Tex is kicking them out my friends – here is his work on Pitt’s sports right now…
I guess we can all use a feel good story now right? A story that distracts us from the mediocrity that is Pitt football, the dumpster fire that is Pitt basketball and the police blotter.
Well, we just saw the women’s volleyball team make a spirited run in the playoffs. They were literally one point away from reaching the Final Four. Men’s soccer is a #2 seed in the playoffs and just demolished their first-round opponent. Pitt plays this Thursday afternoon against Central Florida. The winner will most likely play Washington in the quarterfinals. Remember them? Then there has been a very respectable showing by the men’s track team this year. Remarkable performance given their facilities issue.
But what I wanted to talk about is the surprise of the year. Pitts men’s baseball. Below is an article for background.
If you look at Pitt’s roster, it’s not remarkable. Few if any pro prospects. No All Americans. No highly recruited players. But baseball is a team sport, and the collective has produced some great chemistry. Timely hitting, good defense, good base running, solid pitching. All those fundamental skills are carrying this team. And Pitt is very consistent about it.
That’s discipline. That’s coaching right there. And coach Bell is truly a godsend. Pitt has also generated many memorable comebacks this year. It’s tough to keep this team down. They always seem to bounce back. Kudos to Heather for finding this assistant from Florida state.
Now there’s several weeks left in the season concluding with the ACC championships at the end of the month. Pitts last two series were cancelled due to covid protocols. But Pitt is ranked anywhere between 14th and 21st depending on the poll.
If this holds, there is an excellent shot that Pitt will be a #2 seed at regionals. Pitt hasn’t gone to a regional playoff since 1995. Right now, projections have Pitt either in Lubbock or Knoxville when regionals begin in June. If they win their group, there are four schools per group, they advance to the super regionals. And then it’s on to the college World Series.
Below is an article on how the playoffs work in college baseball. This projection has Pitt in Eugene. There are 16 regional sites. The top 16 ranked schools host. So, a starting field of 64. Super regionals are the eight schools that advance from their pods. The World Series in the Final 4 in Omaha.
And yet another one with Pitt projected as a #2 seed in South Carolina. As you can see, there’s constant movement and we won’t know until selection day once all the conference championships conclude.
Pitt plays in Morgantown this Wednesday against the hated Hoopies.
The ACC is typically a strong conference in baseball. Pitt already won the series against FSU but lost the three game series against ND. Louisville’s series were recently cancelled.
Pitt doesn’t have the best facilities. It has some real bad weather in late winter and early spring hindering practices and forcing the cancellations of games. There’s not much baseball talent around the Pittsburgh area. But Pitt has found a way this year to exceed expectations. And I attribute this success story to the remarkable coaching job that Coach Bell and staff have done.
How’s that for feel good?
32 thoughts on “A Overview of Pitt Sports Today…”
I’m feeling pretty darn good!
Looking forward to a nice run by the baseball team.
I assume the game is only available streaming?
Concerning Heather’s nomination for AD of the year, Sports Business Journal is owned by Street and Smith.
Not exactly a small group of internet nerds working out of a coffee shop handing out awards capriciously.
Can’t find any criteria for the award though.
I guarantee you there’s no quantitative scorecard to rank these directors but it would be easy to create one since all the hard performance numbers are available such as wins, hardware won, top 25 final rankings, budget, profit and loss, attendance figures, donation rates, graduation rates, probation marks, revenue generation, brand index improvement, percentage dollars allocated to facility improvements
But it’s probably more soft criteria or touchy-feely stuff like strong character and ethics, communications and public speaking, passion, leadership, culture transformation, coach likability, vision and inspiration, problem solving, industry wide respect. Etc
Very subjective things. It becomes a popularity contest. I wouldn’t take any of these awards seriously.
Tex, this is equivalent to winning the Heisman, an Oscar, Grammy, etc. I think the cover of Time Magazine is next for Heather. 🙂
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It’s funny but most awards are subjective to a large extent. It’s a popularity thing. There’s bias. How does anyone explain how Hugh green or Larry Fitzgerald lost the heisman? It’s never based on just the cold hard numbers.
Baseball article on Trib:
Good Trib article – thanks for sharing it Reed.
Tex – thanks for the soccer article.
And baseball – the pitching has to bounce back quickly this weekend vs BC. The bats will lag behind for a few more games I expect.
Thanks to Rick and Tex for the articles. After a very tough year for the major sports it is great to see an uptick in the non-revenue generating sports, something that Pitt faired very poorly at for many years. As I have written before, valuing all athletes is important to changing the overall culture at Pitt. Kudos to all that are making this happen.
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And supporting all sports. It starts with the students. Like I’ve said previously, give them an incentive. That rewards card will work. I’ve already performed the focus groups on son and daughters friends.
Then market to alumni and the casual fan. Give them incentives or special deals
Take advantage of the volleyball, soccer and baseball success now. Pitt literally can’t afford to wait on this.
Give fans a good consistent experience. Good value for their entertainment dollar. And you’ll start develop a following and loyal repeat customers. Then the donations will roll in and maybe these sports don’t need football to subsidize them after a while.
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Thanks to Tex and Rick for the great baseball articles. From the Commander and the Maestro on down, there are some very fine writers on The POV!
Thanks for the read, Tex. Appreciate it and I feel good like James Brown.
Always stinks to lose to a rival. At least it wasn’t a conference game. Up next is BC. They are horrible Unlike their football team. Next up is a series with NC State. They are decent but disappointing this year. Then a single game against Akron. Pitt concludes the regular season with a series against Wake. Wake is a bottom feeder team. Series are three not four games. ACC championships at months end then selection Monday for the baseball playoffs called the regionals. It will be Pitts first since 1995.
I really think attending and showing your support is important. Pitt made a big deal when Walt finally got football back to a bowl game. They played in the liberty in Memphis on New Year’s Eve. I was there. They wanted to show the nation that pitt fans exist and they travel. Few passionate Pitt fans took the administration up on their offer.
Same to be said in the fiesta when Pitt made their one and only Major bowl since the Sugar in 1982. Very disappointing turnout. I was there to witness.
Point being. The university can only do so much. Granted they can and should do better promoting these big events but it’s up to us fans to physically show and be seen and heard. I know it’s not possible for everyone due to schedule conflicts, finances, etc. But don’t let the reason by apathy.
By now you should know a little about volleyball, baseball and soccer to give it a try. Those athletes put on the pitt uniform and represent the university. They may not be THE brand but Pitt fans are always the brand regardless of sport. Let’s show the nation that there is a thing called Panther Nation and it has people from all over.
Be a supporter
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You want attendance at a BOWL GAME, Tex. Hmm. Let’s recap the most important two in this century:
“Utah Devours Pittsburgh In Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, 35-7”
“Oregon State won 3–0, the lowest scoring bowl game since a 0–0 tie between Air Force and TCU in the 1959.” —Sun Bowl, Wikipedia (AKA “THE WORST BOWL GAME EVER.”)
And for your viewing pleasure:
Nope, nope, and noping-out of ANY BOWL Pitt plays in forever. Unless that Bowl game is within 300 miles of Philly. And I would still have serious reservations about it. And why shouldn’t I?
In recent memory Pitt has lost every bowl game with exception to beating Bowling Green by one possession. Prior to this it was a win over Kentucky in 2010, IIRC.
Air Force and TCU 1959 was Cotton Bowl
Sorry about the dead link above @utahutes.com. This outta fix it..
Well. I was disappointed with the fan travel to the liberty bowl. Saw Pitt get blown out.
Disappointed in the travel to the fiesta. Saw another blowout
I didn’t go to the Sun. Would have been around a ten hour drive. Change of plans last minute. Thank goodness
I also didn’t go to the military in Fort Worth, my neighbor town. That was the Houston comeback game. It was cold and raining. It wasn’t worth catching pneumonia
Never wanted to see any of those Birmingham bowls. Sister in law used to live there. Not a big fan of that town.
Would love to see a game in Annapolis one day since many have good things to say.
So yes I could be a better fan. But I’m going to do my best to see Pitt baseball in a regional. I’m hoping it’s Nashville or Knoxville. I’d be blessed if it was Fort Worth or Austin. But I’m more cursed like Pitt.
I was at Disney during that Kentucky game. Watched it on my phone. Saw some pitt fans there that day. Dinner tasted good after that win.
Happy to report I have been to games by all 3 of those teams.
Don’t forget the live stream for soccer. Game time at 3pm eastern. I think the North Carolina website has the link. But I’m sure the NCAA site for men’s soccer also has it. All the playoff games are being played at various sites in North Carolina. I believe today’s is on the tar heels field. Hence they technically host and will do the streaming.
Pitt plays UCF. Reed has my article on knowing the enemy and keys for the game. If you like two good coaches squaring off this one has it. I expect both to make key substitutions and shift base formations to adjust and react. You’re limited in the number of substitutions. To five per game I think. But Pitt has quality depth.
To use some familiar basketball analogies, I expect Pitt to start out in full court press defense. Take plenty of threes and to counter with fast break dunks. Then I expect Pitt to go zone D, use up the shot clock and feed the ball down low for layups.
But the final score might end up only being 3-1 and not 115-106.
Here is a link to the live stream for pitt soccer
Pitt is playing here. That’s grass looks so nice.
And these are great hot dogs. If anyone goes today, get a sahlen dog. No ketchup. Only mustard allowed.
Tex… another exceptionally well-written article. You really have a knack for pounding out the articulation.
You should think about doing some books. Quantity does pay.
Thanks for the article Tex. Good positive feel good story.
Tex, great article. Uplifting. Very much needed. Many thanks.
I needed to uplift myself after a disappointing draft day and some police stuff involving players
You’ll like my soccer article on the game today. I know soccer better than baseball. Reed should post shortly I’m sure.
Can someone explain why Pitt televises all their home football games? I understand there is some agreement with the ACC network. If so what about the non-conference games? It seems to very dumb to give your product away for free since Pitt has such a difficult time with attendance. i don’ think they will get more than 20,000 actual attendees(not tickets sold) for Mass W Michigan or N Hampshire.
Contractual agreements I’m sure. No blackouts in college football. Football wants to televise. That’s how they make money. Never really understood the blackout argument for the pros. The money is in TV and those advertisers. Not ticket sales.
Streaming. Content pricing based on real time demand. Pay per view are the present and future. Cable is dead. And attending a game in person is not a gen Z or millennial thing.
We are the dinosaurs.
Now why should you watch the live stream of soccer today?
1) it’s the sweet 16 in the playoffs. Pitts first ever. Like in ever.
2) pitt is an elite team. How often do you use Pitt and elite in the same sentence
3) pitt has 10 of its 11 starters as international students. If you like to play a game trying to pronounce and spell their last names, this match is for you. Central Florida, Pitts opponent, also has a international flavour
4) if you like low single digits when playing the lotto, you’ll love the final score of this game
5) pitt should be wearing some classy and sexy looking uniforms today. Some handsome men take the field today.
Late to this thread as well, but wanbted to say thanks for the well-written article, Tex. You have the gift.
Need to bounce back vs BC on the baseball side. Will be watching futbol with interest on Monday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0_VwOhiptQ 42 minutes of Pitt vs. IU
correction: 1:42 where are those damn reading glasses…
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