It’s Happening…!

Lots of news today:

https://theacc.com/news/2021/8/24/general-acc-big-ten-and-pac-12-announce-historic-alliance.aspx

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/college-football/fox-sports-analyst-dave-wannstedt-says-several-big-12-teams-on-the-verge-of-finding-new-conferences/https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/college-football/fox-sports-analyst-dave-wannstedt-says-several-big-12-teams-on-the-verge-of-finding-new-conferences/

Perhaps more importantly

Discuss Y’All….

223 thoughts on “It’s Happening…!

  1. With that title I naturally assumed that Pitt was receiving an invite to the SEC and now my son and I would become mortal enemies. I then read on…

    Thanks for that.

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  2. Pitt played UCLA in football a total of 14 times from 1958 to 1972.

    It would be good to see this old rivalry re-established.

    Pitt won 2 of the last 3 games….in the series. Including a 29-25 victory over a #15 ranked Bruin squad in 1971 at the LA Coliseum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lou Julian… fullback for PITT under Carl Depasquale… there is a great pic in the PITT OWL of you running the ball!!!

      Like

    2. I remember watching PITT beating UCLA in LA on a black and white TV that was in the ORIGINAL HOT DOG SHOP back in the day… I think John Hogan was the QB for most of the game. PITT won and started the year 5-1… Let’s Go PITT… I love COLLEGE ball…we even have a team nick- named the FIGHTING DENTISTS… think about that for a minute… Damn that should make us PROUD… Today’s breed: Paris Ford quits at week 7 to work on NFL status… Tyman has one descent year then quits school to focus on the NFL and get shot in his hometown … PROGRESS … yeah right…!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There is something very important about this “alliance”. It was all done on a “handshake” agreement. Nothing has been signed and to my knowledge nothing has been put to paper. Based on past experience I would not put much faith in this “alliance” until something more substantial happens. Presently it is now an “understanding” of a shared vision of the future of college sports.

    I think Wannstedt is blowing smoke or smoking something! Why would any of these three “alliance” conferences want any of these schools. They provide no financial gain. What does West Virginia bring to the ACC? Not viewership, not a prestigious academic institution, not a history of championships.

    While this is all happening, I hope the AAC is being very proactive talking to TCU, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia about joining their conference. They fit well in their footprint and would give the AAC some bargaining power for vastly improving their media contract. Any non-ESPN media company will need some more content as the Big 12 falls apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In ACC women’s soccer, Pitt’s Amanda West was voted one of the two ACC players of the week. Pitt’s team photo was featured in the ACC tweet about this week’s ACC results, and Pitt, yes Pitt, was the last team out of the United Soccer Coach’s top 25 weekly poll. They were only 8 points behind #25 Southern California. Oklahoma State fell out of the rankings and is well below Pitt in the others receiving votes list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes all it takes is a coach or a player to transform a program

      But for sustained success you need more than that.

      Soccer will eventually require a larger budget and a separate practice field. This applies to the men’s team as well. What is the plan or will Pitt react when it’s too late.

      Like

  5. I would love to see WVU in the ACC. If the conferences want to keep expanding, we are at the point where they have to consider the best available “product” because all of the top markets are gone. The renewal of the Backyard Brawl alone would make it a good move. In fact, the Big prize for the SEC was Texas, and OKL was the “product” move because nobody at ESPN was drooling over the 4M or so people in the state of OKL (some of whom surely favor OKL ST). Just ask the BIG 10 fans about all of those exciting RU and Maryland games if you just want to talk about the addition of TV markets. The truth is, the ACC already has a lot of major markets and that is what they need to sell. If you want our big teams or big markets, then you have to take our bad teams and small markets. Crazy? What do Vanderbilt and Old Miss bring to the SEC’s football contracts… wins for AL-A-BAMA and Georgia (and most other SEC teams on their schedules).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reed, Though I love to read the blog and it is about Pitt sports … Today Charlie is gone. Your “more importantly” rings true. It brings home mortality. How long will the rest of us old boomers last?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. (From The Tribune Review)

    The joint news release from the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 said the three power conferences will “remain competitors.”

    Nonetheless, their three commissioners Tuesday announced what the ACC’s Jim Phillips described as a “groundbreaking alliance” that will allow all 41 schools from the three leagues to work together while dealing with the hodgepodge of issues confronting college athletics.

    Included in the agreement is a scheduling element that will send teams coast to coast – from Miami to Seattle — and create what Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said will be “epic matchups.”

    All the while, keeping an eye on the growth of the SEC, which has invited Big 12 powers Texas and Oklahoma to join and form a 16-team league no later than 2025.

    Conference officials have been discussing the idea for weeks, but Warren, Phillips and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 — all relatively new to their positions — acknowledged the plan publicly for the first time.

    “Today is a special day,” Warren said. “It signifies there is a lot of goodness in college athletics. There is turbulence right now. We need to have strong leadership and work together. There is a lot of work to be done.”

    The hope is the alliance leads to stability at the top of big-time college sports and thwarts future realignment.

    Read more here:

    https://triblive.com/sports/acc-big-ten-pac-12-competitors-bond-to-form-groundbreaking-alliance/

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  8. Unless some network besides ESPN wants to pay top dollar and go all in, ESPN will be controlling the landscape.

    I don’t think fox, cbs or nbc want to go up against ESPN and the sec.

    And remember that the ACC network is a partnership with ESPN.

    This alliance is much ado about nothing

    It will not prevent a school like clemson from picking up the phone and saying yes

    It will not convince Notre Dame to join a conference anytime soon

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    1. My question is…will the alliance slowly break from scheduling SEC opponents. Let the scheduling agreements play out but not schedule any more. The SEC would be stuck with the Big12 and less than Power 5 opponents.
      I think they are planning such a move if the SEC makes any more moves to destabilize the college landscape. That doesn’t mean adding teams. I can see the SEC going rogue on player payments.
      It is also about lobbying power. The alliances has a lot of power in that area.

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      1. There were 14 on the schedule this season based on what I read. So about one in every three schools plays a sec team this year. Many are historic rivalries that won’t just be cancelled. This was a complete nothing burger.

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        1. Schools will continue to play high profile SEC opponents. They fill stadiums and boost TV numbers.

          Alliance is a joke except to let the Big 12/8 know they aren’t wanted and to let ESPN know they don’t have full control (even though the mouse rules college football.

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  9. This Alliance is a handshake agreement. What can go wrong there?

    After watching “Founder” with Michael Keaton, I’d never make a deal ending with a handshake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. #50 in SoS……is not bad….considering Pitt’s non-con. We should non-con like this every year, ala State Penn of the 1960’s and Buttgers under Schiano, 1st time around.

      Once we get better and ring up some 10 wins seasons you can toughen up the non-con at that point.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The schedule isn’t as easy as some people think. A top five team would be expected to lose two games. Pitt is maybe a top 30-40 school this year. Maybe that means 4-5 losses. Narduzzi won’t win ten.

        I’d personally like to see pitt between 75-100 every year until they can consistently get ranked. Then begin playing a top 30 tough schedule.

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  10. Well?? Where will PITT be playing next year after the earth shattering announcement yesterday? Did PITT make the cut and when does Notre Dame join in with all sports?

    I thought some here at the POV had this whole thing figured out? I really didn’t invest too much time or effort on this alliance because I didn’t know the first think about what was going on and what was about to happen like some others around these parts. I prefer to write or talk about things I know at least a little about. Yeah, I’m wrong my share of times but I do try very hard to think, wait for knowledge before I open my mouth instead of blurting out news I have no idea about and spouting out wishful thinking for my personal preferences.

    In other words, I like to know what the hell it is that I’m forcing down everyone’s throats several times each and everyday.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. It was literally a handshake agreement between three very New on the job commissioners.

    The sec got a good laugh

    Fear and self interest or money will guide the future landscape. That’s how schools are motivated. Through fear and greed.

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  12. On the Fan, they asked KP if he could make one change to college football, what would it be? His answer — play a couple of “pre-season” games so everyone would get to play…

    (Note: It wasn’t a radio receiver in the QB’s helmet… 🤔)

    When asked what’s different with Pitt this season – KP said it’s the depth at every position… Said in previous years they were in trouble when somebody got banged up…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only place the depth is shaky is………QB.

      Yes there are several who have played…..but is anyone comfortable if Monsieur Pickett goes down.

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  13. I called ALCO Parking today, selected the menu option for “Steeler and Pitt Football Parking”, and spoke to a very personable young lady answering the call. She said that the lots will be opening five hours prior to kickoff (11 AM) for the Pitt game on September 4th. She acknowledged that their website still displayed some of the previous restrictions but that they are back to the normal timeline. Hope to see the usual cast of characters and more in Red 5A that day. Can’t wait to see everyone again!

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Pitt’s strength of schedule is ranked at 50th.

    The Panther’s are ranked 52nd for recruiting.

    And they are ranked no higher than 46th in the pre-season polls.

    Those are verifiable rankings.

    What is the HC’s ranking in the $alary front?

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    1. End of season saragin and rpi rankings are in the mid 50’s on average over the six year reign of king Pat. Been pretty consistent with no trendline.

      The king now makes close to $5 million putting him comfortably in the top 40 if not just inside the top 30.

      He’s overpaid for past performance. Now if he puts together a string of 8-10 win seasons, he will be fairly compensated.

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  15. Preseason rankings mean nothing. They are fodder for people like us on the POV to banter about until the real season starts. They are mostly used by people to bolster or blast their agendas IMO.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Preseason rankings for our Pitt Panther FB teams over the past ten years seem to match our end of season rankings.

      There are some overrated teams every preseason, see Michigan and penn state in 2020.

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  16. OT — Keyshon Camp was the first player Coach Duzz mentioned in the positive column after the scrimmage. Be interesting to see what Camp could do if he could stay healthy.

    Camp is one of three jumbo defensive tackles – Camp is listed as 6’4” and 290#.

    The other big DTs are Tyler Bentley at 6’2” and 305; and Devin Danielson at 6’2” and 310.

    The second player Coach Duzz mentioned was DT Kancey, who is 6’ and 275#.

    On offense, the first name Coach mentioned was KP…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Keep in mind Camp and Kancey are going up against a very inexperience C in Owen Drexel.

      Bull rushing and technique will both work on inexperience. K8 will have a C who won’t know which scheme is coming at him and thus will be overthinking every snap.

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      1. As Narduzzi always does, he will give upper class-man like Drexel their shot to be the starter. All games before the ACC games start are still tryouts. Keep an eye on which players rotate. If Drexel is rotating with Kradel or Zubovic when the game is still close, he doesn’t have the job won.

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      2. Drexel has understudied Morrissey and practiced against some pretty good defensive linemen for over 4 years now. Hopefully he’s ready.

        BTW, Drexel is listed as 6’3” and 310 pounds.

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That is some great DT depth. Camp is super talented. Hope the kid stays healthy.

      I’ve read articles and heard several times in interviews that the S&C coaches put more emphasis on cardio this past off season along with the normal strength and speed training. It greatly improves heart rate recovery time between plays and will help in the fourth quarter. That’s good to hear.

      Football is no longer a five second play and a 25 second rest. No huddle offenses change the kind of physical fitness required especially for big men. Especially in college. That’s why the BS obsession with 300+ OL has to go, but the NFL still drives that philosophy.

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    1. Great article, better kid. Pitt needs to get creative. Get all the kids a piece of the pie. There aren’t many power five programs sitting in the middle of a city.

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  17. People bash ESPN but they can produce some high quality articles that help promote the good still left in college football and provide a good spotlight on Pitt.

    Narduzzi should be more worried about discipline and mental toughness this year. Pads don’t make a player physical. Attitude does. Maybe that’s something coach Pat actually gets.

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  18. maybe KP’s 7th(or is it 8th or 9th? 😉 ) year at Pitt is in the role replacing HL

    would he settle for the 500K opportunity

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    1. Bostik was actually being groomed for a leadership role under Barnes.

      If Pitt was smart, they would find former athletes interested in running a sports business. Give them opportunities in the athletics department, identify future leaders and then place them on various advancement tracks. You can find you future AD that way. Just need to guard against being too insular.

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    2. Heather makes close to $900k now. She was brought in under $500k. Pitt generally provides a huge salary escalation after two years. Heather is well compensated for her performance.

      There are pros and cons with this approach. And any escalation can’t just be a formality irrespective of performance goals.

      Another marker showing Pitt is no longer cheap. However me thinks they spend money like drunken sailors.

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        1. When heather was hired, she was the lowest paid AD in practically all of P5. Now did she deserve a near doubling of salary in a mere four years? That is debatable.

          I’m not a big fan of hiring people on the cheap and then catching them up in future years. Creates adverse selection of candidates. I know a little about risk management.

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      1. So it doesn’t matter how her football coach and men’s basketball coaches do. Status quo. Pitt shells out the bucks for mediocrity and failure.

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        1. Yes. And she will be asking for a raise shortly since she is interviewing for the Sparty opening.

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  19. West Virginia I agree with. I didn’t realize Pitts record was that bad against penn state. We are little brother.

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      1. But look at recent history. Ten wins out of 80 since JFK. Someone posted that. Sounds about right. Modern day winning percentage is something like 0.280. We are indeed lil bro. That’s God aweful and quite frankly embarrassing. Which coach had the best record against the Nitters. I think it was mike. And they canned him.

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        1. I know Paterno won his first 10 from 1965-75, but the Panthers had no chance with the Eggheads killing football then Majors had to rebuild.

          The 80s were in PSU’s favor, 5-4-1. Eggheads fumbled football in a big way. Gottfried went 2-2 but should have been 3-1 with the bad call on Walker’s TD run in the fourth quarter in the 1989 contest.

          It is no shock the 90s were 6-0 in PSU’s favor. The dreaded decade and my great years from age 16-26 were stuck with bad football. Think the Pitt Eggheads cared?

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    1. No Penn State. Penn State has bigger things to deal with like Auburn. We are not at Penn States level.

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  20. Not sure how value is calculated. But everything is relative. This is a rank order of a schools brand. Pitt is deserving of the P5 but not a super league.

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    1. Seriously, the chart pretty much goes off of revenue. Captain Obvious must have created it, lol.

      Pitt’s revenue sucks. Again, recruiting, coach hires, facilities, etc. When Pitt hits 100 million, I’ll expect them to compete with the big boys. Until then, we get the same results we have.

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      1. Pitt can do far better than seven win seasons given the money its spending and the competition. That’s what puts the P in my vinegar. But it all bourbon at Tennessee until pitt chokes and loses.

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    2. Wow….we’re lower than dreadful Kansas….who’s had like 5 winning seasons in the last 50 years.

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        1. Nope it says it’s based on Current Football values. Kansas does cheat very well in basketball. I will give them that.

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  21. Reed,
    What’s with y’all? Did anyone else pick up on that. You’re more Hawaiian 🌺 than anything. Yinz guys or yooz guys would have probably been more appropriate for this audience. 🤠

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  22. And by the way it sucks being the only man in the house now. Well except for two nuertered dogs.

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      1. I have lived alone. But being in a house of women is too much for me. I can’t wait for the jail break to Knoxville.

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  23. So is Paris ford a total bust, or will he land somewhere in the NFL? We all knew he was a head case, but it was a bit surprising that they figured him out so fast. Good thing he cut his college time short do he could move up in the draft! I assume Twyman managed to hang on with his team after he became inactive due to being shot! Is there a special inactive designation for being shot while driving in a crime zone?

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    1. Paris thought a little to highly of himself. I always thought he was a better athlete than Hamlin, but he doesn’t have what it take between the ears. Hamlin has the smarts as well as athleticism.

      Like

  24. Pitt soccer on the ACC Network besting Duquesne 3-0 at the half.

    Many ACC men’s soccer teams losing tonight or struggling against non-P5 teams. #7 W_F losing to VCU 2-0, #15 VT losing, BC lost and UVA tied late in their game.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Both Pitt men and women’s soccer teams won their season openers.

    7 to nil
    5 to nil

    Nil is zero in soccer lingo.

    Women’s volleyball is in a tournament this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Folks, I have had to edit or delete comments and block commenters lately. I told everyone that if I had to do that then the blog would be cut back.

    Remember the basic rules of civility to others and respect the rules about religion, politics, sex, swearing and racial aspects (unless race is an integral part of a true sports discussion) and trying to dominate discussions.

    I really don’t want to feel like a watchstander over the POV!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed — a giant thank-you to you for maneuvering the POV through another off-season. And thanks to Richard and Tex and the others for contributing articles…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Can we talk about capel refusing to offer scholarships to non blacks ? Ryan Murphy doesn’t count plus coach equity let him get racially terrorized and run off the team

      Like

  27. Obviously Pitt is benefitting from the extra Covid year, KP, Camp, Linebackers etc. I was wondering how our ACC competitors are benefitting by comparison? How many key players do they have coming back?
    Also is this Krull’s covid year or does he have another one coming if he chooses? Who else might be eligible for one next year? Will this cause recruiting issues?

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    1. Good question Gordon. I got the impression that this year’s ACC darlings, the Tarholes, had a lot of losses from last year’s starting roster…5 were drafted including Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. So RB’s will be new for them. Lost Surratt at LB and their top WR. And yet still the darlings this year.

      But would guess that the middle of the pack teams – Pitt, UVA, VT – probably benefit more the Canes and Tarholes. Lets hope so at least.

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      1. North Carolina picked upped Ty Chandler from the Tennessee fire sale, 2’nd leading rusher in 2020 for the Vols. #1 went to Oklahoma.

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    2. Every kid on the roster last year gets an extra year. I think Krull is done this year. Anyone that was a RS JR last year, has two years left.

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  28. Just heard a bit of Billy H. on the radio. Even Billy said that the drop off from KP to the next QB is pretty wide.

    I was a bit disappointed to see Nick Patti named the Pitt backup. Nice runner but he has a strange throwing motion, IMHO. I’m still hoping Davis Beville raises his game…

    I remember reading that Ohio State named a redshirt freshman as their starting QB. And they have the number one rated QB recruit as a freshman. Seems like their upper-class QBs could be showing up in the transfer portal… Perhaps Pitt will be interested…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Nick Patti…..really ! The guy who led us to that 17-14 win over D2 Delaware. A game Pitt was trailing 14-10 after 3 quarters.

      That Nick Patti.

      Like

    2. Not unexpected, given the amount of play Kenny has gotten over the past couple years. Still – interesting that no one in the group apears to be distancing themselves from the rest while Pitt has not brought in a HS recruit of note since Beville.

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    3. Maybe the wishful thinking of some with Marion is happening with Beville. KP and Patti are learning the Whipple ways as that will help the team and it is definitely what KP wanted before going pro next year.

      So, maybe Manning really is an OC in waiting and he is being allowed to train Beville up in the way he wants. Beville will be the master of this go go offense I see people mention.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 5 games scheduled for Saturday, tomorrow.

      Neckbraska @ Illinois at 1pm on Fox
      Hawaii @ UCLA at 3:30 on espn

      Two late games involving SJSU & NMSU….don;t see them being televised..at least not here.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. It occurs to me that if the P5 conferences become P4, then they will mostly fill up their 12 game schedules with other P5 teams for TV purposes. There will be very few OOC cupcake slots to fill. This really hurts the lower conference teams who get big paydays by playing the P5s. They even get a nice check for traveling to a P5 just for the privilege of getting beat up.

    There must be a constant barrage of complaints about NIL, playoffs, and other things coming to the NCAA from these schools. I wonder if the NCAA is listening. They may try to satisfy the lower conferences by giving them a bigger cut of the TV money which would reduce the amount of money received by the P5 schools.

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  30. Reed, just mark down that PITT needs to fire everyone on the PITT football coaching staff, Fire Narduzzi twice, fire Heather for being incompetent and a bad dresser, fire the entire BOT except T Richards. Build a MPC in south Oakland after you burn the whole neighborhood down leaving space for the build. Hire Jim Tressell and Lou Riddick and then sign the letter, Tex. ezy pzy.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. OK – here it is. If I ban someone and they try an end-around to post on here I’ll make it so that everyone has to be a “Registered User” and will exclude the banned commenters from registering.

    Childish? Yes, but it will happen. Or…I just shut down the blog and then it open only for gameday threads. That sucks but I can’t stress enough that I just do not want to have to babysit on here.

    Again – does anyone want this blog?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Reed. The fake name posters can be banned. Most of the regulars don’t do that crap. It’s a shame folks have to be monitored. You make the rules crystal clear.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Reed here is a suggestion that may help you keep your blood pressure in line, and I speak from experience here:

      You should close off comments after 48 hours. In my previous experience running the blog things started to go off the rails pretty regularly after two days. That meant it was either time for new content – not always possible – or time for me to jump in – not always fun.

      Make life easy on yourself, give everybody a chance to take a break, and also harness the laws of economics. I.e. create value through scarcity!

      (…and if that economic thing is true then our resident economist Tex’s posts are the least valuable on the board! haha. Love ‘ya Tex!)

      Liked by 3 people

  32. And our way too early espn Bowl Predictions are out !

    San Diego is far far away…..but would be a nice change of pace.
    We could give the Navy sailors, Pitt gear to wear and fill up the place !

    San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
    Petco Park (San Diego)
    8 p.m. on Fox
    Bonagura: Arizona State vs. Pitt
    Schlabach: Stanford vs. NC State

    Duke’s Mayo Bowl
    Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    11:30 a.m. on ESPN and the ESPN App
    Bonagura: Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech
    Schlabach: Kentucky vs. Pittsburgh

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  33. According to the Pitt GameDay email, masks will need to be worn in all indoor areas at Heinz…elevators and restrooms included.

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  34. I have an extra and maybe a second extra ticket for the opener…let me know.
    724-309-4343.

    Like

  35. In ACC volleyball news, Pitt plays Rice today at 5 PM. It is not televised but you can follow the stats and match at Pitt’s Athletic website.

    Georgia Tech upset #12 Penn State early this afternoon. A big ACC versus Big Ten win! Way to go Tech!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do not believe she is in serious contention for the job. I tend to agree with Gassman’s comment that follows. She is using the opportunity to get a raise. It is hard to live on $900,000 per year:)

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  36. Pretty glowing account of Heather on PSN.

    “Under Lyke’s leadership and direction, virtually all sports at Pitt have drastically improved and are not only winning but are competing for championships.

    When an athletic department has success like this it doesn’t go unnoticed and that’s certainly the case with Lyke, as she’s apparently a candidate for another position. ”

    While of course I would agree, that some of the non-revenue sports are better, like soccer & volleyball…..the Revenue Sports have NOT DRASTICALLY IMPROVED AT ALL.

    pITT Basketball has finished in the cellar or close to it, in all 3 of Capel’s seasons. (she hired Capel)

    While Pitt football is virtually in the same middling holding position. Missing Bowls in 2 of the last 4 seasons.
    And with a 100 Bowl games anymore…..that’s kind of hard to do. (she extended Nardooz)

    So no drastic improvement at all….in the 2 Big Pitt Sports ! And those are the 2 that really count.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You almost lost me with the references to “drastic” and “drastically”.
      Drastic means radical or extreme. If thats your expectation, you will be disappointed by almost anyone taking the job….including some of the names bandied about in this space. Drastic, huh….Thats when one should really reflect on thos expectations.

      Am I a HL fan? Not sure. Base that uncertainty on what I know and have heard…

      A football alum and former NFL player indicated she’s not built a bridge to his population. Really bad move, especially from a fundraising perspective.

      Handling of the Hugely matter sent a bad message out to potential recuits. Perhaps there are more details that would suggest the suspension was appropriate. But the optics are bad.

      But in fairness, things have improved in Athletics overall at Pitt and it would be hard to take anyone seriously who would argue otherwise.

      Back to your “drastic” point… I guess the question is, whether that improvement is enough. Clearly not for you and many others here. But for everyone of “you” and others here, there are plenty in the workd of athletics and media who say otherwise. So, another question is do I believe someone who expects “drastic” improvement or a member of the media whose total objectivity could be compromised by taking a critical stand.

      I think its probably somewhere in between, leaning towards good.

      That said, I hope Jimbo Covert and other members of the Athletics Committee of the BOT are aware of the areas where she needs to improve and don’t throw a lot more money at her. Show her a just enough love to keep her here until the next big opportunity and then let her go unless fundraising, outreach to football alum and revenue sports performance improve as has the other areas.

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      1. LOL…..drastically were the words used by PSN. Which is why those were in ” ”

        duh.

        So take it up with them !

        BTW…i don’t know what you’re watching or looking at….but it would hard to take anyone seriously who thinks athletics at Pitt has improved, while taking into account the 2 Revenue sports of basketball & football. I really could care less if water polo or badminton is doing well.

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    2. I thought PSN did a better job than that. That writer is just blowing smoke. Whether she stays or goes, Pitt is pretty much in the same position. Who would Gallagher hire if she does leave? Another MAC administrator with no Power 5 experience? Basketball will test Lyke this season more than football. Maybe a new AD will have the guts to release Capel if the season goes as Dan suggests it will.

      Like

  37. Yesterday, I had a gentleman give me an estimate on trimming some large trees around my house. Turned out his wife is the Diving Coach at Pitt.

    So I read a bit about her. She’s from England. Was hired by HL in 2017 after being Head Coach of the Duke Diving Club. Supposed to have an excellent freshman coming in, but has already gotten some pretty good sounding results at Pitt. Go Katie!

    I think I found a tree trimmer!

    Hail to Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. My brother-in-law is the ex-CEO of two mid-cap companies.
    He says when an employee announces they are seriously considering another job, the only option is to hold open the door for them.
    I don’t fault her on the HCJC hire (as I still hold out hope on that), but extending Coach Pat was a no-no. Reward excellence, not mediocrity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They may allow her to move up to 1 million so they can say she gets seven figures and are compensating a female Ad relatively well.

      So, it may be a different optics they are looking for than people here seem to often cherish. While it is not likely a mere pc move, it could be considered a move taking public perception into account moreso than rewarding or not rewarding mediocrity.

      Also, if higher ups really wanted Narduzzi extended, his presence may have not affect whatsoever in how they assess her effectiveness in the row of AD.

      Like

  39. I’m of a mind that if Heather doesn’t pursue advancing her career then PITT would be stuck with a complacent Athletic Director. This isn’t a Heather Lyke thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Speaking of Heather and Pitt’s minor sports, out of desperation I watched quite a bit of the Olympics this year. Many colleges were mentioned as the commentators covered the many sports, but nowhere did I hear even once that some medal contender was from Pitt. I heard the usual players such as Stanford, Florida, Pedo unfortunately, and even Harvard, with the athletes showing their college colors. Even Kentucky had two gold medal winners. But no Pitt athletes were mentioned.. This is an embarrassment. I believe there were 41 different Olympic sports, and it would be nice if Pitt were competing at this level in some of them.

    Like

  41. To presume that Heather Lyke is using the MSU opening to finagle a raise might be a stretch. She obviously was responding to a question from a reporter who asked if there had been contact regarding the position. She is not going to lie so she acknowledged that there had been. It’s very likely that the MSU search team initiated the contact with her rather than the other way around. I wouldn’t read anything devious into what was reported by PSN.

    Like

    1. Yes cause we all learned from the Stallings episode…..that Everything & Everyone at Pitt is above board.

      Like

  42. #9 Pitt barely, and I mean barely, beat #23 Rice in volleyball today. They won in 5 sets. They were down 10-6 in the fifth set and came back to win it by a score of 16-14. I did not attend the match due to the current delta variant surge and having a household member who is high risk. We are all vaccinated but the reward of seeing Pitt in person is not worth the potential cost. Really wished I could have been there:(

    Pitt had 15 service errors to 8 aces. Rice had 3 service aces to 12 service errors. Rice’s errors happened at more inopportune times for them and probably cost them the match. Pitt hit 0.210 to Rice’s 0.203. Most interesting thing of note was that Rachel Fairbanks, a freshman setter, was used as a designated server usually in place of Sabrina Starks. Pitt used a 6-2 offense for the entire match discounting how Rachel was used.

    South Carolina beat #16 Washington State in 5 sets in the early match. Pitt plays both teams tomorrow. The South Carolina match will be televised on the digital SEC+ which is available to all who have the SEC channel on their television provider. Hopefully Pitt will play better tomorrow. I was not there to see how they did via an “eye” test but their stats were nothing to cheer about!

    The South Carolina match is at 7 PM tomorrow and the Washington State match is earlier at 12:30 PM.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the info, John. Looks like we had an extremely tight match with The Fightin’ Owls of Rice!

      Question — Is it unusual for volleyball to play two matches in one day?

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, not in tournaments before the conference schedule starts. It is quite common. If you look at various matches tomorrow, you will see lots of teams playing two matches in one day. The teams do it to get a look at various players and combinations. This is especially true if the tournament has a less than stellar team involved in it. This is not the case with the tournament where Pitt is this weekend. Three of the teams are ranked. South Carolina, the unranked team, is the home team. They upset Florida last year which made the NCAA tournament.

        The tournament Pitt will host is on the weekend of September 10th and 11th. They will play two good teams, BYU, currently ranked 15th, and High Point on the same day, 9/10. High Point was a Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament last year but they lost a key player from that team. Bowling Green may be the least competitive team of the bunch. Pitt plays them on the 11th and we will probably see a lot of the second team players for Pitt.

        Pitt will play in two other tournaments, one at Tennessee and the other at Morehead State. They will only play two teams each in those tournaments and only one match per day. The only team of note will be #10 ranked Baylor at Tennessee.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The match was too close, but I like how the team did not give up and came back to win in set 5. Maybe the loss in the NCAAs last year taught them that it’s not over until it’s over.
      It will be interesting to see what the lineups are today. Will Fischer rotate some of the backups in to give the starters a rest? Maybe he will juggle the lineup to test the cbemistry?

      Liked by 1 person

  43. I heard this week in the Packer & Durham show where there are studies that correlate winning FB and men’s BB programs with rising student applications/enrollment.

    The first time I heard about this recently was when Bobby Bowden passed away. When he turned FL St. around, their student numbers began to increase, and thus the potential future donor base grows as well.

    Then I read on the POV how the Olympic sports are on the rise and how that is gaining national attention, all the while men’s and women’s BB are cellar dwellers and FB is mediocre at best with no jumps in applications/enrollments.

    Then Packer and Durham hit that subject hard this week as the CFB season is about to begin.

    My opinion: either the Pitt administration has their head in the sand (polite reference) and are not aware of these studies OR they intentionally choose to keep Pitt in the mediocre category in the 2 revenue generating sports.

    Either way, it makes it tough to be an enthusiastic fan anymore. Can anyone supply a 3rd option to help bring back the enthusiasm? Incompetence at the hiring level won’t cut it for me.

    By the way, who would have thought Scott Frost would be fighting for his job at Nebraska in year 4 after the great job he did at UCF? He has a must win game today vs Illinois and their 1st year coach Bret Beliema. I’m rooting for Frost as I do with Duzz.

    Both teams need to win 9 or 10 games this year.

    Like

    1. I’ve heard that argument also, Erie. But if increased enrollment was wanted, why not just be less selective? U.S. News rates Pitt “more selective” than average at 57%. I’m not advocating for that as I feel being less selective tarnishes every alum’s degree.

      I doubt I can bring back your enthusiasm. But I’ll share my optimism. I see two options for lifting a football program out of the 100 or so middle of the pack, half full stadium, low donation level, fighting to stay relevant crowd. First is to keep churning through coaches until you stumble upon a person who young players find so charismatic that they want to be around him. Oh, and he also can do a decent job of coaching a team. That’s the Clemson model for success.

      Second is to find a competent coach who is able to do as well or better than his peers at the middling level, then stick with him as long as he appears to be making incremental progress toward that elite nirvana we all yearn for. That progress can be in the form of surprising a powerhouse with a mild or monumental upset. Makes national news and helps your image in the sports world. Next is to show you can take mid-star rated players and put them into the NFL. We had what, six players drafted last year? That put us up with the Alabama’s, Clemson’s, and Ohio State’s in terms of draft success. I’d argue there are only two ways that happens. Either your coaches are really good at identifying diamonds in the rough when recruiting or they are really good at coaching up average players to pro-level draftees. Either reason makes a good argument when on the recruiting trail and should lead eventually to being able to at least talk to higher rated recruits. That’s the Iowa model for success.

      Finally, this won’t go over well here, but did anyone ever think that the reason that Coach Narduzzi has been given significant bumps in salary might be because of the number of schools contacting the Administration for permission to talk to him about their coaching vacancy? Sure, most would blow that theory off. But I see a pattern of fans, not just Pitt fans, lambasting their program’s administrators, coaches, and even players, only to find they are coveted by and frequently successful at other teams/programs after they leave. Just a thought.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On the “number of schools contacting the administration to talk to Narduzzi” what on earth are you smoking!

        Like

        1. Don’t ya know….everyone is hot after coaches avg’g 6 or 7 wins per year. And ones that can’t recruit a 4 star QB and that lose bowl games to everyone(even when favored and playing shells of teams, missing boatloads of players) except last place MAC teams.

          Yep they’re a hot hot item.

          Like

    2. My daughter applied to Clemson two years ago. When she was going through that process, we were told that over the past ten years, applications have more than doubled. What you are saying is 100 percent true.

      Like

    3. There’s someone on this blog who works for a major D1 university who’s sole job is to implement and enforce that theory. Note he was turned down at Pitt for the same job!

      Like

  44. The base problem with Pitt Athletics (and Heather Lyke) can be found in her response to the PSN: she enjoys working for Chancellor Gallagher, who has no experience or expertise in world of athletics. Who she should be working for: an Athletics Department Board of Directors which would hold her accountable for successes and failures.

    Like

    1. I’m sure that quote is purely what she is expected to say, with a 50% chance of being accurate, like most of what is said in sports or political interviews, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  45. Pitt volleyball playing #18 Washington State now. Lost first set 18-25, won 2nd 25-20. Hit only .241 in the first set. Looks like they got blocked a lot. Hit .306 in the 2nd set. Down 2-4 in the third. They are definitely getting tested. That’s a good thing early in the season. Figure out the weaknesses and work on them during the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. I can tell you two things after watching a little Nebraska / Illinois.

    Scott Frost is not long for this world.
    As much as 7 wins per season is frustrating, it could be a WHOLE LOT WORSE

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Pitt Volleyball made a line up change after the 1st set. Vazquez Gomez replaced Member-Meneh who did not play the rest of the match. Vazquez Gomez played very well in the second set and going forward. In the middle of the 2nd set Lockwood replaced Nwokolo. Lockwood then played the rest of the match with Nwokolo on the bench the rest of the way. Lockwood carried the team in the third set for a while. As has been stated several times this Pitt team is very deep!

    Coach Fisher is still experimenting with using Fairbanks serving for Starks late in sets. It almost cost him in the 2nd set as Washington State went on a 5-0 run after her appearance. He allows Stark to serve early in matches preferring to keep his substitutions until later.

    Other observations include: Ndee and Lockwood never serve. Lockwood seems to have improved her game over last year. Vazquez Gomez is seen as competing against Member-Meneh as both are six position players. Lockwood is competing with Nwokolo as both are only front line players. Gray and Starks are both more than front line players and are middle blockers. Gray is an excellent server. This also makes it hard on Nwokolo to get in the line up as she is a natural middle blocker.

    Pitt ran a 6-2 offense and will probably do so all season. I will not longer state this unless something changes. This offense gives Pitt a very strong front line and improves the serving as it allows him to sub out bad servers. If one of our two setters go down, he has a third setter available in Fairbanks.

    You can watch the Panthers this evening at 7 PM on SEC+ against South Carolina. Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Brett Bielema Era at woeful Illinois nonetheless starts with a W.

      Illinois only threw the ball 19 times for 159 yards.

      The Cornfritters had close to 400 yards of offense and only 22 points, that is very Whipple Pitt like,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. UCONN got pummeled as well. Losing 45-0 to Fresno State. 107 yards of offense for the woeful Huskies.

      Like

  48. The 5 ACC Schools with the largest undergrad enrollments are:

    1) Florida State 32,812
    2) VA Tech 27,193
    3) NC State 24,150
    4) Clemson 19,402
    5) Pitt 19,326

    Surprisingly Pitt is 5th in undergrad enrollment. If Football & Hoops were better we could be
    in the Top 3. If both sports were elite for several decades we could be #1.

    Like

    1. Instead, our comments are deemed negative.

      Hogwash I say – just commit to winning more games.

      Like

      1. Some(maybe most) folks can’t handle the truth. It destroys their Illusionary World of non-Realty.

        It’s pretty common in sports with Homers thinking the Home team can do no wrong & in Life in general.

        Blindly following along regardless of the outcome(s)….cause one wouldn’t want to be ostracized.

        Like

  49. A couple of quotes from Jimbo Covert in a Trib article:

    Covert is a member of the Pitt Board of Trustees and chairman of its athletic committee. He said the items winning teams need have been put in place by Gallagher and athletic director Heather Lyke.

    “They want to win. We’re putting in new facilities,” he said. “We’re doing the things we need to do necessary to win. When you have something like that going on — they care about football, they care about athletics — usually good things happen.”

    And this

    “Stability is really important in college athletics,” Covert said. “I think when you have a coaching carousel that comes in — and we had that a little bit — that’s a bad thing. Having Pat there as long as he’s been there is great for the program, and I hope he stays as long as he wants to.”

    Liked by 1 person

  50. LaFayette Pitts of Pitt, cut by the Stillers today.

    Along with Lamont Wade of Pedo State.

    Whole team looked like Garbage last night in Charlotte 34-3. Nice coaching job by Tomlin.

    Like

    1. Whole team? There were a few backup defensive players who did well versus the Carolina starters in the first half. The last exhibition game is a joke anyway, but not to the Ravens. In pursuit of an NFL record 19 straight preseason wins it appears to have lost Dobbins to a knee injury.

      Mission accomplished. Talk about a record that means absolutely zilch.

      Like

  51. Volleyball team up 2-0 over unranked South Carolina, who had upset the other two ranked teams in the tourney. Pitt looking strong for the most part. They get onto a funk sometimes and let the opposition have 3, 4 or 5 pt runs. Serena Gray is just absolutely destroying the ball.

    SC is up in set three 7-9 right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems like a strange camera location behind the end line. Hard for me to have depth perception on the plays, especially at the net.

      Liked by 1 person

  52. Pitt wins in three, but SC makes it interesting at the end. Third set 25-23 Pitt wins. Good weekend to go 3-0 against 2 ranked teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Pitt looked very impressive against South Carolina. Except for the end of the third set per Annie’s comment, Pitt kept the Gamecocks out of system. Pitt used the same lineup they used against Washington State in the final two sets. Fairbanks again was used as a designated server. I have not been impressed with her so far but Coach Fisher sees lots of potential in her. We will trust his judgement on this!

    Although South Carolina was not ranked they beat two ranked teams before running into the Pitt buzz saw. Against Washington State they actually were down two set to none and came back to win the match. Coach Fisher kept his best lineup in the entire match against South Carolina and took care of business.

    Overall Pitt had a very good weekend. They got stronger as the weekend progressed. Coach Fisher changed his lineup against Washington State. The current lineup is basically the one from last year with Serene Gray replacing Nwokolo. Fairbanks is taking Faki’s designated server spot.

    Next up is a match against # 10 Baylor at 4 PM next Saturday at Tennessee. You can follow the stats and match while you are watching or attending the Pitt – UMass football game. Baylor defeated #7 Minnesota yesterday and are currently playing # Wisconsin. Pitt will have their hands full with Baylor. Pitt will play host Tennessee at 1 PM on Sunday. Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, I guess you and I are the only uber- vb fans. I like how the team doesn’t panic when down. Experienced upperclassmen will do that for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That seems to be the case Annie! I think we gained some converts with the run the Lady Panthers had in the tournament. The match against Baylor is going to be the biggest test of the pre-ACC schedule for Pitt. I would definitely watch it instead of the Pitt versus UMass football game. Unfortunately Pitt versus Baylor will not be televised. Baylor lost to Wisconsin 3-1. Wisconsin is for real. They will win the Big Ten!

        Like

  54. Heard a bit of Pat Bostick on the radio today. He said he expects Pitt will alter their run game this season by using more RPO-type plays…

    He also said he expects Pitt to use more hurry-up offense this season.

    Pat will probably be in Coach Duzz’s doghouse for these disclosures… 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Pulled this from the PG a few days ago – factual reporting on our kicking situation:

    3) The kicker situation isn’t in a great place. (Again, as written by the PG)

    Narduzzi is “still waiting” for either Ben Sauls or Sam Scarton to separate themselves and fill Alex Kessman’s kicking boots. Sauls was “a lot better a year ago” when he was trying to keep up with Kessman, the program’s all-time leader in field goals. But now?

    “They’re both above average,” Narduzzi said. “You’d wish one of them would just take the thing over.”

    4) Maybe this kicker conundrum will be a blessing in disguise for the red-zone offense.

    Narduzzi said in July that the Panthers won’t be settling for field goals within 20 yards. An emphasis has been placed on improving their red-zone touchdown rate, which at 51.2% in ACC play last year ranked fourth-worst in the conference. Perhaps Pitt will attempt more red-zone fourth downs if it doesn’t have a reliable kicker.

    This is a P5 team, right?

    Like

      1. Most advertising is usually grossly exaggerated. Coachspeak hype in Training Camps is even worse.

        Let’s hope he’s not a total bust….like last year ! Or we’ll have another negative moniker for all future Pitt TE’s.

        Like

  56. More from the PG –

    “The way Pitt’s defense is constructed — press quarters coverage on the outside and selling out to create havoc at and behind the line of scrimmage — lends itself to being burned from time to time.

    Last year, the Panthers allowed 22 passing plays of 30-plus yards. Only four Power Five teams gave up more, and that was with Hamlin and Ford at safety and fifth-round draft pick Jason Pinnock at corner.”

    Let’s try to name the four P5 teams worse than Pitt’s secondary in 2020 – Kansas, Oregon State, W_F and Duke would be my guesses.

    Like

  57. One last pull from the PG article – the reporters take on how Pitt can break from the sea of mediocrity in 2021 –

    10) The anticipation and confidence around Pitt’s 2021 season lies in Pickett’s surprise return, so it’s only fitting that our final thought is on No. 8.

    How much will he improve? And how far can he carry this team?

    Drops, running game woes and blocking concerns have hampered this offense for the last two seasons.

    But for someone who’s thrown only 26 touchdown passes in 21 starts in Mark Whipple’s pass-happy offense, more will be expected out of Pickett. (1.23 TD’s per game – and this team has issues with the FG kicker already – over/under on Pitt scoring has to be 19 points, and I’m not referring to the UMass game)

    This isn’t meant to question whether he’s capable of carrying Pitt to its first nine-win season since 2009. It’s an acknowledgement that as the Panthers attempt to break the mold of mediocrity, Pickett has to be the one to lead the charge. He (K8) knows that’s the pressure he assumed by returning.

    Like

  58. Saw this in the Trib yesterday – this one is for MajorMajors:

    “The defense is well-stocked with depth, according to accounts from Narduzzi and several players. Outside linebackers Cam Bright and Phil Campbell III are developing into leaders, and junior SirVocea Dennis is coming off a season when he had 14 1/2 tackles for a loss — tied for the team lead with defensive end Rashad Weaver, now with the Tennessee Titans. Dennis can play all three linebacker positions.

    “The guy who’s really smart on defense and has been impressive is (Dennis),” Pickett said. “He made one (play) on me where I don’t think anybody else on the team makes. He’s a step ahead of everybody in the knowledge aspect of the game.”

    Meanwhile, Wendell Davis, a starter at the outset of last season before an injury interceded; Chase Pine, who’s played in 45 career games with 11 starts; and Petrishen are pushing for playing time.“

    My guess is SirVocea Dennis will be the starting MLB once ACC play begins.

    Like

    1. Hey, ErieExpress, good info. Would love to see SirVocea tried in the middle.

      We’ve got some darn big linebackers. Pine is listed as 250 pounds; Reynolds and Roberts at 240. I remember when Walt’s defensive ends weren’t that big…

      Hope you and Rachel are doing well.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  59. Per PSN, Former Panther OT Tony Brown’s son – a 6-6, 295# 3-star OT – is deciding between Pitt and California on Monday. He lives in CA; has made an official visit to Pitt…

    Fingers crossed – but we haven’t done well with the son’s of former players. Be cool if one came from CA.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I don’t get why kickers and punters are not high priority in recruiting. It’s like coaches think they are a necessary evil.

    But every time they set foot on the field big defensive yardage or points are in play.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Kickers and punters should also be easy to pick up through the transfer portal. Most teams only use one of each, with one backup, and the backup could be recruited over. A kicker who wants to play can easily transfer his skills to another team.

    Like

  62. Not much argument except for the STRANGE reference four lines down.

    Really Gene, “gold” helmets?

    Even the Pitt Haters are brainwashed.

    xxxxxxxx
    “Last year, your Panthers wore gray pants and gray jerseys with silver numbers and silver helmets in one game — an alleged tribute to the steel industry they never felt moved to honor in this way while the steel industry actually existed — and this year they’re promising something called an “ice white” look. Those duds will feature white jerseys, white pants, and white socks, an ensemble separated only by the gold helmets from a strong resemblance to Penn State’s road wardrobe. Probably not what they’re going for. Assuming the steel grays are still in their repertoire, the Panthers will have six versions of some kind of football uniform for 2021. May they have as many wins.”

    Collier Post Gazette

    xxxxxxxx

    Like

    1. This time next year….you’ll be posting……10th covid-19 shots available at Walmart. And you get a coupon for 2 free Krespe Kreme donuts & a 32 oz slurpee. Don’t we get enough of this on TV.

      Like

  63. Cardiac Hill is not an authority but somewhat objective and this is news:

    Los Angeles Rams waive former Pitt star Paris Ford
    6
    By Mike Wilson Aug 24, 2021, 10:28am EDT

    Like

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