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.