counter my own argument by typing that we shouldn’t be in a lot of those positions if the offense did its job. We play a lot of games that finish within 7 points. Unfortunately, that means we will lose more of those as well. Open up the offense.

        Whipple didn’t get fired because Pickett took care of him. Pickett doesn’t come back unless Charmin is retained, just like Narduzzi was gone if he didn’t get the AD hired. Narduzzi’s blind spot is putting too much stock in what my grandkid said. I am glad they paid cash for that camp! Said so many nice things about the kid, they paid again.


    2. Even Tex will start drinking Koolaid when Narduzzi & Co. start recruiting good QB’s. That’s the missing formula for success.


  28. The only reason Pickett is coming back is because Whipple was not fired. My opinion is I would have preferred Whipple getting fired even if it meant Pickett would not have come back! If Pitt gets a new offensive coordinator and staff then there is hope that that person could develop the remaining quarterbacks in a improved offense over what occurred this past year. While many are expecting a better season this year than last, I am not. What will have improved? We have lost two All American defensive ends and two good safeties on defense. We still have Mr. Whipple and his Charmin offense which requires his quarterback to pay him homage between every play by running all the way across the field to listen to his “wisdom”. What a crock of garbage!! I am not looking forward to this coming football season as I see us all being very disappointed multiple times as the season goes forward.


    1. And you still have Narduzzi, a mediocre to awful head coach as proven over 6 years. Better recruiting classes don’t count if you screw them up with Narduzzi chaos coaching!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. John, agree with all but the last comment. The idea that Kenny some how saved Whipple for a year is just laughable. Some people are mistaking him for Ben Roethlisberger.

      I always look forward to a season. I adjust my expectations each year. May not work for many, but it works for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I’d like to give Whipple a chance to operate if Pitt puts a decent to good OL out on the field that can give our running game a chance. to be productive. I think you might actually see a O at a 30 point per game scoring level with that in place and Pickett at QB.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It sure helped Brady to have a sound running game and Alabama always seems to have a beast in the backfield.

        A balanced offense is best.


  30. JoeL, I have a plow for the gravel driveway and heavy snows and a snow blower for the concrete pads…
    Plus I clear the driveway for the elderly lady next door.


        1. Not a yearly occurrence. But in 30 years I’ve seen a 16″, 12″, 8″ and some 4,5,6 inchers. The rest are more of a nuisance. Just a had dusting last week

          The 16″ shut down the upstate for 10 days. A few years later we got the 12″ and only shut down for 6 days. The state actually bought snowplows after the 16″ fiasco.


            1. Not so lucky. Live off I-85 within 8 miles of 85 going into North Carolina. Blacksburg, SC mailing address, Cherokee County.


    1. We had a long gravel drive that we got asphalted. But i missed having to dig cars (or better yet, have them tow truck winched) out of the ruts or impaled over the railroad ties that lined the drive, during the winter.

      Boy those were the days !


      1. Having a gravel drive is a sure sign of living in the country.

        The only thing wrong with a curving gravel drive is that it is an open invitation for non-gravel drive visitors to cut the curve and drive through your yard to save a few feet. Smart idea on the railroad ties. I might use some cut up utility (telephone) poles I have.


        1. We actually had a concrete driveway…..but there was like a 1/8 to a 1/4 of a mile gravel road leading up
          to it. So being we purchased Allegheny Asphalt….got a very good price(haha) on asphalting the little
          hilly toboggan run. And this was still in the burbs of da Burg

          We got rid of the railroad ties from the gravel road and built up asphalt curbs instead, cause in the
          winter, the cars would sometimes get impaled on the Railroad ties due to the ice/snow ruts, etc.


          1. Your explanation fills in some holes. I assume, more of a shared driveway with other property owners. When I lived in rural East Texas, I lived off a county maintained dirt road, Your right about driving in ruts and hazards presented. Spent more then a few hours washing out mud caked wheel wells. I also had to use my tractor once or twice to help drivers who skidded into ditches.


            1. Yes….those rear-wheel drive cars would literally get ‘impaled’ on the Railroad ties after skidding off the ice or off a combo snow/ice rut. Got to know the tow truck guy with the winch pretty well.

              It was much easier getting up that road when front-wheel drive cars came out. And we had bought
              a Ford Bronco 4 wheeler in the interim. Just to get up that road in the winter LOL.


  31. Great news today!!! The Pirates schedule was just released and for the first time since Pitt Stadium was demolished, as least as long as I can remember, there are no Pirate home games that conflict with a Pitt home football game. What that means is that we will not be forced into noon game slots to avoid parking issues with the Pirates. Now if the ACC can resist pushing us to the noon ACCNetwork broadcast, I foresee some epic afternoon tailgates in our future.

    Get your tickets now while they are still available!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Are you on Heather’s payroll now ?

      Unless you mean tickets to the Tailgate. Cause tickets are always available for Pitt games.


  32. Remember Hank Poteat? Poteat was just hired as cornerback coach at Wisconsin. This is 2nd stint as CB coach for Chryst, and this time he will be paid. (good for him)

    if you look at the bottom of the page for the coaching assignments, you see Hank Poteat: Defensive Graduate Assistants & Cornerbacks

    There are 3 other GAs, all were designated as either Offensive GA or Defensive GA … none had specific positions. Matt House was the DC / Secondary Coach.

    The following year, House was the DC / Linebacker Coach

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Good news indeed Wolfe…love the afternoon and evening games for many reasons.
    If we are allowed to attend games it will be even better.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Hopefully everyone will be vaccinated by September. I am sure everyone will be tested at the gate. I get second shot Monday but will still mask and distance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surely you jest. I hope you’re alive in Sept. If you are vxx’d why would they test u at the gate.
      That should be fun after tailgating btw…..

      Please keep us abreast, cause folks are dying. And it’s not from motorcycle accidents.


    1. A stinging REBUKE of Pitt major sports and their administration thereof:

      “It is understandably a hard pill to swallow for those who remember Pitt football’s glory days of success with Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino to have a program with nine national championships eclipsed as the most important name on campus. As long as football games sit a yellow school-bus ride away for its student fans — who then must deal with the wrath of ALCO tailgating enforcement — and the majority of the alumni fan base continues to fall short of the attendance needed to fill the mustard bowl of Heinz Field to a suitable capacity, then the modern football program will forever live in the shadow of its historical background.

      In the years immediately before Pitt Stadium came down, and in the 21 years since, that same football team has chronically underachieved. Year after year, the team sends talent to the next level despite a continued lack of meaningful success for Pitt. Aaron Donald, Larry Fitzgerald, Darelle Revis and more have worked through the Pitt program in the past two decades, yet the team hasn’t come close to a national championship appearance in that time. “


    2. I have been saying this for years. And all should note …. After DECADES OF FOOTBALL MEDIOCRITY, Pitt has become a basketball school.

      It is not a recent phenomenon, not even close


      1. If you click on the link in that story, it gets you to another story they wrote by Dalton Miller:

        Column | History, location make Pitt a football school

        But the football program has the edge because of its history. Football bolsters nine national championships while the basketball program has none. While the football program has garnered attention for producing professional talent, the Panthers don’t possess a prestigious connection to the NBA. Given this difference and a drastically uneven balance in championship contention, Pitt can’t be seen as a basketball school.

        So they sort of go back & forth on the matter. Much like us ! lol


  35. Tex will be back on Tuesday March 2’nd. I can’t believe he will not inform us of the historical significance of Texas Independence Day.


  36. I’ll getting pretty sick of these so called “opinion” pieces that are plain insulting to those who believe in and live in different ways then some commenters do. I’ll delete the ones I feel fit that criteria…and I’m going to start banning repeat offenders.

    Folks it is that or I just leave comments open for a few hours after the BB and FB games.

    I truly wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t want to have to babysit readers and commenters. Please don’t push the envelope with this.

    Liked by 2 people

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