…And why it is so hard for Pitt fans to see the same things.
Looking at Pitt’s historical RPIs (The Rating Percentage Index, commonly known as the RPI, is a quantity used to rank sports teams based upon a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule) under Head Coach Pat Narduzzi over the last six years we see this:
’20-’21 #57 RPI AP #21 in-season; not ranked season’s end (127 D1 teams)
‘19-’20 #48 RPI No Ranking At All (130 D1 teams)
‘18-’19 #30 RPI AP #24 in-season; not ranked season’s end (129 D1 teams)
’17-’18 #76 RPI No Ranking At All (129 D1 teams)
’16-’17 #34 RPI AP #22 in-season; not ranked season’s end (128 D1 teams)
‘15-’16 #45 RPI AP #23 in-season; not ranked season’s end (127 D1 teams)
So, in his six years as the Pitt HC we are averaging at #48 in the D1 RPI ranking with a high of #30 and a low of #76. We have also never been ranked in the Final Top 25 at the end of the year.
Not to pour salt on the wound but in PN’s six years at the helm not only were we not ranked at season end but only one (1) season did we even get “Others Receiving Votes“. That was in the AP poll of 2016 when we got 21 ‘other’ votes – when the #25 team San Diego State had 113.
Sorry my Pitt friends – but that pretty much sucks.
For those very forgiving fans who believe a HC really shouldn’t be judged until his first recruiting classes become upperclassmen (or in his system for two years) that would be years ’18-’21 which give us an average of #48 RPI for those years and no post-season rankings.
Perhaps more importantly we have seen the Panthers come in on an average RPI of a 38th percentile out of all the D1 teams for those years.
That isn’t an average of a 38th ranking folks but an average RPI of 38th of all D1 teams.
Now – are these just numbers or do they mean something and why talk about them now? Well, it is an offseason after another disappointing 6-5, no bowl season when PN and all his minions and camp followers predicted a great (great I tell ya!) nine or 10 win season.
Oh, right – Covid! No excuse what so ever friends, because every D1 team played under the same constraints, or worse, as Pitt did last year.
The common theme of Pitt’s fans downtime conversation is always ‘do we really want this HC (who ever it is) to keep being the HC of a mediocre team and program’.
I say no. With that $4,900,000 salary he’s pulling in can we honestly point to anything he has done to make Pitt a better football team than those who came before his time here? Has he done anything so well and set the bar so high that it would be impossible for anyone following him to match?
Of course not, and let’s not kid ourselves – he has also done relatively nothing with some pretty damn good players. All the really good commits he convinced to play here were on the defensive side of the ball of course. That is because when someone mentions the word “offense” he pees his pants a little.
Forget the old saw about having to start over with a new HC and staff. Every D1 school save a double handful or so has to deal with that sooner or later and no one has died from it yet.
JUST FOR FUN: Here are some of the teams that finished higher in the AP ratings and the ‘others receiving votes” than the non-existent Pitt after our three best 8-5 seasons:
’15: Western Kentucky; San Diego State; Toledo; Appalachian State; Temple
’16: Western Michigan, Kansas State, Air Force
’19: Appalachian State; Cincinnati; Florida Atlantic; North Dakota State (!?!) and Louisiana. That isn’t LSU but ‘Louisiana’ whom I have never even heard of.
That isn’t all but only some schools I picked because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t see through the tears to list them all…
That is after our ‘good’ 8-5 seasons fellow suffers. Why do you think that is? Well, here’s a hint. These polls are really popularity contests for every spot from, I’d say, #10 and below through the others/votes. So why isn’t Pitt popular when we have better records than other teams ranked ahead of us?
Inquiring minds want to know.