A New Chapter

Kenny Pickett has announced he won’t be playing in the Peach Bowl, and I applaud him for his decision. While a Peach Bowl win would guarantee Pitt a top-10 finish, there is very little more that Pickett could do for the program, and millions of dollars at stake if he were to incur an injury. We as Pitt fans should give Pickett his due and grant him our goodwill in that respect.

Pickett’s decision comes on the heels of Mark Whipple’s departure. The bond between the two has been unique and unmistakable. The results have been nothing short of spectacular, and synergy they exhibited this season was rare and beautiful.

So in two ways the Peach Bowl marks the beginning of a new era in Pitt football. It’s a preview of an offense, which for the first time in four years (other than that Delaware game), won’t have Pickett at the helm. It’s an opportunity (we hope) for a young up-and-coming assistant coach to stake a claim to a coordinatorship. And if we are lucky it’s an opportunity to get a glimpse at a renewed focus on the running game.

And so while (legend) Kenny Pickett walks off into the sunset, his curtain call of “Ken-ney, Ken-ney” will remain a fitting end to his tremendous career at the University of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, his understudy, Nick Patti, will be sharpening his skills in preparation for the biggest start of his life. Hail every loyal son.

227 thoughts on “A New Chapter

  1. I knew I was ahead of the curve:

    Some random thoughts this morning:

    I am laughing at some posters vitriol towards KP on other sites of course.
    As if he didn’t make the only correct decision. As if their desire to see him play outweighs
    a business decision required by the circumstances. As if everyone providing counsel to him wasn’t telling him the same thing. As if he didn’t do more for Pitt Football than any single guy in recent history.

    College Football is broken, probably beyond repair.

    Those of us (most) that wanted a playoff system to determine a National Champion had no idea of the wreckage to the bowl system that would result. The utter meaninglessness of the non-playoff bowl games remaining. The fact that the sports biggest stars can no longer afford to play in them.

    Well, KP will still be a legend, there will be no tarnish on him for his decision. Hopefully like Aaron Donald he will support the program and help it to trend upward. That long term support will mean much more to the program than a bowl game and additions to his career numbers.


    Gordon Conn
    December 17, 2021 at 8:50 am
    Can’t wait for John’s analysis of MSU.

    So both teams have lost their biggest guns. It really kind of takes the pressure off.
    We are going to get a preview of Pitt sans Whipple/Pickett.
    There will be some real coaching going on for the next two weeks.
    Which team can overcome the loss of their best guy?

    I think fans opting out of going to the game are making a mistake. I think the storylines are compelling.

    Hopefully Narduzzi has learned from the Pitt-Navy Military Bowl and we don’t witness a re-dux of that disaster, where so much program momentum was lost.

    That is what is at stake in this one. End the season on a positive and it will pay dividends.

    Because isn’t it always about overcoming adversity.

    This game is also big for getting ACC MOJO back after last year’s bowl massacre’s. (sorry Reed)


    Gordon Conn
    December 17, 2021 at 8:52 am
    The only down side I see coming is having to listen to the announcer’s lament about KP and KW and what might have been.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Here’s another way to look at it

    Fitz, Shady, DeJuan, Dion, Sam and Jaylen (probably more) all left EARLY

    KP came back

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 8 people

    1. How many more games would have been won had they stayed another year.
      Although it does happen in all programs, just hurts more here since we haven’t had that many of them.


        1. When Paris Ford QUIT the team after the Notre Dame game mid-season, I took his name off my #12 jersey and it is now a Patti! Can’t wait to wear it at the ATL Dome.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. His leaving pretty much sums up the dysfunctional state college football is in. He could have been injured in any game this year. Most Pitt fans don’t seem to care about finishing in the top ten. That tells you a lot about Pitt fans.


    1. That’s not a fair comment. The top 10 doesn’t mean anything more with the advent of conference championship game and even less with the playoff. Now, all that matters is a conference championship and/or a Final 4. Pitt accomplished all that they could this year. The peach bowl is an exhibition game and a reward for a nice season. The polls have been de-valued with the playoff format. It’s just a fact and a big reason why playoff expansion is being looked at. Polls matter until the first CFB poll is released. After that it’s all about the playoff or your conference championship game. It’s not a an indictment on Pitt fans, it’s a reality of the sport. It sounds like you prefer a bygone era but it’s gone. The sport has evolved and I would expect it to evolve even more rapidly in the next few years.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think we all understand and accept Kenny’s decision and are thankful for what we were privileged to watch and enjoy. But I can’t help feeling sadness as we see one more example of what we loved about being sports fans throughout our lifetimes is now gone.

    The days of watching your idols play for one team, your team, throughout their careers is over. Now it’s just a bunch of mercenaries seeking a paycheck wherever they need to go to get it. Someone beats you out for your position, no need to work harder, just go somewhere else.

    Started in the pros. Now rampant in the college game. And if you long for the purity and innocence of the high school game, think again. Kids change schools on a whim. And it’s not just transfers between private and government schools. Remember Jeannette won the WPIAL and were runner up in the State last year and only one starter returned this year.

    Maybe we all need to cut back on our watching sports and increase the time we spend playing. Let’s hit the links while we still can.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. yeah, I’ll bet even Ken Sr. is sad to see this change

      but maybe soon(draft day) to be very thankful for Kenney 🙂

      and as I’ve stated, if it’s my kid he’d be advised to do as Kenney is

      but somehow I’d love him(my kid) just a wee bit more if he decided to play 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How would any of you feel if Kenny got seriously injured during the Peach Bowl I would be sick to my stomach (and I’m even going to the game so it would be great to see him play). I can’t blame the young man for not playing at all. If this was the ACC championship game or a regular season game…or a college football playoff game…then yes, this is another story. There is a bright side to all of this though:

    It was not a good sign that a transfer qb was not brought on the other day. I was hoping for Slovis or Purdy. Let Nick, Davis, or Joey work out the kinks against Michigan State because our brilliant scheduling dept gave us WVU and an revengeseeking group of Volunteers to start our season in 2022. MSU can’t defend the pass and their starting rb is sitting too. This should be a fun, even match up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope I’m wrong but I see the delta between a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd running back as not being as great as the delta between a long-time starting quarterback and a backup. And it is not differences in arm strength, scrambling ability, height, etc. Kenny understands the game at such a high level. He recognizes defenses and makes split second decisions that are more often than not, correct. Kenny manages the game. Backups execute a play.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. agree re qb v rb backups and “next guy up” potential

        but in our favor even with Walker is Pitt run defense which has been most consistent and strong almost all year

        it will be very interesting seeing Pitt forced to run a more balanced offense

        and while I’ve seen exactly none of MSU, I’m feeling good about the remaining Pitt weapons on offense

        and while we have weapons, I have to believe THE key to success on the 30th will be the experienced Pitt offensive line


  6. I’m not going to be “sick to my stomach” if a player is injured in a bowl game that could put Pitt in the top 10. Concerned yes, Vomiting no. The over dramatization of Kenny Pickett’s role as a Pitt god is nauseating. He came back to raise his draft status. He needed Pitt to do that. He didn’t come back for his team or coach. Let’s just get that clear.

    It’s a selfish decision no matter how many Pickett defenders there are.


    1. I just don’t want to see someone with the potential to make millions of dollars possibly lose it over a game that very few people will remember in five years. I don’t care what team they play for or what their position is. Some of us see a human element to all of this.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Of course he came back to better his draft status. And of course he’s looking out for himself, and probably his family, just as you would (at least, I hope you would). But it’s decision, he made ther rightone, no sense in any fans getting their panties in a bunch. Suck it up and wish him well.


  7. Money has changed college football and it will get worse as NIL takes hold.

    But put yourself in Kenny’s shoes. As a potential mid round pick after 2020, do you come back for a 5th year or cash in?

    Say you decide to come back-and most would not- and you achieve your goals for the team and are now positioned as a first round pick if you stay healthy. Do you play one more meaningless game or protect your health and your NFL value?

    Its easy to make the sentimental decision in a hypothetical choice. But I think its safe to say that 90% of us would do what Kenny did.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Well done Michaelangeolo! Enjoyed your short post to kick things off on, thankfully, a new topic now that VB is over. There’s so much to discuss on Pitt football right now, and it’s mid December, what a nice change.

    First, regarding Pickett & any negative sentiments from supposed Pitt fans; this is why this blog is so valuable, it leaves behind the posts from a vocal minority of people who spend far too much time in their mothers’ basement playing internet tough guy. The vast majority of Pitt fans fully support Kenny and respect his decision, myself included. Don’t get me wrong, I wish he were playing, I don’t think it would be crazy for him to play one more game by any stretch, but the logic for his decision is obvious, and again, it’s his decision.

    Regarding the bowl game itself, Pitt’s loss (Pickett) is FAR greater than Michigan State’s loss (Walker), for the simple reason that we lost our QB and they lost their RB. No contest. That said, I will still greatly look forward to watching this game and supporting the Patti-led Panthers, we still have a good team, as does Mich. St. And I am REALLY hoping that Salem is not our OC!

    And lastly, regarding the OC position, if the rumors are true that Marion is gone I will be disappointed, but he does have a history of moving around… a lot. And I know Narduzzi is a loyalty guy, so maybe between a new offense and perceived immaturity, Marion just isn’t ready for this role at Pitt yet. Pesonally, I’d welcome the idea of Marion getting a chance here, but the reality is that there will be many quality candidates available, and I suspect Narduzzi will go with experience. PN has had mixed results with his OC’s, but Cutcliffe would certainly be an interesting choice if he were interested.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good post, and a good subtopic is Has ‘Duzz really been hit and miss on OC’s?

      Chaney – 28.2 PPG, 1 season. Miss? His offense was only 3 PPG lower than the previous year, and that’s the year Conner was out , so you could argue that he was a solid hire if only for a year. Famously lured him away from an SEC program (although Chaney may have been on the outs at Arkansas to begin with)

      Canada – 40.9 PPG, 1 season. Hit, albeit not a long one.

      Watson – 23.9, 25.6 PPG, 2 seasons. Most definitely a Miss, but needed him for stability after two one-and-dones

      Whipple – 21.2, 29.0, 43.0. Widely regarded as a miss until he wasn’t. Showed progress every year. Stuck around for three years although it would have only been two if Kenny didn’t demand his return. Stocked the cupboard with talent (except for maybe at QB ironically)

      overall you could say that Narduzzi, in one way or another has had three hits and one miss. On the other hand if you penalize him for one and dones, then you could say he’s had three misses and one hit.

      As usual, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

      Liked by 3 people

  9. No issues with Kenny’s decision.

    Pitt fans have always said bowl games are meaningless and nothing about exhibitions. Is this one different due to being a conference winner? I’d say it is.

    If Pitt loses I’ll read how Narduzzi stinks because of his 1-5 bowl record. If he wins, MSU was missing its running back so slap an asterisk next to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. If this game is meaningless…..then why even play it.

    Are the players that will play in it, not considered important, not considered to have a future, not going to have a future in the NFL. All of them are at risk, for career ending injuries, head injuries, etc.

    I say….just call the whole thing off. It’s a meaningless game after all.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. And also the other 41 bowls are meaningless. So we just need the Orange Bowl & whereever the other Final 4 matchup is.

    Call them all off…..they are all meaningless. Haven’t watched these others for years,

    And there is certainly no reason at all….to watch something totally meaningless. You see I don’t watch
    meaningless crap on TV. Which most of it is.

    When there are much better ways to spend your time.


  12. And since the game is meaningless……all discussions leading up to it…are also meaningless.

    So therefore we don’t need to discuss….a totally meaningless game. Do we ?


      1. I will add my 2 cents about this additional point, and say that NO, I do not think our bowl game this year is anywhere close to “meaningless”, that’s an abused cliche. We are in a New Years Six bowl, with an opportunity to finish in the Top 10 in the country. top 10. Again, Kenny Pickett choosing to play in this game, with Insurance in place of course, would have been completely understandable and commendable as well. Do you love the game? Then yes, results in this bowl matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Who said I was going to watch it 🙂 The 2 broadcasters assigned to this game, is more than ample reason not to. Plus it’s now been rendered…..Meaningless.

        I have been pretty much down to watching only games involving Pitt. No pro football for years,
        and no college.

        So I might just ‘opt out’ too.


          1. Whether I post, watch or not. Is meaningless…is it not. The ONLY things that have meaning….are those that make you $$$$$.

            Motto of this Pickett Story.



  13. College sports today in Div1 is all about the money $$$$ the dollars talk and almost everybody walks whether it is football or basketball….and let’s face it anybody following college athletics knows it !!
    So, I found it a waste of time to debate whether player x, y, or z should stay in school for the glory of “dear old alma mater”.when 10,20, or 30 million Yankee dollars are on the table.

    ??? I seem to remember seeing that Beville was going to be the starting QB in the Peach Bowl and it made no sense….I must have read the post incorrectly.

    My main attention has shifted to our trainwreck of a basketball program….Capal is beyond saving simply because his grave has already been dug. No recruits//no apparent recruiting efforts and a team that will most likely lose Hugely and Jefress after the ACC debacle of a season is over. Buyout coming for mega bucks that should never have been negotiated because Lyke was beyond her level of competence.

    last but not least….KUDOS to our excellent women’s volleyball team who faced a true powerhouse in Nebraska…………Fisher si ……Capal No.


    1. The basketball program’s only value is in a dark comedy sense. Cause basically all their games are meaningless.

      And if they leave, who cares. They certainly don’t.


  14. Hate to admit this but right now I am more interested to see who the next OC is than if Pitt wins the bowl game.

    Now that certainly may change about 12 days from now but I’m pretty sure Marion would love to be OC at Pitt than at Colorado. Could his interviewing with Colorado be forcing Duzz’s hand? The players love him.

    Duzz claims he won’t make a hire until January. Stay tuned

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  15. I certainly respect KP’s decision in opting out of the Peach Bowl. But I guess I would respect that decision a bit more if he also opted out of the Senior Bowl. If the key reason for opting out of the Peach game was to avoid a serious injury before the draft then accepting the Senior Bowl invite makes no sense whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yea I forgot about that little nugget. (and apparently many others forgot it too)

      So Peach Bowl for team…..No
      But Senior Bowl for Me……Yes.

      So is there a ‘We’ in that Senior Bowl moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The senior bowl is a week of practice with pro scouts and coaches. The game is a scrimmage and Kenny will play limited series.
        It is completely different, and he should play.

        Liked by 4 people

  16. I understand what you’re saying about the Senior Bowl, and you are not wrong. But note that KP will only play a little more than 1 quarter if he plays. The pre-week workouts are more important than the game

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

      1. So the guys on defense are going to do what. Gently tackle him. lol The Senior Bowl defensive guys that are fringe…are there trying to impress. Are they not ?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Did you ever watch the NFL all star games? Same deal, nobody is trying to hurt anyone. Wow are your panties in a bunch today.


          1. It’s called the Pro Bowl. And no i haven’t watched that for at least 20-25 years. But I would imagine at some point…somebody got hurt playing in it.


      1. He’s projected to be a 1st Rounder now in a weak year (according to them) for QB’s.

        So what’s the point of playing in the Senior Bowl. Another meaningless game.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. He can get hurt drinking some ‘cold ones’.’ You know how bars are….especially ones with drunk college kids in them.

        So he better avoid those too !


    1. The Senior Bowl will have all of the NFL scouts there and they will get to see how KP plays will all new players around him…you know, like he will with his next (NFL) team. This game is an NFL tryout. Remember how Arron Donald did in practice at the Senior Bowl when he made the top Tackle in the country look like a clown?


  17. Well for all of you who think bowls are meaningful, you’re missing the Bahamas Bowl on ESPN between 6-6 Middle Tenn St and 7-5 Toledo

    Me, I’m watching golf at 12:30

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  18. ….heard this morning Harvard has eliminated need to have SAT/ACT scores… hmmmmmm… could the be pondering a move to the “ BIG TIME ???” ITS ALL ABOUT THE Benjamins…..PATTI..PATTI…PATTI!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What makes any game meaningful?

    This game counts against Pitt’s record for the season. I think that means something. (We not Me)

    This game would allow Pitt to win 12 games for the first time in 45 years. I think that means something. (We not Me)

    This game will impact where Pitt is ranked at the end of the season. I think that means something. (We not Me)

    A win in this game would allow Pitt to be ranked in the top 10 for the first time in 35+ years I think that is meaningful. (We not Me]

    This game is nationally televised on ESPN in prime time. It’s a chance for the guys on the TEAM to showcase themselves again. I think that means something. (We not Me)

    This game allows this TEAM one last chance to play together. I think that should mean something. (We not Me).

    This game allows Pitt to receive more accolades and get the TEAM a bowl win something the younger players have never experienced (We not Me)

    This season was memorable because the TEAM came together. Now, KP played great no denying that.


    the Pitt WRs by and large ran better routes and actually caught the balls he threw.

    Pitt actually had TEs this year for KP to throw to and catch the ball. They also blocked pretty well when called upon.

    The OL were terrific by and large in pass protection and not the sieve they were for a few years.

    The RBs were better in pass protection. They also caught balls thrown out of the backfield.

    These 11 wins were TEAM wins.

    Now, this last game will also (hopefully) be a TEAM win.


    KP will be participating in Senior Bowl practices with a risk of injury (Me not We)

    KP will play in the Senior Bowl with a risk of injury (Me not We)

    KP will train for the NFL Draft Combine with a risk of injury (Me not We)

    KP will participate in the NFL Draft Combine with a risk of injury (Me not We)

    KP will train for and perform at the Pitt Pro Day with risk of injury (Me not We)

    So, I am going to watch the Peach Bowl. I am going to cheer like hell for the guys on this team who devoted all of this time, effort and sacrifice to represent the University. But I don’t want to see Pickett on the sidelines at the Bowl game yukking it up if he is opting out. He is no longer a part of this TEAM . He is solely a part of Team KP8. That’s the part that’s really disappointing…


    Liked by 7 people

    1. No I really don’t know how a guy who’s played with this team all season..and some of these guys for 5 years. They really finally accomplish something….win a ACC championship. Win 11 games
      for the first time in 40 years at Pitt. Have a chance to be only the 2nd Pitt team in 117 years, to win 12 games.

      And you’re going to just stand on the sidelines….when these same guys, your fellow TEAMmates…are
      playing in a NY 6 Bowl game.

      That’s absurd.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. …Flash forward 13 days…

      Nick Patti comes off the field after throwing a bad interception. Kenny Pickett leans over and whispers some words of encouragement in his year, they talk through what happened and what Pickett is seeing on the field.

      Patti comes back, makes the adjustment and guides Pitt to Victory



      Liked by 2 people

  20. Pickett’s decision may be a blessing in disguise with respect to what the future holds for whoever takes over at QB. We’ll get insight as to what we have on hand for next year, especially if Patti (or whoever) excels. If he does, it will be a confidence builder at some level. Remember when Pickett beat Miami (ranked #2)? Can we honestly say that that win did not somehow play a key role in developing his confidence, even if this came to fruition a bit late?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then we should have beat Miami this year. No ? And why should I remember a totally meaningless game from 4 years ago. Hey we’re not even supposed to remember bowl games from 5 years ago,
      according to some.


      1. We should of, in fact, beat Miami this year, if it weren’t for that errant interception at the end. Nonetheless, each year is different–different teams, different conditions, different chemistry, etc. Logic cannot explain the inexplicable. What you and I remember and how it affects us, has little to do with how it affected Pickett in his growing process and how he sees himself. I just can’t imagine it being otherwise. Besides, that game wasn’t meaningless to us at the time.


  21. Looks like Pittsburghsportsnow corrected their article from last night where they reported Beville would be getting the start.


  22. This game may help Narduzzi in figuring out who’s going to start at QB next year. They need an OC who likes to run the ball more than Whipple.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yes , so when Addison announces he is declaring for the draft, are we going to criticize him for skipping an entire year?

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Addison should take legal action against the NFL. They have no right to keep a qualified person from playing.
      It is time to go after the NFL. They are the problem.


      1. I agree with the NFL on this one. If not then kids from high school will be able to get drafted. It’s a man’s game….not for underdeveloped boys.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I posted this as a reply up above but I feel it should be posted in the main thread as well …

    The top 10 doesn’t mean anything more with the advent of conference championship games and even less with the playoff. Now, all that matters is a conference championship and/or a Final 4. Pitt accomplished all that they could this year. The peach bowl is an exhibition game and a reward for a nice season. The polls have been de-valued with the playoff format. It’s just a fact and a big reason why playoff expansion is being looked at. Polls matter until the first CFB poll is released. After that it’s all about the playoff or your conference championship game. It’s not a an indictment on Pitt fans, it’s a reality of the sport. It sounds like some of you prefer a bygone era but it’s gone. The sport has evolved and I would expect it to evolve even more rapidly in the next few years. College football still has the most relevant regular season but the post-season format kills the value of a bowl game.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are wrong. End of season rankings mean a great deal. I understand you’re passionate about dumping on all bowl games, e en the NY6. Legacies are build on Top 10 finishes.


    2. Wow. Rewriting college football history. Damn finishing in the top ten which Pitt hasn’t done in 40 years. Damn college football history!


    3. You’re confusing college football where there’s a 4 fame playoff followed by NY 6 bowls and college basketball where 64 teams enter the playoff.


  25. … and to add … Just because it’s an exhibition game doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch. It’s football after all. But it’s a game with no stakes. First quarter will be shaking off the rust. 2nd and 3rd quarters will be traditional out of conference football … and in the 4th quarter competitive juices will start flowing, especially if it’s a close game. We’ll also get to see a lot of players we haven’t seen much of and wet our appetite for next year.

    Bowl games are about TV viewership. Most bowls make most of their money off of the tv rights and sponsorship. They don’t even care about attendance. NY6 is a little different because their supposed to be more prestigious but each season more and more pro prospects even sit them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least half the Bowels…are created by ESPN to fill air-time. So yes attendance to them means nothing, they’ll just play their camera angle tricks to hide all the empty seats and then pump in fake crown noise or mic up the 1000 people in the stands.

      You’ve heard of Studio Wrestling,

      This is Studio Football…..brought to you by Espn.


  26. They have to be piping in crowd noise at the Bahamas bowl. Two people can’t make that much noise even if one of them is Scooter.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I still remember how mad Pitt fans got at the loss to NAVY in the Military Bowl. Pitt was obviously just trying to get out of the game without injuries. The DL would not even engage the chop blocking Navy OL. They let the OL come to them. Coaches like the extra practice but they have no interest in next year’s stars getting hurt in the game. It’s why you see so many players and a heavy rotation of players. In the Pinstripe Bowl, Peterman and Conner were pulled quicker than you could say Narduzzi … We also had an OL get pretty badly hurt and his draft stock dropped because of it. Can’t remember who.


    1. Yea but I didn’t see Northwestern pulling any of their players. They actually wanted to win.
      And a better academic school than Pitt…to boot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bowl games are made for underdogs … they want to win 100%. I don’t think bowl games are necessarily meaningless. I just think they’re an exhibition game with not much at stake.


    2. Remember the Houston game with Narduzzi in the booth? Yeah, that was embarrassing and set back our recruiting 3 years…


      1. What recruiting? That was a patchwork class for Narduzzi and he brought in Peterman. No one remembers the battle of 7-5 teams that day.

        It was embarrassing for Chryst’s staff that day. Rudolph bombed in his audition to be a head coach, up 31-13, the ball inside the Cougars’ 10-yard line and he passes twice and 12 seconds came off the clock.


    3. Peterman and Conner weren’t pulled, both got knocked out with dirty hits. Both were headshots I believe.

      I sure hope in Atlanta if Pitt is up 3-0 we don’t have a ball carrier slip and fall at the 1-yard line with no one within five yards of him. It would stink to go from being up 10-0 to down 7-3 and deflated.

      Dorian Johnson suffered a bad ankle injury.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. How’s this for unintended consequences for Pickett.

    Both Patti and Belleville light up Michigan State with many passes and terrific completion %s. NFL then questions whether Pickett was responsible for success or team?
    Drops to second round.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That could happen….if MSU’s pass defense is a bad as their stats are. Would be more than irony.


    2. They already have the worst pass defense in D1 … I don’t think they could make anyone look bad.


      1. Vegas isn’t impressed with our backup QB’s. MSU is now a 3 pt favorite, And O/U has dropped even farther to 55.


  29. Beville was a highly touted 4**** recruit from S Carolina who has been unable to obtain much playing time (almost no playing time). I hope that he gets a chance to have some meaningful minutes in the Peach Bowl…..we are going to need all the help we can get at the QB positions unless we get a last-minute transfer who wants to play in the ACC and throw to Addison.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Why did Pitt accept a totally meaningless Pizza Bowl game against a MAC team ?

    And I believe there weren’t any opt-outs.

    If ever there was a meaningless Bowl game, Pitt has certainly played in many of them. BBVA Kumquat Bowls. Etc.


  31. Why would you risk a career ending injury to anyone….for playing in a BBVA Kumquat Bowl or a Pizza Bowl ?


  32. Juggernaut – You’re reaching, man. Lol. The season was over at the ACC Championship game. The season was not over at the NH game. Keep reaching though and keep pining for a bygone era … but it’s gone and getting further away every season. Fans crack up me sometimes. Their goal was an ACC championship. It’s been stated for several years. They accomplished it. Season over.

    Are they going to try and win the game? Sure. Coaches and players are competitive. Are there any stakes if they lose? Nope. Won’t affect recruiting. Won’t affect spring practices. Won’t affect next season. What do they get if they win? A top 10 finish that doesn’t mean anything anymore and will be a bookmark to their ACC Championship. A few nostalgic fans will remember though. So there is that, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well evidently Pickett doesn’t think the season is over yet since he committed to the Senior Bowl. TT quite calling the season being over because that’s not the case for all the players.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yawn. Damari Mathis out now, too. Ohio State is expected to have a bunch of kids opt out. Players like the bowl experience but the games have lost relevance no matter how hard you try to cling to them.

        I’ve been saying this for years, too. This isn’t new from me.

        Death. Taxes. Tossing proclaiming the end of the bowl games relevance.


    2. Here are the consequences as I see them:

      If Pitt loses to Mich St., the Panthers drop to # 22 in the polls, PSUx wins their bowel game (a little Sandusky lingo) and finishes ranked # 21. In 2022, Pitt starts the season unranked and psuX is ranked # 5.

      If Pitt wins, we move into the top 10 to finish the season and start next season ranked in the top 25.

      Look, this team was ONE loss away from the CFB playoffs and we are maybe only losing 12 players, KP8 the most productive.

      If I was Duzz, I’d have already had my OC in place (co-OC’s in Marion & Salem) – Marion had the same receiving corp as the year before with Beatty – difference was they were taught by Marion how to run proper routes, block down field and catch the ball. He deserves to be promoted…

      Missed opportunities can be costly / this team could win some games next year with the right QB – Duzz never let the back-ups play so he knows nothing about what kind of game tested QB we have.

      Winners make winning decisions. Mediocrity has a good season every once in a while. Remember the cuse hype from their 10 win season a few years back and the fall that followed?

      Never forget Houston –

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Here’s some history:

    Again, what makes a game matter? What makes any game matter? They are all just “games” right?

    What makes the Senior Bowl ( truly a meaningless exhibition game) with other players, most of whom, you don’t know and never met, more important than a game with the guys you have played with all year and in some cases years and years with?

    Payton Manning didn’t sit out the Orange Bowl his senior year. In fact he was injured in the SEC Champ game and came game to play in the Orange Bowl.

    Andrew Luck didn’t sit out the 2011 Fiesta Bowl when his team was an 11 win team and he was a consensus #1 pick

    RGIII played in the Alamo Bowl !!!! In 2011

    EJ Manuel played in the ACC Championship Game and then the Orange Bowl in 2012 with an 11 win FSU team and won to make them 12-2. (Sigh)

    Johnny Football played in in the Chuck Fila Bowl on his way out the door for Texas A&M

    Jared Goff played in the Armed Forces Bowl before becoming the #1 pick

    Mitch Trubisky (!) played in the fan favorite Sun Bowl on his way to becoming the #2 overall pick

    Sam Darnold played in the Cotton Bowl for USC a and was picked #3

    Daniel Jones played in the Independence Bowl AND the Senior Bowl (MVP) on his way to being the 6th pick in the draft that year Justin Herbert played in the Rose Bowl (MVP!) on his way to the 6th pick in the draft in 2020

    Zach Wilson played in the Boca Raton Bowl (MVP!) on his way to being the #2 pick in the draft last year.

    All of these guys above, assessed the risk and thought it was worth playing with their team one more time. I am just disappointed that KP feels differently than Mitch Tribusky, Zach Wilson and Jared Goff etc…

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Very interesting…all of them picked higher than what Pickett will be. Still played in their Meaningless Bowl games. Must have had some meaning to them….to finish their careers playing instead of watching.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t think Kenny cares if anyone is disappointed. He had closure on his Pitt career. Each year more and more opt out. Maybe those guys didn’t have closure on their careers and needed more. I think Kenny is the only senior out of that bunch and no opportunity to go back to college if injured. I’m sure that’s a factor, too.


      1. TT now some how you concluded the KP had closure on his Pitt career as the reason he opted out of the Peach Bowl. Interesting analysis. I callout grasping at straws in order to justify your opinion. Simply put if avoiding injury was his reason to opt out I have no problem with the decision at all. But once he committed to the Senior Bowl then obviously there were other considerations beyond injury in his mind. The Me not We scenario was in play on that decision don’t you think?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The Senior Bowl is relevant. The Peach Bowl is not. There I said it. If it meant something Kenny would be playing. If the Senior Bowl didn’t mean anything, he wouldn’t be playing. It’s really that simple … looks like you’re the one grasping for straws.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Good call. Haha. I am having fun getting the fake rage out of some folks on the board. I’ll back off.


    1. Nonsense more grasping at straws. His draft selection will have an almost zero effect on his Senior Bowl participation.


      1. Whose grasping at straws? Seems like you are since Kenny’s playing in the senior bowl and not the peach bowl … interesting how that can tell you where his priorities are … oh yeah, the NFL. Keep trying to pretend a bowl game not associated with the playoff means anything. Ohio State is expected to have a bunch of players sit out the Rose Bowl, too, by the way. I don’t get why some fans can’t accept that the sport has changed. It’s not 1982 anymore. The game has changed a lot since the last time Pitt was in a New Years 6 game … which isn’t even played on New Years day.


  34. I’m gonna be like Charmin. Gonna switch out my Pitt hat for my Laurel Valley GC hat.

    It’s about Me right….not We !


  35. I always have an opinion. I don’t say I have answers. I’m just pointing out an ongoing trend of bowl games becoming less and less important each year. Some people choose to ignore trends. Most people saw this Kenny decision coming. It’s been talked about relentlessly. I’m not sure how anyone would be surprised. The Jaylen Smith injury for ND was the game changer on bowl games and accelerated the curve. Jake Butt was another significant moment in the bowl game debate. Some players play. Some don’t. It’s a personal decision that should be respected. I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m on record saying I hoped he was going to play. I even thought he would for a few days. Once he said undecided though, it was game over.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Wouldn’t it be great if Kenny Picket became a starter in the NFL, started for several years, made a mountain of money, and then made some big-time donations to Pitt…

    Just sayin’…

    As for me, as always I’m looking forward to seeing the Pitt Panthers play – don’t care where or who…. And happy to see some back-up QB play….

    And, BTW, wasn’t there a point during the championship game, when KP was going in and out of the medical tent, when you wondered if KP would be able to finish the game? Next Panther up…


    Liked by 2 people

  37. If Pitt were in the Sugar or Orange Bowl instead of the Peach Bowl, would fans be as eager to support Kenny’s decision. We are playing in the second NY6 bowl since 1982. It’s the Peach Bowl which is a major bowl. Would fans still call the Sugar or Orange bowl maningless.

    And do you think Narduzzi, minus Pickett and Whipple, will beat Michigan State?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s funny….normally the ACC champion does get the Orange Bowl. Unless it’s part of the 4 way playoff. Like this year.

      Figures we get Atlanta instead of Miami Beach.


  38. I am not a big fan of meaningless bowl games or if a player sits out or not. PITT’s Peach Bowl game is not meaningless by any stretch of one’s imagination. StubPanther knocked it out of Atlanta, (great job stubby) Kenny should have never bombarded us with the WE concept. Even if he doesn’t care, it’s biting him on his behind right now.

    This bowl game has historical implications to it with legacies and memories at the mercy of KP’s future. << That is the crux of what we are all coming to terms with now. I’m upset not up in arms.

    D Johnson was the O-Lineman hurt in the NW bowl game.
    PITT would have won only once out of ten games against Navy that year.
    It’s Kenny’s life he can live it his way.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. Here is a short career at Pitt coming to a quick end with this following post early today. “Salary is what they give you to try to make you give up on your dreams.” GoGo coach Marion. Narduzzi will follow up shortly with don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way out IMO.


  40. IMO this bowl game means something for recruiting. It’s also the last game for the seniors who will not be returning for a 5th year….and of course the 5th year seniors who want to go out a winner. It’s the ACC vs the hated B1G too. For me it’s a big game anyway…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t disagree that some players and fans consider it a big game. The players who play will compete hard, too. Coaches will coach to win. Players will play to win. But it won’t be at all costs because the stakes aren’t worth it. You’ll see more substitutions. Some players you haven’t seen all year.

      I’ll be watching. I would have gone if it wasn’t an end of fiscal year for me. I’ll be hoping for a win. No one wants to break the 3 loss curse as much as me. But, I also accept that a me thing and not a team thing. The team probably doesn’t really care much about the historical significance of getting to 12 wins or when the last time we didn’t lose 3 games was.

      I also haven’t said it’s meaningless like some people, but I think people take me as saying it’s an exhibition as it being meaningless so I roll with it. There’s just not much at stake. I don’t think it affects recruiting at all. Those kids see players opting out, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Easy there, fella. No love lost. I post here almost every year how pointless I think the bowl season is. If I’m one thing, it’s consistent.

    If Kenny playing in one bowl and not the other doesn’t tell you the importance of the two games, I don’t know what else will convince you otherwise.

    Here’s to Pitt winning the Peach Bowl. Cheers.


  42. And to spell it out…..there is No importance to me of the Senior Bowl. Can’t even remember the last time
    I watched it.


    1. I won’t watch it either. It’s the practices that count. The actual game doesn’t mean much. I think 4 or 5 QB’s will play for each team.


  43. I don’t know what some of you are thinking, but I agree with 1618mt that this is a really important bowl game, and I am looking forward to watching it. We should get a good read on how strong this team will be next year, and get an idea as to how next year’s QB situation will play out. Narduzzi will probably wait to decide on a transfer portal QB until after he watches his current group of QBs in the Peach bowl. So this game is likely a tryout for next year’s QB starter under actual game conditions. It is also quite likely that one or more of Pitt’s returning QBs will transfer out after this game. Don’t you want to watch that?

    Many of the back ups will see game action, and we will hopefully learn what kind of depth Pitt has. Is this team really a one trick pony with Pickett throwing and Addison catching? I am looking forward to watching the QB tryouts, and we will have fun sorting this all out, especially once we see how many super seniors are leaving. The recruiting season is not over. What Pitt supporters all want to know: was this year a fluke or has Narduzzi actually turned the corner? This game should help provide some answers.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. Maybe Bill O’Brien? One of his kids has a medical condition and Pitt would be a good spot for he and his family with a world class health care system in our neighborhood.

          Another thought is Canada & Duzz mending fences and Matt rejoining Pitt after the Steelers fold their tent for the year.

          Seems and feels like Marion got passed over which does not make me happy – he deserved a promotion to at least co-OC in my opinion. He lead the 2nd best position group next to 1st string QB.

          Hopefully not having a OC in the bowl game means we score enough to win. Somehow 21 points does not have the feel of a win – I believe the ST unit will struggle and give up a blocked kick, a run back TD, the D will give up 2 long TD’s and MSU will make a few FG’s where Pitt will miss a few.

          Be prepared for a return of “sloppy” Pitt. Leaders lead and our leader is negotiating a new contract. Distractions cause sloppiness and sloppiness leads to loses – remember NW and Stanford – AND never forget Houston.


          1. I’d love to have O’Brien as OC at PITT, but he’d be taking a big cut in pay IMO. I don’t think Coach Marions’ Go-Go is Narduzzi’s cup of tea.


  44. the importance to most Pitt men(and woman) here is to NOT give Reed a headache policing the site

    while we know Reed aligns with the Jugger believing KP absolutely should play, I think the points are made and no one is convincing much of anyone else to move from their position


  45. The adolescent outrage some have shown here would be hilarious if it weren’t despicable.

    “Kenny owes me another game in a Pitt uniform. Now I hate him.”

    I hope they aren’t the same people who are always clamoring to see the backup QB get garbage minutes, since that is exactly what he has given you.


    1. dkfailing – you’re making that statement up and it’s a disgrace that you said it (free country, so have your opinion) – the fans that are disappointed don’t “hate” Kenny, they don’t like the inconsistent narrative. #wenotme

      It really is that simple.

      I like the idea of seeing next years QB’s in an exhibition game so we have a good idea what to expect next season. Not having an OC in place makes the exhibition game less appealing.

      KP8 and RB Walker opting-out were one of the hot subjects on XM Radio College Football yesterday and the callers were split down the middle opinion-wise. Very similar to this blog.

      Pitt does not seem to have good resources currently to help these young men make good choices about moving the on to the next level (timing-wise) – P.Ford & Twyman.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. OK – if anyone can’t tell the difference between a player leaving after at least two years and most often three years of playing complete seasons (including any bowl games where, heaven forbid, they might have gotten hurt) and a player telling his teammates, coach, school and fans that he’s bagging out, then you have blinders on.

    BTW – back then there was no rookie salary cap so those star Pitt players who left early were gambling a hell of a lot more future money then the players do today had they been injured before signing a NFL contract.

    There is a world of difference between what those past players did and what Pickett is doing.

    I’ll say this also – if Pickett passes on the bowl game (you know – the game that would give Pitt the best record we have had in the 45 years !!! since 1976 and a sure perception and recruiting boost) because he’s so afraid of getting injured…then chooses to play in the Senior Bowl, where he can be seriously injured just as easily, then I’ll say right now that’s a load of crap spread thick.

    Here is an article – a bit old but that means the insurance payout coverage $$ is even higher – about college players being insured against injury. Not only does the NCAA condone this that also allow the schools themselves to kick in premium cost offsets. National insurance companies do this also.

    So – believing an injury to a senior looking at being highly drafted completely cuts out future monies he might have earned is a smokescreen so he’s left with nothing is wrong. Plus, a large insurance policy also covers injuries off the field in most cases.

    A player might not realize the same monetary gains as a rookie contract would give him but to say he’d lose his shot at any money at all (and in reality actually getting more money than most Americans would ever have) is another excuse for doing this.

    Here is an updated list of kids opting out this year – nine so far:

    College football players skipping bowl games
    Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
    Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
    SMU WR Reggie Roberson
    SMU WR Danny Gray
    Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton
    Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams
    Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III
    West Virginia RB Leddie Brown
    Pitt QB Kenny Pickett

    Here is a list of projected high draftees:


    As you can see way, way more star players have chosen to stick by their teammates, school and fans then leave.

    Since 32 players will be drafted in the first round that shows a majority of the kids feel differently. Let me ask you apologists this: Are those kids just stupid? Are they wrong in playing in a bowl game? Even if their team isn’t in the playoffs should they just wave as they are walking out the door…because, you know, they might get injured and not able to play professionally. Or, should they run out of the tunnel together?

    BTW – when was the last time we heard of a Pitt player – or any CFB player – being injured so badly in a bowl game, or even in his full senior year, where they couldn’t play ball any longer?? I can’t remember one although I’m sure that has happened.

    Obviously I do not like the idea of players doing it – and I don’t give a damn if other players from other schools do it – but let’s call it exactly what it is – turning your back on teammates who need you to be on the field with them in what might be the crowning game in their own college careers. Especially if the guy leaving choses to play in the Senior Bowl which negates the whole “But, but…I might get injured” thing..

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Reed, then explain the trend. Whether you or I agree or disagree, it’s a significant trend that has only escalated in the playoff format. I don’t know what else to tell anyone except, it’s happening and happening in increasing numbers every year.


      1. That’s the team mantra. And the team doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. Duzz actually appears to have endorsed it.


        1. Did anyone ask Duzz how he feels about Pickett opting out of the Peach Bowl but deciding to participate in the Senior Bowl? Did anyone ask Duzz if he thinks Pickett is less likely to get injured in the Senior Bowl than what he would face in the Peach Bowl? Those are the questions that I’d like to him answer now.


      2. And money.

        College football is a business and KP8 has made a business decision for himself.

        My gut tells me Kenny wants to play in the NFL, not just have an insurance policy to cover lost wages in case of a bowl game injury.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. These players already had “the crowning game in their own college careers,” thanks largely to Kenny Picket. And KP said he was coming back to win a championship. He played until that goal was reached – he didn’t ask to sit out against Syracuse…

      The Senior Bowl is a totally different animal. I would guess, for example, that like the spring game, no blitzing is allowed in the Senior Bowl…



      1. Exactly my thoughts Major..

        The Peach Bowl is an anticlimatic, denouement.

        The kids know that and understand it as well.
        And they also knew (and know) why Kenny was coming back when he did.


  47. I think Kenny Pickett said, to paraphrase, I’ve decided to forgo the Peach Bowl to start training for the NFL. Other people have used the injury excuse but Kenny never said that. In fact, playing the Senior Bowl makes complete sense when looking at what he posted.


      1. The team doesn’t appear to feel so. Just angry fans. Coaches and players seem to be encouraging him to move on. 🤷‍♂️


    1. Luved it when that Panther kept an eye on Pitt Stadium. As if he was watching the game. On the wall of the white house….what was it…Pennsylvania Hall. That was on one side of Pitt Stadium.

      Where on Earth did you find it ? haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. It used to be part of a mural on the side of the original Pennsylvania Hall. Back in the 70s I think. Ive been looking for it for a long time and poached it recently from a FB post.


        1. It was there thru most of the 1980’s I believe. For sure when Pitt with Swervin Curvin beat Ohio Fake in the late 1980’s.


  48. The 45-year hole that Pitt dug themselves into is not Pickett’s responsibility. And even if it was, he helped lift the program to the brink of escaping. The rest of the team can’t finish the job?

    A Peach Bowl win would not be the crowning achievement for anyone on this team, senior or otherwise. That would be the ACC Championship.

    Players choosing to play in their bowl games are not making a “stupid” or “wrong” decision just as Pickett’s choice to not play isn’t either. I’m not sure why people can’t understand that.

    And, as others have already mentioned, the Senior Bowl is literally NO comparison to a competitive bowl like the Peach Bowl in terms of likelihood of injury. It’s like comparing the Pro Bowl to a regular season NFL game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not remember these UNis. I was busy with HS Football, grades and taking care of my younger brother and sister in a chaotic broken home. I listened to Pitt Games but did not attend from 1964 – til 1968 when I was a frosh. Don’t even remember a pic of them.


  49. Last year Georgia DL Malik Herring tour his ACL at the senior bowl. Went undrafted and wasn’t recovered when NFL camps started. If Pickett is skipping the Peach Bowl, he should skip the Senior Bowl. If not, it is kind of weanie.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kenny is already listed by most draft (cough) experts as the #1 QB out of college. What if he throws a couple picks in that game? That should be his biggest concern, not getting injured. It would be different if he was like the #3-5th best QB and he wanted to move up in the Draft.


  50. So, does Kenny stand on the sideline in Georgia? Or perhaps he’s up in the booth will Billy and Pat Bostik? Or maybe he’s walking toward Patti with each play like his Nebraska-bound pal used to do.
    And if Coach Pat indeed instructed him to skip the game (but to play in the senior bowl) then Pat’s priorities appear to be askew. After all, Pitt is paying Coach Pat’s salary; the Senior Bowl is not.

    In any event, I wish Kenny the best. But given the defections, it feels, to me anyway, that the season has already ended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KP will not be at the game and if he wants to be it is on his dime. He probably already has an agent and a nice advance in money.


  51. Dabo, on the transfer portal:

    “It’s chaos right now. Tampering galore. Adults manipulating young men. Education is like the last thing now.” Calls for the return of one-year sit for transfers, and get that year back upon graduation. “Keep the focus on graduation/education.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Players play their butts off in bowl games. Just turn on the Coastal Carolina vs N. Illinois game. The two teams are playing super physical. It means a lot to them and the coaches. Saying the games mean nothing is BS. If you put in the blood sweat and tears the entire season, it means a great deal. If you have played sports you know you walk on the field wanting that W at all cost.

    KP playing in the bowl game has nothing to do with him thinking the bowl game is irrelevant. I’m sure KP thinks the bowl is super important but he has to weigh that with his future. His concern for his future won out. It is that simple. He has to live with the decision, we don’t. It isn’t worth getting upset over. It isn’t anything we control and it doesn’t affect our lives. If it does affect your life, you need some perspective, lol. It’s all good folks. H2P.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Maestro – excellent post.

    stubpanther made probably the most cogent argument for KP playing in the bowl game. Tip of the cap to you for the content and effort. That said, it doesnt hold up to this counter argument:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yet, McGahee was still drafted in the first round and chose not to collect on a $2.5 million dollar insurance policy he took out that the school paid for. McGahee was also an RB and not a QB.

      As noted above and for consideration, Malik Herring tore his ACL at the Senior Bowl (last year!) and went undrafted.

      Liked by 2 people

  54. By the way, Nortern Illinois won zero games last year. Zero. They are playing for their tenth win this year. It means the world to them.


  55. OT – Forgot to congratulate the Pitt women volleyballers on a terrific season.

    Watched a good bit of the match last night. Was impressive to hear how Pitt was in the final four, playing against the elites, even though Pitt has never had their recruits ranked among the elites…

    Congrats to Coach Fisher and the team!


    Liked by 3 people

  56. Some thoughts…I completely understand why KP8 made the decision to opt out of this game, but I don’t like it…Some have referred to this NY6 bowl game as meaningless. I am positive that not a single Pitt coach or player that sets foot on the field on Dec 30 shares that sentiment. It’s simply a human instinct in this and every game to coach and play to win…I am looking forward to seeing Nick Patti lead the offense against MSU…H2P.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. With all that I said above, I am not angry or mad at KP. I am not throwing a temper tantrum. As unlikely as it is, I hope he gets drafted #1. I hope he makes $200 million in his NFL career and wins multiple
    Super Bowls.

    It’s just disappointing to hear someone all year repeatedly say We not Me then do something that not even Johnny Football (his name and selflessness have never been used in the same sentence) did and not finish what he and the rest of the team started.

    I will cheer like hell for Patti and the rest of the team. I hope they hang 50 on MSU.

    Hail to Pitt

    Liked by 6 people

  58. I second that comment stubpanther. And for the first time in a long time I really liked and agreed with Reed’s comment on the Pickett decision. Like i said previously I respect his decision but I would have respected it much more if he also opted out of the Senior Bowl.

    Liked by 4 people

  59. There is much negativity for Heather to manage around the two revenue generating sports.

    Men’s BB is going nowhere fast – need to find the fork in the road and change to a more positive route.

    FB’s recruiting class is ranked 62nd – there are only 64 P5 teams. The star QB is opting-out of a NY6 bowl game and the team has no OC.

    The athletic marketing department needs to feed the fan base some positive vibes – I’d give suggestion but my business needs that same feed as COVID, highest inflation in 45 years and supply chain issues are kicking us “below the belt”.

    I need to be the business juggernaut for this season…I’m off to work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. choices have consequences, no one is taking that away but many are expressing their contribution to the consequences

      Kenney IS viewed differently now, HE made that choice

      Liked by 1 person

  60. Ron Cook just wrote a very positive article about Pitt Athletics, yes, Ron Cook! And his cynicism matches most of the POV cynics

    Pitt FB gets 11 wins, and you complain about the recruiting rankings. The volleyball, men’s soccer and wrestling teams have been exemplary, but Heather gets vilified for mens basketball … even though her hiring of Capel was widely praised here at the time

    When a school’s teams are going deep into the playoffs or win a conference title, that is SO MUCh BETTER than an AD blowing smoke about its sports teams.

    I continue to find it amusing that apparently many male egos are hurt here by the fact a woman is outdoing her predecessors

    Yes, there is still room for improvement, but considering the many restraints involved, Panther fans should be really enjoying the holiday season

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 6 people

    1. You are wrong on wrestling – not such a good year, yet. The team was stomped by Lehigh and tOSU throughout the line-up in dual meets a few weeks ago.

      You are also wrong about Heather (IMO) – it is not about male ego – it’s about the two revenue generating sports. I’ll give her credit for VB, women’s BB, men’s & women’s soccer, but the sports that interest most fans and generate the revenue needed for all the other sports is where she is being judged by many. Meh…


      1. For the record, I did not praise anyone at Pitt for the hiring of Capel. I was disappointed Jamie was run out of town – very dissappointed in the Stallings hiring – impressed when Heather fired Stallings –

        I felt there were many better choices than Capel and his track record was very underwhelming prior to coming to Pitt. Capel’s time at Pitt has been below underwhelming.


  61. On our Zoom discussion some said the the Bowl game is “meaningless” which I think is insulting to the 104 other kids on the Pitt roster who will not be drafted in the 1st round of the draft. If the only game (or team goal I guess) that means anything really is a conference championship and that bowl games are exhibitions…then what are the regular season games?

    If during the course of the season a school finds itself out of the possibility of being champs should they just stop there? To keep playing and risking fear of injury at that point would be for naught so why do it?

    What happened this season was great, Pickett played lights out, but let’s don’t believe Pickett alone gave his teammates the crowning achievements of their careers. He couldn’t have done what he did without, to borrow a phrase, “the blood, sweat and tears” of those others in the locker room.

    The trend to opt out as mentioned above is nothing but self satisfying greed, as drives much in society today. Just because someone has a shot at bigger money it does not automatically lead to good decisions. Nor does a fear of injury.

    What would our lives be like if everyone copped that attitude? How much would that harm others? Anybody with an even semi-dangerous job would constantly ‘opt out’ of going above and beyond the baseline of their profession.

    Military members, fire, police…even school teachers, emergency medical personnel and other professionals who have elements of injury risk in their jobs would look at singular situations and choose to respond or not based on their personal and financial decisions instead of the common good.

    But I have seen, time and again, people who have turned down much higher salaries because they felt what they were currently doing had more value to themselves, their families and others compared to what they would receive in monetary gain. Service to others, even in sports as in life, is our gift to give freely because we have the ability to do so.

    A commenter above mentioned that we should applaude Pickett because he “came back” to play one more season for Pitt when he didn’t have to. That is true. But the fact is that Pickett’s previous play in his first four years here was mediocre at best and he wouldn’t have gotten a second look from NFL scouts had he not returned. It might not be the sole reason, but you can bet it was the huge part of his doing so.

    He came back because it was his last shot at the pros. I have no problem with that nor his wanting to have an NFL career and get big bucks for that either. I truly don’t. But his actions and decisions after the season ended, and the message that sends to others, is what bothers me.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree with Reed although I couldn’t have said it as well as he did. I really enjoyed this past season and I owe most of that to Kenny returning. But I will have a difficult time viewing Kenny in the same light as other heroes of the Pitt gridiron. Today I see him as closer to Paris Ford than those who have a banner hanging at Heinz. But that was his decision, which he is entitled to make.

      If you have been involved in sports, coaching or playing, and have had a player quit on the team, it’s hard to view them with the same esteem as prior.

      Liked by 3 people

  62. Reed… Pickett would have been drafted last spring had he entered the Draft. He would hear his name called based on his athleticism and TOUGHNESS alone, a point I believe I made prior to this season.

    Granted I saw Pickett going in the middle to late Rounds as a projected career BACKUP. Regardless, you just don’t go from NO Round to FIRST Round in one year.

    I think NFL scouts deserve a little more credit than to think that would be the case.


    1. His previous play had nothing to recommend him to NFL scouts – toughness can be found anywhere. Pickett’s turnaround from ’20 to ’21 was his ability to read, recognize and throw 100% better than he had in his previous years.

      I’m not going to look it up but when has a four year QB with 7984 yards with a 60% completion rate and 6.9 ypa; 39 TDs to 25 INTs (low 1.5 TD:INT rate) and a low 124.0 QB rating declared for the draft when he could come back for another year of play to try to better that?

      This guy was the last QB taken in the ’21 NFL draft – Sam Ehlinger out of Texas. Here are his career stats (and remember he played for Texas).

      923/1476 62.5% 11436 yds 7.7 ypa 94 TDs 27 INTs (3.5 TD:INT rate) 145.0 QB rating

      Much better than Pickett’s play…yet he went in the 6th and next to last round. I don’t think Pickett would have been drafted last year.


  63. I didn’t expect to be saying this but the “Bad decision Kenny” arguments are winning me over.
    Especially under the mantra of “We not Me”
    It is apparent to me now that it does hurt his legendary status. Legends don’t opt out.

    If Pitt wins the Peach Bowl the decision will largely be forgotten however a loss will continue to tarnish that legendary status for some time.

    He is still going to hold all the records, but there will be an asterisk on the “Perfect Season”

    On balance though he still was pretty great and we all hope he has a stellar pro career. It is just a shame that it has to end this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. I for one still can’t wait for the game. Maybe all the controversy will increase viewership.
    Man talk about a pressure cooker for Nick Patti, he can be the first Pitt QB to win a 12th game since Matt Cavanaugh won a National Championship. That in no way is meaningless to Pitt and its Fans.

    Someone said that Pitt losing KP is more impactful than MSU losing KM, that remains to be seen. It really depends on how their replacements and respective offenses play.

    There are going to be a lot of scouts out there and guys wanting to improve their draft status.


  65. Consider this KP was definitely the most impactful Pitt guy this year and his year over year stat lines were off the charts, however none of that happens without a drastically improved offensive line, two excellent tight ends, a Biletnikoff award winner and other excellent wide receivers. Plus three running backs that all can run catch and block.
    I might have missed it but I don’t think KP gave nearly as much credit to those guys as he could have during his Heisman PR campaign.
    Let’s not forget the jobs by the coaches, Whipple for calling the plays that made KP a star, Marion who improved the performance of the receivers immensely, and all the others who got our guys to make plays instead of miss plays. Yes we shot ourselves in the foot far less this year.

    Seriously how much of a legend would KP be without Addison?

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I just told my son about KP fore- going the PeachBowl and he reacted with @ old school rage lambasting Kenny’s decision… I said “son, the team and loyalty things you were taught in your up-bringing are long forgotten on today’s youth(along with a lot of virtues)… today son, it’s all about money!” Screwed up world….but rooting for Nick and the team!

    Liked by 2 people

  67. Im not as bothered by Kenney’s decision as a number of folks here. Disappointed to not see him play in a Pitt uniform, yes. Bothered, no. But then, I’ve been (and am) an unabashed fan of Kenny’s from Day One. So perhaps that affects my perspective.

    It was clear to all of his teammates and coaches why he was coming back from the get-go.
    It was about the NFL and a chance to continue to play organized ball. It was about him first.

    Would it have been nice had he stayed with his emotional post-championship game position on the bowl game? I would have been delighted with that. But I get it.

    D1 college football is a business and those who work and play in it understand that. Even the kids who arent lucky enough to be among the 85 scholarship players on the roster get it. They all play for themselve first and then their teammates. Don’t believe me? Go ask one. Fans sometimes forget that. I know I do at times…. and its easier to forget that when a team has a lot of success achieved via a common goal and executed by playing as a unit.

    We speculate here – rampantly – because we don’t have all the facts. Sometimes we get nuggets of information, but most times its what in the public domain. Someone noted Kenny went in and out of the medical tent in Charlotte and perhaps he is injured. Anybody think his ankle is 100%? This kid is about to get full-body scanned and drilled, with every little flaw noted. That stuff is going to ultimately determine draft position, which could have a significant impact on where he is picked. A high first rounder commands a lot more than the bottom of the round. He has from now until the end of January to heal up from whatever ailments he may have.

    Fully, fully agree with Erie’s comment – its not just the money. He wants to play in the NFL. The kid loves the game and doesn’t want it to end – just like a few here don’t. Nothing wrong with that.

    I don’t agree at all that Kenny’s place in Pitt football history is damaged by this and suggest that time will soften most of those views. He will come back some day for some sort of recognition at a game and and only a small handful will still be holding onto that. I think you will see that he will use his celebrity to do good things as well. He will make you alums proud. Try not to let it bother you so much in the meantime.

    And yes, Im a Kenny Pickett fan. All in, as I’ve said for some time.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. All I can say is “Wow!”

    I choose to see the good in Kenny Pickett.

    While the chances of KP getting a serious injury are very small, the chance still exists and it has happened to others. I’m obviously not as smart as some here because KP’s decision doesn’t tarnish his image to me one bit.

    Wonder what his parents were thinking as KP went into the medical tent more than once during the WF game…

    Is it all about the money so KP can live in a mansion? Or could it also be about what good could be done with the kind of money, influence and opportunity that a starting NFL QB can have… Maybe we should be looking at a much bigger picture…

    And maybe I’m naïve, but I choose to see the good in Kenny Pickett.

    Hail to Pitt.

    PS: Never thought I’d live long enough to see Pitt win 10 games, let alone 11 games. That’s like two seasons worth of wins. But now that’s not good enough. Though if Kenny wasn’t playing because he turned an ankle getting off the bus, he’d still be a hero…

    Liked by 2 people

  69. Can we stop using the term opt out in this instance? I believe that term in regards to sports, had its genesis at the beginning of the 2019 NFL/college FB season and gave players who thought themselves at risk to COVID the option to not play without jeopardizing their contracts/scholarships. This does not apply to KP’s situation. He quit for personal/business reasons.

    Now I’m disappointed he’s not playing but I somewhat understand it. A previous post went over the number of quality QBs that opted to play in their “meaningless” bowl games. Now someone has to be the one in thousand that gets injured but…

    What I find equally disturbing is the number of fans who are opting out (quitting) on fully supporting the rest of the team in this game by stating they were going to attend but not now. As I stated in an old post, its the University of Pittsburgh, not Pickett.

    I also found it interesting that KP announced on the evening to the Women’s VB game, He at least could have waited until the morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Larry – good comments and very insightful. PSN is using words like “sitting out”, “skipping”, “won’t play”. On this blog we’ve used “opt-out” to describe Kenny & Mathias’ decisions to not play in the Peach Bowl.

      “Quitting” never crossed my mind until you made your comment above.



  70. BTW, I’m still a KP fan and appreciate everything he did this year. I don’t believe this diminishes his Pitt legacy. I agree with Major in thinking I would never see a season like this again.


  71. the word “Diet”is being replaced with “Zero Sugar” because millennials and genXers …. Now we are replacing the word “Quit” with “Opt-out.” I Damari Mathis has “ quit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Opt out vs Quit is all semantics to me. I like most here would have loved to see the 2021 ACC Champions plat with their starting QB and ACC POY one more time, but fully accept his decision in the world we currently find ourselves in. I believe JoeL’s most recent post above quite eloquently expresses my stance on Kenny’s decision. It’s Patti time!

    Liked by 1 person

  73. I guess we can conclude that KP isn’t god. He’ll still likely get a banner someday. (I’ll leave it to Cdr Reed if he wants me to repeat our old Army saying about medals.) As I say to anyone who leaves my firm for another job, he has my thanks for his contributions and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

    I root for the team. I can’t wait to see who is next up and what they can do. I’m especially excited to get my hopes up for next season.


    Liked by 1 person

  74. someone mentioned it(maybe here) – how does it affect KP if the backup has a spectacular game? does it take away from his draft status because the rest of the WE gets more of the credit for Pitt’s season?

    I admit to being one not going down to Atlanta in part because KP decided not to play,,, business decision based on $$ but also needed to move around some commitments and while doing so $$ became $$$$ with flights for 5 so I stopped the process and decided to spend the likely 3K+ on a nicer family Christmas gift

    hoping for a spectacular game by Pitt and the backup and chips fall where they may with its effect on KP


    Liked by 1 person

  75. I’m with the group who believe that KP8 accomplished what should have been Pitt’s goal this year, the ACC championship. I don’t believe that there was anyone on the team who wanted to win a bowl game MORE than they did the ACC championship. Of course a bowl game would naturally follow the championship, but that’s missing the point. KP8 along with all of his teammates (and I think the majority of Pitt fans hoped for) won their first conference championship.

    I was of the opinion that he should have considered sitting out of the ‘Cuse game, just to be sure he was healthy for the ACC champ game. But I give him credit for being there for his team and giving it his all. No way do I think this tarnishes his image in my view, but I understand other have different opinions.

    Reed, I always find your perspective interesting, however this time I think you missed the mark. The military and first responders, including the medical personnel on the Covid front lines, have made it their vocation to face danger and should be commended for their bravery. However, to compare that to KP8’s decision on a bowl game win that again was not the goal for this year, is misplaced.


  76. After reading some of the comments, I am astounded at the degree of immaturity read. Why in heaven’s name would someone like to post to simply aggravate others? Now on to football and the bowl game.

    Yes, I too wish that KP played in this bowl game as the concept of team,Wenotme, is a welcome sign of Pitt culture change). Of course, time changes as does the financial repercussions in case of an injury to potential high round draft choices. What I fail to understand is why play in the Senior Bowl if that is the fear? Yes, the Senior Bowl is a prelude tryout for the NFL scouts but so was an entire season and ACC Championship well played. I do not see the logic.

    There are insurance policies available to cover such injuries. No, they would not make up for a full NFL career but they would more than cover the initial contract.

    On the subject of the OC, Narduzzi has said that he will name the permanent person after the bowl game. This makes sense as what OC that he would hire prior to the game would know all the Pitt players and the various nuances of their abilities? As for naming the TE coach or Marion, what could they change inside of two weeks prior to the game? No a whole lot!! Whoever will be calling the plays would have to stay with a playbook that the players know now and how much they are able to accomplish. So, I expect perhaps dual interim OC’s for the game.

    As for Partridge or Marion leaving, my goodness what a gossip board much like Panther-Lair…..rumors only and no substance. Like it or not, Pitt under Gallagher and Lyke have supported Pitt sports better than ever and will provide a fair and rational compensation package based on performance. None of the Pitt assistants need to worry about getting an increase, nor does Narduzzi.

    Sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the good moments in life and appreciate possible brighter days.

    Liked by 1 person

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