Don’t look now…

…but Pitt finished the Fall ranked 10th in the Director’s cup. Does anyone care to throw shade towards Ms. Lyke? Does anyone care to apologize?

Here are the rankings since the above table is kind of small print

  1. BYU
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Michigan
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Penn State (boo…)
  6. North Carolina (the best athletics money can buy!)
  7. Washington
  8. Arkansas
  9. Florida State
  10. Pitt (hail to…)
  11. Alabama (just thought I’d throw that in there).

Pitt’s breakdown:

Mens CC: 29 Points

Football: 63 Points

Mens Soccer: 73 Points

Womens Vollyball: 83 points

Discuss

89 thoughts on “Don’t look now…

  1. As I posted at the end of the previous basketball article, Pitt led the ACC in average women’s volleyball attendance this fall. Pitt: football, women’s volleyball, and soccer school!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Looks like Narduzzi and Addison stopped by the Steelers practice facility today and got to speak with several coaches and players after practice. That might help some recruits to decide Pitt isn’t such a bad place to continue play FB for the next 4 years.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You have to wonder if that’s why Pitt tends to do well in the portal. (IMO). After players get a year or two under they belt they realize what’s important and what’s not. I am sure there is a heck of a lot of smoke blown at 18 year old HS seniors who don’t have quite the same perspective.

      Liked by 10 people

    2. And I remember some saying on this board that recruits are mistaken if they think Panther players ever get to actually talk to any of the Steelers. You know who you are….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris Peak reporting movement on the OC search and a familiar name emerging … I can’t see behind the firewall.

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    1. Frank Cignetti Jr. former OC at Pitt and currently OC at BC is who Peak thinks is high on Narduzzi’s list. He has a hell of a lot of experience in both college and the NFL and he certainly checks the boxes for the type of person PN is likely to go after for the job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cignetti definitely mixes the run with the pass well. Did it at Pitt those two years and the past two at BC.

        You’d have to think if hired he’d be a long-term solution. If it happened over Brian Johnson I wouldn’t be too bummed. Not a sexy hire for Pitt fans I’m sure. The Iowa State coordinator would also be a good choice due to his past work with offensive lines and tight ends.

        Like

  4. Still hoping that Pitt can land a LB and another TE from the portal. Then they would be about as stocked as it gets.

    As for basketball recruiting, has anyone heard anything at all about this current class? With 3 sophomore starters, perhaps Capel feels he can get away with a couple more transfer portal kids while he works on next year’s class. There is no doubt he will return next year as long as he wants to come back.

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  5. I’ll maintain my position that she is in over her head. Learning on the job, yes. It seems to me that all the sports that earned points had coaches that were already here before her “ma trick u lation”. Just my attempt at controlling the puffery. Yes, we had one good year. Let’s keep it up and after 3-4
    years of performance, I might change a little.

    Not sure on the portal success or failure. It is free agency for athlete-students as it is for regular students. NIL can be such a benefit if Pitt out works their peers. Pay for play however, will kill Pitt sports, or at least a few of them.

    Shout out to tex. Give me a text when you can. I was out for over a month or two hockeying with my boys across the country and haven’t seen any posts. Not sure if there is a ban in place or just went silent. Life gets in the way sometimes. Hockey has been difficult with covid – games getting cancelled at the last minute which messes up travel. The left coast wave is coming east. Kid tourney cancelled today, scheduled for this weekend in California. Some are trying to drive from la to vegas to play, but can’t get ice! Crazy!

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    1. You go ahead and hold onto that position, Huff. Its getting stale over time though.

      You see puffery and I see folks appreciating progress. 40 years in the desert and you want to contain enthusiasm? C’mon man. If Pitt athletics regresses to some sort of historic mean in the next couple years, folks will calm down without any coaching.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. This is like being up 14-7 at halftime.

        Come second half you pull the starters and lose the game 35-17.

        What other scholie programs will point until June? Wrestling and possibly men’s soccer or diving?

        Last I checked you play a full game and not just one half. Pitt has maybe 7 out of 17 programs that could start.

        Pitt again will finish near the bottom of the ACC. Perspective helps without the rose colored glasses.

        Like

    2. Looks like roughly 9-20 points separates 10th place Pitt from 50th place. Nice selective use of stats.

      What happens when a school below has a program that goes to the playoffs and points? Like their basketball, softball, track or baseball teams?

      Well, Pitt will drop in the standings.

      This was just a very biased sample. Pitts best programs are always Fall. Never Spring. Front loaded scoring. Cross country was the only program that pointed this year that didn’t last year. Got a whopping 20 points from them.

      Let’s judge Heather when the final standings come out in July. I expect only BC to have a lower points total in the ACC. I don’t see any signs of progress unless you like men running long distances in shorts.

      Like

  6. Nice job, lady in the yellow blouse, Mr Atom Counter and BOT Athletic Committee.

    The best way to say STFU to the clowns who judge every move you make is to to what you are doing right now – raising the profile, vibe and reputation of the school via athletic achievement. Keep it up.. but perhaps sit for a short spell tonight on the front porch with a wee dram to enjoy it for a moment. Well deserved and congratulations.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Again, don’t look at the facts of hire which is the point I was making. I was very happy for the good teams we had in a few sports this year. Y’all are a bit wound too tight in protecting sister here. Mens basketball, mens football and womens basketball are the revenue producers that help the most with the brand.

      Y’all might want to revisit this years comments as we lost to WMU. I am not a sore winner or a poor loser. If you beat me, I tip my cap. If I beat you, I don’t tell you you stink. I don’t look at one year of above average results (especially with people I didn’t hire), and think it is great! Time will tell. I always pull for Pitt. I always predict a win when most everyone here does not. Think about that.

      If we want to get chippy, I have been right 3 of 4 years about the administration. To miss once is not bad, and candidly, without covid, this last year doesn’t happen. Can anyone argue three out of four years were a success in the revenue sports? Seriously? I’ll wait as you all hit the dislike button! You can call me Cancelled I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, “just my attempt at contolling the hyperbole” with the in over her head stuff.
        She might be – I can’t tell from my seats – but thats a pretty big jump in the DC standings.
        Even Tex would have to acknowledge that.

        Enjoy your posts…I have receipts…appreciate the skepticism.
        Thought you liked give and take? Who you calling chippy – haha.

        Like

        1. Agreed on the DC standings, and believe me, I am happy about that. My wife is from W. Virgina and I have been on the outside looking in for most all of the last 40 years when they played, except that one miraculous game. I worked in WV and the Monday after, I called our IT Dept and told them I was having difficulty with email. They got into my computer and asked for my password to which I responded PITT13WVU9. For the rest of that day and week, the documents I was working on would disappear and re-appear….alot!

          Joel, I can take it without losing my mind. Often, I take opposite views just to keep the group less koolaidy, even tho we are also less coulibaly. Hoping one of the hoops teams gets on a roll here soon. Long winter without a good hoops squad.

          Tex should text me and give me that phone number he references for the next AD. Heard about a nice AD position where he coud cut his teeth in Div 1….unless the pro game calls him.

          Like

  7. MM – I’ve had this discussion with friends off the board. It’s glam vs glory. HS recruits want glam. Transfers have been around the block and are looking for personal success.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That would be a step down for him. He’s the head coach at an FBS school (James Madison is now in the Sun Belt Conference).

      Although I’d take his OC, Pitt grad Mike Shanahan.

      Like

      1. Oh, I know … out of the question … just saying … I’m not the least bit excited by this … If he was talking to Pitt, he was most likely on the hot seat, anyways.

        Like

  8. If the rumors that Frank Cignetti, Jr is Duzz;s preferred choice are trus. good for Duzz.
    If he lands him, I will be delighted.

    The guy is an excellent play-caller, runs a pro-style and did a really nice job with Bill Stull in his senior year. He’s local and can recruit.

    Pay the man!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Uggghhhh … such a boring version of the west coast. I already hate the west coast offense as it is, now this a less fun version of Whipple’s.

      Like

  9. “And the numbers say…”

    Here is how the 62 Coaches who are members of the Coach’s Poll voted in the Final Football Coach’s Poll where Pitt finished #13.

    #9 This is their highest ranking and they received 1 vote from Dan Mullen (Florida)

    #11 Where national champ Georgia Coach Kirby Smith put Pitt

    #12 Where Penn State’s James Franklin put Pitt

    #13 Where Coach Pat Narduzzi voted his team

    #18 Where Bama’s Nick Saban put Pitt

    #25 This is Pitt’s lowest ranking and they received 1 vote from Seth Littrell of North Texas (Mean Green is their mascot and lame brain is their Coach’s mojo)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ummm, most coaches don’t actually vote. just like most sportswriter’s on the east coast don’t watch the west coast games….

      emotions are funny!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If either Cignetti is coming, there is no reason for a delayed announcement. I agree with the above that it is a lateral move at best

    Shanahan just completed his first year as OC; if he comes to Pitt, it will be as WR Coach

    Just to throw in another name … Luke Getsy. Packers’ QB Coach and Passing Coordinator. Was OC at Miss St under Moorhead. Allegedly was just interviewed for Broncos HC position, but many think it was to see if Aaron Rogers will leave GB

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  11. Positive, Negative and Reality? Speaking of busted myths? When will some figure out that reality and negativism are quasi cousins.

    I’ve been reading crap like this too long….. the Clemson win on the road was only one time, the Coastal championship was nothing in a bad division, Narduzzi can’t recruit, Narduzzi can’t coach the good players he recruits and go on to play in the pro’s, Heather was in BFE during a critical time for the Panthers. yada me yodo you. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Josh Conklin is adding a veteran presence with extensive Power 5 coaching experience as he works to rebound at Wofford.

    Sources tell FootballScoop that Conklin will add Shawn Watson, a coach with 40 years’ experience in college football, to the Terriers’ staff as offensive coordinator. Watson, per sources, also is expected to have an additional title along the lines of assistant head coach.

    Like

  13. He’s fine but uninspiring. Pitt peaked at 32 PPG under him. I’d rather have his brother, coach at JMU. It’s a boring version of the West Coast offense. Ugghhhh … Super not excited by this. It’s going to be very traditional football. Dang … I started with “fine” but I’m already downgrading that to “meh”, sorry I used “ugghhh” … that’s definitely more appropriate. Wake up in 3 years. I’ll be falling asleep a lot on Saturday afternoons.

    Like

  14. Full disclosure … I was not a fan of the Wanny era so bringing someone in from it does not excite me. When your big accomplishment is Bill Stull, you’ve already lost me.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. If memory serves .. Wanny always treasured his RB over his QB. Shady, Dion .. and Ricky Williams at Miami

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  16. According to Paul Zeise (and I know he has mixed support but he’s been doing sports reporting including Pitt for decades), the first thing Cignetti does when he first meets with his team is write on the board, “It’s about playmakers, not about plays.” What he did at Pitt and recently at BC, is find a way to get the ball to his playmakers, not stick with his same old playbook. When Cignetti first got to Pitt he saw Dorin Dickerson who was being tried at several positions, but not with a lot of success. Frank could see that Dorin was a playmaker so he modified his offense to get the ball to Dorin. In his senior year, Dickerson had 45 receptions for 508 yards (11.3 avg.) and 10 touchdowns. He received All-American honors by the Associated Press, CBS Sports, the Football Writers Association of America, the Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. This was a guy who one year was a wide receiver, one year was a LB, and then a tight end when Cignetti arrived at Pitt. Dorin’s twitter reaction today upon hearing the reports of Duzz about to hire Frank Cignetti? “I am so flippin happy/antsy right now. My god.”

    Liked by 8 people

  17. Playmakers on Pitt’s current roster:

    Tier 1
    Jordan “Air” Addison
    Jared “Reggie” Wayne
    Blue Mountain Bart
    Izzy
    Rodney Hammond Jr

    Tier 2
    Nick Patti
    Vincent Davis
    Konata Mumpfield

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really – we haven’t had a West Coast transfer QB be a playmaker at Pitt yet.

        I have seen Patti at Pitt and he looks to be the best #1 QB on the current roster.

        I’m looking forward to seeing how Kedon fits with our current playmakers.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Some bad news. The LB transfer from MSU. Dowell, just backed out from Pitt due to “unforeseen circumstances”. He will go back to the portal. ?? Grades?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have been having a debate with my son on the merits of the Cignetti hire. He thinks it is a “meh” pick who just got picked because of his Pitt background. I look at it as a solid pick, a guy with a resume similar to that of Brian Johnson, who many were saying would be a home run hire.
    One other thought, FWIW. I am guessing that Narduzzi may feel a kinship wirh Cignetti as both are 2nd generation college coaches.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Dowell just re-entered the transfer portal due to unforeseen circumstances … I wonder if he failed a physical or something? Pitt is very strict medically.

    Like

  21. I like the Cignetti hire. I’m impressed that we hired an OC away from another P5 (and ACC) program. Perhaps bringing a coach home will also lead to some longevity at the OC position.

    Like

  22. BC offense was ranked 93rd this past year and averaged 24.7 points per game, 16 plus in ACC play. Also, keep in mind that Jurkovec (sp), was injured, but I can’t recall how many games he missed. I thought one miss may have been the ND game. Is Jurko in play?

    I think Hafley is a short timer at BC as he will go to a bigger program. Perhaps Cignetti does see an opportunity to stay for a few years as mentioned above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Misses 6 & 1/2 games. Played game 1 against Colgate, Injured first half 2’nd game. Played last 4 games of season. Still had a hand injury in those last 4 games. Jurkovec is not in play.

      Like

    1. Frank Jr’s resume shows he doesn’t stay at one place long – on average one to two years, which was one of the knocks on Marion. Frank Jr’s coaching history covers a much longer span & is probably more predictable. No denying the fact that Marion’s presence improved the “catch” ratio.

      We can speculate all we want as to “was FCj the first choice” and it will get us nowhere. We were told Duzz needed to wait until approximately the timeline near the end of the NFL regular season/conclusion of the NC game. Frank Jr was available long before that timeline so there is that thought that someone or multiple candidates may have said no OR did not wait for a Duzz decision (in the case of Harrell or Johns). Again, it doesn’t matter, kind of like to bowl game to some.

      FYI – I did not get the questionnaire from the Pitt athletic dept (that JoeL & Annie received) and that does not sit well with this longtime donor. I’m on the fence about renewing my season tickets – combine this snub with the bowl game loss and right now as I sit, I’m opting out.

      Like

  23. After the 2020 season Whipple was bum and many were calling for him to be replaced with Pitt averaging just over 21 points per game with Pickett in his 4th year. Fast forward to season 2021 and now Whipple is a hero with Pitt averaging 42 points per game. How did he turn into a hero from being a bum the previous year? It’s the players he had at his disposal in 21 versus 20 with IMO the addition of our two TE’s being a major factor.—-When Cignetti had his starting QB go down at BC the offense production went down dramatically. If Whipple had Beville running the Pitt offense in 21 I can guarantee you we would probably be lucky to average 20 points per game. As was previously posted its about the play makers and Pitt has plenty on the roster currently. I’d say Cignetti is a good choice and may actually stay at Pitt for an extended period of time.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I think Hafley saw what Pitt did this year and thought, we need to score more than 24 points per game in college. LOL. Please take Frank.

    Like

  25. As long as Pitt has QBs playing at a high level and with playmakers on offense, any offense coordinator will look good. Cignetti’s O looked good with Jurkovic, not so good without him. BC had a senior QB who beat Pitt in 2019 and all those offensive linemen. You’d think the offense would score more than 18 ppg when Jurkovic was out.

    This hire also poses well from a stability standpoint. It’d be nice to have an OC be with Duzz for many years, even up until Pat’s retirement from Pitt.

    Like

  26. From my perch, all the pieces are in place for our new OC to be successful. I trust the Narduzzi hire and I trust Coach C’s extensive experience. Now, we need a WR coach. I wonder if Coach Cignetti would poach Shanahan from his brother’s staff at JMU. Just an idle thought.

    Like

  27. Many thanks to Reed and the POV Zoomers last night. Lot’s of great topics and good comments.
    As part of the discussion on why Pitt had a great season last year and I can’t remember who to give credit for it was the lack of really impactful injuries. Not something we have talked much about but really big. I think I may have mentioned before that I believe this was the first season KP didn’t miss any games. His durability was key, even the comebacks from the tent during the games.Other than that the loss of Mack and the other two receivers, was not a huge problem thanks to Addison and the rest of the crew. The O-line had to shuffle a little but was able to overcome the missed games. The running backs that missed games were overcome by the durable Davis and the passing game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Enjoyed it as well and nice seeing some of the guys in the offseason.
      A couple other reflections…

      Reed – Thank you for taking the initiative and nice job moderating the discussion. Also, you looked great. Last time I saw you was at Red5A either pre or post back surgery and were in some pain.

      isnore99 – my grandfather is from Flatbush

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Good discussion on Slovis vs Patti next year. Major majors made a good point about having packages for Patti who he thinks will be number 2. Had a couple early this year, that were effective but forgotten later in the season.

    In any case, whoever wins the spot will be surrounded by talented experienced guys and will have a very competent experienced OC calling the plays. I think we will have a very strong passing game and reliable running game. The O-line will be experienced and deep if not dominant.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have always thought that coaches get too much of of the blame when teams don’t win and that it is really the talent of players that win games. Yes you must have competent coaching, but the reason for Pitt’s success in the Director’s Cup is that they had enough Good and Great players to be highly competitive.
    The most important thing a coach and his staff does is recruit those players.
    It is so refreshing to see that Pitt finally has top athletes in multiple sports and a desire to get better in all sports. It is also particularly refreshing to see a Women’s team contribute bigly and I think we will see more of that.

    For whatever reasons the transfer portal has helped much more than hurt Pitt. Congrats to our coaches for managing the paradigm change. (other than basketball so far)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I buy into MM’s view that the portal is heavy with serious players who have learned that a big stadium full of fans and jersey sales on the NCAA level are not necessarily the best path to the NFL or NBA.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Too bad about losing the MSU safety/linebacker for unforeseen circumstances, that might be a first.
    We went from having great depth to real need in the blink of an eye. Graduations, W. Davis, Cam Bright, and now this. So what is the story here? Can it be fixed? Do we go 5 linemen and 2 linebackers?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Unfortunately no one had any good answers for basketball last night. All agree we need an influx of talent, but fear it is not coming and worse, what talent we have may leave.

    Like

    1. I am hoping Capel is working the Portal for the reasons given by MM and myself. Sitting on the bench at Duke or KY is not the best path to the NBA. Playing time is. And by gawd a 3 point specialist or a real strong power forward should be available in the Portal. Plus Portal players have NCAA film to show they are not just high school sensations.

      No way Pitt competes for 4 or 5 star high schoolers. But we could have a chance with serious players in the portal. Good proven players with some talent who want to actually play and don’t care about the extraneous crap.

      Like

  32. Cignetti’s offense was not great when Jurkovic played. Neither was Jurkovic. I don’t get why people think this kid is great.

    27.8 ppg
    284 passing yards per game
    Passer rating 138.7
    7.6 yards per att

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  33. notrocket, fair point/concern, I too was/am iffy on this hire. My first thought was ‘oh no, mediocrity’, but then I dug a little bit and was a little impressed with his work with his role with NFL quarterbacks to go along with OC experience. The BC stats posted above are fair game, but then again you have to also consider what kind of talent he had to work with, which may essentially negate the stats. So although most seem happy with the hire, I guess I’m still somewhere in between, but at least hopeful now.

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  34. If he is indeed the OC, I will keep an open mind and hope for the best as always. The college game has changed. A successful passing attack and high scoring offense is a must. PN witnessed it firsthand this past year. Hopefully this guy can adapt. As stated, Whipple was not good his first two years.

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  35. If it is going to be Cignetti, I am good with the hire, especially that he has local ties and is viewed as a good recruiter. I saw some comment about him having a fiery personality. I am very good with that, also. 2022 should be a fun year for Pitt football.
    pmdH2P

    Like

  36. So where does Frank Cignetti stand on using those sideways passes? 😊

    I was kind of hoping for more of a splash hire – but Frank Cignetti seems to be solid. His experience in the NFL will impress recruits. I was surprised at hiring someone off another ACC team though…

    Maybe Frank will get some innovative ideas from his brother Curt and Mike Shanahan…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  37. If Hafley leaves BC, does that set Cignetti up for the HC position? I wonder if that was a condition for taking the OC job, that he would be free to pursue BC or any other HC job. He was probably given a multi-year contract at Pitt in order to jump sideways at another OC job, but would probably be released if someone offered him a HC position.

    Like

  38. Is Frank Cignetti as the Pitt OC still in the rumor stage? No official announcements. AllI’ve seen so far is:
    “Is expected to be . . .”
    “ . . To be named . . “
    “” Pitt is set to name . . .
    Etc., etc.

    Like

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